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» Friday, January 01, 2016The Happy New Year
It did not rain on New Year's Eve, so James went in to work. I tried to sleep later because of Bill and Caran's party later on, but finally I had to get up to get things done. First there was breakfast and dog walking, and then working a little bit on my craft projects and putting things away. About 11 o'clock I went out to pick up what I needed for the party: French bread.
Sadly, Publix didn't have any and neither did Sprouts. I did get yogurt and Triscuit for our party at Publix, and just picked up sourdough bread at Sprouts, along with cashews for James, Italian wedding soup (of course), some of their huge chicken legs and great beef bits, and some great salami slices on sale. In fact, if I'd seen the salami before I got the idea for the beef paté, I would have bought the salami for tonight. I had it with their gluten-free crackers for lunch.
James was let free early—a good thing, too, since he didn't bring lunch intending to eat at the cafeteria and it closed at eleven—and picked up gas and a hamburger on the way home. So since we had a nice free afternoon, we went to see Star Wars: the Force Awakens. Enjoyed it quite a lot, even if one character seems overly emotional (and a little like a young Severus Snape). Yeah, when the bridge scene came up, I pretty much knew what was going to happen; after all, "the Montana speech" had been made earlier. Loved the Rey character and also Finn, and of course it was heartwarming to see all the old familiars again: Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, R2D2, and C-3PO. However, at the price they're charging for "bargain" matinees ($9.36 each! and I got a senior rate!), I think I'll wait to see it again when the Blu-Ray comes out. Plus, what is with the sound at the movies these days? We noticed this the last time we went, too: it is too freaking loud! Is everyone deaf today?
Came home to have a bite to eat and for James to fix the beef-and-mushroom paté: he chopped up the roast beef I bought and mixed them with minced mushrooms, then warmed it in cream of onion soup with some beef stock and red wine. Yummy, but I wish we could have kept it warm. It tasted better that way.
Sat down to watch Rudolph's Shiny New Year and then the Ellery Queen episode "The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne" before dressing and leaving for Bill and Caran's annual party across town near Stone Mountain. It was a relatively small crowd this year. Sat talking to Alice and Ken and Clair and Daniel most of the evening, and even at midnight could still get near the television to see the countdown both at Times Square and at the Peach Drop. We stuck around way after midnight and did not get home until 2:30 and didn't get to bed until 3:30 a.m. when we were very happy to shower and crawl into bed.
Slept in so long this morning that we missed the first ten minutes of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Also realized we still had the air conditioner still on, and not the auto setting. It got so chilly last night it was 61°F in the house this morning. It was wonderful for sleeping; now that it's cold again I can shut the vent in the bedroom so we can snuggle happily under the blankets.
Absolutely great parade. The theme was adventure as a salute to the anniversary of the National Parks, and the Grand Marshal was documentary maven Ken Burns, so there were many beautiful floats of animals and birds and beautiful plants. Of note was a gorgeous float in salute to Downton Abbey, and later a Disney anniversary float with Frozen at the front, the castle in the center, and Star Wars at the end. Apparently although George Lucas thinks Disney bastardized his story he wasn't upset enough not to ride on the float. After the presentation of Disney characters, fireworks shot out of the castle. Cool. Plus all those wonderful horses, of course, and some huge bands that filled the screen of the television.
We were pretty much in a ho-hum mode today. We didn't even get dressed to go anywhere, although I was happy to discover it was finally cool enough to wear a sweatsuit! We didn't even have a special New Year's dinner, but ate the Italian wedding soup. After we finished with the parade, I eventually put Galaxy Quest on. We saw this at the movies the very first time on New Year's Day and have pretty much watched it at New Year ever since. When it completed, I noticed that Close Encounters of the Third Kind was on TCM. This was one of my dad's favorite movies; he actually paid to see it a second time and he was too thrifty to do that any other time. I still enjoy watching Richard Dreyfuss' odyssey and the wonder in his eyes at the end.
In the interim between flying saucers and awaited stories, we watched the program about this year's HGTV "Dream House." They renovated a house this year instead of building one, although with all the repairs they had to do they might as well have built a new one. A nice house, but not with some of the special features that previous houses have had, and I simply hated that the television was off in a little room off the kitchen, like they expected you to sequester yourself there, and do nothing in that big main room but watch the water. The house was on Merritt Island in Florida and all I could think about was sitting on that big patio with about four million mosquitoes. No thanks. People can keep "the Great Green Swamp."
Finally it was time for the premiere of the Victorian special of Sherlock that they have been teasing us about for so long. Both Cumberbatch and Freeman looked terrific in Victorian clothes, and I loved all the sly little asides to "Watson's" stories in "The Strand." There were a lot of inside references that told you the story wasn't all that it seemed—Mycroft gave one big clue himself (I like that fact that in the Victorian iteration Mycroft was his usual weight)—until the switching back and forth began. I wasn't twelve minutes into it when I broke into a big grin and stayed that way for most of the story.
Finished off the evening with the news and the Maine episode of Aerial America. I believe they have filmed all the New England episodes in the autumn, which is when it shows its best face. The trees in this one were absolutely spectacular.