l33tminion: (Default)
The Google Cambridge summer party was last Thursday, this time at Six Flags New England. Unfortunately, Julie had an important business meeting the same day and couldn't go. The weather was a bit more rainy than ideal, but at least that meant short lines. Was just dry enough to allow for a fun visit, though, and I did get to ride some steel roller-coasters for the first time. Turns out I don't find the inversions as scary as I'd thought when I was younger, long drops get to me way more than the twisty, loopy elements. Mind Eraser was a blast. Plus I managed to get in an entire book's worth of reading on the bus from the office. Will have to return some time with the whole family.

Yesterday, Scott and Diane (Julie's cousins) were in from out of town for a wedding, and they had some time to drop by for a visit. Erica was a bit shy, but was more outgoing after a long-delayed nap, and we had a wonderful dinner at Loyal Nine. Was great to catch up!

Aside from that, work has been busy, and I've been trying to get a little work in on Mystery Hunt writing. I swore I'd help my team somehow, and January is sooner than you'd think.

Eristic improvements: Climbing up and down from chest-height obstacles, putting together shape-matching puzzles by herself, walking a lot faster, staying up inadvisably late.
l33tminion: (Overwork)
Last week was pretty quiet. This past weekend, too. Though we did go out for soup dumplings with Ingress friends on Sunday.

Julie's startup-founding work continues to progress.

It's the turn of the quarter, so a lot of reflection and planning at work. Things ebb and flow. First quarter was pretty great, this quarter was all right. But I'm excited about the next. For some reason, I'm at least briefly in charge of planning the quarterly goals for my group, which is an interesting opportunity (though I wish some of the related deadlines had been a little better communicated).

I want to get back to writing on my essay blog at some point, but my writing is very slow even for lighter stuff like this.

What else? My parents will be in Boston later this week, and we're going up to Sandy Island Camp next week. That should be fun. Haven't picked out which books I'll bring yet, but I certainly have a lot on my queue.
l33tminion: (Default)
I was doing well on posting, then suddenly I was once again super-behind.

I don't even need to know where to begin with political news. The Comey stuff wasn't very unexpected: Trump leaned on Comey to shut down the Flynn investigation, then when Comey demurred, Trump fired him. But of course Trump's core supporters are going to come out thinking this is totally fine, it's Trump being Trump.

Rumors that Trump didn't know there was a US military base in Quatar before being persuaded by the Saudis to side with them in a diplomatic crisis based on a fake news report are pretty alarming, though. Ditto for him leaving out a line about article 5 (the mutual defense pact bit) during his speech at NATO. But perhaps that's another thing that would please his supporters.

Then the UK elections happened this weekend, in a total back-fire for the Conservatives where liberal gains in parliament might ironically result in an even more right-wing UK government, as the Conservatives now are beholden to a far-right coalition partner for a majority. Or just a completely destabilized government, who knows?

In other news, the greatest climber in the world climbed El Capitan in Yosemite without ropes. Insanity, but it's amazing that a human can even accomplish such a feat.

Work's been busy, I've been shifting my focus a bit in terms of which goals I'll aim to accomplish before the end of the quarter. That's going well.

I've been watching a bit of Steven Universe with Xave over lunch break (it's a fun show, though the longer plot arcs seem to be slow to build; I love the style of visual humor, the animation is brilliant).

It's Pride week, and the parade yesterday was big and colorful as always. The weather has been hot. It's not even summer yet.

Today I was mostly out and about with the kid doing errands.

There's nothing like a cool shower in the dark after a hot day.

My parents are off on a European holiday. Enjoying the photos. Happy anniversary!

Eristic improvements: Fetching objects by name, better memory of numbers and letters, recognition of specific letters (maybe), matching shapes to outlines (including letters), some new words (including "apple" and "[ba]nana").
l33tminion: (Skilled)
More travel this weekend. This time, Julie and I are traveling separately: Julie (with Erica) went to visit her parents and attend a memorial service for her grandfather, I went to Portland, Oregon to attend PyCon for work.

