2015.05.30 – Starlight Parade

Andrew and I went downtown and stood in line so that we could get a signed copy of a Bridges of Portland poster. The artist, Michael Bear, was very nice and happy to see such a large turnout. We grabbed lunch afterward at a Mexican place nearby. I totally felt as though I were cheating on Los Gorditos. The weather was beautiful and there were people everywhere. The Starlight Parade was later in the evening so there were already people camping out and groups of chairs taped off in order to reserve front row seating. We happened upon a store that we had walked past many times but it was always closed. This time it was open so we wandered around and found a pretty cool poster of the Portland neighborhoods. I guess we were in a map buying mood so we bought it. I figured it might tie in nicely with the bridges poster. Great! Now we had two posters that would need to be framed. I found a place in Vancouver that claimed to be affordable so made an appointment for the next day. We’ll see.

Andrew, Wayne, Natale and I headed down to the parade around 19:00 so we could get dinner first. We of course went to Los Gorditos and it was much better than our lunch choice. Some of the parade floats were staging outside of the restaurant so we got a bit of a preview while we ate. Roberto and Frankie met us for dinner and we went together to watch the parade. Eddie from Los Gorditos met us once he got off work but he ended up missing most of the parade. It was fun anyway although Andrew was so over walking and standing. He had run to Cathedral Park this morning and then we stood watching the parade for about 3 hours. He got in 30k steps for today.

Today I learned that this parade has been happening since the early 1900’s and this year the PDX carpet ‘PeeDee’, was the Grand Marshal. Oh Portland 🙂

2015.05.29 – Laser Tag!

Today was the hunger banquet at Trillium. Jayde’s middle school advising class was putting it on. I didn’t know what it was exactly but sure found out when I got there. As we entered the cafeteria we were each handed a slip of paper. Mine had my income level (low) and a short bio about my character. I was instructed to take a seat on the floor with some others. There were other people, not many, being seated at a nice table and others being seated in chairs. We were split into three income levels and got to hear about what each demographic experiences day to day. When it came time to eat the group at the table was served a nice meal, the middle income group had rice and beans and our group had rice and water. I didn’t realize that about half the world population is undernourished and that about 9500 children die each day from starvation. Most of the students didn’t seem to care too much about this but it was eye opening for me.

We were celebrating Jayde’s birthday today by having some of her friends come over for burritos and cake (she wanted the rice cooker chocolate cake again) and then we drove back down to Milwaukee for laser tag. I was just going to sit in the lobby while they played but Lauren, Sean, Jason and Wayne were going to play as well so I decided to join. Andrew went with us but he wasn’t feeling well so he read his book while we played. We had a group of ten and played our first game against ten little kids who kicked our asses. Little jerks! The second game was just us so five against five. It was SO much fun! Would play again!

Today I learned that laser tag is a lot of fun!

2015.05.28 – Jayde is 13!

Today, after wishing our youngest a happy birthday before she was off to school, I listened to Serial, worked on my Mozilla bug and sat outside in the beautiful weather. After Andrew was done working he, Wayne, Natale, Wayne, Jayde, Estelle, and I piled in the Excursion and drove down to Sellwood for BSD Pizza Night. The pizza was ok and the conversations were interesting as always. We need to add new places to our list though or we will have to begin again from the top.

Today I learned about HackerRank. I haven’t messed with it a lot but it could be another useful tool for coding practice.

2015.05.27 – Relieved

I’m happy and relieved to be moving forward. Today was totally stress free. I had some comments and suggestions from Peter regarding the PR I submitted so I did a bit of work on that and also listened to Serial. I’m kinda hooked.

Today I learned that there is another podcast, Undisclosed, that goes further into the Adnan Sayed murder case.

2015.05.26 – I’m an Airshipper!

It’s official! I’ve signed on with Urban Airship! Once I stepped back it was very clear to me that UA is the best choice for me. They want me for me and are not just trying to check the diversity box. I’ll get to work on interesting problems and I’ll get to take ownership of an important product. I’ll have opportunity for customer interaction while still being able to code. Most of all I think I will learn a lot from someone who is interested in leading the way. I’m SO excited to get started!

This has been such an interesting adventure and I can’t believe I’m already at the point of starting my first dev job. I know it wouldn’t be happening if not for so many amazing people helping me along the way.

Christopher, my classmate at PDX Code Guild made learning things so much fun. I kind of tagged along behind him doing whatever he did because I had no idea what I was doing. He’d show me something he figured out and he would help me when I was stuck. He made learning a lot of fun and had he not been in my class I may well have given up again and perhaps for the last time.

