Closing A Chapter

Lately my life feels very partitioned, as I gaze back at it.

Really the stuff until the end of high school is at least muddled enough that it feels like I didn’t change enough. Then I graduated high school, and that chapter closed. I went to college, and grew a lot, changed quickly and pleasantly. Sometime in March-April-May of 2013, I felt a shift again. I was suddenly more active in the way I went about being friends with people. And then of course, the first half of the Mudd chapter came to a close, as I drove off knowing I wouldn’t be back until the spring semester. And then my internship at Windward was easily a partition, because it was in a new location and with (all but one) completely new people and experiences. And looking ahead, studying abroad will also be a partition, where I’m even farther from everything I’ve known than ever before.

Don’t get me wrong, the partitions aren’t entirely disconnected. But to me they represent periods of growth in specific directions, of specific experiences that I can categorize together…and they lead into each other, in complex ways. And it’s because they all clearly close that they must exist in the first place. If something ends, that means it had to startand that’s what got me thinking about partitions and things.

For now, the Windward chapter has mostly closed for me. While I actually intend to do a bit more work for them (via remote desktop) before I go off for Budapest, I’m no longer there, immersed in the experience. It’s very different.

I have an agenda in this blog, so I’m getting to that now. The above was actually all rather tangential! But interesting to think about. Is this true for other people? Do most people see partitions in their life?

Windward did a neat thing where we had an exit interview. The main focus of that was to give me feedback (what could I do better as a software developer?) and for me to give the company feedback (what could Windward do better?). I thought this was a wonderful idea, and to me it really characterized Windward well. Even as I’m leaving, as an intern, they still care very much about my opinion. They want to keep improving. And even knowing that I could choose not to come back, they still care enough to give me useful (and brutally honest) feedback, which I appreciate. Sure, it’s great to hear praise (which there was plenty of in the exit interview), but the more useful things comes from feedback that can burn a little to hear (I actually agreed with basically everything they had to say about how I could improve, which was excellent, but the fact that they were willing to say those things to me without holding back means a ton to me). And this doesn’t come as a surprise from Windward – they’re hard on you, because they want to help you improve, and they do everything they can to improve the company too. It’s awesome, and the kind of environment I like.

Of course, when asked what I thought Windward could do better, I didn’t have much to say. I really like Windward. I like the way it’s run. Employees are treated well. Things get done. People help each other. It’s a ton of fun to simply be there. And no one minds if I set-up crazy amounts of colorful pipecleaners in their office. Seems like a good deal.

EXHIBIT A: PIPECLEANERS (thanks to Erika for the pictures)

rainbows :D Also Nerf guns, and Nerf gun wars :)

And my favorite part of Windward, by far, were the people! And as a result of the people, the atmosphere in the office. Everyone worked hard, but when it was time to take a break they were really fun to be around and socialize with. As I’ll talk about later, people were awesome and happy to do things outside of work. When it wasn’t time to be serious, people were silly in the same way that I’m silly. Everyone was just so wonderful. I can’t put it down in words very well.

Back onto my little outline (thought up during the 20 hour drive from Boulder, CO to my home in Washington).

  • Personal growth – technical

I’ve had a lot of personal growth since entering college, as I’ve said. I had a lot of growth at Windward too, although it seems to be much more in the way I think and view things than hugely external.

At any rate though, I had a lot of technical growth while I was at Windward, which makes sense. Let me tell you about it a bit. The first two ish weeks I was there I coded up (with the wonderful Sarah) an awesome demo using Autotag Word templates and ASPX, neither of which were things I had any experience in. The feedback we received was that it was great, even when we ourselves weren’t satisfied with it. From this alone I learned how to just dive into a problem, even if it looks terrifying because of multiple new elements (ASPX/HTML, Visual Studios, Team Foundation Server, Autotag…). And it was even better than that, because it wasn’t just being given an assignment and learning how to do it with the tools provided, but it was deciding what the assignment should even be. “Make a demo” is a very open-ended problem, so we had to figure out what would make a good demo (with some guidance of course), how best to present it, and then how to actually implement all of that in a totally new language. It was critical to see this transition from more clear-cut school assignments to the broader, and often vaguer problems posed in the real world.

And that was only the first two weeks or so. Dang. Once we got started on our main project (for me, writing the .NET engine to integrate the Salesforce database into Autotag and writing the wizard for this tool in Autotag), it was another dose of being thrown at a problem I had no experience for. In this case there was a stronger direction, because these datasources should operate the same way previous ones did, but I didn’t know anything about datasources at the time. I had also never worked in C#, and still wasn’t very familiar with Visual Studios or TFS at that point.

It was difficult and frustrating at times, because I just felt like I had no idea what I was doing and that’s pretty frustrating for most people. But again, being exposed to these kinds of situations and learning how to deal with them is an experience possibly even more valuable than finding the literal solution to our problems. And if we did get really stuck we could always ask one of the full-time devs (probably En-jay!) for help.

Oh, aside from learning new languages and tools, I also learned a ton of debugging and problem solving strategies. Break point all the things! General heuristics on where to check for problems. How to utilize Visual Studios as a really useful debugging tool. A lot of it is just general heuristics which are hard to write down.

And of course, just a lot about how a start-up (or I guess slightly past start-up stage) company works and how the real world is different than school.

