Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I can see your Vegas!

Julie and I spent 4 days in Las Vegas. Miriam came to watch the kids while we went with Jay and Dad. This was Julie's first trip and my second. We had a great time - pictures are online on our website. We ate a lot of great food, saw some great shows, and had an awesome hotel room.

Probably our most memorable meal was at Circo at the Bellagio. Aside from the terrific food, we had a full view of the fountain show. Other terrific restaurants were Il Mulino, Joe's Seafood, and Shibuya.

We saw two awesome shows. On Friday night, we saw Spamalot, which was hilarious. Having a lot of Monty Python knowledge was very useful, and it seemed like most of the audience was pretty into it. On Saturday night, we saw Cirque du Soleil - the Beatles Love show. It was pretty mind-blowing.

I guess the most memorable thing from the whole trip would be staying at the Four Seasons. The first two days, Jay booked us in THEHotel at the Mandalay Bay, which is the upscale all-suites tower. That room was amazing - big and beautiful. We were supposed to move to the Four Seasons after two days, but Jay only had a small room booked there (for $200 more a night). Since my Dad was with us, we wanted to keep this bigger room, but the Mandalay Bay was booked. My dad got on the phone, and somehow got us a $2100/night suite at the Four Seasons for basically the same price as the regular room. Awesome.

Everything about The Four Seasons was amazing - from the service to the room to the pool. I could get used to living like that. I guess it is the height of hedonism and consumerism when someone comes around to put cucumbers on your eyes and spritz you with Evian water.

Then it was back to reality - Southwest Airlines home to Boston. Austin was nice enough (as usual) to pick us up in Providence. The house looked great, as Miriam had cleaned it up for the Open House. Unfortunately, no one showed up... wah wah wah.

Monday, all four kids had camp - all starting at different times. It looks like it is going to be a summer of short driving trips. In typical summer-of-Miriam form, her flight got canceled, and she spent an extra night on 18 Ridge. We are so grateful to her for spending a week watching our kids, so we could have a trip.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Max... living large

Max and his friend Itamar are having quite the week. They flew to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in a private jet. Then they helicoptered to Peter Island, where they are staying at the $3000/night Peter Island Resort in the Hawk's Nest Villa. Max has called us a few times, and says he is having a great experience.... I hope he doesn't get used to it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Too Many Things...

This was supposed to be a quiet weekend - one of the reasons we decided not to go to Shabbaton. Max was to go with his friend Jake and spend the weekend with the rest of the school up at Yavneh camp in New Hampshire. As fate would have it, tonight was the first baseball playoff game. Poor Max was torn - he wanted to go to the game and be at Yavneh with his friends. So, we made the decision to let Max go to his game, and we'll drive him up tomorrow afternoon. They won their game, so the next game is in the morning. Then we will have lunch with Bil and Jana who are visitng from California. Then we'll head up to NH to drop off Max and Zach at Yavneh. We'll sleep over up there and then drive back on Sunday morning. As if that weren't enough, the boys have a piano recital Sunday afternoon - so we'll have to drop off Ari and Sophie at home on the way back from NH and then head up to Wellesley for the recital.

Not exactly a restful weekend, but it will all be fun, I'm sure. Well, we'll keep telling ourselves that.

Someone is seeing our house tomorrow morning with their realtor. I hope we can sell it soon. I put up a web page for the house and sent it out to 150 people at the hospital.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Who got whacked?

Warning - Sopranos spoilers below.

At first, I liked the Sopranos finale... then I felt betrayed. Now, after two days of near-constant analysis, I'm on board with it. I think it was a brilliant way to end the show. Howard Stern had the best appraisal IMO. He said that Chase created an atmosphere of tension and paranoia that must start to approximate how T and his family live their lives. Listening to the dozens of theories of "what happened next" has been very amusing, and in some ways, this must have been exactly what Chase wanted. And no, I don't think there will be a movie deal. Oh - the other funny thing that Stern said was that James Gandolfini should legally change his name to Tony Soprano... good stuff.

Slate keeps a running Sopranos dialog, and this week's is excellent, as usual.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I finally graduated MIT last week. The whole program was 2.5 years and consisted of a handful of graduate classes and a Master's thesis. There were two graduations and my parents and sister came to Boston to attend. The graduation on Wednesday was for HST students and was held at the Harvard Club. It was pretty fancy but still had a nice relaxed atmosphere. A small paragraph was read for each graduate, so it had a very personal touch. The ceremony was followed by a reception and then a large lunch... there was way too much food. Our planning wasn't perfect, so Julie and Miriam had to leave early to get the little ones at DCH. That left me with Mom and Dad. So, after lunch, I hoofed it back to the parking garage, grabbed the car and came back to pick them up.

The ceremony on Friday was the full MIT blowout. In the end, we decided that it would be too much for my parents to go, so they watched it on the web. I thought it was a blast. It was one of the most organized events I've ever been to. Basically, they need to figure out how to line up 2000 graduates, so that they can all get called in order and all receive their actual diplomas - an organizational nightmare. But it went off without a hitch. I ended up making friends with some of the other HST grads in our group, and I really enjoyed the ceremony.

My official degree is "Masters of Science in Biomedical Informatics." That and 25 cents will get you a cup of coffee, apparently.