Media Summary: June 2017

Tolstoy, taking a walk.

Random stuff from last month:

Monthly recap (June 2017)

Big highlight: Tara’s cousins were visiting.

We went to San Francisco over a weekend, then drove further up north to a small beach town near Bodega Bay (my second good AirBnB experience; slightly less skeptical now than I was a year or so ago).

Minor highlights:

  • Put the first thousand or so miles on the new car
  • The rest was the usual fun hangouts for us these days: Happy Hollows in San Jose, Magical Bridges Playground in Palo Alto, etc.
  • Continued on a nominal 3-day workout schedule, we’ll see how it goes.

Movies/shows watched:

  • House of Cards (season 5); meh, but had to watch it just to “tick that box” … reality surpassed this particular fiction some time ago.
  • War Machine (2017); very funny in the beginning, had me laughing out loud, but by the end I understood why the humor was necessary … without that, it would be just another tragic documentary.

(Rewatched):

  • Midnight in Paris (2011); never gets old.

(Finished reading):

  • Reality is not what it seems (Carlo Rovelli); finally someone who might match Feynman in both breadth and readability.

Media Summary: May 2017

Random stuff from last month:

Monthly recap (May 2017)

Big highlight: finally finished the 1000-piece puzzle I had been working on (will share a full album later).

Sold my 7-year old second-hand Civic and bought a new Subaru Outback (so we can finally take long trips with Tara without worrying about luggage tradeoffs).

Went to Seattle for a couple of days for a work summit, met up with an old friend, and (this is sad) went to a Barnes and Noble after many years.

Movies shows/watched: Arrival (2016), Pacific Rim (2013), John Carter (2012), Miss Sloane (2016), Tron: Legacy (2010)

Media Summary: April 2016

The giant armadillo, the largest living member of the family, weighs between 65 and 90 pounds and is found throughout much of South America. Its burrows are only about 16 inches in diameter and up to about 20 feet long.

“So if a 90-pound animal living today digs a 16-inch by 20-foot borrow, what would dig one five feet wide and 250 feet long?” asks Frank. “There’s no explanation – not predators, not climate, not humidity. I really don’t know.”

The idea of the lethal text is a fascinating one, which recurs in all kinds of narratives. In recent times it has become a motif in the genres of science fiction and supernatural horror, or any other type of story-telling which draws on the gothic. Aleph the Website of Aleph (Defunct) describes it like this: ‘Quite simply, the lethal text is a text that, when read, renders the reader incapable of reading. It destroys the reader’s mind, inducing a crippling insanity. Only those who have read a lethal text know what it says… but they are in no position to share their knowledge.’

See what I mean?! Yes? No? Alright, next time then.

Monthly recap: April 2016

  • Big highlight: our trip to Japan (will have to write a separate post on this!)
  • Tara started some swimming (well, no: the two of us went into a pool twice … but it’s still something)
  • Attempting to get up early and do some workout-ish activity. Two weeks in, if I can somehow keep it up for six months, I’ll be happy.
  • Picked up on the puzzle from last year that I’d given up on. There are about 100 (of the original 1000) pieces left, so I’ll see if I can get it done within the month.
  • Movies/shows Watched: ”Bombay Velvet (2015)”, ”Hero (2002)”, ”Fundamentals of Caring (2016)”, ”Light on Earth (2017)”

Media Summary: March 2017

 The Upper Nepean (1889) by WC Piguenit

 

Random stuff read online last month:

  • The story of the guys who created Superman (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) is … dramatic (also, Superman as initially conceived, was actually a villain).
  • There’s a lot of crap on YouTube, but also a lot of gold — in this case, the first ever recording of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” (as in, he sits down, says “I’m gonna sing another new one now … I know these new songs, maybe that’s kind of weird”). Five minutes or so, and totally worth it.
  • Bonus: if you like that, here is the equivalent one for “Old Man”. Also, there are no background singers or dancers, or a music video to go along, or special effects of any sort; it’s just him, a guitar and mic. Just saying.
  • File this under the irony or stranger than fiction category; the headline says it all: “Man dies under his six-ton pile of porn magazines”
  • Someone has to remind us that this is the 100th year anniversary of something, so the New York Times does it.
  • The picture at the top is something that randomly popped up because I have a Chrome extension that shows stuff like this.
  • Someone followed an unusually large rabbit hole and found a Templar’s cave. Seriously.
  • I finished slowly re-reading Moby Dick and this piece (”The endless depths of Moby Dick symbolism”) perfectly captures my bewildered mix of feelings (what the **** did I just read?)

The book is nearly impossible to place, to categorize, to hold without feeling the vertiginous swell of its creation. More than any other book, it fills me with awe and dread.

Moby-Dick is about everything, a bible written in scrimshaw, an adventure spun in allegory, a taxonomy tripping on acid. It seems to exist outside its own time … It is so broad and so deep as to accept any interpretation while also staring back and mocking this man-made desire toward interpretation.

What does it mean? There are so many symbols as to render symbols meaningless.

Well, I just try to recommend my little essay to you, as an amusing attempt of a perfect stranger that went astray in the labyrinth of your Ulysses and happened to get out of it again by sheer good luck. At all events you may gather from my article what Ulysses has done to a supposedly balanced psychologist.