  • Personal growth – social

I think a lot of this developed a bit before I got to Windward, actually, but Windward really helped cement this development for me. After the first week or so I was tired of not having things to do on the weekend and being cooped up in the apartment. After a bit of worrying and thinking as I tend to do, I e-mailed the dev team at Windward to see if anyone wanted to hike (the group seemed fun enough even from the beginning). Lo and behold, people came and hiked with me. And then they did it again. It quickly became a weekly thing that I looked forward to, and that I was actively in charge of organizing. People who had initially not been interested changed their minds and asked if they could come. I was even able to bring friends from outside the work group to the hikes and other events I started to run. It was a ton of fun. I guess what it was for me was that I became really involved. I didn’t have time to go on my computer after work and update this blog or do anything else, because I was out hiking, watching anime with people, participating in Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, and going to board game night. Instead of being unsure if I wanted to go to something or worried people wouldn’t come to something I was organizing, I just went for it.

It doesn’t sound as important or, uh, dramatic as it feels. To me. As someone who has tended to identify as shy and is always concerned about what others think. And everything I did was well-received here and reciprocated. It was excellent.

And solving all the problems I could and coding successfully here and succeeded at all these social quests helped me establish my self-confidence firmly.

Yeah…it’s more a feeling than something to put down in words…

And naturally there was a lot about becoming more independent as an adult. Managing an apartment with cooking, dishes, cleaning and whatnot isn’t as scary as I thought, although it is a bit of work and needs to be done in a timely fashion. Good practice for going abroad too.

Yeah. This summer was awesome. I made a lot of friends. Even if I never have the chance to see everyone again (which would be very sad), I enjoyed every minute of it and am glad it all happened. Maybe I’ll be back one day; I don’t know what the future holds.

Thanks for everything!

Wendy

  • On a logistical note, I will probably do one more blog here, which will be a technical Salesforce blog. I’ll be doing the rest of my blogging over at http://golden3point14.blogspot.com/ , so if you want to keep up with my Budapest journeys and/or my introspective tangents, I invite you to head on over. :)

Hiking and Monsters

This weekend has actually been awesome. Doing things is cool. This morning, I went for a hike. To start with, it was not as hot as last time by a mile. It started off being quite cool and the trail was very shady. And then I had En-jay and Tomas (two developers from Windward who I’m sure I’ve mentioned before) along with me, which made for…interesting conversation, certainly. It was a lot of fun. And there could be more hiking in the future, yesssss.

We did this trail: http://www.protrails.com/trail/boulder-denver-golden-fort-collins-lyons-royal-arch So I didn’t really look it up before we went. Turns out it was a lot of steep. And we did some extra ups and downs because we accidentally went the long way to get there. But it was great. Really tough but hiking with other people is motivating to me. And there was fun banter and all that. Of course when we were almost all the way back we stood still for a moment and I realized suddenly that my legs were shaking and I couldn’t really make them stop, heh. We booked it up that mountain. And if you failed to click the link, +1,417′ roundtrip elevation gain (slightly less net because up and downs). 3.2 miles. We did it in about 2.5 hours, with a 20-30 minute stop at the top. It sure felt fast anyway. It was a lot of fun, but I suspect my legs will hate me tomorrow XD HUZZAH FUN EXERCISE! I can’t wait to do more. If anyone is familiar with good hikes near Boulder, you should let me know so I can check them out. Still got 5 weekends or so (oh man so few…I’m sad about that already, dangit). THERE WAS AN ARCH AT THE TOP. (But no hamburgers…Tomas’ thing was cracking jokes about there being hamburgers at the top. It was pretty funny XD)

So, moving forward from there. I saw Monsters University yesterday. It was good and kind of what you’d expect. Pixar does a good job with things (also the short before it was super adorable, oh my goodness UMBRELLAS and this is why I name all my inanimate objects, because Pixar makes them adorable). However, I was almost bothered the entire movie. It’s a prequel. ALSO be aware they MAY BE SOME SMALL SPOILERS. Mostly I think it’s broad enough to be fine, but fair warning. There will be a set of bold letters indicating the end of spoilers.

Basically, you’ve got Mike Wazowski trying really hard to become a “scarer”. But if you’ve seen the original movie, YOU KNOW that this doesn’t happen. He tries so, so hard, and the whole time I was cringing a bit, because we know he doesn’t make it. I found this incredibly difficult to accept. I wanted him to succeed, but I knew he couldn’t. It was a very strange feeling and almost took away from the movie, in my head. But it was really interesting to me, because one scene just jumped out at me.

GONNA TALK ABOUT A SPECIFIC SCENE PEOPLE FAIR WARNING. Mike explodes and says something to the effect of, “I thought that if I wanted it enough, and if I tried hard enough, I could succeed”. (It’s of course a bit more verbose than that, but that’s the idea) Man. That just struck me. Tears actually welled up while he was going off. Because I can understand that. Up until Mudd I would succeeded at things (much like Mike did before going to Monsters University) if I tried hard enough and put the effort in. Once I got to Mudd though, that wasn’t true. There were classes that no matter how hard I studied for them, I didn’t get the grade I wanted, even when I thought I wanted it so much. To acknowledge that there are some things that was just aren’t good at and never can do is really hard, and I was just so struck by it, because it was so relate-able. As someone who has always had to work to be where I am, Mike’s situation just struck me so much. That was when I decided the movie was good, and not just okay.

There was also of course Sullivan’s position, where he was expected to be awesome but had really messed up, but my sympathies didn’t really lie there so much. (I found that this prequel made me like Sullivan a lot less. Which was sort of the point with his character at this time frame, but geeeeee…)

Yeah, anyway, those were deep thoughts. At a surface level, Pixar’s stuff is good, But it’s those deeper moments, that maybe no one else even noticed, that really make it great for me.

