The Madness that was December

Well, I’m a little appalled that I haven’t posted since October.  I have, however, been busy.  I think a quick recap is in order.

In November, my family visited for Thanksgiving.  We made a turkey in my oven (!) and the full, traditional meal.  We also rode the metro (a first for Rick and Rose) into DC to visit the zoo Thanksgiving day.

Rick and Rose at the zoo in front of... something.

Dad, Rick, and David.

December started off with BamBLOOZled, which I was only able to attend some of, but the parts I attended were really fabulous.  We hosted a full house, with five guests for the weekend. One of the particularly nice moments of the weekend happened Monday morning when folks were heading out.  I made pancakes and bacon and chopped up some apples, and we had a really nice visit over breakfast. While I was cooking, I got a kitchen dance from Dan, since we hadn’t had time to dance during the event.

BamBLOOZled 2011. Photo credit to Josh Wisely

In December, Barnes and Noble was a madhouse, which was good, but I did have to work a lot of extra hours, and every shift was a busy shift.  On top of the extra hours, I accepted a sewing project for a math education program called NumbersAlive! which uses props and performances to help kids see the fun in math. I made nine 10″ number characters, which (I think) came out really well, and were a lot of fun to make.

Design Patent Application 29394059, Reg. No. 85333272

I did get an extra special gift for Christmas.  Right up until the Thursday before Christmas, I thought there was no way I’d be able to see my family over the holiday, but a scheduling glitch made it possible, and we visited David’s parents and my family over Christmas.  Both visits were wonderful, and made the holiday.  In addition to the usual visiting, presents, and holiday meals that one can expect when we visited David’s folks, we played a wicked game of scrabble, which I might add, I won.  We visited my family in Pittsburgh with my mom’s family, and I can’t express in words how nice it was to see my siblings and parents.  David got Rick a magic kit for Christmas, so we spent a lot of the visit being awed by performances of sleight-of-hand and misdirection.

After Christmas we drove directly down to Asheville, NC for Lindy Focus, the big New Year’s Eve Lindy event.  We took classes in Lindy, of course, for which I was pleasantly surprised to be placed in the Advanced group, and a side track that had fewer classes.  My sidetrack was Beginning/ Intermediate Balboa, and I really enjoyed it. I have had a few informal lessons, mostly from David, and mostly in our kitchen, and I can more or less follow a Bal lead, but it felt really good to hear the basics in a classroom setting with professional instructors.

Lindy Focus was different from many other events in that, instead of staying with locals (more than 500 people registered for the event), we all descended upon a hotel for a week, and the entire event was held there.  To save a bit on hotel costs, we shared a room with two other people: Brian, from Cleveland, and Tamar, from Boston.  I knew Brian already, but this was the first time I’d met Tamar, and it was really great getting to know her.  One of the downsides to such a large event is that it’s difficult to meet new people, and the people you do meet are from all over.  Aside from Tamar, I only met one other new person, a lead from Florida/ Puerto Rico, named James, who was so outgoing in class, I’d have had to be seriously unfriendly to not meet him.

Tamar, David, Kate. Photo credit to Jessica Keener Photography

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the rest of December caught up with me, and I came down with a slight bug that left me with a mildly irritated throat and a lot of exhaustion.  So I took Lindy Focus pretty easy, and one of the best parts of the weekend was the impromptu band that struck up in the hotel pub.  I skipped the main dance Friday night and decided to go down to the pub and read in front of the fire until the late night started (the evening dance was held in an annex, whereas the late night dances were held in ballrooms in the main building, very near the pub).  So I curled up with my Kindle and a hot drink and dove into Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  I got caught up in it, though, and looked up a couple hours later to realize that not only had the late night started some time ago, but there was a swing band playing right next to me and a lot of people gathered around to listen to them.

I'm sitting to the left of where the photographer is standing, so you can't see me. Photo credit to Bobby Bonsey

After Lindy Focus, I dropped David off at the Raleigh airport and drove home by myself.  This was a bit of a triumph for me, since David’s car is a stick shift, and aside from two brief lessons during the fall, I learned to drive it during the trip down to Asheville. David flew out to the west coast for another dance event and some work interviews, and I went back to work.  Two weeks later, David is home, and life is more or less returned to normal.

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