Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year!

I did not get as many days of sitting on my tuchas as I was hoping. Friday before Christmas I had a party to attend and it was a lovely time. Of course, I got to hold an adorable baby (born in April) for a good portion of the night and I always think that's enjoyable. The baby is the most perfect baby ever! Even though it was way past her bedtime (she goes to bed at 7:30 and sleeps at least 12 hours), she was as good as gold. No fussing or crying or anything. She made happy noises and doesn't stress when someone other than her parents hold her. I got to see her THREE times over the course of the holidays and it was all good.

Saturday morning friends were having a Christmas Eve brunch at their new home and got to see the perfect baby again. I only knew the hosts when I got there, but their friends were all very pleasant and fun to talk with. I even splurged and had a small glass of champagne. I had started a scarf for my priest the night before (got a whole whopping inch completed), so I finished that up so I could take it to him that night. He really is the cutest thing ever (79 years old) and told me after I had given him his new blue scarf that he had thought to himself earlier that day that he was going to get a new blue scarf that night. Those Jesuits are so darn smart! He had given the one I had made him last year (of not fabulously soft yarn) to a homeless person who had stopped by the rectory and was cold, so I had told him I would make him a new one. He told me he would NOT be giving this one away.

Sunday morning I finished up the shawl/oversized scarf I was giving my SIL and made the fruit dip as my contribution to Christmas Dinner. Fruit Dip is amazingly easy and quite yummy. 1 cup of light brown sugar combined with 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese (I used the 1/3 less fat/Neufchatel cheese) and 1 tsp of vanilla. Mix that together and serve with cut fruit. I had apples, pears and kiwi, although it didn't work overly well with kiwi since kiwi is a tad messy when eating with your hands. I couldn't make the Fruit Salsa I kind of really wanted to make (trust me, the fruit dip was TONS easier) because there were no strawberries or raspberries in my little neck of the woods and I wasn't going searching. Maybe my family can enjoy the fruit salsa another time.

I was about 15 minutes late to the OS's house, but was still the first one there. Whew! It's my reputation to be on time (literally the only one in my family) and I was happy not to be beaten. It's the little things.

YS made a pretty crappy soup which even she admitted was missing something – yeah, like good flavor. Mom brought a family recipe of potatoes – in cream and butter – because we're all about watching our fat grams and cholesterol level. SIL brought the requisite green bean casserole (Thank God I only have to eat that twice a year) while Grandma brought her broccoli casserole (very yummy, but would be even yummier if Grandma knew how not to cook veggies until they're limp and vitamin-less).

Highlights of my Christmas Day presents:

Humidifier (I had asked Mom for my b-day but w/o even looking she told me she didn't spend that much on b-day presents, so she gave me a check which we all know went directly into my bank account and got used for something else.) I love my humidifier. I can already tell a difference! I had no clue that I didn't have to wake up every morning with a sore throat from living in a dry apt.!

Feather Pillows - I've needed new pillows forever, but just never got that far. I looked and looked, but just didn't know what to buy. I got some Northern Night pillows from QVC (bought on-line as Mom doesn't have cable, so hence doesn't know the joy of QVC). I don't know that I'm in love with the pillows, but they're working and that's what matters.

S is for Silent by Sue Grafton - At least I think that's the title of her latest book. I've read all of her Alphabet books and generally enjoy them. I'm sure I'll finish it in a couple of hours once I start reading it, but I started The Empire of Darkness: First Volume in the magnificent Queen of Freedom Trilogy by Christian Jacq and am really enjoying it. I read his five-volume series on Ramses and was very excited when I saw that he had a new series based in Ancient Egypt out.

The Terror Children got me a pair of polar bear socks and a rhino Beanie Baby. I didn't even know they were still making Beanie Babies, but I'm very happy with my rhino. He's way cute.

Mom also gave me a couple of pairs of socks, a little notebook and a $40 gift card which is like a credit card in that it can be used anywhere that accepts MasterCard. Do I save it and use it for groceries if I lose my job this month? Or do I go to Victoria's and get that new bra I really need? Or should I get something completely frivolous and pick up this boxset?