Shanna, my classmate at PDX Code Guild who got a late start and hadn’t really programmed before. She totally kicked ass and it was inspiring to witness.

Lukas and Kronda from the Ascend Project were always cheering me on and wagging a finger at me whenever I would put myself down or doubt my abilities. I wouldn’t have even attempted applying for the Mozilla and Urban Airship internships if it weren’t for them. They didn’t encourage me as much as insist I apply. Their insistence made me feel confident and worthy and I was, and I was.

Mele and Adam at Urban Airship were so kind and always met me right where I was without any kind of judgement. They gave me the time and space to learn as I was able and in doing so I was able to accomplish a lot. I felt so successful and confident at the end of my time there. I left “knowing stuff about things” and believed wholeheartedly that I would make a worthy member of a dev team.

Peter at Mozilla was amazing. He really challenged me to do WAY more than I thought possible. More than half the time I felt as though I had no idea what I was doing but I kept at it. He knew just how much help to give me in order for me to keep moving forward.

Andrew, my husband, has helped me beyond words. At times I totally frustrated him and at times I made him really proud. I completely took advantage of the fact that he lives with me and is basically a vast wealth of knowledge that I could tap into and get nearly instant responses. He spent hours with me after putting in a more than full day of work to sit and go over my code and correct me when I made a mistake or misunderstood something. He explained concepts to me one, two, five, fifty times and only rarely got frustrated.

Wayne, my husband, has been extremely supportive. He’s not only remodeling our house but he has cooked most every meal, cleaned the house, gardened, has done all of the laundry, grocery shopping, you name it all while I sit on my computer with a thermos of hot tea, music and a warm blanket for 8 – 10 hours a day. To the uninitiated it has to look like I’m not doing much of anything but he’s never made me feel guilty at all even though I probably should.

The scope of help I received goes well beyond these few people I have mentioned. Friends, neighbors, classmates, writers and speakers who will probably never know they helped me….so now it’s my turn to help. I know I’m still pretty new but I think that’s great. I’m new enough to remember and still experience the frustration and doubt. I remember those moments of confusion turning into understanding. I think I have some valuable information to pass along. I’m ready for this new adventure and I’m ready to help someone remove some barriers and start on theirs!

Today I learned to make a cake in a rice cooker. Whaaaaaat?!

2015.05.25 – In the Zone

I continued working on the Air Mozilla bug and got to the point that I needed to submit a PR for review and comments. It feels good to be working on something AND I think my job choice is pretty clear.

Wayne, Andrew, Natale, John, Spencer, and I went to the movies and I stayed awake for the whole thing which is amazing because I was pretty tired.

Today I learned that Mad Max was actually a pretty good movie.

2015.05.23 – More Radio Silence

Still thinking. So much stress but I am pretty sure I know what I am going to do. Peter was correct. Thinking Time is a great ally.

We did go see Tomorrowland and I loved it! We all did. It was a nice escape for a couple of hours and of course I ate a shit-ton of popcorn. When I got home I had a nice, long talk with Erica about Air Mozilla, Outreachy, the tech industry, and life in general. It was great to hear how she got where she is today.

Today I learned about the documentary Project Code Rush. Interesting!

2015.05.22 – Radio Silence

I’ve a lot to think about and consider while deciding between these two job offers. It feels huge and I don’t want to make the wrong choice. I’m not going to post more than this while I think.

Today I learned that I LOVE our new towels! Kinda weird at first but they are great!

2015.05.21 – Pie Season

I found a salvaged built-in with a leaded glass cabinet that looked nice and was pretty cheap so I emailed the seller about it last night. He got back to me in the morning and said we could come and pick it up so Wayne and I ran over there. It turns out he is a contractor who restores old houses. We talked for a bit and I said I was going to pester him for some subcontractor recommendations.

We stopped by a big antique mall to see if they had any treasures we couldn’t live without but they didn’t and then I had to get home to watch the little ones while Alena went to a job interview. We had fun playing and watching Tangled until she returned. She said it went really well and she liked the company a lot so fingers crossed she gets it!

I heard back from UA and they would like to make me an offer. Well now this complicates everything because the job sounds amazing! I would love to build tools for customers. I feel like it would be a very creative and challenging job which is exactly what I am looking for. I want to work on problems that are increasingly more difficult. Well, I will see what happens tomorrow because I have to have an answer for the other company one way or another.

Lauren and Jordan baked a strawberry pie. The third pie of strawberry season and we are only about a week in. I wasn’t kidding when I said we have a lot of strawberries! We pretty much ate the entire pie after dinner.

Today I learned job hunting is simultaneously easier and more difficult that I had imagined.