Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Launch

I'm sorry I didn't post last week - I feel like right now I'm a total broken record with my blog posts: "wah, work. wah, early train. wah, tired".

The big news is the site I'm currently on officially totally launched on Friday!!! We compressed our 4 week timeline into a 3 week timeline and seriously busted our asses this past week getting it all done. That's been my entire focus over the past 2 weeks.

2 weeks ago, I was again in NJ. I went out on Monday to do some support, and then headed back to NY on Monday night. I've been missing Blondie and my bed, so I've been trying to force myself back to the city some. On Tuesday though, I decided to stay the night in NJ - so it was back out early Tues morning carrying all my stuff. The train drops me about 1 mile from my site, so it's always a 6:45 am 1 mile walk in the bitter cold carrying my laptop bag, my purse, and on days that I stay the night, my backpack. We did a bunch of work that day - a few small launches - and then a coworker and I headed for cuban food that night.

I woke up that Wed morning and all the TV stations were talking about the massive storm that was blowing our way, getting ready to hit NJ/NY that night. I made the decision to check out of the hotel and not stay Wed and Thurs nights - I didn't want to take the train early those days, but took a chance that my site would close due to the weather. And I'm glad I did. We got snowed out on Thurs and Fri. And seriously, fuck this weather.

I worked from home on Thurs, and then decided to head into the office on Friday - simply because I had gotten an email from one of my other 3rd party sites on Friday morning, and needed to track down people to deal with it. That Friday literally made it 2 days in 6 weeks that I had been physically in the office. It was really good seeing everyone, but I was also pretty exhausted from everything over the past 6 weeks, so I told my boss I was leaving early. He okay'd it (he can be pretty cool that way), and so around 3 pm, I left the office to meet Blondie.

We did an late lunch V-Day celebration, and went for Turkish food - I had manti and Blondie had lamb, and we split falafel and spicy hummus. And wine. And then we decided we needed margaritas, so we made our way around the corner to a bar that has pretty cheap margaritas. And then we decided to pop in our local to say hi - we only stayed for 1 beer, but it was good checking in that night. And finally we headed home to split another bottle of wine while watching TV.

Saturday was also pretty good - we stayed in most of the day, and then our bar friend texted that night that her and her husband were headed to our local. Blondie and I started to head over to meet them, but ran into a building friend right outside our lobby. He had a bottle of rum he was swigging from, so we did some shots with him in the parking lot (we put the ass in classy) and then made our way to the bar. We had a pretty good night - we kept it low key and chill, and left early. But still a great time hanging out with everyone.

Sunday I decided I needed mexican food. So up the street we went with our bar friend for fajitas and giant margaritas. Then we headed back to our hood to go to Pony - but it was super crowded due to the 3 day weekend. We only hung out there for a bit before heading yet again, back to our local. But again, a TOTAL blast. All of our friends were in great moods, everyone wanted to just play good music and talk, and just overall a great Sunday.

And no Sunday dread because I had Monday off!!!! I got up with Blondie (who sadly did not have Monday off) and worked out, followed by a spontaneous apartment clean (if I say I'm going to clean the apartment, I don't. So best not to say it and just have it happen organically - so yeah, once every 3 years I'd guess ;) I crawled back in bed to watch crappy TV but then my bar friend texted for lunch. So I finally got up and met her at a new "food court" type area between our apartments. We split a sandwich and deviled eggs, and a ton of beer, before dum, dum dum - OUR LOCAL!!!! I drug myself home around 5, and was out cold by 5:30. And didn't truly wake up until 4:30 am on Tues morning. So nice.

