PRE-Thanksgiving Meetup Pic!

Sorry to be late getting this posted! But we had a super little meetup in Chinatown Monday night.


From left to right: JAFD, RedDirtGirl, Stuart, Me, and my partner JT .

The conversation was great, and of course it was wonderful to be among kindred souls post election and pre holiday. And a special shoutout to commenter Sue?? who, when we initially said we were going to meet at Joe’s Shanghai said it was kind of touristy and suggested this nearby alternative:

Shanghai Cuisine, 89-91 Bayard Street , 212-732-8988

Which turned out to be amazing!

Open thread follows…

Meetups in NYC, Montclair (NJ), and (sorta) Rochester, NY

My partner and I are doing our Thanksgiving jaunt, and I’d love to meet some Juicers en route. Please email me at if you’d like to join any of the below events. (Also please email me even if you already did, as my email has been craptastic lately.)

I guess we’ll have some stuff to talk about…

New York (Manhattan)
Monday, November 21
Dinner@ 6:30 p.m.
Venue: TBD based on who is coming (suggestions welcome)

Montclair, NJ
Saturday, November 26 (post Thanksgiving)
Morning Coffee @ 10:00 a.m.
Javalove Coffee Shop & Espresso Bar
Montclair Center – 49 Church Street
NOTE: NOT the Javalove in Upper Montclair. NOT the Javalove in Upper Montclair. NOT the Javalove in Upper Montclair.

Rochester, NY
Monday, November 28
Not a BJ meetup but I will be speaking on effective vegan activism and you’re welcome to attend the free potluck and talk. (If you do please say hi!)
Vegan Potluck: 5:30
My talk begins: 7:00 p.m.
Rochester Academy of Medicine, 1441 East Ave., 3rd floor (follow signs)
Space limited – preregistration required (email me).

Also open thread!

Open Thread: North of Boston Meet-Up Proof of Life

Jonathan (lurker), EFGoldman, Mrs. EFGoldman, Jeff R

A smallish group, but select — and the food was delicious. I underestimated how noisy it would get during the Saturday rush, though.

Photos by Mary (Lakhe), who thereby avoided having her own included. Also not shown, by request, Tenar.

We agreed (as always) that we need to do this again, preferably at a venue more suited for talking. Anybody got suggestions for an eatery in Waltham, Cambridge, Brookline, or that area?

How about those of you in New Hampshire or Maine — maybe in Portsmouth? Or Manchester?

Mike (Cataphract), AL’s Spousal Unit, Anne Laurie

North of Boston Meet-Up, This Saturday

As previously discussed, EFGoldman and his lovely bride will be weekending in my area, so we’re planning to get together at Su Chang‘s in Peabody on Saturday. I’m thinking a start time of 5pm will give us a chance to get settled before the weekend dinner rush (although in my experience, it won’t get too noisy to talk even at the busiest time).

Confirmed attendees, so far: Party-sparker EFGoldman & spouse, me & my Spousal Unit, and Lakhe (who set up the first Boston-area meetup). If you plan to come, leave me a comment here, so I can make a reasonable guess at the headcount when I call to make our reservation… Lurkers, significant others & friends all welcome!

North of Boston Meet-Up — This Saturday, Nov. 5

Since beloved commentor & party-sparker EFGoldman likes the idea, we’ll be getting together at Su Chang’s, in Peabody — just down the road from the Northshore Mall. Their food is great (we first heard of the place from visiting Cantonese friends-of-friends), very reasonably priced, and there’s plenty of free parking.

Because it’s a Saturday, I’m thinking a start time of 4:30pm or 5pm would be good… that should give everyone time to catch up on weekend errands/business, while giving anyone coming from farther away time to enjoy themselves before we all turn into pumpkins. Opinions?

North Shore MA / Southern NH Meet-Up?

EFGoldman and his lovely wife will be staying at the Doubletree in Bedford next weekend, and he suggested a meet-up on Saturday, November 5. Spousal Unit and I are free, any time in the afternoon / evening. Who wants to join us?

Suggestions for a venue also welcome — EFG was kind enough to suggest my ‘Chinese favorite,’ Su Chang’s, up in Peabody near the North Shore Mall. The food is great and very reasonably priced, and it’s quiet enough for conversation even on a Saturday night. But if there’s another good choice closer to Bedford/Burlington/Billerica, we’re open to suggestions!

Back from Denver and Prepping for Japan


Hedgehog and me, hanging out.

Back from my Colo trip. Had lunch with Hedgehog, during which we discussed Russian history and literature from a mushroom and other perspectives, and also the differences between SCA and LARPing. And traded pics of our cherished furkids, of course!

Next week we’re (my partner and I, not Hedgehog and I, although that would be fun, too) are going to Japan to tourist along with my stepson, who is ending a three-year gig as an assistant English teacher with the JET program. JET is a great program that pays decent (for entry level), is well run and mentored, and gives you great international experience in a truly fascinating place. So if you know a soon-to-be or recent grad with a yen for foreign experience, they might want to check it out. I believe the JET people give preference to those who major in something related to Japan or Japanese, but that’s not essential. (Howard had zero Japanese but lots of sports and other leadership experience.) They’re big on “character,” and of course they’re looking for people who will do well in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by new people.

This is a great option for recent grads, especially in a down economy. I believe they aim for geographic and experiential diversity, so those from the flyover states may actually have an advantage over coastal / Ivy types. (Howard’s cohort also included people from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa; and people from outside the U.S. may also have an advantage.) You can stipulate where you would like to be placed—I’m guessing many candidates say Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka—and your preferences will be taken into account, but you must be willing to go where placed.

And recent horrifying tragedies aside, Japan is probably the safest country to visit, so any helicopter parent types reading this can relax. (Unlike my mom who, when I called her up from Italy during my first Euro trek, thirty years ago, asked me if there was anything to eat. “Yeah, Mom, it’s Italy. They have food.”)

Anyhow, last year when we visited, we saw Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. (A highlight was the Ghibli Museum, dedicated to the works of anime superstar Hayao Miyazaki.) This year, we’ll be driving a rental car around the mountainous Tohoku region north of Tokyo, which also happens to offer some of the best onsen in Japan. (Onsen, a.k.a., Japanese baths, are the best thing in the world, assuming you don’t mind scrubbing your privates amidst a roomful of strangers doing the same.)