An extraordinary Christmas, in a number of ways. Mostly, in the sense of the extraordinary amount of preparation that was occasioned by hosting it, as I realized that the house was just not presentable and a little dusting and vacuuming was not going to cut it. There was down-on-your-knees scrubbing, there were nasty household chemicals, there was varnishing of cabinets (okay, it was polyurethane, but still). And then there was cooking. We did a Rachael Ray Christmas (much more attractive to me than anything Martha ever presented) and served beef for the first time in about 15 years. Not just any beef, but an unbelievably good organic beef tenderloin (and if you’re in Albany, treat yourself with a visit to one of the very last of the old-style butchers, Cardona’s Market at 340 Delaware Ave.), rubbed in seasoning and cooked to perfection. Oh my god it was so good (if I may say so myself). Everything else went well, too, including Rachael’s recipe for a panettone-based bread pudding that was incredible. Of course, it started with the best panettone I’ve ever tasted, also from Cardona’s. And to think I used to scoff at cake in a box.
Got through the entire day without too much of a meltdown from any of the kids or adults. One gift broken on arrival, which is not too bad. My new camera is a dream. Now I’m just dreaming of getting a very fast lens for it (it came with two zooms, one shorter, one longer, and I’d like one fixed-length that’s faster).
By yesterday, I was exhausted, and accomplished absolutely nothing. Today it was back to work, where a random comment from a co-worker about the brightness of a particular toy in the Toys for Tots pile led me to a revelation: I finally know the name of my rock ‘n’ roll band, and its name shall be — Blinded By Tweety.