Thursday, February 04, 2010

December recap

Well it sure has been a while! I think the easiest way for me to do this is by just summarizing the last month and a half, which I will do in segments. It has been a whirlwind of events! It's a good thing that I write all the stuff that I do down in my calendar. Ahh, Franklin Covey, what would I do without you? Christopher has been telling me for months that I should use my iPod for my calendar stuff. Even my dad uses his! I just like the good, old fashioned pen and paper. It makes it really easy for me remember all the stuff that has gone on since I last posted...and there has been a lot!

Let me start with the weekend of Dec. 19th, which is where I think I left off from my last post. After being home for how many months? Four months! I still hadn't gotten together with my friends Abby and Bonnie from high school. Bonnie had come over for a wine night when Shanna was still living in Concord, but I had yet to see Abby. Every Christmas the three of us get together and chat until restaurants practically kick us out. This year Abby emailed us and offered to make us a lunch at her place. So on Saturday the 19th I picked Bonnie up and then we headed out to Burlingame to Abby's apartment where she had a feast waiting for us. Literally, it looked like a Thanksgiving feast. She made an upside down turkey with bacon (or maybe panchetta, I can't remember), whatever the case, it was delicious! She also made stuffing, gravy, string bean casserole, and something else that I can't remember or see from the picture. Bonnie made a corn dish with lots of cheesy goodness and I made ginger bread cookies, which I will never do again, I might add. After we stuffed ourselves silly Abby walked us around the downtown area, which is very cute. It seems like a really nice place to live. Maybe I'll move into her closet under the stairs and pretend to be Harry Potter.

The next Top Chef: Abby Pynn!

Abby making Butterbeer! It was way to sweet for my tastes.

That night after coming back from Abby's, our family went to the Ryan's for their annual tamale making party. This is basically a drunk fest with lots of food. It's a good thing Nick drove. Heheh. This year was pretty good. No fights with the host, young people I actually know (besides the kids), and I think I made more tamales that I did before. Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Minnich were happy to have Nick around since that meant that Frank would come too. If you recall, the two ladies set Nick and me up at Frank and Jenelle's wedding. (Jenelle is Mrs. Minnich's daughter and Frank is one of Nick's good friends.) I think it was all part of their scheme to get Frank to tamale making.

Rockband! Frank is the guy standing right behind me with the jacket and blue shirt on. Jenelle is in the purple biting her finger and that's Nick sitting in the chair. Christopher is next to him in the plaid shirt.

My darling boyfriend eating Frank's face

The next day I went to lunch with my friend Tim from UCR and then went to watch some football with Nick's gang. Thankfully I didn't stay that long because I had to take Christopher and Briana to get ski rentals. My dad and I took off the following day so that we could go up as a family. Man, what a disaster. It all started with bad weather down here (which we should have taken as a sign, but my dad and I had already taken off of work), then my Uncle Tom who is never late didn't wake up until we were supposed to be leaving, the visibility up there was horrible, my dad lost his goggles, the lines were horrendous, it was practically sleeting, Nick was miserable because of the wet, Christopher and Briana only went down the hill once, Uncle Tom only did eight runs, I fell and tumbled half way down the mountain, the car was covered in snow and after three winters in Troy I still had forgotten to put the windshield wipers up so that snow wouldn't get clumped on the blades, there were cars crashed on the side of the road because no one from California knows how to drive in snow (in my opinion...including me), and a car full of waterlogged, grumpy people. On the upside, since we left around 1pm we did go to a nice buffet that Nick told us about. We were way too full for comfort after that, but we made it home in one piece. We all showered off and watched a couple of movies at home. It was a pretty relaxing evening considering we were practically in a blizzard (hahah just a slight over exaggeration). I have fully acclimated to the CA weather so that was pretty much as blizzardy as it gets for me!

The next day (this is Tuesday the 22nd) I met Nick's parents. I was a little nervous, but it went well. We went to a place in Pleasant Hill called Melo's and had some pretty tasty pizza and pasta. The dinner itself didn't last that long, but I think I got a good idea of what his parents are interested in and their temperament. I don't think I've ever heard so much about Rolexs before. They sure know their stuff. From what Nick has said, they seem to like me just fine. It's a good thing too because they're stuck with me now!

The 23rd was a nice day of rest and normal work. I complained before about not having a life, but normality was more than welcomed because it was so busy around our house. Whew, December was getting exhausting and we hadn't even hit Christmas yet! On the 24th we all headed over to Auntie May and Jonathan's place in Alameda for Christmas Eve. It was the same as usual, tons of fun and lots of people. I was surprised to find out that Nick knew some of the same church people as everyone. It was a good way for them to connect, which made me happy. I guess it's a small world. I hadn't realized that church politics could get so involved, but apparently they can. Uncle Daniel, you're a good story teller. I didn't know who any of those people were, but I sure was able to figure out what was going on!