This hasn't been the best conference trip for me. A combination of exhaustion, confusion, and generally being under the weather led to me missing almost all of the conference on Friday (though I did get some work done). Saturday I felt great and well-rested, but last night I had a hard time sleeping and an upset stomach, so I'm exhausted again. Jet lag seems to be hitting me a lot harder than usual. Still, it's a great conference and I'm glad I went. The Saturday talks were especially interesting, and I really enjoyed talking to people at Google's booth at the expo and meeting some of my coworkers from further afield.

I'm also glad I caught one of the Portland PyCons. I do like what little of Portland I've seen. The downtown seems so nicely designed, with it's square grid of streets and the streetcar system and just the right amount of height and density. The conference changes location every two years, and I missed last. PyCon 2018 and 2019 will be in Cleveland, which is less exciting than Portland, but convenient for me.
l33tminion: (Overwork)
Yesterday, we wrapped up our NYC trip with a brief stop at the Met Museum, said hi to some Ingress acquaintances (also down from Boston), and took a beautiful train-ride home.

And then I realized that I'd failed to clear out the closet in the hotel room. Argh. (They have my misplaced garments, at least, it's just a matter of arranging shipping.)

Julie is trying to plan some startup-related business travel. Seems like it might be fun, but the logistics are stressful.

There was a big office reorganization at work while I was away (packed up my office just before I left), so today involved a fair amount of unpacking. New space seems good. Same building, different floor, shared office with a window (though the view is not as good as my previous office).

I'm up late now dealing with the backlog of laundry. Bed soon.
l33tminion: (Default)
It's been a busy week!

Sunday I took Eris to the aquarium and did some touristy things downtown.

Monday was Patriot's Day and the Boston Marathon, so it was a daycare holiday and I took the day off work.

Spring performance reviews wrapped up this week at work, and I'm pleased with how the last six months have gone. I've been productive, and my coworkers had nice things to say about what I've accomplished.

Played some Magic, too. Friday, I drafted Conspiracy after work. Didn't win, but the game was as interesting as you'd expect from that format (got into a ridiculous deadlock, I guess I shouldn't have passed up that Traveler's Cloak). Today, I played in the Amonkhet prerelease and that set also seems great. Probably was the closest set of games I've played in a prerelease. The first match I didn't quite turn a game-three loss into a draw, the second match my opponent was able to grind game three into a draw though they seemed to be in the losing position, the third match my opponent no-showed (I found the player with an actual bye to get in some games while waiting, managed to win one and ran out the round time before I could finish the second), and I won the last match to just barely qualify for a prize. GB -1/-1 counters sure was a fun archetype to play, with a lot of interesting decisions. I didn't end up with the most powerful cards in my card pool, but I did have a lot of synergy (though I didn't get so lucky as actually to draw the ultimate first three turns of Festering Mummy, Hapatra, Plague Belcher).

Eristic improvements: Playing fetch, throwing a ball, imitating the sound of words more closely, imitating snippets of song (the first line of the alphabet song specifically).
l33tminion: (Default)
In "not just me talking abut my blog" news, the last few weeks have been eventful. In particular, Eris is walking for real!

We went to Cleveland to visit my folks last weekend for Passover (first Seder at the Singers' house and the second at my parents'). Was a nice visit, despite me, Julie, and the kid being sick with bad colds. (To add to the pain, I got a stomach bug the day before traveling and Erica has some back teeth coming in.)

The weather in Cleveland was mostly mild, but when we arrived there was snow on the ground! Still, things seem to be finally warming up, which means it's an ideal time to take Erica to the park. She's far more enthusiastic about wearing shoes now that she can walk around outdoors.

Work continues to be busy, but I'm excited about the stuff I'm working on.

