l33tminion: (L33t)
It would be easier to title these posts if it didn't take me several days to get around to it.

Melissa came to visit this weekend (arrived Saturday and left early Tuesday morning). She was visiting Boston University since she's planning to apply for their MFA program. Was a lovely visit, especially since she provided a great deal of help with the kid (seriously, she changed diapers and everything). Saturday evening we went out for dinner with extended family (Amy and Josh and Milly and Marty), Sunday evening we went out to celebrate Melissa's birthday, and Monday I cooked dinner at home. Actually got a fair amount of cooking done: Mushroom and pea shoot omelette on Saturday morning, roast chicken and vegetables, pea shoot salad, and baked sweet potato with dukkah (which Julie made earlier) for Monday night.

Sunday morning, Melissa took the kid and went to visit friends, and (in addition to chores) I managed to watch all of Madoka Magica. If you enjoy anime, I'd recommend it: It's short (12 ~20 min. episodes) and has the sort of quality you'd expect form an Akiyuki Shinbo / Gen Urobuchi collab (i.e. a lot).

(I hear the kid enjoyed her museum visit. A good staircase is still a world of adventure.)

The Super Bowl Sunday seems like it was quite the game. (Sorry, Atalanta fans.)

Work is going all right this week, but it's a bit hectic.

Today, I'm out at Olin helping with campus recruiting and doing an interview-prep workshop. It feels only a short time since I was here with the kid a year ago.

This morning, the ground was covered with a thin layer of ice, which made the walk to daycare a bit too exciting. It was all melted an hour later, though. But tomorrow we're getting a snowstorm.

Julie's postdoc ends on Friday. But her entrepreneurial work continues.

This weekend, we're going to Intercon, which I missed last year and is still probably foolishness to go to this year, what with looking after the kid. I'm only signed up for a few games, though.

Eristic improvements: Still working on standing up unsupported (despite some early successes, she seems to be having difficulty with this still, though maybe she's trying when more tired), using specific sounds to communicate specific things (though I'm not sure I can quite say that she's learned words yet), more complex causal modeling (i.e. she knows the remote control works somehow and is determined to figure it out).
l33tminion: (Smile)
Work continues to be busy but tiring. I'm only now getting to clearing some of my backlog both there and at home. Hence the delay in posting.

Two weekends ago (Labor Day weekend) was my sister's wedding! It was a wedding retreat, a whole weekend with immediate family old and new at a vacation home in the mountains in Newry, Maine. The wedding was beautiful, and the whole weekend was very relaxing. Congratulations again to Melissa and Elliott!

The highlight of the weekend for me, actual wedding aside, was taking the kid on her first hike. I bought an awesome backpack carrier, Eris enjoyed surveying her domain, and it was quite a workout! You can really tell the optimists from the pessimists among the people you pass on a steep hike, the former tell you encouragingly that the summit is right around the corner, the latter tell you accurately that it's still quite a ways. (One inversely-directed hiker compared Erica in her backpack to "the Queen of Sheba", to which I responded "and I, her loyal servant".) I definitely need to get in some more use of that backpack. It's fun!

(That and stargazing from the roof deck of the house. It's been a long time since I've had such a good view of the stars.)

I've been trying to get in more of activities I consider worth having done in retrospect and less of stuff that seems like a waste of time. It's not always what I expect.

Things that were good uses of my free time:
  • Going to Michelle's birthday party
  • An extended Sunday brunch that ended up taking all of the morning and a bit of the afternoon
  • Getting back to reading S.
  • Starting to read Fix (the conclusion of a trilogy)
  • Reading books in general, including on the Kindle app on my phone
  • Long strolls with the kid
  • Catching up on Fear the Walking Dead (even though that's not nearly as good as the show it's a spinoff of)
  • Watching Dennou Coil (most briefly described as "Google Glass the anime")
  • LJ discussion threads, even though it takes me entirely to long to edit entirely too wordy comments
  • Cooking, even when it's something simple
Things that were not good uses of my time:
  • A super-aimless Saturday morning, where it took me far too long to get up and do anything
  • Playing a bit of Borderlands (I thought I would enjoy it, but it was just too repetitive and grindy)
  • Excessive Facebook browsing
Erica is developing really quickly and seems to be really having fun with her rapid increase in capabilities. She loves playing with her toys, especially an electronic music-box that's all flashing primary-colored lights and snippets of classical music, anything with moving parts she can manipulate, and anything that makes noise when she hits it against the floor.

