December 2023 in review

My monthly series

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.


This is the fourteenth post in my Month in review series.

As it turns out, I am spending another Christmas not in Santa Fe. I’ll miss out on the traditional Christmas Eve Farolito Walk on Canyon road, yet again. Maybe next year!

The theme of the month is: travels.

Month activities

The month of December starts with a Mosaic Dance Company Christmas Special. The dance company put together a show featuring bellydance interpretations of Christmas classics. It was a lot of fun! It brought joy to some children in the front, and nostalgia to a lady at the back who sang along to a 50’s oldie. They balanced the program with a few traditional style dances, some of which were new, others were some favourites which always entrance me and make me cry a little. I had a wonderful evening and felt many emotions!

The next weekend, some friends hosted a hot chocolate themed party at their house.

Trip to San Francisco

Similar to our trip in Toulouse last October, Riya had a work trip to San Francisco, and I came along. This time, it was for the annual American Geological Union (AGU) 2023 conference.

I more or less started my December vacations, as I worked only 3 days out of the week, from the hotel room. My team had a 3-day virtual meeting to work on knowledge sharing, team building, and technical practice. I have a colleague who lives in San Francisco, so I took this opportunity to meet him in person and work one of those days with him at a co-working space. It’s always so nice to meet colleagues. We had lunch together at a Burmese restaurant.

As I love to do while on vacation, I visited two art museums: the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Asian Art Museum.

Trip to Mumbai

After we came back from San Francisco, we had one full day at home before leaving for our next destination: Mumbai. We did our laundry, a few gardening chores, and repacked our bags.

I wrote my travel log in a separate blog post: Mumbai 2023.

Since coming back home, I now have an additional week off of work to recover, write my blog posts, and return to my weekly routines.

Month favorites

  • Christmas bellydance performance by Mosaic Dance Company.
    • Followed by a dinner at a restaurant.
    • I brought gluten-free brownies for everyone.
  • Hot chocolate party with friends.
  • Trip to San Francisco.
    • Visit at The Exploratorium.
    • Two art museums.
    • Meeting a Grafana Labs colleague in person.
    • My 3-day team meeting was very good.
      • We all gave each other a 15 minutes lightning talk. Mine was on soft skills for Solutions Architects.
      • We played an online drawing and guessing game.
      • We had super interesting presentations and discussions with Software Engineers and Product Managers.
  • Trip to Mumbai.
    • My first trip to Asia (since I can remember trips). My parents took me to Hong Kong once when I turned one.
    • Invaluable life experience, cultural exposure, more personal reference points for geography and history.
    • Creating new connections and memories with my girlfriend and her parents.
  • I played a lot of Unciv, an open-source Civilization V re-implementation for Android and PC.
  • Flying
    • All flights for San Francisco and Mumbai trips were on time, travels were straightforward and relatively comfortable.
    • I love watching documentaries and indie cinema on airplanes.
      • I watched a movie about a fascinating couple of art thieves from New Mexico, and an art heist Arizona.
      • A documentary about black art. I wrote down lots of artists names to look up on the internet.
      • A few short films from NFB (the National Film Board of Canada, we took an Air Canada flight from Mumbai to London).
      • A tribute to Murray Sinclair, a “a former member of the Canadian Senate and First Nations lawyer who served as chairman of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 2009 to 2015.” The personal stories made me very emotional. It made me think a lot about peaceful social change.

Goals for next month

  • Slow down.
  • Do great work at Grafana Labs.
  • Maybe do some watercolour, drawing, write poetry.
Alexandre de Verteuil
Alexandre de Verteuil
Senior Solutions Architect

I teach people how to see the matrix metrics.
Monkeys and sunsets make me happy.