And... back out to NJ on Tues. I stayed Tues and Wed nights, which I'm grateful for b/c this past week was one of the most batshit insanely busy weeks I've ever had. We went in early, worked all day long (literally didn't leave until after 8 pm one night when we had a 7 am start), and most importantly, got it done. I'm bruised as fuck right now - and my arms are scraped up; I look like I've been in a fight (manual labor part of my role), but we managed 14 small launches in 4 days, which closed out all the launches for this site. I also managed to kick off my next project, located in Detroit, MI - I have a trip there coming up in 2 weeks. Other highlights from the week include the BOATLOAD of sushi that 3 of us managed to eat one night, the coworker of mine who showed up completely hungover and whom I didn't let up on because we had so much to do (hint: he hated me that day; other hint: don't show up hungover when you know how much work we have to do), and seeing a video my company had made about my site (it melted my cold dark shriveled heart).

The bad news about the week was the bug we found - at first we thought it was the network at the 3rd party site, and when I realized it wasn't, I had to escalate it out (on a Friday, no fun for anyone). They were still working on it when I left on Friday night from the site - completely giddy that I was done being full-time onsite, completely giddy that I didn't have to travel to the site at the ass crack of dawn on Monday. And then when I was walking home after the train got back to NY, my VP texted and asked me to go to the site again tomorrow - the team is pushing a fix at 7 am and he wanted me onsite to test. We have other people onsite instead of me, but he trusts me. It's nice to know that he feels that way about me, but also, fuck me.

I crashed early on Friday night, and then Blondie and I spent yesterday relaxing. We hired a cleaning service and they came yesterday and scoured our apartment (it doesn't even look like our place anymore), while Blondie and I were lazy and laid in bed reading. Seriously. We had a woman clean our apartment while we sat in bed doing nothing. Ass. Classy. Us. And then we split a few bottles of wine last night while eating chicken.

Today I got up early and did our laundry (go me!) and then I putzed around in the gym for a bit before putting away said laundry and throwing out the wine bottles from last night. My bar friends are off to Pony but I'm pretty fried, so trying to decide on that. And Blondie's sis shows up toda for a few days - excited to see her! And of course, NJ here I come tomorrow.

Tigga news - he's doing okay. He's super thin - he seems to be eating well but just not gaining any weight. We started feeding him human food which he loves - just anything to pack on 1-2 lbs. But then I noticed he had diarrhea in his litter and he puked up all over the floor yesterday, so we're going to stop feeding him as much human food as we had been. Not sure what to do with him - his next vet appt will be in a few weeks, so am going to discuss our options with him at that time. My instinct says to pull him off chemo and see what happens, but I don't want to do anything to end his life earlier than it's going to be. But I also don't want him miserable and sick for the time he has left. I've also thought that maybe if we get an older cat in with him it might help - like 3-5 years old cat - not a kitten. Just put some spunk back into him - get some of his fire back. And yet I can't pull the trigger yet on this as I don't want to stress him either. At least he still looks pretty bad ass b/c of his half grown in shaved spots.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Garden State

Where haven't I been in NJ in the past 3 months?

So 2 weeks ago, I did a driving tour of NJ - it started with my first site. I went out with one of the network engineers for my company and we met up with the 3rd party company and did a ton of tests against their network. The 3rd party company felt they resolved the issues we had been seeing, and the network engineer couldn't find anything that said otherwise - although he also couldn't find anything that showed it was fixed either. It was back to NY on Monday night - really good seeing Blondie and Tigga, so that made my trek back worth it.

I was picked up bright and early Tuesday morning by 2 other coworkers, and we drove out to the NJ/PA border for 2 days. The pickup was at 7:15 am, and felt particularly brutal after Monday. We got out there and did a whole bunch of manual labor (I am a total broken record) on Tuesday - and I also had to jump into the project PM role out there and met with a bunch of 3rd party staff members to get their take on how things had been going. It was an extremely busy day, we didn't even break for lunch. Our group that night went for many beers and a big dinner, before heading back to our hotel and collapsing. Wednesday was another extremely early day - we finished up the bulk of the work we had been sent out for, and then left for NY around 2:30 pm.

