Monthly Archives: December 2006


Our Christmas this year spanned an entire week… from Friday, December 22 to Saturday, December 30!


December 22

After I got out of work on Friday, we drove up to Townsend, MA to spend the weekend with Becky’s folks.

December 23

On Saturday, the Lowe side of Becky’s family came up to visit. Tom and Gabi and their boys came, as well as Sue, Pete, and Greg. We had a nice dinner of ham and turkey, squash, decadent mashed potatoes, green beans sauteed in garlic and butter, rolls… yum. We exchanged gifts and had a nice time chatting with everyone and playing with the young’n’s. (Pics [here]( for those with family access.)

December 24

On Sunday morning, we went to the Christmas Eve morning church service in Townsend. We then headed out to Shrewsbury, MA. Our first stop was at my Aunt Joan and Uncle Errol’s house, where Scott, Kim, and Mark were visiting. They all had a chance to see Catherine, as well as catch up with Becky and I.

ppp|Catherine with Mark and Scott

Catherine with Mark and Scott


After that, we headed just a few streets over to the Quitadamo Christmas Eve party at Richie and Julie’s house. The whole clan was there, and we actually managed to get a nice group photo! We had the gift grab, and also showered the kids with gifts. Our dinner was Italian… eggplant parm, antipasto, lasagna, Italian wedding soup, stuffed mushrooms. The works. (Pics [here]( for those with family access.)

For Sunday evening, we headed back to Townsend, and went to the midnight church service. I always enjoy the singing of soft carols on the night before Christmas, and the candle-lit mood at the end.

December 25

Christmas Day was spent at the Lowe household in Townsend. We opened stockings, had Belgian waffles for breakfast, opened presents, and then spent the rest of the day relaxing and playing with our new stuff. We had a lot of fun playing our new Karaoke Revolution game… 🙂

ppp|Catherine checks out the gifts.

Catherine checks out the gifts.



Playing Karaoke Revolution


After eating a dinner of some very delicious leftovers from earlier in the weekend, we packed up the Corolla to bursting (really, we couldn’t have possibly fit more in the car…) and headed back to Beverly.

December 26

I went to work.

December 27

I went to work.

In the evening, my parents arrived in Beverly. They had flown from Ohio to Pennsylvania to visit my mom’s side of the family, and then drove in a rental car up to Massachusetts. We hung out and played Karaoke Revolution.

December 28

I took the day off of work!

My parents came over in the morning for “Christmas” breakfast and a gift exchange. Becky made a breakfast casserole. Mmmm. 🙂 We had subs and pizza for lunch, hung out for the afternoon, and then Mom and Dad babysat Catherine while Becky and I went out to dinner and a movie. We saw [Night at the Musem](, which I highly recommend! It was a lot better than we had expected… very funny. A great movie for kids and adults alike. After we got back, we had a mini birthday party for Mom.

ppp|Mom and Catherine

Mom and Catherine


ppp|The family opening gifts

The family opening gifts


December 29

I took this day off of work, too!

My parents came over again, and we all piled into the car for a little trip. Our first stop was at the new [LL Bean]( store in Burlington, MA. It was packed with shoppers returning or exchanging their Christmas gifts, as well as people taking advantage of after-Christmas sales. After the Bean, we headed out to Framingham to meet Joan and Erroll for lunch at [Chef Orient]( We ate in the Japanese half of the restaurant, and we all had teppanyaki entrees, cooked in the usual entertaining style. We also had a another little birthday celebration for Mom (and Joan). Joan and Erroll had brought out a delicious cake and some gifts for mom.

ppp|The Woods and Ethiers doing teppanyaki

Teppanyaki at Chef Orient


ppp|Stan and Joan

Stan and Joan|ppp

After we got back to Beverly, we relaxed at home, and played some more Karaoke Revolution as well as Dance Dance Revolution.

December 30

Mom and Dad came over with breakfast from [Bagel World]( We checked out some of the photos from our last few days together, and said our goodbyes, as they had to head back out. We’ll miss them, and I know that they’ll miss us (especially Catherine!)

ppp|Mom, Dad, and Catherine

Mom, Dad, and Catherine


We’ve spent much of today cleaning up the apartment, sorting out and putting away the gifts, and getting ready for 2007. We don’t have any big plans for the New Year’s weekend… mostly just to rest and relax!

We hope that everyone else has had a great Christmas!

To Our Readers…

Dianne, Ken, Corey, Ellie, Stan, Kirsten, Mark, Mark, Joan, Erroll, Kim, John, Joan, Susie, Marcia, Tom, Gabi, Grammy Q, Nana, Pop-Pop, Kay, Roger, Angela, Dale, Jennifer, Michelle, Joanna, Melanie, Bethany, Bethany Joy, Jeremy, Angela, Bob, Leah, Emily, Jackie, Nikkiana, Christine, Kirk, Amanda, Becky, Megan, Matt, Amanda, Andy, Lisa, Paul, Kate, Art, Leanne, James, Before Girl, Simon, Win, Xinhuan, Sharon, Jeff, Mike, Will, Amy, Josh, Ken, Terri, Jenny, Linda, Jill, Ben, Tammy, Marisa, Johanna…

ppp|Catherine and Becky|ppp


(We hope we didn’t miss anyone… but if you’re a regular reader, and you feel left out, please leave your name in the comments!)


