This past Sunday night, my first night as editor filling in for Ryan Tate, the Gawker internal server crashed, and I couldn't help feeling overcome with "what the hell did I get myself into?" thoughts.
It was about 2am when I first noticed what was going on, which was the worst possible time because it was stuck right in the middle of a quasi Gawker support dead zone when the tech team here in New York is usually sound asleep and Nick Denton's team of Hungarian IT warriors are just waking up on the other side of the world. Up to that point I'd been having trouble all night figuring out some technical bullshit with the site, arcane HTML codes, trying to resize photos and upload videos within the system, and here I was all alone in the middle of the night running, or trying to run anyway, one of the world's most popular websites and I was absolutely convinced that I had fucked something up and just crashed the whole system. At some point I was able to get Ryan Tate on the phone who mentioned "this never happens," which only helped to convince me even more that I had broken Gawker. I was sad.
So I went for a walk. It was a nice night, that night, so I popped in my earbuds and listened to a new album by some friends from back home and walked around my neighborhood a bit. All day I'd been kind of missing my mom pretty hard, it was Mother's Day after all, and I, like millions of others who stray far from the parental nest in pursuit of some elusive nugget, didn't get to see my mom that day. I guess it was my missing her that left me overcome with an unusual craving for comfort food, or "mom food" as I like to call it, all that day and night, mac and cheese to be precise, so I decided then, while I was walking around in the middle of the night, that I would find some damn mac and cheese to scratch that itch. I wandered into a diner near my apartment, convinced that they would surely have mac and cheese, hell, they have freaking lobster on the menu in this place, so certainly they'd have mac and cheese, so in I went in and grabbed a booth.
I was immediately greeted by this waitress, a young girl with dreds who seemed to be sort of a walking Tracy Chapman song, and she told me that they were out of mac and cheese for the rest of the night, who promptly suggested I order the spaghetti instead. I declined and scanned the menu, hoping that maybe something else would grab my fancy, and then I saw it—-cheese grits! No dice said the waitress, as they were out of grits on this night, in addition to macaroni (well ain't that just a bitch!), who promptly suggested I order cheese fries instead. I looked up at her at this point, sort of exasperated I was, and flashed what must have been quite an asshole-ish look in her direction (Like, how the hell do you correlate cheese fries with cheese grits? I mean, they're not even close to the same thing, but whatever.), got up, and walked out in a bit of a huff. Then it dawned on me that my waitress, the walking Tracy Chapman song, had probably never been below the Mason-Dixon line in her life, and for this I had pity on her, for she just didn't get southern comfort food, mom food, which, was kind of saddening to me.
Dejected, beaten, slightly broken, I headed home. It, that entire day, was starting to feel like one of the worst days of my life, and I just wanted to curl up in the fetal position and go to sleep, to just get it all over with. But I couldn't really do that, so I grabbed a beer from the corner deli to ease the pain and went back to my apartment, where I was immediately greeted by a message from one of Denton's Hungarian IT warriors—-He'd fixed whatever had been broken, and all was good from there.
And for the rest of the week, I've had an absolute blast. What started off as a bit of a shitshow, has been thoroughly, completely fun. Right now it's 6:35 in the morning and I've got the window open and the birds are chirping outside, and I find that to be quite nice. What looked to be potentially horrendous has turned out to be one of, if not the most, fun weeks of "work" I've ever had in my life. There's a lesson to be learned in that I guess. I suppose I should make note.
Anyway, thanks for being so kind to me with all of your tips and comments. Maybe I'll see you back here again, maybe not. Either way, it's been a hell of a lot of fun.