The Rest of My Christmas Vacation

To pick up where I left off… We decided to have a very casual, informal, early dinner party on New Year’s Eve (after which people were welcome to go out somewhere more exciting, go home, etc. before midnight). The number of people who were going to attend kept increasing, so on Saturday morning, GG accompanied me on a frantic shopping trip to get everything needed for the party. Frantic because it was supposed to start snowing sometime that day. We were out for a couple hours, and literally the moment we got home, it started snowing!

And then the snow continued… and continued… We had at least 4″ by the time it stopped around 5 PM. We’d been planning to see Les Miserables that afternoon, but that plan was obviously out, so I just resigned myself to the fact that was not happening. Then a couple kids came around to try to shovel our driveway, and I didn’t want to pay people for that, so I was like, “Well, I guess it’s time to shovel.” It actually was good shoveling snow – by the time GG had cleaned off his car, I had shoveled the whole driveway and sidewalk myself. And since everything was clear… we could go see Les Mis! It was awesome. I saw it live years ago and for most of my childhood I had the soundtrack memorized, but it had been a while. My one real complaint was that, while it may work on stage, just focusing on a single person’s face singing a solo piece doesn’t really lend itself to film so well. I wish they had done something more interesting, considering they had the medium of film to work with. For example, in “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” I always imagined it with the ghosts of the guys sitting around – couldn’t they have added in some ghost dudes? GG also enjoyed it (he was actually seeing it voluntarily, after being impressed by the cinematography when he saw a preview while at a different movie), but you should have seen the face he made when, after “One Day More,” I whispered, “And that’s the end of Act 1.”

On Sunday we went to the UPenn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to see the Maya 2012 exhibit. I’d been wanting to go since it opened, and of course now that it was about to end we finally went. It was actually a really good exhibit. Lots of multi-media, different ways to get your interest. And pretty informative, too, even for a Maya geek like me. I also like the way it was laid out, explaining how the Mayan writing and calendar systems worked, then showing examples, explaining about specific sites (Copan), and then finishing up with modern Mayans. After the museum, we went to Percy Street Barbecue for lunch. GG had been talking this place (and their mac & cheese) up for weeks, but honestly… I was not impressed. Their claim to fame seems to be that they have the largest selection of canned beer in the country, and the food was not all that amazing. When we got home, I prepped all the food for NYE dinner that I could do in advance.

Monday was our NYE party, so I spent the day cleaning and cooking. I actually thought I’d started cooking kind of early, but I was actually still cooking when our guests got there at 6 PM. Oh yeah, at some point in the previous two days, the number of people we were expecting got up to about 12, which was way too many for me, and then down to six as everyone started coming down with some cold/flu thing. Everyone kept saying how bad they felt about canceling, but I was secretly happy. We ended up with two other couples (and our favorite baby), and that was pretty perfect. The food all turned out pretty good – it was mostly stuff I’d found on Pinterest. There were a couple things I wouldn’t do again. The big hit of the night was the Hot Chocolate Bar – everyone got a mug of chocolate, which they could dress up with toppings like marshmallows, sprinkles, caramel, candy canes, and cookie sticks. I would definitely do that again for a winter party. Anyway, everyone had cleared out by 11 PM and I passed out on the sofa. GG woke me at 11:59:55 and I counted down the last five seconds to midnight, drank my glass of sparkling cider, and fell back asleep.

Tuesday was my last day of vacation, and the first day that I could really relax. Obviously I’d given up on my home project by this point. So I spent the day on the couch with my favorite Christmas gift. I also finally ordered my Kindle! And I watched about 9000 episodes of “Buying Alaska,” which really makes those losers on “House Hunters” look like wimps.

My short workweek was a good introduction back to working, and luckily not everyone was back from vacation yet, so it was fairly quiet. A lot of those who were back were out sick. And eventually the cold caught up to me – I was sneezing and sniffling on Thursday, miserable on Friday and most of Saturday, but recovering by Sunday. I’m pretty much back to normal today. I would like to thank the power of Vitamin C!

Oh, and guess what arrived on Saturday afternoon, several days earlier than anticipated? My Kindle! It’s the new Paperwhite version. It’s so tiny, but really it’s the perfect size. I also ordered a case for it, which is due to arrive this week. I figured out how to get ebooks from my library, and have already almost finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

2013 Goals:

  • Read 25 books (I think that’s doable)
  • Send 2 cards/letters per month to people just to let them know I’m thinking of them
  • Be a better blogger (more on this soon – watch for a reader survey!)

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