Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving in Boston

Il Moro di Venezia and America3 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Il Moro and America3

Closeup of America3, starboard side

Bow of America3

The rig is ~100' high

Bethany with the Cup Boats

Dan with sailboats

Il Moro from the bow

America3, port quarter

Beth and Dan at MFA

Beth & Ryan and Chris Posted by Picasa

Flew up to Boston early Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving. Since Beth was going to be on call at work all week, she couldn't leave town, so we set up for a family Thanksgiving at Beth & Ryan's studio apartment in Allston. Between inflatable mattresses and couches, though, there was room for all (barely).

On Tuesday, I really just hung around with the kids until Ryan went to work and Beth went to her Medsurg clinical. Then for dinner I met up with Nessa Bittermann and her boyfriend Ryan. I had been hoping to set up Nessa & Ryan with Beth & Ryan on a kind of "play date," since I think they'd get along famously, but it didn't work out this time. We had dinner at an Indian restauran near Harvard Square. It was extremely good, and I was glad to catch up with my friend.

Wednesday, Ryan had to work the morning and afternoon, so I got to hang out with Beth. We went to MFA, as seen in the pictures above. I didn't take any pictures inside, but the art was fascinating, and I got a few laughs out of Bethany. Then we went out to BC to pick up Ryan, who brought home a screen and projector for watching movies over the holiday. We went home and spent the rest of the evening watching videos and baking for the big meal. Chris arrived late that night, and we played more games and tested the quality of the cupcake batter.

I wasn't able to sell anyone else on doing the Somerville Turkey Trot, so I didn't join Steph and Heather. That was a little disappointing, since I wanted to do it, but I really wanted to do it with my brothers. Maybe next year. Check out the times for the Morrison sisters, though. The rest of the day was spent cooking up some gags and decorations for the parent's arrival, and cooking, and then welcoming the folks, then eating. And eating. And eating. And then we watched the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was very good.

Friday we slept in, and Mom & Dad shoved off a little before noon, since Dad had to work at 3 at LL Bean. Then Chris, Beth & Ryan, and I went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which if you are in Boston you should check out sometime. It was very cold, but we fixed that by getting hot chocolate at Burdick's in Harvard Square. Jane had recommended it, and she was right, it was the richest hot cocoa I've ever had.

After returning to Allston, Heather and Steph called and asked if we'd like to join them in the North End for dinner. They had been out most of Black Friday, shopping. We had to hustle a little so they wouldn't be waiting too long out in the cold, but we met 2/3rds of the Amazing Morrison Girls at Giovanni's and had a great dinner. The pork chop special did not disappoint, and my family thought very highly of the Morrisons, and vice versa. Spent the rest of the night eating desserts we picked up at a pastry shop near Giovanni's and playing video games. It was a very successful holiday.

Friday, November 18, 2005

"We're going to be in a pie!"

We had a Thanksgiving potluck at work today, and I made Apple Pie III (pictured). It turned out pretty well, actually. And I while I ate a fairly good amount, I didn't eat so much that I went into a food coma all afternoon. Jane made a pumpkin swirl cheesecake that was really tasty. I'm glad I had time to go to the gym after work today- I whaled on the turkey and stuffing, and built a pie of many pies (apple, custard, cheesecake, etc). In my defense, I was getting slices for Sarah and Jane as well.

Congratulations go to my Mom, who just got hired to work at Panera up in Portland starting later this month. I'm glad she and Dad have found interesting jobs up there that they seem to enjoy; also, between the two of them they can score me discounts on maps, goods from LL Bean, and bagels. Life has been kind.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dinner & a Show

No photos today. Went out for dinner and the theater last night with Steph. It was just starting to get cooler, and it absolutely poured most of the night. I sort of like this kind of weather, but Steph doesn't like the cold very much. For dinner, we went to Hard Times Cafe. We got way too much food, I think. But it was all really good. The onion rings we shared were extremely good - very sweet onions. And the cornbread was tasty. I had the coneys, which I enjoyed a great deal. And Steph let me try a little of her veggie chili, which was surprisingly good.

We went and picked up the tickets, then took a walk to work off some of dinner, since there was some time before the show started. The show was at the Little Theatre of Alexandria, which we've been to many times before. As has usually been the case, the audience was much older than the two of us. Maybe older than our ages combined, actually. Which made the play more interesting, since it was The Gin Game, which is set in a retirement home.

A word about the play. It was going along as a comedy, it seemed, for most of the first act. There were, in retrospect, dark portents, but the audience was reacting to it like it was an episode of The Golden Girls. However, there was a particular point in the second act when it became clear we were watching a dramatic work. I can even pinpoint the exact line. The two characters, Weller and Fonsia, are playing gin and Weller loses again. And his line is "You bitch." The whole audience gasped. It was fascinating - from that point on, everyone seemed to want to keep laughing, but the play becomes increasingly dark, coming to a very dark, cynical, and challenging conclusion. I really enjoyed it. The two actors were very different, "Fonsia" using a very mannered and tic-dependent acting style, while "Weller" was much more naturalistic. But everyone involved did a really fantastic job, and it was a great show that I'm glad we saw.

After that, we walked and talked as we headed home. We both liked the show, and Steph felt a little better from eating maybe a few too many onion rings. One of us said something about the play that I think really captures it, that it was a "sucker punch" of a play. We got back to Steph's and called it a night. She is doing a Turkey Trot fun run today, so I'm glad she was able to come out last night and have some fun. Now that she's done training for races for a few months, I look forward to doing this sort of thing more often.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Little Susie Homemaker

Dulce de Leche cheesecake on homemade graham cracker crust with chocolate glaze Posted by Picasa

(based on the recipe from Gourmet via Epicurious)

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Poseidon Adventure

Went sailing with Mike Cintron yesterday, racing the Albacore fleet out of Daingerfield Island. It was blowing in the teens, maybe. There was a long wait at the start before the races got underway, and as the wind filled I was glad Mike loaned me his spray suit.

Anyhow, we're doing triangle-windward-leeward, twice around, for each race. We get a decent start, second or third off the line. We beef a couple of tacks, either through me not trimming the jib well, or Mike having some difficulty on the transfer and powering up out of the turn. We lose some ground, and have some technical problems with the whisker pole.

On the final downwind leg, we go to jibe and all hell breaks loose. Somehow, I think we capsized to windward. We turtle the boat, and the water in the Potomac is absolutely frigid. But we camp out on the board and get her righted. We are completely swamped, but Mike says we're going to finish this race. We open the scuppers and try to dewater. But we're still going downwind, and the extra weight has pushed the bow down. Instead of planing in the heavy breeze, the knuckle digs in and we nearly pitchpole. But we take water over the bow, and capsize again.

So, we right the boat once more, and start dewatering again. We're cold, we're wet, and it's still blowing. Mike asks me for my opinion, and I say I might be done for the day. It's very disappointing - I had been looking forward to sailing all week, and it's been months since we've gotten out there so I know Mike wanted to race more. But we were getting out asses handed to us. We headed in.

Mike let me do a little driving on the way back to the dock; I'm rustier than I thought. And we talked about tuning the rig for conditions and tactics, something I've never been at all good at. Mike has always been really good at teaching his crews - he's an excellent skipper for someone who is new to serving as racing crew. I'm looking forward to next season, when he will be traveling less and we can race more.

Now I'm sore from hiking out and getting bruised up in the tacks, but it was a great weekend because I got out on the water. And in a weird sequence of events, right afterwards I spent about 2 hours looking for dulce de leche to make cheesecake. Less demanding physically, but just as frustrating, since I had to go to 5 different stores before I found it. This thing better be delicious.

[images from]