Seattle office memories

Here I am on January 23, 2017, starting my first day working for my company at the Columbia Center:

First day at Work!

And here’s me on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, when I arrived to clean out my desk. Not to leave the company, but because we’re transitioning to permanent full-time remote work.

Columbia Center exit selfie

As I cleaned out my stuff, I took a few pictures of some of my favorite things in the Seattle office. Here they are, in no particular order.

Project tracking from 2020
The whiteboard we used to track our work. Everything is two years out of date.
The Engineering department at my company used to do white elephant gift exchanges. This fine timepiece was one of the gifts, labeled and then left behind by a former employee several years ago.
Kitchen whiteboard on 13
Kitchen whiteboard with notes people have left during their pandemic-era visits to the office. Strange.
Women's restroom
Years ago, for April Fool’s Day, I put googly eyes on all the fruit in the kitchen. As people ate the fruit, they started putting googly eyes other places — on monitors, the coffee maker, and this, my favorite, on the women’s restroom sign.
Googly Eye Fruit
Here’s the googly eye fruit. Still my greatest April Fool’s joke ever.
Columbia Center view to the south
The south-facing view. My gosh. It never gets old. I can’t take that with me.

I’m going to miss all the beauty I got to see on so many trips to and from Seattle. Continue Reading >>

Full remote

This week I got the excellent news that this is now my permanent work desk:

My desk at home.

My company has decided to save itself a packet by no longer maintaining office space in Seattle. Permanently. My boss hastened to reassure me that my job remained safe, but all Seattle employees on our team would work remotely from here on out.

I’m glad to hear it, but not as unalloyed joyful as I expected. I kind of started looking forward to seeing my Seattle colleagues, even if we didn’t directly work together — sharing baked goods, writing the jokeboard, going for walks at lunchtime — although maybe not so much that final one, given the shocking rise in violent crime in the neighborhood around our office tower. I didn’t want to do it five days a week, but a couple days sounded like a good mental health break from being alone in my apartment. Continue Reading >>

What I need, not what I want

You know what’s strange? Coming to grips with losing biking as I’ve known it for the last 15+ years feels almost exactly the same as a breakup. Maybe grief is just grief.

As I’m processing through this, I have to accept that I’m not ready to be done with being a performance athlete. I’m not ready to say goodbye to my biking buddies. I’m not ready to lose the stability of a routine I’ve maintained in essentially the same form for nearly all my adult life.

Not ready, but able. I can live a happy, fulfilled, joyful, active, healthy life without biking and all its routines. Continue Reading >>

On the edge

For more than 15 years, I’ve ridden my bike. It started as a practical move to avoid buying a second car, but over time evolved into more than a hobby; it became a passion, a cornerstone of my identity. For me, bicycling has been a port in the storm, a refuge and relief, a way to meditate and dwell in the present moment and let go of the future, a mental health coping mechanism. It was community, friendship, connection, a regular group of people who I came to know and care about. It was freedom and joy and as close to flying as I could get. Continue Reading >>

Ancient technology

Going through some papers, I found this:

What is this ancient technology

Me: Benji, what do you think this is?
Benji: A CD?
Me: No.
Benji: A VHS?
Me: No.
Benji: That technology is too old for me!

Honestly, it’s probably best that whatever’s on that floppy disk stays there. It is definitely some story I wrote in high school that should never see the light of day again.

Tomorrow will be better

Today was an exhausting emotional rollercoaster of a day. Our divorce finalized. I connected with three separate groups of friends. I learned that, very likely, I’ll have to give up biking or my artery will keep getting worse. The cherry blossoms at the UW were beautiful. I guess this is life.

Cherry Blossoms at UW