Cliché du jour: Not enough time in the day

I know. I know. Join the bloody club. “Not enough time in the day” is usually followed by a whinge-fest of some kind. Not always. Not this time. I hope. If this comes off as whiny, slap me. Go on. Do it. (Oh the fun I have when we are not face to face.)

Everyday starts with the same plan:

  • Warm up with Free Code Camp
  • Look for jobs
  • Code like a beast (my own, not FCC)
  • Run or long walk
  • Apply for those jobs I’ve saved (3/day)
  • Blog the process

And every stinkin’ day ends with all but the blogging and applying done. I do not dislike blogging. I can write like a beast. The problem is that once I’m coding, I’m gone for the day. I love it. LOVE. IT!

This is my problem: I am not applying as often as I should because I rather code. I feel ripped off when I stop. Can’t employers just ring my doorbell and see that I’m a tenacious Tasmanian debbil on the laptop? Can’t you just glean what my process is?

The other issue is “sleep hygiene”. I think the most ideal time to blog is just before I go to bed, but I am a night owl by nature. I do not need more to keep me up. I’m trying to squeeze in paper and ink time. I am also trying to just squeeze in my own tush:

The IHateToast pack at a La Quinta over Thanksgiving


There you have it. I’m not being a good newbie dev because I can’t stop coding. Unlike at The Iron Yard, there isn’t a sense of rush and panic. That’s the nature of a 3-month boot camp. No regrets and no complaints. That is the nature of the beast. Then I coded as much as possible to get the assignment done as well as new skills into my brain. This time around, I am making my own things, improving my old homework (so much ew!), and learning new things (Sketch is my current fav). And what happens when it doesn’t work? I stick with it like before, but without worry. I feel like the sleepy lioness with the elusive code-hyena. I didn’t get you today, Code-Hynie, but tomorrow you are my lunch.

I’ll be good from now on. I promise. I promise the way I promise myself to overdo it at an ice cream shop. Yeah. My word is not much at times.


Almost five months after graduating from The Iron Yard, I have decided to revisit old homework assignments. Most were due the by midnight the day that they were assigned, the exception being Thursdays’ were due Sundays by midnight.

I know that for many I’ll just want to restyle them or expand them to fulfill what I want them do to or look like. I’m not at the bootcamp anymore, so they are no longer assignments. My stuff; my rules.

Some, however, will be ones I did when I started to lose my mind with the stress and pressure. Oh, and the breaking plumbing. I’ve already had a look at their old repos and read my comments to my instructors. And by “comments”, I mean diary of melting down. I roll my eyes at myself, but I shouldn’t. I should respect that I went through a hard time and came out ok. If only I had GitHub for everything I went through. My old high school homework and university assessments are long gone. I don’t remember what stumped me or how various crises in love, family, and health affected my work. GitHub recorded more than the versions of my code; it recorded my emotional state. Am I saving it? Farkenelleno.

Cliché schmeeshay, but we truly are our own worst enemy.

Connie Dotlogue

Console.log has become my best friend. That’s too much. It’s not like console.log will ever encourage me to go for that second scoop of ice cream. Rather, console.log has become my code-specific bestie, Connie Dotlogue.

Looking back on how I started to learn JavaScript, console.log was not unlike knitting that gauge swatch. I hated it. It was a time waster. It came between coming up with a new idea and building something from that new idea. Every day is a struggle with impulsivity when you have ADHD.

It never failed that when I’d knit without doing a swatch first, I’d have to undo half of the sweater, mitten, whatever. Or I’d just stubbornly finish it and give it to someone with the idea it was always for him. Yes, him, because I don’t have a lot of female friends who are 6′ tall and weigh 200 pounds. My little impulsive self has learned to do the swatch. I still roll my eyes. I still hum and rock back and forth because this is killing me inside, but I get over it (often with cake), and eventually do the math, convert my pattern, and make something purty.

Console.log interrupted me in the same way:

Moi: Bah! Console dot log tonsil got frog. I’m on a roll. I’m on fire. LOOK AT ME I’M — fut the wuck? Why won’t my code work?

TIY Instructor A: What happened when you console logged it?

TIY Instructor J: You did console log it, right?

