My overwhelming silence for the last few days can mean but one thing: the holiday gobbled (get it?) my brain.
Well, actually it didn't. That line was written solely to release that sad, limping little joke back into the wild. I imagine it'll be swiftly eaten (note, I did not say 'gobbled up') by a passing hyaena. Such is the raw brutality of nature. No, the holiday didn't reduce me into a bibbling thing rocking backwards and forwards in the corner of a padded room, but it did momentarily halt any notion I've had to write about it.
But since we're winding down...
Thanksgiving went over very well - once again we have triumphed in all things turkey. We pwned that silly, flightless bird. Yes. I said 'pwned', and I even pronounced it in my head as though it were a word in Welsh (it comes out roughly to POONehd, which I'll admit sounds rather filthy). It was hideous, it fell nearly apart in two pieces, it was perfect. At Orion Rising, we prefer taste over presentation when it comes to silly, flightless birds, and this one had the former in abundance.
The parents, grandparent, and in-laws arrived in good order, the meal was consumed at roughly the time we'd hoped it to be (which is a feat nigh unto impossible with our clans involved - this alone was a reason for gratitude), and nobody bit anybody (sometimes our cats get a bit excited). Oh, and the pie that was made from the aforementioned PG? Stellar. Better than last year's one easily, and last year's one was notable. This year, I chose organic cream and honey and a pumpkin from a colleague's very own pumpkin patch. I also took a risk and added cardamon - which will now be a staple of the recipe.
There are but very few things that I do well in the kitchen, and the washing up counts as one such thing (when I can be arsed, I should add - eh, honesty), pumpkin pie is another.
So, the annual autumn gorging went over very well, and it ended early enough for shaddowshoes
and I to travel to Englewood for a post-tryptophan, holiday decompression gathering. Good craic. It was a small enough gathering to be intimate, but large enough to be interesting. John B. showed up and told us a delightful story about a fellow who hits his head whilst fetching a lantern off a boat in the dark. The Katzes introduced me to Session beer (it's called 'Session'), and I found it agreeable. I've seen it before, so I know I can find it elsewhere. We played tunes, John told his story, we didn't drink ourselves under any tables. Grand music, grand mates, grand craic - all fine reasons for gratitude.
The next day we spent clearing away the remains of Thursday's feast in preparation for our own little soiree Saturday night (which we'd called 'Autumn's Last Stand' in protest of all of the people who were racing about to be the first in their street to deck their halls. Yes, I realise that yuletide preparations begin much sooner in places that haven't got late autumn holidays, however, here it seems a bit soon). We did our bit of provisioning, tarted the house up (much hoovering did ensue), and the morning turned to afternoon, and then to evening. I was wandering about the house in search of my next thing to do to it, when the telephone rang. shaddowshoes
answered it, spoke with Somebody (I think it might have been Michelle, but I can't be sure of that), rang off, and then told me that there was a seisiun at the Bull and Bush.
So I fetched up my bodhran and my coat, and we ventured off into the night. I'd never played a seisiun there, and I'd heard a rumour that they've got Smithwicks. Sure, I didn't go to play the seisiun merely for the drink. You don't believe me. Well, never mind that, then.
The seisiun was composed of John B, myself, and Andrea Katz. It was polite, tasteful, and regretably hard to hear one another (I'd a woman standing behind me who was absolutely pealling with laughter. I'm glad she was amused, but dogs in other counties were howlling in pain, I'm sure). We played for a few hours more - John and Andrea had actually been at it for a while when I arrived - and then wandered back home.
Hrm...now that I think on it, we actually did the provisioning yesterday before the party (at which the Beer Fairy made a stealth appearance - so we're set for a great while), not that it matters, really. So...right, we climbed out of bed, drove out to fetch the last few items, and then returned home for the last bit of tarting up. We collected up wood for the fire table, made the rubbish all disappear, hoovered again (which seems strange, we mustn't have done the day before), hid all of our filing, and I'd begun arranging a fruit tray when Chris and Michelle drove up with the margarita machine (which is still full of green shite and tequila - argh). We got that installed, did various and sundry other things with hors d'oeurvres, began mulling the wine, people appeared and it was a party.
The guests were:
Chris and Michelle, Candace and Toar, Michelle F, John W, John B and his friend whose name sounds like Sarell, Linda K, Adam, Mark and Becky, Steve and Lisa, Jeff G, Mike, Victor and Eddie and Winter, Donna, Valerie, and Casey. At this point, you might be thinking to yourselves 'hrm...somebody's missing'. You'd be correct. Somehow - and we're not certain how this occurred - Misha and Dayna never got their invitation. Round half-nine, I realised that it was strange that he'd not appeared, and I phoned and left a plaintive, contrite, message on his ansaphone.
He's going to jump on my head Tuesday night, I know it.
It isn't as though he and Dayna weren't missed - because they were missed - but rather we managed to carry on bravely without them (it's what they would have wanted, to be sure), and thus the evening went very well. The fire table completely upstaged the bar as the hot (literally, at times) place to be. We crowded as many of us round it as we could and played tunes, swopped stories, and told jokes. Whenever the fire got low, somebody would build it back up again. It was lovely, and at the end of it, we all smelt of burning wood and night.
After the last people had made their good-byes, we wandered through the house, fetching up the occasional empty beer bottle and rejoiced in the knowledge that we didn't have to do anything the next day.
Only, it hasn't really worked out that way. I got up out of the industrious side of the bed this morning (alright, so it was this afternoon, eff off), and made myself a list of tasks. I've ticked almost every task off of my list, and I'm about to mark another one done (that task being 'egg nog'). The autumn linens can wait, I suppose, and shaddowshoes
has requested no talk of Ex-Moose yet - so those tasks surely will keep. The other task, sadly, is cleaning out the margarita machine. It's standing in the bar now, patiently waiting for one of us to take a thought to do something with it. Sigh
. Ah well, eh?
Orion Rising is still very smart looking, I've got the killerest mates and man and family ever (seriously - you lot wish you were me), and for that I'm grateful.
Slainte go deo,