Monday, December 28, 2009

Good Times

I seem to be one of those people who resists going out to a bar, but then once I get to the bar I tend to go a little crazy. Last night we were coerced into heading to the local, seedy biker bar in the backwoods of Aiken. Good friends, the Goodwicks were all in attendance and it was at their insistence we head out for some cocktails and pool playing after dinner. It sounded like an innocent plan, but I know this group and when they are combined with my group it can be an over the top experience. It was.
I will say that the pool playing was a good time. I had a few moments of brilliance in the beginning, then my nerves got shattered by hecklers (Jonathan, Roger and David G.) who thought I took too long to set up my shots. Whatever. They were just jealous that I was owning the table. Sadly, I never won a game all night, because I always managed to choke on the last shot. I will not be heading out on the ESPN pool playing championship tour. Too bad.
The good news is that we don't have hangovers (despite drinking Stoli on the rocks-what is wrong with me?), we didn't crash our car (though we came close when I insisted that Jonathan attempt to beat David to his driveway) and I didn't get picked up by a redneck (I did get hit on by a Larry the Cable Guy look alike). Next time I will choose my outfit for such an excursion more carefully. It appears tight jeans and pointy toed high heel boots are "stand out" attire at this establishment. My Goodwick friend, Chris chose to attend in sweat pants and muck boots and she fit right in with the locals. Lesson learned.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holidaze II

Christmas came and went. When I was a young teenager, I had a book by Sam Savitt called The Brown Mare and a chapter, about midway through the book, started with the sentence, Christmas came and went. I read and re-read The Brown Mare a zillion times and that sentence always made me pause, because I felt like Christmas deserved a little more respect than that. One measly four word sentence, a fragment really, if you want to split hairs, and the holidays whoosh were over. (If you read my prior blog you would understand that I was particularly sensitive in regard to the brevity of the actual day known as "Christmas") Though Christmas was in no way relevant to the story about the brown mare, it still upset me that Mr. Savitt didn't allow Vicki (the main character) to share her holiday with us. As a grown up (now that I'm 40 that is how I refer to myself), I fully undertand and appreciate that particular sentence.
Yesterday, Christmas came and went. It was a lovely day. We ate a delicious breakfast and opened stocking gifts. We sat around the tree and opened the many beautifully wrapped presents, admiring each others bounty and thanking all for our own. For some reason (it was boredom, really), we decided to take a drive to Augusta, GA, so the five of us wedged into the car for the hour long journey. I was chosen as the driver for this adventure (a choice spot as it turned out) and John was my co-pilot. Roger, Jonathan's younger brother, who was slightly inebriated at this point thanks to a few mimosas concocted of cheap-o champagne, sat in the backseat wedged between Jonathan and their mother. Throughout the entire drive he proceeded to mess with the radio, sing, smoke, yell about having to pee, open the windows, close the windows, belch... hmmm...I think that was it. It was an amusing show, but I guess you had to be there and know Roger to appreciate it. The rest of the day was about eating, drinking, visiting friends and that was that. By 9 p.m., I was nestled in bed reading my latest smut filled vampire novel (the writing is appallingly bad, but the sex scenes are HOT and I'm easy that way). At 9:45 I turned out my light. Voila! Christmas came and went.
With a wry Grinchy grin on my face this morning, I am glad that it's over.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


It's here. Whether we like it or not, holiday time is upon us with all of its trappings, bows, baubles and wrappings. The month of December always seems to turn into an endurance run of baking, parties, shopping and wrapping gifts, all to be squeezed into an already busy life. The endless Christmas songs on the radio, which start the day after Thanksgiving, give me a yuletide headache. Four weeks of having to listen to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer should be outlawed. I am definitely more of a Christmas minimalist. I have the spirit, enough to not appear Grinch-like, but I'm not a holly, jolly "let's decorate every inch of the house" person. In fact, I confess this picture is of our tree last year. We opted not to have a Christmas tree in our house this year. We have lights up, some beads on the mantel, our stockings are hung, but no tree. We just couldn't muster the strength to do it, between traveling to our parent's homes, one set in NH, the other set in SC, it just didn't seem like it was neccesary to go through the effort. I miss the pine scent in the house, but not the mess of falling needles, or keeping the cats from removing ornaments and batting them under the sofa to be found in July, covered with hair and whatever else lives under a sofa.

As a child, I had such mixed feelings about Christmas. Waking up before the rest of the family on Christmas morning, I would sit quietly in front of the tree and examine the bounty that Santa had so thoughtfully brought us. It always seemed so magical to me that these gifts appeared in our house, delivered soundlessly by a beefy, bearded man, who somehow made it in the house without causing our dog, Jake to bark, or leaving so much as a soggy footprint. On Christmas day my Mom would cook a delicious midday meal, while my older sisters and I played with new toys, or modeled new clothes. Before evening set in, my Dad would fall asleep in his chair, no doubt a victim of slightly too much holiday cheer at the family Christmas Eve party. At the end of the day, I would always be slumped on my bed, shedding a few post holiday tears, so depressed that Christmas Day had come and gone in a red and green blur. Granted, I was a rather unusual child, but it seemed to me like there was too much buildup involved in this holiday for it to only last one day. Cookie baking and decorating, tree trimming, carol singing, Christmas plays at school, Christmas pageants at church, Christmas shows on TV, shopping, wrapping, more glittery decorations for the house, and in 24 hours it was all done for the year. Just like that. Over. Just after New Year's Day, out went the tree to lie upon the lawn like a decaying Christmas carcass for a week, or two before my Dad would finally get sick of my Mom asking him to get rid of it and drag it off to the dump. Once so majestic, covered with colorful lights and nostalgic ornaments, now naked and brittle it was just an ordinary dead evergreen, with shards of tinsel clinging to a few branches, a mocking reminder of its former glory. That was the final sign that Christmas was indeed over.
So, this is turning into a holiday obituary and that wasn't my original intent. The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with our families, share gifts with those we love, eat too much good food and toast to the upcoming new year. I will say now with a genuine Jingle Bells tune in my heart (if not ringing in my ears), Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Meet Becks!

We did it! We got a puppy! His name is Becks and as you can tell by the photo, he and Remy are getting along quite well. Becks moved in two weeks ago and at first, Remy was a little unsure of the new addition. Within three days, they were cavorting around the house, creating chaos, with yelps and yips, like two Tasmanian devil dogs. The cats are all tolerating the new pup fairly well. Miss Girl is like the school teacher and every day she gives him multiple whacks across the snout, which all little boys need. Marbles likes to sock it to him a little harder, so I keep an eye on her proximity to Becks. She likes to position herself on the stairs so Becks is either trapped up, or down and can't get to us. When I hear him whining to tell me of his predicament, I will appear at the stairwell and there will be Marbles on the stairs, looking all nonchalant and innocent, clearly saying, "I'm not doing anything, just sitting here". For the last two days Marbles has chosen to exile herself to the basement, which frankly makes all of the animals happier. The cat is a brat.
I don't think Remy has ever had a friend that would play with him as much as Becks. The two of them go at it until they can't stand up anymore, then they collapse to recharge their batteries so they can get up and go at it again. What it tells me is that Remy's maturity level is on par with that of a ten week old puppy. The scary part is that at ten weeks, Becks has already conjured up games which showcase a superior intelligence to Remy. It's all good, though. We are thrilled to have a genius dog and a Forest Gump type dog. For instance, if we throw the ball for Becks, he chases it, gets it and brings it back. If we throw the ball for Remy, he chases it, picks it up, drops it on his way back to us and then when he reaches us he acts excited and confused, all at the same time. Oh well. We don't all have to be rocket scientists in life.
The bottom line here is that Remy has a pal and they are insanely cute together. I will miss Izzy, with a pain in my heart, for the rest of my life, but this little boy gives me glimpses of her now and then when I see him galloping across the lawn, his small tri color, bear cub-esque body going with all he's got. We feel privileged to have found Becks and I think he thinks our house is pretty cool, too.