Why I Decided to Learn Programming

I’m no stranger to technology. I’m an early adopter of web, desktop, and mobile technologies, I created my first couple of websites in HTML and CSS when I was 12. I’ve been working in community engagement & production in the social/mobile video game industry for around six years and worked as a platform evangelist for leading e-commerce outsourcing company before that. I’ve been reading Hacker News diligently since the month it was released. I am obsessed with technology in general, sometimes unhealthily so.

I’ve always skirted around learning how to code. I’ve played around a bit with scripting, but I can’t say I’m proficient in Lua by any means. I’ve edited countless Wordpress themes, but I can’t author anything in PHP. I always have ideas about things I want to build, but the fact that I don’t know where to begin has always held me back. I’m not the kind of person who likes to give up just because I don’t know how to start.

As a video game producer, much of my role has been to work alongside engineers and ensure that the product they’re delivering is on time and on spec. It’s not the most glamorous of jobs — I’m often the “bad guy”, and I spend a lot of time asking why people aren’t working fast or hard enough. I have to ask questions like: “Why did you choose to build it that way?” or “Why did it take you two days longer than you predicted to build this feature?” I hate asking those questions. I don’t like telling people how to do their jobs or implying that they’re not performing up to expectations. I feel like a hypocrite since I’m not the one in the trenches, taking someone else’s spec and delivering back a working version of what they asked for. And while I’d never downplay the producer role and how important it is, at the end of the day I don’t feel like I am building things. That’s the root of the issue to me.

I’m not the one who decides what to build, designs the user experiences and flows, and optimizes for end user enjoyment of what we’re building. I’m not the one who creates the art that delights the users, the animations that dance across the application, or the sound effects that complement the total package. I don’t build out the features, so I don’t get that fantastic feeling of seeing something I created working in front of me for the first time. I love watching a product grow and knowing that I had a hand in the process that takes it from A to B, but I want to be the one to take it there.

I’ve always loved to blog. There is something amazing about putting words down on a digital page, sharing it with friends, family, and strangers, and watching it spread around the web as readers comment on and critique it. I thrive off of the feedback and the feeling that other people might get something from their experience: a new perspective, education about a topic they weren’t familiar with, an emotional feeling while they read what I’ve written. I’m learning to code so that I can have that same experience — I want to conceive an idea, sit down and prototype it, and then build it from scratch and launch it to be used by people around the world. I would also love for someone to come to me and tell me they have a fantastic idea and are yearning for someone to make it become a reality. That sounds like the ultimate job satisfaction — to build products that someone, even if it’s just the designer, will appreciate.

I started out with JavaScript and Python at Codecademy, then moved on to a Ruby on Rails class that taught me how to build an app from start to finish. I’ve moved on now to Team Treehouse and am working on a project with a programmer friend of mine. And I’m chronicling my journey in learning to code over here, so feel free to follow along.

Next Story — 4 Media & Web Trends That Need to Burn In Hell
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4 Media & Web Trends That Need to Burn In Hell

  1. Intrusive popups encouraging you to sign up for their newsletter (or download a free ebook with writing that I’m sure is utterly fantastic). You know the ones: cleverly crafted by “copyhackers” to use some kind of social or moral experiment to entice you to enter your email into the box and forever lose your privacy. “But wait! Don’t leave! Join up and receive MailChimp spam forever, when we put you on a carefully cultivated drip campaign to get you to buy our shit/click our ads/sign up!” Basically, EFF YOU SUMOME.

2. News articles without publishing dates, because apparently a great way for sites to be driven 100% by social media shares is to make sure that the outdated content you’re sharing seems like it happened just today. And then you can use tools like Edgar to tweet and post that content over and over and over and over again and no one will know that you’re spamming something you wrote in 2011.

3. Online galleries with 20 click-through screens to tell the whole story. Can’t we just agree that the “view on one page” option should be default so that we’re not all getting carpal tunnel from clicking through these horrible pieces of content?