Eristic improvements: Dancing (including moving to the beat of music), standing assisted, bouncing up and down from a standing position (every day is leg day!), pulling herself up to sitting, kneeling, or half-standing poses on her own. Getting bored mid-hygiene and trying to get away (come back, baby!). Trying to get into the container of wipes to chew on them (evidently delicious?). Eating more varieties of food (though her reaction to some really new things is very dramatic: super-exaggerated disgust-face followed by demanding more followed by surprised laughter at every bite). Trying to remove books from lower bookshelves (the bungee cords are deterrent enough for now). She still is way into making that growling sound, too!
l33tminion: (L33t)
Made it through the "matchmaking on a place and a price" stage of condo buying. Now into the first of two "ungodly amounts of paperwork" stages. (Followed by handing over a giant chunk of my life savings, actual moving, and parenthood. Can't complain that my life lacks excitement.)

Also enjoyed a team-building day trip with my work colleagues (lunch on the beach in Provincetown) this week. Which along with home-buying chaos meant that the week was a bit short on work. Fortunately can expect that will be somewhat better in the coming week.

For all the stress, it's nice to get back to some simple pleasures that I've been overlooking for a long time. For me lately, that's watching anime (currently in the middle of the second season of Darker Than Black) and eating at Punjabi Dhaba (an Inman Square treasure for sure).
l33tminion: (L33t)
The weekend before last, I was out of town at PyCon. It was fun representing Google at the career fair, and I enjoyed the talks I attended. I was able to work from the Montreal office that Monday before heading home. I see why people are so happy at that office, it's a neat little space with a small engineering team. Plus Montreal seemed like a pretty interesting and friendly city.

Some talks of note:A larger set of talks and tutorials is up here.

This weekend was marathon weekend, yet another weekend when all the things happen at once. Bergamot serves an amazing Easter brunch.

Getting ready for wedding season. DJ and Michelle are getting married in two weeks, my cousin Ben's wedding is two weeks after that.

The situation in Ukraine continues to be messed up.
l33tminion: (Default)
Anime: Japanator's top 50 for the decade. An interesting selection. I've watched all of 22 of those and touched on 6 more.

Clothes: Ties! Also, the other kind of ties! umbrellas! Blue shoes! Double monks!

It occurs to me that I've gone from two pairs of shoes (running shoes, black oxford dress shoes; three if you include beach sandals) to seven (running shoes (which I still wear at least 95% of the time), black oxford dress shoes, cheap old wingtips, moar better wingtips, thrifted fringe loafer, cheap blue canvas sneakers (CVOs), casual slip-ons (I like the idea of using those as beach shoes much, much more than sandals, which I hate)). Basically, if I ever win the lottery I'm in danger of becoming this guy. (Not really. I hope.)

Education: Here's a method of learning phonetic alphabets (like Japanese kana): transliterate random things.

An interview with the Olin College president. I find the answers both interesting and disappointingly moderate.

A Wellesley student discusses Wellesley's admissions office's discrimination against transgendered students. Yet another "the writing is on the wall for Wellesley as women-only" story, there were several others during my Olin days. A good example of how overt, allegedly acceptable discrimination leads to covert, obviously shady discrimination.

An MIT researcher turns his house into a (self-directed) panopticon, with interesting results. I discussed this at length on my other blog.

A discussion of the World Peace Game, an educational game of global politics played by fourth graders.

Random Interesting: Broken lottery scratch-off games and their relation to security, math, and crime.'

Overthinking It analyzes Rebecca Black's "Friday", which must be the most successful vanity video of all time.

Playing video games while blind.

A bit of randomly interesting math: What is the highest value of n for which the decimal representation of 2^n has no 0s?

An article on a handbook for overthrowing dictators, which has evidently been quite influential this year.

An article on the psychology of (media) overabundance.

Better libertarian rhetoric with regard to "anti-privilege" liberals. Good stuff.