END SPOILERY SPOILERS END END END END END END END SPOILERS

On a side note, yesterday at Eclipse Phase was hilarious. My character took 2 wounds worth of damage (this is a lot) but because of my low pain tolerance this counts as 4 for me (which makes me take huge penalties), and then I also triggered my mental disorder wherein my intelligent bird character becomes a normal bird, basically. Which meant TONS of terrified squawking and flailing. They duct-taped me into a neat little package. And then after I left early to go to a movie they crashed the ship and my character died since I have very little health…it’s quite funny XD

AND LASTLY I STARTED WATCHING AN ANIME CALLED “ATTACK ON TITAN” AND IT IS AMAZING. Oh my goodness. Feels as early as episode 1. So very very excellent, and since it’s relatively new only 13 (and a half?) episodes. (I’m only through 11 of them myself but THERE IS TIME TOMORROW MY FRIENDS)

IsleepnowBAI

Wendy

Who Am I?

Hello!

This week kind of breezed by. I’m halfway through my internship at Windward. Man, that actually makes me sad already. I already know I’m going to be really sad when I have to leave. I may never see these people again. Or I may. But it will be a long time either way. And the way the day works is…pleasant. Wake up at 6, work out, get to work around 8:15, work until lunchtime, go out to lunch with everyone, come back and do more work, and silly interactions interspersed throughout the day. Often (like Tuesday game nights) there’s something fun in the evening, and if not something fun with the company I do something on my own and have a good time most days.

I really like it. I will be sad to see it out of my life. But for now I’ll make the most of it and enjoy it!

In the meantime, to the title.

Who am I?

The question has a simple enough answer. I’m Wendy Brooks. I’m 19 (20 in August!). Rising junior at Harvey Mudd College. CS major. Lived in Washington before college (but only since I was 8). There’s a fair amount of factual information. That’s easy enough.

But that’s not what I mean. For so long, I’ve identified as quiet, shy, introverted. I still kind of do. But then I look at how I interact with people now. I’m not quiet, per se. When it’s a group of people I don’t know I am, sure. But if it’s people I’m at all comfortable with I don’t seem to be. I’m not quiet at Windward, certainly. I’d call myself loud, in a sense. Vocal, perhaps, because volume I still lack. And I like talking to people a lot. Socializing is awesome. Especially with the people here, and the people at Mudd.

I guess it might be that I’m better at and prefer smaller, one-on-one (or three or four people) interactions to larger groups. Because I end up being quiet in a large group, or at least quieter. So I don’t feel like I’m introverted strictly speaking. Although I have become a bit better at that, talking more in that setting (as appropriate), but it’s still quite effortful compared to a one-on-one conversation. That’s not to say that large groups aren’t fun – I often enjoy them a lot. But one-on-one tends to me preferred mode of interaction, I guess.

So am I shy, or not? Am I quiet, or loud? Extrovert, or introvert? Or, much more likely, I’m somewhere in the middle?

There’s also the matter of nerdiness. I have always considered myself kind of nerdy/dorky, and at a bare minimum quirky (which I have no doubt is still true). But lately I’m not sure…and there is certainly (at least on the internet) a discussion about what makes people nerdy versus poser-y. So my thoughts on this in terms of me are a bit scattered and uncertain. I like things like Poke’mon (a lot) and I play some amount of videogames. In that category though, I don’t play the big games that most of my friends seem to play: Magic: the Gathering, or StarCraft, Half-Life, Mass Effect, there’s a whole slew of games that many of the people I spend time with are familiar with and talk about, and I’m just not really interested in them. I dunno. My lack there almost makes me feel like I’m not truly…nerdy or something. But that’s just how I’ve always identified too. I dunno. It’s weird.

It’s the kind of the thing that doesn’t really matter, but somehow I’m worried that it does. Especially if I end up somewhere in the CS field where the fact that I’m a women is an actual thing that comes up. I hesitate to say it’s a problem, but in some places it actually is. I’ve been fortunate, because it isn’t at Mudd or Windward at all, which is amazing and wonderful. But yeah. Like it really doesn’t matter but if it was as simple as acknowledging that and moving on life would be a whole lot easier.

Anyway. That’s enough self-reflection for now I suppose. It’s not something I’m constantly thinking about or that directly impacts my life. Mostly I don’t really think about it, I just behave as myself. Which is cool, because I used to really not even know what behaving like myself meant. But even though I’m unsure I do know how to be myself, as much as anyone else seems to know how to do the same.

But I want to categorize it, so I can put into words who I am. Humans are more complex than that, undoubtedly. So it’s a bit silly. Can’t help it though.

Anyway, I’ve got some plans for the weekend so that’s cool. It should be fun, despite being alone for a bit longer than I like.

Here’s hoping I don’t melt in the ridiculous heat,

Wendy

Back To The Grindstone

Except that work doesn’t really feel like a grindstone so much, usually. But it is time to get down to business.

To be honest with you, today was one of those days where I start to doubt my ability. I knew that I would be behind because I was gone for a week, but I felt like I was behind to start, and hearing about it today kind of freaked me out a little bit.

Mild context: four interns are working on the same project, four separate parts of it. So we should all finish around the same time is kind of the idea about it (although it sounds like the C# stuff has more to it that the Java people will help with, so that’s…good…I think).

This morning we had our dev meeting as per usual. In which I found out that two of the other interns think they’ll be done within the week. Auuuuu ;_; I’m really glad for them, but that stressed me out a bit because I’m not almost done as far as I can tell, and at the time I had some problems I had been trying to fix for a while (I did fix them today, as it turns out). Most of what I did today was fix inane problems. Which didn’t help me feel a lot better about that.