4. Ads that open in a new tab when you click on a text field. You’ll most often notice this if you frequent torrent tracker sites, not that you would do that (and I certainly wouldn’t). Jeez. Can’t a girl just search for Bey’s Lemonade without being bombarded with malware spam?

Next Story — Looking Back on 2015
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Looking Back on 2015

I have had a lot of easy years, but this was not one of them.

The year started out with a fertile bang, suspecting I was pregnant for a couple of days before confirming it in a hotel bathroom in Santa Monica. The situation was more awkward than you’d think, given that I was sharing said room with my boss. Imagine me, screaming in excitement in the bathroom without making a sound, texting photos of the pee stick to my husband, walking calmly back to bed without saying a word to my manager. That was definitely awkward.

Then set in the morning sickness. Never in my life had I felt such debilitating nausea. Every day from morning until night for four months straight, I felt utterly awful. Working was hard, my social life took a hit, and all my brilliant plans to keep exercising throughout pregnancy went down the shitter. I finally got a magical drug concoction that made it all bearable, but it contained Unisom and made me exhausted all day (on top of the typical exhaustion one experiences while making a human.)

Meanwhile, we were trying to sell our house and buy a new one. This was a complete nightmare. I fell in love with the house of our dreams and our offer was rejected, despite being above asking. I have never cried over a house before, and though I’d like to blame hormones…I think it was mostly unrelated. Our first sale on our home fell through, and the second one ended up being a giant clusterfuck that required us to pay for all sorts of repairs we didn’t expect to pay.

During all this, I found out that a couple of my friends were saying hurtful things behind my back and had been for years. I cut that relationship off and made a commitment to myself to spend more energy on the positive friendships in my life. This was a burden that felt good to move on from.

After moving into our new house, we were riddled with problems. There was a leaking faucet, a rat infestation, our dogs were fighting with the neighbor dogs through the fence so we had to get new fencing. Electrical problems, a leaking roof, new carpet because of dog urine and skunk smell, you name it. We felt cursed.

As soon as we moved into the new house, our four year old Boxer (and my favorite dog on the planet) got sick. She had two surgeries to remove tumors, bounced back for a little while, and then was diagnosed with gastrointestinal lymphoma. We spent thousands in chemotherapy treatment for her, hoping to get another year but only got two short months. She survived long enough to meet our son when he was born, but died a month later to the day on October 23 just a couple weeks shy of her 5th birthday. Today, I still feel intense sadness when I think of her. I don’t regret the chemo, but I wish we could have been more attentive in her last month with a newborn. I miss her so much, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop hurting.

But the birth of my son took us out of a painful months-long rut. My labor was challenging and resulted in c-section, my son wasn’t breathing for a bit when he was first born. But Henry Joseph Sigmund arrived on September 23 and was such a miracle to meet. He has been the brightest light and has changed our life for the better in so many ways that I can’t even describe. He set me on a new course and offered me so much to hope for and look forward to in 2016. I am so grateful for getting to spend three months of maternity leave with him.

I don’t know what 2016 will hold. I moved my horse to a new ranch 5 minutes from my house and I am looking forward to riding her more. I am eager to get my physical fitness back and hike some mountains. I hope to do fulfilling work for my career and launch my own business and be the best mother I can possibly be. Onward!

Next Story — 100 Facts About Me
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100 Facts About Me

