Well, Thanksgiving has now come and gone, which means per the advertisers it’s now officially Christmas. Bah, who am I kidding, it’s been Christmas since October. But, here on Dinosaur Bear Christmas is still a far away thing, as I don’t move at advertiser speeds. Instead of just skipping over Thanksgiving (and Halloween) as if it didn’t happen, I’m going to revisit some recent events as a way of giving thanks for them.
For starters, things have been busy on the law school front, though they always are.
But, I am thankful that there are things like beer to get me through the
crazy busy times!
Plus, while things have been especially crazy with my RA position, the good news is that I 1) get paid for it and 2) was able to get just enough ahead of things to not have to do any schoolwork on either Thanksgiving or Friday (technically I should have done stuff on Saturday, but I didn’t, but that’s our secret). I’ve also started the bar exam application process which is a little crazy, but I’m thankful that so far things are going well with that (I’ll probably do a whole post on that at some point).
I’m also thankful for some recent events here at the Taco household. For starters, Pig and SB’s yoga program is almost complete (they graduate next week! – though Pig is about 600 hours ahead of SB).
Valentino isn’t formally in the program, but he gets he fair share of yoga with Pig – when Pig isn’t busy “grubbing” that is.
In addition to some yoga, we’ve also had a bit of a sports-streak lately. Namely we saw both a hockey match and a football game within a 24 hour period, which is probably the first time in my life I’ve attended two sporting events so closely together.
The first was a fabled hockey match-up between Harvard and Boston College. Despite our best efforts, SB and I had never seen Harvard and BC face off in anything. We’d wanted too since we’d moved out here, but between schedule conflicts and cost (the Beanpot Tournament is expensive) we’d never been able to. Well, fate had something in store for us via a random e-mail from Harvard Athletics. We already had plans to go see a Harvard football game on Saturday (and had had the tickets since like June) but on Tuesday evening I got an email with the subject line of “No Plans For Friday Night?” which then offered a discount on Harvard hockey tickets (which area already not that expensive, really most of Harvard’s sports tickets aren’t) – the opponent? None other than Boston College.
After about 10 minutes of debate we decided to to it, a 7:00pm hockey game, followed by a 12:30pm football game the next day. Sport on.
Now this wasn’t our first hockey game. Now, we’d seen Harvard play Dartmouth, Harvard pay Yale, and Boston College play Notre Dame. Of course we hadn’t actually seen either of our teams win. Harvard tied both games and BC lost to Notre Dame. So we considered ourselves to be “hockey cursed.” Now in fairness we did see a team win, the Bruins – a game which ended in an epic shootout that sent TD Garden into a frenzy and was a ton of fun. But we hadn’t seen either of our college teams win. This face off would either end that streak, or see them tie. A house divided.
Because we got our tickets so late, and really because BC’s hockey team is quite popular, we ended up sitting right behind the Harvard player’s box.
We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to see much, but to be honest it wasn’t that bad except for when the coaches stood on the bench. One of the coaches gave SB some gum though, so that sort of made up for it. 🙂
Speaking of coaches, the BC coach had an EYE-PATCH.
If you weren’t aware, eye-patches grant magical powers, so I figured Harvard was doomed, and sure enough BC scored first – a fact that was made easier to deal with thanks to some Dipping Dots, the first time I’d had them in probably over a decade!
While the start of the game was pretty tight, things took a surprising turn as we got deep into the second period. Harvard was ranked 11th, while BC was 3rd, so Harvard was definitely the underdog – plus BC was on a winning streak. Well, something just clicked for Harvard and did not click for BC and at one point Harvard scored three goals in the course of like 1.5 minutes – a crap ton for hockey. While BC went on to score another goal, Harvard did too, and that’s how the game ended, Harvard 5, Boston College 2.
The curse was ended, for at least one of us. 😀
Now, the universe likes to balance things out – give and take so to speak, so the next day Harvard proceeded to lose to Yale in “The Game” – ending it’s 9 year victory streak. In case you weren’t aware, one of the oldest college football rivalries in the US is not any of the schools you probably think. In fact it’s none other than Harvard and Yale, football teams which largely seem to not exist outside of New England (in part due to some rules that force teams to favor academics over bowl schedules). “The Game” dates to 1875 and this year was the 133rd playing (certain years weren’t played due to WWI and WWII). Overall Yale leads 66–59–8, though until this year Harvard had won 9 straight games. Go figure that the game SB and I were able to attend was the one they’d lose.
