King And Lionheart

And as the world comes to an end

I’ll be here to hold your hand

‘Cause you’re my king and I’m your lionheart.

 

Listening to this on repeat today. Happy Thursday.

A White Bedroom

rooms

I love the simplicity of a white bedroom.

I recently repainted my walls white. I love the transformation from a dark bedroom to a light one. The room makes me feel so clean. I want to make the bed every morning and get rid of any clutter. I’ve already gotten rid of all furniture except for the bed and one nightstand. I even got rid of the headboard.

I love it so much, the study room is next!

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Siouxon Creek

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Holy crap. Siouxon Creek. It’s the most wonderful swimming hole I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. Words don’t do it justice.

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The first two miles in was gorgeous. A variety of foliage, towering trees, lots of shade… it was the perfect hike.

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The trail followed the creek. It looked so inviting. We kept stopping our hike to explore the creek.

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The entire trail is 4 miles and then you loop around for a total of 8 miles. 2 miles in, we found this amazing watering hole. The sun was shining down. The water was so clear. There was no one around. It was just too much.

Adam, the dog and I jumped in. The water was so cold, but with the sun beaming down, it was the perfect opportunity for a swim.

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The rocks formed a lovely wading area around the edges, which created the perfect spot for sun bathing. In the center, the water was so deep, I couldn’t find the ground. It was so perfectly structured, I almost felt like we were in a surreal Disney World theme park.

There was one setback: our dog. He found the water too cold and deep for swimming. He was fine dog paddling in the water by himself, but once we jumped in, he was certain that we were both drowning. He tried to herd us to shore, but we didn’t heed his instructions. Then, when herding didn’t work, he started trying to grab us to shore. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any thumbs and left us with a few scratch marks.

His panic was so adorable, funny and slightly annoying. We enjoyed our swim but after a while, it was clear he felt we were in deep danger. I gave him a jar of peanut butter to distract him, but he still had his eyes on the water. We swam for another hour and then had a picnic by the rocks.

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It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday. I can’t wait to go back in August when it gets really hot.

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The Moth at Holoscene

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I can finally cross off another item off my bucket list: attending a moth storySLAM event.

I finally got tickets to the Moth. I’ve tried so many times to get tickets at Secret Society (a beautiful, intimate space) and each time, tickets were sold out within minutes. I was so glad when they finally decided to add on another venue. Holoscene is a much bigger space and just as gorgeous.

The theme for the night was “Altered”. I was enjoying the show, listening to some great speakers and writers talk about a memory that touched upon the theme, when, to my surprise, my friend Amy was next to speak. She had remarked earlier that she really wanted to be a part of the show, but I had no idea she had spoken with the MC and gotten herself a spot.

Unlike most of the speakers for the event, she did not practice her story at all. She just got up from her seat and told a story about how she almost married a refugee from Russia and how she almost considered deporting him when their relationship did not work out. She said the moment altered her view of herself. She felt horrible to even consider deporting such a sweet, kind man. She ended the story saying that she hoped he was happy and that she grew from this experience.

I applauded as loudly as I could when she was finished. I was so in awe of her – I’m terrified of speaking in public, especially following such talented speakers who had spent weeks practicing their story. Her story also blew me away. It’s so crazy that even after a year of knowing a person, it turns out there are still so many facets of themselves that they haven’t even shown you yet.

Angel’s Rest

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I went to Angel’s Rest for the first time.  Angel’s Rest is a short 5 mile hike roundtrip. The trail didn’t have any waterfalls, not a lot of foliage and yet, there was just something profoundly beautiful about it.

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The hike was challenging, but the view was amazing. I loved the open space and the fresh air. It’s definitely one of my favorite hikes in Oregon.

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Cape Lookout State Park

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I love the water.

I was so excited for my first group camping trip near the beach. Last year, I stayed at the beach with my husband in a yurt. It was a great experience, but in the middle of November, it was a cold one. This past weekend, a dozen friends and I went to Cape Lookout.

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Just over the hill is the gorgeous Oregonian beach. We took a short drive to the cliffs and took a leisurely hike. The view was breathtaking.

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We took advantage of the beach as much as we could, heading out there every day and night.

The campground itself was like any other campground, but we reserved two sites instead of one. It was a great idea and gave us more privacy.

We took turns cooking throughout the weekend. Personal favorites included the breakfast hash cooked in bacon drippings, steak skewers and french toast. My husband and I made bacon grilled cheese sandwich and corn on the cob. So glad that we chose a simple recipe as cooking for sixteen people proved to be a little overwhelming for me!

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We hiked along the coast, did morning yoga on the beach, played Cribbage and Poker, and sang throwback 90′s tunes. I had brought a book, but didn’t even find time to read it. It only rained on the last day (hey, it’s still Oregon) and luckily, it happened as we were packing up to leave.

Weekend Trip to LA

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I love Portland. The laidback, polite, outdoorsy drinking hole that is my home is the perfect fit for me, but sometimes it’s nice to get a different change of pace.

Last weekend, I flew to LA for a weekend trip to visit my sister from another life, Lin.

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I stayed at her loft in downtown LA. She warned me of Skid Row, just a few blocks nearby, but thanks to her careful navigation, I never saw anything in her neighborhood but beautiful shops and an amazing city life.

