My Last 48 Hours in Tampa

7:50pm: get a Lyft downtown. Meeting Sierra for a drink.

8:05pm: Randomly run into Emily. She is also joining us, but I had no idea. Very happy to see her, as I had been trying to coordinate something before I leave. Emily tells me stories of her sudden and inexplicable hospitalization.

8:25pm: Sierra arrives. Drinks commence. Conversation is free, open, and genuine; just as it always is with good friends.

9:40pm: Sierra laments her absurd and hilarious mishap involving a boat, a slippery ladder, and stitches in her vagina. She shows me pictures. Legit. Ouch. Hospitals are becoming a theme…

10:10pm: Ride home with Sierra, who gingerly comments on the bumpiness of the road. Empathy cringe. I don’t have a vagina, but I imagine stitches there must be painful, especially while seated.

10:12pm: Remind Sierra her sunglasses are still at my place. She left them there 18mo ago when she gave me a massage. That was nearly the last time I saw her. She is unsurprised and thankful.

10:20pm: Outside my apartment, Sierra waits in her car while I run inside to retrieve her sunglasses. She gives me a big hug and wishes me well on my trip. I’ll see her again in a few weeks.

10:22pm: Attempting to burn through the last of the white widow before I go. Watch some old Star Trek. Nostalgia. Sleep soon follows

6:26am: It’s Thursday. I’m getting roasted tonight. My best friends in Tampa are sending me off properly. Looking forward to it. Shit, this is really happening. Snooze.

7:29am: Think of Sophia. My internal clock is incapable of sleeping past 7:30am, largely because Sophia’s birthday is 29 July. She sets her alarm at that time, so I’ve been trained to wake then, whether she’s with me or not. Miss her. Going to miss her a lot more than I’m comfortable admitting.

8:15am: Off to the WaVE. Or not. Distracted by Mike’s random app ideas from yesterday. Let me just take an hour to build this web app real quick. Might as well record my screen while I do it.

9:05am: App complete. Text Mike with the good news. Ok, now to get ready for my last day at the office.

9:28am: Witness a man, likely in his 60s, walking barefoot across Kennedy Blvd, wearing only a pair of shorts. He walks on the white painted part of the street. Smart man. He looks pensively at the bus stop bench for a moment, then grabs the two unidentifiable items from the bench, nods affirmatively. Light is green. Must go now, strange man.

9:30am: Arrive at the office. No interns at the desk. Typical. Feeling like I won’t get much done today. Also typical. I do more code-related things at home anyway.

9:40am: The congratulations begin. Chris, my neighbor, is the first to offer his regrettable and envious sentiment. He also asks me to help with a code problem, which I do. Volunteer time and a willingness to help is a key part of my having an office at Tampa Bay WaVE.

11:30am: Congratulations continue to punctuate my morning. Getting some editing done, but not very focused. Roasting is on my mind. Pan-fried ginger, I believe. Smiles. Now, time for coffee. Walk down to coffee shop downstairs. More goldbricking with baristas. I order a cappuccino, only the second time I’ve done that. Jared gives me the “wait… what?” face. I always order a small coffee.

2:08pm: Set up in the studio for podcast recording. Justin is late. He is forgiven because he brings a bottle of bourbon, which we haven’t had on the he show in months. We talk about his woes regarding web service API versioning. We talk for so long that we must break it up into two episodes. Good stuff. I asked if he wanted to do a farewell show. He said no. Not ready to admit I’m really moving yet. Hope this won’t be the end of the show. It’s far too much fun to give up just because we don’t live in the same city anymore.

3:40pm: Finish recording. Great episodes! Strike all the recording gear and head back to my office for editing. No possibility of getting this out before the roast. Punt. Do it on the plane tomorrow. Let’s get drunk instead.

4:05pm: People start to arrive for the roast. This is going to be good.

4:20pm: Drinks are flowing. Pizza is on its way. Great company already ramping up for the roast.

7ish: The roast was epic! Raffled off a bunch of my stuff for entirely less than it was worth. I think we gave away about a thousand dollars worth if stuff for a little under $100. Hope y’all enjoy my stuff as much as I did. Thanks for coming!

8ish: the roast has evolved into a band practice for Tech Jam. Ned straps on the wireless mic. I use the wired one. We sing. Justin plays guitar. It’s amazing. Really feeling a lot of flow and synergy. Only need to practice songs a few times and it sounds amazing. Gathering an audience, all very impressed. Deb tears up the background vocals. She’s going to be on stage with us, if I have anything to say about it. Of course, if Justin’s wife gives birth that day, there will be no show for us. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. 🙂

10ish: Done with band practice. Heading to the hotel bar across the street. Bump into Saxon, who has managed to find the prettiest girl at the bar and captivated her attention. Turns out she’s 50. Brava, ma’am. She looks like a sexy 32. But that’s Saxon, always ballin’ out. Everyone else drinks gin. I drink bourbon, with authentic maraschino cherry.

10:30pm: Trying not to be hungover for my flight, I bow out. Many hugs. Many good vibes. So long, folks. I’m going home to smoke some weed.

6:15am: Up early. Pleasantly feeling fine. Ok, gotta pack the suitcase. Shit, left it at the office. Ok, laundry then. How do I fit two weeks worth of clothes into a suitcase the size of a medium sized dog?

8:30am: Ok, gotta get to the office to get my suitcase. Then back home to pack. Then back to the office. Still have some editing to do. Gotta publish an episode today…

11:02am: Call from Mitch. Deb’s birthday is today. Going to have lunch to celebrate. Just finished packing, so I’m good to go.

11:16am: Chat with Lyft driver about SF. He wishes he were moving.

11:35am: Arrive at Anise for lunch, early. Find table for six.

11:45am: Mitch and Deb arrive. Wow, the samosas are amazeballs! Almost worth not leaving… Almost. We have three orders. 🙂

12:45pm: Bill is paid, gotta get back to the office! Got a plane to catch.

1pm: Stop by Justin’s office. He’s ready to go. We drive to the airport. I tell him about this article, including the random highlights. We laugh. The look on his face when I tell him about Sierra’s stitches is priceless. I will miss him the most.

1:30pm: Security was a breeze, like Ganesh clearing my path. One person in front of me in line. Effortless. It’s like the universe wants me to get to California.

1:43pm: Sitting at the Cigar City brewpub. I will miss their excellent beer. I will miss a lot of things about this town. Finish my beer and head to the gate. Perfect timing.

2:40pm: Wheels up TPA

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