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Learning Log, Dec 2022

As I write this, flights are being canceled in droves all over the country, and the roads and sidewalks in Seattle are covered in ice. I was a bit sad that weren’t traveling to be with family this year for the holidays (long story), but now I’m just glad we’re not stranded somewhere in the middle of the country.

A very icy set of streets in the dark. There are a couple stars in the night sky and a couple houses brightly lit in the dark with Christmas lights.

This month

  • 💔 Layoffs: this month got off to a tough start with a restructure (aka layoffs) at work. It feels odd to say it’s been hard, because I’m one of the lucky ones who still has a job. But I dearly miss my colleagues and friends who were impacted. Like many, I am feeling all sorts of feelings and doing my best to support folks. It’s been a really tough year in the tech industry, so just putting it out there: I’m here to help in any way I can.
  • 🎂 Birthday: Soon after layoffs I observed a birthday with a very rude number attached. Some birthday thoughts I had marinating appear later in this post.
  • 🎨 Gouache: I’ve been working my way through Maru Godas’s course “Pictorial Sketchbook with Gouache” on Domestika and rather enjoying it thus far. Maru makes learning gouache technique fun and very clear. The platform also seems to have done a good job with English subtitles (this particular course is in Spanish).
  • 📚 Reading: I recently started using Reader by Readwise as a combination RSS/newsletter feed reader and “read it later” function. The app has been pretty slick and nice to use, I may keep going with it. Over in book land, I’m getting more into The StoryGraph ecosystem by signing up for their plus membership and hosting a reading challenge. I love the The StoryGraph enables you to create arbitrary reading challenges outside of the usual “x books this year”.
Closeup of focaccia bread studded with tomatoes, olives, and rosemary
Birthday focaccia, baked by a friend

Birthday thoughts

  • Listen to the wisdom that keeps pointing you towards mindfulness.
  • Your art materials will be there whenever you want them.
  • Life is meant to be shared.
  • Routine can set you free.




Other interesting articles


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  • Reply from Tim Brown on

    @melanie Reader is so great! A big part of my day-one relaxation. 😄🐝📝