Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stardate 60997.87 - Week Off With Family

We spent the rest of the week at Mom & Judy's in Virginia, visiting with lots of family. As they are selling the place and moving to Vermont, this may be the last event at the house. I took a short trip down to the river with Loren and Cheryl to snap a couple of final photos. I also had many pictures of family events.

Loren enjoyed climbing the steps of the tree house.

Loren got her first Ragety Anne doll from Grammy.

Cheryl enjoys a rare moment without Loren hanging on her.

In anticipation of the move, they sold the large, artificial tree that is normally used at Christmas time and had to get a substitute for the presents to go under. This one is not really a color that is found in nature, we decided.

Verona, VA

Friday, December 29, 2006

Stardate 60993.85 - Trip to the Park

We went to the local town park (Gypsy Hill Park) on Thursday and met my old high school friend and debate partner Vince and his wife Kathy there. The park is actually in Staunton, not Verona, but it is a very short drive away. They had their youngest daughter, Serafina, with them and she enjoyed playing on the swings and things while Loren napped (on the way back from lunch Loren was also able to enjoy the park). It was much colder then our trip back in July, and there were a lot fewer leaves on the trees.

We walked from the park to the Clocktower Tavern for lunch. The food was pretty good, and there were no other customers in the place as we were finishing up so the girls could run around.

And here are two items to show that we are in rural America. First, the new craze in lawn decorations seem to be these enormous, inflatable items. We really don't see these in NYC.

And Second, while we were in line for a movie Thursday night a woman called to her two children by shouting, "Come on Dakota! Come on Montana!" Cheryl said, "Where are Nevada and Oregon?"

Verona, VA

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stardate 60986.75 - Zach's Birthday Party

His seventh birthday may have been Saturday, but my sister had the birthday party for my nephew Zach today. Here is the hostess, busy taking pictures.

My grandmother and Dad drove in from Richmond, and we all had a fun time trying to get the toys out of the shoplifting-proof packaging. I haven't purchased a small, mass-produced toy in some time, but the amount of twist-ties and plastic ties holding these things into their cardboard boxes is ridiculous. It took longer to get the damn things out then it did to wrap and unwrap them combined!!

Here Cheryl helps Loren unwrap her gifts. Loren is not so interested in the unwrapping, which is why she is not in the photo.

My Mom and Grandmother on the couch.

My Dad, my Grandmother (Mom's mom), me and Loren.

Four generations in one photo.

Verona, VA

Monday, December 25, 2006

Stardate 60984.27 - Merry Christmas!!

Today we all got up around 0730 (Loren slept in a little bit due to a short nap yesterday and a late bedtime) and Loren opened her stocking and a couple of gifts. Other gifts from us had sort of been opened as they arrived, which is fine with her as she is not quite into the whole unwrapping thing yet.

After a nice Christmas morning at the aparment (the first Christmas in my 37 years where I have had Christmas Day in my own place), we piled into the car for the 6.5 hour drive down to Virginia. Loren was very, very good in the car and even took a 2 hour nap. We only stopped once for gas and food and potty, all at the same gas station. We wanted to get lunch somewhere but every fast-food place we could see from the Interstate was closed. We had to settle for Nutigrain bars and potato chips, which just made the gumbo at my Mom's tonight all the more tastier!

Verona, VA

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Stardate 60981.77 - Christmas Eve

We got up bright and early this morning and drove to NJ in time for 0930 Mass, and then we visited a friend who is in the country for the holidays. Finally, we settled in at Cheryl's parents' place for the afternoon and the traditional Christmas Eve activities.

Loren loved playing around on the driveway with an old riding toy Bill brought up from the basement.

It was a balmy upper-50s outside, so we got to spend a little time in the fresh air.

Loren loved all her gifts, and even got us to read her new books to her.

Loren got her bath there and we changed her into PJs so we could transfer the sleeping baby from the car seat to the crib more easily.