Like, in terms of straight up productivity, today was pretty reasonable, especially for a first day back. I solved a ton of problems and reasonably quickly and without assistance. However, they didn’t feel like progress because they seemed rather inane. Which is unbelievably irritating when you already feel behind. ;_;

Don’t get me wrong, I’m mostly fine. I’m not in like OHGOSH PANIC MODE ENGAGE ZOOOOOOOOM, but I do feel a bit worried and am going to need to find a way to boost my confidence because I’m sure I code better when I feel good about myself. I did accomplish and finish a thing by the end of the day, and it worked, but I had intended to be done with that the week before I left so that didn’t really help. Although I’m glad it worked. So if I just really get my butt in gear tomorrow I may be able to finish another one, which would make me feel a lot better. Wub. There’s a lot to do.

And yes yes I know I can do it I just feel a bit worried about it because being behind is one of those things for me. It’s kind of like how I get stressed out about being late or not finishing homework assignments in time despite having more than enough time. It’s just a personality quirk, which is good in a sense because it motivates me, but is also bad because it’s stressful.

All the pressure comes from myself, and not any other source, to make that crystal clear. Which is why this stress feels a bit silly but at least I understand it I guess? SHRUG.

However, to finish on a positive note, I am excited to be back in Boulder. Games night again tomorrow night, seeing a movie with friends Thursday night, maybe some more hiking this weekend, you know, there’s stuff going on. The first day tends to be hard but the rest of the week seems good. And I’m going to work out every morning this week starting tomorrow! HUZZAH. EXERCISE. Which also makes me feel good and happy with myself, so that.

I want to leave a picture of something here. Which reminds me that I want to take a picture of how I’ve decorated my space at work…pipe cleaners and plushies everywhere. : D

I can do this. Right? Right. (I should print the motivational kitten eel picture, minus the black background! : D)

~Wendy

Have a determined Portal-chu I drew back in May of 2011. :) MOTIVATING.

Have a determined Portal-chu I drew back in May of 2011. :) MOTIVATING.

EDIT: I saw the title as I was posting this (“Life is Golden”) and was reminded why I titled the blog that – partly because my typical choice of username is Golden3point14, but partially because I want to remind myself that my life really is golden, for the most part. And by that I mean it’s really good, and I shouldn’t let the little things get me down (or in this case the things I’m stressing myself about it that I should calm down about). Just wanted to share that.

Vacation-y Things PART 2

Alt title: The days in which I went hiking to some pretty waterfalls, finished a picture, and had a few feels.

Picture: the ki-nona-eel! It is a combination cat with 9 eel limbs. Don’t worry about it too much. It turned out a lot cuter than I expected. It makes me happy.

How can you not be motivated by those adorable eyes? And all that winking is just so motivating!

How can you not be motivated by those adorable eyes? And all that winking is just so motivating! Meow!

Yep I sure am strange.

A few days ago (keeping track of the days is hard on vacation) we went on a (relatively easy) hike out to some beautiful falls. You know it wasn’t that hard because my grandpa went with us. He’s quite spry for his age, but nonetheless the hike was not particularly challenging. It was quite pretty though, as illustrated below.

Trail head.

Trail head.

Pretty river shot. : ) Lots of nice views.

Pretty river shot. : ) Lots of nice views.

The finale! The falls themselves. Absolutely stunning. Also, that is a highway. This hike is between the two sides of the highway. It's nifty!

The finale! The falls themselves. Absolutely stunning. Also, that is a highway. This hike is between the two sides of the highway. It’s nifty!

OH MAN also my dad downloaded a hilarious voice for our Garmin navigation system. It was called “Doctor Nightmare”. My brother and I preferred to call it “Ghost Butler Chauffeur”. It would randomly say things if there hadn’t been anything for it to say, like laugh maniacally or that sort of thing. It was quite entertaining. XD It became the thing. Like on the hike we would occasionally pass abandoned houses, and it would be, “THAT’S WHERE THE GHOST BUTLER LIVES” and that sort of thing. It’s probably not as funny as I find it. XD

It is a little sad today because while I’m here cleaning the house for the grad party tomorrow (YAY!) the rest of the company is out at some sort of family fun center have a celebration. And I’m missing it. I was pretty upset when I found that out but I think I’m okay with it now. I mean there’s not a lot of point in being upset about it. Doesn’t change anything, so why expend the emotion if I can avoid it. I may try and organize something else and invite everyone and see what happens (if I can ever think of something else that would be fun to do…most things would be fun with everyone, but you need a starting point really). But yeah. There’s that.

Currently today I’ve decided which stuffed animals I will be keeping. I have two massive baskets full of stuffed animals (and more I think because I didn’t see some that I KNOW I have). I am donating more than will fit in a giant garbage bag. Ah man, the last time I went through and picked out animals to give away every decision to give one away tugged at my heart strings. But I was so much younger at any rate. This time it was kind of like, “man I remember when I pretended you were a vampire rabbit, that sure was fun”. And then I put my vampire rainbow rabbit in the bag. I am saving a few plushies. For example, all the Poke’mon ones, a cat, a ferret and an otter (they adopted each other as siblings, it’s a long story : D ), and maybe a few more in there. It just so much easier this time around. I never, ever thought it would be easy for me to just toss my animals into a giant bag when I was younger. I was so attached XD But I’m doing it and I hope the kids who get ’em have fun with them. It does feel a bit sentimental. When I come back in August I am supposed to go through all the things in my room and clean things up…that will be…something…XD I’m still quite sentimental about old drawing books and diaries (despite the fact that I don’t want to read the diaries anytime soon I want to keep them around, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense buuuuut whatever).

And my dad is smoking some meat (ribs, brisket, pulled pork…maybe even some pig candy, which is essentially brown sugar delicious bacon that’s been smoked and is crispy and DELICIOUS) and that’s basically awesome. Meat being my favorite food group and all. (Which randomly reminds me, I have decided that what I want for my birthday is not a cake, but a STEAK. I will acquire one absolutely.)

