Category Archives: life

silent frisco at ocean beach 9/29/13

Have you been to a silent disco? I highly, highly recommend it. It’s surreal when you take off your headphones and see everyone jamming out to the sound of silence, or to waves crashing. Here’s a neat writeup of the concept (and its history, and a bit about how he got there) by one of the founders of Silent Frisco: http://ignite.me/articles/artist-interviews/robbie-kowal-aka-motion-potion-talks-silent-disco/#sthash.rQe2IBKA.dpuf

At sunset, someone came up to me and said “your shirt matches the sky exactly. Get someone to take a picture of you.” She was awesome and full of joy. She passed us again when we were all leaving, and said “thank you for being here.” So I looked for myself in some of the party promoter’s pictures:

silent frisco ocean beach - judy in the waves

silent frisco ocean beach - tiny judy in the back

If only finding myself were really that easy.

I had a ton of fun. I wasn’t there for very long, and I got totally distracted by RUNNING INTO THE OCEAN so I missed the end of the set that I came to see, but it was all worth it because RUNNING INTO THE OCEAN. Irene turned to me in the waves and said, “it’s so great to be alive.”

It’s so great to be alive.

Home!

I’m home! I’m very very very happy to be back =D My mom and brother drove me back to my sf apartment from the airport. I’m super grateful, since I brought home a bunch of stuff (including a very Dutch bag for my bicycle from Hema!), and my bags were heavy. Stroopwafels have been a pretty much unilateral hit. Brought home a bunch of drop for Dominique. It doesn’t seem like food, but all Dutch people love it. Now I’ve got to unpack and sort through A BILLION pictures, including an impossibly large amount of photos I took of clouds on the flight from AMS to Houston.

I think most people don’t know how much I love clouds!

Life is fun.

I got some nice comments on my talk!!!!

The most enthusiastic speaker in DPC13 and DMC13, which made me more enthusiastic about the subject. Very fun and interesting talk, with very good examples to get started.

Definitely going to use Three.js to build red cubes now.

/beams

haha

crunch time

Ally and I ate a lot of falafel on Leidseplein last night at this awesome salad bar, then barhopped all night. I really love this area just south of Leidseplein. And it was an accident–we had found a cheap Best Western here. I’m pretty behind on blogging!

The livenation.nl website didn’t take american credit cards, so I wasn’t prepared for the Muse concert–I was sort of thinking I’d go down to the arena to buy a ticket. Then it was 45 minutes away by tram and I … had inertia. This is really weird–a few years ago, it would have been COMPLETELY UNTHINKABLE for me to miss Muse in my city for ANYTHING. But traveling alone can be hard, and so when Ally said “Bad Religion is playing tonight! I loved them!” I was like “hmm maybe that instead” once I found out that the venue they were playing at was like 3 minutes away and I guess I want to do things with people.

Laura is going to KILL me.

She will KILL me.

I guess this is me feeling some regret, but at least I’m writing it down here as an indication that I am okay living with my choice. haha. It was also like less than half the price. I suppose I could have tried using craigslist or finding stuff. Well…

I still had fun and the Melkweg was a really cool venue, so I’m glad I went to *something*! And I’m into BR more and more these days anyway. I could sing along during “sorrow” and such. Found an area upstairs pretty close the stage actually where there were a bunch of girls so I stood near them, because it was less scary than standing near a lot of large dudes. haha.

