Journalling flow

I’ve been doing this for perhaps four years now, so … it’s something I can write about. Here’s a rough outline:

  • I use Day One1
  • Every day, I write one entry on what happened that day
  • Optionally (this is something I only started doing in the last couple months, but I like it a lot already), I add a few pictures from the day
  • Once every week2, I go through the daily entries, and summarize what happened that week
  • Once every month, I go through the weekly entries, and summarize what happened that month
  • I share3 this monthly entry in a blog post
  • Once a quarter, I go through the monthly entries, and summarize what happened that quarter
  • Once a year4, I go through the quarterly entries, and get the “big events” for the year.
  • I also share the yearly update in a blog post.


  1. An app that lives on both my phone and laptop ↩︎
  2. usually Saturday night, i.e. right now ↩︎
  3. I think this started as a way to make up for not being on Facebook, more on which later… ↩︎
  4. yup, this one is the most satisfying 🙂 ↩︎

Monthly Recap (May 2020)

A few Lego characters …

Major updates

  • Tara got the hang of biking (or at least balancing) … and also had her first big fall from it

Minor updates

  • Sidewalk chalk coloring
  • Played more Catan
  • Doodling
  • Watched the SpaceX launch as a family (!)
  • Some … car battery problems (turns out the CCA of the default Subaru battery is pretty low)
  • More memory games and puzzles

Watched/read/made

  • Read all available Alita: Battle Angel (only wish there was more …)
  • Read some of The Swamp Thing (okay, not great)
  • Finished all of Money Heist (phew!)
  • Sampled a bit of Madame Secretary (meh)
  • Watched Kung Fu Panda, Room on the broom with Tara (👍)
  • Watched an amazing documentary: Fantastic Fungi

Monthly recap (April 2020)

Watercolor with Tara
Watercolor with Tara

Major updates:

  • Continuing to work from home, scattered, sleepy :-/

Minor updates:

Watched/read/made:

  • Lots of Scooby Doo (!), with Tara (the 2015 version was … not that great, the 2006 version … is working out very well)
  • Part 1 of Money Heist (and now I’m humming Bella Ciao all the time …)
  • Tiger King (what was that …)
  • Watched Logan Lucky, Tiger King, MLP: The Movie, Nightmare before Christmas (!)
  • Reading a bunch of series on Comixology: Alita: Battle Angel, Witcher, Alien: Omnibus Locke and Key

Monthly recap (March 2020)

Chalk drawing on the sidewalk outside our home
Chalk drawing on the sidewalk outside our home

Major updates:

  • WFH !! 😞
  • Discovered Comixology 😀

Minor updates:

  • Bunch of “virtual playdates(what a concept!)
  • Lots of Playmobil sets
  • Tara finally got the hang of Lego, so … yeah, lots of Lego sets too
  • Family board game time” expanded to include Junior versions of a bunch of Hasbro games
  • Spending some time playing soccer in the park nearby 😃
  • Chalk painting on the sidewalk

Watched/read/made:

  • Read (graphic novels): first two books of The Witcher, first three books of Locke and Key
  • Read (with Tara): first book of Magic Tree House, first three books of Ivy and Bean (her current favorite)
  • Watched (Netflix): Outbreak (!), Brittany runs a marathon, Christopher Robin

Monthly recap (February 2020)

Major updates:

  • (none ?)

Minor updates:

  • I forgot to write this last month, and … I’m already a little vague on the details, which is … why these are so important!
  • Took Tara climbing at Planet Granit (fun!)
  • Brainstorming schools for Tara
  • Beginnings of “family board game time” (!)
  • Tentative start to re-activating my Facebook account after many years

Watched/read/made:

  • Read Three Body Problem (amazing)
  • Listened to Waking Up
  • Watched (movies): Parasite (whoa), Knives Out
  • Watched (Netflix): Messiah

Random Note: 878132

I was reading Cixin Liu’s books and not only do I like them, but they also reminded me of the different ”waves” of SF/Fantasy reading I’ve had in my life.

Come to think of it, I have a strong impression of a few things twenty years ago but I can’t recall a lot of details.

My biggest regret is my writing shit stuff down … I feel like I lost a couple of decades of my life, just because I didn’t have a written record, and — and I don’t know how it’s like for most people, but — all I feel I have are these messy, jumbled up and often self-contradictory memories!

Anyway, that was a digression … although, was it, really? I didn’t have a theme when I started writing this, and I … just have never understood why we can’t have a better online writing format than a blog.

It’s not like I want to pick a topic and pick a theme and then decide to write something pertinent or something likable.

It should just be … a graph, you know? A linked collection which doesn’t need to be force-fed into this paragraph structure along with a category and a tag… I’m not writing an essay here!

Okay, this whole thing went in a direction I didn’t really plan on it going, but … I will get back to what I started with, eventually.

Edit: this sounds quite incoherent, but I do agree with it, so … will leave it up

Edit: also, I like that the random “permalink” for this post when it didn’t have a title was the string “1984”

Edit: decided to add some title at the end anyway:

$ rlwrap sbcl
This is SBCL 2.0.1, an implementation of ANSI Common Lisp.
More information about SBCL is available at <http://www.sbcl.org/>.

