HOLIDAY PARTY. — For Christmas festivities, my squadron threw a party at a "classy" hotel here in Minot. The drinks were cheap (they gave us each a drink ticket with the cost of the meal - $25 a piece. Not a bargain for a buffet…) and the food was eh. I'm not keen on buffets, anyhow -- the food tends to be cheaper and you're paying for "quantity, not quality." Anyone who used to work in catering is well aware of that. Should have bagged the DJ and gave us all an extra drink ticket. Just saying. Anyway, it was a nice enough evening, with lots of fun times and bah-humbug-ly enough, the Cha-Cha Slide. Nothing says "Buon Natale" like the Cha-Cha Slide… I just danced kind of in the line, after a slew of cocktails, not knowing how to do said dance. Typical.
HOLIDAY FAMILY. — After packing our bags, Larry and I flew to the Appalachian Mountains to visit my parents for Christmas. We had to pack a very special carry on bag, our little dachshund puppy, Otto. It's his first time riding "first class" (i.e., not cargo) in an airplane. With Delta charging $125 for him to be our carry on item, I almost threw a fit in the airport. I am extremely anxious about flying in the first place, with the TSA thuggery going on these days... I am always extremely uncomfortable flying.
"So. You are telling me it's $125 to have this carry on."
"But not this carry on [hold up purse]. I'm a little confused about your policy of carry ons."
"Yes. Ma'am, we don't have to let you on the airplane at all if we don't want to."
Great customer service, Delta. And with that, you won't receive a dime from me ever again! Anyway, Otto slept the entire time and was the best dog ever. But we were already well aware of that fact. The highlights of the trip were taking my parents out for a fine dinner at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville (where Larry and I had our wedding), my nine-year old niece, Hannah, reading a 1992 David Letterman's Top Ten Lists in his authentic style ("…and the number one Top Ten Demands of the Founding Fathers that Didn't Make It Into the Constitution is… 'The Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and leggy supermodels."), and the same niece exclaiming a piece of cake she was eating was "as dry as Gandhi's sandal," and later, that the Christmas toffee candy "tasted like regret."
WHAT ARE YA DOIN' NEW YEARS? — To ring in the New Year, I decided to throw a dinner party for eight. I invited three couples from my squadron that I wanted to get to know a little better, and that would actually appreciate something nice for a celebration. I made a five-course sit down meal, with full service and presentation. For reference, the menu was:
Coconut Shrimp with Mango Dipping Sauce
Gorgonzola, Candied Walnut, & Pears on Butter Lettuce with a Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Curry with Toasted Sunflower Seed Garnish
Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and Wild Rice in a Puff Pastry and French Green Beans
Right after dessert, it was time to bust out the Champagne and celebrate 2013. Also, I didn't know that my guests were going to rent tuxedos! They surprised us all and arrived looking like movie stars. It was pretty awesome and thoughtful.
CAMIE. — Larry and I adopted a three-year old German Pinscher named Camie. She comes to us from a breeder -- she's had some puppies, and lives most of her life in a crate. She is a very sweet dog, but very nervous. Hopefully our home will offer some stability and she will settle down. Otto, since visiting his three cousins in the Appalachians, is a big dog now. He barks at "intruders" and plays with Camie non-stop. Now, if only we can get them to sleep through the night without getting up and begging for our bed. If only. Camie needs training, as she wasn't given any at her old home. It's harder to train an older dog than a puppy, in my opinion. Well, we have our work cut out for us!
CROPPED. — Lastly, here is a before and after photo of my new pixie cut, as if you couldn't see it up in all the photos above. Feels good, man. Real good.