Despite being busy, I've managed to get in some fun. I'm still playing some Magic: the Gathering with colleagues, I've been watching Steven Universe with Xavid, and I've gotten back to watching more anime because it's really easy to catch the odd episode now that I'm mostly watching in an app on my phone. I started watching Konosuba (funny, but the sort of genre pastiche that works well only if you're already a fan of the genres it's satirizing), watched Interviews with Monster Girls (a supernatural slice-of-life show with a lot of charming visual humor), and started One Punch Man (superhero satire, the animation is great).

Eristic improvements: Walking unsupported, walking outdoors, playing on swing and roundabout and slide on playground (assisted), more active about asking us to read, pays more attention to reading, pretends to read, has become very interested in taking to people on the phone (and, alarmingly, has figured out how to call people on her own), more skill/interest in eating with fork and spoon.
l33tminion: (L33t)
Time continues humming along.

My mom came to visit last weekend, which was really nice. We took the kid to the aquarium again, among other things. Eris arrived at the aquarium mid-nap again, though she did wake up before we had to go. (We were about ready to leave when the fire alarm went off. No idea what was up with that, but it doesn't seem to have gotten any mention in the news, so was probably something minor or a false alarm.)

This week was quite busy at work. Among other things, I'm preparing a presentation on some of my recent work for next week's team meeting. Tuesday was pretty snowy, and I worked from home.

Ames ([livejournal.com profile] tenshikurai9) is back in town this week, so I got the chance to catch up and introduce her to the kid.

My new phone arrived (Google's new Pixel XL). It's not super-different from my previous phone (a Nexus 6P), but it certainly has a lot of polish, the new hardware and software work really well. Eris is also excited about that (in a way) because she's recently discovered the concept of talking to people on the phone.

Eristic improvements: Knee-walking, saying "hello" and "byebye".
l33tminion: (L33t)
Last week was busy, and by the end of it I was wrecked. On Friday afternoon I picked up the kid from daycare and went to a local cafe in the hopes that a cup of coffee would revive me. No luck, I just wound up being dragged around the place by a super-energetic baby. I was hoping to enjoy a night out, but Julie wound up taking the kid and going out without me while I just crashed.

The weekend was a mixed bag. There were some good parts, including brunch with Ingress friends and a fancy steak dinner Saturday night. But I continued to be very tired, and lots of things unexpectedly went wrong (including a broken stroller, though at least it was repairable).

This week is off to a busy start. There's a meeting of my wider team in town this week, so I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see some of my colleagues from Mountain View and Zurich.
l33tminion: (Microbes)
It hasn't been the most productive last week of work for the year.

Monday I was out at Olin Expo on behalf of campus recruiting, which was great. Tuesday was okay. But Wednesday, I stayed home to look after a sick Erica who had a bit of a chest cold (and maybe also a stomach bug?). Today, I had a terrible stomach bug. And now Julie is sick as well.

On the plus side, Erica seems to be feeling better, though still a little tired. Amy and Josh are very helpfully looking after Erica for a few hours so that Julie can get a bit more rest (and hopefully get through the worst of the stomach symptoms). I'm lying down a bit more as well.
l33tminion: (Overwork)
This past week at work was extremely busy, but I got a lot done.

The (smaller) cafeteria in my office building is closed for construction due to the new building going up next door. A new mini-cafeteria specializing in pho was opened on the twelfth floor of the central building in the Google campus. So I had pho for lunch four out of five days last week. It's the right weather for it. And the view from there is beautiful.

On Saturday, we went to the mall so I could look for a new coat. And then Julie had her phone stolen by a pickpocket when she set it down in the base of the stroller. That ended up being less of a disaster than it could have been, since the phone was due for an upgrade soon anyways, but it still made a complete mess of the day.

Today, Julie had a phone interview and I was an exhausted wreck. Eris and I both wound up taking a long nap in the afternoon. Dinner was delicious Chinese food from Zoe's. And then I wasted far too much time before staying up stupidly late doing chores.

