Tuesday the 1st I watched the virtual book launch of Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell’s Pirate Stew. Wednesday I learned don’t mess with Nina’s school. The 4th was the last Bandcamp Friday of the year, and I’d saved a bunch of links to listen to and buy music, including this gem. On the 5th Jill said “Getting ready to decorate with some festive sustenance! Mince pies and coffee out of my Grinch mug! Also pictured is N’s lego advent that she is making out of her own legos as a surprise for Kerry and I every day; this one will be added to as the days progress! I love my daughter’s creativity”. We had the girl squad over to help decorate the tree and then they ate pizza and drank cocoa on the front porch.
Sunday the 6th in the afternoon we hosted my dad and his girlfriend outside for grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and pie since we missed getting together the weekend after Thanksgiving as we usually do. I’m delighted with the front porch situation – electric heater on one side, patio heater on the other. I also discovered that I want this. And after reading this I shared it with the hashtag #wearamask. On the 7th I posted this: So let me get this straight: the vaccine starts arriving this month, we get a new president next month, and the Washington Football Team just upset the undefeated Steelers? Keep up the good news, 2020 – you’ve got a lot to redeem yourself for.
On Friday the 11th I said “Whoa”, due to the new restrictions. We also got takeout from Makers Union that night. On Saturday I went out while Nina was doing her last virtual Wicked Christmas Carol class, stopping at CD Cellar and finally made it back to Dominion Wine and Beer to stock up for the season. I also stopped at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken to pick up lunch for everyone. That night the Grunspans had us and the rest of the girls over to celebrate Hanukkah. Sunday Jill chaperoned Nina and her Girl Scouts at Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights.
Monday the 14th was just supposed to be a braces adjustment at Nina’s orthodontist, but they took a look and said she was done. They also gave her a huge mug full of candy and gum to celebrate. Wednesday was the first day of my vacation (my vacation time was use or lose, and I opted to use since we’d only taken the one small trip to Delaware in 2020). I made a note to myself: when you’re on vacation and what would ordinarily have been a snow day, do not let the other parents know you’re free for recess. Girls are ruthless. I was still picking snow out of my clothes much later. I also got my new ROTO-Q 360 Non-Electric Self-Rotating Rotisserie on which I promptly cooked a chicken – very tasty. On day 2 of vacation Nina woke up at midnight, and it was after 1 before I got her back to sleep. So of course I was woken by Jill at 7AM with the news the HVAC was shaking the house. After I removed the ice connecting it to the house, no sense in going back to sleep. Then I played “Rock And Roll All Nite”, “Back In Black”, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” & “Don’t Stop Believin'” to wake Nina up for school, and barely made it.
Friday the 18th we got takeout for the first time from Bombay Velvet (the lamb egg kathi roll was fantastic). Saturday not all cheery music needs to be holiday related. That night was the holiday party. I’ve hosted one every year since 2001, and while we scaled back to just socially distanced neighbors, it was still fun. We had cookies, beer and hot chocolate (in the Crockpot) and another neighbor had eggnog and cider, and we sang carols. The electric heater, patio heater and firepit were all out, and the snow melted and the ground got muddy in spots. Jill said “I got my Christmas wish. I got vaccinated on Thursday and feel just fine. A bit of a sore arm yesterday but otherwise no symptoms. Please continue to protect yourself and everyone around you. I really wish I could be with family for the holidays this year but this is a great first step. (A picture of a covid vaccination card in focus with lights from a Christmas tree in the background)”.
Sunday the 20th Jill dropped Nina off for a Girl Scouts hike and then shopped with her later. Wednesday Nina and I picked up her new retainer, and later on we watched the Santa Clauster!$@k livestream during dinner, and I had the perfect beer for Todd Wright’s performance. Thursday I was always glad to see fellow Pine Ridge Elementary alumni adding to the season. Friday was Christmas and we had a lot of presents – Nina was particularly excited by her new hoverboard and I liked my 12 days of beer. For dinner I made duck, and Nina was a big fan.
Monday the 28th we went over to Chesapeake Beach to have lunch at my dad’s. On the way back Jill asked if I’d been to my family’s old house since the sale, and I said no, so she was curious if anything changed. Spoiler alert: it did (they’d torn it down and rebuilt). Tuesday I posted that I don’t know if it’s just 2020, but the way we watch movies now is my daughter picks a show on Netflix based on a movie (Home and Boss Baby so far), watches it, then wants to see the movie. On New Year’s Eve it’d only been in the past week or so I’d been having pandemic anxiety dreams, where I suddenly realize I’m not wearing a mask. The bad thing about the previous night’s dream is we were in a hotel room and we’d just convinced Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to play a song for us when I realized I wasn’t wearing one and had to leave (moments before I’d asked Mick if I could video them, and he told me Lewis Black had tried that the week before, and Keith had smacked the phone out of his hand with his guitar). I don’t think I’ve ever looked forwards to a year ending more, and that includes the year I got dumped on NYE. We finished the year by eating sushi from Ariake, then watching Nina and the rest of her fall class perform Wicked Christmas Carol, ending with 5 minutes to go before the ball dropped.