I’m thinking about writing a collaborative book…

bookshrm… or maybe i should just write a book on my own.

but something that i’m willing to write a whole hell of a lot about. and also speak a whole hell of a lot about. being a woman in tech. just another unicorn. a call to arms. a call to horns. the book i’m writing can just be an ebook, not published in physical form. but another part of me wants to go full on scientific study. something with lots of research and nerdism.

but about what.

about an experiment. an experiment that has to do with me.

how to be a nerd. how to be a unicorn. becoming a unicorn. how to build a unicorn. from scratch. build a unicorn from scratch. a home made unicorn. rainbows and shit.

blah blah blah i’m awesome. just ask me.

feh.

three nerds and a book. unicorn programming. the bookstores wouldn’t know how to file it.

feminism and the single unicorn. unicorn brainstorming. the eye of the unicorn.

yin yoga every night and other nightmares. the cat won’t get off my yoga blanket.

problem solving in the age of the unicorn. dragon’s unicorn. the year of the dragon’s unicorn.

the unicorn’s unicorn.

the effect of the unicorn guru on the field of STEM in the age of dragons: the discovery of a field organism in biomedical engineering. SCIENCE

what happens when i fart into a jar every day for a year. EPIC SCIENCE

coming up with an epic and thoughtful conclusion in the age of hourly epic and thoughtful blog / vlog posts and podcasts and information overload and all those other things that just add more words to the title so that you’re not really writing a title anymore, but the entire book summary in one line of stupid text and now you’ve just spent 2.99 for a bunch of blank pages cause SURPRISE this is actually just a lame ass journal

the end

Not Exactly a New Year’s Resolution

ma-personal-fitness-trainingI’m back in training, yes, since the first, but I would say it was a new year’s thing as much as a refocus on health. This is something I used to do more often (constantly) when I was dancing professionally and then a bit less often after I retired.

Now that the child unit has upgraded its walking modules, it’s time to recover from the gestation period.

Translation: It’s time to get back into shape after pregnancy. It’s been a year already.

When I’m in training I set a few daily / weekly focus goals for a four week period and adjust at the end of each week, depending on results. Since the first, the goals include:

1. pre workout smoothie with almond milk and whey protein
2. something movement focused for 45 – 60 minutes
3. post workout breakfast smoothie with almond milk, berries, a banana, and whey protein
4. daily meds / vitamins
5. consistent morning and evening routines that include yin yoga
6. 10k steps per day
7. strength training 2-3x week
8. long ass walks 2-3x week
9. no junk
10. tattling on myself with fitness and food trackers

And it’s time for a weekly review. Even though it’s the tenth. SHOOSH

friday day 1:
pre workout smoothie
body weight strength training
post workout breakfast smoothie
morning routine
writing / work / day
evening routine
10k steps!

saturday day 2:
pre workout smoothie
long ass walk with child unit
post workout breakfast smoothie
morning routine
writing / work / day
evening routine
10k steps!

and then something happened on day three where i took the day off or considered it a rest day or something. it was like this:

sunday day 3:
pre workout smoothie
something that wasn’t a long ass walk nor strength training maybe strength training? need to cross reference; i might’ve started recording that day
post workout breakfast smoothie
morning routine
writing / work / day
evening routine

and then i was back on track with strength training:

monday day 4:
pre workout smoothie
body weight strength training
post workout breakfast smoothie
walk child unit to daycare
morning routine
writing / work / day
evening routine

tuesday was ice day when we realized there would be no more outside or biking or walking or anything cause it was insanity:

tuesday day 5:
pre workout smoothie
short walk cause ALL THE ICE
post workout breakfast smoothie
morning routine
writing / work / day
evening routine
10k steps!

wednesday day 6:
pre workout smoothie
body weight strength training
post workout breakfast smoothie
walk child unit to daycare
morning routine
writing / work / day
evening routine
10k steps!

thursday day 7:
pre workout smoothie
walk child unit to daycare
one hour warrior yoga with bob harper
post-workout breakfast smoothie
morning routine
writing / work / day
evening routine

friday day 8:
morning routine
pre workout smoothie
bike to kardinge
child unit swim lesson HOLY SHIT BALLS EXHAUSTING
bike home
child unit to daycare
post workout breakfast smoothie
writing / work / day
evening routine

saturday day 9:
morning routine
cycle to skinpoint
facial and massage cause HOLY SHIT BALLS BROKEN CLAVICLE
cycle home and take a nap
wake up / perogi making / gaming / coke / diet coke / chips
perogi eating / coke
evening routine

i can’t believe i also managed to do the complete evening routine as late it was. but i did! also, my clavicle wasn’t broken, it was just SO SORE from that one hour yoga routine that it felt broken. i couldn’t lift my left arm above ninety degrees and i walked around whimpering all day.

sunday day 10:
pre workout smoothie
body weight strength training
post workout breakfast smoothie
morning routine
evening routine
10k steps!

BAM! Strength training routine AND ten thousand steps today.