In fact, on the whole my “The Game” experience wasn’t that great – and lest you think it’s just me being a sore loser, note that I still enjoyed last year’s game versus Penn where Harvard lost. The first issue was the cost. It cost $75 per person for “The Game” which while not outlandish in the realm of college football, is really fucking expensive for Harvard. So SB and I laid down $150 for the event. However, the cost wasn’t what really annoyed me, it was the people who ENDLESSLY walked in front of me. While I really like Harvard’s Colosseum I learned a couple of valuable lessons. 1) Good seats on a “normal” game (e.g. not packed) are not good seats for “The Game” and thus 2) don’t sit right next to an entry/exit row. While our other games here (which had like 1/20th capacity) had been fine, “The Game” is actually “over” capacity due to the fact they build extra seating for it – which also gets filled. The result was that what I thought would be good seats resulted in me not being able to see a solid 1/3 of plays, and then of those I could see, at least 75% were partially obstructed by one person or another. It got really, really old. For some reason people didn’t seem to realize that when they stopped to watch the game on the stairs, that they blocked 10-15 people’s view if the players were in the right spot on the field. I was not pleased, at all. So I paid $150 to really only see about %40 of a game of football. Plus – per SB who was our brave concession stand warrior – they were doing a HORRIBLE job of managing the crowds and food supplies, it took SB like 40 minutes just to get us food.
But, to stop whining and be thankful, it was a MARVELOUS day weather wise. Due to my Reynauds SB and I were concerned I was going to die, but it wasn’t an issue at all. Plus, the always weird (see here and here) Harvard marching band had this entire halftime show about about a giant Yale monster and some Harvard robot… and people running around with spatulas.. and yeah I have no idea.
The shinning moment of The Game was when a bunch of Yale students got naked and then got tossed around like rag-dolls by the cops (who they were intelligent enough to mock, because mocking the police has no consequences) and removed.
Naturally, NO ONE blocked my view for that part, go figure. 😀
In another “not-the-brightest” moment, after their win (21-14) the Yale fans rushed the field, which I can understand after losing for nearly a decade. But what was great is that some of the Yallies didn’t seem to understand just how big of a drop it is from the stands to the field, so there were more than a few who were rolling around in agony after spraining (or worse) their ankles in the fall. It was kind of funny, but then again I’m kind of an asshole.
However, what I am even more thankful for than any of the above was the safe return of Tristen from California!
Yes, on October 19th Tristen went off on a “manries” spirit quest to the West coast (oddly very similar to Stephen King book I’m currently reading called “The Talisman“). He was gone until November 22nd (and thus missed a bunch of stuff, which he will hold over our heads for eternity). Why was he gone? Well, as mentioned, he was off at a special dinosaur hospital getting some of his “epic manries” battle wounds from countless adventures over the past four years. SB and I had been considering this for awhile and had determined that once we got back from both our Alaska Trip and our New England Trip that we’d send him off for some mending.
He was gone over a month, and while we had updates from his Doctor we were pretty nervous. Stuffing your child into a box a mailing them across the country is not an easy feat – and in many cases is illegal (sadly, think how cheap travel would be otherwise).
But Tristen being Tristen he did just fine. He has many stories of his “manries” endeavors in California – which range from lifting weights on the beach with The Beast, to joining a gang. As with most things, we’ll never know how many of these stories are true.
What we do know is that Tristen likes his schedule, not anyone else’s. So when Tristen arrived home a full day earlier than expected we shouldn’t have been surprised. As a result I had to run (literally run) home from school (screwing my shins all to heck in the process thanks to my backpack) to get him inside the apartment. There are, from time to time, packages stolen (or destroyed) from our building so we didn’t want Tristen sitting down there for long (lest he eat some thief). In total he maybe sat for there for all of 15 minutes. It was pretty obvious which box was Tristen’s, it was covered in all sorts of manliness.
Yes, two dragons and three dinosaurs all on one box – very Tristen.
Before I even got him out of the box I could hear him saying “Res” over and over. He was happy to be home, and his brothers were happy to have him back!
I had essentially no time with them, other than getting Tristen out of his box, because I had to run back to school and ended up only being 5 minutes late to class. Later Tristen got to add a California stamp to his passport, making him the only one of us to spend any time in California outside of an airport!
So I was thankful that his hospital trip went well, and am thankful to have him back!
Layla technically lives with SB at her work, but she’s still a de facto member of our plant family. Speaking of which, while October has come and gone, the yearly conquest of the Thomas goes strong. In fact they recently claimed one of the Asian studies buildings on campus.