Dinosaur Comic's take on polyamory. Read the extra title text. I love that brand of subtle snark.
l33tminion: (Anime)
Two weekends ago: Dinner at Journeyman (fantastic) with DJ and Zach (sp?) (DJ's friend), BarCamp Boston (I did go to the second day after all).

One weekend ago: Saw The Dark Crystal (there are many good thing about this movie, but that doesn't change the fact that it's overall pretty terrible) and Labyrinth (awesome) at the Brattle Theater. Thrifted some vintage clothes to attend Michelle's "Totally Rad Party" with Tara and DJ and others. Saw the first episode of "Game of Thrones" with Amarley et al (people who I know from medieval dance and the local anime meetup group).

This weekend: Anime Boston, which I'm not really as into a PAX East and so on, but it's still fun. Was excited to see all the people cosplaying Homestuck characters (in other news, MS Paint Adventures is awesome, and Homestuck is probably the most bizarre piece of postmodern fiction I've ever read). Got in a dinner at Eastern Standard with DJ and Michelle. That place deserves it's reputation for exceptional drinks, and the dessert was also fantastic, but everything else, while not bad, didn't seem at all like a good value.

Looks like Saam will be moving out post-graduation at the beginning of June. With luck, Zach will be replacing him. (Without luck, we'll be housemate-searching on Craigslist again.) It's been good, but not nearly long enough since the last time the residents of this house changed. Can't be helped, I suppose.

This week is the Boston Independent Film Festival. Weekend after that is the International Steampunk City in Waltham.
l33tminion: (Overwork)
Satoshi Kon, an extraordinary surrealist artist and one of the greatest animation directors of our time, died this week at the age of 46 from metastasized pancreatic cancer. The news of his illness was largely kept private until after his death. A final letter was posted to his blog (translated with notes, thanks to blogger Makiko Itoh). NYT obituary here.

Really, I'm at a loss for words.

Flattened

May. 15th, 2010 02:40 am
l33tminion: (Microbes)
Tough week. Busy at work. Missed work Tuesday and Wednesday because I was struck flat by some sort of virus. Still trying to shake off the last bit of sore throat and cough from that. Hopefully will be able to have a useful workout tomorrow?

Interesting watching the markets crash this week. Seems like everyone's dropping everything to buy gold. Oil is back down close to $70 on decreased expectations for the actually doing things sector of the economy.

Obama's picked a nominee for the Supreme Court, with rather divided reactions. Lawrence Lessig likes her, Brad Hicks is so fed up that he's ready to slap on the Palin '12 bumper sticker and stock up on riot supplies.

MIT Anime Club is closing their events to non-student outsiders and alumni starting next semester, so that's one thing knocked off my schedule.
l33tminion: (Anime)
From the last few weeks:

Hanamaru Kindergarten: A slice-of-life show set at a kindergarten. Yeah, that about covers it.

Kuchu Buranko (Trapeze): One week in the life of an insane psychiatrist. Pretty bizarre, but pretty good.

Summer Wars (movie): Awesome, see it.

Kannagi: About what you'd expect from the premise.

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad: Like a serious version of K-ON!. Better than that description implies.

Tentai Senshi Sunred: A superhero parody show with the addition that everyone involved is a freeter. Actually rather funny.
l33tminion: (Exercise)
Last Thursday, went climbing and passed the hardest bouldering course I've yet passed:
Jazzy Jeff (v1+, passed)
I Hate Roaming Climbs (v0, failed)

The course I passed (on the first try that day) was the same course I couldn't do at all the Sunday before and could do every piece of the Thursday before that.

Friday had dinner with Sho and Patti. Saturday went to anime club with Ames and rewatched Serial Experiments Lain. Saturday saw The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with film club (well worth watching).
l33tminion: (Default)
The weather has been unusually warm the last few days, and my mood has been good. I've been pushing myself back towards a more reasonable sleep schedule. I finished Persona 4 and started on Mass Effect.

Wednesday, I went to medieval dance, which was particularly fun. Thursday, I went climbing and did every part of a v1- (though couldn't quite put it all together). Friday, I did my usual fitness session early. Saturday was CrisisCamp, which was fairly productive and surprisingly well attended for something organized on such short notice.

