Christmas Day began quite early for me, as already noted. This gave me plenty of time to get everything done. daeron showed up a little after 2, and humored me by watching old movies that my family traditionally watches at Christmastime. crifmer arrived around 6:30, while I was cooking dinner. amy_pearlman and blackfog came around 8. There was chatting and chocolate (truffle) and we all watched Short Circuit. The party broke up a little after 11.
And on Boxing Day, I did nothing, recovering from the cleaning and the hosting.
Family Christmas was on Wednesday the 28th this year. I left work at about 3, which got me to my grandmother's at 5:15. My parents had been there all day, and Alex and Renee had been there since just after lunch. We exchanged presents almost immediately, and indulged in the traditional family sport of competing to see who could apologize the most for presents that hadn't yet been opened. I think my mom won, as usual, but I got an honorable mention for Most Presents Identified Before Unwrapping. The best gift I received was an electric blanket, but there were lots of other goodies as well.
Grandma told us what Mom had passed on earlier, that as of yet she doesn't feel particularly unwell, but we'll see how it goes. I told her I'd be down to see her in February. Later, I told my mom I'd be down at least once a month, for as long as it's relevant. This is, after all, one of the major reasons I moved to New Jersey a decade ago.
Back at work, my boss wanted to close early on Friday, but didn't come into the office until afternoon, so I didn't leave until about 6. Go figure. Then I drove down to PA, because amy_pearlman requested that I come early to help out. And lo, there was cleaning, and shopping, and chopping...
The party was enjoyable. I guess there were 16 total attendees, and a dozen of us there at midnight? There wasn't really anything I would remark on as outstanding, just good fun.
I always have a hard time commenting on New Year's Eve, because it's my second least favorite holiday. Instead of the hope we're supposed to feel, with an new unspoiled year ahead of us, I usually end up thinking "Great, more of the same." That's especially true this year, for reasons already noted. Then, at midnight, when the ball drops, everyone kisses their SO, and the single people sit around and twiddle their thumbs. This year it didn't bother me as much as usual, which is just as well, since the only other single person in the room was my ex, and while I wouldn't object to kissing him, it's not exactly the symbolism I would want for the year ahead, you know? On the other hand, the only individual I've kissed this year is Alex-the-cat, which is also not exactly the symbolism I want for the year ahead. But hey, at least he doesn't run away.
I've been reflecting on the past couple of days, on this strange balancing act I do in my head when I want (or don't want) two opposing things equally. No matter how much I don't want the complications and commitments of dating, I also don't want to be alone in a room full of people on New Year's Eve. I don't like inserting myself into others' conversations, sitting in the center of the room, or drawing attention to myself, yet I also don't want to be ignored, overlooked, or forgotten. There are many more examples with less relevance to the last couple of weeks. Even when I can articulate a centrist position between two opposites, it's often harder to maintain or achieve than the balancing act. Peculiar, isn't it?
At any rate, I drove home Monday, and then met palingyuan at the theater to see Memoirs of a Geisha. We both enjoyed it. It was slow-moving, and I think it's just as well that oidhche decided not to come along, but it was worthwhile for anyone who read and enjoyed the book. I chose not to go out to dinner, because I wanted to take some quiet time to recover from the weekend before going back to work.
Yesterday's excitement came when jaedeth called to tell me she's moving up the date of her wedding. A lot. My weekend availability over the next few months just took a nosedive. Again. I need a new pocket calendar to keep track of my schedule.
I'm hoping today's excitement is over. Today at work, we have filed a motion on one matter, an Answer and Counterclaim on a second matter, and are working on preparation and official memorandum for an arbitration hearing tomorrow on the first matter. Neither of these matters involves our primary client, which has continued to generate the usual day-to-day stuff. I'm trying to squeeze in the administrative details for wrapping up 2005, but my boss really hasn't had a minute to consider most of it.
This weekend, I'm off to see K&G, who I haven't seen in a bit more than a year. soupkills and calloocallay will be there as well. I'm glad K started planning this back in November; if she asked now, I'd probably have to put it off. I'm looking forward to seeing all of them.
Meanwhile, it looks like I may be picking up at least one, and maybe two, new-to-me TV shows for the spring. Because really, what I needed was another time sink, right? I need to buy a couple new tapes for the VCR.
In summary: It may not all be good, but at least it's good enough.