Tag Archives: New Year

New year flashbacks.

1 Jan

Image Source: http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2012/galleries/dick-clark/dick-clark-660.jpg

Happy new year, everybody!

For the first time in a long time, I was awake when the ball dropped last night. If you weren’t able to make it up that late, here’s all you need to know to participate in the water cooler talk in your office tomorrow: Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy hosted; there was significant discussion (on our part – not on air) about Dick Clark’s status (dead or alive); the only conclusion we all agreed on was that Casey Kasem is, in fact, dead.

You’re now up to speed. Go forth and discuss.

We celebrated at some friends’ house, and their kids emerged from their bedrooms around midnight for the ball drop. It reminded me of one of the most infamous new year’s eves of my childhood, when my parents left my sister and me home with a babysitter.

Alicia – who was in middle school at the time – was allowed to have a friend over, and my parents told the babysitter that we could stay up to watch the ball drop. I’ve always been a sleepy person, however, so I called it a night around 8pm, wishing everyone a good night and pulling my door shut on Dick Clark’s smiling face.

When I woke up the next day, I quickly was brought up to speed. Apparently while I slumbered, quite a little drama had unfolded. The babysitter had made Alicia and her friend go to bed early as well, and once they were in Alicia’s room with the door closed, the babysitter called her boyfriend and invited him and some friends over.

I’m not sure if Alicia was upset about the babysitter breaking the rules and having boys over, or if she was simply pissed that she’d been relegated to her room and missed the ball drop, but she wasted no time in telling my parents how she’d spent HER evening. I’m not sure how the situation was addressed with the babysitter, but I’d have to imagine it was awkward since she was one of my dad’s students. I can only imagine she wanted to crawl under her desk for a good portion of the next semester.

And so on that note, I wish you a happy new year. If you left your kids with a sitter, I’d suggest interrogating them to make sure no one threw a party in your house. Or maybe they can at least tell you if Dick Clark is still alive.

Nothing says romantic getaway like…

3 Jan

During the three years we’ve been together, Alan and I have established a nice tradition of celebrating Christmas on New Year’s Eve. We grab a stack of books, some good bottles of wine, a bag of board games and go somewhere rural with a fireplace. This year, that place was Gramercy Mansion, just north of Baltimore in Maryland horse country.

The house was beautiful and the staff was friendly, and the added bonus was the resident cat, a huge white footstool of a thing named Romeo, who purred like an idling freight train. Don’t believe me? We pet him on the upstairs landing of the staircase while an elopement ceremony was being performed on the main level and they could hear him. Here’s Romeo:

Since I don’t have a television at home, when I stay in hotels, I enjoy browsing around to see what sort of stuff is on the more obscure cable channels. Which explains how we ended up watching “High Hitler” the History2 channel Sunday afternoon. Three interesting things I learned during this show:

  1. Hitler was regularly injected with meth by his personal physician, who claimed it was a multi-vitamin.
  2. Hitler is believed to have contracted syphilis from a prostitute in his teens, which would explain why he a) railed against the disease (calling it an enemy of the people) and b) was crazy.
  3. Hitler was vegetarian and had serious digestive issues, which his doctor treated by dosing him with a mixture of peasant feces.

Image Source: OMGFacts.comFascinating stuff. In fact, so fascinating that it gave rise to the following discussions with Alan:

Me: They just said he may have been in the final stages of syphilis. Was it deadly? 
Alan: Yeah, I think so. I don’t think it’s treatable.
Me: It must be treatable. Otherwise, we would hear about celebrities battling syphilis, right?
Alan: Fair enough. Let me google it. 
Alan googles it then shows me the entry. We both recoil at the photos of lesions. 
Image Source: http://www.pitch.com/binary/9519/buried_body.jpgMe: Remind me, how did Hitler die?
Alan: Shot himself.
Me: Right. And Eva Braun? 
Alan: Cyanide, I think.
Me: Yowsas. Cyanide isn’t immediate is it? I mean, it’s painful, right?
Alan: Pretty sure. Let me google it. 
Me: You better hope nothing happens to me this weekend. Because if they search your technology, you’re f*cked. 