I’m a badass mother fucker.

Hello, My Name Is…

71395_10100661065596291_888663183_nI am in the midst of a new position within Red Hat and part of the new responsibilities include applying to public speaking opportunities all over the world. And since you have to include a short biography with these applications, I decided it was time for a bit of an overhaul. To give perspective, here is the old version:

K Rain Leander is an enthusiastic Software Engineer with a background in web development / graphic design / internet marketing and a Master’s in Information Technology. She is currently leveraging her procedural knowledge from over six years as an engineer with Red Hat to study Django and Python languages as well as OpenStack and RDO-manager technologies and become more active in the Fedora community.

I literally just fell asleep reading those sentences and if you did the same I DON’T BLAME YOU ONE BIT.

To figure out the new bio, I read a lot, diving here and there and everywhere for advice and insight and skipped over articles that similarly made me fall asleep until I put together something stronger, more interesting and, most importantly, a description of a person I WANT TO MEET. Sure, I could link those articles for you, but I’d rather be snarky about it.

K Rain Leander is a systematic, slightly psychic, interdisciplinary developer evangelist with a Bachelor’s in dance and a Master’s in IT. An epic public speaker, she has disappeared within a box stuffed with swords, created life, and went skydiving with the Queen. Seriously. Rain is an active technical contributor with RDO manager, OpenStack, DjangoGirls, and Project DO. Come say hello. Bring cake.

Seriously, though, bring cake.

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

12227112_1004226732957991_5430354977719535515_nOver the past few months, I’ve spoken with a few people about my idea, The Project, and started posting about it here and there. I spoke with friends and family about it and got some response via social media.

Then I did this thing. This past weekend. I ran over to the big building to attend StartupWeekend Groningen 2015. Based on The Project Pitch. To be clear, I have had my own dance company. I have worked as a freelance consultant for many years. I thought I knew quite a bit.

To (mis)quote one of my favorite shows, “You know nothing, [Rain Leander].”

The first part of Startup Weekend is sixty second pitches. Anyone who wants to participate, stands in line, and tells their idea in sixty seconds or less. Then they write a summary of their idea and all those ideas are on walls in a massive room. Then everyone gets three post it notes and puts their ‘vote’ on the idea they think is cool. The top fifteen or so ideas ‘win’.

The Project made it through.

Then we form teams and that is this horrible combination of a cattle call and a popularity contest because everyone who won, goes BACK into the big room and sits somewhere with their winning idea poster and then everyone else runs in and mobs them to talk about their idea and figure out what teams they want to join.

It was hell.

But.

A developer, K, came over and joined my team. And stuck by me. Even when I was unable to voice my idea. Even when I talked with people until I was almost hoarse and everyone else walked away. Even when we almost got swallowed up by another team that seemed to be working on the VERY SAME IDEA, but I knew it wasn’t the same idea, I just couldn’t figure out how to communicate it.

Yet.

It meant we had three ‘creators’. Let me take a step back a minute and describe Startup Weekend a bit more. You register as a Creator or a Designer or a Business Person. During my pitch I asked for one of each, a creator, a designer, and a business person. I didn’t need a creator as much because I am a creator, but that was my team. Three creators. Three because I had a sneaky ally who wasn’t there for the cattle call, but was the entire reason why I was attending the event, Courtney of Courtney’s Kitchen.

So we had three Creators and another team pressuring us to join them and I shook my head, grabbed K and we went off to pick the brain of the guy running the show, Nick. We talked with him for around fifteen minutes and, at the end of the night, I still couldn’t communicate my idea, but I knew why we were there and that it was going to be just fine.

We wanted to learn a lot. And we did. We wanted to define The Project. And we did. We wanted to get it started. And we did.

Startup Weekend is also a contest. There are all kinds of prizes at the end of the weekend. You can do anything you want over the course of the weekend, there are no rules, and then you give a four minute presentation and answer questions for three minutes and then… they pick the top three ideas.

We were not one of those ideas.

But.

I am damn proud of what we accomplished.

Over the course of this weekend we have started off with an ill-defined and miscommunicated idea. With the team of three people with the lack of business knowledge and designers we’ve turned to our network to help us crystalize this idea, now called Project DO.

And we did so much more – registered the domain name, built the website, started the business model, to name a few – I could not be more proud. There is so much more to do, but I’m using the model, Define, Refine, Plan, DO, to make things happen. If you’re interested in joining the movement, in helping Project DO get started, in accomplishing your own dream that you can’t quite communicate YET, hop over to projectDO.co, become a member, spread the word.

Ask yourself, “What will you DO this year?”

The Project Pitch Debriefing

Startup-Weekend-Groningen-2015-490x265A friend video taped what I actually said which was not nearly as eloquent as what I recently wrote and as I listen to people vote for their favorite pitches and discuss mine, I realize that I didn’t get the point across. People are discussing it in terms of education, which is true, it’s partially about education and knowledge sharing, but it’s more about accomplishing tasks.

