Here it goes: The obligatory New Years blog.
Disclaimer: We are boring and moderately antisocial - don't expect much.
Now, that being said, we are becoming more and more creative each year with ways to ring in the new year without being too boring but also without playing in the pouring rain with the few people who weren't afraid of melting. They say you learn something new everyday, so here is what I learned on New Years:
1. Pasta with Broccoli and Creamy Tomato Sauce is a great, easy meal for a night that's too cold and miserable for something as tropical as Black Bottom Tofu with Coconut Cashew Rice and and you're too tired to put in the effort required to make a heartier meal.
2. Some people really are crazy enough to run around in a rainstorm in nice clothes and high heels. The women probably had immaculately styled hair, too...before the wind blew it around into a rat's nest.
3. Verdi Raspberry Sparkletini tastes a lot like raspberry seltzer I drank out of pony bottles as a child and is therefore a terrific Midnight toast.
4. In the absence of an ugly, illuminated, red Swarovski Crystal ball, dropping a 17 lb grey tabby is an acceptable substitute. It also results in a much more amusing climax - compare:
A huge, multi-ton ball, suspended by heavy-duty cables, is "dropped" in a careful and measured fashion while a ginormous TV in Times Square counts down the seconds until the beginning of a new year (and new decade, which I think is infinitely more interesting) in brilliant colors while all the happy, cold, and drunk people (wearing top hats to increase brand awareness for Nivea) shout numbers in reverse order. When the ball comes to rest - gently - on the platform, confetti explodes, people hoot, hollar, scream, and smooch, and Auld Lang Syne plays nostalgically in the background.
Two loonies in comfy, warm clothes (all black, so at least we were formal, right?) stream the nonsense in Times Square through one of the computers, and as the numbers get closer to 10, they close in on the hitherto unsuspecting cat. Mister picks him up and holds him over his head at 10 and brings him down about 10 inches with each number down - not gently, but rather swinging merrily from side to side. As the numbers approach zero, the tubby tabby swings nearer to the floor and at the glorious moment that all the crazy people in the computer scream in one chaotic yet unified voice "ONE!" the cat is dropped that last 10 inches to the floor. Simultaneous with his feet hitting the floor, the first building-shaking BLAM!!! of the fireworks on Penns Landing sounds. The cat, of course, is convinced this is not a coincidence and is thoroughly traumatized. Mister and I can't even kiss correctly because we're both laughing so hard we're snorting. The cat runs into the bathroom and hides while the rest of the thunderous fireworks launch only a few [apparently tiny] blocks from our home.
I cannot think of a better way to ring in the new year. I think this may be my favorite.
Today, we celebrated [my big fat] Greek Orthodox Christmas with my husband's family, and although we were missing a lot of people, it was lovely to see those who were there. We watched old reel-to-reel movies from my father-in-law's childhood/adolescence and remarked on the family resemblance present through the generations. I finally got to see images of my husband's revered Pappou, and had to agree with the rest of the family that his namesake, my brother-in-law, greatly resembles him both in appearance and mannerisms. I impressed the matriarch of the family, Yiayia, with my ability to correctly pronounce the Greek names of the delightful desserts she made. We said "good-bye" and wished our cousin well as she prepares to study in Japan this semester and discussed my sister's African heart with the Aunts. I ate my fill of Spanakopita and Kala'ifi, as well as some orzo and roasted vegetables.
It was warm and happy and a little crowded in Yiayia's tiny house.
It was so windy and cold outside that I couldn't even see the way back to my car.
So now we're home, the heat is pumping, and we are preparing for a long winter's nap...at least until I have to get up and go to work again in the morning. February, hurry up!