Category Archives: Life

I actually use the New Myspace

But first, some miscellany-

Windows Startup Weekend Contest

Funnel made it past the first round of judging of the Windows Startup Weekend Contest! Now for the hard part – developing a Windows store version of it by March 1 (yikes).

On TV Netflix 
With Matt – Friday Night Lights, Star Trek TNG, Freaks and Geeks
By My Lonesome- The Vampire Diaries, Psych, How I Met Your Mother (again)

Note: Friday Night Lights was great to start watching before the Super Bowl. It doles out football knowledge in digestible pre-cut one-play-per-episode format. Remember when the Ravens took a safety to run down the clock at the end of the fourth? I totally understood that!

Note 2: It’s hard to find stuff I want to watch when Matt isn’t around. He has a blacklist of shows that I save to watch with him (a la Prognosis Negative), leaving behind some pretty slim pickings. I usually end up just watching the same stuff over and over again.

And Now: The New Myspace
Last week I checked out the New Myspace, and I’m actually still using it. It’s like a YouTube for songs – you can play anything you want (that they have) on demand and even create playlists. I was using IHeartRadio before, but it’s a radio model where you can’t control what plays. With Myspace, if you need to punish your co-worker with Desperately Wanting on repeat because he’s acting up, you can do it! (This is a sad tale in which I caved in first after about 15 listens and switched the song).

Myspace has a lot of videos available as well (you can ask anyone – I love music videos). And best of all – it’s free with no ads! Enjoy that while it lasts.

Ok, so it turns out Myspace is not actually the YouTube of songs, because I couldn’t share a playable link here. YouTube is the YouTube of songs.

 

Amazon locker!

You know how you have no butler, so you always miss packages?

If there’s an Amazon locker near you, your problems are solved! This one was at the Radio Shack next to our local Safeway.

Enter code

Open Sesame

Inside: 1 delightful family game!

powered by Funnel

Dobby?

Today, I realized something all of a sudden.  Something I probably should have noticed before now.  And I’m not sure whether to feel lucky or be ashamed…

It happened when Matt told me that he promised to do the dishes soon, which made me notice for the first time that all the plates were dirty. Which led to this epiphany…

I am in charge of exactly none of the housework.

Not the dishes, not the trash, not the refilling of soap dispensers, definitely not the vacuuming, definitely definitely not the toilet scrubbing, nothing.

Actually, there is one thing.  I fold my own laundry.  BUT – I don’t fold anyone else’s laundry.  Also, I make the bed every day.  Because unmade beds are uncomfortable I tell you!

I will unload the dishwasher occasionally, but only if I’m standing around bored in the kitchen.  I will wash a skillet here and there, but only if I need to use it right now.  I will throw in a load of laundry, but only when I want to wear something in the hamper.

So the question is: is the place just generally disgusting, do I have magic house elves, or is my occasional boredom/necessity cleaning enough?  Has Matt been doing a ton of housework that I never appreciated, or is there just not a lot to do?

<Update: 15 minutes later>

Matt just read this and demanded answers to these questions-without-answers, so here we go…

Present Day: I’d guess that Matt does all the housework (what, no house gnomes?), but so blindingly fast that you don’t see it.  Probably doesn’t take much time away from reading Game of Thrones.

So comfy.  Also, this is the level of neatness you can expect when you come to visit.

Before: What did I do before, when I lived on my own?  On a co-worker’s recommendation, I hired awesome housekeepers who came once a month to do things like vacuum and scrub things. I know that sounds all fancy, but this was one splurge that really truly paid off in terms of life happiness. It was this or start showering at work to avoid the messy (haha) situation developing at home from my laziness and general ineptitude… Besides, Nadia has turned house cleaning into a priceless art form and every time I came home to a sparkly new apartment, it felt like it was my birthday, except better. (If you live in Seattle and want her number, let me know!) 

Our place now is certainly NOT Nadia-clean, nor could it ever be (short of Nadia and company re-locating to SF and Matt reconsidering his “we can clean the house ourselves” stance).

I took out my own trash (read: threw the bag down the apartment’s chute on the way to my car), and did dishes and laundry too (look at me go!). On the dish front, I put things straight in the dishwasher and washed skillets immediately after use (even before eating), so I guess they never piled up and felt like a chore.

My laundry situation hasn’t really changed since then.  It helps that I don’t iron anything, which means all the things have to be folded within 1 minute of coming out of the dryer lest they wrinkle and besmirch my appearance.  This might be one drill-sargeant-boot-camp minute, but it has the happy side effect of laundry folding never taking more than 5 minutes.

Before Nadia: A time period heretofore known as BN.  What did I do before Nadia? I HATE vacuuming AND scrubbing the bathroom, so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done those things barring some improbable clean-it-now-or-else-your-life-be-forfeit emergency.  Maybe my roommate did it?  Maybe the place was just filthy and I just avoided touching anything (this is more likely than it sounds)?  Maybe there were helper gnomes then?

Ah, that’s more questions without answers.  Even the furthest dregs of my mind don’t seem to go all the way back to BN.  Too bad I didn’t have a blog back then to record these important historical events!

I want it Now!

