I’m traveling to Louisiana next week, to gather with some of my extended family on the second anniversary of the death of my grandmother. It will be the first time I’ve seen many of the folks since we gathered for her 90th birthday, which was before I moved out here to California.
It feels like a period of transition here, as summer wraps up. I went to Carmel for a few days last week, and spent a long time just on the beach with Jungi. At one point I was just standing, looking out into the waves, thinking of how that same scene has been dwelt on my so many people before me. The grandeur of the waves crashing forward, flowing back out. And a man walking by called out, “you look like you’re contemplating life!” and I just responded, “I am!”
I’m doing a lot of stuff. Arguably the biggest one is that I’ve started Coursera’s “Deep Learning” specialization, as I try to shift my career from SRE sort of roles into ones focused more on data and its handling. Lots of other things fill out my days too — I’m three-quarters of the way through the Modern Calligraphy program I started at the beginning of this year (it’s only 16 weeks, but it’s self-paced), and I’m keeping up with my reading challenge (through GoodReads — I’ve read 30 out of my pledged 40 for the year; currently I’m reading a book on Istanbul), and I’ve completed quite a few “Conqueror” challenges (you sign up to walk so many miles in a set number of weeks), and… well, lots of stuff.
I had dinner with a couple college friends last week, and that was… fulfilling? It was very satisfying to get to spend time with a couple people I’ve known almost half my life. And to know that they’re still part of my life.
The title of this post is a quote from Queen Elizabeth II — she herself just died. I’ve spent a decent chunk of this afternoon just tuned into BBC’s live stream, listening to the outpouring of affection from all around the world. There’s a clip they played from the Platinum Jubilee of her having tea with Paddington Bear — I’ve cried both times they played it. I don’t know why that’s the one that most gets to me… but it’s adorable. What a lady.
Here in California we’re in the middle of a several-day heat wave; hitting the 100s. It’s crushing. It’s interrupted my ability to take walks, and drove home the fact that this is an area that isn’t adapted to this sort of weather. I finally turned on my AC today, and even still it only arrested the rise of the temperature in my apartment, it didn’t actually cool things down. Fortunately it looks like tomorrow is supposed to start to break, and by Saturday we’ll be back down to normal. I’ve been joking with my family that the weather is just giving me a chance to get used to what things will be like in Louisiana.