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Sister 9's birthday was yesterday. She hadn't been to the National Zoo in nearly nine years so that's where we went. They have a new Elephant House. It's much larger and they have an outdoor trail as well as an exercise yard. The weather was quite hot, so the elephants stayed in their house during the heat of the day. There's also a new Bird House. She really wanted to see the flamingos. They crack me up too - so flexible and perfectly balanced. We also saw emus, rhea, whooping cranes, and more rare birds.

My favorite at the Small Mammal House was the golden tamarin. Face like a lion, tail like a monkey, and cute as a button. No visit to the Zoo would be complete without seeing the pandas. Tian Tian was chowing down on bamboo while we were there. We wanted to see the little red panda that escaped last week, but he was still in seclusion.

My photos are here
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Brother 7's younger son brought his girlfriend to DC to meet the aunts (so I guess they are pretty serious). He is quite a good musician so I planned to take him to an outdoors jazz concert at the National Sculpture Garden. Alas, it was just bucketing down rain. The couple, Sister 6, and I had dinner at a burger restaurant and caught upon the news. Sis and I took turns telling terrible stories about our childhood and their dad.

He's such a good guy - very down to earth - and his girlfriend is a sweetie. He's planning a Kickstarter project to help him fund his first CD of jazz music. I was so proud. He's planned all the musical details of course, but also all the business and practical details.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
All you wanted to know about Watertown!

"Watertown is a close in, older suburb of Boston/Cambridge. It has a large, long-established Armenian population. There are two large Armenian (Eastern Orthodox, I think) churches with their own schools there, and there is an Armenian elementary school here in Lexington, run by Armenian nuns. I am not aware of a large Russian population there or anywhere else, in terms of a community. In the 90s, and early 2000s, there was a modest influx to all the Boston suburbs of Russian families. The only ones I ever met (several families here in Lexington) were well educated and had left because of the chaos in Russia after the fall of the USSR.

Aside from the Armenian population, Watertown is kind of working/middle class, along with students and grad students. Rents are a little lower and there is convenient bus service into Cambridge/Boston. Also, great Middle Eastern food. It is not a town that is dangerous in any way, just a little gritty looking in parts. There are also some large, beautiful old Victorian houses there.

[I] have been to the area they are showing now, the Watertown mall, countless times. It is just a couple of miles from the WBZ-TV studios where I worked in the 80s and early 90s, and I still go over there sometimes, because for a while it was the closest Target and Best Buy!

It is about a half-hour to 40 minute drive from here. Sister #3 is much closer, only a mile or two away. [I] have talked to her and she is safe and watching TV at home. Niece and her night owl friends heard some of the explosions last night in the gunfight. She is a few miles away from that part of Watertown in North Cambridge."
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
My nephew's daughter is 15 months old. She's been baby-babbling recently. On Christmas Day she demonstrated her new kiss-blowing ability.

I think all the stimulus from the aunts pushed her into word territory. In addition to Mama and Dada she started saying Bye and Thank You and Doctor! after Doctor Who. I've gotten my nephew into the show and we now have the littlest fangirl ever. I'm going to find her a fez. Or a Stetson.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
We celebrated Sister #10's 50th birthday on Saturday. The thing is, she loves cake. Last March we celebrated another sister's birthday at a buffet. She started with four slices of cake and had salad for dessert (so to speak). So for this birthday, Sister #4 decided we would pander. We had Black Forest Cake, carrot cake, Red Velvet cake, German chocolate cupcakes, chocolate chocolate torte, cheesecake, and strawberry shortcake. Plus two fake cakes. And salads for after.

Blowing out the candles:

Sister #1 made it down from Massachusetts, so we had seven of the eight sisters, plus nieces, nephews and inlaws. A good group. Baby Chloe is in there. It's fun to see the next generation coming along.
Guess which one is the birthday girl )
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Sister 10's husband took a picture of her, Sister 6, me and Adorable!Niece after Sunday's parade. (Sister 11, A!N's mom, is off getting the car.)I should have gone for the bright green sweatshirt, rather than the teal hoodie. But it went well with my eyes :)

And did you know that memes (then called mnemes) were researched by a German scientist in the early 20th century. He posited that memes are ideas that have a physical reality in our brains. Fun fact from a getting clever book!


Sep. 17th, 2011 09:10 am
vamysteryfan: (Default)
My week ended on a VERY high note. My nephew/godson and his GF had their baby girl! Mother and child are doing well. So far, I've only seen photos - I want to give mom a little chance to rest before every last one of the aunts descends on her. Baby is cute as can be of course. Sister is proud as can be. She is the first grandma of the siblings and felt a little tentative about it at first. None of my siblings had children until they were over 30 (what a bunch of late starters), but now they are making wistful noises at *their* children for the next generation.


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