SBCL is free software, provided as is, with absolutely no warranty.
It is mostly in the public domain; some portions are provided under
BSD-style licenses.  See the CREDITS and COPYING files in the
distribution for more information.
* (random 1000000)
878132

Monthly recap (January 2020)

Glorious sunsets seen from the ship
Glorious sunsets seen from the ship

Major updates:

  • Visited Kennedy Space Center! (only got a few hours, but still …)
  • Went on the first cruise of my life (in the Bahamas … also, learnt that I’m not really a “cruise person”)

Minor updates:

  • Came back with Tara and spent a week with her (and then she spent a week with Shivi later)
  • Went snorkeling for a bit and saw a Ray of some sort sitting in the sand, got a little freaked out …

Watched/read/made:

  • Read Lexicon (picked up at SFO bookstore, loved it, found echoes of Snow Crash in there …)
  • Watched the 1979 animated version of The Hobbit with my dad and Tara (highly recommend)
  • Second season of Lost in Space

Annual recap: 2019

Me:

  • Moved from Pure Storage to Confluent
  • Started and finished my third 1000-piece puzzle
  • Annoying tax related issues, car battery trouble
  • Tentative steps towards backyard gardening (Marigold, Moon flower)

Family/Tara:

  • Blood draws and an endoscopy later, learnt that Tara is intolerant to Gluten
  • Trying out some new board games (Zingo!, Race to the treasure, Monza, Robot Turtles)
  • Shivi got a big promotion at work
  • Went on a few hikes
  • Disney on Ice
  • A friend’s mom passed away, attended her funeral
  • Watched Dolphins in the water, 4th of July fireworks
  • Watched Beat bugs and Rapunzel at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre
  • Tara moved to the last preschool class, and turned five this year!
  • Got the kitchen floor tiled
  • Trip to Berkeley, discovered Berkeley Bowl
  • Team offsets from work: pottery and sailing!
  • Tara’s first Lego sets
  • Trick-or-treating with Tara 🙂
  • Spent a week home alone with Tara
  • Pumpkin painting (at home, at her friends’)
  • Birthday party at Pump-it-up
  • Watched with Tara in the hall: Secret life of Pets: 2, Toy Story: 4, Lion King (the new one), A beautiful day in the neighborhood, Angry Birds: 2, Frozen 2 (with friends)
  • Travel: Asilomar/Pacific grove, Maui, Laguna Beach, Kauai,

Misc:

  • Watched: The Kominsky Method: Season 1, Altered Carbon, The Good Place, The Nineties, Fahrenheit 11/9, Burning, The Kindergarten Teacher, The Good Place, The Romanoffs, After Life, Behind the Curve, Umbrella Academy, Gully boy, Gad Elmaleh, Ronnie Cheung, Vice, Killing Eve, Stranger Things: Season 3, Sacred Games, The Last Czars, Chernobyl, End of the tour, The 2000s, Modern Love, Oceans, Death dive to Saturn, Dark Crystal, Modern Love, The Kominsky Method: Season 2, The Crown (latest season)
  • Listened to: The Square and the Tower, The world was never the same, Sapiens, The ascent of money, Homo Deus,
  • Read: Deep Work, Seveneves

Review:

  • Well, I did zero 10Ks, but I did start running for 15 minutes every week (a tiny thing, but a slow start)
  • Collected a bunch of haikus into a book

Tentative New Years’ Resolutions:

  • Do some random acts of making (e.g. see what mobile apps are like these days: make a small little app 😀)
  • One more 1000-piece puzzle (!!)
  • Write a small book about … something
  • Run a 10K (🤞)

Monthly recap (December 2019)

Panda at Ikea
Panda at Ikea

Major updates:

  • Tara’s birthday at Pump-it-up
  • Finished my third 1000-piece puzzle (more later)

Minor updates:

  • Shivi’s Holiday party in SF
  • Car tire punctured by a random nail on the road
  • Gingerbread house making party with Tara at work (!)
  • Dealing with some mind-numbing tax follow-ups …
  • School visits
  • Getting ready for an India trip

Watched/read/made:

  • Ronnie Cheung on Netflix
  • Lots of random ebooks piled up … and unlike physical books, I can’t even throw them away ☹️

(this one is a week early because I won’t get to it while on vacation … Happy new year!)

Monthly recap (November 2019)

Door on the back of a trailer parked by Seabright beach in Santa Cruz
Door on the back of a trailer parked by Seabright beach in Santa Cruz

Major updates:

  • Tara turned Five! 🙂
  • Went for a Frozen 2 viewing with her and her friends
  • A pump-it-up party 😐

Minor updates:

  • Home maintenance: dryer had to be repaired, added a trellis in the garden
  • (finally) visited the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito

Watched/read/made:

  • Watched It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood on Thanksgiving

— Watched Modern Love and The Kominsky Method on Netflix