Holiday music is playing! Thanks to SXM’s Holly station.
My sister made fun of me when I wore one of my holiday sweater (a white sparkly sweater with a red felt Christmas tree and a sparkly green star) for Thanksgiving, but I don’t care. I love the atmosphere and ambiance and how it seems like people are merrier around this time. I’m going to enjoy it while I can, before the snow hits and people are miserable again.
Well, NaNoWriMo was a dud for me (again!). Maybe it’s the typing, maybe it’s just me being older, but I have not completed a single NaNoWriMo ever since I started in 2004. And the word count just steadily decline. I think after 10 years, I can say I gave it my all and just give up hope that I will ever be a writer with fleshed out characters and plausible plots.
For Thanksgiving this year, my mom told my sister and I to scale down the dishes so we only did four side dishes, one soup, and one (store bought) pie. I don’t know why, this year I wasn’t much inspired; I clipped and researched recipes but just wasn’t in the mood. I planned to make bite-sized shepherd’s pie, mini green bean casserole with a fried onion nest, pumpkin tartlet, mulled cider, Yorkshire pudding, corn, rice, & sausage dressing, and gravy from the turkey drippings. The only thing on the list that was made was the gravy. I just cut potatoes & sweet potatoes wedges and baked it with paprika & sea salt. Sliced some acorn squash and baked it with some milk, sugar, and vanilla. Went out to buy some dinner rolls and smeared butter infused with garlic chunks and then warm them in the oven after the turkey was done. Opened a can of jellied cranberry sauce (my family actually like the canned kind. I like my sauce more tart and have bits of cranberries in). Boiled broccoli & button mushrooms and had half mixed in with ground turkey and saved the other half plain. The vegetables cooked with the turkey turned out a tad too oily. But the store bought apple crumb pie was delicious! Seeing it all typed out like that is even sadder, no wonder I didn’t take much pictures. Le sigh. I’m just going to move on.
Cheerier news. Got to spend some much desired time with mom and sister. Had drinks, exchanged news, walked around the old neighborhood, and even ventured out to the local shops on Friday. No, I didn’t buy anything but my sister did (she always loved to take advantage of tax free shopping in NYC). Dad had Thanksgiving day off, so we spent most of the day watching Cantonese-dubbed Japanese dramas while preparing and cooking the food. J and I had a sisterly squabble over the use of the oven but nothing a tipple and leftovers didn’t fix. 😀
We left Friday night to come back to Albany. J and I had tickets to watch the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at The Palace Theatre on Saturday.
The costumes are gorgeous, the sets were nicely done. We had good seats, at the aisle, but center stage. Got our souvenir nutcrackers and dvd. One of my favourite ballet, just brings back childhood memories of listening to the ballet on the record player; not to mention watching the various movies. (Sidenote: J loves Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and I, The Nutcracker. Maybe because we both were in ballet when we were young?)
But our experience were marred by: the show started late. There were no dimming of lights to signal the start, so people were walking in and out for concession, restrooms, etc. And then all of a sudden, lights out! And it started just like that. So you got the show starting, people scrambling to get back into their seats, rustling, rustling, rustling! The show started late already but there were people that came even later! And the ushers just let them right in. Our section had a tall, older gent and he was not inconspicuous at all. Neither were the latecomers. No ducking, no slithering, no whispered words of pardons. Just straight up “Oh excuse us, those are our seats.”. Fine. Twice the usher brought families in. And then! This family of five came in 10 minutes after the show started. Really? I always thought if people were late, they either were not let in or they had to stand at the back until intermission? And this family of course sat two rows down from us. And did they slink down into their seats before taking their coats and jackets off? Nope. And the dad had the nerve to sit down for five minutes and then got up for concession. Popcorns, water, beer (glass bottle!), and plastic cups to pour out popcorn to share.
After that family finally settled down, I have a little kid behind me asking questions in her regular voice. “Where’s Clara?”. “Who’s that?”. “What’s he doing?”. “Is that Clara?”. And her mom or guardian just answering her! Not in hushed tones either! Fine, children have questions, but she apparently knew the story since she asked about Clara. But she would not shut up. And the mom/guardian did nothing. The two kids sitting with their grandparents next to me did not even make one peep. No questions asked after the show started. I finally had to looked back to the mom before she finally got the hint and the next time the kid loudly repeated a question, she quietly talked to her. And then I enjoyed the rest of the ballet. Until after intermission, when the child once again forgot what happened and kept asking questions again. I just sat up and perched on the edge of my seat to get some distance from the questions.
If only the sound system were good, maybe I wouldn’t have minded so much. But it was not. The sound levels were awful. Piercing highs (the flutes) and low lows. Oh! Someone brought a baby. That cried. For the better part of the Russian Dance. Before leaving the theatre. I felt sorry for that section. All in all, not my best Nutcracker experience. But I still am glad I went.
Sunday: Lounge around and watch holiday movies recorded on dvr from the Hallmark Channel. Haha.
That’s my November! Can’t believe it’s December already! Time flies when one is having fun!