We got back to the apartment late, and are now preparing for our drive to Virginia first thing in the morning. Lots still to do! Luckily she fell asleep in the car and made the transfer to the crib with no problem.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Stardate 60977.25 - T-2 Days 'Til Christmas

Cards are in the mail.
All the gifts have been purchased.
Christmas break starts now.

Last night Cheryl and I watched Dark Water. It was a pretty good movie, with the "right creepiness factor" as Cheryl put it. No graphic violence or anything, but yet nice and scary. A review posted on IMDB stated that it was a tale "of quietly disturbing dread," and that is pretty accurate. The fact that it takes place on Roosevelt Island (where we used to keep our car) made it even more interesting to watch. It wasn't really a Christmas Movie (horror, in fact), and I won't give away the plot other than to say it does not have a typical Hollywood ending - maybe because it is based on a Japanese movie from a few years earlier. Regardless, two thumbs up.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Stardate 60974.88 - T-3 Days 'Till Christmas

Work is slowing down.
Grey skies are a portent of
Christmas almost here.

My penance is now
One last teleconference.
Then I'm free at last.

Cookies in the 'fridge,
the smell of pine in my nose.
Tasting cold crisp air.

Time with family.
Presents sit under the tree,
waiting Christmas Day.

Enjoy the time off,
Happy Holidays to all!
To all a good night.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Stardate 60972.75 - 24 Christmas

Ok, this was kinda funny!


Stardate 60972.71 - The Erection Has Started

I know James just used the same joke, but after months of having a big hole in the ground across the street and staring at an unoccupied and unmoving crane, the steel erection phase of the cancer center construction next door has proceeded at a rapid pace. They seem to be about a month ahead of schedule, based on the community board meeting that I attended. They are probably ahead of schedule because for the past few months they have worked almost every Saturday, despite the assurances of the construction folks that they would only work on Saturday if Friday's work left something in an "unsafe" condition that couldn't wait until Monday. And did I mention that they start at 0700 on the dot every day they work? And that with my office now in the bedroom I am right beside the noise?

Anyway, here are some pictures for you to enjoy.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stardate 60970.13 - Cheryl's Office Party

I missed Cheryl's office party because I was in Virginia on travel, but here are a couple of pictures of her and Loren at the event. They were taken by other people, with other cameras. I like the second picture because I think it may be the only shot we have showing all four of her teeth.


Stardate 60969.74 - St. Nick

I've been on travel for the first part of this week, so I haven't had an opportunity to post anything (or take any recent photos). Here is one from earlier in the month when St. Nick came to visit Loren at daycare. She apparently didn't like him - or maybe it was the hat.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stardate 60961.15 - Cheryl's Birthday

Friday was Cheryl's birthday, and so we had several activities this weekend in celebration of her 35th. First, Friday also happened to be the holiday party at Loren's day care so we had food and drink and presents in the afternoon.

Next, we invited several of Cheryl's co-workers over Friday night after Loren's bedtime to celebrate Cheryl's birthday. We had 16 people show up for the event from 8:30 until 11:30 PM. Again, we had food and drink and presents. Here the table is ready for the guests to arrive. I gave Cheryl several of the serving dishes on the table, in addition to her main present of the new camera.

Cheryl unwraps a gift.
People enjoying the party.

It wouldn't be a party without a picture of Francois looking silly.

On Saturday, Cheryl's parents came into town to babysit and Cheryl and I went to an early dinner close to home at Cafe Boulud, followed by a trip down to Bar on A in the East Village to watch a band comprised of some employees from Cheryl's work. The band was not too bad - better than some of the bands Cheryl and I went to see when we first moved to NYC. I was standing on a bar stool at the back of the room when I took this photo with my cell phone, so it is pretty bad but gives you a flavor of the place.

Cheryl's parents spent the night and on Sunday we went to church, followed by lunch at 879-Taco.

I think she had a good time overall, and it was a nice multi-event birthday weekend!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Stardate 60956.20 - Goofy Picture Day

In addition to being a certain person's birthday today (hint - not mine and not Loren's), I've decided that today is goofy picture day. So here is a goofy picture of me, one of Squirt, and one of Loren.