Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Silicon Valley, Season Three:
This was a pretty successful season with minimal retread of earlier story lines but all of the original characters finding some way to remain relevant in the story. I felt like the character of Erlich Bachman was slightly overused, and the weirdness of Jared was used just enough.

Final Grade: B+

Patton Oswalt: Annihilation:
This stand-up special gets all of the Trump jokes out of the way at the beginning and gets better from there. A large portion dives into the recent death of his wife, but the special never drags or gets too somber. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Mindhunter, Season One:
This show is based on the book about serial killers by John Douglas, but even David Fincher can't keep the pilot from being slow and overly dialogue-y. That is really the theme of the venture, as the characters and plot are really just flat ciphers for the hugely interesting behaviorial crime knowledge originating from the book. The show is pretty uneven (I did finish it) and most people will probably get bored pretty quickly -- better to just read the original book. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C+

The Insistence of Memory by Susan Quilty:
This sci-fi thriller about the concept of memory is written by one of Rebecca's yoga teachers. Though the back cover blurb is reminiscent of an episode of Black Mirror, the book immediately and effectively carves its own space out of the subject matter. It's a fast-paced read with a good blend of mystery plot and open-ended questions about where technology will lead us.

Final Grade: B+

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday, Maia caught her first cold which made her a little hoarse, so we called her Pony for the rest of the weekend. We took her on a dusk stroll through Claude Moore Park and then stopped off at Crooked Run South for tacos and a flight of beer. The brewery was more crowded than usual because of a live bluegrass band taking up space where extra seats would normally be.

On Saturday, I worked on a proposal in the morning and then we made a sweet potato casserole with smoked mozzarella cheese for a Yoga Potluck party in our basement. The casserole turned out great and paired well with the growlers full of Rushlight and Seek Truth from Crooked Run. Plus, I got to use my chafing dish for the 6th time, making it an extremely cost-effective purchase.

On Sunday, my parents came out to visit the baby and drop off an extra DVD player to replace the 5-disc changer that I've had for 14 years now. I don't understand why disc changers aren't made anymore (not counting the 500 disc monstrosities you put your entire library into) -- we must be the only family that keeps multiple shows on deck and rotates between them regularly. Alternately, we must be the only family not consuming all of our media over the Internet.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Maia Week #19 Battle Report

Maia is now 19 weeks old and quite a different baby from last week. In the baby biz, there is a concept called a "wonder week" which is where the baby is precociously fussy and you "wonder" why you had it. This is supposed to last a few days at every developmental milestone, followed by the opening up of a broad array of new skills. Maia's week 17 wonder week lasted about 3 weeks, starting around week 16, confusing the straight line of time more than an episode of LOST. The Daylight Savings Time change had minimal effect on her, but her round of 4 month vaccines exacerbated the grumpiness like wet sand in your swim trunks.

Since last weekend, however, it has all changed. Maia now goes to bed around 10 - 11 PM and then sleeps straight through until 7 - 8 AM. We did a few practice runs of letting her cry to sleep and it only took 3 failed attempts before she understood the concepts and mastered them with a gold star. When she's up during the day, she's calmer and more prone to taking it all in like a monk (on Wednesday, she spent a leisurely dinner at Cafesano with us without any fuss).

On Tuesday, we gave her the first taste of solid food: a pureed bit of avocado. She had roughly the same reaction to avocado that I do -- "There's something weird on my tongue and I hope I'm not allergic to it". She'll probably have a better reaction to rare steak, which is probably the next edible milestone.

We're still guiding her through calisthenics to improve her muscle tone for future autonomy. With support, she can SIT and STAND and other simple verbs from 1980s text adventure games. She is aware of Amber, and Amber is aware of her -- the cat will sit with Rebecca during feeding time but won't get too near Maia at any other point. It won't be long before they have their own Calvin and Hobbes situation though. I'm sure of it!

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