  1. I have a tendency to pick up people’s unique words they say, but then I get really embarrassed if I actually use the word in front of them.
  2. When I was in grade school, I thought I was a wolf. I used to tell people my name was White Fang and howl on top of my desk.
  3. People used to say that I looked like the young boy from Growing Pains, which I always hated because I thought he was ugly.
  4. In college, my best friend and I sat on opposite sides of the classroom, each with our own bowls of cereal. Because we only had one milk, we would pass it around the classroom in order to share it. Teachers were never amused by us.
  5. Likewise, at our first high school job (Petco) we were banned from working the same shifts together because of how unruly we were.
  6. One of our favorite pastimes was to yell out our car window and take a photo of the person right when they looked at us with surprise/fear/anger. To this day, I wonder what the photo lab technician at Walgreens thought when developing these.
  7. My first horse was a bay Morgan/Arabian gelding named Rocky, which I got when I was 11. After selling him, I spent many years trying to find him to buy him back. I never did find him. Today he would be 25 years old, but I’m not sure if he’s still alive.
  8. I obsessively check Facebook because I can’t stand seeing the red notification number on my home screen.
  9. I have over 500 Facebook friends but I have hid all but 50 from my newsfeed. I find a lot of social media posts aggravating.
  10. Sometimes I do things just so I can post about them on the internet. I usually enjoy doing them and I am happy that I did.
  11. I rarely ever finish a video game. However, I have probably beat Mario 3 300 times in my life.
  12. I gawk at stranger’s dogs on the street all the time.
  13. Things I want to do in life before I go: open a dog and horse rescue, become a software engineer, move to someplace with lots of land, own my own successful business, run a 10k without walking.
  14. I watch a ton of documentaries and I am very easily swayed by them. I became vegetarian after watching Earthlings, and vegan after watching Cowspiracy.
  15. Whenever I see a Mini Cooper, I think of Boxer dogs.
  16. I use a lot of commas and adverbs when I write.
  17. I always drink hot tea with milk. “The British Way” my grandma would say.
  18. I sun tan really easily and don’t burn very quickly. I have been really bad about not using sunscreen most of my life. I will regret this.
  19. I hate the way velvet feels, but especially when my hands are wet.
  20. I cry at all commercials with Budweiser horses or dogs.
  21. Aside from riding horses, I tend to pick up hobbies and quit them before ever getting good at anything.
  22. I get more and more socially awkward the older I get. Sometimes, even making eye contact is hard for me.
  23. I have a habit of starting a book and enjoying it, then recommending it to Luke, then quitting the book before I finish. We rarely get to discuss the ending of books with each other.
  24. I am really good with directions. I always have a map inside my head with my position on it when I am driving around.
  25. I drive 10x slower and more careful with my son in the car.
  26. I quit Girl Scouts because I got frustrated when I couldn’t eat with chopsticks properly. I still can’t.
  27. I cry during horse races on TV. I think the horses look so majestic. But I am anti-horse racing industry nowadays, so I stay away from the actual races.
  28. I have had 8 horses in my life. Rocky was my first (see #7 above). I then bought Princess Em (Emma), a Thoroughbred mare that I owned for many years. After her came Flying Y Smitty (Zodiak), a black & white APHA gelding. For a short time, I owned Red River, a grade quarter horse trail pony. When I moved to San Diego, I bought Finnegan, a TB gelding that was absolutely mad. I gave him away after he tried to kill me a few times, and ended up buying Jaina, a grade QH mare. After Jaina, I owned Smokey for a few months before moving to San Francisco and selling him in the process. Finally, I bought ARC Custom Blend (Rosie), an AQHA mare that I’ve had for 2 1/2 years.
  29. I have no tattoos. I’ve had lots of piercings over the years, but currently only have my ears and my nose pierced. My labret piercing messed up my lower gums.
  30. I hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars movies until 2015, when my husband made me watch them all over a week. Secret: I enjoyed them quite a lot. Embarrassing secret: I especially like the ewoks. :)
  31. I’m a nail biter. The only time I don’t bite my nails is if I have a gel manicure, but then sometimes I get claustrophobic with fake nails on.
  32. I don’t think my social media presence accurately does a good job of portraying the person I am in real life. I think the online version of me might be annoying and insufferable. Sometimes I worry that I’m that way in real life too.
