The social day started charmingly with an early visit from the McInnises, including The MiniMcInnis. Elliott is coming up on two and is pretty adorable for someone who, when eating a chocolate chip cookie, deposits 20% of it on his face, 30% of it on the floor, 10% of it in his mouth and the remaining 40% that he couldn't finish in his father's hand. He was much entranced with the secular tree, particularly the elephant ornament. He also did perhaps the Cutest Thing Ever. In his later foraging in the house, he came across a catnip mouse. Despite my helpful advice that he stick it in his mouth and huff in order to get a really wicked high, Elliott knew exactly what was to be done with animal representations of that size. He waddled over to the tree and attempted to hang the mouse on a tree branch by its tail. Everyone: Awwwwwwww....
His parents are okay by me, too.
My Dad and stepmom showed up a half-hour later and we did the present-y exchange thing. Good to see them and hear how much they enjoyed their Christmas stay in New Mexico. Lois, I think, was particularly pleased at the shopping opportunities to be had, while Dad is more a student of natural beauty. They were visiting with Lois's son's wife's parents, which is to say my step-aunt&uncle-in-law, or something like that. They are apparently very insistent on having Jaime home for the holidays in NM every year, so that may become a more common Christmas destination for Dad and Lois.
Obviously, plenty of party preparation went on that day and the day before as well. By the appointed hour, the rain had fortunately taken a few hours off for the holdays. It was still plenty wet and ooky out, so I didn't bother mopping the floors. After the first person arrived, no one would have known the difference anyway. Since our bathroom door is also an accurate combination humidity/temperature gauge, the difficulty in shutting it demonstrated that worse weather was on the way, just like Aunt Hildegard's trick knee.
The rain also kept a fair number of revellers away, which is probably just as well, since the house can only hold so many before the overflow would be forced out into the rain in the backyard. I think we had just about the right number of people for the space. I had mixed up a jug of mojitos and we had plenty of other stuff on hand. The non-drinkers were happy that there was plenty of leftover Martinellis from the wedding.
I think there was more dancing than at any other MikeandBecca party, though with catastrophic results. Not only are my calves still sore, but the brand-new AV tuner was more powerful than the 15-year-old cheapo speakers. Yup, blew 'em out. Are we hardcore or what? Speaking of destruction, a section of the porch balcony also gave way, fortunately without spilling any of those seated upon in it into the flowerbed below. It's not a party without some sort of destruction.
But it was not all destruction. Pat, probably in his capacity as the Master of Games, took it into his head to give us a PS2 to replace the one stolen from us. Not only that, but he gave us a really primo dance pad. There was also some of the naughty Once Upon a Time. I didn't play, but it looked like it was good fun. I hear that someone drew the 'santorum' card and had to have the concept explained to him. Our parties are not only fun, but educational!
Another entertaining, albeit potentially unwise, moment of the evening was the drinking of the Holiday meal Jones Soda. Maybe 8-10 of us gathered around to drink our holiday meal. I passed on the Salmon pate, since I can't stand stand anything that even pretends to come out of the sea. On the whole, I'd say that the sodas were unpleasant, but really not as vile as one might have suspected. Corn on the cob did not have a strong flavor... it just hinted of microwave popcorn butter. Turkey and Gravy had a strange gravy savoriness to it, but didn't impress me as being meaty. The Broccoli Casserole, strangely enough, was perhaps the 'tastiest' of them - it was reminiscent of Celery Soda, which can apparently be sold for ready cash. I found Pecan Pie to be quite foul - sickly sweet and weird.
I think my shining moment as host was at midnight. As the time approached, I helped distribute champagne and then great confusion and uncertainty reigned as people began consulting clocks and watches. I filled my lungs and sprained my diaphragm shouting "TEN!" and everyone fell immediately into line.
I had a bit more than I should have, and by the time things wrapped up, I was tired and my tummy was feeling oogy. By morning, I think that last mojito had pooled on my duodenum and there was a tight painful knot in my stomach. I moaned like a weak kitten, and Becca was a trouper and not only picked up most of the wreckage, but made me some French toast. A combination of water, French toast and lying on my right side slowly erased the ulcer. By the afternoon, I was more or less myself again and even ventured forth to get some new speakers and other necessaries. Alright, that's starting to get too domestic and boring, so I'll end with Happy New Year!
[Awesome! - the live broadcast of the Rose Parade was interrupted by the Emergency Broadcast System. That's gotta be a first. Flashflood warning for Los Angeles County! If we're lucky, we'll get fewer immigrants from the Midwest in 2006.]