Tuesday, March 23 2021

hair routines, book club, and bottle training

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. How do you feel today?

I feel amazing this morning. We had a good dinner yesterday. I caught up on most of my chores, squeezed in some exercise time, and got a good night's sleep. I'm showered, rested, and I even shaved today.

I shave sporadically, not regularly. I've noticed that for me, shaving my face is almost ceremonial. I save it for when I've finished a big task, a milestone, or whenever I feel like I need a fresh start with something. Undoubtedly, I shaved today because yesterday I finally wrapped up the first draft of my proposal at work. Marissa was sitting at the desk upstairs with me while I applied my final edits. I maximized the screen on my monitor and shared a final victory scroll with her. It amounted to a little more than three thousand words and maybe seven or eight diagrams. Man, it feels good to finish something for a change.

I use the word "finish" flexibly. This is just the first draft - the larva stage. I'll let the larva wriggle around, munching on comments and feedback from other people, and when I'm satisfied I'll tuck it into a cocoon where it will re-emerge thereafter as a beautiful gleaming butterfly.

So how does your day look today? I almost had a perfect game today. As of four o'clock yesterday, I had absolutely no meetings scheduled for Tuesday. But then a recruiter messaged me asking if I would fill in for a last minute technical screen.

"Any time you'd prefer?" he asked. "Your calendar looks pretty empty tomorrow, I wasn't sure if you had off or something."

"Isn't it weird?" I replied. "I don't know how it happened, but I don't have anything on the calendar tomorrow. I guess it's good you reached out to me - I don't want people to get suspicious."

So now I have just one meeting on the calendar today. Not a perfect game, but still plenty of time to enjoy a quiet morning and start something new.

Sip. Yesterday was pretty busy. I was running behind in the morning. I practically dropped a bowl of honey nut cheerios in front of Rodney at the table on my way upstairs. I also skipped my new prescribed hair ritual, where I have to apply that fancy sea salt spray.

"What do you think of it without the spray?" I asked Marissa later that morning. "I didn't have time for it today, do you think I can get away with it some days?"

"I love you - but no," said Marissa empathetically. "You should put some in."

I nodded in understanding. "Come to think of it, during stand-up this morning somebody told me that I look like an 'artist', and I thought What the hell does that mean?"

I took a break to do my hair. Marissa sensed my frustration.

"Are you bothered that this is something you have to do?" she asked.

"Oh you know me so well," I laughed. "Yes, I hate it. I hate it that this little bottle is a new dependency. I have to buy refills and travel with it now. Where does it end? What if the world was ending and we had to quickly leave the house to begin our Mad Max life? Do you mean to tell me that if I didn't bring this little bottle along, I'd have to live out the rest of my days on earth with bad hair?"

I had a meeting over lunch. Since it was a work lunch, I treated myself to a BLT from the nearby pizza place. I scarfed it down at the table with Marissa and Rodney minutes before I had to join the call. It was our final book club meeting with the interns. As of yesterday we finished reading the DevOps handbook. This was my second time reading the book, but Fong kept the discussion fresh with good discussions and mock debates. For the first time, I got the real debate team experience - being randomly assigned a partner and a position to argue, throwing together an argument strategy in a private break-out room, and watching your flimsy premise crack under questions, counter arguments, and knowing chuckles. What a good time.

For dinner, we had steak with mushroom cream sauce. Last weekend when Marissa and I were trying to pick up steaks for the grill, Hy-Vee goofed up our online pickup. They substituted our pair of ribeye steaks for two tiny grass fed steaks. She ended up just exchanging them herself at the meat counter, but for COVID reasons they wouldn't take back the ones they gave us by mistake. That's no problem for us, I'll absolutely cook a free steak.

After dinner, Marissa asked me to take a turn trying to give Miles a bottle. We're leaving the boys with Mimi and Papa in a few weeks while we take our trip to Philly, so in preparation we're stepping up the bottle training. Miles doesn't have any experience with bottles - we haven't had the need to take him anywhere, so nothing about his life is very portable right now. I don't even remember the last time we needed a diaper bag.

His lack of experience shows. Miles sucks at it (no pun intended). He insists on holding the bottle himself. He locks his knees and arches his back. He kicks his legs wildly like a mule.

"C'mon dude," I sighed. "He's hopeless. Look, he's not even letting me hold it. He just wants to hold it like a sippie cup."

Marissa was putting a sippie cup away in the drawer when she stopped to watch. "Do you want to try a sippie cup with him?" she asked.

She emptied the bottle into a sippie cup and handed it to myself. Immediately, he threw his head back and slammed the bottle. He guzzled it down like he was shotgunning a beer at a tailgate party.

2021 03 23 miles

What a winguss. Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. Go have a Tuesday.