  33. Truth is, I don’t have a lot of adult friends that I’m really close to anymore. Most days, it’s just me and my husband. I have my longtime best friend here, but other than that I don’t really socialize much with people in real life. I have a few other close great friends but they’re not in San Diego, so our communication is mostly done via text or IM.
  34. The older I get, the harder I find it is to meet new people. I don’t quite understand how to move from casual acquaintances to friends who actually hang out and do things together.
  35. I like watching bad reality shows like Extreme Couponing, 90 Day Fiance, Millionaire Matchmaker, Million Dollar Listing: LA, etc. even though I know they’re 90% fake. I then complain throughout the show about how fake and scripted they are.
  36. 90% of my TV watching is HGTV. My favorite personalities on the channel are Nicole Curtis (Rehab Addict) and Joanna & Chip (Fixer Upper). My least favorite are the two assholes from Flip or Flop.
  37. I haven’t gotten a max level character in an MMO other than WoW in 10+ years. Some days I worry that I don’t even like MMOs anymore.
  38. I quit drinking diet soda a few years ago and now I mostly drink sparkling water and tea.
  39. I spent 22 years not liking broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussel sprouts or soy milk and now I enjoy all these things. I still hate mushrooms and seafood.
  40. When I was younger, my parents and I would visit the Como Lake all the time and I named a male & female duck pair Quacky (male) and Stubborn (female). Every time we went back, my parents would “find” Quacky & Stubborn for me. It’s only recently that I realized that they were different ducks every time.
  41. My favorite pie is Pumpkin Pie, but I actually don’t like the whole pumpkin spice craze. Most of the items available around the holidays are gross.
  42. My favorite flavorings are: buffalo sauce, balsamic, lemon, almond, cinnamon. Not all together though.
  43. I drink a Starbucks Venti Iced Chai with nonfat milk and no ice every day. I try to stop the habit (because I know it’s horrible empty calories and it’s like $120/month) but I haven’t been able to quit it since becoming pregnant. Working on that…
  44. I have never joined an online dating site to find a partner. I did, however, join OK Cupid to try to find platonic friends. It didn’t work.
  45. One time, I placed an ad on Craigslist looking for nerdy guys to date in Minnesota. I found one and we went to a Weezer concert together and then I found out he was a huge creep.
  46. My car is a RAV4 that I named “Ravioli”.
  47. I once dipped my white cat (named Workboot because she liked to sleep in my dad’s work boots) in ink. She died shortly after and to this day my parents swear that it wasn’t my fault. I’m not so sure.
  48. I fell out of my crib when I was 2 or 3 and broke my arm. When we went to the doctor, they ended up putting the cast on the wrong arm and my mom didn’t notice until we got home.
  49. I had shingles as an adult, and it was horrible.
  50. Aside from a few sips of wine on Thanksgiving, I haven’t had an alcoholic drink in a year. I used to be a huge fan of craft beer and wine, but I think those days may be behind me.
  51. I almost backed over a person with my car at Starbucks many years ago. I was going very slow and she slammed her hand on the truck of my car and screamed at me. I felt horrible.
  52. One month after moving to San Diego from Minnesota, my best friend and I were evacuated from our apartment due to wildfires and had to stay with a friend for a few days. It was terrifying, but also really exciting in a way.
  53. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people are playing a console game and they move the controller upward when jumping. I also hate when people talk with their mouths full.
  54. I have a hard time relating to elderly people. I’m always really awkward when I talk to them.
  55. Likewise, I have a hard time relating to young people too.
  56. When I close my eyes and try to think of a “happy place”, it’s usually a cabin by a lake up in the mountains, a roaring fireplace with a dog sprawled out in front of it, thick socks and slippers, comfy leggings, a mug of hot cocoa in my hand, and snow gently falling outside. So basically, the opposite of San Diego.
  57. I used to think “attachment parenting” was for helicopter parents, but after having my son I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m following. Funny how things change.
  58. I used to go sing karaoke almost every week. Now I haven’t been in many months.
  59. The older I get, the more alto I become. Not sure I could even be a 2nd soprano anymore at this point.
  60. I hate the concept of zoos but I love seeing the animals.
  61. I could never, EVER, live in a tiny house. I need my space and my things, even though it’s trendy to be minimalist nowadays.
  62. I get disgusted when I think about where eggs come from.
  63. My favorite movie of all time is Black Beauty. I cry every time I watch it.