Man, I always forget how short I am until I see pictures of us standing together.

A face only a mother can love.

For Christmas day we were running around trying to get everything prepared for dinner. It wasn't as hectic as it usually is, thankfully. However, our tree did fall over and my mom was just so flustered with everything that she was calm about the tree because she yelled up the stairs to us that our tree had fallen over and then went back to her food prep. We were hoping that the tree would last for the night, but it just gave out right before everyone came. Go figure. We got it back up by balancing it with magazines. Hahaha! We had a small crowd this year and we all fit at the table. I don't remember the last time we were able to do that! I think the highlight of my night was after everyone went home and the house was all cleaned we played Cranium as a family. It was my parents against Christopher and me. You'll never believe it. They won. Christopher and I are stellar at this game and they won! It was a fluke, I tell ya, a fluke. The game was fixed in their favor. We still are demanding a rematch, but they haven't "had time" to do it. Hah! I think that they're afraid to lose to us.
The day after Christmas we had our annual ice skating event. This year Nick and Briana joined us. It was a loooonnnnggg day. Nick actually fell asleep in the super noisy Starbucks that we were sitting in. I couldn't believe it. I don't even think Uncle Victor would be able to sleep in such a noisy and uncomfortable place, but of course my boyfriend did. All the kids were running around and not using "inside voices". Hahaha I don't think any of us were using our inside voices much that day. Right when we had first gotten to the city we went into the Ferry building. I had no idea that there was a whole market in there! We got some delicious breakfast seafood breakfast burritos and I tried oysters again. I didn't like them. They were much bigger and saltier. I had to push down that gag reflex. Bleh, I didn't like those. I guess Nick is just going to have to spoil me with little ones from Bouchon! Like usual, in the afternoon it started to rain. Well, not really just rain, it was pouring. I really dislike the rain and was reminded of it when we were trudging around downtown. It seems like every year when we go it rains. I know that it's obviously winter and all, but it seems like it only rains on the days we go ice skating. Maybe that is because I only really notice and care when I'm out and about.

Christopher and Briana with her huge complementary birthday cupcake.

To close out December I headed back out to the city for dinner at Fresh Choice with Jen Jen, Josie, Kimi, and Patti. (I'm going to talk about New Year's Eve and New Years in the January post.) We all converged at Jen Jen's apartment first and then squished into the car to go to Fresh Choice. Yummy. We ate so much bread and salad. The pizza and soup was good as usual too. Mostly though, we chatted about Patti's upcoming wedding, which I'm excited for. It sounds like they got a really nice place for the reception. Yay! Another reason to get dressed up!

That evening after I was dropped back off at BART, Nick and I went to go see Avatar in 3D. Wow, what an amazing movie. In general I thought the plot was predictable and it reminded me of a mix between Pocahontas, Ferngully: The Last Rain Forest, and the Matrix, but I was so stoked about the movie afterward that I was in hyper-discussion mode. Poor Nick! I was really impressed by the fact that Cameron made up an entire language and culture. I think the culture is cool, but the language is what gets me. It blew me away. I read the whole wiki article about the movie that night too and apparently the language consists of about 1000 words. How cool is that?!?! I'm getting excited just thinking about it. I could probably write a short essay on it, but I'm lazy and would rather be writing fiction. However, I do know the supporting articles on the sense of self and spectacle that I would use. Eh, still, lazy.

One of my customers at Celery has a really odd condition where she can't be near any electrical devices. When I was talking to her recently she said that she had seen stuff in magazines about Avatar and had talked to a friend about it. We had a pretty lengthy discussion about the movie and the way that characters were portrayed and how people like the villian don't really exist. She always sends me nice picture books and photographs from where she lives so I decided to get her The Art of Avatar. It's a really impressive display of the animation in the movie. It's still sitting on my desk, but I'll get to sending it eventually. I'm really bad about that stuff. I buy it and then never get around to sending it. Juni didn't get her Christmas gift/care package until my parents brought it out to her on their trip!

Last but not least, on December 30th Christopher finished his Eagle Project, project. Now all he has to do is the paper work. I was so happy because I figured all the talk of Eagle would stop. Boy was I wrong. I popped a bottle of champagne anyway. I figured that at least a good portion of the project was done. With all the nagging and squabbling I had to listen to, it was a much needed milestone. I haven't seen my dad so happy and relaxed in a long time. Now there are binders to turn in and papers to have signed. Still talk of this project, but I'm glad that at least this part is done! Congrats little brother!


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