I think the highlight of the trip is when she took me to a Korean spa. It was a huge culture shock. I’ve never been to a bathhouse or anything like a Korean spa before, but I warmed up to it.

The main difference between a Korean spa and an American one  is that a Korean spa is considered more of a beauty maintenance routine than a relaxation treatment. You’re expected to be naked in the spa (at least on the women’s floor) and the scrubbing and massage is handled efficiently and without much fanfare. I left raving about Korean spas to everyone.

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We walked down Venice, the beach, went to a Wine & Cheese event and even had an impromptu Game of Thrones  watch party. The remaining portion of our trip was all food, food, food.

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LA has such amazing food. I had amazing desserts at Bottega Louie, fantastic italian food at Teroni for Lin’s birthday and Boiling Crab was my favorite restaurant that we visited. I have been craving crawfish ever since I left Oklahoma and it hit the spot.

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We also went to a lot of Asian restaurants. Portland has a few good asian restaurants, but not many are in Portland metro. I ate a ton of asian food while in California to make up for lost time. I thought I was finally over my asian food craving, but when I came home, I got ramen for dinner.

Crater Lake

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For Memorial Day weekend, we went to Crater Lake for the first time. It was a five hour drive to Crater Lake, but completely worth it. Hiking in the snow in May was so refreshing.

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The view was great. The lake is the deepest shade of blue. The snow camping itself did not disappoint, although calling it snow camping may be too generous.

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Daytime seemed to be about seventy degrees and nighttime was only forty-five. I had packed a zero degree bag and wore my down jacket which may have been overkill but I slept like a baby.

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We got in a meal of Totino’s pizza rolls and chicken soup before our sanitizing light wand ran out of battery. We worried if we were going to have enough water for breakfast (we had packed ramen) so we decided to forego a meal the next morning.

It was relaxing weekend. On our way back home, we saw a sign that might be a calling for our next weekend trip.

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My Favorite Summer Pasta

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I know it’s not exactly summer yet, but I have plenty of basils so it’s time to make my favorite pasta recipe again.

The recipe can be found at Alexandra Cooks. The recipe calls for fresh basil, orecchiette pasta (my favorite kind of pasta), cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. I like to add in a little extra vegetable by tossing in a few handful of spinach.

It’s so tasty. I really recommend it for a quick, fresh meal.

Advice for a Computer Science Major

I was recently asked by a worried father to provide advice for his college sophomore who was was majoring in Computer Science.

I can’t say that I have the best answer, but I have never had a problem finding a job so maybe my words can help someone (it helps that as an entry level employee, my salary requests are on the low end of the spectrum). I will share the advice I wrote to the son.

1. Make your resume easy to read and full of key words.

I try to make my resume very readable. The first person to get you in the door of the company you’re applying is usually someone in HR or an all-purpose recruiter. It’s usually not someone on the development team so it’s important to make your resume full of key words that might stand out. For example, I always clearly list out the languages and technology that I have worked with. A resume should also be only one page. If you can’t fit everything on one page, think about your content. You don’t need to list every job, only those applicable. Try not to leave a big time gap between jobs, however.

2. Update your Linkedin account with a picture and lots of key words.

I’m not a fan of social media mixing with business, but having a Linkedin account is really worthwhile for an engineer. I get recruiters trying to offer me an interview at least three times a month. I make my Linkedin account full of key words and that’s how they find me. It’s also how I got my current (dream) job. They don’t post job listings online and a recruiter found me and contacted me.

3. Have an account where people can look at your work.

It seems lately every awesome job wants you to have a Github account so they can see what contributions you have to the open source community. A lot of people have gotten jobs this way. I would really recommend it. If you don’t have a Github account, it doesn’t hurt to have an online portfolio. Although it’s not required or a dealbreaker, I think it’s good to have one or the other (although Github is really the preferred one by prospective employers) to help you stand out.

4. Internships

I got job offers pretty quickly out of school because I already had 3 internships under my belt by the time I graduated. I can’t recommend internships enough – if you still have a semester left, try to get an internship somewhere, even if it means working for free although that’s rarely the case. You’ll also get college credit for your internships!

5. Simplyhired.com

This is a nice job resource website because it’s an aggregate. It’s how I found my first job. I also looked at my college jobs board.

6. Prepare for the interview

I also really enjoy this book for prepping: Cracking Coding Interview Programming Questions.
Nobody asks questions that hard except for Google and Amazon, but every interview I’ve been on (except for ADP) has made me code some simple algorithm in front of them so do practice on that (write an algorithm that finds the average of a set of numbers or reverse the letters in a given string). Learn OOP terminology and be able to state the difference when passing by reference and passing by value. Also, always bring an extra copy of your resume and be able to explain your resume succinctly.

One last advice, something that has worked for me was figure out what you want to do in a job as early as you can. Then specialize in it instead of being good in a bunch of directions. That’s how you can keep moving up instead of just moving laterally. I’ve had people tell me the opposite before so you can disregard this advice if you want – but by realizing I wanted to be web app developer, I was selective about my job decisions, sometimes even opting for a lower pay because I wanted to keep doing the work. It’s lead me to have a job that I absolutely love.