Tonight, I introduce you to the anti-journal, the joke name I’ve given to all of my journal entries that predate my website. Long before I ever considered publishing the entries, my daily writing habit was constrained to a single, ever growing text file on my computer. These entries are more private and unfiltered. They’re a little more scatter brained too. Typos, venting, cussing - I’d probably be embarrassed if some of the stories in here were shared ( at least right now).
This week I’m going to take a break from the usual Sunday night homework vault. Instead, today I’ll start chipping away at the dark and mysterious anti-journal. Bit by bit, we’ll drag these secret entries out into the light. For now, it’s a sprawling secret text file, but maybe someday I’ll get the courage to share everything, and I’ll be able to shut down the anti-journal for good.
Good morning journal!
It’s the first proper morning since our chaotic Easter weekend I think. I rolled out of bed a little early to brew coffee, did the dishes, put laundry away, and had a good long snuggle with Zig right there on the kitchen floor. I think it’s been too long since we had a cuddle, she was pretty ecstatic about the whole thing. And finally, I grabbed a cup of coffee, retreated upstairs, donned by shitty Best Buy headphones and started up Endless.
It’s a lovely morning. The weather this week has been beautiful. Last night coming home from Glass Nickel, we got stuck in the rain. We wrapped Rodney in a hoodie, and he stayed relatively dry. I think he enjoyed the whole experience. It was nice to get some family time and catch up over a few beers.
The work week is shaping up to be a little more manageable than I thought it would be. Heading into Monday, I had three code interviews to do (and the recruiter was looking to squeeze a fourth into the afternoon). But my buddy Alex took one of em and the fourth never happened, so I was actually lucky enough to squeeze some work in and tidy up my notes.
As an aside, I never should have stopped Journaling. Keeping a daily journal has a way of calming and calibrating my thoughts before heading out into the world. I started noticing the benefits in small ways - my “good morning”’s are just a little warmer. I feel more relaxed on the bus ride. Speaking of which, I need to get off my ass and start skateboarding again. I left the board at home yesterday because the forecast said rain, but as mentioned, we didn’t see rain until after dinner, when we saw all of it.
This is a wonderful morning, but I’m starting to feel all of my summer commitments creep up on me. The plate is filling up. I haven’t even checked on the high school class reunion I’m supposed to be planning. I’m giving a talk at a python meet-up in Madison… sometime in May? I’m the keynote speaker and I have a vague idea of what I’m discussing. Recipe for success, right?
Gotta stay positive though. That’s the other benefit I’ve noticed from keeping a journal. When I write positively, I feel positive. Don’t worry, I’ll always look to balance positivity and honesty. If I have a shitty morning, you’ll be the first to know, journal.
So let’s do this thing. Let’s get it on, Tuesday!
Good Morning, Journal!
The puppies are so funny in the morning. I’ve noticed another of things about their morning routine. If I don’t roll out of bed by 7, zig-zig starts to yell at me. The whole house is still sleeping, but she will start yipping and try to call me over by the door. Once I stand-up, the puppies get ready because they know that I mean business. They jump out of bed and wait by the door, even if it’s open. At this point I fold my blanket, and while making my bed is pretty quick I suspect that she would yell at me her as well if I took too long.
Next we leave the room. I’ve noticed that if I take a piss, then the puppies for some reason barge into Rodney’s room and wait for me there, entertaining themselves by just flopping around on Rodney’s rug. This has happened a few times and Rodney has woken up, which is a total disaster. If Rodney wakes up this early, the words GAME OVER may as well pan across the screen because you lost at morning routine. So I don’t take a piss right away. This quite already quite the sacrifice.
The pups follow me downstairs and they immediately run outside. I turn the alarm off and empty what’s left in the dishwasher. If the weather is bad, the pups will ask to come back in the house, but you have to stay strong, because otherwise Zig-Zig is gonna piss on the carpet. You just gotta call their bluff and wait them out, but not right by the door. You just have to putz around the kitchen and look busy until they give up trying to get your attention.
When you’re sure they’ve gone to the bathroom, then we open the door. I do a little psyche up chant or song while I get the big scoopie bin and put it up on the counter. Zig starts to jump up and down. When her paws are muddy, she leaves paw prints on the cabinets (good thing she’s cute, right?). Ollie gets the first scoopie. It is of utmost importance to not spill any, because that upsets the pecking order. If any of Ollie’s scoopie spills, then Zig feels it’s her right to shove Ollie out of the way and eat it off the ground, making Ollie fear for the safety of his whole scoopie because now he can’t protect it. So I pick my shots and get it all in the bowl then trot over to zig’s bowl. She gets a scoopie, but I give Ollie a ten second head start because he eats more slowly. I finally plop Zig’s food into the bowl. Like I said, if you did this right, they should finish eating at almost the same time.
