Monday, December 12, 2005

one holiday party down, one to go, and Tuba Christmas

We held our holiday party for our friends on Saturday evening at our apartment. The guest list swelled to 25+, which is about 10 more people than we've ever had here before, so I was apprehensive about how we'd get all these people in here and keep them happy. Luckily, as with most parties, not everyone stayed the entire time and some people arrived late, so it worked out OK. We supplied the drinks and a dessert (cupcakes from Eleni's Bakery) and our friends brought the food. By keeping the food in one room, drinks in another and people in the living room, we managed to keep the traffic flow under control. We had promised that there would be games, but with so many people spread all over the apartment, we ended up talking most of the time. I think near the end of the night a few people got a card game going, but I preferred to stick to polite conversation and working on the medium-strength hangover I had on Sunday morning. After everyone left, we threw out most of the leftover food, except for some of the cupcakes, and stowed the leftover alcohol for next time. Then we crashed and I slept off that hangover until late this morning. Monday night is the office holiday party, so it's a good thing I got my tolerance back up this weekend. I'd like to enjoy a Chimay or two without becoming the drunken life of the party.

On Sunday afternoon I went to Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center. I went last year but since I arrived just before it started I didn't have a great view of all those tubas and euphonia. This time I got there about 30 minutes early and found a spot near the ice rink with a good view of the musicians. I was jammed in with some parents whose kids were playing, including a woman whose 10-year-old was one of the youngest participants (his tuba was almost as big as he was). The music was just as enjoyable as last year, even with the conductor's loud, braying, off-key renditions of the words. I might have to find a friend in the group for next year, so I don't get into trouble with the stage moms. One of them actually said "I think that if you don't have a kid in this thing, you shouldn't get to stand down front." Yes, there were people in front of her blocking her view of her son, but if she wanted the best spot, she should have gotten there earlier, like I did. Next year I'll invent a cover story about my half-brother or cousin or someone who plays the tuba. I don't think mentioning my grandfather's tuba career or my father playing the euphonium back in college will curry much favor with a stage parent with a video camera.

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