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June 27, 2006

Egypt Photos now online


After a long delay, you can get a glimpse at our trip:
View Photos

June 21, 2006

Boston Events

Here we are compiling a list of fun things we've done in Boston

Jun 1, Thurs
Thai dinner with Michael and Elaine

Jun 2, Fri
Moving crate arrives and the unpacking begins
Unpack through weekend.

Jun 5, Mon
Matt arrives in Boston
Loraine's first day of work

Jun 7, Wed
Loraine's birthday dinner extravaganza at fun nearby Chinese restaurant with beautiful decor

Jun 9, Fri
Movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" followed by local homemade ice cream.

Jun 10, Sat
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with Elaine and Alysia. Discovered that we can get in free to museums with Loraine's Harvard/Smithsonian ID card. Explored the eclectic mix of amazing art from around the world. Then, dinner out with Michael added to crowd.

Jun 13, Tue
Dinner at gourmet pizza place with Kathryn and Kyle. Discussed their upcoming move to China and our move to Japan!

Jun 15, Thurs
Dinner at veggie-friendly Vietnamese with Sam and Laura. Ice cream at a classic Cambridge hangout.

Jun 17-18
Kansas City for family reunion

Jun 21, Weds
Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics annual summer BBQ.

Jun 26 - Jun 30
L in Durham, New Hampshire for a solar physics conference. She gave two talks and went to the conference banquet where people consumed buckets full of clams and oysters and 150 complete lobsters were served. Went into Portsmouth for dinner several other nights.

Jun 31-Jul 1
Explore the New Hampshire coast together. Tidepooling, pick up starfish and sea-urchin in the Science Center touch pool, play in the waves at Rye beach, relax and listen to the waves.

Jul 2, Sun
L leaves for Japan on an early flight

Jul 4, Tue
M sees Boston Pops, Rockapella, and Aerosmith perform at Hatch Shell followed by fireworks.

Jul 10, Mon
L returns from Japan. Matt picks her up in a ZipCar, driving through the Big Dig tunnel that had a ceiling panel collapse later that evening. The story has been making the front page of local and national papers.

Jul 15, Sat
Sackler Harvard Art Museum with Michael and Elaine, including a very inspiring Japanese art collection.

Jul 20, Thurs
We actually had a midterm in our Japanese class for our anniversary. The exam was relatively easy. Since we studied together, we finished within a few seconds of one another and then headed out to a nice dinner with... FRUIT TART for dessert.

Jul 28, Fri
Went to a party in Stowe, MA at L's boss's house. Caught in the middle of a torrential thunder storm on the drive out. Lightning flashed literally every few seconds. Visibility was about 15 feet because rain was coming down in such dense buckets. We ended up pulling over and waiting for about 15 minutes. It was very intense. When we finally arrived in Stowe, it was not raining. We sat on the enclosed porch and ate wonderful food.

Jul 29, Sat
Picked up a rental car early in the morning and drove down to Connecticut to visit L's uncle Jerry and cousins Luis and Richard. After taking more than a few wrong turns on both ends of the journey, we finally made it to Woodbury. Everyone in the family is doing so much global travel, including us! Ate a fantastic dinner and then drove down to Jerry's house on the coast.

Jul 30, Sun
Drove back to Boston. Had brunch with Jeff, our friend from living in Washington DC and chatted about NASA mission statement. Had dessert with Michael and Elaine who made a fantastic fruit tart!

Aug 4, Fri
Went to Shabbat services at Temple Beth El in Cambridge, a short walk from my work. They hold a short Friday evening service outdoors during the summer. Very nice. Then, celebrated M's b-day with a quiet dinner at our local Thai restaurant -- exactly what I wanted to do.

Aug 5, Sat
Mega Japan preparation day. Everything from organizing our finances to reading stories about Japan.

Aug 6, Sun
Honarary birthday celebration day -- a very busy day! Dim Sum Brunch with Luis and Alpana and friends from L's work in Chinatown. Cooking homeless dinner for Bread and Jams with Elaine. Shakespeare in the Park with Kenny and Gretchen (Taming of the Shrew).

Upcoming Events

Looking at Landscape three photographers gathered to address a common theme. Through January.
Harvard Museum of Natural History

MoCA Works ranging from a gladiatorial arena for insects to a 20-ton sand castle to a full-size airplane fuselage.
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

Copenhagen July 20 - Sep 10, Wed-Sun Evenings, $30
Outdoor production of this amazing play.
Publick Theater off Soldiers Field Road

Free Friday Flicks July 7-Sept 1, Fri Evenings
Outdoor movies at the Hatch Shell.

June 18, 2006

Family Reunion in Kansas City

L's family had over 80 people get together for a massive family reunion. It was held in a cute motel called the American Inn on the Missouri side of Kansas City. The main focus was a huge family dinner with skits and singing. There was a magician and a clown that made balloon animals for the younger part of the crowd. Aunt Ida also had her recently compiled family photo albums on display (one album for the life of each of her siblings, plus a few bonus albums for some of her closer relatives). They are amazing collections with all the pictures labeled and organized -- a true treasure trove!

It was great fun catching up with relatives that we knew and meeting new ones that we never ever knew we had. There is such a range in the family with a very broad distribution of ages, lifestyles, educations, and political views.I guess that's what happens when you bring 80 people together who have no other tie than blood relations.

Because of problems getting good flights, we only stayed for one day in KC. Then it was back to Boston where we capped the weekend off with a bid to reorganize our shelves and closet so that it is actually beginning to feel like we live in our apartment!

June 6, 2006

Greetings from Boston!

I made it safely across the country to our new (temporary?) home on the East Coast.

We live in an apartment near the Harvard campus. The building was built in 1929 and has a plaque claiming that Nabakov lived downstairs from us shortly after his novel "Lolita" was published. We're subletting a furnished apartment from a Harvard law student that is away for the summer, which is quite a challenge -- we're trying to fit our one bedroom apartment's worth of stuff into a one bedroom apartment that already has another person's stuff in it! L arrived a few days before I did and started unpacking boxes, so the place was in pretty good shape when I saw it for the first time. She did an amazing job packing stuff into every nook of every room and has almost all the boxes unpacked. We've also got a pile of stuff to give away, which is sad because we just moved it all the way across the country for no reason. Other than that, the place is very nice with granite countertops, new appliances, and a beautiful courtyard outside with a hammock and plenty of flowers to enjoy during the hot Boston summers.

At work, I'm set up with a very nice desk in a windowless office at the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. They have been kind enough to let me use their space to telecommute back to the USGS in Menlo Park. I put a little name plate outside my door with the USGS logo and several of the astrophysicists have stopped by to inquire about what's up. The building is on the outskirts of Cambridge right near a beautiful nature preserve, so I can go out and eat lunch at a picnic table watching a family of Canada geese, including their three month-old goslings.

We'll be here until mid-September, so look forward to future updates. After that, it's off to Japan!