  64. One time, I went to dump a cup of soda out the window. But the window wasn’t open. Soda everywhere.
  65. I want to own my own business, but I’m worried I won’t succeed.
  66. One of my life strategies that I live by is “fake it until you make it”. I generally know less than I pretend I know, but I make up for it with confidence and the ability to learn quickly.
  67. I got my real estate license in 2014, but quickly found out that I’m pretty terrible at sales. Turns out, it’s not just looking at homes, negotiating contracts, and buying & selling. You have to build up contacts by cold calling and hounding friends, and I am no good at that.
  68. I find that a lot of the popular and trendy games in the indie games scene are too experimental and abstract for my enjoyment. Latest example: Undertale.
  69. I take lukewarm showers.
  70. I haven’t had my natural hair color in over 15 years.
  71. I love decorating the Christmas tree each year with holiday music on.
  72. When I swim, I only do the doggy paddle.
  73. I’ve been engaged to be married twice, but I usually don’t count the first one since he made me pick out my own ring and we never set a date before we broke up.
  74. I used to love to pretend my bike was a horse and ride it around town, even when I had a real horse.
  75. I don’t really have a personal fashion sense. I tend to wear what’s comfortable and half the time I probably look frumpy. I’m a jeans & t-shirt or hoodie kind of gal.
  76. I never laugh out loud when I’m alone, even while watching a comedy movie or reading something funny.
  77. I also never talk out loud to myself, so it’s been a challenge with a newborn making sure that I engage him frequently.
  78. I used to be a big fan of mosh pits until I got elbowed in the nose really hard.
  79. My favorite genre of movie is documentary, the more depressing the better. I don’t know what it is, but I love crying at movies.
  80. The only regret I have in life is not going to college for Computer Science when I was younger. For some reason, the thought never occurred to me and instead I wasted a lot of money chasing degrees in fields I had little actual interest in.
  81. I research basically everything on the internet before I buy it. This comes in handy sometimes and is probably frustrating to others.
  82. I’m a huge fan of trying new restaurants and staying on top of the local restaurant scene. This has kind of dwindled since moving to the suburbs and having a baby.
  83. I don’t have very good spatial awareness. I’m always in people’s way when I’m out shopping or in crowds.
  84. My favorite breed of horse is Quarter Horse, but I do have a special spot in my heart for Thoroughbreds. And I’d love a Gypsy Vanner someday.
  85. I used to call Corvettes “quarter vets”. And remote control cars “electrocuted cars”.
  86. I have basic coding skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Lua, Ruby, and Python. Master of none, as they say.
  87. I never watched Buffy.
  88. I worried when I was pregnant that I’d have an ugly baby. Superficial I know, but it was a valid concern of mine. Thankfully, I no longer have that worry.
  89. If a game has a bad or ugly UI, I can’t devote any attention to it. It’s mostly why my attempts to go back and play EverQuest or EverQuest II usually fail.
  90. I prefer avatars that are non-human. My favorite race in EverQuest was the Vah Shir. In World of Warcraft, I have mained a Tauren for like 10 years.
  91. I had a lot of fun in Second Life back in the day. I never built anything, but I loved being a ‘tourist’ and checking out the things people built.
  92. I have never paid more than $25 for a purse. I have, however, paid over $300 for a baby carrier.
  93. I don’t drink enough water. It’s probably the #1 thing I could do to improve my overall health.
  94. Likewise, I don’t pee very much. Usually I go from like 9am until 5pm without peeing. The internet says this means I’m dehydrated, so I should probably drink more water. Especially since I’m breastfeeding.
  95. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt really GOOD at something. Being a mom is the first thing I’ve felt really great at in many years.
  96. I have a sword hanging on my living room wall. It’s an EverQuest II sword that my husband got from working on it.
  97. I’m ridiculously proud of my husband, but I probably don’t tell him enough. Like, I’m a fangirl of his. He’s great at his job and so committed to his work and he does awesome things. He’s also exactly what I’ve ever wanted in a partner. I am so incredibly lucky.
  98. I haven’t been single since 1998 for longer than a month.
  99. I used to be a dog bather at Petsmart, but I hated it. The dogs were no problem, but the owners were batshit insane.
  100. One year, I snooped and found my Christmas presents in my parents’ closet. I saw that they got me a globe, which I hadn’t asked for. So then, I went to my mom and said “You know what I want for Christmas? A globe!”, exposing that I snooped. Oops.

