Chaos Attraction

Best New Year's In Years

2013-01-01, 11:18 a.m.

Yesterday I was feeling guilty for not being at home with Mom, going to the movies on NYE. I especially felt bad once I found out that she really didn't have anyone else to hang out with after all--damned if I know what all of her many friends were doing instead. She was trying to be all chipper about it-- "it's okay, it's cold outside anyway," but.... yeah.

Meanwhile, I hadn't talked to L in a few days about our super-tentative plans to get together on the day, and I hadn't seen anything listed that I particularly wanted to go to. I am not a Cool Band Person, really, and all the listings in this area seemed to be Cool Band sightings. The only potential thing that I did see that might be worth going to was the New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular in Old Sacramento. Except for the part where we'd have to drive to Sac and be outside and chilly, that sounded like the possible best option.

Any readers here who saw the news last night in Northern California are possibly raising an eyebrow right now at my mentioning this event. I'll get to that later.

But I wasn't feeling super enthused about anything. "Really, I just want to go to a party," I whined on one of my mailing lists. The best NYE"s I've ever had involved going to a party. However, those were three years of college and nobody I know has thrown a party since. then, and I've....been at the movies with my mother for almost all of them ever since. I know most people are all, "Oh, I just want a quiet evening at home" (except for Melanie, I hear ya, girl), especially once they're out of college and get married and have kids, but I never did any of that, and I never got the partying out of my system, and by god, I'd rather do...something else.

Luckily for me (in more ways than one), I texted L the options I'd found and she told me she'd found something better. She's in some meetup groups and just joined one here, and that was throwing something. A meetup at the local beer shoppe, followed by board games at someone's house. I don't like beer, but otherwise that sounded good to me! Plus it's within walking distance of my house. I did offer to be designated driver if necessary, but it was deemed that logistics-wise, it wasn't necessary for me. They'd walk from their place (though quite a ways off from the bar), I'd leave from mine. So I spent the day vegging on the couch and knitting and cleaning out my Hulu queue and watching old Doctor Who Christmas specials I never got to see (why is "A Christmas Carol" not on Netflix?) and left that night.

I left five minutes late in hopes that L and her brother would arrive before I did, since I was assuming she'd at least know someone and I knew nobody. Nope, I still got there before they did and had those moments of standing around going "Um" a lot,'s a meeting, I guess not too many folks knew each other, so what the hell! I'm apparently an ambivert, so I can get into random conversations with folks I don't know pretty well. Which I did. I don't think I actually hung out with/followed around L and/or her brother that much while we were there. I think I talked to him more than her, even. Mostly I just chatted with people. I was kind of worried on the "what shall I drink" conundrum, but the organizer of the event told me there was cider and I perked right up. I had pear, followed by blackberry, followed by apple, and they all just got more and more delicious. And one girl took charge of ordering pizzas from two doors down (the shoppe didn't do food, but didn't mind if you brought in food), thank goodness, so I didn't get toooooo tanked without food. I was getting pretty silly when on drink #3, though. Like "hm, how do I operate my phone again?" silly. I did meet one girl that I exchanged contact info with, as we'd been having a good time chatting. So hey, maybe that'll go somewhere. She's moving in August, though, so we'll see.

Eventually we figured out a ride-and-car situation and carpooled over to the organizer's house, which was definitely far enough away that folks needed to drive, though some folks planned on walking home anyway. (Yeesh.) That part was fun too. The girl we carpooled in with brought the Jewish version of Apples to Apples, which we all read through before determining that no....even if you're actually Jewish, it wasn't that funny. So we played the usual version of Apples to Apples with tons of people. I love that game. Plus for awhile it doesn't matter when people drift in and out of playing it. Well, until you're down to two people, anyway.

But at one point the TV was turned on so folks would remember the countdown and guess what was on the news? There was a shooting in Old Sacramento that night. Apparently some dumbass in a bar around 9:30 got into an argument and decided to end it by shooting people. Two of them died and two of them were just injured, and the dumbass himself got shot by a security guard. They had to cancel the midnight fireworks show. I wasn't the only one saying, "Huh, I thought about going to that tonight.... guess that's a good thing I didn't." But it was kind of hard to watch the news through other folks and game playing and the like, plus what with the being slightly bombed I think nobody was taking it as seriously as they might have. But in the morning...yeesh, you know? Hell, I was over there a week ago and it was nice and normal.

Anyway, back to the good feelings: people toasted and enjoyed the countdown even if it was a rerun of the New York one (I did wonder how odd that is for L's brother--dunno if he's been on this coast at NYE before, but he's probably used to having the time revolve around his location). The organizer said she thought it was much better to have people over rather than being alone at home, and amen to that! We went home shortly after that, as L & her brother were driving back to the Bay Area this morning to meet V&C for some Buddhist walk at Mount Tam. I thought, "Well, better you than me, especially what with the drinking tonight."

However, I did wake up early enough to watch the Rose Parade--again, felt bad that I'm not watching it with Mom. Especially since there's a channel she gets in her area that (a) does a better job of covering it than the usual networks, and (b) they rerun it once again after the first run, so I normally can sleep the hell in and catch it in full later. I am so sleepy and sluggish right now and did not sleep well--knowing an alarm is going to go off doesn't help, plus there was the ah, waking up a lot to go to the bathroom. Maybe since I had such crap sleep last night, I'll actually sleep tonight before having to go back to work. I attempted to go back to sleep after the parade is over for awhile, but no such luck. But you have to watch the Rose Parade. Look, the Thanksgiving parade I hardly ever get to see because it depends on how much of it my relatives want to watch (though that one is about the performances rather than floats), and the Disney Christmas parade is meh, but this one has real craftsmanship, and you gotta appreciate it.

I saw MacKayla Maroney being more impressed at being on a parade float with a slide, Jane Goodall--who apparently never knew the parade existed before being asked to be in it-- a volcano, a giant dinosaur, and cute animal floats. Much as I dislike "Cars"-stuff, that float was pretty cool. Oh, and they had Jane Goodall reading "Oh, The Places You'll Go." I think I really liked the "homes" float with igloos, a castle, log cabin, birdhouse, stuff like that. I always like cute homes, or well, anything with a castle.

Is it terrible of me to be disappointed in the Dick Van Patten float for being serious this year (dog soldier memorial) rather than having dogs doing stunts with slides or surfboards? Yeah, probably. But the family reunion was cute.

On the other hand, I love that a couple got freaking married ON A PARADE FLOAT. Awwww. That's a story for the ages. Oh, and they got engaged on a parade float too.... Awwwww! I also love the enthusiasm of the officiant ("the AWESOME state of California...").

This was the best New Year's I've had in years, too. Awesome.

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