After the falafel, I saw some people on Liedes square and one was wearing a Muse tshirt so I was like OMG HOW WAS IT? and they were like IT WAS GREAT BUT THEY DIDN’T PLAY HYSTERIA???? and I was like I SAW BAD RELIGION INSTEAD BUT MUSE IS MY FAVORITE BAND IVE SEEN THEM EIGHT TIMES LIKE IN SF RECENTLY (even thought it was oakland) and he was like WOW I’VE ONLY SEEN MUSE FIVE TIMES AND I LOVED BAD RELIGION WHEN I WAS LIKE 12, DID THEY PLAY ‘SLUMBER’ I LOVED THAT SONG and I was like I DUNNO NOT WHEN I WAS THERE cuz i’d missed the first like half of the show and then I was like WHEN I SAW MUSE THEY DIDN’T PLAY STOCKHOLM! DID YOU GUYS GET STOCKHOLM? and they were like WELL THEY DID THE ROULETTE THING SO WE GOT NEW BORN AGAIN (and i didn’t figure out what they meant by again–did they play it twice lol? I’ll look on the message boards later) and then his companion was like “here, you can have this” and gave me a 20 euro bill but on further inspection it was a 20 euro bill on plastic-y paper that says “the 2nd law” and has a picture of the band on it HAHAHAHA and they were like YEAH SOME CEO OF A BANK THREW THESE DOWN LIKE CONFETTI FROM THE CATWALK, YOU CAN HAVE THIS AS A SOUVENIR CUZ WE CAN SEE HOW SAD YOU ARE THAT YO MISSED THE SHOW and i was like THANK YOU

Then they told us about some interesting-sounding clubs (jazz // live music // different scenes // blues) and we went our separate ways. Ally and I danced a while. One fo the clubs played that song I used to play a lot in my dorm room in 2000 that goes “i just don’t care if it something soemthing, I’ll fly with youuuuuuuuuuuu! I’ll fly with yyoooooouuuuuu” and then immediately after that, played that song by macklemore, the one that I like that isn’t thrift shop–I like it because it’s obviously tongue-in-cheek with the most generic-sounding lyrics possible for the impossibly catchy chorus — tongiht is the night, this is the moment, we’ll fight til it’s over, so throw your hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us… I love this song and Leidesplein clubs do too. We went to another club and the song played there. Then we went to another bar and the song played there too. Hahaha.

Sarah and Estelle just got into town so I have to pack up here and go find them! So excited!

This library is beautiful

I had a totally uneventful flight (hooray!). I watched Life of Pi (Ang Lee! Also I loved the book when I devoured it, years ago, wrapped in bed and wracked with doubt, adrift in my own sea of turmoil) and then, immediately, Les Mis, which is such a stupid story I could barely stand it. Curiously, I’d never seen Les Mis in any form all the way through–I’d only caught glimpses of the version they used to play on kqed channel 9 all the time, where they didn’t have the full stage setting and the orchestra was on stage and the actors performed in front of skinny microphones, and even then I only ever paid attention to Lea Salonga, who is captivating and gorgeous and talented and expressive. I’d heard the names Gavroche, Fantine, Cosette, Marius, and Eponine, and now I know who they are, and bemoan their uselessness. ‘ponine, you could be so much more interesting, and there are other fish in the sea, and anyawy you need a sassy gay friend oh look someone made one and also how do you make double quotes on a European computer? I keep typing it and then mashing the keys and then deleting the äs that appear.

