Links in Recap 5.10.13

From Hyperbole and a Half

From Hyperbole and a Half

Allie of Hyperbole and a Half is back. This post is perhaps one of the most important and significant pieces in existence about depression. I’m still rereading it. Depression, Part 2.


Meet the Kawasaki Eliminator 125 that I used to get my motorcycle license.

Meet the Kawasaki Eliminator 125 that I used to get my motorcycle license.

Bell Vortex helmet with Transition Shield

Bell Vortex helmet with Transition Shield

I cannot recommend my experience with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation enough. Their courses, in particular. Last weekend, I embarked upon finally getting my motorcycle license, and lo and behold, I did it. Yay me!

The Basic Rider course entailed one Thursday evening classroom session from 5:30pm-10:30pm, as well as two in person riding lessons (concluding with the skills test) the same weekend. You could choose 5 hours in the morning or in the afternoon/evening. Even though it was early, I chose the morning session from 7:30am-12:30pm.

It was extremely hot the first day and even though I reapplied my sunblock, the little bitty esthetician that still resides somewhere in here is horrified at the sun damage, I mean, “the color” that I acquired.

Here’s a picture that I found on Pinterest of a truck driver. One side of his face has been exposed to the sun, the other side, not so much. WEAR YOUR SPF ALWAYS AND FOREVER, peoples.

Sun Damage

Sun Damage

It was rainy and thunderous on the final day, which was some very good real world training.

What can I say in the end? It was fun and informative. I’m very realistic as to my limited skills at the moment and hope to change that soon.


I’m in my second week of going to school for SQA (Software Quality Assurance). Yeah, you read that right. Although I am still pursuing my BA in Psychology, I am realistic in that I know my timeline and that a degree is not a guarantee of a job, period.

The degree is to prove to myself that I can do it. As for QA, I’ve known quite a few people that have been QA Engineers and leads and all of those titles, in Seattle and beyond. It’s something that I’ve always been curious about.

It’s not brain surgery. There, I said it. With that, I know that I’m on my way of finding my niche in the tech industry here in Silicon Valley while combining my love of learning.

What is the difference between Software Testing and Software QA?

Testing is mainly an ‘error detection’ process focusing on improving the source code.

Software QA is ‘preventative’. It aims to ensure quality in the methods & processes at all the stages of SDLC. (“Quality Assurance” measures the quality of processes and is used to create a quality product.)

It took me awhile to completely understand this, and I think that this is a great explanation of the difference.


This is one of the best books that I’ve ever read. It’s also been handy as I complete my Compassionate Meditation course at Stanford School of Medicine. Ignore the hokey looking cover and the title, you’ll be glad that you did.


Parenting has been very challenging as of late, as Miss Coco gets bigger and actually is her own person. Instead of saying that she’s bossy, I’ve been saying “quite a leader.” Sometimes I wish that she would lead just a little less but I’d never say that out loud. Except maybe here.

She’s a great kid and I love the time that we spend together.

Me and Coco

Me and Coco

There’s lots more to say, of course. When I have time.

Have a great weekend,
Lisa

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Weeks in Recap 4.3.13

Also known as “the sickness.”

Where do I start?  I’ve been feeling pretty sick, since Tuesday, March 19th (I had to look it up on my calendar).  That was also the day that I went to see Nicole, my hairstylist, so that’s how I remember. When I got home, hair looking great, I realized that I had an intense headache. Ibuprofen and rest and I’d be fine, right?

Wrong. This has been the strangest illness that I’ve ever had.  By the end of Wednesday, I thought that I might have to go to the emergency room. Intense fever, aches and pains so bad that I couldn’t move for several hours, and gastrointestinal distress.  Due to a combination of ibuprofen and intense meditation, my temperature went down. Over the next few days after that, the fever would come and go, and then I lost my voice entirely. Did I mention that my throat has been so sore that it has felt like I’ve been swallowing razor blades nearly this entire time?

Don’t forget about the constant cough, aka “ashooooo, mama” (thanks, Coco!). She’s hilarious and can say her alphabet now. Not even 2 yet!