I’m feeling really empty on blog material this evening, but I fear incurring the whine wrath of Veruca Salt, so here we go anyway…

1) Went to Waterbar SF tonight for $1 happy hour oysters.  They were good, but now I feel weird.  Apparently oysters, random fruity cocktail, and peppermint bark do not make for a nourishing square meal.

2) I’ve been completely wrapped up in my latest work project, and that’s been occupying the vast majority of my time and thoughts.  Hence, lack of brain space for generating blog-worthy material.

3) My mom once wondered why we needed so many skillets in the house.  “I don’t even have this many!” 

This is why.

4) New upstairs neighbor gets up around 6 am (for real!) and starts walking around (how dare he!).  Unfortunately the floors are wood and his kitchen/living room is above my bedroom.  I haven’t been well rested in a month and the bags are starting to coalesce under my eyes and reveal my pushing-thirty-ness.

The corollary to this is that his bedroom is above our living room, where we play pop/rock music and/or action/sci-fi programming until midnight-ish.  So he probably hasn’t been well rested for a while either?

All of this got me Zillowing housing prices in Austin, TX today.  I may actually be able to afford my dream house (close to everything, no surface-sharing neighbors) there!

5) On Monday, I saw someone pick a cup of chopped fruit (fork included) out of an overflowing public trash can and start eating it.  I found this simulataneously gross and heart warming- what a nutritious, delicious, and otherwise expensive snack (assuming the germ thing works out ok)!

6) Speaking of pushing thirty, everyone I know who has rounded that corner seems to accept it with grace and happiness.  Maybe because what other option does one really have? 

I don’t think that’s going to be me.  With a little over a year to go, I’m digging my heels in as hard as they will go.  I’m planning to apply myself to having extreme amounts of non-fun just to make the time pass extra slow… Yup, that’ll probably work.

7) If I had been more organized about this, I could have turned this into 3 or 4 posts.  Instead I poured the entire well into this one and now it’s gonna be dry for a spell.  Oh well. 

Stay back, Veruca.

roll your own

Last week I was going to a women in technology mixer, which meant that, for the first time ever, I needed… business cards! 

The mixer was on Friday, so obviously I ordered them on Tuesday.  The express shipping for my $8 order costed $11, but it assured that the cards would arrive on Friday.  That would be plenty of time for a Friday evening event.  No problem.

I sailed through my week worry-free (business-card-wise)… until 5pm Friday rolled around and the cards still hadn’t arrived… uh oh.  This is a problem.  (Even apart from the fact that I paid money for this to not be a problem.)  God forbid I actually meet someone interesting and then have to admit I’ve got no card to give them because this is, in fact, amateur hour.  Madness, I tell you!

But wait! – I thought to myself – you can do anything in Word!  So while my intern/lacky went off to the print shop to buy cardstock, I downloaded a business card template and designed up my own. 

I didn’t have a nice logo or graphic to put on there, so I went with this…

It turns out, I really like it!  No more wondering, “who gave me this card?”  My mug shot is right there.  Sure, given more time I would find a paper cutter instead of using scissors, but other than that this seems to do the job.

I finished up, got on the bus at 5:30, only to get this message at 5:32:

Cards are here!

Along with this picture:

Way more polished, but also way more generic. 

Who knew that mail would be delivered so late on a Friday?  Annoying timing and wasted dollars aside, I’m glad this happened – otherwise I never would have known to make my own cards and to put my picture on them.  I’ll give you 1 guess as to which ones are in my wallet right now, waiting to be handed out!

nasaguy

It’s amazing what the smallest thing can do.

4 days ago, I could only do a partial chin-up.  We know this because we have it on video.

2 days ago, the Fates (aka Youtube recommendation engines) looked upon me with favor and sent a digital guardian angel (aka nasaguy) to my page.

1 day ago, I looked at the bar, told Matt to grab the camera, and I did my first chin-up.

That’s it.  A little faith and some gentle prodding from an internet stranger was the missing link.  The gust that blew the final straw off the camel’s back.

I read nasaguy’s comments and thought, “Couldn’t I get a little higher on that first one? Am I really giving it my all? Is this all in my head?”.  I decided to try again, except this time I was going to pull until my ams gave out.

When exactly did this go from being a feat of strength to a feat of will?!?  How long have I been sitting on this ability, but “psyching myself out”?  How much longer would I have continued to sit? **shudder**

nasaguy, you are the wind beneath my wings.

I am now TWO epiphanies wiser, as you are about to be, my young padawans.

1. Tell people what you are doing, so they can help you.

It pays to expose yourself (decently), on the Internet or otherwise.  Trouble yourself not with the haters.  For all we know, dozens of jerks have mocked my videos.  That doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that ONE guy swung by, left an encouraging comment (earning his karma points for the day), and now I can do a chin-up!

When I grow up and become famous and have to answer for this blog and these videos, that is the story I’ll be telling them.

2. Be generous with help and encouragement.

In 30 seconds you could change someone’s life! Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  True story: A friend of mine once mentioned to the cashier at Trader Joe’s that one day, she’d love to go to Stanford to study aerospace engineering.  His response: “Why not today?”

Why NOT today?  The next day, she started her application, and a year later, she’s studying there!  The craziest part of this to me is that Trader Joe’s guy is still out there somewhere, spewing optimism willy-nilly, with no idea what a difference he’s made.  I want to be that guy.