Dec 12 to 28, 2021

Some Tran crafts to start you off. First, a bow and arrow.


I wish I had a sign like this.

This one disturbed me, but I tried not to make a fuss.

Some gratuitous shots of Yen’s muse.

We’re still hiking as much as we can, but there’s an awful lot of mud to deal with. Mina found a brave little fern that was still green – and plucked it for a hair ornament. She couldn’t quite get it into place, though.

Linus helped her out.

Like all of us, the kids are struggling with cabin fever, anxiety, irritability, an a general wish that the world would just move on back to normal. Much of the time they get along fairly well, but sometimes everything just explodes into screaming and tears. It’s really hard right now.

Linus is getting a lot out of practicing his karate. Here he’s demonstrating one pinian.

His shihan suggested he do pushups to get stronger and more stable. Of course Mina is on board.

And here is one made-up pinian. Mina was listening to a love song from one of my favorite K-dramas (Hotel del Luna) while he did it – so the whole scene is a bit weird.

Catcus and bunny.

We had another quiet Christmas. The kids were very happy with their little collection of gifts – which I hid around the house per Tran family tradition.

He was very excited by the hubcap quilt Grandma made.

Mina was just generally excited.

Grandma also made police cloaks for the kids – and Chief Bartleby.

We are desperate for travel but too scared to get on a plane. So we booked a couple of days in Boston and tried to pretend that we were unfamiliar with the city. We splurged a bit and got a corner room on the 27th floor of the Westin (still cheaper than anything in New York, which we also considered).

The kids were very excited about the view and used their tablets to take lots of photos of their own.

We didn’t have an itinerary. We mostly wandered, took the train, and stopped when we felt like it.

I tried some selfie action, but I’m 45 after all.

And so got mixed results.

The kids’ favorite part of the trip was really just hanging around the hotel room.

On the second day, we decided to go for our annual dim sum meal – which is always a great reminder that I don’t actually like dim sum.

We found a little neighborhood with a nice park and some bird feeders.

We headed over to the Christian Science church plaza hoping to visit the Maparium, but it was closed for the week.

Linus wanted to do what he calls a “free ride” on the train – which means you just ride the train to ride it, not because you have a destination. Not my favorite activity! But he was happy. We picked one of the green line branches and rode all the way to the end. Unfortunately the restaurante we’d chosen at the end of the line was closed for the week too. So we just waited for the next train and went all the way back again.

We headed for the seaport, then, to check out a big playground there.

And then it was time to head back home. But first we decided to stop in another area of town and ride a different train line.

Back at home, Mina sent me a belated Christmas card.

And taught a course in fake crying.