You laugh now, but when the pumpkins rise they’ll kill me last.
Another thing I’m thankful for is our weekly (or more recently, biweekly) family coffee dates. Last Wednesday was our first one with Tristen back, so we had cookies (and a cake-pop!) in addition to our coffee.
The story behind the cookie is one that Tristen loves to tell. Before he left for the hospital SB promised she would get him a cookie and a coffee. Well, on the day he was due to depart SB got him coffee, but forgot to get him a cookie. Poor little guy was a little heartbroken. Well, when he got back, he immediately started using cookie leverage, so SB not only got him a cookie, but also a cake pop. He seemed satisfied with the tithe.
Of course no Thanksgiving post is complete without Thanksgiving itself (unless you are an aforementioned advertiser, if so you’re probably focused on Valentine’s Day already). This was SB and I’s third Thanksgiving in Boston. The first year we did our own thang’, while the second year we were fortunate enough to have family come visit! This time around we were on own our again, not that we mind too much, it means more leftovers. 🙂
In fact this Thanksgiving started a bit uneventfully. SB had to work on Thanksgiving, but fortunately wasn’t on a late shift. So early in the morning SB took off while the boys and I stayed home. Our Thanksgiving preparations didn’t even really begin until after most people had probably already eaten. One thing that was really funny was that this was Pigsten’s first time seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Pigsten is still a hatchling, and thus he LOVES colors (and organizing and digging), so he was AMAZED by the parade. He even moved his beloved box over next to Philip (our TV) to watch. When the Sinclair float came on he (and Tristen) about lost his shit.
The boys have a history with Sinclair, and in fact it’s
probably most definitely my favorite gas station chain on Earth. Meem told me some people get Sinclair’s credit card just to have a dinosaur on their credit card, if I ever live near them I am totally going to do that, not even joking.
After the parade, and around the time most of Murka’ was slipping into a food coma, the boys and I started our meal preparations. All in all I’d spend nearly 4 hours in the kitchen, but since SB was doing her family part by working, the boys and I did our part by doing the lion’s share of the Thanksgiving prep.
First thing was naturally our “ricken” which came in at 5lbs – a good size for us. This year I make the “ricken” with pear, lemon, onion, spices, olive oil, and this awesome-for-cooking offering from Tröegs:
It was STRONG, I’m talking 11% ABV strong and with both honey and cherries in the brew I had to fight a certain little polar bear constantly to keep out of it. But it really worked wonders on our “ricken.”
After a lot of cooking, and a lot of catching sneaky boys trying to eat said cooking, SB made it home and completed our spread by throwing together a side salad so we could pretend to be healthy.
We had “ricken,” sweet potato casserole, rolls, green beans, cranberry-apple-orange spread, and pumpkin pie! Yum!
To celebrate Tristen making it back in time for Thanksgiving we even make our Cool Whip green on the pie!
We still have leftovers from the glorious feast. Part of that stems from the fact that the next day we went out with a couple of SB’s friends for a mini-friendsgiving at The Red House, a place down in the square that we had never been to before. It was a fun (even for anti-social ole’ me). We also had some of Stumptown’s Winter Cheer coffee, which is kind of a mini-tradition in and of itself for us.
Naturally we didn’t just celebrate Thanksgiving with coffee, food, and friends – we also had beer – special Thanksgiving beer no less!
Two glasses, same bottle. I really need to work on my pour consistency. Usually I’m pretty good (I was taught in Denmark, literally) but I guess I haven’t been drinking enough lately. Good excuse to drink more if I do say so myself. 😀
Anyways, the Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale was really good, and I almost wish I didn’t have to share the bottle with SB. Almost. But in the end I’m thankful that she is around to share the beer with, just not too much beer sharing. 😛
So yes, though I moan and groan and complain pretty much incessantly on this blog, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for SB, for the boys, for getting to talk to both Meem and my Dad around Thanksgiving, and for not having to do schoolwork for three straight days. December, at least until Christmas/New Years, is going to be pretty dang stressful for me due to a lot of different variables. But, for now, I am thankful that I had a nice little “oasis” week with my family, both near and far.
I only have a about one more week of regular classes left, which then leads into exam/paper/frantic-RA-work territory, so next post will probably focus on that lovely transition as well as a few other things that are going on. But for now, I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! And remember, be a Scrooge like me, keep Christmas to 12 days. 😛
Until next time,