Friday, April 30, 2010

Busy Weekends 2010

It's been very busy for Kevin and me. The two of us work all the time. Even though we have very different jobs, we seem to work the same amount. Everyone knows I'm supposed to work a lot, but Kevin teaches a number of classes, so he's always either grading or writing short stories. But we still had time to have a little fun this weekend.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and the perfect day to go look at apartments in Long Island. Afterward we walked around and had lunch in a park near the apartment.

FloPa 2011

Then that evening, Kevin went out to dinner at Keens with the guys, and his friend Jeff M from California and Brady stayed over. That set us up perfectly for Sunday morning hangover bagels. The decade that I lived outside the New York-area, I missed bagels the most. I definitely do not take them for granted now.

Speaking of New York, we also found out this weekend that Briggs got a fellowship to finish his dissertation in New York! Congratulations! Can't wait until you join us.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Parents' 25th Anniversary 2010

On Friday we took my parents out to dinner at Sushiden to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Congratulations!

Parents' 25th Anniversary 2010
My parents on Friday

Shute Wedding 1985
My parents' wedding in 1985

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baby Vivienne 2010!

More great news! Cate and Matt had a second baby girl. She looks like another cutie-pie and both baby Vivienne and mother Cate are doing well. Congratulations to Cate, Matt, and big sister Phoebe!

Vivienne is Born 2010
Family of 4!

Vivienne is Born 2010
Look at this great big sister!

This does not bring the expected baby count down however, as Casey and Victoria, Rachel and Tim, and now Pete and Adrienne are all expecting babies as well. We're looking forward to meeting all our new little buddies soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Program in Writing Spring Party 2010

Party after a reunion event at Stony Brook. Peter Elbow and Pat Belanoff were the featured speakers. They used to run the Writing Program together here.

Stony Brook Party 2010
Program Director Gene and Peter E

Stony Brook Party 2010
Party mingling

Stony Brook Party 2010
More mingling

Stony Brook English 2010
Patty, Rita, Marilyn

Stony Brook Party 2010
Peter and a friend

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jane's Bridal Shower 2010

I had a lovely time at Jane's Bridal Shower. Mimosas, Bellinis, and cupcakes, oh my! Jane and Rob's wedding is coming up in May- I'm excited!

 Jane's Shower 2010
Opening presents

Jane's Shower 2010
Jane loves the apron so much she puts it on right away.

Jane's Shower 2010
Everyone is having a lovely time

Jane's Shower 2010
Pretty drinks and desserts!

Jane's Shower 2010
Group picture!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Madison 2010!

Our friends Cathy and Mike had a baby girl!

Steffan Family 2010
The new family together in the hospital

Madison 2010
Close-up of Madison

Congratulations to the Steffan family! We are so excited for you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Things My Wife Complains About: #13 Being Profiled

As an English-speaking thirty-year-old white male of European extraction, it's difficult for me to find opportunity for linguistic/age/racial/gender/ethnic discrimination. I suppose for a time I paid more for car insurance than was strictly necessary, and those scars are real. I try to sympathize with the injustices leveled around me, but I had difficulty finding the proper compassion for my wife during our recent vacation in Colombia.

Would you believe that in this Spanish-speaking country someone had the audacity to answer my wife in Spanish? I mean, this is 2010.

I tried, inadequately, to put myself in her shoes. How would I have felt were I in Scotland, say, and someone just started speaking English to me? My imagination failed. I couldn't fathom the injustice. Worst of all, the women who profiled my wife were British. They were trying to speak Spanish just because they were in a community where everyone speaks Spanish. Could you be more provincial?

Proposed Solutions!

1) Refuse travel to Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Iberian peninsula, California, Texas, Florida, and several neighborhoods in greater New York City to limit exposure to future profiling.
2) Purchase Spanish Rosetta Stone, Levels 1-5: play discs backward to unlearn Spanish language.
3) Don't talk to--or listen to--anyone who doesn't know the languages you speak and the situations where you prefer speaking those languages (hard).

Cartagena, Colombia 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Visiting Andrew 2010

We had a brief stop in Ft. Lauderdale and Boca on the way back from Colombia. We went to dinner with Andrew and his friends, sampled draft beers, and enjoyed some Jameson's black label when we returned to Andrew's apartment, so it was a very full evening. Then Andrew graciously took us back to the airport.

Visiting Andrew 2010
Posing with Mike and Andrew's fantasy football chart

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cartagena, Colombia 2010!

Kevin and I just returned from a fabulous trip to Cartagena. A lot of people have asked us why we picked Cartagena. What they really mean is - why did we pick Colombia? We first took an interest in Cartagena when we were shopping around for honeymoons. We weighed Martha's Vineyard, Ireland, Cartagena, and Greece, so we were all over the place. We crossed out the practical Martha's Vineyard, and the still-too-cold-in-June Ireland. Cartagena seemed like a good combo of affordability and romance. The more we looked into it, the more excited we got. Ultimately however, I realized that hundreds of people would ask us where we were going on our honeymoon and instead of getting a response with the happiness and excitement that I wanted surrounding all wedding-related topics, people would warn us that we would get kidnapped. And what if they were right? No one would even feel bad for us or send us ransom money. So we went to Greece and saved Cartagena for when no one was looking.

Cartagena, Colombia 2010
The Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

It turned out however, that Cartagena was very safe. There were policeman and military men on nearly every block of anywhere a tourist would want to go. And the old city within the city walls is beautiful, especially at night. You could just go to the old city and be happy. The food there is delicious too. But we stayed near the beach, so we also spent some time there, and explored the Castle (go through the underground tunnels!) and the much less inspiring view from La Popa. We also took a day trip boat ride around Las Islas del Rosario (take the big boat if you don't want to spend the next couple of days sore) and stopped at Playa Blanca for sunning and swimming.

It was a fabulous trip with the caveat that air travel is officially awful in this country now. Not checking bags, multiple security lines, customs, and shorter lines for visitors than US citizens inside the US. After this summer is over, or rather the wedding-season is over, we are going to cut down or cut out air travel.

Cartagena, Colombia 2010
On top of Cartagena's City Walls

Cartagena, Colombia 2010
Outskirts of town

Cartagena, Colombia 2010
Fernando Botero statue at the Plaza de Santo Domingo

Cartagena, Colombia 2010
Entertainers at the beach in Boca Grande

Cartagena, Colombia 2010
Heading to our favorite bar at Plaza de los Coches
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