Well. The thing to do when Apple releases a product is to go to an Apple Store. My gripe from yesterday has been assuaged as the scene with the big white apple is so polar opposite to the monkeys at the death star company as night is to day. We showed up at the Syracuse Apple store. They had a bouncer at the front directing who got in, who didn't--keeping the level of nuttiness in the store to a minimum. I got a really cool sales person, Heather, with great hair, cool glasses and great eyebrows to walk me through my new acquisition, a 16GB iPhone, which, I must admit am in the process of falling totally and uncontrollably in love with. The whole Apple thing was great from the cleanly designed turquoise tee shirts with tiny little iphones under the person's chin, to the whole matter of fact way of selling...making even the most inept feel not so handicapped with just thumbs. Everything was on the level, and I am on my way to picking through what I need, making my email work etc. And on the way to Hartford we went!

After 4 hrs from the Carousel Mall in Syracuse we arrived via a lovely drive from the Mass Pike to a verdant Avon with a beautiful Residence Inn (no dormitory here!) filled with some of my most favorite people in the world. We are wiped and walking in the door, and there is Mike Wimmer looking handsome and fresh, ready to take on the world. I go into the lobby and there are Carol and Murray. It's okay....we can go home now. Then, unloading the minivan of a zillion black bags, and there is our newly wed, Catharine Anne Blake, looking ten years younger, happy and relaxed--amazed that July was here and her thesis was done. We settle into our room, trying to figure out how to make the internet work--and R figures it out. A. is laughing at me--teasing me about my close in or long glasses which is cute. As an aside, A. acted as a dj our entire trip--and we listened to old Beatles, Boston, The Police, Pet Sounds (the Beach Boys) and Tommy. It was really great. Our boy has great taste. I even liked the Paul McCartney stuff which, I must admit, I hated in the past. And, to be on the up and up, I loved.

As an aside. I was taken to the corner of the coffee room by Murray and Carol where they presented me with an unbelievable gift: an original woodcut from Evaline Ness and a finished drawing from Lorraine Fox. The Ness piece is striking-- particularly so as it has all the glitches and white out to make it perfect for the press. It is in her Girl and the Goatherd hand--which as you know, I think totally rocks. The other piece by Lorraine Fox is a heraldic picture with rearing lions and a steaming pudding/pie. I am assuming it has to do with "sing a song of six pence" but I could be off my is elegant in it's simplicity and use of a single grey tone. Note--try this. I am so, so touched. Now all I need is for Mr. Tinkelman to tell us some stories about these ladies (ladies who did not do pictures of babies or puppies to make their mark) and the world will be complete.

We all ended up having dinner--an enormous table of people: Carol and Murray, Ron Mazellen, Jim O'Brien, Mike Wimmer, Yong Chen, Randy Elliot (a member of the incoming class , a friend of the wonderful Richard Williams), Ron Spears, Paul Zdepski, David LaBrozzi,--with A, R and me. Very jolly. Lots of loud talk, good ideas... It points up what was so sorely misssing for me at SU--the entire community of souls. We were a lean community....more of a chat group. What with this robustness...there isn't anything we can't do.

tomorrow starts early.