November was a happening month: It ended with Tara turning ONE, and began with a week-long trip to London. The plane ride was a long-ish one (and clearly the last time we’re going to travel without an extra seat for her), but less painful than I had imagined it to be.
The trip scrambled all good habits though, and one month later, I’m back to being fat and lazy 😦 So it goes …
Tara was quite accommodating in terms of letting us visit restaurants, which is great because food in London is great. We didn’t do a lot of super-planned sightseeing, more of walking around. Case in point: after a walk through Hyde Park, we ended up at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which I found quite boring, until I stumbled across a couple of rooms where a bunch of stuff was just thrown together, warehouse style, each incredibly amazing, reminding me of the last scene of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
I revisited the Dune soundtrack while browsing Youtube (yes, this still happens, though very infrequently these days), and noticed that while most of the music was done by what was popular at the time (Toto — I’d never heard of it), one track, titled “Prophecy” was contributed by Brian Eno! Check it out at the top of this post.
Finished listening to World Without End (No, not the Ken Follett one). Also, stockpiled six books and cancelled my Audible subscription temporarily (otherwise I’m just wasting credits).
The big highlight for last month was our trip to Hawaii for a week. I was quite nervous about her in the plane and so on, but things were way better than I thought. We were staying in Kihei, and managed to spend time at Lahaina and Paia. Great food, happy baby, good times.
The small highlight is that I started an experiment to see if I can change my eating habits a bit, to restrict breakfast and snacks to fruits etc, and lunch to salad etc. Yes, it is every bit as terrible as it sounds right now, but I’m going to give it at least a month.
In other news, Tara climbed up the staircase yesterday, which was both surprising and frightening.
Roughly halfway through “Gravity’s Rainbow”, have rarely enjoyed a book this much.
Came across some of the best surreal art I have ever seen, in an art gallery in Maui, by Vladimir Kush (see a bunch of examples here, one of my favorites is above)
Saw “Words and Pictures” (because Juliette Binoche), split between good and meh.
(funny Youtube stuff) Stumbled on this olden goldie: two Chinese kids lip-synch to Backstreet Boys in their dorm (remember watching it way, way, way back)
Watched “The Prestige” again (because it never gets old, it might just be my favorite movie of all time)
I like soundtracks, and “Interstellar” was just … exceptional. Here’s something to sample if you’re interested
Saw a few videos of Zizek analyzing movies: absolutely brilliant and now I want to watch all the rest. For one that I particularly liked (and in fact, the first one I stumbled across by accident, see this one for “Solaris”).
(Intended to make up for an absence of Facebook, and for personal archival … this one is rushed, will do a better job next month!)
Yosemite was the first long-ish “go somewhere and stay there and come back” trip with Tara, and it was a big success (her first bus ride (!) and the first time she sat in a high chair — the park itself was limited this time to a minor flat hike).
This month she also started sitting, standing with support, and drinking water from a “sippy cup” (which, like “onesie”, is a recent addition to my vocabulary). Her activity has shot up, and she vigorously crawls and plays, is extremely curious, and is scarily eager to climb things.
Among not-so-good news is that she had her first fever, to which we obviously over-reacted, and which turned out to be not such a big deal after all.
The interesting stuff was basically insights like how the State, Rule of Law and Legitimacy are really three different concepts, and you arrive at various sub-optimal (nevertheless historically real) situations if you pick just one, or mix-and-match any two.
I’m about 10% of the way through “Gravity’s Rainbow”, which is a trip worth taking (and IMHO well suited to a slow read).
I don’t end up watching much TV nowadays, the exception being half of season 1 of “Silicon Valley” which hits a lot of accurate notes, but wasn’t satirical enough for me. No movies either, except “Skeleton Twins”, which turned out to be a good indie-ish movie, though I’m still waiting for something to give me the same reaction that “Little Miss Sunshine” did.