So the strep test eliminated strep throat as a cause and the doctor just said “the flu”. How ambiguous. No one else in my vicinity has been afflicted with this and I think that I’ll go back to the doctor for a second opinion and maybe ask for some blood work to be done?

This was taken on day three. I couldn’t talk, but see, my hair really does look great:

Day three of the illness. Thank goodness my hair looks nice.

Day three of the illness. Thank goodness my hair looks nice.


School started on Monday and I’ve got two classes this semester at PCC. Online. The first is PSY236, Adult Development and Aging. My second class was to originally be Math 65 (don’t hate), but two in-person exams were required, and I couldn’t manage either.

I picked up a Computer Science class, CS133U, which is C Programming. It’s the next class after CS160, Intro to Computer Science. I got a B in that class not that long ago and hopefully can continue the trend.

Hello world! I’m trying to program in C with Xcode and DevC++, but I find DevC++ easier to use?

A Hello World! moment

A Hello World! moment


I threw some pink into my hair and it’s good to be out of my comfort zone, albeit temporarily. It still looks more red than pink and I’m still ambivalent to negative about reds on me. I do miss my mermaid colored hair.

It's going to wash out.

It’s going to wash out.


So I’ve finished another book that I can highly recommend if you are curious about a lot of history of tech in the Silicon Valley and the world. The book is called Googled: The End of the World As We Know It.

This book gives you everything that you always wanted to know about Google as well. You’ll also be introduced to the term “Googzilla” as well, which made me laugh but I could see the point of the term. When anyone or anything is successful an entity as Google, there will be detractors and also curious bystanders.


Here’s an Arai helmet from 1971. It’s the X-7 model and someone left it at my work as they had purchased a new one.

Arai X-7 helmet from 1971.

Arai X-7 helmet from 1971.

Speaking of helmets, I think that I’m going to do a “How to Fit Yourself for a Motorcycle Helmet” post on here. There’s so much that I’ve been learning on the job about it and I’m in the market for a new one myself.


I’ve been meaning to do a series of “how to’s” for this site and haven’t been feeling like doing much of anything since being sick, honestly. The energy comes and goes and I’m doing my best not to speculate too much on WebMD!


I’m not really supposed to talk about the specifics, but I’ve been doing a study for Stanford School of Medicine at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. I’m in the middle of a 9 week study about compassionate meditation and I think that it’s been going well.

Meditation certainly helps to calm and clear the mind and in many instances for me lately, my emotions. I highly recommend meditation and I never thought that my ADHD self would ever be able to do it for longer than a few minutes. Like programming, it helps to practice, no?

Namaste,
Lisa

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Link Love 8.24.12

It’s been a slightly rough week since Coco Simone has had to deal with another bout of the croup.

It’s also been a little challenging since her daycare has been on a vacation (paid!) for the entire week. Combine this with needing to study for finals and working at the brick and mortar job and falling behind with one of my virtual clients and my head asplode. Fortunately, the Coco has been in a great mood.

That said, I’ve got some links for you this week.

The 5 Most Underused WordPress Features (Blogging Pro)

How to Sell Affiliate Products on Pinterest (ProBlogger)

9 Sites to Save you Big on College Textbooks (Mashable)

I’ve got two classes left this semester out of four. I already got two A’s in the other classes. I wish that I could say that there is a clear path for when I’m done with community college, but I’m not so sure. There are still classes that I need to take in person and then I need to figure out where to transfer to.

I’m craving either El Pollo Loco or Rubio’s! It’s never too early for Mexican food in my opinion.

Speaking of food, I was excited to use the Crock Pot not once, but twice this week. Lentil soup galore and I improvised with the recipe and it ended up being very, very tasty.

This is what’s been going on with the hairdo as of late and I’m excited to change it up next week at Nicole’s new salon, Tetrachromat Studio. My hair is SO DARK that I seriously am laughing that I used to actually dye it blue-black for many years. I’ll have to dig up some photos and show you.

I miss my friends that I’ve lost to Burning Man. Life is so different when you have an infant-toddler person and it makes me sad that people are drifting away. Oh well, onward and upward, and there’s no time to feel sorry for oneself.