So one more thing here. Met with some homefriends yesterday while I’m back in town. One of them asked us to say what our dream jobs were. With a shrug I gave my usual response, which is that I’d love to work for a company like Microsoft or Google. She looked at me and was like, “no, your dream job, not like what you think you’ll be doing”. Which kind of threw me off. Because working at one of those companies was actually my idea of a dream job for a while. It might still be, I dunno.

Another friend mentioned that the idea of a dream job was overrated. And I agree with that. The reasoning there is that, at least for me, it’s not so much about what I’m literally doing. It’s more about the people and that sort of thing. For example, I’m really happy at my internship with Windward. If I had gotten a job somewhere slightly less awesome, I would probably not be unhappy or thinking it wasn’t awesome, because I would never have had Windward to compare to. So really, as long as I end up somewhere I’m happy, the where and the what don’t matter as much to me.

It did get me thinking about why I like my internship so much, because right now I’m even to the point of missing it a bit while I’m away. While I do like the challenge of the actual job part, what I really like and what really makes it is the people and how the company operates. We have board game night, we have fun lunches, random conversations, and the office is general pleasant and pretty chill. And, despite my not being able to attend, there are fun celebrations like the one happening today. What I want is a job with this, or similar to this, type of environment. People are taken care of, people are happy, and people like each other. It’s pretty great.

Anyway, rambling thoughts aside, I have to be an adult and deal with adult business like possibly incorrect bills. HOORAY ADULTHOOD. (I guess I’m not technically an adult…wub…I’m like a month short…)

~Wendy

Two months.

This is a deep, serious entry. It contains thoughts that are very important to me. Fair warning.

This hasn’t come up in this blog yet. Before I moved to Windward’s site I wrote a very deep, serious entry about it. (Be warned, it is quite heavy, but for the curious, http://golden3point14.blogspot.com/2013/04/passing.html)

So, tomorrow is two months.

Two months since my grandmother passed away.

That doesn’t feel like a long time. I feel…cold, when I think about it. That’s really a poor description, but I don’t know how else to say it. Like even with everything, even with the funeral, it doesn’t feel…it’s still kind of hard to believe. Thank goodness I’ve stopped thinking about it randomly throughout the day, for the most part.

But sometimes I do think about it. And I’m still sad. Sometimes I just have to stop and think about it and then move on. As a small example, I think she’d really like the silly drawings I’ve been doing lately. I think she’d find them very cute and funny. She always liked my drawings, even when they were terrible.

To be honest, and this is kind of scary to admit, I was scared to come home this week. For a few reasons. The last time I saw my family was at the funeral. But mainly, my grandpa was also visiting us. He still is, this week, actually. I was scared, because to me, they were always together. We even had a nickname for both of them, as a unit: Gumpa. Apparently this was from me as a small child. But to see him, and not to see her, scared me a lot more than I care to admit.

And it’s been fine. But it does feel a bit like something is missing.

Something I did was bring the stuffed rabbit I have with me. I always keep it on my bed, but I usually don’t bring her home with me. My grandma went by Bunny. When we Skyped if I had Rabbit with me or when I visited she would love to talk to Rabbit and be silly and that sort of thing. So I brought Rabbit with me this time, because…it felt like the thing to do. Because she wasn’t there, but if she had been, that would have been the thing.

Erp, tears welling up. Hang on a second…I guess I just haven’t expressed myself about this in a while.

I miss her. And really that will be true for a long time. And that is reasonable, I think.

She would have been really excited to hear about what I’m doing.

Yesterday at lunch my grandpa was asking us how to delete contacts out of his phone. He was deleting her. I hadn’t done that yet. I had thought about it and decided I didn’t want to just yet. I hadn’t thought about it in a while though. It was jarring. And so I went into my contacts and deleted it. And then wished I hadn’t. But I did. And why should I have kept it…but I somehow wish I had, a bit. It makes it feel all the more final. Which, it is. I just…it caught me off guard that it came up and that I did that. I dunno.

On the other hand, I guess I do kind of think about her. I have a lot of her jewelry, and her bandanas and scarves. And I wear them. Quite regularly. The last month or so of school I wore the same necklace everyday. And then when my dad came down to drive to Boulder with me he brought scarves and jewelry for me to have. And I wear them, and it makes me happy to wear them, because they belonged to her. It makes me feel connected. It makes me feel like she is proud of me. And no one around me has any idea. But it’s so special to me, that I have these things, and that I can wear them.

It’s still pretty tough. And on nights like tonight, when I stop and think about it and realize just how long it hasn’t been, it’s even harder. I want to cry. And I probably will, later.

I just…I still have a lot of feelings about this. Of course I do, I don’t think anyone expects otherwise. I just didn’t realize quite how many until just now. I could go on and on. But, for right now, I shouldn’t.

This feels a bit out of place on this blog. Given how I haven’t talked seriously about anything here yet. But I…just had to…I feel relieved to have typed any of it…but still that I could go on forever and never feel that I’ve finished.

At any rate. I should sleep now.

Thank you for listening.

~Wendy

Vacation-y Things Part 1

I actually just don’t have a title for this.

Alt title: MORE PHOTO DUMPING. I HOPE YOU LIKE PHOTOS BECAUSE PHOTOS.

So as I mentioned Saturday, brother graduated. Pretty proud of him. He had a sizable paragraph of achievements in the little graduation booklet thingy. I’m so very, very excited to see where he goes with his life (which at current is RPI but I do mean a more abstract sense as you might suspect…). At any rate we got some pretty cool pictures out of it so WHABAM pictures. We sure do have faces.

Look! Me and a graduate. We're happy siblings. : D

Look! Me and a graduate. We’re happy siblings. : D

My dad and my brother make the best faces so I thought I would share them.