Phew, that was long. I originally intended to do 219 facts, but I could barely come up with 100. Oh well. :)

Next Story — This is Your Life in Silicon Valley
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Silicon Valley — Photo Credit — Vadim Kurland

This is Your Life in Silicon Valley

You wake up at 6:30am after an Ambien-induced sleep. It’s Friday. Last night at The Rosewood was pretty intense — you had to check out Madera and see if there is any truth to the long running Silicon Valley rumors. You were disappointed, but at least you did get to see a few GPs from prominent VC firms at the bar. Did they notice you? Did you make eye contact? You remind yourself they are not real celebrities — only well known in a 15-mile radius to the Techcrunch-reading crowd.

Your non-English-speaking nanny shows up at 7:30am on the nose. You are paying her $24/hour and entrusting her (and Daniel the Tiger) with raising your child. You tell yourself that it’s ok for now — when he’s old enough he’ll (someday) be in public school in the Palo Alto school district.

You commit to being a better parent this weekend and spending more quality time with him as you browse through the latest headlines on Flipboard. You recently realized he may not be the next Mark Zuckerberg after all — still you send him to a music school even though he’s only 3. You swear he’s a genius because he can say a few 4-syllable words and can clap perfectly to the beat of “Call me Maybe”. He’s special. He is destined for greatness and you’ll make sure he achieves every ounce of it. After all, both of you are so smart and accomplished.

Cal Academy of Sciences — Photo Credit: Brook Peterson

You ask your nanny if she has any availability to watch your son this weekend. Bummer — you wish Cal Academy of Sciences hadn’t sold you on the annual pass 11 months ago. You figured you’d be going there every weekend, but only ended up going the one time. Not a break even proposition for you.

Your wifi enabled coffee maker downloads the perfect instructions to brew a cup of Blue Bottle — and you don’t have to do anything. The Roomba purrs in the background while you continue to read from your smartphone. You see a few articles about Trump and how crazy he is — somehow this comforts you.

You decide to share an article about Brexit from “The Atlantic”, which will somehow shed light to all your friends as to why it happened. The article is 1,000 words long — you only read half of it, but that’s good enough. It captures all the arguments you’ve been wanting to make for the past two months to your friends. Will this be the Facebook post that finally spurns your friends into action? You realize your Facebook friends all agree with your political views and social views already.

Fifteen minutes — only 3 likes — better luck next time. The Facebook Newsfeed algorithm totally fucked you — you should have shared from your browser, not your phone, and perhaps at a more optimal time.

But then you realize another friend already shared the article. You feel stupid.

Youtube office in San Bruno — photo credit Travis Wise

Your spouse hurriedly gets ready for work — you are a two income family and you have to be one for now. The spreadsheet shows that with only three more years’ savings, you can finally afford that 2 bedroom condo in San Bruno. So what if the weather is shitty 340 days out of the year? At least you’ll be homeowner in the Bay Area — and nothing says you’ve “made it” like being able to afford a down payment. Besides, San Bruno is “up and coming” — and Youtube has an office there.

Your commute to work sucks, but at least its an opportunity to catch up on Podcasts so you can have great conversations over cocktails with your friends. Should you listen to “Serial Season 2” today? Or should you listen to that amazing “Startup” podcast? So many choices, so little time. You instead decide to expand your horizons by trying a new playlist on Spotify — something about Indian-infused-jazz music. It sounds great. It makes you feel cultured.

