Friday, May 30, 2008

Farewell Party

Miles is getting very sad about leaving behind the great friends he's made here. Today we had a little farewell party to help say goodbye to his closest friends. It was a perfect third grade party:
  • a couple rounds of laser tag at LaserQuest in Danvers (props to them...very nice folks working there!)
  • "NorthEnd" Pizza for dinner
  • mini-golf at at the classic Route 1 mini-golf course
  • air hockey and other arcade games
  • then home for warm brownies and ice cream, some playtime and viewing of funny Japanese game show videos
It's been such fun getting to know this good group of kids, we'll miss them very much.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Keith and I finally made it back to Rockport today. The past two times we've tried, it was either completely packed with no parking or shuttered up. And I had my first (and likely last) Lobster Roll ever at The Greenery. Their Lobster Roll goes very light on the mayo and so is actually pretty tasty. Much better than I expected...and pricier, too.

Yikes...only 11 days left!!

This pic of Keith and Miles was taken in front of the Veritas banners on the Harvard campus, just around the corner from where J.K. Rowling will be giving her commencement address.

These days, all our time is spent planning our cross country trip, trying to sell/give away stuff and getting in those last visits and sights we've been meaning to see.

Looks like we'll be going to see a Red Sox game next week (that's when Miles' school is going) and guess who they'll be playing? Yep...the Seattle Mariners. Complete coincidence, but a fitting way to end our year here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Half Moon Beach and more

What a busy Memorial Day weekend! Today we took Elizabeth and Stella (Fellow Julie Robotham's kids) with us to this sweet beach in Gloucester, located in Stage Fort Park. It's tiny, but so picturesque. Then after arriving home and a quick clean-up we headed over to see Dr. Who (1968) courtesy of Anne Slinn and her husband Chris (actually it was at the great house of a couple of their friends). These friends host a film night in their theater every Monday. Nice set up and a nice group of people, too.

Yesterday after Miles got back from a sleepover we hightailed it to see Blue Man Group Tubes show in Boston. It is such a visually arresting show and fun, too! Keith and I saw it in NY with our friend Michelle in 1993(?). Some pieces we saw back then are still in the show. When we saw the show in NY, we were tapped to play the "late arrivals" who are spotlighted and projected onto the big screen with loud alarms blaring. That bit is still in the show today! It's really a great show for kids in the 8+ range.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fei-su desu

Years ago when I was living in Japan, I spent a great deal of time hanging out with my friend Faithe (Fei-su in Japanese) MacElliott's. Her apartment was just downstairs from mine. Our apatos had no insulation and were sorely lacking in heat and privacy. Faithe had a nice,warm kotatsu and always had a pot of green tea at the ready. She was witty, always game for anything interesting, and could be counted on stir things up a bit. We had many interesting adventures...I'll leave it at that.

The last time I saw her was when I visited her in Boston more than a decade ago. Yesterday we finally had a chance to to catch up in person at her and her husband Dennis' house in New Hampshire. It was surprising to me how all the time and distance that had separated us so easily melted away. I know that you always hear that friendships are like that, but I've experienced a few reunions that felt more like work. Anyway, thanks Faithe (and Dennis) it was great to see you!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pooh's House at Harvard

On our walk home from school today, we took a slightly different route and stumbled upon this little treat. It was at the foot of a tree just outside the Science Center on the Harvard campus. I think THE Winnie-the-Pooh's house had a sign that said Mr. Sanders, so this is clearly some other Pooh.

I've tried to find out more about who constructed this and what the history is, but have come up empty-handed. It does seem that this Pooh's house has appeared here on and off since around 1996 at least (that's the earliest reference to it I can find).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hanging out

Yesterday we had Miles' good friend Elliott join us for a visit to the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston and then some play time at the Charles River Reservation.

The Mapparium is a three-story-tall stained glass, inside-out globe traversed by a glass bridge.

Because of all the glass, the acoustics are so sensitive that a whisper on one side of the bridge can be heard across "the globe". If you stand in the middle of the bridge and speak, it sounds like you are speaking into a microphone. The Mapparium was finished in 1935, so it's very outdated. It makes for a fun game to try identifying all the changes in country names, borders, etc.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One of our favorite classes at Harvard

Keith and I (and actually quite a number of the other Fellows) really enjoyed Niall Ferguson's Western Economies, Societies and Politics (1648-present)class. He is a masterful lecturer, with a definite right of center and Brit-centric perspective. I've never seen anyone pull so much information and data into such tight and engaging presentations that, remarkably enough, usually end right on time. His adept use of PowerPoint proves that P.P. does not have to be an instrument of torture and, in fact, can be used for good. And he's a pretty sharp improviser as well, providing a few laughs here and there when something unexpected arises.

We particularly loved the data that he brought into the discussion of history. It provided great context and perspective. It was also great fun to watch him discuss historical figures for whom he has great disdain, for example Jean-Jacques Rousseau. There is a sample lecture of his on the Harvard Extension site.

If you ever happen to have the chance to see him lecture don't miss it!

As an aside, he sort of looks like he could be related to Charlie Tillinghast, the president of the company I used to work for.

Party at our place

Last Saturday, we had a little get together with the Fellows. This week some of them are pulling up their stakes and heading out of town.

We're heading out on June 9. If possible, I hope to post some during our cross-country drive, though who knows how reliable the interwebs access will be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Graduation day

Today the Fellows had a small "graduation" ceremony in the office of MIT president Susan Hockfield (in the center of the pics). Boyce described one way that Fellows are different from other students: students are all anxious to graduate and leave, while Fellows would love to fail and be forced to stay another year. I'd have to agree with that!

Let me look deeeeeep into your eyes

Saw this sign taped up in a window in the North End last week. Looks more like a sign for a tarot reader than for an eye doctor.

That same day Keith and I had our own Mike's and Modern Pastry Cannoli Taste-Off. We are definitely Modern Pastry folk.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fellows about town

I forgot to mention that a couple weekends ago the Knight Fellows hit the town. We went to a dinner at Anthony's Pier 4, a Boston waterfront institution. It's overpriced and definitely is not for foodies. On the other hand, it is very old school and feels like you've stepped back into post WWII Boston history. All the waiters are men and dress like captains on a cruise ship, the women wear maid costumes err...uniforms and handle tasks like pouring water and refreshing bread. The walls are lined with old photos of celebs posing with Anthony's family during a visit: The Kennedys, Bobby Orr, John Denver, Elizabeth Taylor, Emperor of Japan, etc.

These pics were taken at Sevens - the only bar we could find in Beacon Hill with enough room for all of us. Would I recommend this bar? Welll...if you happen to be in Beacon Hill, in need of a beer and your musical taste is limited to AC/DC, Cheap Trick, and hair bands from the 80's, this is your place.

BTW, the new fellows have been announced.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Spring has arrrived

Keith has a few more weeks of classes, but I'm done (sadly). On my last day of class the weather was lovely and the trees seemed to have finally awakened from their winter hibernation. On one street in particular the trees are so laden with blossoms that they bend over the sidewalks and create a lovely canopy under which to walk.

BTW: tonight Miles is on a sleepover at his friends' house, so Keith and I caught Persepolis at the Somerville theater. It's a sparely animated film about a young girl coming of age during the Iranian revolution. It's definitely worth catching if you have a chance.