Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day13-14: 1st weekend with kids

And that is why I missed a day of blog posting. And you might understand why there is little entry before June, hardly every 3 months or less! When you have young kids, something like 'blogging' goes way down on to-do list :)

On Saturday I recorded some simple sound samples for one of the researchers at IRCAM to take a look; I am interested in improving sound quality of some stuff I'm already using, and since they told me that they haven't really looked at how violin works with this particular function I wanted them work on it while I'm here :) Then I headed to IRCAM for a talk the Realtime Interaction Team, the people I'm working with, was giving for the public, on the last day of Agora Festival's La Nuit Du Prototype. They demonstrated gesture follower and interaction, but the session was cut short because there were too many people who couldn't get in, and the administration decided to divide the session in two so the first audience had to be ushered out. It was fine for me, as I knew most of what they were going to show. Here is Norbert Schnell, one of my main collaborators at IRCAM showing his graphic interface and controller demo.

I also heard a bit of outdoor performance by a French Percussion ensemble Les Percussions de Strasbourg performing Iannis Xenakis's Pléiades in front of IRCAM in the square. A very fun spectacle, old and young sitting on the ground listening to Xenakis on this cool Paris day in June. The performance was electrifying; at times I thought that the bizarre acoustics of this plaza, two concrete/stone walls in 90 degree angle, was throwing them off a bit for this very tightly synced rhythmic work.

The kids were coming from Picardie arriving in Paris so before the talk, I went to Les Halles, a shopping center near IRCAM, to buy some long sleeve tops/sweaters for them. Paris has been low 9-10C (50F) and windy/rainy. Husband went to Au Vieux Campeur, a camping gear store he knew since his childhood, to buy sleeping bags since the kids are going to French summer camps "Colonie Vacances" in July. I was expecting our reunion, first time since our arrival in Paris on June 7th, to be somewhat operatic accompanied by tears, but it was very sweet and light; they were just very happy to see me. Then we went to a park behind Notre Dame to play a bit, headed to brother-in-law's house where kids were united with their cousins.

At my brother-in-laws, I had my own operatic reunion. Not with my kids, but with Reblochon de Savoie au lait cru!!! (Note: the link is in French, but you can enjoy the video and get the idea). I have missed it ever since it was banned in the USA; Zabars stopped carrying it, and now sells something that labeled "Missing Reblochon? Here is your alternative!" I forgot what it is called.

The weekend continued today with the family, chez another brother-in-law minus the brother himself, but the kids were able to play with the cousins.
I am absolutely flabbergasted with both my kids' French. My daughter is also learning cursive in French, and I overheard my son is talking to himself: "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ce TRUC là..." (what is this thing...). I am also flabbergasted with all this thing we ate. Understandably husband and I only had one slice of bread tonight, with salted butter though... Merguez with Kir (with Mûr Sauvage, blackberry syrup instead of Cassis), barbecue marinated with Sauce Béarnaise, homemade Far Breton by my sister-in-law, and it went on and on... a typical French Sunday family festivities celebrating a family reunion.

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