Saturday evening saw all of Kaiba at anime club. Was an awesome, unusual show. It takes a colorful, old-school visual style, sometimes in sharp contrast with the dark (even dystopian or apocalyptic) elements of the setting. The story features an amnesiac protagonist in a world where memories, or even entire people, can be transferred between bodies at will. The show isn't successful at everything it tries to do, in particular, the pacing on the ending seems a bit rushed. But overall, it's a very good take on a theme I find very compelling, that of people trying to stay human (or coming to terms with their humanity) in a post-human world.

Sunday, I went climbing again and couldn't do some of the things I could do on Thursday. :-/
l33tminion: (Kano)
Odd dreams last night. Two disconnected scenes:

Long But Not Necessarily Interesting )

A few other snippets from my life:

Anime club is running marathons of series during January, so I went to see all of Chaos Head this past weekend. I saw the first few episodes before and liked it, but it takes a bad turn midway through. It goes from an awesome psychological drama to a poorly plotted scifi adventure show with tons of clunky technobabble exposition. Argh.

Also, even though I've been in a quieter mood lately, it's been good having my social life pick up again post-winter-holidays. Yesterday, went to Diesel briefly and had dinner with Shoshana. Today I'm going to Medieval Dance practice (not that I'm really involved in SCA stuff again, but I'm looking forward to the break from routine).
l33tminion: (Wings)
It's not that I have a hard time falling asleep, it's that I have a hard time wanting to sleep...

I went to bed at 1AM and woke up at 11AM Monday morning. Got to work around noon, didn't get much done. Didn't get in a proper workout, either. Went to a showing of The Sky Crawlers cosponsored by anime club (worth seeing; though the pacing sort of falls apart in the last half, the visuals are amazing). After the movie, I decided I'd try to get a bit more done. Arrived back at work at 10PM, thought I'd put in an hour. An hour turned into five...

At least staying late at work is more productive than my average not-sleeping. I'm glad I don't live somewhere more awake-all-the-time (though I don't wish that when I am up and out at such hours). That would probably do in my pretense of having a normal schedule... plus it would be bad for my diet, unhealthy and/or mediocre food is so much more appealing late at night.
l33tminion: (Default)
Thursday, the weather was in the 70s during the day and comfortable without a jacket even at night. The last few weeks have been surprisingly mild in general, despite the bit of early snow in late October. Today, however, there was some real snow.

Thursday was climbing, a bunch of v0s and v1s and not passing anything. Almost passed Judgment (v0), I bet I'll be able to do it if I try it when fresh.

Friday, went to anime club with Ames, saw the start of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun; schoolgirls with superpowers molest eachother with superpowers... I wish that description was more of an exaggeration) and the end of Moyashimon (best use of microbes as supporting characters in an anime; also, pretty awesome).

Had a crazy workout today (four cycles without stopping: 0.25 mi. run, 12 30lbs. exercise ball dumbbell fly, 12 40lbs. exercise ball dumbbell press, 12 50lbs. front squat and press). Still a bit sore.

I've become rather a fan of the Starlite Lounge (the bar that opened in the space once held by the late Abby Lounge, a block or so from my house).
l33tminion: (Train)
Friday evening, went to anime club with Ames again. Saw a bit of Kimi ni Todoke (people being exceptionally happy about moderately happy things, the anime; it's a straight-forward romance, too sappy for me) and more of Moyashimon and Darker Than Black.

Saturday, had breakfast at the S&S with Ames, and then had an exceedingly pleasant train trip to Cleveland. Had some really good conversations with fellow travelers, finished my book. There were a few musicians playing during the stopover in Albany. The train was delayed briefly just before getting into Cleveland, but otherwise the trip was without incident.

Toady, back home and relaxing.
l33tminion: (Default)
Friday: Went to anime club with Ames. Saw the start of Nyan Koi! (a guy allergic to cats acquires the ability to talk to cats, a curse that requires him to help 100 cats, and an unwanted harem of cat people (no, not that kind of cat-people)) and Moyashimon (a guy with the supernatural ability to see microbes with the naked eye goes to an agricultural university).

Saturday: Coffee with Ames, a good workout at Fitness Together, lunch a Casa Portugal and the movie Boondock Saits II with DJ (the movie was worth seeing if you liked the original, it's more of the same, though it's not as good).

Sunday: Spent the afternoon watching The Color of Magic with Xave and Shoshana, then went for dinner at Le's in Harvard Square.

