NYE Boston; girls’ night; home with family.

Last week, I took off for Boston for New Year’s Eve and a visit to old friends. I was graciously received by Miss Laurie Beth and the sisters of Sorority House, whose living room I occupied for a week. LB and I did a bunch of cooking, watched maybe half a dozen movies, and even completed a jigsaw puzzle, jokes about Melon Time notwithstanding. New Year’s Eve itself was spent entertaining several guests for dinner — Scott, Josh, Jack, Ben, Kristy — before meeting up with Rodin and Bryony on our way to Keith’s party on Prospect Hill. It turned out that we pretty much brought the party, so it’s a good thing we were a big group. It was snowing out, and Kristy was hilariously drunk, and there were homemade egg rolls to be heated in the toaster oven after watching the fireworks through the clouds from the tower. LB and I enjoyed the specially procured Knuckleball Bock beer, and Josh, in typical Josh fashion, took pictures of LB’s rack (an accident, he swears).
The next day was pretty much a wash, so LB and I lazed around the house watching movies. We had a girls’ night that evening, complete with knitting, crocheting, a girly movie, and some Indiana Jones — a night that Josh eventually crashed around 9 or so, having just come back from a rather rough dinner. LB taught him to knit, and we watched Last Crusade together.
I spent the next couple of days catching up with former coworkers at the Institute: lunch with the OCW folks one day, lunch with Ben and McGann the next, followed by an afternoon distracting everyone in the Admissions Office from their work. I made a pilgrimage to the MIT Press Bookstore, where the hurt books shelf did me in once again. I picked up an Arnold Pacey book for three bucks, the Dave/Toph Eggers collaboration Giraffes? Giraffes! for eight, and a game theory text for Paul for just shy of fifteen. Ah, the MIT Press, I love it so.
Tuesday night, Scott, LB, and I went to the Cantab for dinner to grab a table for their Pickin’ Tuesday. Jack, his labmate Ranko, Alice, and LB’s fellow teacher Donna joined us; even David and Becca showed up for a little while. The opening act wasn’t too great, but the main band was really quite good, and had all of us tapping our toes and clapping. I’d be there every week if I still lived in Boston!
JCB and MRhé got back from Austin on Wednesday night, and we all met up for a dinner celebration of Ben’s birthday at the Midwest Grill. We then headed back to LB’s for margarita’s and company. My final night in town, I had dinner with Alice and Michelle, and then went back to LB’s for ice cream sundaes with the whole crowd, minus Jeff, who was at Foxwoods with his pop. All in all, a pretty good visit.
The night I got back to Albany, Steph and Jess and I got together for a little girls’ night of eating popcorn, watching Sex and the City, chatting, and playing with the Bortises’ new black lab puppy, Harley. Two words: so adorable! He’s something of a biter, though, when he gets excited.
It was a good evening, and we stayed up until maybe midnight just hanging out, watching episodes, talking, and catching up with one another. I was pretty exhausted by the time I drove home, but it was worth it.
The next day I was oddly exhausted, so ended up spending much of the day reading, and then hopping into bed by about 7 pm. I slept like a rock until 10, then tossed and turned until midnight, when I fell back to sound sleep once again. I didn’t wake up until 9 in the morning, at which point I definitely felt very rested.
The extended family came down on Sunday to celebrate Christmas, Dad’s birthday, and Jen’s engagement. We had champagne, and a meal of pork roast, broccoli, potatoes, yams, and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Erin was able to make it up — I’d not seen her in years — and it was wonderful to be with both of my cousins at the same time — also the first time in years. Jen is the proud new owner of a horse, as well as an engagement ring, so big things happening there. It was great to see Gram, Becky, and Ginny as well.
After the relatives left, I played a little piano, read a bunch, and got ready for bed. I talked to Paul on the phone and Scott on zephyr before retiring around 12:30. Today it’s errands, and coffee with Steph later this afternoon. Ciao for now!

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