Photo from ‘Crossing Lines’ exhibition, Jan 2020.

I’m getting in early this year with a post to set the tone, if not the pace.

Realistically, with running two other blogs that publish weekly (and have much more invested in their regular schedule), this blog will not get more love in 2020. I published five posts here last year. If I can match that this year, I’d be OK with it. Tseen’s life lessson: low expectations = frequent happiness.

I’m using this first post of 2020 to report back on my “Recharge wishlist” from our  last post for 2019 at Research Whisperer. In that post, Jonathan and I talked about how we were going to exhale and recharge over the holiday break.

I ended up writing a list, and here’s how I went with crossing things off:

  • Wander around the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) for a day.
    TICK. Spent a very full day there for the Haring/Basquiat exhibition, Crossing Lines (top-shelf exhibition – heaps of diverse forms, great contextualisation and content, wonderful juxtaposition of the works…I could go on. Go see it if you haven’t already). We then repaired to Chocolate Buddha (Fed Square) and ate ourselves into a delightful food coma. One regret: we spent so many hours in that one exhibition that we didn’t get to see any others. Good excuse for another visit.
  • Watch terrible and good horror flicks throughout the hols.
    TICK. Watched a whole bunch of newer ones as well as some older movies (e.g. Cabin in the Woods – which just isn’t as good as I initially thought it was when I first watched it years ago). Current ends of the extremes:
    Worst (didn’t finish watching) – I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House
    Best (late to the party) – The Conjuring
    In the mix somewhere: Annabelle, The School, Get Out, Cabin in the Woods, Don’t Breathe, Escape Room (not really horror…more thriller?), The Hallow, The Prodigy. 
  • Do a family yumcha.
    TICK. We went pre-Christmas to our favourite (Gold Leaf) and immersed ourselves in the frenzy of pre-holiday season Springvale. The shopping precinct was intense. It’s always stangely comforting to be surrounded by people who are as obsessed about good produce and feasting as our family is.
  • Read, read, read.
    TICK. Though never as much as I would like or think I will get through…!
  • Play Minecraft (with or without the kids) and build immensely well-stocked castles. >> This was the only thing I didn’t do. But that’s OK. The kids have clocked up quite a few hours with their mates over the hols and that is probably as it should be.
  • Trio of icecream (Chocolate Buddha) | Photo by Tseen Khoo

    Icecream ranking challenge – try out lots of icecream places and rank our favourite flavours.
    TICK. We probably didn’t hit as many places as we’d like but had an excellent excuse to drop by any and all icecream joints during our doings across the holidays. My favourite to date (the kids are technically still on holidays even though I’m not) was the trio of flavours I had at Chocolate Buddha (pictured): red adzuki / charcoal coconut / matcha. I’ve also tried other espresso and matcha flavours. You may notice I have a matcha food-group in my life.

  • Watch Jumanji: The Next Level. At least once. Watch the one before it again. Basically, watch a lot of Dwayne movies.
    Didn’t do a Dwayne binge in the end, but did watch Baywatch near the end of last year so that probably did me in for a while.
  • To spend a lot of time on the couch watching a series I’ve been wanting to watch all year.
    TICK. First, took in all of Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me (4 series) in my first week off. Fantastic show. Had been recced to me a lot (not least by my sis) but I hadn’t caught it at all when it was screening weekly on the ABC. Second, have powered through most of the eps for Brooklyn Nine-Nine (almost finished S4 [there are 6 seasons and counting]) – hadn’t gotten very far previously but it’s a perfect series to consume over the hols (thanks for the initial immersion, Lou!).