Untitled
Why resolutions forever?
Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate — perfectionism — an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us. Mastery is also not the same as success — an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time. Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit. 
- Sarah Lewis
The universal idea of ‘success’ as this one-time, quantifiable, comparable event, a win, is daunting isn’t it? At least for me. Last month when I in between coaching and speaking at RailsGirls, I snuck into Vroman’s Bookstore for some alone time (with WiFi and books). I happened to walk into Sarah Lewis’s book talk when she was talking about the difference of success and mastery. 
It seems like these days the To Do list just keeps on exponentially growing: Eat only local organic foods (Which means going to the groceries more often), cook this way, don’t drive so much, bike walk everywhere, read this, listen to that, wear nice clothes, do quarterly work assessments, network, blah blah. Also run marathons and plan travel trips with tons of friends and visit countries and sign up for Airline points — all part of just weekends and vacations and having fun. It’s exhausting. Even if it’s for fun.
The idea of working on all these things for the rest of my life, though, slowly, keeps me calm and sane. 
keep resolutions forever

i fail at making and keeping new year’s resolutions. it’s easier for me to remember something though, if i’m going to do it for the rest of my life.

this year’s do-forever-resolutions i’ve been obsessing about:

don’t wear high heels. ever. don’t squash my toes into narrow shoes. (done)

don’t kill my knees while standing, sitting - be aware of hyperextending. (working on it)

don’t kill my back and shoulders - be aware of slouching. (learning a lot about muscles!)

—-> make a table for my computer, one where i can use when sitting and standing and yoga-balling. (got on Kickstarter)

- make/get a dining table and rug for sitting on the floor. (done)

coming soon:

—-> hack my car seat so I can sit better. 

—-> get better at keyboard shortcuts. maybe get a mouse or keyboard. learn VIM maybe? (still working on it)

—-> keep walking 10k steps a day. hike on Saturdays.

keep resolutions forever

i fail at making and keeping new year’s resolutions. it’s easier for me to remember something though, if i’m going to do it for the rest of my life.

0. 2009: because i kept on destroying my clothes, don’t buy Forever 21. because i kept on burning myself, wear physical sunscreen always.

1. 2010: don’t get cavities.

2. 2011: because i got a new car, don’t get speeding tickets, DUIs, at-fault collisions, parking tickets. because i got terrible hair and gum pain, don’t use sulfates or harsh chemical toothpastes.

3. 2012: because i wanted to start reading again, read library books! don’t stockpile books i haven’t read.

5. 2013: because i was sick of my job, quit jobs you don’t like & do something interesting.

4. 2014: because i’m feeling chronic pain and aches:

don’t wear high heels. ever. don’t squash my toes into narrow shoes.

don’t kill my knees while standing, sitting - be aware of hyperextending.

don’t kill my back and shoulders - be aware of slouching.

& related projects -

—-> make a table for my computer, one where i can use when sitting and standing and yoga-balling. make/get a dining table and rug for sitting on the floor.

—-> get better bike fit. car fit.

—-> get better at keyboard shortcuts. maybe get a mouse or keyboard.

Word vomit / commit

2013.

I hope I remember the greatest parts of the year as much as the not-so-greatest ones.

I’m getting to that point (25 years and a few days) when I can feel experience in the bones and flesh. Falls ache the knees. Commits creep into the wrists. Sun screen will never be enough. My body won’t let me forget.

There’s that point in the middle of a boulder problem, the crux, when you just have to forget everything and commit to that move. Or else you might not reach it. Even my lazy, scatter-lizard-brained, constantly day-dreaming mind completely stops out of fear or necessity or something. In bicycling, it’s that moment after 99 miles of riding all day, when you come to the last turn and before you is the steepest climb you’ve ever seen. And yet there is no time or energy to complain, cry, pout or even think twice - all you can do is make that move. Just forward pedal - no other thoughts at all.

I feel like I’ve been running on that mode for most of the year. I almost forget where I’ve been coming from. But thinking back on the year, I’ve come a long way. 

(Good) things I did that I’d never done before:

  • rode 100 miles in a day
  • got paid to commit code (!)
  • went to Japan in the winter
  • backpacked on a deserted island 
  • got paid to teach people how to bike in LA
  • rode down a Highway 101 freeway off-ramp. NBD.
  • biked, climbed, cornered and descended Highway 150, Pine Mountain, Sulphur Mountain, Sycamore Canyon 
  • went to rails “meet-ups” by myself even if i had no idea who’d be there or if i’d know anything there or anything really. and even went into a Hackathon with no expecations and still somehow WON something.

(Weird/bad/crazy/scary?/unexpected) things that happened:

  • biked in surprise pouring rain
  • got hit by a car on Santa Monica Blvd.
  • saw cancer in the face. saw my mom help my uncle get out of it.
  • got stranded at Union Station (Uber did not exist yet)
  • fell really hard on a decreasing radius turn at Pine Mtn.
  • fell really hard during a down climb at Pine. very sad knee.
  • realized I hyperextend my knees, over-pronate my feet real bad. 
  • realized, as i was lecturing, that my shorts zipper was unzipped in front of said bicycle safety class
  • went to a tv-taped group interview thingamabob about why women should seek open source web development projects and afterwards, in an all-women, all-stem-coding-learning-women environment, had a conversation that went like this:
  • her, a former banker: ‘why do you want to get into web dev/programming/whateverz?’ 
  • me: ‘i want to help change newspapers and journalism with programming and web development!’
  • her: 'the salary must be so low!' 
  • me: ~~*~*~*ORLY????? BLOWN AWAY*~*~*~ 

In 2014 when I encounter such a conversation, and I know it will happen, I hope to have a better response than just stunned-face.

Authenticity is about imperfection. And authenticity is a very human quality. To be authentic is to be at peace with your imperfections. The great leaders are not the strongest, they are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses. The great leaders are not the smartest; they are the ones who admit how much they don’t know. The great leaders can’t do everything; they are the ones who look to others to help them. Great leaders don’t see themselves as great; they see themselves as human.
Simon Sinek, via Swissmiss (via jenmyers)
Octopress

I made an Octopress blog and am hosting it on Heroku. This involved far more work than it sounds.

Please go there: http://machikoyasuda.herokuapp.com/

One day I’ll figure out how to migrate my Tumblr posts into Octopress.

Ever-growing Ruby list

1. LRTHW

2. Chris Pine

3. Ruby Bits

4. Ruby Koans

100% done with Codecademy Ruby! Now to review my notes. 

98% done with Codecademy Ruby

Monday, notes to self
  • Progress: 90% through with Codecademy Ruby. Learned Blocs, Procs & Lambdas. SPLAT. Twitter API with Ruby, learning to parse XML, JSON. HTTP: GET POST PUT UPDATE. 
  • This week I’d like to finish Codecademy Ruby by tomorrow. Finish Learn Ruby the Hard Way. Test myself this weekend with the rest of Ruby Bits. Continue to read the end of Chris Pine.
  • My next post will be on my Jekyll blog. Which I’ll use Git on.
  • Ps, self, how great are these API intros? Like this one on NHTSA? www.codecademy.com/tracks/nhtsa
Journalism & tech bookshelf

An ideal bookshelf: 

Start with some history - 

  • The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Tim Wu
  • Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson

Visualizing data - 

  • Visualize This, Nathan Yau
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward Tufte

Reference - 

  • The Elements of Style, E.B. White

I need a more in-depth book on cartography and mapping. Maybe an “Elements of Style” for data visualization, if such exists.