the week in me #2

A week for moving on, and staying the course.


This week I wrote probably the last lines of new code for a Rails app I've been working on for years. At this point our conversations are about things like, well, how much would it cost to just keep it running month-to-month? It's sad to say goodbye – the team I'm on likes working together, and I think we were doing some good – but it also feels right to move on.

And moving on has most of my energy right now. This week I've talked with several people about potential projects, or just about maybe working together on something someday. (BTW: Hire me!) I ordered business cards, for the first time since maybe 2008 (and that was for my band). And I've been learning and trying new things.

New to me, anyway. Things like:

  • Gatsby, “a tool for building progressive web apps that are served as static assets” (as per Jason Lengstorf). The tutorial was fun, and I contributed a few fixes for outdated links, because, you know, if something's easy to fix, you should fix it.
  • Firebase and how to keep people from using your API key to fill your database with spam. The best answer seems to be to allow writes only via serverless functions that you define, instead of allowing direct database access. Fair enough.
  • Callum Macrae's talk on Accessibility with Vue (or lack thereof) was informative and fun, and applies to JavaScript-based user interfaces whether or not they use Vue.
  • I happened upon CoCreatz, a coworking and community space in St. Paul's nonprofit-saturated Creative Enterprise Zone. It was a nice place to spend an afternoon, and with hourly rates as well as ongoing memberships, I plan to spend more afternoons there when I find myself in St. Paul.
  • I also wrote about the blogs where I find new things to learn about.

One more thing: RailsConf is the conference for the web technology I've worked with consistently since 2007, and this year it's in Minneapolis, an easy bike ride from my home... and today I decided not to buy a ticket. I'm feeling weird about it. I will be at Minnebar, though!


Chipping away at Five Fifths of Mary Poppins with Oncoming Productions. We're rounding out our cast, and we did a read-through of the script so far. We also started working on an Oncoming Productions web site, so I don't have to keep linking to the Facebook page.

Bummertown – a tragicomic improv show for which I played background music last fall – held auditions for our run this summer at HUGE. As the show's accompanist, I got to watch three rounds of auditions, each of them delightful, each in its own way. I'm glad deciding who to cast isn't my job.

I wrote a poem this week. I think it was okay!


Last September at a children's bookstore in Stockholm I picked up a book and fell in love with it – with the pictures, at least. I didn't know any Swedish children, and I had no good reason to buy a children's book in Swedish, so I put it back. But I did have a friend who was expecting an American child, and I couldn't stop picturing myself reading the book to that future child, in mispronounced Swedish and mistranslated English, so a few days later I went back and bought it.

A photo of Bokslukaren, the bookstore, with a life-sized stuffed
gorilla sitting at the patio table outside.

That child is now over three months old, and this week I finally started translating Lena Sjöberg's Natten lyser!. It's a book about things that light up in the night – from stars to streetlights to bioluminescent bugs.

When I say "translating," I mean that I will spend a few seconds struggling to place words I half-remember from the introductory Swedish course I took last summer, then type a full sentence into Microsoft Translator, and then use tyda.se to investigate words that look a bit off, or that I'm just curious about. It's going okay. I only have about two pages done, but I've got time – this book is for readers aged 9 to 12.