As Grandma was getting ready to leave OS's on Christmas Day she said, "I'm having Christmas at my house on Thursday. Does that work for everybody?" I sighed, "I'm busy all day Thursday." Now, for the record, I had plans for two days that entire week plus – Thursday and Sunday. Guess what day she went for next? Yup, you guessed it. "How about Sunday?" Double sigh. In the end, it was planned for Monday and I breathed a sign of relief, because I was really looking forward to the Sweatpants Party where friends all gathered to exchange gifts and hang out.

On Monday I got a call from Grandma saying I had to come over because two of the CA aunts had sent presents to her house but only for Mom, YS and me, so I had to come over prior to Monday to get them so that others wouldn't know. I also had to pick up a GC for the Christmas Gift Exchange that would be happening at the Sweatpants Party and use the GC I got from Mom for Switched On CDs (the best independent record store anywhere) and since everything was in that general direction, I left the house on Tuesday.

My first foray was to the mall where I got really cranky, first trying to find a parking spot and then once inside the mall trying to find the store I needed. I was muttering, "I hate this fucking mall" under my breath the whole time.

Grandma was next on the list and I hung out with her for a little while. My Grandma is the coolest ever, besides being so darn cute (as she's well under 5' tall). She wasn't feeling well, so she was still in her robe (this is huge for Grandma as she has always been up and about and fully dressed pretty early). We chit chatted about whatever and then I opened my presents from the Aunts. The one aunt who never gives me anything that makes sense (she's my Godmother but generally has no clue what would appeal to me) actually came through this year and gave me a GC to Barnes & Nobles. I'm normally a Borders girl (the closest B&N is like 15 miles away), but I'm willing to spend her money on books! The other aunt usually does a great job at gifts. She's intuitive that way. I have never not loved something she gave me…until this Christmas. The first thing was some stationery with my name on it in script. This is actually a pretty big deal as it is IMPOSSIBLE to find Kathleen on stuff. Next time you're in one of those stores that sells stuff with names on it, be it keychains or whatever, check for Kathleen. And if you find it, let me know because I NEVER find my name. Anyway, although it had my name on it in a very pretty style, there was a faux watercolor of a lighthouse. If I had seen it in a store, I would have said, "Oh look, my name. But it's ugly." Ah well…I'll use it to send TY notes to the aunts. The other thing in the box was a goldtone with rhinestone pin of a triceratops. Yup, kids, I received a dinosaur pin. Grandma looked at it and said, "Even I know you only wear silver." I'm quite certain that my aunt thought it was a rhinoceros, and we all know I love rhinos, but GOLD? With RHINESTONES? I'm telling you this is not an attractive pin. Unless you like tacky cheap gold pins with ugly ass rhinestones…and dinosaurs. *sigh*

After an hour or so, Grandma indicated that she was tired and going to nap (very unlike Grandma), so I kissed her Good-bye, said Hasta luego to her husband and headed off to Switched On. I had been thinking all the way there that I was going to get the newly remastered first album of the Stooges, as well as the Spandau Ballet CD they had ordered for me. The Stooges album wasn't where it had been the week before, so BST directed me to its current location, but on the way there, I saw an Iggy Pop Anthology (apparently too new to mention at Oooh! I grabbed that, found The Stooges and then also found a T-Rex compilation of A & B Sides (the one linked is only A-sides, but I couldn't find the one I was looking at). I held up the Stooges and the Iggy albums and asked BST and John which they would pick. They both said The Stooges at first, but then acknowledged that the 2nd CD included might not be all that fabulous, and that the Iggy Anthology would be a better choice. As I had no T-Rex, I asked BST if the compilation was a good choice and he looked over it and said that it was a good introduction. I ended up with the Spandau Ballet, the Iggy Anthology and the T-Rex. And I'm very happy with my choices, although I think I need more Spandau Ballet.

