A Visitor and Buckets of Rain

Things have kind of heated up recently. The wedding plans are shifting into overdrive. It is a constant struggle to keep things manageable. Plus, it seems like every weekend has seen us entertaining traveling guests or being the traveling guests ourselves. One of the exciting guests of note was my friend of some twenty-eight years, Dave.

Photo: Me and Dave in the rain

Since the age of seven, Dave and I have been thick as thieves. Well a couple of weeks ago he made his first trip out East to Boston. It began in fantastic style as I dragged him around the city, showing various sites. I really wore him out walking all over the place. On a Friday, we covered the North End to the Common and nearly everything in between. It was foggy and grey, but we stayed dry. Then came the rains.

Photo: Rain on the Highway

Photo: USS Constitution in the Fog

Saturday we braved a sightseeing trip north to Salem, driving back and forth through downtown Peabody on the way. But the rains wouldn’t stop. So that trip ended quickly. It was a bit of a wash, actually. All seriousness aside, who could have predicted that the weekend would be the worst rainfall in New England in seventy years? Within twenty-four hours of our jaunt through Peabody, the whole downtown was submerged under feet of water. Dave was quite stunned when he recognized the town’s name on the news, drawing our attention to the amount of flooding. As a result of the sky’s opening, we got a bit confined to the one-bedroom apartment that Ali and I call home. Still it was fantastic to see him and spend some time with him as the pictures witness.

Photo: Granary Burying Ground

You see Dave is a very talented graphic designer that has recently decided to go it alone and become a mercenary. He started his company Malcolm Studios about a year ago and is no completely solo. As a result he has been accumulating a lot more electronic toys of late, including the snappy digital camera that he used to capture many of these images.

Photo: Tits on a Violin Photo: The Patriot

Dave is an avid board game player. So, we were able to bust out Songburst over margaritas. I am happy to report that I destroyed all competition, winning multiple platinum records (see below). Although I have to admit that we were all a bit dreadful and the game grew more tedious as our eyes became heavier and our mind’s margarita murky.

Photo: Me with Platinum Eyes

Photo: Dave with Record

All in all it was a pretty good time had by all. I only wish the weather was nicer. Well, at least he got some local flavor, including some chowdah from Ye Old Oyster House, and better still a lobster trophy!

Photo: Lobsterman

New Digs, New Gig

It has been a busy couple of weeks. From nearly the moment I returned from my brief respite in Chicago, Ali and I were on the hunt for new dwellings. Unbelievably, it took all of three days. With thoughts of heading to Cambridge or Somerville, we started eyeballing the paper and looking for a place that would make traveling easier on Ali. Yet, we ended up finding a place practically in the same neighborhood. The place is an old building above some shops with a less than desirable entry, stairwell, and hall; however, when you walk in the unit, it has great character. With a full kitchen, 12×14 main room, and 10×14 bedroom, it may not seem like a whole lot, but the fifteen foot ceilings give it a great spacious feel. Hopefully we’ll be able to get most of our stuff in there.

On another front, I was able to secure employment for the coming fall. I am headed to the next town over, moving up the academic ladder a bit, to the high flying Belmont High School. It all happened so fast, it is hard to believe. Nevertheless it is very exciting. It completely removes a huge amount of concern to have locked in someplace so early. Quite a relief, actually. It certainly has bittersweet qualities, considering I will sorely miss my current comrades in arms. In many ways, I wish I could have stayed on in Waltham, but there wasn’t any room for me this year. That being said, it is great to be wanted and I am definitely looking forward to the new year. In fact, I was stunned to discover this week that the school came in 156 in the recent Newsweek high school rankings, the third highest ranking for a Massachusetts school. For whatever those things are worth, it does kind of sweeten the deal a little.