Who says I’m not romantic?

I think *someone* needs a New Year cleanse.

2 Jan

I closed out 2011 by hitting a vinyasa yoga class Saturday morning before Alan and I left for our mini-getaway. Man, am I glad I did: it’s not every day your yoga instructor is drunk.

At least, I assume she was still buzzing from the night before. That’s actually giving her the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I’d explain this class to a first-time yogi…

She walked in and said, “So. Wow. It’s New Year’s Eve. Well, not eve. But New Year’s Day Eve. Eve Day. You know what I mean, right?”

People were giggling, but generally going with her. Then she began her soliloquy.

“So the new year is a great time for reflection. And introspection. There are milestones and this is a big milestone. I mean, it’s a WHOLE NEW YEAR. Right? And how great is that? I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to see 2011 done. It was a weird year for me. Just really, really weird. Man, I hope 2012 is better. Because this is a time to reflect about what we want. And I want a better year. And we are all humans, and our energy joins together and if we raise it up… I’m getting choked up! I’m choking on my words!”

I wish I could tell you I took artistic license with that quote in the interest of humor. But I didn’t. That’s more or less what she said, though I think my version is less rambling than the actual speech. I’m pretty sure this is why yoga gets a bad rap.

And for the two people who weren’t smirking after this babble-fest, she took it up a notch. “I mean, a new year is a big deal. But this year? Not to be freaky or anything, but it’s 2012. You know: 2012! The world might be ending! Dom-dom-dom! Seriously, I quit my job because I was like, ‘If the world really DOES end in 2012, I want to LIVE now. Pretty intense, right?”

(c) FullChordPress - by Tim Garrett (www.fullchordpress.com)

After she “re-centered” herself, she continued. “So I had a whole lesson planned for this morning’s class, but I got an email on my way here from another yogi who teaches at another studio across town with 20 questions for reflection. So I thought it would be good to read these to you so you can meditate on them during today’s practice.”

She then went on to read all 20 questions rapid-fire. I barely had time to process one question before she moved on to the next. The only one I was able to fully digest was, “What was a source of unexpected joy in your life this year?” And reason I retained that one is because she paused and said, “Right? Like my sister had a baby this year. And that was totally unexpected. Huge surprise. Huge.”

Much like that yoga class. Unexpected joy, though probably for the wrong reasons.

Call me Nostradamus, but I think it’s safe to predict what her biggest source of unexpected joy will be  2012: waking up to realize the world didn’t end. In fact, I’ll go one further. Biggest lesson learned in 2012? Not to max out her credit cards based on the Mayan calendar.

So classy, we wore our matching hoodies.

2 Jan

For the second year running, Alan and I rang in the new year at the state lodge in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

Just because you’re probably expecting it, I’m not going to make any jokes about Deliverance. (I think I’m maturing: this trip I didn’t even harass Alan with remarks like, “You sure have a pretty mouth” when he’d leave me to go to the bathroom.)

But I will share a snippet from the drive on Saturday when, utterly hungover from New Year’s Eve, Alan and braved the curvy backroads to find a bar called “Hillbilly Heaven” where people assured us we would be able to watch the bowl games.

“Hillbilly Heaven. Any chance that’s what they tell all the city folks just to set us up if we have to stop and ask for directions?” I continued, “I mean, can you imagine pulling over and asking someone where Hillbilly Heaven is? Sounds kind of insulting.”

“The way this road is going, I’m wondering if they’re sending us to Hillbilly Hell,” Alan offered.

“Hmmm… Hillbilly Hell? So that would be all yuppie-like, where you definitely couldn’t find Pabst Blue Ribbon and where you’d actually need teeth to eat the food, right?”

Definitely going to hell of some sort for that one. Hillbilly or otherwise.