You decide to park your car using “Luxe” today. You justify it to yourself by saying that parking garages are only $10 less expensive. And you have to spend all of that time walking back and forth. And besides — today you are meeting some friends after work for dinner and you’ll be on the other end of town. You can’t decide whether you’ll take Uber or Lyft to the dinner from your office — decisions, decisions.

You are the Director of Business Development at your startup. You aren’t even sure what that means, but the startup seems to be doing well. Your company recently raised a round and was featured in Techcrunch. You have 5,000 stock options. You aren’t exactly sure what that means, but that must be good. If you exit, maybe that will mean money toward a down payment.

Your day starts in Salesforce. You have to email a bunch of people. You briefly contemplate a business idea you have that will totally kill Salesforce and Facebook at the same time. But you need a technical co-founder. Eventually you’ll get to it — after all, you’re smart and destined for greatness yourself. And your friends all tell you how you should start something someday.

Your 27-year-old CEO calls an ad-hoc all-hands meeting and regales about company culture and how your mission is to “kill email because it’s broken”. He wants to make every enterprise company in the world switch to your product. He’s never worked for an enterprise company, or any other company at all.

The sales team got rowdy the night before. They missed their quota, but it was not their fault — it was implementation’s fault for fucking up a major deal. Also — marketing didn’t send them enough inbound leads for them to hit quota. Maybe next quarter. You trade emails with your college buddies on Gmail about how ridiculous Kevin Durant is for joining the Warriors. You come to realize email is working just fine for you. You feel depressed for a moment. Your summer intern is trying to figure out a Snapchat strategy.

Philz Coffee — photo credt: Rick.

It’s time for that afternoon coffee to keep you going through the day. You head over to Philz with some co-workers. You order a vegan donut and very clearly ask the barista for 3 Splendas. He was clearly a Splenda short, but the line is long and you want to be civil. You are above mentioning something like this to the barista — you let it pass and feel a “micro aggression” bubbling inside.

You have to decide where to go for dinner tonight. You look at Yelp for a place that’s within 1 mile and is rated at least 3.5 stars. But really you’re looking for something 4 stars plus and at least $$$. What will your friends think of you if you pick a place that’s too cheap? But you also don’t want to go $$$$ because that’s too expensive. You have good taste. This comforts you.

You realize your reservation with your spouse at the French Laundry is coming up this weekend. Your calendar app reminds you of this. You’ve been looking forward to it for months. You can’t wait to take perfectly Instagrammed photos of the meal to go along with your perfectly Instagrammed life.

#San Francisco is trending on Twitter. You realize the San Francisco journalism community is angry about something — they are full of rage at the way a homeless person is being treated. The reporters all share photos and videos of the homeless person, but no one talks to him.

It’s time for some afternoon Facebook browsing. Your friends are all doing SO well. You are secretly jealous of your friend who just bought a house in the Noe. You speculate as to how rich they must be after their exit from LinkedIn. Even though they were only employee #500 they must have done well. You briefly try to do the math in your head. Maybe that can be you at your current startup. It’s only a matter of time.

More browsing. One friend was employee #5 at a company that just sold to Twitter. They must have made so much money, you think. You like the status, but you are jealous. Another friend’s kid seems to be more advanced than your kid based on the Vine they just shared of them playing the piano. Damnit, need to be a better parent.

You go to Redfin to see how much they paid for their house.

You briefly daydream about how you once had an opportunity to work at Google pre-IPO. And that you could have joined Facebook right after IPO — and imagine that — the stock price has tripled in a short amount of time. Would that have been the big break you needed?

Your CEO grabs you in a panic and asks you to do a quick analysis for a board member. The board member was base jumping in Mexico and panicked about something related to burn rate and strategy. The CEO’s job is at risk.

Microsoft Excel — photo credit Collin Anderson.