Something else happened the other day. I had a very interesting job interview for an exciting position. Although I don’t have any formal fabrication experience, I got to meet some nice and very smart people. Connections are connections and who knows what might become of the future?

Onward,
Lisa

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Nikola Tesla Museum

Help Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal raise money to build a Tesla museum!

Nikola Tesla

This is something that I believe in so strongly. In a world where there are scheisty politicians doing what they can to persuade and cajole you, I’m voting with my dollars and my voice. Nikola Tesla deserves this tribute at the very least and if this happens (and I think it will), I’ll be planning a trip to New York when Coco is old enough!

The song of the day is “Don’t Believe the Hype” by Public Enemy, by the way.

Do the right thing,
Lisa

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Spin It

You’ve got to keep working at something.

Today, I responded to a friend on FB that was asking about advice on her job search. We are former co-workers and now she’s looking for other opportunities. Now that I’ve had time away from Portland and could really think about what she was asking, it was interesting to think that two short years ago, I was in a much different place in Portland.

I had thought about this very subject for a while last night and I want to say, spin it. Resumes don’t have to be necessarily chronological. Sometimes there are gaps, and you do things like have a baby, take care of a sick family member, and volunteer. Being self-employed is another challenge, too.

You’ve got to keep moving onward and upward and sometimes it’s great to volunteer for projects so that you can get much needed experience in a field that you are considering working in. Brush up on your software skills. Join Lynda.com, which is has an immense repository of wonderful tutorials. At $25 a month, it’s one of the best investments that you can make in yourself and your career.

Join Codecademy!

Practice your typing with typing software.

People skills will always be in demand and cannot be outsourced. Today’s crappy retail job can definitely lead to better things because of the contacts that you will make. Trust me on this. In today’s economy, you gotta move. The world doesn’t stop because you do. Highlight and emphasize the skills that you are proud of and definitely put a magnifying glass on the rest. Everything that you have done is worthwhile, no matter how trivial and inconsequential it seemed at the time. Find ways to give back and volunteer.

Which brings me to the song of today. I was listening to the Hall and Oates station on Spotify when Gino Vannelli came on. I used to listen to him with my relatives when I was growing up and I thought that he was such a funky dude. The hair! The percussion! The verve! I had no idea that he was on Soul Train. A very talented musician that you should check out.

Check it out here.

So funky.

Move,
Lisa

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Polyvore HQ

So I went to this event on Wednesday night at Polyvore that was sponsored by SF Fashion & Tech. Hey, I like fashion! I like tech!

The funny thing is that in the short time that I’ve been in Silicon Valley, I’ve already been to the HQ’s of Facebook, YouTube, and Polyvore.  I’ll count Google in there shortly as Coco’s dad’s company just got acquired by Google.

Wednesday night was my first night ever taking the Caltrain. Yeah, I don’t get out very much, so this was so exciting! With Coco and her dad hanging out for a couple of hours, I got all dolled up and wore some of my finest. I think it was a little overkill maybe and that I was channeling a little Sharon Needles at times?  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I had to take a short pause in front of my goofy new bathroom.

It’s not often that I get to really think about what I’m wearing these days, so I wore my new All Saints Faith dress, my trusty Fluevog Mansfields and paired them with an Alexander McQueen belt and with my trusty Sugarpill, MUFE, and MAC makeup.

I'm so skerred

Why can’t I be oh so confident like other people and just saunter in and arrive. I went to this event and somehow started talking to two CEO’s. It was a good thing, as I’m still looking for the right opportunity here for me.

Let me first tell you that I had quite an adventure on the train on the way to Mountain View. We moved from Foster City (snooze) to Redwood City (mini Los Angeles) last weekend and I was concerned about going on the train by myself.  You see, I could tell you stories about getting lost after walking around two corners.  I could also admit something really shameful that only one soul in the world besides me knows for sure: I once lost my car at the Beverly Center for over three hours. I’m an LA native and used to hang out there after school and actually used to work there too (at Brooks Stride Rite and then later Sephora) so what the hell is my excuse?  My friend Bev was such a doll about it too, even though we were supposed to be taking her to the airport for her flight back to London. I’m such a ninny sometimes, I swear, but I’m not a dodo. That was a few years ago and I have improved considerably!

