Now that the whirlwind of the holidays has died down (for the most part), I thought I'd check in and let you all know what's been going on. First of all, I hope all of you that celebrate had a wonderful, relaxing holiday (whichever one it may have been). I last left off talking about the impending office Christmas Party my company was throwing. It should be known that I rarely, if ever, cook or bake. I think that gene skipped over me along with the shoes/shopping gene. Despite any lack of inherent interest in whipping up kitchen concoctions, I decided to take a crack at making rum balls, a favorite holiday recipe of my late grandmother's. The recipe is pretty simple (I will post if anyone is interested), but fairly labor intensive, especially since I did all the mixing by hand (rather than a food processor), as well as the ball formation and decoration. In total, from start to finish, the project took me about 2.5 hours. I also ran out of Bacardi at one point and had to throw in some bourbon instead, but I doubt anyone was the wiser. They came out really well, so yay! and were enjoyed at the party. People actually thought that I had bought them, so I definately had a bushy-tailed moment. Also, because I live for dressing up (if you couldn't tell already from various other pic posts), I threw together an outfit that I thought was appropriately festive..
I also brought along this great Christmas mash-up CD, which included such fun mixes as Holla Back Girl (Gwen Stefani)/Hava Nagilah and You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)/Mary, Mary. The holder Christmas jingles were starting to put people to sleep, and as suspected everyone chickened out of karaoka (except me, of course, and a co-worker involved in musical theater). Later that evening I headed out with James to set up his apartment for after-hours festivities. To get more space out of his modestly sized Hell's Kitchen apartment, we dismanteled his box spring and mattress, pushed it against his closet and wrapped it in Christmas wrapping paper so the effect was a huge present propped up. There was also tinsel, lights, bells and stockings hung on walls and ceiling. Gotta say, the place looked great. My friend Amanda came along for the fun, quite a few co-workers stopped by, and a number of friends-of-friends that I met for the first time. Lots of socializing, drinking and dancing. The seasonal cocktails that James whipped up were also fabu, especially the red pepper emulsion tequila drink. That was a surprise. Yummy and very fresh. Since the party was a bit more formal, a costume change was in order.
Christmas proper also went off without much of a hitch. I invited Gus and another friend of mine over and my parents and I cooked dinner. I decided I wanted to try to other favorite holiday foods of grandma's, which were her spinach balls (spinach mixed with stuffing, essentially) and cranberry/walnut bread. Both of these also came out quite well, which I think is a good start to trying to be more involved with cooking. My other 2009 to-do - exercise - will also be aided by Gus' purchase of a treadmill for me, which I am very excited about.The last few days I've spent helping clean up papers and bookcases in gma's apartment. Yesterday I found an edition of Winnie-the-Pooh from 1930 and numerous books dating from the 1889-1930s, including a complete works of William Shakespeare. I've put those aside to see if they're worth anything. I figure they must be given the popularity and market for some of those Classics. We also found a ton of old pictures, most of them of my grandparents when they were young things, including a pic of g-pa and his mom in the Bronx in 1928. It was so cool and the pictures were in very good condition!
I've also been trying to get my insurance forms and stuff in order for my switch over to COBRA, plus reviewing my credit reports, student loans, and other things of that nature. Boring and time consuming, but necessary. Also with this time of year comes friend check-ins, mostly with people I went to high school with. There's a bullpen of about 15 people I wanted to catch up with, so I wrote a list and made calls/sent emails/or texted various buddies to see how they were doing, if they were in the city and/or interested in catch-up. The next few days I'll be dealing with that, which is always a joy. I've also been tasked with organizing New Year's stuff. I think I want to do something lowkey-ish in an apatment and then end the night off with dancing without having to pay $85 for cover at a club party. It'd be great if MS were willing to use her apartment, but if she's not I might use mine. I gotta do more research, but time's a tickin', so I can't drag my feet on it. There will also be a James New Year's party on Friday. Ha... good thing the weekend is right after that. Always have to make time for the hangovers.
I've not been LJing or working on fic, but hopefully I'll have some free time in January to get back into it. I'd still like to do those holiday drabbles and finish up a Faith/OC thing I was working on, but we'll see. I promise nothing at this point, especially if my job search kicks into full gear. That definately takes precident.
I've got some award announcements to post later, so keep an eye out. *hugs to all*