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Thanksgiving, With Pictures

Usually, I go to the Pony Parents' home for Thanksgiving. But the Pony family home is being renovated after lo these many years, and Mom Pony does not currently have a kitchen. So we went to the lovely home of Aunt and Uncle Pony. I think Mom Pony kind of appreciated not having to do a big Thanksgiving like she usually does.

It was, as always, a fun time, though we noted that it was a little strange. The holiday that we usually spend at Aunt and Uncle Pony's house is Passover. Well, at this Thanksgiving, all the same people were there as showed up last Passover, and there was a large and lovely meal in progress when we arrived. Some of us got a wee bit confused and wondered if we should start singing "Eliyahu ha-Navi."

But we did remember the correct holiday, and it was a gracious plenty, along with a serious discussion of postmodernism. My position on postmodernism is that I subscribe to most of its basic tenets, but that I try to keep a healthy distance between myself and other postmodernists, who tend to be pretentious windbags.

The real fun came the next day. Little Sister Pony drove Mom Pony and me into Cambridge so we could see her new apartment, which is totally faboo. Then Mom Pony and I went to MIT to their annual Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction. This is a wonderfully geeky event, of course (MIT attracts science geeks of the same level as the humanities geeks that the U of C attracts), in which local teams constructed various Rube Goldberg devices, brought them to the MIT gym, and hooked them all together. At the climax of the event, the first device was set off, and the grand chain reaction went around the room. Some devices made noise, some made flashy visuals, some told a story, some made political statements, and one was a Happy Birthday message!







There are so many people that it's hard to get a good picture of the grand event, but you can kind of get an idea of what it looks like. The whole chain reaction took twenty-two minutes, and was immensely entertaining. Definitely a must-see for anyone who happens to be in the Boston area on that date!

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
plorkwort
Nov. 30th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
Drat! I was working back at the museum instead of in the gym this year, so I just missed you!
frenchpony
Nov. 30th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
I did sort of wonder if you'd be at the event. It's so much your kind of thing, and I guess I just figured I'd missed you in the crowd.
elliska
Nov. 30th, 2008 01:09 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, I absolutely love Rube Goldberg contraptions! There used to be a mall in Cincinnati decorated with a bunch of them. What a fun event. I would definitely go!

Sounds like a fun Thanksgiving (if a bit confusing--I can totally see that. Messing with the traditions messes with the mind!)
frenchpony
Nov. 30th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
This is really an event worth being in Cambridge for. If you and Mr. Elliska ever feel the urge to do something different for Thanksgiving, heading up to Boston for a nice restaurant dinner and the FAT Chain Reaction would not be a bad idea.
jelazakazone
Nov. 30th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a blowout Thanksgiving. Glad you had such a good time. I sometimes wish we lived in Boston. We wanted to move to Boston after dh finished his PhD, but it wasn't in the cards for us (and we probably have a better quality of life here too).
frenchpony
Nov. 30th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking about the future, since I've recently been notified that I get to start on my dissertation proposal starting in January, and I think that teaching at some place in Boston would certainly not be a bad future. I could go to the Chain Reaction every year!
jelazakazone
Nov. 30th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
Just think of all the geeks in the greater Boston area;)

We were drawn to Boston because of the singing and dancing. The dancing here is ok, but the singing could be better. We were spoiled in Ithaca to be singing every other week!
frenchpony
Nov. 30th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
I just looked up MIT's music department. They offer a very nice variety of ethnomusicologically-oriented courses, have at least one degreed ethnomusicologist on faculty, and a couple of other world music-oriented types. The only flaw that I see here is that there may not be room for me in that department in a few years' time. I'll just have to teach at Harvard or BU instead, I guess . . .

We were spoiled in Ithaca to be singing every other week!

I suppose this might not be the best time to mention that we sing every Thursday night in Hyde Park?
jelazakazone
Nov. 30th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Oh mention away! I'll just seethe in green jealousy over here:) Actually, I don't know how we'd have time to sing on a weekly basis. Life has gotten very full trying to cram everything in. We used to do aikido 2-3 times a week and when we moved here, it was such a relief to have those evenings open.
frenchpony
Dec. 1st, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
Well, the nice thing about singing every week is that I can tell people just to make Thursday a part of their trip to Chicago, and there will be singing for them!
plorkwort
Dec. 1st, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
And the gamelan, which is in the building I work in, is well above ground and protected from flooding!
frenchpony
Dec. 1st, 2008 04:38 am (UTC)
It's Balinese, so it'd be an entirely new style of playing for me to learn, too.
perelleth
Nov. 30th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Wow! How entertaining! That sounds like a very amusing way of celebrating! And good that you maanged to know what you were celebrating! Have a safe trip back home.
frenchpony
Dec. 1st, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
We figured out the holidays when the corn bread appeared on the table in place of the Haggadot. And, hey, any event that gets the Pony clan together around a table is A-OK in my book.
meckinock
Dec. 1st, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
I'm glad you had such a nice time. Of course, your family always knows how to have fun!
frenchpony
Dec. 1st, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
Part of the secret is that it's OK if we want to split up into different groups. Some people want to see the Chain Reaction, some people want to see a movie, some people want to see the Celtics game -- it's all good, and we try to accommodate everyone's wishes.

Fortunately, everyone's wishes tend to include long, leisurely breakfasts with sweets and Jello Mold.
meggins
Dec. 1st, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
Attending MIT's Chain Reaction sounds like a much better use of Black Friday than standing in line at 6 a.m. (or earlier) to battle it out with other shoppers to get stuff you probably don't need anyway.

Glad you had a good Thanksgiving break.
frenchpony
Dec. 1st, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
The Chain Reaction is definitely a treat. And you don't have to haul ass out of bed at ohmygod in the morning to go shopping, either. The Chain Reaction is set off at an eminently civilized 3:30 in the afternoon.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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