So, I did the same personality test that [Becky](, [Jenn](, and [Kate]( had done. I’m quite amazed at how accurate it is, as well as how it was able to put into words some concepts that I only had a vague understanding of.

You can [try the test yourself](, if you like. Like Becky, I’ll wait and see what others think of the results before commenting on it myself.

Keep reading to see the results.

Continue reading


My friends, Jennifer and Kate have both taken an online personality quiz and posted about it on their respective sites. I always find these sorts of things interesting, so I wandered over and gave it a shot.

The results are after the jump- Jenn and Kate posted their feelings about the results, but I will leave mine untouched. I think that there are many characteristics that the quiz got spot on and some that missed the mark. Over all I think it gives a pretty good description of my personality.

I’m curious to know what those of you who know me think. Did they get me right?

Click on the link below to read my results
Continue reading

I see a…

Today, Becky, Catherine and I went into Boston and met up with Mark to visit the [grand opening of the ICA’s new facility on the waterfront](


Unfortunately, the literature on the website failed to mention that you needed (free) tickets to get in to the museum. It *did* say that you needed tickets to get into some of the theater performances, but not the museum itself. In any case, when we arrived, we were told that it would be about an hour and forty-five minute wait to get tickets and get in to the museum itself, as they were admitting people in controlled shifts so as to not overcrowd the museum. If we had known that we would have to wait in line for tickets, we might have arrived a bit earlier, but at that point, we decided not to go in to the museum.

We did, however, take a nice stroll around the outside of the museum. It is quite a cool looking building, and it has a phenomenal view of the waterfront and the Boston skyline. We will have to come back at some point to actually tour the musem; they have free admission on Thursdays after 5, and they’re also having a free event on the 30th of this month.

We *did* get to see *some* modern art this morning, on our way to church. It was actually a set of orange traffic cones, but they were arranged around a *chair* in the middle of the road, so it looked modern art-ish:

ppp|Cones and Chair|ppp

Not quite as funky as [The Divine Gas](, though (which we *could* see through the front entrance of the ICA).

Check out [all of the photos from our trip to the ICA](

Mr. Biggs

Happy Birthday to [Mr. Biggs](


Good luck with [the mystery](! I hope that all works out for you.


Toward the End of Time by John Updike

John Updike has written upwards of 50 books in his lifetime. The Beverly Public Library had nearly all of them on the shelf. What were the chances that I’d choose one that took place in my back yard?

Toward the End of time does take place here on the North Shore of Boston, but not in 2006; rather, in the year 2020. To me that date is one of two interesting themes in the novel. 2020 is no ordinary year. The US is just coming out of a nuclearly devastating war with China. Due to its distance from China, the Northeast is not heavily damaged. So life continues as it had pre-war; mostly.

It was interesting to read Updike’s take on Massachusetts in the future. There were many references to local sites and ‘current’ events. The “Big Dig” even makes an appearance! Since 2020 isn’t that far into the future the predictions were somewhat credible and encouraged my own thoughts about what the next 15 years may hold.

The main story surrounds an aging, retired gentleman (Ben Turnbull) and explores his feelings about how his life is changing. Updike is somewhat ambiguous about whether or not aging is a negative (or positive) thing. Turnbull is reevaluating relationships and activities, beliefs, politics and love. As the title suggests, Turnbull is moving towards the end of time, but maybe not as quickly as he thinks.

I found this to be a very thought provoking novel. I’m curious, though, seeing as Updike has written so many works; did I make a good selection? Have you read other works by Updike? Have you read this one? Are there others that you would recommend? I’d love to know!

A weekend with friends

Becky, Catherine and I drove out to Lee, Massachusetts this weekend to spend some time with friends. Bob and Leah came up from New Jersey with their son Lucas, and [Jeremy]( came down from New Hampshire. We picked the location because it happened to be roughly equidistant from all three of our homes…. about two and a half hours for each of us.

We stayed at the [Black Swan Inn](, did some shopping at the [Prime Outlets]( in Lee, visited the [Norman Rockwell Museum]( and walked the picturesque main street in Stockbridge, had some delicious pizza at Four Brothers Pizza Inn of Great Barrington, and just generally had a good time hanging out and catching up. The seven of us squeezed into Jeremy’s hotel room to watch [The Pink Panther]( on our laptop, which worked surprisingly well considering the 14 inch screen. 🙂

We had a great time getting to see our friends and take in a small slice of the Berkshires. If you’d like to see some photos of our weekend, head over [here](!