My dad and my brother make the best faces so I thought I would share them.

ERHMAHGERD GUYZ SELF PIC. ...I actually think this looks kind of cool though, to be honest.

ERHMAHGERD GUYZ SELF PIC.
…I actually think this looks kind of cool though, to be honest.

This is typical Brooks behavior and it is kind of my favorite picture ever right now. Yeah siblings~

This is typical Brooks behavior and it is kind of my favorite picture ever right now. Yeah siblings and matching eyebrows!

Family. : )

Family. : )

And that was Saturday. Like I said, super proud of my brother (his name is Aaron, on a side note). He is a cool kid. : D Even with all the snark I am obliged to give him as his older sister.

Sunday and Monday have been pretty cool thus far as well – Grandpa (as seen in the closest photo above) is visiting from Florida this week, so we’re doing some of the more touristy things we wouldn’t do on a regular day. We’re “vacationing from home” is the phrase my dad used to describe it. And so far the weather has held up – not so hot I’m on fire, but warm enough that shorts are an option (although having a jacket around is a pretty good idea too).

And here are pictures regarding the happenings this week~

Crystal Mountain is a somewhat overpriced ski resort, but they have this new gondola and the view up top is fantastic, so tourist-y-thing-I-wouldn't-normally-do AWAY! : )

Crystal Mountain is a somewhat overpriced ski resort, but they have this new gondola and the view up top is fantastic, so tourist-y-thing-I-wouldn’t-normally-do AWAY! : )

It was also the last day of skiing at Crystal so people were dressed up in costumes. I have no idea who those people are, but I sure do have a photo.

It was also the last day of skiing at Crystal so people were dressed up in costumes. I have no idea who those people are, but I sure do have a photo.

Mt. Rainier view from the top. Almost completely clear, but not quite. Still stunning.

Mt. Rainier view from the top. Almost completely clear, but not quite. Still stunning.

Dat chipmunk. Living life on the edge. As chipmunks do. It seemed cool. Also I'm a chipmunk (or so I've been told) so there's that.

Dat chipmunk. Living life on the edge. As chipmunks do. It seemed cool. Also I’m a chipmunk (or so I’ve been told) so there’s that.

So more views! There were chairs set up. It was so calming and picturesque (and even cold, which was awesome).

So more views! There were chairs set up. It was so calming and picturesque (and even cold, which was awesome).

Fair warning that I have this habit of going to museums and taking absurd amounts of pictures. Now, I have the common sense not to post most of them, and I even did a stunning job of holding back this time, but there might still end up being a lot of them because cars sure do look like they have funny faces. And stuff. So there’s that. This is in some way an apology. So there will be relevant things after the pictures if you find yourself no longer caring. XD

Also this is the LeMays American Car Museum in Tacoma, WA. I actually don’t know/care much about cars, but I can appreciate how old and cool these ones were. But I also took weird pictures to amuse myself so it’s not terribly representative of the museum as a heads up XD

 

I find these older looking cars snazzy. I took too many photos of them. I would drive one. :0

I find these older looking cars snazzy. I took too many photos of them. I would drive one. :0

This car. I can't. Better picture of it below.

This car. I can’t. Better picture of it below.

PSHOOOO I am a rocket not a car what no TOTALLY A ROCKET.

PSHOOOO I am a rocket not a car what no TOTALLY A ROCKET.

I am impressed (but not surprised) that someone made this a car.

I am impressed (but not surprised) that someone made this a car.

Look how tiny that car is it's like for small wealthy children. I think that is actually what it was for, in all seriousness. VROOOM.

Look how tiny that car is it’s like for small wealthy children. I think that is actually what it was for, in all seriousness. VROOOM.

It looks angry so I pretended to be it. That is how people museum right? Right.

It looks angry so I pretended to be it. That is how people museum right? Right.

Other angle of angry car because I liked it a lot. XD

Other angle of angry car because I liked it a lot. XD

Old car tires apparently say, "NO SKID" on them. If they are no skid. It's just funny. XD

Old car tires apparently say, “NO SKID” on them. If they are no skid. It’s just funny. XD

We were down by the Tacoma waterfront so we sat and watched some people go on a sketchy parasail journey. Smelled like ocean. : )

We were down by the Tacoma waterfront so we sat and watched some people go on a sketchy parasail journey. Smelled like ocean. : )

So there’s that! By relevant things after the photos what I definitely mean is rambling and also…the unveiling of a WORK IN PROGRESS of an art piece I am crafting. (Yes, use fancy words to build suspense)

Future things this week? Well, going into Seattle, boatloads of appointments (hair, orthopedic, dentist?), graduation party Saturday, hopefully a small hike, and…I got distracted. I don’t remember what the thing I was saving for last was…OH YEAH maybe even seeing friends who are here (both high school and college friends, which is snazzy).

And before I drag this out any longer (apparently my amount of blogging is awesome though, so I have just been informed), I WILL PRESENT TO YOU, THE KI-NONA-EEL

Actually, first, I promise next time to try and have more deep thoughts. This entry is hilariously…uh…I don’t even it just doesn’t have a ton of deep thoughts. I dunno. I like deep thoughts. Right now I am feeling a bit insane and weird though so you get that.

RIGHT. WIP OF KI-NONA-EEL.

It's a kitten with 9 eel appendages. ...I blame En-jay for this. At any rate, colors are quite subject to change. Kitten eel. : D

It’s a kitten with 9 eel appendages.
…I blame En-jay for this.
At any rate, colors are quite subject to change.
Kitten eel. : D

Lastly, as I mentioned previously, comments are always loved and appreciated. : ) Well, I shouldn’t say always, or someone will inevitably try to prove me wrong…

AND NOW TO PLAY KIRBY AIR RIDE WITH THE BROTHER.

