January 2nd, 2002


New Year's

For New Year's Eve, we went over to the party at a neighbor's house. It was very nice to be able to walk there.

It was a nice party. I was reasonably successful at schmoozing with the neighbors. I made a strong conscientious effort to remember people's names, which will probably have the result that of a dozen people whose names I learned, I'll remember six. (I don't say that I'm bad at remembering names--it's just a matter of focussing carefully on remembering them, which I don't always do.)

There were good munchies at the party. I particularly enjoyed the pigs-in-blankets. The premier munchie, of course, was the make-your-own pizzas. These neighbors built a large wood-fired pizza oven (decorated with a gargoyle, a statue of Mary, and a Buddha statue) in their back yard a few years ago, and their parties feature the chance to prepare and make your own pizzas. Tasty.

Lori made brownies topped with apricot jam and chocolate ganache and decorated with white chocolate stars. She got many favorable comments, including a couple of women saying to me, "we both bake, and it's so unfortunate when someone new shows up and outshines us."

At midnight there was champagne, and the boys set off fireworks outside in the street. Fairly large-scale fireworks--we're not talking sparklers here. I'd never been so close to fireworks that big. I was a bit worried about fire and accident hazards--I was slightly reassured by the fact that there was a light coat of snow on the ground.

We got home late and tired--I had thought about putting the hoppin' john in the slow-cooker before bed, but I punted on it. At least I had started the blackeye peas soaking before going to the party.

The next day we got up lazily--very lazily. I eventually put together the hoppin' john by using the ingredients from the slow-cooker recipe, but cooking it according to the non-slow-cooked recipe on the package of peas. (The hoppin' john came out extremely tasty.)

Much later than we had meant to, we headed over to Lori's parents' for New Year's Day. This involved dinner (a fusion of traditions combining roast pork and sauerkraut with hoppin' john), some Christmas presents brought back from Washington, DC, and the movie "Fiddler on the Roof".

I found Fiddler on the Roof incredibly sad, because at first, Tevye is able to adapt his traditional life to the changes in the world--but in the second act, he increasingly meets changes that he cannot adapt to. It left me feeling sad for quite a while after the movie ended.

More email

From the same source as my previously quoted email:

From: Monikuhn@webtv.net (Monique Kuhn)
To: ralph@cs.cmu.edu
Subject: wake up call
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 16:25:10 -0500 (EST)

judgment soon from god killing                             rapent sin