But I still wanted to write before I sleep.
l33tminion: (Overwork)
Work has been busy, everything has been busy. I've been bogged down with chores. I've not been sleeping so well, though not for any particular reason.

I'm making a serious effort to adjust my diet this week. I've been less inclined to eat healthily this year, and the effect is starting to get a bit alarming.

And some of my the most fun bits of the last few weeks have been related to food. Last Friday night, went out for an amazing evening of dessert and drinks at Loyal Nine after a quiet dinner at home. Saturday night, I took Julie out for a steak dinner at Juliet, and it lived up to the best steakhouse dinners I've had. (Julie liked it too, and she has high standards for steak.) All the more reason to keep my day-to-day eating on the healthy side, I suppose. Plus that gives me more motivation to cook again.

Politics is weighing on me. Sunday I went to canvas in New Hampshire for the Clinton campaign. ~40 volunteers left that day for NH canvassing from Porter Square Books, and more than that many from the campaign office in Central Square. And that's just Cambridge. The Clinton campaign is tremendously organized.

I made it out to Olin Monday evening with a few of my colleagues to give a tech talk on interviewing at Google.

The kid is more reluctant than ever to go to sleep in the evenings. And keeping her toys out of the way has become yet another chore.

Eristic improvements: Standing (supported but unassisted). Pulling herself to a standing position (an ability that she's working really hard on improving). Walking is sooner than you think.
l33tminion: (L33t)
I've been very tired lately. Between that and the heat, I've pretty much given up on cooking, and all of my entertainment has tended towards the short-form. Work has been exhausting as well.

Julie's Science paper came out this week, and she was working to get her companion-piece methods paper ready for pre-publication. And post-postdoc job search continues.

Next week, we'll be going to Portland, Maine for another Ingress live event. So have been getting in a little Ingress-playing this week to gather the game-items needed for the battle ahead.

The weekend after that is my sister's wedding, also near Portland.

Today, I thought I might get a quiet day at home, then did nothing of the sort (as usual). Went out for breakfast, then decided to catch a bit of the Red Bull Flugtag (a funny amateur "flying" machine competition), then played some Ingress in/around Boston Public Garden. Did a bit more wandering and relaxing, then got dinner at Happy Lamb Hot Pot (a new place in Central Square which happened to be serving their special menu for this summer's restaurant week). It didn't feel like much time had passed since early afternoon, but by the time we were done with dinner, it was nearly 10PM.

Speaking of which, I'd better get to sleep if I don't want to be dead tomorrow.

Eristic improvements: Crawling for real (though still somewhat limited/slow), new growling noise that she finds incredibly entertaining.
l33tminion: (HHGTG Stub)
Tomorrow, we're heading off to Sandy Island Camp. The first time I was there, I was two years old, so I guess this is really a generational thing now. Which makes me antsy, I'm not the biggest fan of getting caught up in tradition.

Other things that are different this year: I'll be driving up in a rented car with Julie and Erica, since there's not room for the three of us to travel with mom and dad (they're taking Melissa and Elliott). And it won't be my usual break from the digital realm. I'm bringing my phone this year, since that's my best camera.

I packed far more books than I can hope to read in a week of free time, and it's a small fraction of the books in my queue. But some reading will be good. I'm sure I'll be able to get a break from looking after the kid (Melissa in particular seems thrilled to be getting some quality time with her niece).

This week marked the end of second quarter at work, which meant time to look back at my goals for the past three months. I'm pretty pleased with how things are going. Things have been pretty focused and productive, even with a new routine.

Eris BCLC

Jun. 4th, 2016 11:31 am
l33tminion: (Enlightened)
Last few weeks both work and home have been good, but very busy. I haven't had the wherewithal to get in more cooking. I need to get to baby-proofing the house quite soon. I caught a brutal but brief cold and am just now almost fully recovered.