After I secured my ticket at the automated kiosk, I waited on the platform, making sure that I was on the right side of the tracks.  Hey, I told you that I can get confused about these kinds of things, right?  One guy walked past me about four times before finally saying that I looked good.  He seemed kind of confused as well, but I just thanked him and smiled and walked closer to a group of people.  You never know, right?

I pulled out my iPhone and triple checked the time that the train was supposed to leave. Big dingbat here read the morning schedule and not the evening schedule, so I had a slightly anxious moment until I realized that it was only going to be ten minutes later than my originally planned time.  Whew!  Last step before the train came to a stop to board was asking the most professional looking woman that I could find if indeed this train did in fact stop at Mountain View.  I’m such a dork, but I have to laugh about it because it can be really funny sometimes.

The third person that I talked to at the event was Andy Pandharikar, who is the founder of Fitiquette.  From their site,

Fitiquette is an online fashion boutique powered by a virtual fitting room. The company was founded by fashion enthusiasts to address online purchase hesitation due to unknown fit. Supported by patented technology, shoppers create a body replica to try-on clothing in different sizes. Coveted boutique fashion brands are handpicked for the fashion-forward female. Fitiquette brings the in-store dressing room experience to your own virtual fitting room, without the pesky sales folk and static cling. Now that’s good fit etiquette. FITIQUETTE: fit. your. style.

Andy had the best quote of the night, “…because they got funding.” Lest this be too much of an inside joke, he gave that answer when I asked about a particular presentation, logo and brand concept that I found baffling. Maybe I found that too funny. Yeah.

Gal Rozov was from Foldimate. FoldiMate™ is the world’s first intelligent folding robot which makes folding clothes faster and easier than ever.  I’m all for our robot overlords doing the menial work but then I thought of that scene in Reality Bites with Janeane Garofalo folding the clothes at the Gap and yeah.  Gal was charming, from Israel, and gave me some good parenting advice.  Nice guy.  Another company that is one to watch for sure.

Sadly I didn’t get very good photos of the inside of Polyvore itself. I got a picture of the presentation for Tout.com.

Tout.com

Here’s another picture, it’s of the Love Letters board.  An actual real visual board, not a virtual Pinterest board, for a change.

Polyvore love letters

One of the presentations that I neglected to photograph, the one that Andy and I talked about, was so odd and hard to follow, so I got a glass of whatever red was lying around. There were no more wine flutes so I had to go ghetto and go Solo. Yeah, a Solo clear cup. I didn’t drink very much of it, but it helped me to navigate myself around the room.

The pièce de résistance of the evening for me was of this photobomb right before I left. As I didn’t want to do the sketchy bathroom mirror shot of my outfit, I found some wandering guy named Elias and instructed him to take a photo. His friend on the phone behind me had other ideas. Too funny.

Goofy and awkward smile, but at least I got an entire photograph of this outfit. I’d better get to practicing like Gala Darling and work on my Instagram pics.

Speaking of, I did speak to a fashion blogger at this event at Polyvore about Gala and we discussed Gala’s appointment as the new Beauty and Style Editor at xoJane. Yeah, Jane Pratt, that Jane, from my beloved Sassy.  I’ll just state this here for the record: I have had a love/dislike relationship with Gala Darling’s site for some time.  The word hate goes too far and I reserve that for really severe things in the world like politics, world events, and negative unmentionables.

I’ve been reading Gala’s site since 2007 and there were some things that rubbed me the wrong way at times, most especially the undertone of this article: I Don’t Want Children. When I clicked on that article again and just reread it now, I realized that it was very close to my due date last year and I was all hormonal and shit and that’s perhaps why it rubbed me the wrong way.

I have her Love and Sequins podcasts and listened to them yesterday on the way to pick up Coco. Although I might not agree with everything that she says, I respect her opinion, even if we differ, and still feel that Love and Sequins was a decent investment (I got them half off last year). I’ve learned a lot from Gala’s site and have made some connections that were directly and indirectly related to her. I’m rooting for her at xoJane and know that people can be really cruel, sitting from behind the relative anonymity of their monitors. It feels like the 90′s and LiveJournal all over again.

Peace out,
Lisa

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