Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Eve

What do we do for fun on New Year's eve?? We put hats on dogs. Not every family can dream of such wonders on the last night of the year - - but hey, we say, dream big or don't dream at all.

For the record, both boys, including Henry, stayed up with us to usher in 2009. We thought we would play dominoes, but in the end we were fascinated with the Rockin' New Year's eve extravaganza with Dick Clark and Ryan what's-his-name.

I feel badly saying this but when we saw Dick for the first time - - both of the boys wanted to know if this was supposed to be a funny characterization of someone. In their exact words, "Who is he trying to be?" It took George and I a minute to decide for ourselves if this was a joke or reality. Then we remembered that poor Dick had suffered a stroke. Not to be disrespectful, but it is clear that the stroke did affect his speech, but had no effect whatsoever on whatever laminate/plastic filler/spackel that he has been using for the past three decades hundred to pickle his face. I might even go as far as to say that whoever is working on Uncle Ho Chi Minh (among other preserved dictators) must have a hand in whatever is keeping Dick preserved. Makes you wonder if "going out with a bang" is the better alternative to "hanging on forever by the last of his manicured pinkie nails."

And speaking of Pickles...a final note on the rockin new year's eve show. I don't know who Kelly Picker/Pickles/Pinhead is. I suspect she is some kind of country music phenom. An ex-idol or something? No matter. She has a speaking voice that makes the scraping of fingernails across a blackboard sound melodious. I was shocked that the people who had been waiting in the cold frigid NYC temps for the better part of 23 hours did not ban together, procure a large blunt force object and beat the tar out of her right then and there. If I could have reached through the TV I would have done it myself. Yap. Yap. Yap. And sparkly eye shadow to boot. What the???

New Years day dawned rainy and cold - - the perfect foil for staying inside and doing not-a-thing. At least that's what the boys did. I use the first day of the year to take down all the Christmas stuff. It's a much longer, and to be honest, much more boring task than putting it up. The only modicum of excitement is the thrill that you get when you fit everything back in to fewer boxes than what you took them out of. For someone who moves as often as we do - - fewer boxes is a meaningful measurement. I did finally create a box for the salvation army of Christmas things that I don't use, or ever intend to use again. Those things that you look at several years after you bought them and think - - "What in the WORLD was I thinking when I thought this was going to be a future family heirloom?" I pray for the one-man's-trash-is-another-man's-treasure theory. If not, I have just contributed a few bright green things to California's landfills.

And finally, the saga of the Roast Pork. If you want to see what we attempted it can be found at It's the prettiest damn pork roast you ever did see. Did ours actually look like this? You're going to have to trust me on this one, but in fact, YES it did. It looked like this going in to the oven. It looked like this while it was roasting. It looked like this when it was roasting some more. It looked like this when it was roasting and roasting and roasting and roasting.

The recipe says that this bad boy was supposed to roast beautifully in somewhere between 60 and 70 minutes. (Cue the loud, evil sounding laughter - Mwah, ha ha!!!) And like all large meals, one plans the rest of the sides around the anticipated gorgeous slab of meat. So, there we were - - delicious mashed potatoes with real cream and butter, new years sauerkraut with white wine and peppercorns, pan fried green beans with garlic, and homemade succulent corn bread all sitting there getting room temperature while the roast kept on roasting.

We waited and waited. We waited for another hour past when the roast was supposed to be done. We finally took it out of the oven after 2.5 hours. We carved into it to find - - raw pink pork. Bad. Bad. Bad. Oh no! Was our new years pork luck going to dessert us? It appeared so. But George the Elder saved the day. We sliced the roast, scooped out the cornbread dressing and George sauteed the new little loins up. Crisis Avoided. In the end, it was quite possibly the absolute best New Year's dinner we have ever eaten, let alone rescued from imminent disaster.

So in summary, we put hats on dogs, watched a pickled music icon, stowed away many glass orbs and made a silk purse out of a pigs butt. All in all, an excellent start to 2009. Happy New Year!!!!

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