Bai for nao~

Wendy

And home. (Alt title: definitely didn’t do work nope nope never)

And then I was home.

And then I was working at home, as I was explicitly told not to do. Whoops! I’m just still thoroughly amazed and awed by the fact that I can remote in to my work desktop and do things with it. Also the work I was doing is not the main thing I should be working on, and mostly repetitive simple work, and is easier on my personal computer anyway, so I see no problems with this. Everyone is getting ready for the day and I’m ready right now, so why not. It makes me feel happy to accomplish things like that at any rate.

If you don’t want to ready my semi-technical CS babble, skip to below the picture for FEEEEELINGS.

This past week I actually feel I’ve accomplished things, for a lot of reasons which is pretty cool.

  • At a company meeting, the product Sarah and I worked on (and the one I worked on this morning) was specifically cited as awesome and useful. People clapped for us. It was awesome to see literal evidence of our success and contribution to the company.
  • Finally figured out how to even start data sources (which I had never done before in my life) and have solved a lot of issues as they came up. I am so close to being able to accomplish a basic out tag (I’m not explaining this right now, sorry XD), and have almost all the query functionality down. Yay me. Solving problems.
  • Learned about reflection. Not like, oh hey, a mirror, I see my reflection, but the kind that involves a lot of metadata and feels a bit silly. It involves object of type Type. The type Type is not in fact the type (i.e. a class) but metadata about this type (so information about methods, data members, etc.) which you then call more functions on to extract/invoke information from. Neat. And basically necessary because of the way Salesforce sets up its data. If you haven’t heard of Salesforce, well, I don’t know much about it except that their data querying system is making my life a bit more difficult than it needs to be. But I think it’s almost completely worked out, and at least at a basic level.

So in terms of figuring things out, initially the sample code Salesforce provided me would just quit, and I couldn’t figure out why. The error that Visual Studios showed me was unhelpful. And then I noticed that the code was flashing an error message up for about two seconds before it disappeared. And I just kind of stared at it for a bit. And then decided the only way to fix this was to try and print screen it so I could read it. This is a lot more difficult than it seems. (I didn’t understand the code well enough to get it to stay. I think once it hit an exception it was quitting which seems kind of reasonable but…seriously…why wouldn’t you make sure your sample code showed errors for more than two seconds…)

 

This was the best I could do. Oh hey look sample Salesforce code. WHY. I COULD HAVE FIXED THIS SO MUCH FASTER IF I COULD HAVE READ IT. ;_;

This was the best I could do. Oh hey look sample Salesforce code. WHY. I COULD HAVE FIXED THIS SO MUCH FASTER IF I COULD HAVE READ IT. ;_;

So it turns out the problem was that Salesforce asks you for username and password, and my password it means password + security key. Really simple. Really easy fix. Too bad the disappearance of the window with the error message made this a lot more complicated than it needed to be…but then I fixed it and moved on with my life. Hooray!

I’m done working for today, most likely. My brother graduates in a few hours, my grandpa is here visiting, and tomorrow we’re probably going hiking at Crystal Mountain (oooh, going to ride the new gondola which I’ve never ridden).

I have a lot of feelings about my brother graduating. Mostly, I’m excited for him! I want to see who he’ll be once he’s been away at college and really given the chance to grow. I’m sure he’ll be absolutely awesome. He’ll also still be my little brother, so it’s weird that he’s graduating, but on the other hand I’m proud of him. He’s got cords and awards (YEAH BAND MARINE AWARD THING) and is an awesome kid.

Here he is a year ago visiting me over the summer. Dat face. :D He's probably got even taller since then...

Here he is a year ago visiting me over the summer. Dat face. : D He’s probably got even taller since then…

Anyway, catch ya later. : )

~Wendy

Getting Down To Business

Things to discuss before I forget:

  • Microsoft read only file sadness
  • Random honking guy I am going to blog about because he was mean D:
  • MUG making
  • PURPLE FEDORA
  • HIKING
  • AUGH I’M LEAVING FRIDAY

And now I will do these things out of order. HOORAY. Maybe I will even delete this list. Eh who am I kidding, I’m leaving it here. I always do that. I won’t edit this. NOPE NOPE NOPE.

So anyway. Things that happened. Yesterday was a cool day in which I hiked! I also went to a paint-your-own-pottery type place and painted a mug, which I will have pictures of soon. And bought a purple fedora, which I do not have pictures of. YET. It will happen eventually. Purple. Still have trouble quite believing that. XD

More tiltshift because why not. It looks kinda cool. And everything is so very vibrant!

More tiltshift because why not. It looks kinda cool. And everything is so very vibrant!

This is called the quarry, and it had the best rock chairs. Sarah is the rock queen in her rock throne. :0

This is called the quarry, and it had the best rock chairs. Sarah is the rock queen in her rock throne. :0

Tomas, one of my colleagues from Windward framing the excellent view we had. :D

Tomas, one of my colleagues from Windward framing the excellent view we had. :D

YEAH. Sassy in my rock throne.

YEAH. Sassy in my rock throne.

More pretty nature :D

More pretty nature :D

So before I launch into other things, man. Today at work we started our real project – data sources. It felt immediately overwhelming, and I was feeling like I didn’t even know how to start. For several hours. I was filled with doubt and suddenly scared. However, finally in the afternoon (with a bit of guidance) I found a direction. And then I found MORE UNRELATED INANE PROBLEMS. Well, some of them were less inane. Trying to follow instructions that use vocabulary you don’t understand, for instance, is not inane, but a legitimate problem. More inane was more computer restarting without asking. And also A BUG WITH MICROSOFT AAAAH D: I feel so betrayed.

