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.


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