We’re still alive, although the exhausted stares into the middle distance might make you doubt the assertion. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
Drove to Philly. Had lunch with Chris, an old fellow post-doc of Stephen’s. Ate proper Philly cheese steaks (with PROVALONE !) from a proper Philly lunch truck and watched the assortment of koi, ducks and turtles go about their business in and on the “Bio Pond” on the UPENN campus. Chris made us an origami alpaca ! How cool is that ? And it’s even the proper coppery brown !
Headed out to Media for dinner (steaks, grilled outdoors, because it is still SUMMER here) at Castle Clarkenstein, the ginormous rambling old Victorian that my old boss (way old — not Mike, the job — like back when I was selling comics and RPGs to earnest, er, hobbyists on South Street, and before that to Bryn Mawr and Haverford students) bought for a song off a real estate agent who failed to save versus Mike’s Mercantile Mindrays. Caught up on the goss (local and industry) and marveled (no pun intended) at how the kids have grown. (Am I feeling old ? Nah, too tired.)
Drive through pouring rain and dinner with Bill and Karl detailed previously. Failed to note in previous post Bill’s cat, Stasia, the White Terror. You remember when you were a kid, convinced there was a monster under the bed ? So you did your best to leap into bed from at least four feet away, so the monster would not hook your ankles with its savage claws (presumably to drag you into the darkness under the bed like a log into a chipper-shredder) ? It was like that.
Holly and Len took off work to hang with us ! Yay ! Brunch at Bickford’s, followed by an assortment of errands: dropping by the Burlington town hall to make sure our absentee ballots were being taken care of (they are — they seem very on-the-ball at the Burlington Town Hall), dropping into the RMV to get documentation of the issue date of Stephen’s driver’s license — no joy there, but the REI next door coughed up a couple of my favorite bras and Holly got some valuable info on kayak paddles, to wit: the lighter they are, the more expensive they are, and carbon fiber is both.
Dropped by the site of our old house. I say “site” because they knocked down our house and put up a McMansion which sold for, get this, almost four times what we paid for our house originally. “Evil Yuppie Scum” we say to ourselves. Oh wait, our former next-door-neighbor informs us that the house was bought by a lesbian couple who wants to raise a family there. Yay ! Lesbians bought our old house ! Ack ! Mental conflict ! Yuppie scum, boo ! Lesbians, yay ! Head hurting…
Dropped off Len & Holly & then got stuck in Patriots-game-induced traffic en route to dinner with the Dancing Ladies. Dinner at Joan and Ed’s, a fabulous home-cooking-specialist Jewish deli & restaurant (because Jewish fare is a bit thin on the ground in NZ, you know). Good food, good conversation, followed by a really good boogie *sigh*. Beth kindly put us up in Mattapan (for our NZ audience, that’s one of the interior Boston sub-towns, not an obscure cooking implement).
Was hanging out with another Chris, this one an old chum of Stephen’s from his Chicago days. Breakfast at a local diner (they got the scrambled eggs *exactly* the way I wanted them), followed by a wander along the beach discussing RPGs, game theory, the state of the academy, Chinese history, and other things of the sort that over-educated geeks discuss on a lovely summer day.
Lunch in Quincy (mis-pronounced, in that peculiarly Bostonian way, as “QUIN-zee”), followed by another stint of sitting in traffic way way out past some *lovely* old farms to Leominster, to visit Judy and Kerey at the House of Red Doors, their Mansard/Second-Empire vintage Victorian Project/Darling. It’s an amazing house, and I’m in awe of them for the amount of work they are putting into it. The Prior Owners really ought to be arrested for Crimes Against Taste, not to mention an appalling lack of sense where it comes to basic maintenance. Despite this, there is a fabulous array of original fittings and features remaining & once they get done with it, they’ll have a real gem on their hands. Dinner was, as is usually the case when Kerey cooks, FABulous. Heather and Kate and Julia came over, yay !
Okay, that’s it for now — will have to do the weekend later…