Saturday, September 9, 2017 – (I’m still working on the format for these posts) Us four ladies were going to go to brunch at Cafe Europa and then to the Chalk Walk, but due to a riot/march going on over near the Chalk Walk in Kansas City, we decided to be safe and not attend. (For the record, I know I’m behind on documenting these events and I’m working on catching up.) However, I can honestly say I had a good time at brunch. Two of the ladies I had met before, one from belly dancing, and another from the sushi train. That familiarity helped. The only other girl I hadn’t met before was from New York and I knew right away she’d be interesting to meet and I was right.
For some reason, even though usually I can’t really have coffee as it goes right through me, whenever I meet up with someone inside a coffee shop I’m in a different mindset, one where I will order a coffee. I will be honest and say that since this was so long ago in terms of having a cup of coffee and remember what it tasted like, I don’t remember what it tasted like, but I do remember it being good. I also do remember the beautiful, colorful paintings on the wall so I took a picture of them to share. I can’t remember anymore exactly what I ordered to eat for brunch, but I do remember it being good. My stomach never lies. It’s like my second brain.
We had a lot of laughs over stories about where we are from. Again, I don’t remember all of them in great detail, but I do remember the topics being around weird blind dates, relationships, sickness, injuries, and grandmas. This kind of sounds like typical girl stuff, which goes to show that even if you don’t know each other all that well, you can always connect on the topic of relationships.
I still haven’t tried out all the pizza places around the KC area, but Grinders is already at the top of my list of go-to places for pizza. I will be doing a separate post on that to go with all my other pizza posts, but it was part of the The Escape Artist KC adventure. Before I went with my Nerdy 30s girls to check out a breakout room, I had heard of breakout rooms at work (where I used to work, not my current work) and it sounded like a fun thing to try with a team or a group of friends. So when I saw this breakout room as a Nerdy 30s event, I knew I had to try it out.
For those of you who are wondering, Nerdy 30s is a group of girls I met on Meetup.com who are all around their 30s and want to do activities that are more nerdy and less partying. I’ve talked about two other events on here, one was a sushi thing and another was the bellydancing thing. Nerdy 30s has helped me explore Kansas City in a fun way without feeling like I have to do all the typical “young people stuff” to meet new people.
The Escape Artist KC was the first breakout room I tried. I hope I will get a chance to try some other ones. We shall see. Us Nerdy 30s girls met at Grinders to talk and get to know each other a little bit before going into the breakout room. It was interesting listening to the girls’ stories of ones they had tried before. When we got to the one we were trying, it became apparent we were part of a mystery story and were the detectives to solve it. I loved the hunting for clues aspect and clues being locked up and using a whiteboard message to help us look for more clues. I won’t say exactly how it went because I don’t want to give anything away for the business, but it was really fun. From the last picture you will see we broke out with about 16 minutes remaining.
This is definitely a team-building event. You are locked in a room with a group of people for about an hour and can only leave if you figure out the mystery and put together all the clues.
I had heard of belly dancing while I was at university, but heard of it was the sole extent of my involvement with this type of Egyptian dance. I really had no idea what exactly it was until last summer when I had the opportunity to go with this girl who goes regularly to watch belly dancing at Uptown Arts Bar in KC. Every first Saturday of the month there’s this Arabian nights show at the bar where you can get in with a small cover charge and enjoy whatever you normally get at a bar. That particular night I made a new girl friend, enjoyed a cherry limeade kind of drink that had tequila in it, and learned how to belly dance. Yes, I got called on stage at the end of the show and learned a basic dance move called “pop the car door.” It was amusing and thankfully it’s a small stage so I didn’t get stage fright and I was up there with a bunch of other girls so it was nice to feel like another one in the crowd, learning something new. The first time I had tequila and it allowed me to enjoy watching belly dance in all different body types. I had thought in order to belly dance you had to be one certain body type, but boy was I wrong and I’m glad. Anyone can learn how to belly dance and my favorite was watching this one girl dance to this death metal sounding tune whilst balancing a giant sword on her head. I definitely never imagined I’d witness something like that. I don’t know. These kind of events are hard to describe. You really had to be there. I enjoy going out and trying new things.
I’m not going to do this on every post like this, but for this first one like this I want to set the stage. I feel like this wasn’t just about getting sushi with two girls I had never met before. We didn’t do a lot as far as actions go in this event, but I enjoy new experiences and this is me documenting them, even if it’s just three girls who have never met before getting sushi.
I don’t remember the names of the sushi I tried, unfortunately. As they passed by me on the train I didn’t think to write them down like a real journalist would or anything. Before this past Memorial Day weekend, the only other time I had tried sushi via conveyor belt was in Cancún. Even that kind wasn’t the real deal because the sushi was packaged already if I remember correctly. It wasn’t bad or anything, but it was nothing compared to this sushi. Nothing because I can’t even remember how it tasted. Don’t get me wrong. Cancún is still an awesome place to visit, sushi aside. It’s not really known for the Japanese food. But you knew that already.
