December 31, 2005

Fatherhood emotions

It is a commonly known psychological fact that one of the hardest persons to know is oneself. Why do you think self-help and self-discovery books are so popular. If we can all find the buddha in ourselves, we'd be much better off... Etc, etc, etc. Where I was going with this was an observation I have made about myself. I am realizing that with the birth of Priya, I am getting more and more 'emotional'. That, in the sense, that I hit emotional highs and lows more quickly, and feelings are more sharply defined. Women, are probably more used to feeling this way, but to me it is a strange new way of being. Now I don't know if I was always like this, but never realized it, or if this is something new. Aha... now the opening of this paragraph makes sense. :-)

My latest weepy moment was while watching King Kong. For crying out loud... As I was going to complete that sentence, I was struck by the irony of it. Anyway. For crying out loud, falling apes from tall buildings should not normally cause emotional swellings in me. Maybe it was the background score, maybe it was felt loneliness of both the characters (wait.. can an ape be a "character"?), or
whatever... But throughout the movie I was feeling tuggings on my heartstrings.

So last day of 2005. I feel obliged to summarize it. Does "a lot happened" do an adequate job? The biggest event of all, of course, was the birth of Priya. Most others are corollaries of that. There, that should do it.

Oh. I had to show this picture. Here's Priya surrounded by Christmas gifts. Most of those are actually hers. Can we say doting grandparents? :-)

December 27, 2005

I want world peace

Ok. That would be nice, but I had nothing else that came up as a title. This is one of those posts where there are no pressing thoughts on my mind. I had taken three weeks of vacation time when Priya was born, so I ran out of time at the end of the year. I had to come into work today, and I am one of five people in the entire building. I can feel illness coming on me, so I will take tomorrow as a sick day, and Thursday and Friday are company holidays. So I just have to get through today.

It was a great first Christmas with Priya. She got lots of clothes and lots of toys. I suspect as she grows older, her preference may skew towards lots of clothes, but there should be an intermediate step of lots of dolls, and other assorted mini-human figurines.

My two favorite gifts were a nice leather jacket from my in-laws, and a DC-to-AC inverter from Tish. This little gadget plugs into a car power outlet, and you can plug any AC device on the other end (upto 95W). I wanted one because I often run out of battery power on long airplane rides, and American has 12V power outlets under their seats. Very nifty little thing.

Oh, and we bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner a few days ago from Amazon. The one we had that we got as a wedding shower gift was getting to be so loud that we were violating village noise ordinances. For those who are interested, I can post later on how the Dyson shapes up given all its hype.


WOW! That's the only word that can describe this machine. You would imagine we never vacuumed our house in all these years. The first test run of the Dyson was in Priya's room. The carpet is less than a year old and we try to keep it pretty clean - no shoes, etc. It's also vacuumed regularly. But when the Dyson had a go at it, the stuff that got collected was just amazing - and pretty disgusting. I can't believe Priya was crawling around in all that filth. So, big thumbs up! By the way, we're not that hoity-toity. This $460 vacuum was purchased refurbished from Amazon for about half that price. If this thing lasts for a few years and keeps performing like it did, it will be well worth that price.

December 19, 2005

It's tough, and some won't make it

Yesterday we saw March of the Penguins. OK. The story goes like this: The penguins start a 70 mile journey to their breeding grounds - some don't survive the journey. They reach the grounds, and find partners. The females lay an egg. These eggs are then transferred to the males. During this process, some eggs don't make it. Then the males hang out for a few months, while the females head back to the ocean to feed. While the females are feeding, some females will be eaten by predators and won't make it back. Meanwhile, the males are in the middle of a brutal winter. As it turns out, some won't survive winter. The eggs hatch, and the chicks appear. Some chicks are caught out in the cold, and yup - don't survive. Of the ones that make it, some will get picked off by gulls.

Can you detect a familar pattern? I'm not kidding. After the third "some won't make it moment" we were predicting the parts in the script when the next one would come. It's an interesting movie in the sense it inspires awe in God's creations, and thankfulness that he decided to give us a little more purpose for our lives.

From a movies perspective, this wasn't a very good weekend. There wasn't much in the store that we hadn't seen. The other movie we saw was "40-Year-Old Virgin". What a complete waste of time. The reason this guy hadn't seen any action wasn't because of any personal choices - but because he was a complete idiot. I mean the classic village idiot kind.

Anyone seen any good movies lately?

December 13, 2005

More commentary on death

I always go through internal queasiness whenever there is a high-profile death penalty case. I guess not having very solid opinions on the death penalty generates that uneasiness. If I were the victim of a heinous crime, I would probably think differently, but looking at it from the outside, it's hard for me to imagine how justice works from a supernatural perspective. I guess I understand in my head the idea of there being consequences to action, etc. But do those consequences lead to the final act of taking life? If we were all sinners deserving the full wrath of God, but he relented from not pouring out his wrath so that we could actually discover grace, and so be saved, should not that same principle apply for human justice? After all, our deserving the wrath of God is based on divine justice. I don't know. It's like the old movie line: God will judge what you have done; my job is just to make sure you meet him soon. This concept of non-grace leads to very a-theistic thinking. If God, and the people who follow him, can't give grace, then I want to have nothing to do with him or his people... Stuff like that. Remember the poem that Timothy McVeigh left as his last words? I was deeply affected by the sheer arrogance in it - man raising his fist to heaven and saying I don't need you. Here... I'll quote it:

(William Ernest Henley. 1849-–1903)

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

See what I mean? When you think there is only you, then it's a pretty depressing life. I'm not actually sure where I am going with this. I guess I'm just trying to figure out in my own mind how justice works, and how it relates to mercy and grace.

December 09, 2005

Commute from Hell

OK. So this is my commute every day. It's a little over 60 miles each way. I know. Crazy, right? But most days it's not bad. I go in most days in a vanpool, so the driving is shared, and it's not as stressful. Along with the fact that I travel quite a bit (and so am not in the office), I have managed to survive the commutes.

Then came along, December 8, 2005. The first big snow storm of the season. 40 of the 60 mile expressway is under construction. I left office at 3:30p. Want to guess how long it took me to get home? Go on. Don't read further, but think of a number. 5 hours? Nope. 7 hours? Nope. 8 hours? Nope. 9 hours? Yeap. Can you believe it? Nine hours! I would be hopping mad if I didn't think this was a story out of some parallel universe. It beats the one time a friend of mine and I took six hours driving around the Peripherique in Paris trying to find our hotel. Boy, that's almost a story worth telling. But back to this commute. Here I was just trying to get home. There are really no good explanations why it took so long. No accidents, no spin-outs... Just people driving 5 miles/hour. If it wasn't so cold, it might have made a nice walk home. The things we do to put food on the table...

December 05, 2005

The Sens in all their glory

Our first official family pic

OK check this out. Any family resemblances? :-)

December 01, 2005

Parting here and gone

We had such a good time with my family. Parting was very difficult, but that's how it goes. Here are some pictures from the week.

Priya Getting Dedicated

Four Generations

Priya with mom, dad, brother, and aunt

Priya with grandma