New Years!

I got back from California on friday. It was good/bad. I hung out with Fred, my old cat, a lot, I saw some friends, the funeral was fine. Maybe I’ll write about that more later. But for now!

New Years! Madeline broke up with Rob a few days ago, and so asked if I wanted to be her plus one to a party she was performing at NYE, and it sounded good to me. It was awesome. I was underdressed. I hadn’t realized how much of a party it was, and that the theme was glitter disco. I have never seen so many sequins. Madeline did a parter acro act, a rope act, and the a really funny bit. I between she and her acro partner (a fantastic classical ballet-trained drag queen) came to hang out with me and watch stuff. There were some other acts, and a couple amazing bands. Everyone was bouncy and dancing and happy. At almost midnight, the acro partner stole champagne from the vip area and brought it down to us, and we poured it during the countdown and shot off the giant poppers they’d been handing out. I’ve never been to a ‘real’ New Years party before, it was an experience. I had fun.

We left late, her last act was at 1, and when we got back to her house, there was a salsa/merengue band nearby. A very, very loud band. Eventually we put in earplugs and finally went to sleep.

New Years day was great. And tired. We went to sleep at about 4 30, and got up at 10 30. Because! we had to go to Coney Island to jump in the ocean with the polar bear clubs! It was amazing. I thought it would be about 50 people, mostly russians and college students or something. There were thousands of people. Some to watch, but most to do. People were dressed up, I saw a penguin and some bagpipers and lots of vikings hats for some reason. Madeline’s friend Carolyn met us as arranged by her group with the Colorado flag, and slowly we all got ready. I’m glad it was a warmish day, it actually wasn’t that bad standing there in just a bathing suit. Our group leader of sorts rounded us up and made a quick speech about “We go as one!” and we charged off down the beach. The charge lasted about 30 feet because the crowd was so thick, but we wound our way down and when it cleared up a few feet from the water charged in. At first, not so bad. The ocean in California is freezing, so I’m a little used to it. But then after a bit of splashing it got very cold. Madeline and I grabbed hands and dunked and then ran out. Other people we were with went back in again, and said it was way colder the second time. Once was plenty¬†exhilarating for me, though.

It was great, though. This crazy thing that all these people showed up to with such enthusiasm. I need more of that.

We went back to her house to shower and recover, and then picked up her rope from the party place, and then went to her roommates parent’s house for a loose hangout dinner thing. Very relaxed and informal, and very good food. Three main things happened- 1. It turned out someone there went to my high school, though long before me. 2. Carolyn also came, and apparently after I left the polar bears, people that I ran in with said that they recognized me, and apparently I went to college with them (weird. They didn’t look familiar to me. But I did have tunnel vision in college, and people change over the years. I look mostly the same though).

And 3. We did a White Elephant Resolution game. Same rules as with the presents, you can draw a new one or steal a previous, but instead of presents you put in two of your New Years Resolutions. That turned out to be hilarious, and wonderful. I wrote down “Cook something new every week” (which, were it for me, would be just cook something every week, but I figure most people actually do that already, so I cheated that a little) and the “Figure out the feasibility of, and begin, the raccoon project”. (This is a crazy idea of mine that I’m working on, perhaps I’ll write about it when the feasibility has been worked out) That one made for some fun. The first person who drew it was super confused, and people offered lots of suggestions about “inner raccoons” and various interpretations. Then a girl who makes art stole it from him, so I’m interested to see what she come up with.

I drew some silly ones, making funny faces in the mirror and such, but then got two good ones- To not kill my houseplants, and to do something world changing before it’s too late. I’m not sure I can accomplish the second in this year, but it already was a sort of ongoing goal, in a way. I want to do big cat research that will contribute to some kind of conservation which means protecting areas, reversing habitat destruction and the like. So, I consider that one more long term. But the houseplant thing, yes. I can do that.

There were other good ones. “Find a piece of furniture I’ll treasure the rest of my life”, “Control the creative fires”, one that I can’t remember the wording of, but it was about finding a way to satisfy an interest equal to your career. I’m having a hard time remembering them all now, but there were some really nice ones, and people stole some back and forth, and we laughed a lot coming up with ways to interpret them. One person had written something about putting in underfloor heating in their freezing house, so that led to some funny ideas.

My phone died some time in the middle of this and I lost track of time, and was so surprised when I got home and it was 10 30. I’m exhausted, but it was such a nice day with such good people that I wouldn’t have guessed it to be so late. All in all, a lovely couple of days to ring in the new year. 2011 was great in a lot of ways, and rough in a lot of ways. I’m ready for it to be over and for 2012 to be even better.

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