I was home at my apt by 4 pm, but had to leave at 9 pm (sob) to walk up to Port Authority to catch a Greyhound to Atlantic City for 2 days. I went with 2 other coworkers, and the bus was dead, so it wasn't a bad trip down. We went down because we were support for a convention, with a few demos tossed in to deal with also. The trip was actually pretty good - when we went to checkin to our hotel, there was a really drunk woman that security had put in a wheelchair b/c she was so out of it she couldn't walk. She saw one of my male coworkers and hated him on sight - so she spent the 10 mins she was sitting there (security was trying to figure out her room) flipping off my coworker and going "Fuck you!" I have never laughed so hard in my life.

Our Thursday demo and support went well - we had a lot of people stopping by to say hi, and I kept running into 3rd party staff members I've worked with previously. And we had a great dinner on Thursday night at Buddakan followed by gambling and drinking into the evening. And Friday was a very tired day - the convention ended at 1 pm, and we were on a 2 pm bus back - only to get stuck in bad traffic and not get into Port Authority until 6 pm.

Friday night we did a quick stop in at Winchester to say hi to everyone for the first time in forever, and then Blondie and I did a date night at a great restaurant up the street from us (killer bourbon cocktails). Saturday we headed downtown to an old coworker's apartment - he invited me and Blondie, and my BFF from my old job and his wife, over for fried chicken dinner. We ended up drinking champagne, stuffing ourselves, and playing Cards Against Humanity until midnight. And Sunday was lazy - I met up with a girlfriend around 4:30 to head to the bar for SuperBowl, and was joined closely after by Blondie and the rest of our bar friends. We had a great time drinking a ton of beer, eating a ton of food, and watching some football.

This past Monday started off weird - I was supposed to be in NJ to get ready for the start of launch (had a ton of work left to do), but we got snowed out. Side Note - Is anyone else as fucking sick of winter as I am? So I decided to not go into the office, and finally did some laundry and just hung out with Blondie for the day.

Tuesday it was over to NJ and we officially started launch!!! Launch is both the best and the worst - you are so tense and nervous, and then it either goes well or there is an issue - and you never know until it happens which way it's going to go. It was the best - so that was a GREAT start to my week! We left Tuesday on a high - I had been planning on staying in NJ but there was another storm headed straight our way, so I went back to NYC instead. And I'm glad I did b/c we got snowed out again on Wed. I made the decision to go into work instead (for the first time in 3.5 weeks) on Wed and it was really good getting to see everyone - just doing the office gossip thing, getting lunch with friends, etc. And I had a billion people coming up to me asking me where I had been. I also got my next assignment which is kicking off this week - off to the land of Detroit, MI. I love NJ actually but I'm tired of heading over there - yet at the same time, not having to fly has been awesome. But now it's back to airports on a regular basis.

Thurs it was back to NJ for the rest of launch week 1 (4 week launch coming at you). It went pretty well - but we also realized that the 3rd party company did not resolve their issues so we have to start back on debugging that. I've worked at my company for a year now, and feel pretty jaded about it all, but it was also good to see new people picking up the product for the first time and being very excited about it. I went home on Thurs night, and then back out on Friday to finish out the week (when I make these trips, it's always a 5 am alarm, 6:20 am train out of Penn - BRUTAL). They day was tense - they were doing some filming and I can't stand that; and we found a bug that wasn't fixed until after the day ended; but overall, I'm glad week 1 is done.

Friday night I was in bed early, and then was up way early on Saturday. I dozed some on Saturday and then Blondie and I ordered in soup and watched TV into the evening. Today I was up early again. Now I'm starving, I need a pedicure, and another snow storm is blowing in this afternoon. UGH.

In Tigga news, he had his follow up visit with the oncologist 2 weeks ago - Blondie took him for me as I that was the day I had to head out to NJ/PA border. His bloodwork looks great which was the biggest concern about his pills - screwing him up in other ways. But, he's lost some weight. Which is no bueno. We've dropped him from taking chemo to every 3 days instead of every other day. It doesn't seem to be helping - if it keeps up this way, we'll have to either cut his dosage down (the size of the pill) or take him off chemo until he gains some weight back.

That's all. Stay warm.