Sledding

I love it:). Love sledding, always loved it. And there is a big sledding hill right by my house, We used to go there with the kids, even when me kids were young adults :). But for some reason, I can’t make myself going sledding when I am by myself, and there are parents with kids on the hill. I feel embarrassed, and I do not know why.

I was anticipating today’s snow. Since going to the office is optional, I planned ahead to work from home. And early in the morning, at 7-45, to be exact, I took my sleds from the basement, put my snow pants on and left the house form the back door:). It’s the shortest way to the sledding hill, not like I didn’t want my neighbors to see me:).

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Are They Really Afraid Of Black People?

Last week, during my zoom birthday lunch, I mentioned that there are way too many coyotes wandering around Palatine these days, and how I saw a full-grown coyote on the bike path, and he was not afraid of people. I mentioned that people are concerned that coyotes attack dogs and that I agree there are too many of them around.

Vlad suddenly said very sharply: good! If people are afraid of coyotes, they might decide that coyotes are more dangerous than black people and decide to move to the city.

I was like: Vlad, what are you talking about?! People are not afraid of blacks! Vlad: they do! They just do not say it! Look, people are saying they are afraid to get on the CTA, and if you ask them why they would be: I am afraid of people on the CTA. And if you keep pressing, it would be – they are afraid of blacks. I tried to protest, but then all of them (my kids, I mean) told me that I am an exception, and all other people who live in the burbs think differently.

I told them that I do not think I am an exception and that more of my co-workers live in the city than in the burbs. But in the next several days following this conversation, I had several encounters that proved Vlad’s point.

One of my younger co-workers reacted at the Sanders on the CTA mem on Slack and said that “he has not been on CTA since March, and is not looking forward to it”. And I chose not to ask why. Which I probably should. Then, when I talked with my neighbor, she told me about her granddaughter who will teach in the city and is going to live in the city, and she (my neighbor) thinks it’s not safe. I shook my head, and she asked: you disagree? But it’s not safe! Give it some time for things to settle down.

And the next day, there was a conversation with my other younger co-worker about renting in Chicago, with the same question: is this neighborhood safe?

I tried to answer in detail, explaining that “safe” is a rather relative term, and you should know how to operate in each neighborhood, and giving lots of examples. And do not take me wrong, I agree that young people moving to the city should do their homework and research the neighborhoods’ specifics, safety, and everything. But … I do not even know how to describe it, but sometimes I can hear that these young people were instructed by adults who know nothing about the city except that it is “unsafe.” And I hate when people come to Chicago (not now but in normal times) “just for work,” and do not know anything except for the way to their office, and never try to explore anything else. Because everything outside the Loop is “unsafe.”

Not like I can do anything with this situation. But I feel very sad and annoyed with it…

How I Feel These Days

There are too many good things happening! Unfortunately, at the same time, I have another wave of stress because-everything-is-falling-apart at work, but still.

Objectively, there are too many things going great. First and foremost, the news and politics feel surreally normal. I do not know how else to describe them. Something we dreamed about for all these long four years, and now that it happened, it feels like you are dreaming 🙂

Then my birthday, when I felt so loved by everybody, with all the gifts being so thoughtful, with all the conversations I had these days.

And then the announcement of the book and the postgres_air database! My LinkedIn account exploded! I want to check whether there are more reactions than on my Technologist of the Year announcement, but I think that’s true :).

My Belated Birthday Cake

As it turned out, Vlad and Anna were planning to deliver a specially ordered cake for me on my actual birthday. When I told Anna that I will be in the city on that day, partially because I need to pick up my inauguration day order from Vanille Chicago, they had to change their plans. Anna canceled their order in an attempt to move it to Wednesday, but by that time, they were overbooked for the inauguration day :).

After all, it was not that bad because I (with mom’s help) was more than half done with the pie. 

On Friday, when I was sitting working, my door opened, and Vlad delivered a cake. And let me tell you – it was something! It was just great; I have nothing else to add! Yes, it was huge, and it might look completely unpractical, but that was just right! I was in such need of an unpractical, fabulously looking present, and the one I would never get for myself 🙂 

A six-inch cake!

Our Book Will Be Available Soon!

Reblogging from my professional site – one more time about the book

The World of Data

There will be a lot of me on social media today because I have a couple of important announcements to make.

Those of my friends and colleagues, current and former, who attended yesterday’s Chicago PostgreSQL User Group were the first to know.

Last night, I presented two projects that I, together with my wonderful co-authors, were working on during the pandemic. These two projects are closely related, but I want to talk about each of them separately.

At the beginning of March 2020, when I was busy getting ready for yet another conference,Jonathan Gennickconnected with me on LinkedIn and asked whether I want to write a book about Postgres performance. I said: yes, but I am busy; please reach out in a month :). When he reached out in a month, we all lived in a totally different world, and I was ready to dive in. I am…

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Inauguration

I took a half-day off today to spend some time with mom. First, because she didn’t get a chance to say happy birthday to me yesterday, and second, I wanted her to see the inauguration.
It was a cold but sunny and really beautiful day, and I went for a short walk.

Yes, I started to put flowers in my bedroom again
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How Was My Birthday

It was great, even though you might think it is impossible in the time of pandemic with everybody being remote.

It started with this picture I received from Boris at 4-35 in the morning (that’s when I wake up, and he knows :)). And since he is not sentimental at all, I liked it even more 🙂


Today was my office day. I didn’t have breakfast at home (I only took a small container of fresh-cut fruit with me) because I had a Starbuck birthday reward, which I planned to use. Unfortunately, the Starbucks at the Palatine Train Station closed for good (which breaks my heart!). But with the new train schedule, I take an early express, so I ate my breakfast at the city’s train station.

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Stress, Chocolate And Me

I hoped that this weekend would be a “return to normal,” but it ended up being anything like that. On Friday evening, after I already spent two days trying to resolve upgrade issues, I realized that I would have to work on Saturday. At that point, I thought it would be just a couple of hours (it ended up being eight).

I had a million things to do in the morning, so I told my co-worker that I want to start the next upgrade at one. That still put me on a tight schedule since I also planned to talk to Boris before work started.

I was trying to lay out all my morning moves in the best possible way, including the fact that I had to go shopping with mom.

The point is that I was trying very hard to keep my schedule and be home at noon to talk to Boris, and I had ten stops to make.

As a result, I forgot two things. One is that I forgot to apply my birthday coupon at IKEA (it was valid for the whole month of January, but I am not planning to go there one more time). And the second is that I forgot to pick up my Brazilian chocolates at the w=Winter market. They are only there for two hours every other Saturday, and they only deliver pre-orders. Not like I do not have enough chocolate at home, but I thought it would be nice to support them, and my birthday is a good reason to do so.

So I ordered a box of brigadeiros and two packages of alfajores and figure out that between mom, post office, and IKEA, I will be able to stop by the Winter market. And I forgot!
Moreover, it turned out they texted me fifteen minutes before the market was over, and I didn’t see this message because I was already late for my online date:).
I only saw this message two hours later, when I was already deep in work and texted then a million apologies.

Their reply was: we are glad you are OK! I realized that, knowing me for a while, they could not imagine anything stopping me from picking up chocolates! And then they texted me that they will deliver, and they did.

ANd it was so good to have all this chocolate at the end of exceptionally stressful day!