Another year, another reflection to summarize 1%+ of my life.

Japanese #

I think my Japanese has reached a plateau, but it’s something I’m comfortable with for now. The biggest gap is in my vocabulary - I’m still looking up words in a dictionary every page I read a book or a more mature manga.

But whenever I play video games, I do it in Japanese! That’s a pretty good benchmark for me, and helps me keep practicing my Japanese aside from my weekly 30 minutes lessons.

Farsi #

My Farsi has not developed significantly since last year. I’m just on a slow, steady trajectory of reading one page at a time.

I did pick up one of the stories I read last year and tried it again, and I was able to get through most of it by myself! In addition, I am able to have some conversation with my in-laws. So despite the relatively slow progress I’m making sufficient progress to be satisfied.

Next year though, I’d like to invest more in my Farsi - get to the point where I can read a good chunk of literature without help from my teacher.

Fitness and Health #

I focused heavily on fitness this year, similar to the tail end of last year.

I have yet to do my Dexa scan for end of 2023, but I sit at roughly 180lbs. My Dexa scan in April showed I had lost 12 pounds of body fat and gained 6 pounds of muscle since October 2022 - not bad at all for six months!

My second half of the year wasn’t as aggressive - I lost 2 pounds, hopefully fat but January we will see.

It’s been grueling to get there - my diet now consists of one proper meal a day (dinner), with protein and huel shakes in between to provide 80 grams of protein. Between that and soy lattes, I get at minimum 90 grams of protein before dinner or snacks. That’s putting me at roughly 1.2+ g protein / kg of body weight, which is less than what most recommend for building muscle mass, but I haven’t seen much of an issue.

Next year my goal is to stick my diet a bit more, and achieve 12% body fat or less. Once that happens I think I’ll try to maintain my weight and start focusing on other things.

Zone 2 on the treadmill #

I’ve been struggling to get more Zone 2 exercise into my routine - basically 30+ minutes of my heart rate at 70%-80% of my max heart rate.

This year I found something that works for me - playing videogames on the treadmill!

I’ve been playing an RPG that keeps me engaged - Persona 4 has worked really well for me. It also helps that it’s a long RPG, with 100+ hours to beat it.

With that I’ve been able to clear 30 minutes at a 12% incline and 4 miles per hour without issue, although I don’t get past 45 very often (too late at night or just get tired of it).

OSS Contributions #

Since I’ve left Google as TL of API design, I’ve been working on a fork called It’s been an interesting ride, discussing API design with API leads at Roblox, IBM, Netflix, and Microsoft.

I built a prototype protobuf generator as part of my work, which was a fun coding side project. Hopefully in 2024 we’ll see more established and some parts of the spec entering production use.

Random other things #

Goals for 2024 #

Similar to 2023, my 2024 goals are conservative - I’d like to focus on my family and that means all of my afternoons and a good chunk of my evenings are working on things relative to them.

But among my goals, they are:

  • Be able to read a Farsi book and understand most of the story (a movie may be too hard for me).
  • Learn to play 5 new pieces on the piano.
  • Built a foundational knowledge of machine learning and abstract math.