Posts Tagged ‘Brother’

Only 18

June 12, 2017

At the end of last week, I journeyed with my family up to Boston. My youngest brother was receiving his hood from MIT. I think I might have mentioned it before but my brother just received his Ph.D. in Computer Science. We are all really proud of him. I cannot fathom the passion and dedication that my brother has poured into over two decades of school. He has an amazing intellect which is paired with a creative soul. We watched him actually get his hood on Thursday and then we watched him walk on Friday before rushing off to catch our plane. It is super impressive and our whole family is delighted that he has achieved this titanic milestone.

I would have walked right this place if I had not heard of the legend of the 18.

We were not in Cambridge long but we did get to hang out a bit and do some cool stuff. The main thing we did was we went to a weird little restaurant called Craigie on Main. On Wednesday, my mother told me that she had made reservations for 5:30 to get hamburgers at this place. Now, I usually eat dinner at six but I was thrown because the rest of my family does not eat until eight at least. Then my mother lets me know that my little brother really wanted a burger from this place. The catch was that the place only serves eighteen burgers a night and if you are number nineteen, you are out of luck. If you do not get a burger, the cheapest item costs about fifty bucks. So my mother and I traveled to stand in line outside of the restaurant before it opened at 5:30.

Did I mention there was really good rap music playing in the bar?

We ended up being numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6. One of our party opted out of one of the coveted hamburgers which astonished and amused the rest of us. The place probably had the most attentive service I have ever witnessed, especially since we were sitting in the bar area and not the restaurant area. En route to getting my burger, I had raw oysters for the first time. Except the things were doused in some sort of lemon juice which I did not like. Most people are turned off by the texture but I did not mind it. I minded the stinging fruitiness of that particular dish. Still, it was nice to cross that off of my list.

I want another one.

Finally, the burgers arrived and I could not be more pleased. They looked amazing. They had big fluffy buns, dark greens, and thoroughly melted cheese. Best of all, when I bit into it, I realized that the burger was cooked rare. I was blown away. It is a struggle to get places to cook things actually rare these days so I was glad to taste that burger. It was delicious. I am 99 percent sure that it is the best burger I ever tasted. The burger offered no resistance, each bite was as delicious as the first. There was no need for ketchup or any other condiments, the blood and grease of the burger was already soaking the top half of the bun. It was so good.

The Funky Bunch would be proud, I guess.

The weird addendum to this story is that as we walked through the airport around lunch time, I saw something I should have expected but I did not. It was a Wahlburgers restaurant. As my stomach grumbled, I knew I had to try one of their infamous burgers. It seemed almost profane to seek out a burger indirectly made by Mark and Donnie’s brother. But I had to. I had to check it out because if I ate at some faceless sandwich place instead, I would always wonder. As it is, I am still wondering what “Wahl sauce” is. This was the kind of burger that needs to be doused in condiments and the mysterious Wahl sauce did a great job of that. The burger was somewhere between medium and well done but I was so tired after getting through the endless names of a college commencement that I did not care. Besides, the burger scale goes from OK to excellent. There is no such thing as a bad burger.


Last Tuesday

June 20, 2016

On Tuesday the fourteenth of June (nearly a week ago), I got up early in the morning and made my way toward the car, rubbing the sleep from my eyes as I went. The thing is, I was happy to do it because I was driving toward something that was a long time in the making. You see, my mother and I had to drive from WV to Baltimore Washington International airport in order to get up to Boston. Specifically, we had to get to Cambridge before 2:30 when my youngest brother would defend his dissertation as one of the final steps to getting his PhD . So it was no problem to travel in order to make sure my mom got to see that.

My mom and I have pretty different philosophies when it comes to travel. I am almost always annoyingly early to everything. If there is an event, I am probably waiting in my car long before the doors open. I am terrified of being late. My mom does not seem to worry about these things. She does everything she can to be on time but she is definitely not an early person. We drove along the way and made two stops. We stopped for breakfast, we stopped for gas and then we kept driving. We listened to Serial which my mom had not heard yet. We ended up getting lost because I had never driven to the airport that way and my mother fell asleep sometime during the drive. We finally made it to the gate right as they called for the plane to start boarding. My heart stopped hammering in my chest and I settled in to watch MST3K on my phone during the flight.

We arrived in Boston and I had only been there once before. We hopped a cab and ended up having lunch in the MIT Student Center. They had Mexican, Japanese and Indian but we ate Subway because we were playing it safe. We walked around the MIT campus and enjoyed the sights. College campuses are all great but MIT was really beautiful. The building under the dome seems to go on forever inside and we walked and talked and enjoyed our time.

We headed to the Stata building and we were confused and amused by its wacky architecture. It was an interesting building but we eventually found the room we were looking for. We sat down in the back row and waved to my brother who looked ready for business. When it came time for his committee’s questions, he had an answer for everything and his confidence shown through.

He was. He delivered an awesome speech and although he lost me a bit on the math and some of the science, I could really appreciate how great his research had been at MIT. Afterward, the committee gave him the thumbs up and we headed down to see the lab he had spent nearly seven years working out of. It was really cool to see where he had been and meet some of the people he hung out with and learned alongside. We sipped sparkling cider out of a bottle opened with a Macbook Air. However, we had to bid him farewell because we had a plane to catch.

When we got back to the airport, we found out our plane was a little late so we sat down and had dinner. Mom and I talked about my brother’s journey. We talked about the obstacles he overcame, the times Mom and I had driven him to a lab during high school and we talked about a lot of things. We were both so proud of him. The flight back felt way easier and as I made the drive alone after landing, I could not be anything but glad that I made the trip.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dr. Abe Davis.


My Music Collection 2

July 6, 2009

My Music Collection:
Episode 2 “Going Home”

This is part of an ongoing series where I explain why certain songs that I like are important to me. Music rules my life and powers me through the toughest day. So sit down and listen to some of my favorites.

This installment is full of songs that remind me of family and always feel like home to me.

King of the Road – Roger Miller

This song reminds me of how it was my mom and I against the world at one point in the early eighties. My mom was a single mother for a little while but she took amazing care of me. The song is just a song about being on the road and living hand to mouth and just getting by. My mom used to sing this to me as a lullaby so it will always hold a place in my heart.

Give Me Three Steps – Lynyrd Skynyrd

This song always reminds me of my mom and her college days and how to perservere. The song itself is about running away if given the slightest opening. The poor main character of the song has been caught at gunpoint and is begging for a reprieve. My mom was begging for a reprieve some nights doing work toward her law degree and hearing and singing along to that song made her feel better about it.

Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Well, really any Stones song will do it. I just picked one of their most prolific. At a very young age my dad trained me much like Pavlov did with his dogs. As we listened to the radio in the car my dad would ask “Who’s the greatest singer in the world?”. Was my answer Sinatra, Pavarotti, Lennon? Nope. I would enthusiastically answer “Mick Jagger!” And to this day, I still believe Jagger’s in the top 5. And every time I hear him sing I think of my dad.

Dancin’ Fool – Frank Zappa

Yeah, a Zappa song reminds me of a family member. That’s how interesting a bunch we are. My brother Alex is trained in the art of performance. (Sorry, Mr. Luthor, I know you prefer to be called Lex) He’s a great dancer and actor and has seemingly boundless energy. This song’s energy and enthuisiasm for dance and the goofiness are what remind me of my brother.

Whatever this is

And that’s my brother. Dancing to a J-rap song. Yep, he’s a genius at Stanford who probably has a 4.0 and a full scholarship and teaches classes at Stanford. Yes, that Stanford. Somehow this video makes me have faith that my brother isn’t a mindless robot.

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