Anyway that’s not what I was trying to talk about. Here are my Amsterdam adventures so far:
– sat in airport lobby and read these travel books maiki gave me and finally decided to go to a library
– wandered around the airport trying to buy a power converter that would take my three-pronged plug for my laptop charger. Discovered, after choosing one, that I was still in the duty-free zone, and I wasn’t allowed to buy there after I deboarded. You’re only allowed to buy stuff there if you’re waiting to get on a flight, or something.
– Bought one elsewhere, along with a small backpack that I plan to use when I get home too. It’s green.
– Wandered around the giant section of the airport that says “train tickets here” (oh the way to make double quotes reliably is to press the key, then type a consonant!). Was stymied by the machines not taking my credit card or atm card (although both had just worked elsewhere). Finally discovered that only 1 in like 10 of the machines takes coins (and none of them appeared to take bills). Successfully bought a ticket to Amsterdam Centraal.
– Wandered around the station for a long time looking at maps trying to figure out how to figure out which train would take me to Amsterdam Centraal. Asked some people who were looking for a machine that took cash (and I helped them find one), who helped me.
– Got on the train as the doors were closing. The first car appeared to be a bike car. The train is beautiful, sort of like caltrain, but more well-used, and prettier, and smooth! Rode a few stops.
– Got out! Walked outside! Into the rain!
– Went back inside! Walked into some kind of drugstore-ish thing that sold everything from clothing to chocolates and bought the most offensive umbrella I could find (it’s orange with flowers! I had a hard time choosing between this orange one and the pink one with pinkish reddish carnations, but I’m glad I got the orange).
– Walked towards the library! Passed reams and reams of parked bicycles! Have never seen so many parked bikes in my life! Thought about renting a bike, but haven’t yet!
– Wandered around inside the library, which is white and huge (7 stories tall I think?) and covered in giant windows and recessed LED lighting on the shelves and so bright inside and full of interesting-looking students hard at work! Dismayed to find taht accessing their wifi is €1 per 30 minutes, and not free, like this tour book said (maybe things changed snice publication). Bought 30 minutes at a paystation.
– Their wifi login system isn’t working and an employee confirmed as much. Logged onto a public workstation instead (they are plentiful and line these balconies). Am sad about the continued inability to post pictures. I guess I could transfer them from my phone to my computer adn then from my computer to this public workstation via usb drive ….

Anyway, I’m figuring out stuff about the Wikipedia Engineering Meetup/Hackathon in Amsterdam now hooray! Also, trying to figure out my phone situation. Maybe I should go get the cheapest prepaid feature phone I can find so I can call/sms or something.

Enroute to Amsterdam!

Here I am, in Houston! One day I will sit down and figure out a process of getting pictures from my phone onto Something That Is Convenient For Display On Mah Blaugh and then I will be able to easily post this picture I just took of a bronze statue of George HW Bush in the Houston airport, but for now, words must suffice.

Why am I going to Amsterdam?
– I got a talk accepted to the Dutch Mobile Conference! I will be speaking about Three.js as a developing way to display 3d graphics on a phone.
– I arranged my travel such that I would be able to attend the Wikipedia Hackathon in Amsterdam!!!
– There happens to be a Muse concert while I’ll be there!
– Maybe I’ll take the train to Paris or something!

Yesterday morning, I made it onto my plane for my 8:50am flight out of SFO and to Houston, where I was supposed to make a connection to Amsterdam, but there was a mechanical failure, so we all had to deplane. We all got on another plane three hours later. United Airlines put me up in this Holiday Inn in Houston for a night. I’m bound for the Houston airport again now to get on a new flight to AMS!

the world is small and awesome

The list of blog posts I owe myself includes and is not limited to:

  • guy kawasaki
  • lean startup conf (& the notes i took that are on Blazing Cloud’s blog now)
  • organizing a railsbridge
  • buying an erhu and a cajòn
  • skydiving over xmas break
  • epic music party at our house on nye
  • ouya – blazing cloud’s dev console, modifying their sample asteroids game (we added asteroids), lee and glenna learning unity, and my kinect+ouya dreams involving a raspberry pi between them
  • women who code ramping up, and lightning talks at parisoma on thursday, which were super fun
  • not sleeping enough is breaking me but there’s not enough time for anything
  • this is really sad: farewell to aaron swartz
  • Spot is gonna put on a concert next month
  • hey I am a featured editor on Wikipedia’s thank-you / fundraiser page which is pretty cool!

But instead of all that, I’ll just write about what I did today. First, yesterday, I had a chocolate shake at in’n’out at 8pm, which resulted in terrible diarrhea at 1:30am. I knew this would happen and did it anyway because shakes are delicious and I don’t carry lactaid around for some unfathomable reason. Fortunately in between these events there was group juggling, Terraria, cards against humanity, and a lot of raucous laughter surrounding pictures of an ostrich pillow.

