Holiday Roundup

Its been a relaxing, fun week. And I can see from my blogroll I'm not the only one who hasn't had time to blog faithfully. My holiday highlights, in some chronological order, since my last blog entry:

  • DJing. Four hours at the River Horse. I don't know the crowd there very well, so it was a challenge: I brought a little of everything. Except I forgot to get my notebook when I left, so I can't very well post my setlist. Then again, four hours of music -- who's gonna read that. Suffice to say I think it went over well, and it shaved 20 years off my life. I certainly didn't feel 46.

  • Stella on drums
    Originally uploaded by V'ron.
    Stella plays the drums. None of us knew this until Christmas eve with my husband's aunt and uncle and their sons, one of whom is a drummer in a heavy metal band. All the kids were downstairs dinking aroudn with the trapset, until we heard some intense drumming. It wasn't exactly at the level of perfection that Paul Sternig (Brian's cousin) could do, but clearly this wasn't exactly Sammy, either. We go downstairs, and its Stella, pounding out that double bass, adding toms and finishing with a flourish on the cymbals. And she did it again, and again and again. She'd written a part for pete's sake. We were all watching there with our mouths open, and frankly, I think Stella didn't realize until that night she played the drums.

  • Sammy plays the drums too, but get this. We had to show him how to eat Bugles. Once we did, he took one look at his hands and said, "I have dinosaur fingers!"
  • Hanging out (read decompressing) and watching bad television on Christmas Eve with Brian, especially the WGN special "Bozo, Gar and Ray" (a special which I'll wax poetic on New Years' Day when they'll rerun it again -- if you have cable trust me, it's worth tuning in.) Its a documentary about WGN-TV/Chicago children's programming in the 1960s, and like much children's programming of that era, you can tell that the minds that came up with it weren't exactly the straightest. I'll repeat it on New Year's Day, but I turned to Brian and said, "This was my childhood. Any questions?"
  • Who doesn't list watching their kids opening presents with anticipation and joy on Christmas morning as one of the best things about Christmas? And I'll have you know I was good, Santa.
  • Sammy at my friend Annette's Christmas evening party. Many of our friends were there, with guitars, banjos, piano, and we brought a box of children's instruments called "Band in a Box" to join in. First Sammy had the harmonica, which his clumsy playing took the edge off of a drunken rendition of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Dylan's, not Axl's arrangement). If that wasn't cute enough, I asked the gang (which included Mark Shurilla, Dan Mullen, Dan Smars, Annie Chase, and Paul Setser) if they knew Sammy's favorite song, Arlo Guthrie's "The Motocycle song" and as soon as Shurila started playing it and singing the first few words, ("I don't want a pickle... just wanna ride on my motor-sickle") little Sammy's face lit up like a Christmas tree with the joy of recognition! And then Shurilla skipped the second like ("I don't want a tickle...") Sammy jumped off the chair to quickly correct Shurilla, and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Then we all sang it several times, (Sammy emphasizing, "I don't wanna DIE! Just wanna ride on my motor-cyyyyyy ---- CLE!") and tried to remember the actual verse, (Shurilla and I just kept on mumbling something about our friend Ray). We didn't even try to tell the narrative story part. Then Miles came up with an on the spot song about Pokemon (because Sammy wanted to sing the "pokemon song" that none of the grownups knew) that Sammy didn't know or appreciate, but Stella did. It turned out to be a Neil Young/Willie Nelson sort of wailing blues that Stella loved. The lyrics? "Oh, Pokemon song. Ohhhhh, Pokemon song. Ohhhhhhh 0h-Oh-Ohhhhhh, Pokemon song!"
  • Taking in some ice skating at Red Arrow Park with Stella and her babysitter (and erzatz big sister) Talia before going to the evening performance of the Nutcracker at the ballet. Like I've written before, this just brings out the New Yorker in me. The skates, the variety of the skaters, Stella pushing herself to do all sorts of tricks. And then the ballet: just sitting back and watching, time and time again, Drosselmeier directing a magical night of wonder for the Tannenbaum girls. Every family should have a Drosselmeier around. We're blessed with many.
  • My massage and facial at Neroli on Wednesday. A girl's gotta chill, you know.
  • Finally getting into the darkroom to process and actually print up a ton of black and white stuff that's been sitting around for weeks, some cases, months, some cases YEARS. Man that felt good, even though it took several handwashings and about a gallon of hand cream to get the smell of fixer off my hands.
  • The home office redo project. I woke up on Friday and decided I couldn't stand our disorganized office one day longer. It was a full day project, but I went through the entire room, extracted about three hefty bags of stuff for the dumpster and Goodwill, and I am typing this blog entry from that very room, the tapping of the keyboard echoing in this wonderfully clean and organized room! Hooray!

So, I'm off to see the White Hot Tizzies tonight, again, going to see a band is a reward for getting all my stuff done! Rob, you had better deliver.


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