Happy New Year

The thing is, I hate New Year’s. I’m not sure why.

Forced jollity?

I actually like going out (sometimes), but the idea of having to go out and hang around til midnight. —

Yes, I am a lot of fun.

Here’s my ideal New Year’s. I go for a long and beautiful hike. I stop on the way back at that great hamburger stand in Fairfield. I get home and maybe we read a book, or play a game, or do something quiet and non-festive. Perhaps we drink cocktails — I could go for that.

New Year’s comes and we sent up chinese lanterns. Or, alternately, we go to bed at 10.

Yes, that would be it.

I’m making plans for next year.

Lucy and I

We are sitting here by the tree. Lucy likes the tree. She spends a lot of time just sitting near it. Sometimes the ornaments fall and she likes to chase them around, but even before it was decorated she just liked to be near it.

Anyway. It is late — we’ve been staying up late and getting up late. Soon I’m going to have to start getting up earlier. But not yet, I guess.

The kitchen is clean, the refrigerator is starting to empty out a bit, the garbageman just took away a whole lot of recycling.


Maybe it’s the ages of my children, maybe it’s just my own age, maybe it’s the quantity of useful pots and the working dishwasher (I actually these factors are key) — I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I’ve reached some new stage of adulthood and it’s not at all bad. Maybe it’s just the time of year, because I realize that for us, no matter that the solstice was a week ago, the turning of the year is now. That and having survived Christmas is cause for reflection. Next year — more walks, more travels, more visiting people I love, no matter that they’re on the other coast, more spending time with people I enjoy, more cocktails, I think. More time spent doing. More of this grown-up life where I figure out what I feel like doing and then do it. More entertaining in the kitchen. More trips to the city. More ballet. More trips to the beach. More more more! Katahdin and the Appalachian Trail! Hoorah!

I’m sitting down now

Today is that lovely day, the day after Christmas. Well, the day after the day after, because yesterday we went out (!) and bought iphones (!! — except for M. Contract.) and then ate lunch and then got dressed and went to the City to see the Nutcracker which was wonderful (!!!).

So today is the lovely day with nothing to do but look at your presents and think about cleaning up and going for a walk but for just a little while at least to sit on the couch and think it all over.

I think this was the first Christmas in the history of time that I was actually ready for. I guess I had more time while the kids were at school to get stuff done, and I tried to have reasonable expectations — I think that helped. But we had a party on the 22nd and since the house was pretty much clean and decorated all we had to do was cook. It was the most successful party I’ve ever given, if by successful you mean “a party that I actually had fun at, too.” We had latkes brisket and glogg, and the people I invited (this was key) all enthusiastically helped to make the latkes, and even though the whole house was decorated and lit up (solstice) everyone wanted to stay in the kitchen the whole time until later, when a few stragglers (N’s friends E and E, M, I and N’s friend E’s mother B) sat on the comfy chairs to play taboo — which appears to be this year’s game in the way that clue was once, and balderdash was another year.

So that was great, and then Christmas was great — this is the year that the girls got better presents for us than we got for them. They got me a knife block! and a thousand other things. My brother and his current boyfriend came for dinner. I cooked duck and it was actually a) delicious and b) not actually a huge amount of work. So that was good. They stayed until 10, we had fun, and we ended the evening with Taboo again.

And the Nutcracker — it was amazing. We normally go to some local version, but this was at the Opera House. We all got dressed up and drove in, picked up the tickets and had dinner nearby at the Opera House Cafe which was perfect — it reminded me in a small way of New York. It was so much fun, and the performance was great. The scene opens on a SF street, which was charming. We actually had great seats. They were the cheapest, way up in the highest balcony, which meant you could look down over the whole stage. The dancing was clean and sharp and amazing and — very important — no dances were left out!

So — there is the wrap-up. N spent the night in the city at a friend’s house. I am thinking how great it would be if she came back and lived in the city. It seems that she does have friends there, although her college is so far away. M is still asleep. I am about to get dressed and tackle the kitchen, which appears to be coated in a layer of grime, and then think about a walk. The girls are here for another week before they begin the adventure of driving N’s car from Pittsburgh to Lewiston. Movies, I am hoping, and walks, and perhaps shopping for underwear and new boots. No snow, so no skiing. But that’s okay.

What’s everyone else up to?


Quickly now, because we are out of coffee and I really need to get some:

  • The tree is now decorated.
  • I am sick! This is both sad and sort of okay — I think for this week I’ll take being sick and home over being well and at work.
  • N has gingerbread dough in the fridge.
  • We’re going out tonight for latkes
  • I finished the one present I was making, and I think I could actually mail it in time for Christmas. I’m actually thinking about wrapping stuff already. I’m kind of on top of things. Some things. This has never happened before!

Okay — got to go.


What a great weekend.

I went for a walk on Saturday with K just in time to catch the sunset from the top of the hill with a view of the whole bay spread out before us. We drove home, changed, and drove out to the airport to pick up N and M! Who are now home!

Saturday I left early to go for another walk with A and A, returning shortly after the girls woke up. I think we did nothing, really, other than eat the chicken stew that was in the fridge and watch two different versions of the nutcracker and sort of watch Dune, which was at the same time awful and wonderful. I brought the ornaments for the tree down from the attic, but they are still sitting in boxes in the living room. We’d really better decorate the tree soon or it will be entirely too late.

Anyway, I’m at work now — we just had our party — but I can’t stand it. I’m going home.

Nearly there


Really, I can’t think about anything but my list.

And I know you all have your own lists, so I’ll spare you mine.

I did get tickets for the Nutcracker, though. I was thinking about it, and then N skyped me to remind me.

I can’t tell you how much I like the fact that she wants to go see the Nutcracker. It’s щелкунчик in Russian. Aren’t you glad I told you that?

All right, all right. Stuff to do. Back later.

Oh, also, M is thinking about studying in Italy for part of next year, which makes sense, because she’s been studying Italian. But apparently she’d really like to go to Mongolia.

Me, too!

Outdoor livingroom


The kids are finishing up. I’ve got the tree up AND the lights up. Some cards are mailed. Some presents purchased. I guess there’s more I could do, but mostly it just seems like I’m waiting —

I sort of like this, though, because once it really starts it will be over much too soon.

I do have a few secret projects in mind.

It’s the time of year, though, where you sit in your office ostensibly working on some word thing, but in actual fact making lists.

So, making lists.

Things people have sent me today

A link to a list of young adult novels suitable for holiday presents.

A link to a proposed new email system for the University of My State. (Possibly only funny if you’ve lived through the utter collapse of the existing one last week. It turns out it’s really difficult to get things done without email these days.) “. . . IST maintains that original plans were to solicit proposals for alternative mail delivery systems from students via the annual Big Ideas @ Berkeley competition, but that repeated CalMail server crashes since November 25 made lengthy deliberation impossible.”

A link to lectures I wish I’d attended. (This one I found on my own.)