So it turns out that in Windows XP and beyond, there’s this bug that Microsoft refuses to acknowledge in which folders have their attributes marked as unread (under properties for a particular folder the read-only box is filled with a blue square). The bug is that this can’t be undone. You change it and then when you go to view it, VOILA! It’s back. The attribute read-only status doesn’t really do much generally (except slow down the loading of folders if there’s a lot of read-only ones), but in this case it was straight up preventing me from doing what I needed to, and all the hacked together quick fixes (which have a low chance of working) failed me. Ach! With some guidance I got around it after an hour or two or three of googling and trying things and tearing my hair out. But I got it, which meant I could connect to my data source and tomorrow I can try and do real things. Thank goodness. Nyuuuuu. It was a bit stressful, but there was also a lot of silliness that went on that afternoon to counter-act it, so it’s okay. The morning was stressful though. TT_TT

Eh not actually going to write about random angry honking guy. Well, in short, he was mad because I STOPPED AT A RED LIGHT before making my right turn. Um…I legally have to stop, regardless of the fact that I have room to go. Calm down. Seriously. Then he passed me and voila, I ended up right behind him until I turned off the road. It didn’t get him anywhere to honk at me and rush around me fast as he could. We got to the places at the same time. Some people are quite silly that way.

And lastly for tonight, Friday I go home for a little over a week. Wow. Back to Washington. To see my brother graduate! And to see my Grandpa! And everyone. I may actually have written almost exactly this in my last entry. It simultaneously feels like I’ve been at Windward for only a short time, but also that I’ve been there a while. It’s flown by so far, but I also just feel so comfortable with the people. It’s odd, but good. I think I’ll miss them while I’m away. But not enough to detract away from seeing my family. :)

And apparently Kingdom Hearts 3 was just announced. I wish I had the appropriate console a lot right now XD Maybe one of these days.

And lastly, THIS.

I expected this to be a pun, but...it isn't...o_o

I expected this to be a pun, but…it isn’t…o_o

I don’t know what to make of a thing called “egg strategy”. I keep expecting the clever to suddenly jump out at me but it won’t…what the heck would an egg strategy even be…if you have a clever for it do share…or even a non-clever would work 😀

Anyway, to another day and waking up early for exercise!

~Wendy

 

Photo Dump

This is the part where I realize I haven’t uploaded the photos from my last hike, yet I’m going hiking tomorrow and intend to take photos there too. Huh.

So here’s some photos, from Chitauqua Park, about 10 minutes from my apartment. And also apartment apparently (good typo right there) not normally this green this time of year, but hey, I like green. 😀

First hike in Colorado, with the wonderful Schefflers. Pretty short hike but sure was beautiful!

First hike in Colorado, with the wonderful Schefflers. Pretty short hike but sure was beautiful!

Bonding with mountains :D

Bonding with mountains :D

Everything was just so beautiful it took all I had not to upload every photo I took.

Everything was just so beautiful it took all I had not to upload every photo I took.

We started down this trail and ended up turning around because we saw a BEAR. A baby bear. Woah!

We started down this trail and ended up turning around because we saw a BEAR. A baby bear. Woah!

Rocks :D

Rocks :D

Tiltshift function on my camera for funsies. It looks kinda cool. I would love one of those houses nestled down there.

Tiltshift function on my camera for funsies. It looks kinda cool. I would love one of those houses nestled down there.

These mountains are the flatirons. Because they look like flatirons. Straight up, that's the origin of the name.

These mountains are the flatirons. Because they look like flatirons. Straight up, that’s the origin of the name.

So pretty. :D

So pretty. :D

Hiking was pretty fun, and as I said, tomorrow is MORE HIKING! : ) I love that this is happening.

And here’s some more photos:

We went to Celestial Seasonings because they do a free tour and give you free tea so why not :D YEAH WE GOT TEA WOOOO.

We went to Celestial Seasonings because they do a free tour and give you free tea so why not 😀 YEAH WE GOT TEA WOOOO.

Yeah we so sassy in our hairnets. Hairnets are weird. XD Celestial Seasonings tour, as it turns out.

Yeah we so sassy in our hairnets. Hairnets are weird. XD Celestial Seasonings tour, as it turns out.

This was last week for the Windward scavenger hunt. This is the Windward intern team. : ) We're a pretty awesome group and I can't wait to get to know them better!

This was last week for the Windward scavenger hunt. This is the Windward intern team. : ) We’re a pretty awesome group and I can’t wait to get to know them better!

So yeah, there’s that. : ) Things are fun.

Today was also fun because we had our second real session of Eclipse Phase (think Dungeons and Dragons but with SCI-FI), and it was absolutely excellent. So many silly comments and it was just great fun. I enjoyed it quite a lot.

And this upcoming Friday I’m actually flying home…WOAH. I get to see my brother graduate! I get to see my Grandpa! It’ll be tons of fun, albeit weird to not be going to work especially since I fixed up my sleep schedule that way and all. Ah well, waking up at 7 am will let me work out, and Grandpa wakes up early anyway, if I recall.

Oh also I worked out today and now my arms hate me. Seems good. XD

And lastly, have a drawing of a spherical cow. The cow has horns because it’s drugged. Which is also why it looks so happy despite it’s position above a thing. Don’t worry about it. I just felt I should put this here.

You can't explain this, man. I like drawing spherical cows though :D

You can’t explain this, man. I like drawing spherical cows though :D

And since you’ve gotten this far, I’m going to be that person who asks you to comment if you have the chance. : D I can’t see stats or pageviews from this website so it wierds me out how I can’t tell if people are reading this. XD

Anyway, looking forward to tomorrow!

~Wendy