People always ask me what it's like being the owner and server administrator for Zelda Informer. I've never been able to answer this question in a concise manner. Instead, here's just one of the many days in my life.
It’s three in the afternoon. My phone is ringing. Who would wake me up at this ungodly hour? This better be worth my time, or I’m seriously going to go apeshit on someone. Slowly returning recollections of the prior night, chugging through a handle of Jack Daniels and smoking half a dozen blunts while nursing a raging bonfire, immediately answer the question of “why does my head hurt this bad?” I shamble out of bed to answer the phone. It’s Nathan. Server is down, it seems. Wonderful. I love my mornings to start this way, I really do.
I start rummaging through my dresser to find pants. I need pants. I can’t work without pants, it’s a personal pet peeve of mine. I don’t care how unkempt or unshaven I am or how much of the rest of me is unclothed, but I need pants. I eye the pair on the floor, but they smell like vomit. More memories, drifting out of the timefog, of helping your drunk roommate back to his bed while he's puking on your leg.
Let us avoid those particular pants. They can go in the next bonfire.
I find a pair buried in the closet. It can’t go on like this much longer. The washing machine in the house has been broken for several weeks now, and the supply of clean clothes is running very low. Nobody can figure out how to fix it, and we’re all too cheap to drive into town to use the coin-op. $4 to do a load of laundry? Yeah, go fuck yourself, laundromats.
I make my way back to the desk, slipping on a used condom and cracking my elbow on the tile. I vaguely remember that she came over last night after the party. Did I leave that there or did she? And when did she leave, anyways? My arm is in pain right now and I could use some feminine nurturing instinct to give me a hug. I get up off the floor, rubbing my elbow, and spot the remnants of the Jack sitting on my desk. Only a couple shots left, but that’ll have to do.
Computer on. Get everything open. Check email. Get a playlist running. We need quiet music right now. “Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly somehow starts playing. God no, anything but that. I can feel my stomach getting uneasy already. No, no Hank 3 either. Here we go, some Black Crowes. “Before the Frost… Until the Freeze” is always great for getting me going in the morning without being too overwhelming to the senses. Some nice chill blues and bluegrass to start the day. This is good.
Skype is ringing like crazy. Oh right, the server. We need to fix that still. Apparently it has been down all afternoon. ZI isn’t serving, and neither are half the other sites we host. What a drag. Can’t get an SSH connection established, even. Luckily Rackspace has a terminal client in their control panel that seems to be working. Errors everywhere. Something about corrupted filesystems and various services malfunctioning. Stress levels rising. I’m out of whiskey. Where is that hug? I’m about to text her when my door swings open. One of my roommates is standing there, with a huge grin on his face and a huge blunt in his hand. Oh boy. I hate getting high as soon as I wake up, but I hate turning these things down even more. Surely, we can work and smoke at the same time...
Oh fuck, what time is it now. I look at the clock. How is it six already? My roommate is passed out in the recliner on the other side of my room. I glance over at the computer screen and see a ton of windows flashing. AIM messages of people asking where I am and if I know the site is still down. God dammit, I keep forgetting about that. I shake my head and snap myself out of my daze, and just as I’m about to get back to work, my door opens again. She’s back. She’s telling me she just got out of work and wants to go smoke out by the lake down the road. I'm still not completely down from smoking with my roommate, but I take one look at her outfit... and then tell her to hold on just a second so I can actually get dressed. She pushes my roommate out of the recliner and takes it for herself, and lights up a cigarette. He knows better than to fight her on this matter in my room, and instead pulls in one of the lawn chairs from outside as he lights up a cig of his own. I’ve got a half-finished cigar on my desk and figure I might as well light up too. My phone rings again. It’s Nate, asking me if I made any progress with the server. Christ. I am way too fucked up to deal with this right now, but I have a backup solution of my own for when things get this bad. I go back to Rackspace and just load up yesterday’s server backup and image it over the entire server. Things are running again, but all the data of the last 36 hours has now been lost. Looks like somebody is going to be busy pulling the past day's newsposts out of Google cache, and it's not going to be me.
“You just did WHAT?” Nate asks over the phone. I remind him that my body has certain physical and mental limitations, and we are currently running past all of them at the moment. He sighs as the reality of the problem that he just inherited starts to set in. I’m gonna hear about it later, I’m sure, but right now my mind is too fried to even give a shit. Slam the lid of the laptop shut, run to the bathroom to splash some water on my face and brush my teeth, toss on one of my last clean shirts, and slip my sandals on. We’re walking out to her car when she sees the giant bruise on my elbow and starts freaking out; “Oh my God, what happened to your arm?” I laugh. “Beats me, it’s been a long night.”