Saturday, February 1 2020
work, super heros, chicken, and taylor swift

Dear Journal,

Good morning! Welcome February! Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is feeling good today. Even though we both know February will probably be just as cold and dark as January was, I think we can celebrate that we’re just a little closer to spring.

This morning, I woke up a little later to Rodney peeking his head out of his door yelling Helloooooo into the hallway. He’s still very good about not leaving his room without our blessing, but this wake up call is the very latest in obedience workarounds. I reluctantly crawled out of bed, changed him into some clean underwear, then went downstairs to take care of the dogs.

I set Rodney up on the couch with some Eggo waffles and sliced fruit, and soon enough Marissa joined us. Later this morning, she’ll leave with Ziggy for an agility trial in Milwaukee, and we three boys will have to find something cool to do.

Yesterday was a pretty swell Friday. Our first half of the year goals were due yesterday, and being the last person remaining on our team who had not yet submitted them, I was relentlessly teased about it all morning. “OK, I’ll remind you again in 10 minutes,” joked my boss. I submitted my goals later that morning, garnering some sarcastic applause.

I coded through the morning, then went for a walk around the square. Lately, I’ve enjoyed eating at Collectivo. I’ve always thought of them as a coffee place, but one day it struck me that half of their menu is food - sandwiches, wraps, salads, and even breakfast bowls, making for a pretty formidable lunch option when I’m in a pinch. I treated myself to a potato, egg, and bacon breakfast burrito, finding a quiet place to sit in the office away from my desk and read up on the Bears off-season from my phone.

I had some meetings in the afternoon, concluding the work day with our team’s end of the week demo & retro. I shared my screen, taking my team through a tour of what I had worked on that week. “It’s not finished yet, so the only running example I can show you is what the code does if there were no changes.” I clicked a tab, flashing the message No configuration changes, nothing to do! on the screen.

Back at home, I got Rodney out of his room so we could go shopping. He was deep in sleep, and after waking he was in a pretty quiet mood. Usually chatting my ear off, this time on the drive over the only thing he mentioned was something about Paw Patrol Mac ‘n Cheese, which I later learned he had for lunch, liking it so much that he finished over half the box by himself. A new inductee into Rodney’s favorites - and not a very surprising one either.

Rodney sat in the foot tray of our small grocery cart with his hood up, thinking and looking around while I shopped. I picked up chicken legs, potatoes, and a bag of baby spinach. I let Rodney pick out a chocolate egg as we were checking out.

Back at home, Rodney sat at the table expectantly, waiting for me to open his chocolate egg. I peeled the wrapping, and out tumbled a tiny Hulk figurine. “Green goblin!” exclaimed Rodney. I’ve finally figured out Rodney’s system for super hero identification. Every super hero is simply ironman - unless you’re dealing with the Hulk. He’s too big and too green to be mistaken for ironman, so we call him green goblin. At least that one makes a little more sense.

As Marissa napped on the couch, I tossed the chicken legs and potatoes in lemon juice, garlic, oil, and spices, then arranged it in our roasting dish. Hearing me in the kitchen, Rodney joined me and asked to help. Together, we flipped and dredged the chicken legs in the oven, then got to work cutting up parsley and making a greek yogurt dressing. He also nibbled on strawberries while I tossed the salad. “Rodney loves strawberries,” he stated between licking his fingers. “Yeah I know dude,” I replied, moving the rest of them out of his reach so he wouldn’t pick our salad clean before dinner. Cooking seemed to improve his mood - Rodney was more talkative, and while we waited for the chicken to bake, we played some catch with his ball in the kitchen.

After dinner, we put Rodney to bed, and I knocked out some push-ups and sit-ups. Even though it was a Friday night, I wanted to get at least one make up day in to account for being sick this week. And I honestly like how the exercise makes me feel. The push-ups are becoming easier, but I still struggle with the sit-ups. “It’s weird,” I explained to Marissa the other night while she patiently sat on my feet for counter weight. “I used to be much better at sit-ups. I used to look forward to them because they were a break from the push-ups, which I hated.”

I finished Dutch, knocked out chores, and helped Marissa carefully move her resin tent in the basement, relocated earlier that day for a plumber who was checking our drain earlier that day.

After calling it a night, I worked on some code in the dining room while Marissa finished up. I had a pretty fun day of coding yesterday. I set up a secret store on my kubernetes cluster, and that should make it much simpler to add automated jobs and little web endpoints for our home. Additionally, we’re starting some projects at work around the same type of technology, and I always enjoy work more when I can familiarize myself with the same stuff at home - with lower stakes, of course.

We concluded the night on the couch. For her movie pick, Marissa picked the new Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix. “I thought we’d like it, since we’ve both had a love-hate thing with Taylor Swift in the past,” said Marissa. And we did like it. The documentary was interesting. It was packed with lots of intimate footage that shed light on why she was unhappy as a country singer, and what it felt like when people turned on her. “It’s sad, I get that,” I narrated over the movie. “But at some point, when celebrities complain about the Internet judging them, it kind of just sounds like their complaining about her job. Blocking it out is a skill that she needs to develop more.” Easy for me to say, I suppose. I don’t think anyone has every said anything mean about me on the public Internet. I sympathize, but I think my point stands.

Last night was a late one. Perhaps I was a little too excited about finally feeling good after a week of being sick. I’m already eye balling the clock for an afternoon nap before Marissa gets home.

I hope you all have a wonderful day today.