The back half of 2014


The back half of 2014 was eventful, despite a rather heavy travel schedule that put me in California every other weekend to see Alison. The major trips (Seattle, Boston (which may not seem like a trip, but we stayed in the Nine Zero downtown and it might as well have been), Gencon, etc) are covered separately, so this is just the day to day. Starting with a wine party with some co-workers, which was fun, but the fun part was walking through Boston while the sun was setting and just appreciating the sites. Below is the Federal Reserve Building, where I work, all burnished edges and mad angles, the narrow streets of Boston with the buildings towering overhead, and Nathanial Hall lit up at night.
Brie worked for a short period of time at Harvard Management Corporation (HMC) , and she, Will (who was working at Fidelity) would commute in on the train. She went to the HMC 40th anniversary party along with a number of Will’s friends who snagged internships at HMC for the summer.
And then there were the standard activities… range time with Will, restaurants with Diana and Brie, visiting Jim Hodgson for his birthday (who passed away in January) with Elaine and Debbie, and a music concert at the MFA with Eric and Cathy Haines and Brie, and the new guy on the street, Aidan, Brie’s new boyfriend. Aidan is a charming and thoughtful young man who’s a first generation Irish immigrant, with the brough to prove it.
There’s been many boardgaming evenings, some at my place, some at Rick Morris’ place. Eric, Jim, and Bobby are regular attendees, but there’s a host of others that are more occasional.
And, on a completely different topic, there’s everyone’s favorite cat, Dobie, who is in a word rascally. He’s a good looking cat and very active. He drinks from the faucet and chases string and likes to hide and pounce on people when they are not expecting it.
Some other random things of interest; the owls were back, although not as consistently as in prior years. Alison came out and stayed at the house for the weekend, and we climbed Tophet Chasm with the dogs. Or, more accurately, we descended into Tophet Chasm (Alison would beg to differ, mostly about the word “Chasm,” which she thinks is at best hyberbole and at worst outright lying). Then we climbed to the top of the hill with it’s view of Boston. Heading to RPI to help Will out furnishing his new apartment, and another dinner with Brie and Diana.

Brie, Will and I got together on the anniversary of Kate’s passing and had dinner together at Angelos 677 prime in Albany.
Heading into October, there was Will’s last tennis match at Bryant University in Rhode Island, which is only a little over an hour away. The weather was perfect, the trees were turning, the tennis was fun to watch.  Will's focus and ability to return balls moving so fast I can barely track them is always amazing to me.  And I always enjoy being on a college campus; it just feels so … exciting, like there’s a thousand interesting things going on.
Thanksgiving was with Will, Brie, Aidan and his parents. Judy and Rich, and involved a lot of cooking. And then a lot of eating and drinking. But it was fun.  I became slightly concerned that Rich was going to steal our dogs because he seemed so smiten with them. 
California... two back to back trips were special.  One was the one year anniversary of Jeff's passing.  It was touching, and Kevin King told a D&D story about someone polymorphing into a Hippo and crushing the opponent that was about to destroy the party that Jeff was fond of, and then we all talked about some of our favorite stories about Jeff.   We all, in the jewish tradition, left small pebbles by the grave.  Then we retreated to Alison's place to hang out together, then had dinner at Gus's Barbequeue (which is actually fairly upscale).  Afterwards, a lot of the gaming crowed met at Jeff Goldsmiths and did shots of 21 year old scotch, which seemed fitting. 
The weekend before that I met Alison's folks.  Her father, Paul, is an ex-JPLer and did cutting edge research on lasers back in the day (there's some laser related affect that's named after him).  He and Carol are both seriously into cactuses and succulents, and their fron and back yard is dedicated to an amazing variety of them.
Brie and her boyfriend Aidan went to Ireland for a week to check out the Dublin Institue of Technology; they were both excepted into a year and a half long Masters program for a degree in Computer Science.  Aidan left for Ireland a little earlier than Brie, so he could not join Rick and Annie Morris, Travis Holland and Carol Zampogna, Will and his new girlfried Janu, Brie and I to see Jake Johannsen at a Boston comedy club.
And then there was Christmas and Bill and Janet Garber's.  Liz, Caroline, Emily, and Trina came up the 23rd for a visit.  Christmas day, Anne, Nick, Lisa, Bruce, Matt, Cindy, Lucia, Bill, Janet and a RPI exchange student Will invited (Shilu) joined Will, Brie and I for the standard gift openning orgy.  Alison and Noah joined us later in the day as well for Christmas dinner.
Next chapter... Aruba!