This morning I was no longer in severe pain but my intestines were still making strange noises and reconfiguring themselves, so I stayed in bed a while and talked at length about Pokemon Black 2 with Fritz. Then he decided to go to archery and I got dropped off at bart so I could go over to the east bay and participate in Karleen‘s photo shoot!! She has a new clothing line coming out soon called Isis and she did a video for it a few weeks ago, but needed more still photos for the catalog.

It was fun! Karleen put makeup on me herself, and I got to wear two outfits. The first was a really awesome bird dress with tons of amazing colors made out of this really incredible fabric from stonemountain and daughter. It has magenta and green and white and blue and birds and some beads and a blue trim and a little sort of ruffle on the straps and a bird “medallion” on the front and everything. And I got to wear enormous jangly earrings that Curtis got on the top of a mountain in Colorado. I love noisemakers. The second outfit was one of Karleen’s really nice printed moth shirts and a super comfy grey skirt with crazy cool colorful yoga leggings. I learned that a thing that models are supposed to do is “smile with your eyes, like there’s a boy, and you’re playing games with him, because you’re not smiling with your mouth, but you’re looking at him” lol. I also learned that it can be difficult to aim the reflection of sunlight, that when you place your hands you usually want your fingers to stay together, that sometimes it’s an okay look for my hair to be sort of in my face (I kept trying to tuck it behind my ears and the photographer liked it NOT behind my ears, which is weird to me), and that my “serious face” makes me look really forlorn. When I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time looking at my own body in the mirror because of dance, and then I didn’t dance for many years, so I don’t look at my own body anymore, and now when I do it’s really weird because it is so very different. But it’s okay. This is hilarious because I am a fashionless nerd that makes weird faces, not a stylish model who knows how to do blue steel. HAHAHA

Then four of us stayed and we sang christmas carols for hours. Two were sopranos and have a shared choir history and knew dazzling descants for all the things, and I knew/made up alto for a bunch of things, and we sang some rounds, and it was great! Also vegetable broth, and bean bags! And communal squeeing over awesome pictures (of epicness! Thanks Karleen for pursuing your life’s dream and making such awesome designs, Curtis and Rosie for vrooming us around, Irene for being so patient with novice models (lol) and yet doing a great job of being mindful that the sun goes down and everyone for being awesome!

Then I barted back to the mission and met up with Fritz to go to southern pacific. I recognized the convener of the night from her hoodie getting on bart and was sad to have missed her. Once there, we learned about why Ruby is so slow to start up (on every require statement, it checks to see if that library’s already been required; also garbage collection) and how it was fixed (cache the absolute paths that got looked up… I’ll link to it later when I have time to go find it) and when we’ll get it (in Ruby 2.0), CVE-2013-0156 and I’m calling it that because of how hilarious it is to use that number to reference it, more on why Ruby strings longer than 23 characters are slow which I’d read about a while back and was pretty much the only thing I knew about Ruby’s implementation, that Asheesh will be back in town later this month, and that Southern Pacific’s brussels sprouts are really good (bacon! apricot! orange glaze!). I also realized enroute to bart that one of the people looked familiar because he was one of the people I didn’t know sitting at the same table at lunch at PyCon last year, and I ended up talking to them because Jean-Paul works on twisted and lives in a yurt on a farm, one of them told me about database transactions, and the third works on pypy. He was the pypy guy. Also I finally met Mark, who I had missed back and forth last year at iron-blogger gatherings.

In conclusion, life is a swirling nexus of interconnected nodes, and is awesome.

Field games

Yesterday there was an archery party at Redwood Bowmen, and Neal asked Spot the Octopus to sing at the event. He had asked us to sing for a similar party around this time last year, and that’s when we all got into archery. We sang a fun set and the crowd seemed really entertained! Squirrel was a favorite.

There was an entire roast pig (on a spit that was driven down from four hours away!) and all kinds of feasting and friends and fun. There were a few members of Spot who couldn’t make the archery party last year, so we got to teach them archery this time!!! And we have a few friends who just got their bows in and shot them for the first time. Carolyn would have shot her new bow if they hadn’t mixed up her stuff — her limbs and riser didn’t fit together. But we had several 30# bows to go around, and Javan and Fritz had fixed up a bunch of arrows on Friday for me to use with my 29# bow, so it was great!