You do the grunt work and analysis, and finish it just in time for him to breathe a sigh of relief and tell you what an “Excel Ninja” you are. Your analysis makes you realize the company maybe should have saved money on office space, and perhaps the rock climbing wall and Segways. You realize your CEO knows nothing about your business.

Your mind briefly drifts off and you think — “is this all really worth it? should I move to Seattle, Austin, or maybe even Florida?” After all there is no state tax and you could live a great quality of life there with an actual house with your beautiful family.

You browse Redfin again. Hmmm. Maybe not Austin — what about something less ambitious like Fremont, Morgan Hill or Milpitas? That wouldn’t solve your commute problems, you think. It would be more affordable though.

Delicious looking cupcakes — photo credit Frederic Bisson.

You know what? If you move to Austin you could somehow get by. After all your spouse is so amazing at baking. She could easily make a living selling her cupcakes — she has so much talent as a cook and you could afford culinary school. Worst case, she also has an amazing knack for craft jewelry. The three pieces she sold on Etsy last month are evidence of that. How talented both of you are.

And hey — if you move to Austin, you can finally build that home with a “Zen minimalist” theme you’ve been dreaming of. You go to Bluhome’s website — their design aesthetic perfectly matches yours. You just need to save the money to make it happen. You browse Pinterest and Houzz for ideas on how to decorate the interior. Is Red or Navy Blue TOO bold of a color? You don’t know. Maybe you should use an on-demand service for that.

You forgot to order groceries and the nanny needs milk for your kid ASAP. She texts you frantically in broken English. Thank goodness for Instacart — you spend $10 in delivery costs, but you need to add a bunch of items to your cart to hit the minimum threshold. You add a few squeezies, some bananas and a few artisan cheeses to hit the mark. You realize you haven’t stepped into a grocery store for months — but don’t worry — your opportunity cost of time is way too high at the moment. Especially if you factor in those stock options.

Almost time for dinner. You are having dinner tonight with the “Chief Hacking Officer” at the company and the “VP of Awesomeness”. You arrive at the restaurant, and they marvel at your taste — nice job surfing Yelp.

Your dinner conversation centers around how autonomous vehicles are going to be better in the long run than ordinary cars for a variety of reasons. And something about how Elon Musk handles meetings. You are all too busy making your own points and citing articles to really listen to each other. You order the $17 dollar Risotto and the $9 glass of Pleasanton-brewed IPA.

On your ride home you find the time to catch up on the Malcolm Gladwell podcast. What an interesting guy he is — he’s so smart and he makes you think about things.

After coming home you briefly use that “7 minute workout” app, which scientists have proven is way more effective than a one-hour cardio workout. You got your exercise in for the day — nice work.

You and your spouse get ready for bed. What’s in your Netflix queue? Well, you have to catch up on “Making a Murderer” since it’s been all over the news lately. And let’s not get too far behind on “Mr. Robot” since it’s so critically acclaimed. For lighter fare, and if you have time, you can always try “Last Week Tonight” — John Oliver always says exactly what you’re thinking in your head — just funnier than you would have said it.

You quietly shuffle to bed, tired from the long, hard day. You check your email, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat one last time before bedtime. You don’t think you’ll have enough energy to check LinkedIn today — and besides — their mobile UI is not very good. Maybe you can start a company that will disrupt LinkedIn? They did just sell for a bunch of money after all.

Your last thought before bed — should you switch to the Android ecosystem? You are on the “S” iPhone replacement cycle and you are getting impatient. But then you realize you are so heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem that it may not make sense.

Vipassana Retreat — photo credit kinnla.

You briefly use mobile Safari to browse for Vipassana retreats — you hear a 10 day retreat in Soquel may be the ticket to shake things up. You realize it’s not going to be possible. You download a meditation app. You turn it off. You don’t have time.

You briefly recall your ride home on the 280 tonight. The sun was setting. It was beautiful. You realize you live in paradise.

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