05 February 2015

Christmas in Utah

We enjoyed two whole weeks in Utah for Christmas. It was really great to spend time with friends and family members we haven't seen for a while.

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Nestlé enjoying a Wendy's bag

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Watching football with family

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Snowshoeing in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Basketball at the church photo 2014-12-23102804_zps9120b850.jpg
Morning basketball at the church (Michael made 46 free throws in a row the first day and the next days fewer—maybe practice doesn't make perfect?)

Michael and Michelle with Amos at the JSMB photo 2014-12-22175425_zps053569c5.jpg
Temple Square visit (JSMB)

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Result of Christmas tree decorating and cutting of snowflakes

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Christmas Eve Glauser party with "Santasia"

Reed and Edith Glauser Children photo IMG_0330_zpsae08dcb0.jpg
My paternal aunts and uncles with my dad (think the guys match much?)

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Family pictures

Popular Michael at Family Pictures photo 2014-12-26175956_zps3fb22e65.jpg

Michael and Miles at Grandma Wolstenholme's House photo 2014-12-25152259_zps8fa9aacd.jpg
Nephew time

Driving to Bountiful With Chicken Snow photo 2014-12-25135405-2_zpsee324d10.jpg
Michael driving in the snow (notice the snow chicken hanging out on the wiper)

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Michael's enormous new phone, the OnePlus One

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Making a wooden sign at Uncle Scott's wood shop

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Getting a cube made of Sänd to last for many days

Michael's First NBA Game photo 2014-12-27185815_zps67bfbd53.jpg

Michael's First NBA Game photo 2014-12-27190709_zps764fffee.jpg
Michael's first NBA game (courtesy of the Andersons, thanks!)

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Bernese Mountain Dog Hudson magic (thanks, Mark)

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Trying out the new air mattress and organizing my dad's stuff in his office

Showing Amos the joy of snow

Sledding with Amos photo 2014-12-27160838_zpsc0f94c96.jpg

(No picture.)
Late-night bowling with Sica, word games with my family, visits with Betsy and Melissa and Peggy and others . . .
So, as you can see, we had quite an enjoyable time. Thanks for having us, Mom and Dad!

14 January 2015

The Last Two Months of 2014

What special things (besides Kitchit and Thanksgiving and job stuff) did we do in November and December? I'm glad that you asked . . .

Hult Prize photo 2014-12-06122322_zps12f5d052.jpg
Michael participated in Hult Prize again, this time with an idea to incentivize early childhood education in slums.

Ree Drummond's Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce photo 2014-11-29190637_zps6635bffe.jpg
We made wine-less Ryan's Bolognese Sauce and declared it a winner.

Michael with Gavin photo IMG_448885324PM_zpsaef4ee7e.jpg
We finally met our friends' baby, Gavin.

Michael's Bike Crash Injury photo 2014-11-24201245_zpsefd15fed.jpg
Michael crashed his bike in the Broadway Tunnel. It took some persuasion each day for him to let me put Neosporin and bandages all over his knees.

New Wedding Ring photo 2014-11-11155616_zps8db27246.jpg
I got my new ring (made of white gold this time) on the same day that I woke up with sore, swollen finger joints for some unknown reason, so it took me a few days of turmeric ginger tea and Ibuprofen to get the new ring on.

LinkedIn DevelopHer Hack Day photo IMG_0916_zpse45f89d1.jpg
I went to LinkedIn's DevelopHer Hack Day in Sunnyvale.

San Jose State Football Game photo 2014-11-15151543_zps3b18bc85.jpg
Then we went to see the San Jose State Warriors Sica at San Jose State. It was so cute to see Amos go straight to Michael to stay warm.

Sica at San Jose State Football Game photo 2014-11-15163206_zps431d3a03.jpg
Sica looks great in that shade of blue and watching her every move during the game was really fun (and easy, since her hair makes her so visible). She even let us go back to her office for a bit after the game.

Michael's Movember Results photo 2014-12-01230318_zps6875b2d2.jpg
This is the final result of Michael growing out his facial hair for Movember.

Cat Watching photo 2014-12-12102340_zps7216ecbb.jpg
While our friends missed a very windy, very rainy week in San Francisco, we checked in on their cat, Mimi.

Christmas Creche in Palo Alto photo 2014-12-09190739_zpsabe693bd.jpg
Since we'd never been to the Christmas Creche exhibit in Palo Alto, we took Caltrain down to see it and were glad to see these smiling faces there for a bit as well.

Hackbright Demo Night photo 2014-12-10202724_zps3c6762fb.jpg
The latest Hackbright Demo Night was fabulously inspiring, as usual. It's so great to see what ideas women have and how far they get with their projects in just five weeks.

Christmas Pepper Basil Tofu photo 2014-12-11180426_zps609c82f6.jpg
I've been trying out some Thai recipes and the Christmas colors in this pepper basil tofu recipe made me happy (as did the delicious taste thereof).

Mint Truffle Kisses! photo 2014-11-25104759_zpsba059f6e.jpg
I was so excited to see Christmas candy at the store, because these mint chocolate truffle kisses are amazing (and I don't say that lightly, because I don't really like most Hershey's products).

Christmas Decor photo 2014-12-05164411_zps96e84cfc.jpg
Here's one view of our Christmas-ready apartment.

Vacation Time photo 2014-12-18153351_zps0da229eb.jpg
When our fridge looked like this, it was time for our Christmas vacation.

13 January 2015

Kitchit Tonight Dinner Party

I recently had the opportunity to try out Kitchit, so I booked a Kitchit Tonight dinner party. If you haven't heard of Kitchit, basically, they'll send a chef to your house to prepare a meal in your kitchen so you can just enjoy a fresh, professionally-made dinner with your friends at home. Even though I love to cook, I've noticed that for some reason when I make dinner for a bunch of friends, I can't really taste or appreciate my efforts because I'm so distracted by everything I need to do and all of the people around me, so having someone else take care of the meal-planning, shopping, cooking, and clean-up sounded amazing to me. Also, since I don't know much about vegan cooking and I was planning on having some vegan friends over, I was happy to book a unique, delicious-looking vegan meal.

Unfortunately, there were a few minutes the evening of the party when Michael and I were making emergency back-up plans because we hadn't heard from our chef, but it turned out that he was sick and another chef was on his way. All I did was get all the kitchen supplies out so Josh wouldn't have to figure out where everything was, and when he arrived, he took over while I enjoyed talking to our guests.

Kitchit Appetizers photo 
I liked the presentation of the menus. I don't think that this appetizer was part of the plan, so it was really thoughtful of Chef Josh to bring something for us to munch on while he prepared the food.

Kitchit Black Kale Salad photo 2014-11-23184158_zps6ee07072.jpg
Black kale salad with pomegranate seeds and unpeeled delicata squash, yum!

Kitchit Celery Root Pasta photo 2014-11-23190631_zps907601fd.jpg
The celery root "pasta" was great. I was barely able to finish it all after such a big salad and the appetizers. Of course, though, there's always room for dessert, right?

The pumpkin cake with maple glaze was so good that we forgot to get a picture of it. :)

KitchitTonight photo 2014-11-23190703_zps1a840159.jpg Each item on the menu was amazingly flavorful, healthy, and nicely presented. We were all very impressed.

Josh was really quiet about washing, drying, and putting away the dishes, and when he left he gave us a Kitchit bottle to keep. The price of Kitchit is a bit steep for me, but I would consider very occasionally booking with Kitchit again because of how very delicious and how convenient it was. Thanks, Kitchit!

13 December 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving was great. We invited some nearby family members and some friends from Hult. Here's a video about our holiday for your enjoyment:

Thanksgiving Schedule photo 2014-11-27182229_zps529356da.jpg
I carefully made a Thanksgiving Day schedule the night before Thanksgiving so we'd know exactly when to start what and when we'd have time for a walk. It was pretty fun to teach our guests (some of whom had never celebrated Thanksgiving before) how to make the food.

We made our first (and perhaps last, turkey?). I just couldn't get over how disgusting it was to have a large dead bird in our kitchen.

Thanksgiving Turkey photo 2014-11-26161106_zps71ce8a71.jpg
Michael bought latex gloves just to do the dirty bird work.

Raw Thanksgiving Turkey photo 2014-11-27122208_zps55e3d111.jpg
Michael remarked more than once that it was like a headless baby. Yep.

Thanksgiving Turkey in the Oven photo 2014-11-27123555_zpsfd00b31e.jpg
Since the apple was the last thing to be shoved into the bird, we laughed because it looked like the turkey was trying to poop an apple.

Thanksgiving Day Walk at Lafayette Park photo 2014-11-27140622_zps5a4d2812.jpg
While the dough for the potato rolls was rising, we went for a walk to Lafayette Park and enjoyed the great weather and view of Alcatraz in front of Danielle Steel's house.

Thanksgiving Feast photo 2014-11-27170901_zps7a1a09b2.jpg
Eventually everything was done: mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, turkey, green beans, and stuffing.

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We got to try out our new extendable table (a Craigslist IKEA special).

Even though the turkey was so much work, I didn't have any until it ended up in turkey rice soup two weeks later. I'm all about the stuffing!

By the time most guests had left, I was too exhausted to stand up or doing anything besides eat leftover pie. Luckily Claire and Julia came to the rescue with their dish-washing skills.

Like I said, we had a great Thanksgiving!

01 November 2014

Halloween 2014

I put together a Halloween party at Hackbright. Here we are at the party:

Hackbright Halloween Party photo 2014-10-31205138_zps6fd3bf85.jpg

Michael couldn't find overalls for a minion costume, so he went for the nerdy approach instead (Error 404: Costume Not Found).

Anita Sarkeesian and Michelle photo Anita_Michelle_zps0a171fe7.jpg
I decided to go for a kick-A feminist Halloween and dressed up as Anita Sarkeesian.

Happy Halloween!

23 October 2014

Update Spill

I haven't blogged for a while so I thought I'd write a little something today.

Let's see, what have I been up to?

Michael and I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, and though I didn't really enjoy the movie, the music was pretty awesome. Check out the mix here. And now Michael wants a dancing baby Groot for Christmas.

We also went to the Greek Festival just to enjoy the food, and a week later discovered a great Thai place not too far from where we live: Jitlada Thai Cuisine. I've learned to make most of my favorite meals, but I have yet to do some Thai cooking. First three on the list: pad ka prow (spicy basil) with tofu, tau hu tod (fried tofu), and gaeng keaw wan (green curry). Please, people, if you haven't found a dish with tofu that you like, you haven't been looking hard enough. Tofu can be so amazingly delicious, I promise.

I went to Django Barcamp at Eventbrite and met some really great developers, including the awesome authors of Two Scoops of Django. Now I'm reading their book and working on several Django projects. I'm also coming up with step-by-step Django instructions for absolute beginners as well as for my own reference. Technology changes so fast that they may not last long, but while they do, it will be awesome.

Barcamp Django 2014 photo 2014-10-04152339_zps0493f68f.jpg
Hackbright reps Rosette and Michelle at Barcamp Django!

I've been practicing technical interviews with many generous friends and doing a lot of algorithms studying (I finally found a book that has algorithms in Python that I like) on my own. Several other generous friends have spent time just talking jobs or helping me with development issues. I'm pretty ready to dive into real interviews, though some days I feel like there's so much to learn that there's no way I'm ready. I'm committed to finding a company whose product I like and who is committed to my growth as an engineer. I'm definitely hoping to work in a Python shop this time.

My hero Lynn Root put on a Python workshop at her workplace, Spotify. Out of all the things they gave out in a swag drawing, I was most hoping for the socks because new socks are heaven, so I was super happy when I won striped Spotify socks. So comfy.

Spotify Socks photo 2014-09-28123705_zps769ffd2c.jpg

I also got some great new t-shirts from Keen.io and laughed when people at HTML5 DevConf thought I worked at Keen because I was wearing one of the shirts. Then someone else asked me if I was Michelle Wetzler. Heeee.

HTML5 DevConf with KeenIO Shirt photo 2014-10-21111603_zps0798bd45.jpg

By the way—more on Lynn of Spotify. She taught herself to be a developer and now she's an expert (in my book, anyway) and does a lot for the women in tech and Python-in-general communities. She recently spoke about being a fraud (faking being a developer until she makes it) and it was amazing. She and her boyfriend have also been nice to lend me some books and give me very needed interview practice. I think we are kindred spirits because we all love chocolate chip cookies.

I made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies and put it in the freezer so I can snack on them whenever I need them, and then I realized that I've turned into my grandfather (except that he liked nuts in his frozen cookies).

I still love our apartment, but the street outside our apartment is having parts dug up for some project (probably new pipes or something) and it is so loud. And who would have thought that they'd start all the noise at 7 AM in San Francisco? Even before the construction and even after I scraped the paint off of the window latches so they could close more securely, my noise app was showing our average to be between 55 and 70 decibels because of the traffic, and the sirens that go past several times a day make it go up to between 80 and 90 decibels. Some days I re-research how to make our place quieter, hoping I missed something great the first five times I researched. I can only hope that Rudolf Stefanich eventually produces his noise-cancelling project Sono. I've thought of trying to convince the owners of our place to replace the windows or to get custom IndowWindows inserts, but I have little hope that I'll succeed.

At least Michael and I were able to laugh a few weeks ago when someone outside started yelling about Nicolas Cage at 3 AM. But when two people were screaming at each other the other night I wasn't sure if I should do something or not. My friend Hy runs a civic meetup and so I recently got to hear some really interesting stories and facts from a police commander. Ever since I've been even more focused on being an aware and responsible citizen, but I just don't always know when it's appropriate to call the police. Would they have wanted to come talk to me when I just wanted to go to sleep? Would the people have still been there yelling by the time the police arrived? Would it have been worth their time?

It turns out that having Whole Foods be the closest store to us is sometimes frustrating. Just need some eggs? Why walk ten more minutes to another store? Apparently my brother-in-law calls that place Whole Paycheck. :) At least it's good for when we want to make dishes for our vegan friends.

My friend Melanie turned 40 and had a prom-themed birthday party. I wore my Taiwanese wedding dress, only to receive my actual prom dress from my mom a week later. Sounds like we need another party!

Melanie's Birthday photo MelanieBirthday2014_zps6680e4ce.jpg

My mom came to San Francisco and brought a whole bunch of stuff that I'd forgotten belonged to me, including my old rock collection, the clay castle and fountain I built, an enormous origami flower I made, and a desk from my grandparents' cabin! And then we discovered that her grandmother might have lived in the building across the street from me.

We rented a car from some guy on Getaround and drove down to enjoy a hike in Cupertino with Sica, my mom, Amy, and Amy's kids. It was lovely to spend time with them and to get some fresh air.

Michael and I are still taking a while to get the living room put together. I've decided that I'm probably going to paint a rug (I found some great tutorials online). This week we found a desk, some drawers, a chair, and some monitors that were just we wanted and all from the same person, but the guy who was going to sell them to us sold them to the person moving in at the last moment. Argh.

My brother bought my old bishop's business. Though I suggested he modernize it a bit, he's sticking to traditional. Weirdly (for a business of that type), they don't have a graphic designer, so I ended up making his business cards. I also helped my dad learn how to import contacts to his new Gmail account.

Happy Diwali! It's hard to believe that we celebrated Diwali with Gunjan a whole year ago. This year I again celebrated at Hult, where we were required to get a bindi, learn how to say "happy Diwali" in Hindi, and then do some Bollywood dancing before we were allowed to have some of the divine food.

While I was at Hult, a guy approached me and asked where I was from. When I answered, "Here," he said, "America? We three were discussing it and we thought you were from Russia." I'm not sure what gave them that impression. My clothes were pretty darn techie-in-San-Francisco-casual: RocketDog sneakers, not-loose-not-tight jeans, and a company t-shirt (Couple.me). Maybe it was my frazzled-looking hair? Or my nose?

Speaking of hair and nose . . . my hair is currently kind of a mess. It's somehow decided to be really fuzzy and I have to wet it down so there aren't flyaways everywhere. I don't recall having this problem before (except for with my cowlick), so I'm not really sure how to deal with it. My digital perm is growing out and so it probably looks a little weird that I just have waves/curls on the ends of my hair. I'll have to do something about it soon. And as for nose . . . I had a crazy sinus infection for several days a couple of weeks ago, but even before that, I was complaining to Michael about not being able to breathe through one side of my nose and so he opened up my nostril by pulling on the skin to the side of my nose. I was so surprised that I started coughing because suddenly I could breathe and the air felt so new in there. Clearly I can't walk around holding one nostril open all the time, so it seems like it might be time for another sinus surgery. I feel like the last one was pretty pointless. I wonder if I can find someone this time who can make so I can breathe and not totally change/ruin my nose. Add "sinus surgery" to the list of things to do when we have benefited jobs.

I've recently thought about how I really don't do my hair or get dressed up much anymore and it's not just because I prioritize comfort but also because I bike everywhere so it feels like there's no point in being uncomfortable or messing up nice clothes.

It turns out that our upstairs neighbor has a piano! We talked about our favorite musicians and songs for more than an hour before she told me that I'm welcome to come play on her piano. I've gotten my music back from my sister and now I'm pretty dang sure I have at least ten pieces that this neighbor is going to love.

Unfortunately, despite having unpacked all of our boxes and bags, my external hard drive is missing. So much of my last ten years of life is on there, so I sure hope we find it. The only place either of us can imagine it being is buried in Michael's parents' garage somewhere. Argh.

I'm planning a Hackbright Halloween party and it's going to be awesome.

Mark Zuckerberg (of Facebook) posted a video of an interview he gave . . . in Mandarin. It was fun to listen to it. I really like his comprehension, confidence, and big vocabulary, and I hope to get to where he is. I was surprised, though, to realize that his tones aren't so great. I'm not saying that because I want to rip on him. I'm saying that because although I think my tones are pretty good, I need to follow his example. Sometimes the fear of getting a tone wrong keeps me from saying anything, and clearly people who just go for it with whatever tones are still understood and make progress, so I need to get over wanting to get things right and just try to communicate, no matter how messy it is.

So there you go. A very thorough and possibly uninteresting update.


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