Now that the puppies have food in their belly, they are much more agreeable. I pour a cup of coffee and they follow me upstairs. I boot my computer up and they make their way to where they sleep - crig in the dog bed and Zig curled up at Momma’s feet. Zig zig will act like she’s going to sleep but she just stares at me. She gets grumpy with me because she doesn’t like that I leave her all day, so until I walk out the door I get sad puppy dog eyes that beg me to just climb into bed and stay with her all day.
At this point, it’s probably a little after seven. I open emacs, queue up some writing music (which is almost always Endless by Frank Ocean). Then I hit the keys “CTRL+C” twice and press “j”. This opens a new journal entry, and I write for fifteen to twenty minutes. If I’m feeling talkative, I’ll write longer, but I have to jump in the shower by 7:30 or I’ll be in danger of missing my commute window. I shower for fifteen minutes, slam the rest of my coffee, brush my teeth, then check the weather on my phone. At 7:50, it’s time for some split decisions where I check the weather on my phone (which is just a terrible predictor, I need to find a new weather app), and try to translate that into an outfit. Since I take the bus or skate, I need to get this right or I’ll be cold all day.
At 7:55 I should be dressed. I gather up my things that double check I have my keys, wallet, bus pass, compute, and charger. I head downstairs. Zig almost always jumps out of bed and follows me. She lays down by the door while I put my coffee cup away and put on my shoes. I talk to her about the day and liberally apologize for the heinous act of leaving her all day. I get more sad puppy dog eyes as I wick all the dog hair off of my shirt and pants with the hair wand.
At 7:59, I kneel down by zig, give her a kiss, and gently move her so I can open the door. I head outside. She stares at me as I close the fence gate. I blow a kiss to her and she just kind of glares at me until I leave.
I walk over to the bus stop on the corner. I try to cross at East Wash first because it’s faster to jaywalk across North street? Whatever the street is that turns into Milwaukee after the Malthouse.
I should be standing by the bus stop at 8:04 becuase that’s when busses first start showing up. They buses are a little inconsistent, but usually the fifteen turns on East Wash from Milwaukee before the six or the extra six pulls over from further down east wash. I climb on either bus (either one, they both just go straight to the capital), skillfully remove my 10 ride from my money clip without holding up the line. I insert my ten ride and politely decline the driver’s offer for a transfer, then have a seat somewhere in the front.
Good Morning Journal!
It was pretty cool watching my journal roll over into a new month. That is definitely a personal milestone, in my adult life anyway. Funny enough, I was pretty good about keeping up with my journal when I was younger. I had a small… “rad” looking themed notebook I bought from the church bookstore. I was envious of my sisters because they got to buy diaries, which included a little lock and key that would keep the book shut. But all the diaries were just a little too girly for me, so I had to just get a regular notebook. I wrote KEEP OUT on the front of it (you know, you’ve seen movies). Every few months, weeks, or sometimes every day for a few days I’d just write little updates about my life that were written like a letter. Each entry usually started off with “Dear Journal” and would end with some kind of sendoff. As you can see, this is something I still do. I wonder if I still have that thing around.
It’s a nice morning here in Madison. Some clouds, but at least it looks dry and pretty temperate. I bet it’s just ideal hoodie weather. Marissa has been pretty sick the last two days - it’s a bad one. We’ve spent most of the week just taking it easy. I’m just wondering when I’m going to feel the tickle in my throat, but so far nothing. How does that even happen? We’re getting lots of sleep this week, and that’s just fine. There’s nothing terribly exciting to watch on TV at the moment, so lately we’ve just been watching Seinfeld and then heading upstairs just before 11.
I took a stab at writing that “Lessons in Green-Fielding” puff piece I’ve been assigned. A little saccharine, but otherwise not as much cringe as I thought it would be. I think after combing over it a few more times for unintended sarcasm, it’ll be ready to go. Oh and I have to write an ending. But yeah, it’s 1000 words of… something. God, I’m a 28 year old man working on a 1000 page writing prompt that someone assigned to me. This is the thing nightmares are made of. I guess it’s a good time we practices writing for bullshit prompts in high school, because sometimes you have to do them in real life.
This weekend should be pretty low key. Tomorrow we hired the babysitter to watch Rod so Marissa and I could go see the new Avenger’s movie. I admit it, they got me hooked with the last one, I kind of want to see how all this Thanos nonsense wraps up (or how they leave the door open for 80 sequels). Some of these Marvel movies are ok, but hell do they make a lot of them. They could take a year off and just let me miss them a bit.
Well I think I’m going to hop off a little early so I can shave - I’m starting to look like a dutch uni-bomber. Let’s have a great Thursday!