Thursday was my big day out. I went to the Lansing yarn store with Julieu and Spoozy where I bought yarn even though I had planned on buying only black baby alpaca, if they had it, and the yarn for Ursamajor's Christmas present. *sigh* I have actually gone there and bought nothing, but not this time. Oh yeah, we stopped at the outlet mall on the way as Casual Corner and its sister stores are closing. I picked up three way marked down shirts and two fleeces (one $10 and the other $14).

That night was my big night out pretending that I'm still in my 20s. And boy, did I do a lot of pretending! I danced for damn near four hours straight! Thursday was a friend's b-day, so we all met at a local coney island across from the bar where I used to hang out four nights a week dancing and he used to DJ. He's back DJing there on Thursdays doing an 80s night. A bunch of us went to the bar and within a few minutes of being there, he played a song that required me to dance and that was it. I left the dance floor during all New Order songs and anything that I don't deem to be what I think of when I think 80s music (i.e., Michael Jackson – sorry, but you wouldn't have heard Michael Jackson being played in the same bar as New Order back in the 80s). Of course, most of the people in the bar were babies in the 80s, so to them it was like us listening to Sock Hop music. It's very possible that there were songs played that would never have been played together back in the 50s. And the owners of the bar felt it necessary to introduce 80s dancers. There were three raised platforms placed around the dance floor (two on the stage and one on the floor a couple of feet from the stage) on which the "80s dancers" performed. They were theoretically dressed in 80s gear (can you say leg warmers?). The one girl danced with an imaginary pole most of the night. I didn't think any of them danced well and I can't even think about their outfits without wanting to cry, but I guess some of the guys liked one well enough. Thankfully they did not dance all night – just 15 minutes here and there – so I was able to ignore their existence for the most part.

I left for home around 1:00 a.m. and it was good timing as the Vicodin I had taken had worn off and my knee was throbbing. I could barely walk on Friday as my calf muscles were so tight, and I had to put ice on my knee too. It was pathetic. This whole getting old thing is just so not cool. I want to be able to dance all night like I used to. I had such a good time! I saw people I hadn't seen in AGES!!! Mohawk Mike was there, as was crazy hair Anthony. I hadn't seen Anthony since I lived in SF and he hiked the length of CA. I got Anthony's number so if I decide to head up there again I can let him know. There were a lot of people missing, but all in all, I had a great time pretending I was 26 again.

Tomorrow I will bore with every tiny detail with New Year's Weekend! ;-)


At Wednesday, 04 January, 2006, Blogger trinamick said...

Sounds like you had quite the full weekend! Sorry about the dino - do they really look much like rhinos?

At Wednesday, 04 January, 2006, Anonymous Smed said...

You want the Stooges and the No Thanks! Box Set. You need them!

Spandau Ballet? Oh, my.

At Wednesday, 04 January, 2006, Anonymous Urs said...

The bra, buy the bra! Nothing can possibly make one happier... except race car drivers, of course. But if there were race car drivers about, a new bra would be most handy as well. See - all signs point to the bra.

At Thursday, 05 January, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

Go for the boxset! It's an awesome boxset! If you get the boxset and then lose your job I'll cook for you out of guilt. I'm not knocking bras or anything...they're fun too. Happy New Year!

At Thursday, 05 January, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Trina - Not really, but it does have a horn on its head, so I guess that's all it took. My aunt doesn't much care for animals, so I'm sure she thought it was a rhino.

Smed - I have the Stooges first album already - this was just the remastered and I decided the Iggy was more important.

Urs - Of course, all race car drivers are much younger than me, except for Jimmy V and we all know he's gay.

Jason - I knew Smed would go for the boxset and I should have guessed you would to. ;-)

At Thursday, 05 January, 2006, Blogger Erica said...

I live for the detail! The fruit dip sounds great, and I would love to know your recipe for fruit salsa (or anything else delicious, for that matter). Glad you had an overall good holiday, sounds like!


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