Thursday, December 31, 2009

Maybe posting once a YEAR would be more feasible?

My last couple of posts referenced National Blog Posting Month where you post to your blog every single day for the month of November. Apparently the pressure caused a total seize-up of the creative machinery. So now that it's almost a new year, I hope to get back to this a bit more often. So what's happened in the last almost-two-months?
  • Thanksgiving involved a really nice trip to Delaware via Amtrak. Ben's mom was predictably baffled by the trip as she has lost almost all sense of time and place, but it wasn't really a problem.
  • Oh yeah, Ben got a job that started with a two-day orientation trip to Raleigh during Hanukkah, but it was totally fine, especially since so far he really likes the job. And Hanukkah was great -- I gradually bought little things for the kids starting in the summer and so I had time to get them stuff I think they really liked. My stepmother also got them Lego kits, which were even more of a hit than I expected.
  • Ben and I were in a short staged reading of two humorous skits at our synagogue during Hanukkah. It was a lot of fun -- I miss being a ham in public sometimes -- and the group of people in our synagogue are really great. We also went to two house parties hosted by fellow members that weekend.
  • The Saturday before Christmas, we went to the annual holiday party thrown by our friends T&G in Newton (T was the photographer at our wedding in 1998 and we've been friends ever since). Their parties are fun because they have a wide circle of friends who are politically active liberals, South Africans, and/or intellectuals/academics (T&G are obviously in all three groups and campaigned heavily for Hillary Clinton). It's become a tradition for Ben and I to enjoy this yearly adult-conversation and food event. Sometimes I pretend I'm in a Woody Allen movie, except the dialogue (usually) isn't quite as neurotic.
  • The day after that, after a foot of snow had stopped falling, we went to the home of another family from our synagogue, I&N, which was a blast. We were obviously friendly with them before, but I felt like this was a step toward being closer to them and also having another family to have fun with (of course they have kids the same ages as Sarah and Becky).
  • My stepfather B visited over Christmas, which was OK. In an odd role reversal, I found him fairly low-maintenance and only mildly annoying, while Ben had a harder time with his arrogance and sense of entitlement. I guess I mind that stuff less since my mother's death, since he is no longer competing with me for one-on-one time with her, and also because he really loved her and cared for her in her final years when her health was not so great. Now that he's in his 80s he says he won't be making this trip from England any more; he's thinking of moving to a retirement/assisted living place in Philadelphia. He's smart enough not to try to live in the same city as either of his sons or stepchildren (and of course not his daughter, whom he hasn't communicated with in years). One result of his trip is that we didn't have Christmas dinner at my father's, since Dad was understandably reluctant to spend quality time with the man who succeeded him as my mother's husband, but they came over for a drink, and Ben's nephew Z and family came over for a traditional Jewish Christmas dinner (take-out Chinese). And the night before we had a really nice time visiting with Ben's cousin and family at the home of his mother-in-law in Belmont. So it was a great Christmas -- all the family visiting with almost none of the consumerism and heavy cooking.

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