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And how was YOUR Christmas?

Ya know, for a three-and-a-half day working week, I didn't have much in the way of time to unwind.

I did have to work Christmas Eve, but only for about half a day. Boss #1 took us out to lunch and then let me leave after I did a little search and replace and tidying up on some documents. I used the time to wrap gifts and get ready and then went down to meet up with the family for Midnight Mass At Five PM. Afterwards was the traditional Christmas Eve dinner and then I just toddled home and went to bed.

You know you're a grown-up when sleep comes easily on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning I went back down to the parentals' place for Eggs Benedict and present opening. Caroline, my five-year-old niece, naturally got the most presents, now that we've downshifted to "just gifts for the kids" this year. However, I still count as a kid in my parents' book, so I got a few things--a hand mixer, a mini food processor and a sweatshirt with the words "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel" on it. (My brother-in-law, Peter, got the same as a T-shirt. Given that Peter is a professional Writer Of Stuff who actually HAS written people he knows into his novels, this is even funnier for him.)

I decided to go home and nap for a bit and wanted to take a bottle of wine to the DaveParty that evening (more on that later) but, alas, the bottle of wine I wanted to take slipped out of my hands and shattered on the kitchen floor. So a good chunk of my nap time got taken up sweeping glass and mopping up wine. I'm oddly proud of the way I handled it, though--instead of wailing and cursing my fate, I just went "Oh, damn. Right, where are the rags?" and handled the problem without, well, crying over spilled wine.

I did have time for a short nap and then went to Phipps Plaza to meet up with big sis puppetmaker40 and my niece Ariel so we could go see Sweeney Todd. (Meanwhile my brother-in-law took Caroline to see Water Horse, which was a little more up her alley.) Overall, I rather liked the film--some of the costumes had me going a bit "Oh, come on, Mr. Burton" and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett was a bit of a stretch, but other than that I had a fine time. Ariel and I were both swooning over the lad playing Anthony and Ariel promptly looked him up on IMDB when we got back home.

His name is Jamie Campbell Bower and he is nineteen years old at most.

Yes, crevette, I have you beaten in terms of cradle-robbing lusts. Particularly considering that my niece Ariel was delighted to find an actor to crush on who is closer to her age than Orlando Bloom is. Sigh.

Anyway, we had the traditional Roast Beast for dinner and then I went with the sibs to the annual DaveParty for Christmas. Dave is a friend of the family (my younger brother, especially) who throws a little gathering on Christmas night which gives his friends an excuse to get away from the family for a bit after spending all day with them. It used to be at his place, but it's now being hosted at the Academy Theater, which allows a little more room and parking for everyone. People fill the tip jar, clean up after themselves and leave the leftover booze behind, so it's a win-win situation for everyone really.

I'd brought a gift for the Secret Santa gift exchange but the sibs decided to leave before the gift swap was to happen, so I opted to stay over a bit and hitch a ride back to my car.

The Secret Santa gift exchange used to be merely random--bring a gift, and get handed a gift that somebody else brought. Then we added the Chinese gift exchange rules and it's become a lot more interesting. (Purportedly, this really is how they do it in China, because my mom first heard of the concept from one of her Taiwanese students.) There are a few variations, but this is the way they did it at the DaveParty--the first person to get called up unwraps a gift from the pile. Then the next person who is called up has two options--they can unwrap a new gift or they can take the gift that the first person has if they want it. Each new person has the option of either opening a new gift or taking a previously unwrapped gift from someone else. If you get your gift taken, you can either open a new gift, or take a gift from anyone else except the person who just took yours. (This game generally works best if the gifts are kept to a modest price--the limit this year was ten dollars--and everybody knows everybody well enough not to get too uptight about things.)

The gift exchange was fun, not quite as competitive as other years, but I got a nifty drink mixing device out of it, so I'm not complaining.

So at the party I met a lad I shall refer to as The Professor, since that is roughly his line of work. We had a long conversation, mostly about international travel and I ended up giving him a ride home after getting a ride back to my car. (I got home quite late, and managed to prop my way through work with quite a bit of coffee.)

We swapped phone numbers and met the next night for dinner. He suggested sushi and left it to me to figure out where, since he hadn't been in town in quite some time. I did a little Googling and found a place called Sushi Mio that turned out to be really, really good, if a bit pricey, but The Professor gladly picked up the tab, since he's been living in England for a long stretch and the prices seem downright cheap by comparison.

Thursday night was my last class at the new age place. I've gone ahead and signed up for the next steps class in January. What I've learned already has been immensely helpful to me, if a little hard to describe to someone who isn't into That Sort Of Thing. (I usually describe it to people as "a sort of meditation class" which is accurate enough.)

Friday night I met up with Chris Chandler, itinerant poet at large, and we had dinner at The Vortex and went to the Star Bar to see Tiger! Tiger!, The Shanghai Gesture and a band I hadn't seen before but rather liked called The Holland Dutch. The show was great, but somebody needs to tell the folks who run the Star Bar that leaving your restrooms in filth and disrepair does not actually make your club that much more edgy and rock and roll, it just makes you less likely to want to go there unless the band is really worth it.

Saturday was the usual errands and then meeting up with my dearest darling Malinda (britpoptarts) to exchange gifties and get some supplies for her ferret so she could stay at least one extra night at our friend Lake's house. I got to say hello to Mr. Woozle, who is as adorable as ever. We went down to Lake's so Milla could get settled and we hung out and talked for hours on end and ate cream cheese-frosted two-bite brownies that we'd picked up at Whole Foods. (Lake's grandson ate most of them, though.)

Today I need to compose some proper New Year's Resolutions and take care of the piled-up laundry.

Today I took pleasure in flopping on the bed and reading a bit.

Today I learned we're up to at least an inch of rain in the past day or so.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 30th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
Not necessarily related to this specific entry, but I must say I always enjoy reading your posts. :)
Dec. 30th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
(I forgot to add) for the nicely flowing language.
Dec. 30th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! *beams* As a writer, it's always good to hear that people enjoy reading my words. :)
Dec. 30th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
I had fun. I am now coming out of my no sleep stupor from a very long drive just in time to stay up late Monday Night *grin*

It was great to see you. Ariel and I had fun seeing Sweeny with you.

See ya at Chatta?
Dec. 30th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
Took me a few days to recover as well, after staying up so late on Christmas night.

See ya at Chatta?

Of course!
Dec. 30th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, Dave!!!! Dude, there's a name I haven't heard in forever. *g*
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )