Monday, November 29, 2010

v2, d216: Back on the Grid

Okay.  Holidays over, family safely back home, late-night computer access once again uninhibited.  Blogging will commence immediately.

Lemme give y'all a run-down of the last week.  Started pretty bleak, actually.  About a week ago I was mightily discouraged, and any blogging I would have done would probably have sucked anyway.  Fortunately, Kim's sisters and parents made it down here Wednesday, and we were in full-blown Thanksgiving mode.

I love Thanksgiving.  I think I've said that before.  It's my favorite holiday, I think.  I took an extra couple of days off work to help get ready and spent pretty much all of Wednesday cleaning the house, save for the hour I took Robbie out to the playground by my workplace.  Thursday, I slept in until about 11:30.  (This was to become a recurring theme during my break)  By the time I woke up, Robbie had already had about three hours of running around the park or digging in the rocks out in the courtyard here in our apartment complex.  We all sat down together and feasted at a table prepared by the culinarily talented Stevens women.  While Robbie took a nap, I assembled our quaint little fake Christmas tree so that, when he woke, he could decorate it.  One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions I'm doing my best to keep alive.  True to any three-year-old tree decoration job, every single lower branch on the tree has a colored ball hanging from it.  I had to shuffle some things around to balance it all out, but I think it looks pretty nice. 

Along the way, Robbie found the musical Godzilla ornament that Sherri gave us five full years ago.  He loved it.  He was chasing his other toys and his aunts around the living room, pressing the button that plays the Godzilla theme while the monster roars.  Pretty epic.

Once the tree was up, we had just enough time to shimmy on down to the Uptown District for the tree lighting and fireworks.  I had an inkling that it would get gold and rainy while we were out, so I grabbed Robbie's jacket.  (It struck me as funny at the time, and still does now, that the same inkling didn't lead me to grab my own jacket)  Kim's parents were staying at a hotel just a block away from the fireworks site, so we parked at their hotel and walked all the way around the block.  As soon as we hit the parking lot where the fireworks would be best visible, it started to sprinkle.  Three minutes later, it started to pour, and hundreds of people sprinted for the storefronts.  A group of friends I was looking to meet up with texted to say they'd decided to forgo the festivities due to inclement weather.  But, it was still half an hour till showtime, so we held out hope that, much like the angel of death when it sees ram's blood, the rain would pass over.  Eventually it did let up significantly, and we left the safety of the covered walkway to venture closer and see if they were making any announcements (like, "Sorry, we're canceling the fireworks! Everybody go home cold and miserable!").  To our ("our" in this instance means Robbie and I; I'm not sure anybody else was really all that thrilled about it) delight, there was a children's choir singing Jingle Bells on the stage.  Robbie joined in the singing, and then it started to pour again.

By this point, we were by Maggiano's Italian restaurant (Ah, memories of Christmas touring!), so we joined the throng that rushed up against the Maggiano's windows.  Here's the joke, though: the walkway wasn't actually covered!  It only looked like it!  Instead, it was wide open, and we were all still getting soaked.

Well by now, the event organizers realized this wasn't blowing over anytime soon, so they went ahead and lit the trees and shot off the fireworks ten minutes early.  Good on them.  With Robbie in my arms, I rushed back out into the rain so he could get a better view.  (He, after all, was wearing his jacket and was perfectly comfortable)

The look on the child's face made the entire ordeal not only "worth it," but "can't miss."  It was like magic.  As the colors splashed across his face, his eyes lit up and a huge grin slowly spread from cheek to cheek.  "Ooo!" he'd exclaim.  "Cool!"  And then, halfway through the show, "This is the best Thanksgiving ever!"

You want to remember why you love holidays?  You want to discover why we have traditions in the first place?  Take it all in with a kid.  I dare you to be wet and grumpy and miserable.

Naturally, the rain dissipated to a mere mist as soon as the fireworks ended.  And that's how that goes. 

Let's see, what else is going on?  Due to the benevolence of free family baby sitting and unused anniversary gift cards, Kim and I got a nice night out together.  Our first in months.  Literally, months.  We went to Red Lobster and splurged a little bit, which was fantastic, and then we decided to take in a movie since we were out.  Finally saw Deathly Hallows Part I.  It was pretty good.  Found a movie theater that only charged us $6.50 each on a Saturday night.  That was even better.  (When the man first said the total was $13.00 I thought he'd misheard me and only charged me once)  Immediately afterward, someone stole my jacket.  That was not good in any way shape or form.  But I guess that's the tradeoff for getting into a movie for $6.50.  Great ticket price = stolen articles of clothing. 

I guess it is only fair.

Hey, I'm in a show, and the first and only preview performance is tomorrow night.We open Wednesday morning, and then we perform something like 80 times before the end of the month.  Did I do a Top 10 for the last show I was in?  I ought to think about resurrecting that old chestnut.  Though if I did, the regularly-scheduled Top 7's might get jealous. 

We'll see.