A sushi train is the kind of thing I can imagine seeing in New York. I bet they have that there. But I haven’t been to New York enough times to know for sure. New York does have excellent Taiwanese beef noodle soup though. I’ll give the Big Apple that. Enough about that though, this post is about sushi. It’s so exciting to see your food being transported to you like it’s a person travelling on a mission to reach your stomach. The train at Sakura Sushi Train Restaurant in Shawnee, KS off of Nieman is an Amtrak and very cute, reminding me of those Christmas toy trains, even though the train looks nothing like those trains.
The key to why the sushi tasted so good is the freshness. I mean, I kind of always knew sushi made and consumed right away tastes better than sushi that’s been sitting for a while, but I didn’t KNOW until I had this sushi. I’m sure the quality of the ingredients has a lot to do it with it too. People can spew a ton of facts at me, but until I experience it myself or see it firsthand, I can’t really grasp something as real.
I also think the excitement of meeting new people enhanced the whole experience. I made two new girl friends that day. One’s from the area and one’s from the East Coast like me. I love how barely five minutes in and we started talking about meeting guys and dating. I guess discussing relationships is a universal interest among women. It made for a good laugh. I remember talking about Orlando and Philly and how much the girl from the area loves sushi. Listening to these girls talk about who they are and what they like to do made me feel how normal it is to flow into a conversation with someone new. Once you start talking, everything else falls into place. Let’s just say I haven’t had good sushi in a while.
Watch out for Fred Colton. This guy is a beast in the thriller world of words and takes Word Hustler to a whole new level with his debut novel, The Colony. As someone who hasn’t read many thrillers, I found this one to have a “Mission Impossible” and “007” vibe that brings the big screen onto the page. I want to be best friends with some of these people, ones who run super fast in space and get face transplants to turn into an exact copy of another person and run around on the moon and deceive the government and…trust me, you just have to read the book to find out if America or China wins when it comes to colonizing up there.
Not going to lie. There are a lot of characters and a lot going on that sometimes makes it hard to keep track of everything, but this may just be a personal thing for me as well as I tend to have trouble keeping up with the haps with books with many characters. This is still kudos to Colton, though, as he seems knowledgeable about the technology, the space terms, and how politics and the government would run such a hypothetical global future so boy did his research for sure.
I could see Colton took aspects of his love of running in his real life into this story. I enjoyed the backstory about the brothers, Tom and Kyle, and the surprise at the end when it all comes together, truly a mesh of imagination, creativity, and reality at its best.
That, my friends, is pizza unique to Kansas City. These two slices of Waldo Pizza made a cameo appearance during my Django adventure. Waldo Pizza is especially good if you are a vegetarian because they have several options for more of a veggie pizza. The slice on the left is one of their spinach options and as someone who eats like an omnivore, the slice on the right is a meat option I got. I think there were bacon pieces on this one too.
Let me tell you both slices were yummy and this was my first time trying Waldo Pizza and I’m pretty sure it is not a chain restaurant. I have never seen or heard of it before moving to KC. I am definitely going back some time. I want to try the other toppings they have. They seem to have something for everyone.
Going into Django Girls KC I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know I wanted to learn something new, meet new people, and have fun no matter what I’m doing. Mission accomplished!
The weekend of June 24-June 26, 2016 is one I will not soon forget. Part of being a developer is knowing how to solve problems using the computer, or how to be a hacker. Friday night at the install party I learned my first lesson in problem-solving: how to find the table I’m assigned to. Luckily for me, I made my first friend when I noticed someone just as lost as I was. With a little teamwork, we found our table, met the ladies we would be spending the weekend with and of course, our awesome mentor. It became clear right away teamwork would be one of the biggest themes of the workshop.
From getting Python installed to working through the Django Girls tutorial to socializing and networking with women in the IT field, it all comes down to how willing you are to ask for and accept help when you run into problems. While working through the tutorial, you need a lot of patience and it’s like what one of our mentors said, “You will get error messages, but you have the most fun when you find a new error message.”
I found it’s quite satisfying when you get a “It worked!” message. While I did not complete the whole tutorial on Saturday, I’m glad it’s available online and I can complete it at any time. The best part was making new friends and knowing this is only an introduction and I would not become a developer overnight. On top of that, as I listened to what each mentor had to say about volunteering at this workshop, I started to see not only do we need more women in this field, but also empowering women extends beyond this field into any field that may typically be dominated by men. It’s empowering to realize that yes, maybe as women we are built physically different from men, but there is no limit to what field we can go into. What this weekend taught me is you never know until you try. Why should we let men have all the fun?
I am so grateful to all the ladies and gents who lent their time to help me throughout this first-time coding experience. Who knows what step of the tutorial I would still be stuck on without them! And at the end of the day, it’s nice to go out to an arcade bar to put “work hard, play hard” into practice. 🙂
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