One of the reasons things have been so tiring is that the kid is eating a lot. Her usual is ~800 ml at daycare between 8AM and 5PM, plus morning, afternoon, and evening feedings. So over a liter a day, maybe closer to 1.5L. Obviously this is a lot of work for Julie, but it's enough to keep me busy, too, with the logistics of washing and packing bottles and pumping supplies. The doctor advised Julie to pump before feeding the kid to increase milk production. We joke that Erica is now a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (while Erica's patented massage technique is effective, Julie wishes it was a little gentler).

Last weekend, we went to the Ingress event in Brooklyn on Satuday, and helped our team secure a victory. Then we spent the rest of the long weekend visiting family and friends.

This weekend, we're in Jupiter, Florida, visiting Julie's sister. Her parents are visiting as well. So Erica is getting a lot of quality time with extended family (our niece, Emilia, is super-excited to see her younger cousin).


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

l33tminion: (Overwork)
I feel pretty wrecked this week. I've gotten into a vicious cycle of being too tired to get things done efficiently / staying up late to get things done. So this last week has been rougher than when I first got back to work. Summer has also arrived to help prod me onto an early schedule with warmer nights and brighter mornings. So my internal clock has me waking up at ten-to-seven whether or not I managed to get to bed at ten (my ideal) or midnight (perhaps closer to this week's usual).

I end up of two minds whenever I have free time: Desperate to get in some unstructured relaxation, but also not wanting to be stuck in the house.

At least work has been very productive. I'm on the verge of getting the initial phase of a significant project completed.

I also got in a little cooking this weekend. The Saturday farmer's market in Union Square has started up again, and I got some fiddleheads and radishes and fancy smoked fish.

We're going to NYC next weekend, attending the Ingress live event in Brooklyn. This weekend is quiet.

Eristic improvements: Kid is making more dramatic tongue gestures, is generally more vocal (especially when hungry or tired, which is another thing that's grinding me down), fights sleep a bit harder. Not quite ready for those crawling preliminaries, but it's clear that she's working at it, with some frustration.
l33tminion: (Caffeine)
Tuesday-Thursday last week I was in Orlando for a "fun offsite", a reward to the broader Google Flights team (including the Zurich and Mountain View parts of that team) for a job well done. We stayed at the Disney hotel on the grounds of the Animal Kingdom park. Tuesday evening was dinner and an airboat ride at Wild Florida, the boat ride was fun, we got to observe alligators skulking in the reeds and hold one of the park's little alligators for a souvenir photo. On Wednesday, I went on a tour of Kennedy Space Center (pretty interesting, the space shuttle was really an impressive thing to see in person) and caught the evening fireworks show at Epcot. On Thursday, I went to Universal Orlando and rode a couple of their famous motion-simulator rides before heading for the airport for the journey home. I spent most of the time in the main park, but did duck out to the Harry Potter mini-theme-park in Islands of Adventure (Universal is keen to point out that they have tradmarked basically every word in the description of that attraction). It was charming, and the central motion-simulator ride alternated between "in front of a panoramic screen" and "moving through a tunnel stage set" segments in a way that was pretty neat, though a lot of backstage elements were clearly visible on the stage segments (intentionally to tone down those segments for the kids?).

It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the extra time to socialize with my colleagues, especially some of the colleagues I see less frequently. I never did make it to Disney World proper ("the MK", as everyone in the immediate vicinity seems to refer to it). I'll have to be back some time (and with family) to visit the house of mouse.

(I did still manage to get a little work done this week. Things are moving along.)

Last weekend, Julie's mom came up to visit us and the kid and provide Julie with some extra hands while I was out of town. Was good to see her, and always fun to have grandparents get some time with the kid.

This weekend, my mom is visiting. Since it's Mother's Day, I'm taking my mom and Julie to the Mother's Day brunch at Bergamot.