Related to achievement goal theory of motivation which is about how much more efficient people do in school when they have specific goals. Which may also be applied to how efficient you do IN LIFE when you have specific goals.

But.

It seems that people only heard the first part. “Do you want to learn a new skill?” was the first line of my speech after, “Hi, my name is Rain, yes, like the weather.” And this is what people are stuck on.

So, apparently, in addition to finding a business guru and developers and designers, I need to work on my communication skills. And possibly find a sales guy. Who will, of course, actually get the point across.

Then again, if *I* can’t communicate the idea, how will anyone else?

The Project Pitch

pitchHello my name is Rain. Yes, like the weather.

I am building The Project.

It will be an online community backed by social psychology research helping people build, make, accomplish, and change the world.

Imagine, if you will, that you want to accomplish a task or learn a new skill or make something incredible – you want to become a programmer. Get a promotion at work. Lose fifteen pounds. Design a bookstore slash cafe slash school for ants. Experiment with the internet of things.

So you start a project. You start The Project. You commit three weeks or six months or a year to THE Project. With the help of an online community of resources, mentors, delegates, designers, makers – people who are also working on their projects – you design and move forward with your project. Along the way, you help others with their projects. And they help others with their projects. And so on.

Until we change the world.

I need devops for front- and back-end development. I need designers to help with the brand. I need investors to pay for hosting and the initial start up costs of design and dev work.

And.

I need a partner in crime, a business partner, a very special individual or individuals to help steer and guide, motivate and fly with me as we start The Project.

The Most Amazing Chocolate Icing In The Universe

29437_vegan_chocolate_frosting2NO I DON’T HAVE PICTURES BECAUSE I ATE IT ALREADY

One standard cube of salted butter
Two normal tubes of phadelphia cream cheese
Four tubes of powdered sugar
One jar of cocoa powder

Use a mixer. Whip that butter until it changes shades. Whip it good. Mix in the cream cheese. Don’t panic when the whippedness of the butter completely disappears and the texture totally becomes this weird gloppy hot mess. DON’T PANIC

Add a tube of powdered sugar.

PUT THE MIXER ON THE LOWEST SETTING. Until most of the powdered sugar is slightly combined, then whip it. Whip it REAL GOOD. Repeat with tubes two through four.

Taste that shit.

Is it not the best butter cream cheese icing you’ve ever eaten in your entire life?!?

Then mix in the entire jar of cocoa powder. Again, PUT THE MIXER ON THE LOWEST SETTING UNTIL THE POWDER IS LIGHTLY COMBINED. Then switch to the higher settings to whip it. You must whip it.

Spread on everything or just eat it with a spoon. Store it in the fridge if you can resist eating the entire bowl.

I couldn’t.

So I spoke at PyGrunn

b4mUbtAwAnd I just now found the video which has been up since June 2 this year by looking for “K Rain Leander” results via images.google.com. If I search for the same phrase on google.com it doesn’t show on the first page, which is not ideal.

I’m so bored with that previous paragraph that I fell asleep.

*zzzzzzz*

The Quick and Dirty Scattered Thoughts

1412100-big27[ disclaimer : i wrote this today while feeling quite under the weather and under the influence of cold medicine and in between bouts of long sleep. you have been warned. ]

what is the project going to be about?

there are some things that i would like to do just for fun or think would be or might be fun to do but haven’t really found the time or resources or motivation to follow through and do them and i’m thinking if i commit to it online with a community of other people who are committing to their own projects for the next year

and we get together once a quarter or a month or a week or something to present what we’ve done so far and what we’re going to do over the next quarter or month or week and sometimes the presentations are as simple as, i’ve done nothing, but this is why and this is how i’m going to make things happen for the next deadline which is different than what i’ve been doing because x y z or i need help with x y z problems and what are your thoughts or look how awesome i am cause i’ve finished and now i’d like to work on this new thing unless you can think of something else related to this or that or the other

and then you take that feedback and play with it or ignore it or build on it and do more things with your project with that feedback in mind or go down an entirely new pathway with a tangent focus and at the end of the year you have x y z to show for it and decide if you want to commit another year or do something entirely different.

like learn to ride a unicycle. or put together a theatrical production. or build a haunted house. or start your own company. or sharpen your baking skills. or expand your network.

for this year my project is to Start The Project. I’m giving it a year.

it will need a community / forums / bulletin / blog / website / youtube channel with people’s presentations, if they’re willing to share them online.

and focus. outlines. rules. suggestions.

a random project generator app.

real life examples / links to people doing their own projects.

a title / an abstract / polls / research / strategy

tom cruise voicing his love on oprah level enthusiasm

and this is why i put out the call for a partner in crime or, more realistically, many partners in crime, because i would like to start this project soon, within the month or by the end of the year, and i need guinea pigs / partners in crime / co-conspirators / collaborators and do you think you’d be interested in this kind of project? do you have something you want to work on? would you like to help me make this happen? do you have a passion to build a community of experimenters and dream the impossible dreams?

let’s talk.