Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas week rambling

What a week! Am I right? I thought once Scrooge! was over I'd find some free time to zip in here and write something rude dirty pornographic profound, but instead Santa's elves tied me up with strings of Christmas lights and spanked me with candy canes I spent most of the week getting ready to celebrate the reason for the season: Christmas carols, presents, Christmas dinner, and cookies. Lots of cookies--baking, that is. But the next post is about cookies; this one is not.

Just so you'll believe that I'm not malingering, here is a brief synopsis of the week.
  • With less than a week to go, I finally got both kids here at the same time to decorate the tree. Lots of memories in those ornaments. They go back over 30 years. I love the ones with photos of the kids when they were  little. I wish I'd made a photo ornament every year for each of them. On the top of the tree is the paper angel with a photo of me on the face that I made in kindergarten. It sat on top of my grandma's tree every year when I was growing up. I thought it had been thrown away after she died, but my aunt had it and gave it to me years later. Coraline tried to help by grabbing and stuffing everything she could reach into her mouth. Next year we'll have to put the ornaments only on the top half of the tree.
Fuck Martha Stewart. This is not her tree.

  • I wrote a few weeks ago here that we were going into hell week for Scrooge! and I felt like I needed a massage and a soak in a hot tub. Two days later another Scrooge! cast member gave me a gift certificate for a free massage from a licensed medical message therapist!* I know, right? Turns out her name wasn't Sven, and she was a crazy fucking sadist but she had a very firm touch (which I asked for). She found every single pressure point on my body and stabbed flaming, hot pencils into them. It hurt, but in a good away .... like when she stopped torturing me releasing my pressure points, I felt tremendous relief from the pain she was causing. After the hour was up, she told me my back had been so tense it felt like I had rocks and pebbles under my skin instead of muscles. I'm pretty sure she didn't mean I have a sexy hard body. She definitely worked out some kinks though. I'll be going back to her once I heal from this massage. I needed that.
  • For the past many years I've hosted a Yule ritual and dinner at my house. For several reasons I don't need to go into, this year I didn't. I was out singing Christmas carols at an outdoor mall last week as a fund-raiser for one of the local community theaters when a new friend asked me if I was holding my annual ritual. I explained that I didn't plan to celebrate this year. By the time I got home that night, she had sent me an invitation to attend a ritual and potluck at her new apartment*. I took my sorely relaxed muscles, a pot of vegetarian white chili, and a  homemade focaccia and enjoyed a meaningful, intentional observance of the darkest day in spite of myself. And maybe let go of a few things I needed to drop.
  •  After I left, I joined a bunch of theater friends for "shake off the post-play blues" karaoke. At one point we had nine people crammed around a table for four, but it was like loaves and fishes. As people showed up, somehow we found more room and more chairs in a crowded bar. It's hard for me to believe that a year ago I didn't even know most of the people at the table, or I didn't know them well*. Lots of photos showed up on Facebook that night. ....You are the dancing queen ....
  • As much fun as karaoke was though, the next day my voice was trashed. Not from singing, but from talking over the commotion in a loud bar for hours. Normally I'd just let it rest, but the music director for Scrooge! had asked me to sing with his choir on Christmas Eve. I couldn't resist the opportunity to sing with a pipe organ and a brass band*. Thursday was the only time I could rehearse with them, so rehearse I did, and I dragged the Diplomat along with me. The choir members seemed impressed that members of the Scrooge! cast had come to sing with them. I'm sure they were less than impressed after I croaked my way through the three songs we're performing. Or maybe they didn't even hear me over the brass band in front of us and the pipe organ behind us. I certainly couldn't hear me. In fact, I can only assume I was singing.
  • And yet after the choir rehearsal I hurried to a caroling party at the home of Steampunk Cindy and Grogilingus**, so I could sing rasp Christmas carols in the rain*. It's the first time I've carried an umbrella while I was caroling (where's the fucking snow?), but about a fourth of the party--fortified by mulled wine and sugar--braved the weather to entertain those neighbors we found at home. We rewarded ourselves with more sugar and more mulled wine when we were done. I'll go to the gym next week. Really I will.
  • I have not sung a note today. Like a big fucking diva, I'm saving my sweet soprano for tomorrow night's Christmas Eve service. I didn't even sing in the van on my way to and from Kroger, which was as crowded as a fucking tribble reunion on the Starship Enterprise, and about as much fun. While I waited in a very long line at the checkout, I pulled a bottle of wine off the shelf and split it with the guy behind me and then stashed the empty bottle behind the magazine display took out my new Kindle and read a Stephen King book. If King hasn't written a horror novel about shopping the two days before Christmas, he should. If you have to go out shopping tomorrow, I highly recommend getting drunk before you leave home and carrying a flask for fortification,  which is legal as long as you keep your blood alcohol level under .08 while you're driving simply carrying along a book or magazine to read in case you have to wait in line. It's quite relaxing.
  • Tonight I'd hit the limit. Instead of accepting an invitation to go out with friends again, I stayed home and baked several dozen cookies and stirred up a couple of kinds of candy. More on that, including recipes, tomorrow. Drake has been home since last Friday, and this is the first night we've had a chance to just hang out. The turkey is thawing for Christmas dinner, and thanks to my shopping trip I have 5 pounds of butter and a gallon of whipping cream in my fridge, but I don't have any presents wrapped yet. Go ahead, Stephen King. Try to top the horror of going to bed the night before Christmas Eve without a single present wrapped. Even the Master of Horror himself can't beat that.

Tomorrow I promise I'll write about cookies--after I wrap the presents. I would trade cookies for present-wrapping. Any takers?
    * Fuck November, the gratitude month. I have much to be grateful for in December.
    ** Yep, that's his nickname, and I didn't even give it to him. He tied a cherry stem into a knot in about 20 seconds flat at another party this past weekend, which made me want to experience multiple cookies with him .... except for his lovely wife who understandably wants those cookies for herself.

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