January 8th, 2010


2009: Extremely Desultory Year in Review

2009: Extremely Desultory Year in Review

Notable events

  • Isabella Yaeli Pai!

    What can one say? Everything's different now.

  • Angi and Nathan got married (just barely, surviving a mudslide that nearly destroyed their whole wedding)
  • Blake/Tanya, Ilona/Jerod got married (missed both due to pregnancy)
  • AJ/Sarah moved to Austin (bought a house early 2010, we'll count it as end 2009)
  • At work, launched new mobile site optimized for iPhone/Android (TSP)
  • Then mobile team got moved to Japan so I joined e-commerce...
  • First ever meeting of Bay Area bike planning enthusiasts! After having set up mailing list etc it was nice to see some motion on this. (Though things have been kind dead lately) We'll see what happens. Also Goog finally announced their bike thing


  • Das Racist - ethnic hipsters from Brooklyn. down with Carlos Santana and Juelz Santana. Gave great interviews, made fun of fake patois. Hope they've got more than a few tricks up their sleeve. I'm already a little bored with them.
  • Hari Kondalabu - Indian standup comic. (Indian in the same way I'm Indian-- i.e. "not very.") He's really funny-- I went to two of his shows in 2009, both great. His brother is the 'invisible third member' of Das Racist.
  • Marc Maron podcast - super entertaining rant-a-thon from another standup comic I like. (He shared the bill w/ Hari at one show) Especially interesting if you're a comedy nerd, into Dr. Katz, Home Movies, that kind of thing. He rants and raves and has all his comedy friends (Jim Gaffigan, Andy Kindler, Sarah Silverman, Todd Barry, etc.) on the show to discuss this and that. You really feel like you're just listening in on friends shooting the shit. I find myself wishing my drive to work took a little longer (!) just so I could hear more of the show en route.


  • Most of the 2000's sucked balls. I was angry and depressed and for good reason. Then Obama got elected and it was as if a cloud lifted. But now I'm starting to get a bit down again. Look at this health care debacle... is it ever gonna get passed? When will it kick in? We're once again mired in a war in Afghanistan. Did anybody notice World War III just started? At least medical marijuana is looking like a real possibility.

  • Got Google Earth's climate change modeler and started looking at the projected temperature change for when Izzy's my age, or when she's 60. Yikes
  • I wish I knew how to support people in Iran. That's courage, throwing stones at riot cops when there's real consequences.
  • Drones... drones...


  • Special mention to The Room, which was the funniest, worst movie I saw in 2009 and the most intense movie experience by far. Gotta see it in LA w/ the peanut gallery


  • Already covered elsewhere. Getting into reggae, running out of time to keep up with podcasts. Some of my favorite albums (by Taken by Trees and Kings of Convenience) were extremely 'Chill,' confirming that I am an old, old man now. Even the rap on there is kind of old person rap. (*cough cough* Raekwon)
  • Fireside
  • Alex Brose killing it singing Billie Jean @ Neverland. He'd joined a Michael Jackson tribute band earlier in the year & completely by coincidence, their 2nd performance ever was scheduled for 2 weeks after he died! What would have been a fairly sparsely attended nostalgia trip turned into a sold-out tribute concert.


  • Well, I don't know. I can't remember what I ate this year. Got into yogurt parfaits I guess. Chopped fruit, plain yogurt, honey and muesli.

Books / mags

    What can I remember reading in 09 that was any good? Well
  • New Yorker - words the New Yorker taught me: scree, purpuric, ineluctable, bathos, heterodox, erstwhile
  • Giant Robot - published a long letter I sent them... that was cool
  • My Booky Wook (anxiously awaiting My Booky Wooky 2: This Time It's Personal)


  • Metacritic, The AV Club
  • Slate, Black Flag Cafe, Talking Points Memo, Exiled Online
  • The Escapist, Penny-Arcade
  • Flickr, YouTube, Yelp, Goodreads -> Facebook

Temporary obsessions

  • The brain - got back into it cos of Izzy, bought some really interesting books on memory + "The Brain Book," luscious. Watched em slice n dice hippocampus online, good PR stunt


Not that I had any time to play games.
  • Demon's Souls - I can't justify buying a PS3 just of this, especially since it's too hard and I don't have the time to get anywhere in it. So, I'm reduced to instead watching recordings of other people playing it on YT. FML ?
  • Scribblenauts - but then it turned out kinda lame
  • Puzzle Quest
  • Passage - truly art
  • Pathologic - kinda art maybe

Memorable fun

  • Trip to Barcelona - we ended up crashing Angi & Nathan's honeymoon, which was hilarious. Me + Izzy + Aliza + AJ (my brother the unemployed bum) + Liz were all there. "Where you guys going now? Back to your hotel? Can we come?"
  • Went to the dump, finally! Sunset Scavenger Sculpture Garden tour. Very cool. Made me think a lot about all the waste we generate
  • LA trip w/ Nick, hanging with KT/Triet - really fun
  • Two trips to Russian River right before Izzy was born -- first with Sven/Nicole, then with Sven/Nicole/KT/Nick/Lina. So fun. Swimming in a river is the PERFECT thing to do in summer on a hot day. We ate damn well.


  • LACMA - chris burden lanterns
  • Goldsworthy - spire
  • Those birds in SF midtown (book birds)
  • Sven - Mealy fruit detector, buddhas, tentacles
  • SF Dump - tire wave

Worst of 2009

  • Obstructionist fuckwad Republicans and their various support networks-- Fox News, teabaggers, Focus on the Family, etc
  • Gay marriage, WTF California, WTF New York
  • Health care still in doubt
  • Chase Home Mortgage can burn in hell. I hate them SO much
  • Big banks continue to fuck us 6 ways to Sunday
  • Islamic & Christian fundamentalists continue to fuck up everything they touch
  • Monocle magazine - what a waste of expensive print

Resolutions 2010

warning: earnest, somewhat dull
  1. Stay in shape, eat right, take meds, go to gym
  2. Be a good parent (try hard to be involved w/ all aspects of Izzy's life, childproof house, read books/talk to dads, take time every day to hang out with her, try to have gender equality in house w/ me & Aliza)
  3. Get finances in order, make budget, try to refinance mortage
  4. Become more handy (fix things, use tools, learn from others)
  5. Curtail addictive behaviors
  6. Go camping
  7. Learn Spanish again (speak to Izzy)
  8. Visit Chicago
  9. Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency
and... drumroll please...

Person of the Year

  • TIE - Aliza Pai/Isabella Pai

*Via Obsessively Detailed Chart That Nobody Will Read Except Maybe My Mom