Moi: Mmmmmmmayb—no. No. I did not. DAMMIT! Found out and shamed.

Unlike the swatch, console.log can be what I want it to be. Just writing console.log(charArr) or console.log(“you got to here”) would do nothing for me. It wasn’t until I learned to have a full on chat with myself that I met Connie Dotlogue. If it is fun, I will do it all of the time. I amuse myself. These are my experiments, my solutions to algorithms, my projects, so Connie has the personality I need for each project. Sometimes it has a potty mouth. Other times it’s sassy. When I’m really being taxed, consol

screenshot of text editor

I know. When I do this for a team or an employer, Connie will have to wear her casual-Friday attire, but until then she is wearing a t-shirt and no pants!

Going back that second time

Going back to camp after your first spectacular time will disappoint. I never went to the same overnight camp. Not a camp person. I enjoy camping, but surrounding myself with people who cheerfully sing bad songs, make popsicle-stick art, and swim/pee in a junky lake was never my idea of heaven. For me, the woods should be quiet. I get it, though. We can look at camp as a metaphor. You can have this great time at camp, on your junior year abroad, at a destination reunion, and when you sign up for a repeat, you expect the same emotions and unfairly compare the two experiences.

We do it all of the time. No other hyperspace will feel like the one I saw in Star Wars: a new hope. I’m sure some of the jumps into hyperspace have been better, but they lack the holy-moly of my first time.

Going back to my “final” project is giving me the same anxiety. I am not completely done. Done enough for Demo Day, but not done enough for me. I loved my project. It introduced me to ReactJS and allowed me to fully explore and play with it. So what happened? Like the grimey middle schoolers at Camp Crawdaddy, I packed up my things to go home and pick up my summer reading list for the next grade. I put away my project to revisit vanilla JavaScript, jQuery, and AJAX. I made time to learn new things (Canvas, jQueryUI) and play with various APIs.

I need to return to my project, but I’m scared. What if I don’t have as much fun? The thrill of prepping for Demo Day at The Iron Yard is gone. There’s no stress of getting it all done in time. I have no schedule. I also have no cohort friends next to me to start each day with a stand-up. Slack isn’t the same as being in one space and hearing our f-bombs and huzzahs.

And what if I don’t like it anymore?

I stare at it the way my flat-chested, pimple-faced self stared at the cute boys at the bar and bat mitzvah dances. I’m too scared to approach my project. What if it wants to make out behind the bleachers? I’M NOT READY! And without my peers, there’s no pressure. Dang it!

Is it too much to ask that my final project wait for me outside of a church in a red sports car (ok, Aprillia with an extra helmet) and have a cake ready for me?




Ton of anything, really

Why bricks? A ton is a ton. I’ve been hit by a ton of something.

I built my portfolio quickly to have something out there while I applied. I didn’t want to fuss over it and lose days. I promised myself that I’d get back to it. I made that promise in late May. It’s early October. Oh hey. Lookie here. It’s still there waiting. Patient little bugger.

I got my index2.html going when I got a call from my dad. The official diagnosis is acute myeloma leukemia. He has 4-6 months if he forgoes treatment and 9 if he doesn’t.

I looked back at my code. It’ll be there tomorrow when I have a different reason to get my portfolio done. Who cares about prospective employers. I’m building it for my dad. 2008-11-01-14-10-34

The US is a big country

Yeah yeah. We all know that. Sort of. We know it, but we do not feel the consequences of it if we don’t do anything that confronts its size. A road trip from Maine to San Diego would do it. So would being open to relocation for a job. And there’s my topic.

I’m not married to Austin. Austin has a mystique for many, but I moved here from Australia. I’m a little spoiled. Austin is great, though. It is not perfect. It’s segregated, has only buses (*cough* it’s 2016!), and is car-centric no matter what you’ve been told. White bike lanes are cute. Show me office buildings with showers. Plan A is, of course, staying here, but I have plans C, C, D, M, and SA: Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, and San Antonio. I am aware that I am writing this list in Austin in early October. Let’s see how I feel in January.

Are those cities all I have? No. The US is huge, and I feel it as I surf Indeed and Dice and look at the map. Places I’m willing to move to are far from my immediate family. Really far. Holy-moly-this-country-is-big far. My brain hurts.