Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

December 29, 2008

Home for Hannukah

Last year Wine Guy and I spent the holidays doing the whole Christmas thing with his family (hence my post A Jew In Texas on Christmas). This experience was important not just because I met all of WG's extended family, but because it was also the first time I felt the "Christmas Spirit." What was it that I felt? No, not the kindness of Jesus warming my heart. But it still felt pretty good. A nice family, tons of food, an enjoyable Christmas morning episode of tearing open gifts and all around thank yous, and the rest of the day playing with said gifts and staying in pajamas until dinnertime. Who wouldn't like that?

This year was a little different, but no less enjoyable. Because Hannukah and Christmas coincided this year, I decided to combine celebrations and invited my mom and two friends over for a Christmas Eve dinner accented by menorah lighting, potato latkes and a few rounds of dreidel. Wine Guy embraced the occasion and decided to attempt a full on Jewish meal. He pulled the menu straight off of Epicurious (right down to the chocolate-orange carrot cake) and it was absolute perfection. I could see he was through the moon when my mom gave her approval to the brisket.

We opened some presents and then my mom taught us all how to gamble Jewish style, wooden top and chocolate coins, baby. I was definitely in the Channukamas spirit, and I think everyone else was too.

The next day, Ex-Wine Gal came over and she and WG made eggs benedict for us and we spent the morning watching Top Chef reruns and then opening presents. For those of you (like my mom) who think Ex-Wine Gal's presence at our house Christmas Day is strange, rest assured it wasn't strange for any of us. In fact, she is a good friend of WG's without family here so it is assumed that she spends holidays with us, just like my good friends who are here without family do. Plus, she willingly acts as WG's sous chef (I am a very reluctant and incompetent one) and she gave me some very thoughtful presents. No complaints here.

So now that Channukamas is over, Wine Guy and I are both enjoying a leisurely "staycation" through the rest of the year. I absolutely love having nothing to do and just enjoying my home, my dog, my man. If only life could be like this all the time.

Still no plans for New Years Eve - the most dreaded of holidays. I hate the pressure to find something "amazing" to do. Perhaps I can find more orphans who want to hang out, play games, and toast the New Year from the comfort of my living room? Am I terribly boring?

Hope you all have something planned that is perfectly suited to your tastes. Be safe.

December 24, 2008

Chappy Channukamas

Happy Channukamas everyone!

Some of you may recall my holiday cards from year's past. Each year I aim for a recipe that includes a touch of hokey, a heavy splash of sarcasm, and a dash of "Is she losing her mind?" This year I enlisted Wine Guys' Photoshop skills yet again and added him and his cat to the family photo. How could I not share it with you?!

I've been severely MIA and for that I apologize. I wish I could say it's because life has been so fantastically wonderful that I could hardly wipe the smile off my face long enough to write for a bit....but that's not quite the case.

To sum up my excuses:
  • Wine Guy and I hit a major rough patch that I'm still figuring out and not ready to share here.
  • I found out I will likely have to have another major surgery in March 2009 to correct another failing body part (orthopedic, not life threatening just majorly life hampering). I had the first one in January '08 and it took 8 months of painful rehab before I was able to decide it wasn't a major mistake. Now I have no choice but to do it again. Perhaps I will recycle last year's new year motto. Sigh.
  • And to top it all off, I got an awful stomach flu a few days ago and since Sunday have eaten 1/2 an egg, a banana, applesauce, 1 chicken wing, 2 mini meatballs, and a brownie.
Today I am emerging from illness and cleaning house for the Channukamas dinner Wine Guy is cooking for me, my mom and my two friends Mendoza Line and Bubbly. Brisket will be eaten, latkes will be fried, draedel will be played, gifts will be opened, candles will be lit. I doubt Jesus will be mentioned but from what I understand you only need a tree to qualify for Christmas.

I hope you all have a happy holiday - whatever it is you are celebrating. Whatever 2009 brings for me, I plan on doing my best to share it here with you, and hope you get something from it - whether it be commiseration, entertainment or just confirmation that your life could be worse ;-).


December 8, 2008

Assume the Position

When Wine Guy and I first started dating, we would boast about how little television we watched together. Why watch TV when there is so much to talk about? Or walks to take? Or making out to do?

I will admit it right here - we felt somewhat superior to those "other" couples that watched a lot of TV together on the couch.

Consider me humbled.

We watch TV. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. But we watch it everyday.

Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing back when we had smaller apartments and smaller couches. At least the TV watching gave us quality snuggling time. But since we moved in together and into a bigger place - and got the kick-ass couch with my dream chaise lounge - we are all spread out and in our comfort zones. And when we got the dog in July? Well, she snuggles right into the gap left between us.

So it's Wine Guy in the far corner by the lamp (basically where AppleButt the cat is sitting in this pic), then Luna the dog, then me in the prime chaise position. Heaven.

Every night. Come home. Eat. Assume the Position. (And don't forget the all-important DVR.)

I guess when I compare our current state with our smug new-coupleness one year+ ago, I get a bit concerned. Did we already run out of things to talk about? Are we using TV to avoid each other?

But then I also realize that we live together now. When we were just dating, our time together was an escape from our everyday lives. And when we went to our respective homes, we undoubtedly got on that couch and vegged out for a while. So we have to allow for some of that while living together, right?

The other night we spontaneously tried something different. We had just come home from a very festive game night at Gouda's house (she very kindly hosted it for my birthday, which was last Friday), and were still pretty wound up. Too wound up to flick on the TV and just sit there.

All of my board games were out from when I rummaged through them earlier to take to Gouda's (Catchphrase - the old school, non-electronic version -- is my #1 choice). Also sitting out was a game that Wine Guy insists is his favorite. He'd tried to get some of us to play it the previous weekend but nobody was really getting it, including me.

He suggested we try it again, just the two of us. I wasn't all that into it but he had been so nice going along with all of the birthday festivities I had crammed into the past three days, so I said OK.

It's a pretty strange little game. Kind of a post-modern role playing game I'd say? It's called Chez Geek and it's a basically a card game about a bunch of slackers all sharing a house trying to spend as little time working and as much time slacking off as possible.

To tell you the truth, I still don't really get it. But what made it so fun - it kept us up til 2am - was Wine Guy playing the "Gamemaster." He narrated the whole thing, walked us both through our characters and our cards, and totally got me into the slack groove. He was clearly having a blast and we spent the whole time talking, laughing and interacting.

We also dug into the cube of cards Gouda gave me as a birthday gift that are basically interesting questions to spark new topics of conversation. More goofing, gabbing and insights to be had.

The stereo was on, good music was playing (Radio Paradise is our Internet channel of choice) and the TV, thankfully, stayed off. Basically, it was just like when we first started dating. Except this time we needed an instruction manual and a game board to get it going. But we got it going nonetheless.

Before I get too smug again, let me tell you that the damn TV was on plenty the next day. We were both kinda hungover, and who the hell wants to talk when your hanging?