Today: Very sick all of a sudden. Last time I was sick, I was too sick to want to do anything but lie in bed and sleep. This time, I'm sick enough to want to do anything but stay at home sick, but too sick to do anything else. For some reason, I'm also hungry for just the sorts of foods I'm way too sick to eat. I even diluted my cereal with diluted juice because I wasn't willing to risk milk. Head is killing me, too.

So, great weekend, but that winning streak seems to be over. I really hope that whatever I have this time is brief.
l33tminion: (Default)
Missed mentioning this last week, but it looks like some of the scenes from an upcoming movie will be at the bar half-a-block from our house.

As for this week:

Exercise: Current lifting routine progresses, ran 30 mins. at 5 mph, went for my annual physical and was 21 lbs. lighter than a year ago.

Anime club on Friday: Saw the first few episodes of Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, which seemed rather bad (way too many of the characters are horribly annoying, idiots, or both).

Saturday evening: Went downtown with Ginneh and DJ, couldn't go bar crawling because Ginneh forgot her ID, got ice cream instead. Came back home, watched Batman Beyond.

Sunday Night Film Club: Saw A Serious Man. A bit like a comedic version of Pi (but not really), very like an extremely Jewish version of The Big Lebowski. Relevant things about it not clear from the previews: It contains a lot of humor that leans on Jewish cultural references, only some of which are explained. The movie itself is the sort of story that drives serious, answer-seeking people (like the protagonist) a bit crazy. It's a Jewish stoner movie.
l33tminion: (Conga!)
Friday: Went to anime club and saw a bit of two new series: Shangri-la (the hero is a schoolgirl populist revolutionary wielding an adamantium boomerang, the main characters live in a small town in the shadow of a giant arcology in the jungle that used to be Tokyo, basically everyone is a carbon derivatives trader, it gets weirder from there; I like it, probably because I overvalue interesting premises) and Bakemonogatari (Ghostory; about an ex-vampire encountering a bunch of crazy people with bizarre supernatural afflictions and solving their problems with a little help from his drifter supernaturalist mercenary friend, and it's much more bizarre than that description makes it sound).

Saturday: Went to Psyforia in the evening with Xavid, ran into Pogo (Oliner who introduced me to the electronic music scene). Was quite fun.

Today: Went to see Where the Wild Things Are with Annie, who I met on OKC. Went well, I think. The movie was a surprisingly good adaptation of the book. Also, I've never seen a children's movie in a theater with so few children in the audience.

It took me most of the week to fully recover from last week's cold, but this evening I suddenly feel unusually chilly. I hope I'm not coming down with something again.
l33tminion: (L33t zombie)
Friday: Went to anime club. Saw some shows I've seen before and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (after Tokyo is hit by a gigantic earthquake, the main character bravely protects her brother as they make their way home decides that now would be a good time to forget about safety and indulge in some adolescent angst).

Saturday: Hard workout, ate bear pirogies and went to the Jonathan Coulton concert with DJ and Xave. Was even better than the last such concert I went to: Paul and Storm and JoCo have gotten better at working together, JoCo has more expensive toys for his sudden-change-in-genres segment, the Boston crowd was pretty crazy. Also, half the Boston people I know were there. Only downside was we got there late enough to have to stand the whole time. Went to the Sunset Catina afterwards.

Sunday: Slept all day, then was up half the night playing video games.

Today: Woke up early (despite going to bed late), but still had a productive day at work, surprisingly. Now I'm in a tired-but-don't-want-to-sleep state again.

JIII~

Sep. 12th, 2009 03:45 pm
l33tminion: (Anime)
Made it to anime club last night, for the first time in a long time. Saw three shows I hadn't seen before.

K-ON! - Cute fluff about four girls who start a band for a school club. A good example of its genre.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (So Long, Mr. Despair) - A very dark, eccentric, over-the-top comedy featuring an incredibly pessimistic teacher, an incredibly optimistic student, and the rest of their incredibly messed up class. Bizarre art style, good music, totally awesome.

Darker Than Black - Seems like a pretty typical urban fantasy / conspiracy thriller kind of story. Not sure if I like it that much, but I only saw two episodes so I'm not sure I've seen enough of the story to get a real sense of it yet.

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