- A day late for actually Week 531 and I could have waited until the end of this week, but I'm procrastinating.
- I'm procrastinating because I have my last Japanese class of this semester, and therefore I have a test tonight I should be revising for.
- On Monday, I went to the new teamLab: Continuity exhibit with Monica at the Asian Art Museum. I've been to the ones on Japan, and it's the same people, but on a smaller scale. Think dark rooms with generative art projections of flowers, weather, fish and butterflies that subtley interact with you if you pay attention. Very nice afternoon out.
- The UK has finally decided to let folks in with vaccinations and not make them quarantine, so we've booked to go at the end of August. Alex has some busines in London, so it's fortuitous timing. I think mum and dad are... trepidatious... however, even if they are not excited to see me, I miss seeing them and am glad to be coming before the weather turns. I'm also severely out of good biscuits.
- I'm currently in an airbnb myself and some friends booked, somewhere near Philo. It's a working trip - everyone in the house is currently on a laptop working/on a call. We're considering starting our very own, very boring, reality show.
- Except for the aforementioned procrastination reason, it's really hard to get anything done when you're overlooking a beautiful vineyard with no less than 3 to 8 turkey vultures sailing overhead at any given time.
- Had a brief covid mini-scare and stress tested how easy and quick it is to get a test in San Francisco. Sort of easy, but a pain in the ass to locate if you're not web-savvy. A lot of "wtf, why is it like this".
- Consequently bought a bunch of these home tests. My British pals are surprised we don't have home lateral testing. I'm sorry - did you forget where we live? The FDA has not given us access to such sanity changing devices.
- We don't have covid. Yet.
- Did some culture - visiting the Nam June Paik exhibition with Monica. She described it well in her own weaknotes.
- Had one not very good ikebana class and one quite good ikebana class. Feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things. Also, I'm speaking more Japanese in class!
- Ate a really delicious pancake today. It was ube and in a bright purple coconut sauce, obviously meant for the instagram.
Alex changed jobs, so we took the opportunity to take some trips now that we’re vaccinated.
We started with a week out in Hawaii, just to chill and see one of Alex’s oldest friends and his family.
Then we took a just-over-two week road trip hitting: SF to Big Sur to Santa Barbara to Joshua Tree and Mohave to Las Vegas to Grand Canyon back through Las Vegas to Death Valley and then on to Independance (to visit Hawaii friend’s mum’s ice-cream shop - v good), Mammoth Lake and South Lake Tahoe (dropping in on Monica), ending in Calistoga for a long weekend at Indian Springs with some friends. It was great!
Most of the trip was basically a lesson to someone like me who grew up on a little island exactly how vast and empty most of North America is. Have some holiday snaps for explanation (mostly taken by Alex).
I restarted Japanese lessons a couple of months ago, so I kept those up while I travelled along with some work commitments because that’s all still online. A bit of an experiment in digital nomadism, where I’ve largely learned how crap most hotel WiFi is for video meetings (and how surprisingly decent Google Fi is for hotspots!).
I’ve also found a 1:1 Japanese tutor to help with speaking practice. I meet with her once a week on zoom, not because of COVID, but because she’s in Japan! こんにちはあゆ先生！
Now we’re back, ikebana class started again in person! So nice to be back with my coven. Here’s my first rikka since February 2020.
And then we’ve rounded off this re-entry into the world with a trip to the ER this weekend for a mystery trunk pain for Alex - suspect kidney stones but they couldn’t spot one? Not appendix, since that was the great wedding anniversary gift of 2014. Anyway, an exciting mystery that had me up at 4.30AM on a Saturday morning.
Andrew Hyder died. A truly a wonderful man. I'm not sure what to say about it other than he was young and healthy and his body still betrayed him, and I feel very lucky that I was able to work with him when I did (at CfA) and get to know him and his wife. Life is short and unpredictable, so make the most of it while you can.
He's not the only death we've had - we've lost other people during the pandemic (all young, smart, men, for varying reasons). It's been really hard and sad for a lot of people.
Alex and I are doing some living for a while, so we're on the road for a bit. Will report back later!
- Considered fully vaccinated as of this Friday just passed. Which, honestly, is a bit anticclimactic since it doens't suddenly change a lot of things. But, it does bring a new peace of mind that I'm very unlikely to get sick and more importantly even less likely to get someone else sick.
- Pre-vaccination, we'd be extremely conservative - we haven't been doing even outdoor dining or anything that would have us maskless around others nearby. Now we're vaccinated, we've relaxed enough that we went out to dinner! At a restaurant! With friends (from the bubble, but still)! Still outdoor dining, distanced tables and masks, but still. Very exciting and an excellent excuse to not wear a lycra-blended outfit for once.
- Finishing up a couple more paintings for Deadpan Studio. I also cleaned up my pig painting and I'm waiting for the proof to come back for that one.
- iRiver project seems to no longer need my services, which I take as a win for my ability to teach certain others some basic git/github skills. Teach a man to merge to upstream and he'll eat fish for a lifetime something, something.
- Two other pieces of on-going work are more or less settling into the same focus area - namely product management coaching.
- I'm reading a book called Switch by Chip and Dan Heath that someone recommended to me once in a pub (so definitely in the before times) which I impulse bought and has languished on my kindle since. Basically, it explains how to change minds and get people to change behaviour, mostly by starting small and hitting folks in the feels. It reads like an American explaining all the little tricks we played at GDS. Anyway, it's very pop sci, but sensible.
- I'm half way through my 12 week Zwift training plan and they're actually starting to hurt a little bit. Progress will be made!