I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, full of joy, good comradeship, and an equal mix of delicious sensation and illuminating transcendence.
The last two days have been a blur of preparation, recuperation, and celebration. Christmas Eve was spent at the abode of one of Mrs. Geek's step-siblings, where we had dinner and then a Secret Santa gift exchange. Mrs. Geek and I volunteered to bring some appetizers and dessert, and much of the afternoon earlier in the day was spent making two separate dips -- a toasted onion and garlic dip, and a baked artichoke and green chili dip. For dessert, we pulled out a sinful New York-style cheesecake that was hiding, completely untouched, in the back of our refrigerator since my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I thought the evening was a very pleasant success.
Following that, Mrs. Geek and I headed off to Midnight Mass. It was full of pageantry, starting from the chanted reading from the Roman Martyrology announcing the birth of Christ, through all the verses of several Christmas carols, and to the 50 person procession that ended the service. It was also rather long with Mrs. Geek and I not arriving home until just after 2am.
Mrs. Geek and I both slept rather fitfully until about 8:30 Christmas morning -- me because of some of the wine I had with dinner, and Mrs. Geek because of the Yoga Booty Ballet routine she did earlier in the day on Sunday. We then got up and opened presents. Mrs. Geek got me some cigar-themed gifts this year; I don't smoke cigars often, but I like them occasionally. Since I don't smoke them much (and never in the house), Mrs. Geek thought it a good idea for me to have a humidor and a cigar lighter. I got her a Swarovski Mickey Mouse brooch.
We spent the early afternoon getting our heads clear of cobwebs, and then headed off to spend Christmas Day with various branches of Mrs. Geek's family. We stopped at cousin K.'s and her husband G.'s house first, where we were forced to wait on their doorstep for five minutes because we caught them just as they were returning home from a visit with some of G.'s relatives in town. It was good to see them, as we hadn't seen them for some time. It was particularly interesting for me to talk to G. He's a construction contractor, and I discover that he has some experience building computer machine rooms and data centers. Since part of what I do for Company O. these days involves evaluating computer hardware for use in one of Company O.'s major data centers, it was very interesting to hear his take on some of these problems I have to deal with.
After that, we head over to dinner with Mrs. Geek's Dad, Step-mom, and Step-siblings and their families. Dinner was a delicious three bone prime rib roast that I got to carve. As I knew that a number of fellow whisky enthusiasts were in attendance, I brought a few of my more recent acquisitions to share: a 16 year old non-chill filtered Glenlivet, a 14 year old Scapa, and a 23 year old American rye. Both of the Scotch drams were well-received, but the rye was a little too unfamiliar for my fellow drinkers. With all the good fellowship, eating, drinking, and then cleaning up, Mrs. Geek and I did not leave until after midnight.
The one event that marred the evening occurred over dinner. When I asked for a second helping of roast beef, Mrs. Geek's Step-mom gave me a short tirade about how she thinks that both her husband and I both eat far too fast. She worries that we can't really be enjoying our food, and that we're destroying our digestion by eating so quickly. I offered an awkward apology, saying that I was sorry if the way I ate offended her, but that I really did enjoy what I ate a great deal, and that I was always a fast eater, even as a small child. One of Mrs. Geek's Step-sisters interceded, saying that her Mom often wants to mother the whole world and that she only means it in a kindly way. I know that... but I'm a 38 year old adult with reasonable table manners, and I don't feel that how fast I eat should upset anyone... much less be able to change it. Mrs. Geek tells that the same Step-sister stepped in and read her mother the riot act for being way out of line... but the whole episode still leaves me with a lingering bad aftertaste in my mouth for what was otherwise a very enjoyable evening.
on 2006-12-26 at 9:02 a.m.
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