Eristic improvements: Rolling over, trying (but failing) to get legs under her. I assume as soon as she can get onto arms and knees, she'll be off like a rocket, though.
l33tminion: (Conga!)
So I haven't really posted about my life since last week. The weekend was at least a little relaxing: My cousin Lilah visited us, had a nice Saturday brunch, ArtsUnion had a kids dance party in Union Square, I've been playing Life is Strange.

This week work is very busy, but I'm making some progress on stuff that I was a bit stuck on before I left for leave. So that's good.

I found out that CGP Grey (whose very interesting YouTube channel I've been watching for some time) has two podcasts, Hello Internet, a general discussion podcast in collaboration with the creator of Numberphile, and Cortex, a podcast on productivity and creative work in collaboration with prolific podcaster Myke Hurley. Enjoying both a lot, enough that I'm working my way through the archives.

Today I took a vacation day, but it was less leisure and more working on household tasks. Though I did take a nice stroll on the way to daycare pickup and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

New developments for the kid this week: Laughter (still infrequent, I think Lilah was the first to elicit that reaction), mimicry (maybe? probably a little, though not totally sure, but she does sometimes seem to imitate e.g. sticking out tongue), sucking on thumb (a bit more awareness of fingers generally).

(Also, I've been at Google for five years as of today. Can't believe it's been that long already!)

New Routine

Apr. 6th, 2016 02:33 pm
l33tminion: (Exercise)
Back to work, back to the real world and the new routine of work/life balance! So far so good. Have been trying to get to bed at 10 (actual performance: 12:20, 10, 11...) and waking up at 7AM. Daycare drop off by 8AM, pick-up at 5PM. Back to working out three times a week as well, and Julie and I have both done some home cooking.

Eris seems to be enjoying daycare. Fortunately, she's not shy, and it's a bit too early developmentally for her to be experiencing separation anxiety. As long as she gets care and attention (and milk!), she's a happy customer.

The kid has discovered some new vocalizations (mainly a gross-but-cute gurgly coo) and her hands (less "sucking on thumb", more "trying to gnaw on entire fist").

After returning to work, I was close to the limit on earned vacation time, so I'm taking a few extra days off early on. Today is a little mid-week mini-staycation. Going to catch up on some chores and take a nap.
l33tminion: (Ph34r)
One thing left out of last week's post: We had our two-month pediatrician visit. Erica was 12 lbs. 4 oz. and generally in good health. She got her first round of inoculations. Next visit is at the four-month mark.

The visit with Julie's family was very good. Enjoyed spending time with everyone, and we had fun taking the baby for her first swim in the hotel pool (Julie's family suggested that, and Julie got swim diapers and a swimsuit for Erica at short notice). Erica seemed to enjoy the swim.

The kid has become suddenly much more interactive in the past few days. She's figured out how to smile, and seems much more aware of the details of her environment. Eris demands entertainment!

I ended up supervising the kid this afternoon due to a last-minute schedule conflict, so I had to bring her to my trainer session. I was worried that she'd be unhappy and I'd have to miss my workout, but she watched me exercise from her seat and seemed cheerful the whole time. (Mostly she stayed put, but I did hold her in front of me while doing some walking lunges as I warmed up, making good on my joke about incorporating the baby into my workout routine.) It sure did keep me focused; I was thinking I might have to duck out at any moment, and I was sure if I slowed down Eris would get bored and start to complain.

The return to work looms large. I've set up a brief meeting with my new boss so that we can discuss work a bit before my return. (I mentioned off-hand earlier that one of the managers on my project left. That wasn't my boss, but it did lead to a bit of a reorg where some of my previous manager's direct reports (including me) became indirect reports. My new manager will be a team lead who I was working very closely with already, so it seems like a sensible change to me, given the circumstances.)

Next week, my dad will be visiting Boston. The week after that, heading to the UK for Julie's conference. I still should write more frequently. Keeping busy as always.
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 05:36 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios