Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Spy Voice Trap
Anyhow, he made a beeline for this. I can't vouch for what happened after I left, but it certainly got a good workout while I was there. It's a combination voice recorder/motion detector. Essentially you record a six-second message (easy to do and redo), then leave it hidden somewhere. When anyone comes along and creates "motion" in the path of the "beam", the trap is activated and the recording is played. Just think of the possibilities! Of course it wasn't long before there had to be a rule about not using when people were sleeping. Last heard there were plans afoot to hide it somewhere outside on Halloween to startle unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
A Good Fish
Daughter H doesn't often cook - she has other priorities and not much time. But when she puts her mind to it she's a whiz. Here's my birthday celebration: roasted Chilean sea bass on a bed of perfectly seasoned French lentils, with fresh steamed, buttered haricots verts. So OK, I did the beans, and chopped the shallots and garlic (who wants stinky hands?). What's a mom for, anyhow?
War and Peace
Friday, October 26, 2007
Book Clubs and Birthdays
I'm in a book club of my own, and I couldn't help but make some comparisons. Mary's club meets in the evening, and there's wine (everyone brings a bottle, and the hostess keeps the leftovers) and the hostess provides a simple dinner (good sandwiches and a pasta salad this time). Ours is a daytime group. We get a cookie, maybe.
And - novelty of novelties - they all read the SAME BOOK! Unlike my group. We all just report on whatever we happen to have read or be reading. Not to say that there aren't some interesting advantages to this, but, because of this difference, I had expected this group to be a little less superficial than ours. I'm not really sure that was the case. Maybe it was the wine? They went around the room (as we do) and gave everyone a chance to comment. In some cases this sparked further discussion, but not always. The talk was almost entirely about comparing "then" (1870's New York) to "now"; would Newland Archer have behaved differently today? How has society changed?
At the end, a birthday cake suddenly appeared. I was startled, since it was actually MY birthday and I didn't think anyone knew. But it turned out that it was also the birthday of one of the members. This other woman was turning seventy-seven - ten years older than I (though I will always be sixty-five where this blog is concerned) - and I had at first thought, from her looks, that she might be even YOUNGER than I! Increasingly (the closer I get) the seventies are not looking so fearful.
ADDED: Thanks to Nina and Annette for such thoughtful comments. My own read-what-you-want group, which functions, it seems, exactly like Annette's, may actually be the ideal model for a group of disparate, reasonably intelligent women, none of whom are trained literary critics. I learn about books that I might never have heard of, borrow the ones that sound appealing, and never feel pressured to read something I don't care about. There are certain books that we all seem to read, sooner or later, so that in a roundabout way those do ultimately get discussed in a little more depth.
Boston week in review
The wedding reception was held in the Fogg Museum - you could go look at a Rembrandt if you felt like it, though you had to put the champagne down first. Pumpkin decorating and finger-casting were among the favored activities at the Newton Harvest Fair (I'm just guessing that's what it was called). A day in Marblehead was a change of pace, as was an afternoon at the new ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) where I neglected to take any photos. Terrific exhibit of Louise Bourgeouis sculpture and a show called "Design Life Now" which I'd missed during its tenure at the Cooper Hewitt.
The Red Sox were never far from anyone's consciousness; how could they be?
No photos from the 45th college reunion either. Fun to see old friends, though, and enlightening and thought-provoking to hear Radcliffe Institute Dean and terrorism expert Louise Richardson speak to us.
What else? Food, of course. Festive dinners at Upstairs on the Square and Aquitaine Bis and a Cambodian lunch at The Elephant Walk were highlights. And, on the last day, a visit from one-year-old first cousin twice-removed Cal with his mother and grandmother.
ADDED: Neglected to say that the wedding itself was held in the historic Kings Chapel at the top of Beacon Hill. There were trolleys to take us to the reception at the Fogg, but the driver of the one I was on got his signals crossed and took us by mistake to a hotel near MIT. The horrified mother of the bride (my friend) was able to redirect him, but in the meantime I was able to get a pretty good look at Frank Gehry's Stata Center. From my perspective a nice bonus. For sure worth another look, another time.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm just back from a wonderful ten days in Boston - ten days that included a planned convergence of daughters (so rarely all in one place at the same time), a family birthday, a college reunion, some fine dining, some fearless city driving, the usual delightful interactions with grandchildren, a first encounter with one of the youngest of the new generation of second cousins, and an elegant wedding with assorted peripheral events. Not to mention a bit of sightseeing and even some cultural stuff. Over the next few days I'll post a few photos with commentary, but mostly I will be attempting to slip back into my normal routines - if I can remember what they are.