Cats and music. Music and cats.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Thanks to Facebook's Memories and Knight Lab's Juxtapose tool I can interactively witness the transformation of my living/dining room. It is reminiscent of the transition from black and white to technicolor in the Wizard of Oz. I clearly do not care about the resale of my apartment as evidenced by my bold color choices. I love living here! Happy five year anniversary!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I have always been tempted by the ukulele but thought it would be too confusing to learn since my main four string instrument is the bass guitar. However one of my friends from college invited me to a ukulele jam which prompted me to make a modestly priced impulse purchase at House of Musical Traditions that I have not regretted! The build quality on the Makala uke pictured above is impressive considering it is priced less than $50.

The ukulele as it turns out is the adult coloring book of instruments. It can be easy or hard depending on your aspirations. As an underachiever, I am happy learning a song a month using online uke tabs or taking lessons with a Ukulele Teacher on YouTube. So far I have learned Katy Perry's "Roar" and the Smiths "I Know It's Over" and the neighbors have not yet complained. It is also a social instrument. I have already participated in two subsequent uke jams organized by local ukulele teachers who lead a group of adults in playing an assortment of current pop songs and oldies. I recommend this instrument if you want a fun musical outlet for 15 minutes a day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My hair before wash and wear!!

I have been going to Hugo Salon in Wheaton for 20 years and highly recommend Toni! I have been a customer for over 20 years!

Sassoon vibes on this one by @saewhat01 ✂️✂️ #hugosalon

A photo posted by Kensington, MD (@hugosalon) on

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Less Late is the New On Time

I am going to make a new year's resolution to get to work on time. Kidding!! I take the red line on DC metro which means this would be an exercise in futility. When I do try to arrive at work early snafus such as trains being taken out of service or power outages disincentivize these efforts. #unsuckmetro is full of tweets to validate my complaints.

I commemorate my rare on-time arrivals to the park conservation job by posing with ranger barbie and coworkers. I am striving for punctuality in the new year without being too attached to the outcome. Despite the delays taking metro is still better than driving in DC and I have an automatic excuse for tardiness!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What a Week!

This has been a phenomenal week! It opened with the unveiling of the new Silver Spring transit center, a multilevel bus depot that has run $80 million dollars over budget and 2 years behind schedule. For the past several years the construction site has been a behemoth obstacle to metro commuters as various agencies squabbled over how to fix structural issues uncovered during its safety inspection. I almost applauded as my bus entered the flashy new terminal on Sunday. I was excited to see Googlemaps was up to speed with the bay numbers as I transfered from the 16th Street bus and an LED screen let me know how long I needed to wait for my connection.

As if this wasn't thrilling enough, the Pope's visit injected some extra excitement into a DC week. Metro's prediction of massive crowds prompted most everyone in the burbs to "work" from home and rendered DC a ghost town. It was like a snow day.

I am one of the last people you would expect to exhibit popemania. Despite being Protestant, my parents sent me to a conveniently located Catholic school. The uniforms took the guesswork out of peer pressured dressing but otherwise it was a shame and guilt-inducing experience. Everything was a sin and there was a patron saint for everything. Any notion of a loving god was replaced with fear of a dogmatic judgmental deity that required bureaucratic adherence to rules and constant donations. Since I wasn't Catholic I was forced to do confession face to face with no screen and felt shunned during communion. I left 6th grade feeling that Catholicism was an anachronistic, patriarchal institution, and the church's handling of the sex abuse scandals and ban on condoms during the AIDS crisis further intensified my alienation.

But Pope Francis' messages on poverty and climate change compelled me to go downtown on Thursday and listen to his historic speech to Congress. Since i didn't have a ticket, I planned on joining the climate rally so as a non-catholic I would have a better excuse for missing half a day at my environmental conservation job. I was greeted at the metro exit by an activist passing out attractive blue posters with pope quotes so I was all set! I got a great seat near a jumbotron.

Much to my surprise Moby was one of the performers and when unexpectedly granted more time at the end of his set he did one of my favorites with help from an amazing vocalist (the shaky cam resulted from me being asked to sign a petition while trying to capture the moment). The pope's message of hope and plea for compassion brought me to tears and the sight of his fiat as his motorcade departed made me squeal. I am so thankful to have been a part of this inspiring, momentous occasion.

The pope's speech had me weeping. You could hear a pin drop on the national mall. I had not been a part of an uplifting event like this since the inauguration and am so thankful to be able to share in the momentous occasion!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

What a Gem!

The next website at the day job will be powered by a Ruby on Rails CMS, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend a $5 workshop organized by Rail Girls DC, the local branch of an international organization founded in Finland. To sweeten the deal, the setup party was hosted by Living Social just a few blocks from my office. And the workshop the following day was walking distance from my apartment at the shiny new Silver Spring municipal center. Free food was provided, including vegan cupcakes sponsored by AT&T. These two days delivered! Not only did I pick up enough lingo to assist my interactions with our web developer, my immersion into this collaborative culture gave me some practice with git and exposure to ruby. Experts in the field also gave inspiring presentations and career advice.

The ruby coding subculture I saw was a supportive ecosystem in which people solve problems together on online forums and at meet-ups, and share code on github. Despite being largely self taught in HTML and CSS, I learned the value of personal training and being able to ask for help during a 3 hour session of building a ruby blog with helpful volunteer coaches at my table. This $5 course changed my life! There is so much to learn, so little time, but I don't have to know it all. There are plenty of  resources out there, all I need is a willingness to learn, a comfort with not knowing yet, and curiosity matched with perseverance. Thank you Rails Girls!