Big Week

29 July 2015

So this has been a big week for us. We have been in the US since early July. Most of the time has been at my parents' house, but the extended family also took a five-day trip to Sebasco Harbor Resort in Maine. It was fantastic in its own right, but the big news for us involves the little ones. First, Gian has started summer camp at Pequotsepos Nature Center, which she has been wanting to do for the last couple of years. Even though she screams bloody murder every morning when we drop her off, she is bouncing when we pick her up. Second, Sienna went ahead and lost her first tooth at the closing lobster bake in Maine. Then yesterday she lost her second tooth eating corn fresh from Whittle's. But the biggest thing is that this afternoon she swam by herself without support for the first time ever. It was only a meter or so, but it was independent...and amazing.

Research grant

30 June 2015

I have just learned that I will receive a $90,000, three-year research grant from the Korean National Research Foundation to study the export of Korean housing models to developing countries. I am a bit daunted and quite a bit excited, as this will quite clearly define my intellectual efforts over the next few years. The project combines two approaches to examining the role of housing in development. One aspect of the research is to examine how housing models are imported from more developed nations and translated into the local context. This will draw on actor-network theory, policy mobilities, and the interpretive policy analysis approaches to policy formation. The second is the cultural approach to housing, which seeks to explore how housing shapes culture and is in turn shaped by culture.

I will be working with Park, Jinhee, who recently received her PhD from the University of Sheffield's Town Planning Department. She will be central to the cultural approach, which she has been developing through her dissertation.

Tooth fairy

23 May 2015

Sienna's first tooth seems to be loose. Time for the Tooth Fairy to put us in her address book.

Talk about mmm...pop music

8 May 2015

It seems our domestic world has taken a new turn. Sienna came home Friday enthralled with 여자친구 (GFriend)'s pop song 유리 구술 (Glass Bead). She has watched it repeatedly trying to learn the lyrics and started practicing the dance moves the girls were doing. The other day it was The ABC Song and now suddenly it's K-pop time. Insane.

In a stroke of genius, however, YK printed out the lyrics to the song so the Sienna could learn them. But of course she has to practice reading to do be successful. :)

Shows I remember

17 April 2015

For some reason, I could not sleep this morning. I kept thinking about shows I've seen in my day. It is probably because I was talking to some students the other day about how I was a young man during the "Golden Age of Hip Hop" and how they did not know some of the big names from the time. So I thought I'd compile a list before I forget their names, too! But I can tell I've already forgotten many.

  • Jazz
    • Sonny Rollins (Harkness)
    • Les McCann and Eddie Harris (Yoshi's)
    • Mal Waldron with Eddie Black and Lew Tabacken(?) (Elm Street)
    • Ornette Coleman with Don Cherry (The Channel)
    • Sun Ra (SF)
    • Gil Scott-Heron (SF)
    • Charlie Hunter Trio (SF)
    • Eddie Palmieri (Columbia)
  • Blues
    • John Lee Hooker (club on Geary)
    • Albert King (SF)(?)
  • Hip Hop
    • Spearhead (club on Divisadero)
    • Public Enemy (Oakland)
    • Digital Underground (SF)
    • Jurassic 5 (without Chali 2na) (Columbia)
  • Funk and soul
    • P-Funk All-Stars (all sorts of combinations all sorts of places)
    • Fela Kuti (Norwich)
    • Budos Band (Brooklyn)
    • Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra (Manhattan)
    • Nortec Collective (Brooklyn)
    • The Neville Brothers (SF)
    • Maceo Parker (Emeryville)
    • RiotGoinOn (Bay Area)
    • War (San Jose)
    • Brand New Heavies with Guru (SF)
    • James Brown (La Bastille)
    • Los Amigos Invisibles (Brooklyn)
    • Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (Brooklyn)
  • Reggae
    • Yellowman (The Channel)
    • Reggae Sunsplash (CT, with Mutabaruka(?))
    • Lambsbread (Mystic)
    • Jimmy Cliff (Norwich)
  • Rock
    • Hard Lessons (NYC)
    • Acid Mothers Temple (NYC)
    • Metallica (Oakland, since they were playing with Public Enemy)
    • Tsunami (SF)
    • Eurythmics (Fairfield, CT)
    • The Call (Orpheum)
    • The Alarm (Orpheum)
    • Asia (first concert ever) (Hartford)
    • Styx (second concert ever) (Hartford)
    • U2 (Hartford, 1985)
    • Dead Milkmen (Tufts)
    • The Reducers (Groton)
    • The Cartoons (Groton)

The world is a summation of Others

13 April 2015

At a friend's suggestion, I watch Koreeda's Air-Doll (2009) the other night. It struck me in many ways that I'm trying to explain to him, but for you, you get the central poetic line from the film:

It seems life is constructed in a way that no one can fulfill it alone. Just as it's not enough for flowers to have pistils and stamens. An insect or a breeze must introduce a pistil to a stamen. Life contains its own absence, which only an Other can fulfill. It seems the world is the summation of Others. And yet, we neither know nor are told that we will fulfill each other. We lead our scattered lives, perfectly unaware of each other... Or at times, allowed to find the Other's presence disagreeable. Why is it that the world is constructed so loosely?

Swimming underwater but getting wet

23 March 2015

After we returned from the US in the summer, we went swimming at the local public pool rather often. But as Sienna started taking lessons, I stopped going. Yesterday, though, we went back again. And by the end of the visit, Sienna was swimming underwater without a life jacket for the first time...and loving it. She started by ducking under the lane separator and gradually graduated to freely going underwater, taking a few strokes, and then popping back up again. If she just kept going when she popped back up, she'd be full-on swimming. Nevertheless, she was really swimming freely.

I'm so proud. What a winter! Ice skating, inline skating, swimming,...and lots of fun doing math.

Meanwhile, Gian, who has never been afraid of the water, is splashing around swimming with her floatation device and kicking up a storm. Pretty sure she'll be a swimmer soon, too.

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