Wednesday, May 12 2021

switching teams, worms, and beef stew smash

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Wednesday. It's a beautiful morning over here in Madison. I hope wherever you are, you're enjoying the same sunshine and moderate temperatures. All this week, it's been chilly at night and sunny during the day - right in the sweet spot. Time to fling open the windows and go hog-wild with the hoodie rotation.

How are you feeling today? I'm feeling stellar. It feels so good to be back in the swing of things. On days like this, I feel incredibly lucky that my job only requires me to sit upstairs on the computer with coffee. That's what I feel like doing most of the time, anyway. I especially feel lucky on the days like today where I don't have a lot of camera time.

After such a crazy weekend and more summer craziness approaching, I'm trying to go easier on myself. I'm trying not to squeeze so much work out of every minute. For example, yesterday I was trying to fit in as many chores before 11 PM as possible. It was 10:30, and I had a choice between sweeping the floor, wiping down the cabinets, and rounding up loose laundry around the house. I couldn't decide what to get done. I stood in the kitchen deliberating on what to work on for five minutes. I couldn't decide what to do, so I just called it quits a little early. I joined Marissa in the basement studio and caught the ending of the episode of Bob's Burgers she was watching.

Sip. I have some other big news. I'm transferring to a different team at work. This has been in the works for a few months now, all starting with this inescapable feeling of restlessness and the need for a change. I was ashamed of these feelings at first. I assumed the issue was my fault, that I wasn't focused enough or not investing enough in what the team is building, so I reached out to some more senior engineers at the company. I learned that after almost five years working in the same engineering space, these restless feelings are normal and even a good thing. The more I thought about it, the more transferring to a different team started to feel like the right decision.

I'm certainly no stranger to switching teams. In fact in the last four years and seven months working for Zendesk, I've worked on five different teams. But this is the first time I've actually requested the change, and that makes it a big deal for me.

So officially as of yesterday, starting in July I'll be on the network team. The network team is a special group of people. Interviewing with them over the past few weeks has been a fun way to get to know each of my new teammates, as well as catch some of the enthusiasm around their vision.

So enough work talk. Let's pivot to talking about worms. Oh, that's right. As the proud owner of a Zophobas morio nursery, you better believe that there's going to be a serious up-tick in the worm content around here.

"I think the shock has worn off," said Marissa. I crossed the room to join her by the bookshelf. We both stared blankly into terrarium. "Opening the box was creepy," she continued. "I didn't like the scratchy noise they made when they were crawling on the paper. But now I find them interesting."

"I like how they only have six legs on the front of their body," I commented. Marissa widened her eyes on disbelief.

"What?" she said. "No way."

"Yeah, just six legs in front," I repeated. On cue, one of the worms emerged from the dry oat floor, angling his body up against the glass. His six legs stabbed at the terrarium wall.

"They look a lot fatter," I commented. "They've been eating those little carrot pieces like crazy. I rotated them around today and the bottoms were completely chewed out."

"So what happens to these guys next?" asked Marissa. "When do they turn into beetles."

"That's up to me," I said. "I take a few of the fat ones and move them to plastic cups and keep them in a dark place. They form a little pupa, which turns into a beetle. Then I move them to this other tank."

"I bet they don't like the car," laughed Marissa. She pointed at the corner of the terrarium where I added a small toy car. It was a $2 Matchbox rendition of the Interceptor from Max Max. It had sunk below the substrate completely.

"Well too bad - It's part of the theme, and I like it," I laughed.

In other news, Minnie is back in ear tape jail. We noticed a few days ago that one of her ears was sagging. Yesterday, we took her to the couch to get it over with.

"Now Minnie," said Marissa. "Daddy is holding your head down because he wants this."

"But remember, it was Momma's decision," I added. "Daddy thinks your ears are perfect already."

"But daddy bought the masking tape," said Marissa. "This wouldn't be happening if daddy didn't buy a role of masking tape."


Minnie enjoys her final minutes of ear freedom.

Whoever's fault it was, Minnie wasn't happy about it. We made a calendar event exactly one week from yesterday for ear tape day, which I guess is a soft commitment to throw her a party or something.

After wrapping up work, I hit the kitchen. It felt great to be cooking again. With a fresh batch of chicken stock to burn through, I went with our standby classic boef bourguignon.


Miles is finally at the age where he can share what we're eating for dinner. Always an enthusiastic eater, he's adjusting very naturally to new fancy foods. We gave him his own plate of boef bourguignon, smashed up with a fork and smeared onto the tray of his high chair. chaos followed.


"I can't even look at that right now," said Marissa.

You've heard of a cake smash, but how about a beef stew smash? Now we're talking. Thanks for stopping by today - have a great day everyone.