october, 2009

Mon, 5 Oct 2009 18:46:01 -0700

Being oncall thankfully doesn't take the same toll as it did in the beginning. I've set my pager to make a much less scary noise, which superficially helps (it's more, "pardon me, but the Internet may be down"); though Trisha's SMSes from Zeitgeist Tuesday night as I blearily slept did each administer a little jolt of adrenaline, the spike is manageable, even when sick and drowsy. If the entire network melted -- or hell, even a large chunk of it -- I'm sure it would be straight back into all-neurons-on-deck mode; managing more minor crises within SLA from a dead sleep, however, appears to be doable. Suboptimal, but I must admit it makes me feel less like I'm malingering, at home with my Thera-Flu, extra-soft Kleenex, and pager.

I had no one but myself to blame, though. I stretched one day of birthday usurped by a wedding into a full week: Unplanned late-night beers combined with roommate encouragement led to even-later-night birthday-cake baking (they licked the Kitchen-Aid bowl). I poured flutes of Veuve Rosé Wednesday night mostly for myself, doing the electric slide in my party dress and slippers to Michael Jackson until 2, 3 in the morning (who's counting?) with Jaime, Matt, roommates, and (surprise! Susan's jaw dropped to see him on my stoop) Ryan, flown in from Ireland for four days of assorted festivities. I may have procrastinated all Thursday afternoon, drinking teammates' homebrew instead of writing peer evaluations. Ryan later fished two leftover beers out of my fridge, opened them with his wedding ring, and told me more about DNS. Susan & I lounged Friday, getting our nails painted a lurid pink, discussing the rest of my trip to Dublin. Burritos, willpower, and addenda kept us up handily Friday night, dancing both on Cody's annual trolley and without, even sans the usual handholds. I slept three hours and then went to an all-day choir rehearsal. Rick took photos of me Sunday, laughing in drainpipe reflections as I switched lenses back to my trusty Sigma f/1.4, swearing never again to stray; observed that the clocks in the Clock Bar were all twelve hours off. And this all before I went oncall last week. Health regained by Friday, Weaver & Trisha picked me up in Lucas's borrowed black Infiniti, bumping techno as we drove from wine to wine to champagne, advice and Manhattans, handstands that should have ended poorly, birthday presents and black leather coats and piles of purses and pajamas and oh god where did Saturday go? Discarding all diurnal plans, she & I nonetheless rallied for Il Trittico at the opera that night, gingerly proofing our stomachs on a glass of wine at Nopa.

It's the relentlessness, and the concomitant loyalty, that I love about SRE. Why else would I have been editing Craig's design doc (more red ink than his text; I did warn him) over a glass of wine at Café du Soleil while waiting for Weaver? Why else holding the pager for the pay of a few rounds of cocktails while sick? Why carefully shuffling bits into the night if the smoketests aren't passing? It's this combination of the fierce whiskey, champagne, certitude, and awesome, imbibed and embodied by these people.

Perhaps I glorify it. So be it: It's my world right now.

all this Šnori heikkinen, October 2009

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