Carolyn always wants to play sardines. So late in the evening, she said, “let’s play sardines!” and we went outside the range house and found a bunch of teenagers playing hide and seek. So Carolyn said, “let’s play sardines!” and thus began a night of running around the entire archery range in the dark and tripping on things and sustaining hilarious minor injuries and having people half our age run circles around us. The highlight of the night was a zombie game of our own making.

Sardines
One person is it, and they run away and hide somewhere. Everybody else stays in the starting area, closes their eyes, and counts to 50. Once 50 is reached, everyone disperses and looks for it. If you find them, you have to HIDE WITH THEM, hence the name–you end up pretty squished by the time 5 people have found the group, and the group becomes harder to conceal, adding to the hilarity. The last person to find the sardines is it next round.

Come Into My Lair
You have to learn everybody’s names. We had two people be it, since there were so many of us. There is a designated lair, which usually has a bench. To begin the game, it (or the team that are it) close their eyes and count to 50 and stay in the starting area while everybody else runs and hides. Then the it people roam around and look for us. If they see us, they yell “[yourname], come into my lair!” and if you hear your name called in this fashion, you must stop running away and report to the lair. You sit at the lair until someone else comes stealthily up to the lair and frees you by tagging you. Of course, they have to do this when it (or the multiple its) are not watching the lair. This was hilarious. I saved everyone multiple times by dashing around the building (once I smashed my head against a drainage pipe under the eaves on the far side of the range house). One of the kids hid in plain sight for like five minutes against the brick stove practically inside the lair. After the building shenanigans, I spent a lot of time face down under some ferns at the base of a tree near the lair. Carolyn hid for most of the game but saved us all gloriously towards the end. This game went on for a very long time and didn’t really finish–we grew tired and called a break, which ended up turning into starting over with a new game.

Bloody Wolf
There is one wolf. Everybody else runs and hides. There is one safe object (in our case, a wooden pole on the side of the brick stove). The objective of the nonwolves is to sneak up and touch the safe object, but you can only touch the safe object after you yell “bloody wolf,” and you can only yell “bloody wolf” if you can see the wolf. If the wolf tags you, you’re out. So this one has a lot more chasing and is much more fast-paced than come into my lair. There was an epic standoff between the wolf and two kids who somehow got on the roof of the wood shed.

ZOMBIES
Someone suggested playing ‘zombie tag,’ which was: one person starts out as the zombie, and if they tag you, you also become a zombie… and so on. We took this concept and changed it: there are three zombies, and everybody else is a survivor. We took two lawn chairs and brought them to the middle of the archery range. The objective of the survivors is to bring at least one of the chairs back (the chair being a stand-in for ‘supplies’ of course) to the safe area without being tagged (a two-handed touch). The objective of the zombies is to tag all of the survivors. The catch: the zombies can only olympic powerwalk. This was far and away the best game of the night. When you’re a survivor wading into a dark archery field full of zombies, and you know you’re faster than them but they just keep coming at you out of nowhere, it’s actually really terrifying. And hilarious. One round I was a survivor and snuck up on a chair, took it, and ran screaming. I might have made it if I hadn’t narrowly missed a bench in the middle of the field and then completely ate it by veering into a ditch. Overcome by zombies!!! Fritz was a survivor the first round and when Bryce rose out of the little bridge in the middle of the field Fritz took off screaming.

Fritz ended up in nettles. It was minor — just the inside of his wrist, but you could see how puffy the reaction was, and by this morning it had reduced down to a series of raised red prick marks. We both had some splinters from diving to the ground. One of mine was really hard to get out this morning, and hurt a surprising amount while seeming really small. It turned out to be really long when we finally got it out.

Running around fields is awesome. And I didn’t even sprain my ankle, gopher holes and all!