Today I woke to find the mountains buried. Over a foot of snow. That was my day, really…

Continuing to catch up:
The holiday season saw me attending two holiday parties that were both related to the high school where I teach. The first of which was at the local pub—Darby's—which, in a town that is almost completely made of transplants from Ireland, is a really great bar and the perfect place to get a pint of the black stuff on a Friday afternoon. A loyal band of five of us regularly does just that at the conclusion of each week. The party itself was nice, with good food and karaoke. Yes, I sang. I hadn't planned on it, and only glanced through the book. When asked by a friend, I replied that I would consider doing the Bobby Darin classic "Beyond the Sea," if they karaoke guy had it, but, alas, he didn’t. Apparently he did; a few minutes after I made that comment, I suddenly heard my name called and four of my co-workers grabbed me and shoved me onto the tiny stage. When I had finished, I went back to the group I was with, shooting daggers at some of them. They commented that I actually had a really nice voice. I only responded by noting offhand that I was a Renaissance Man, before taking another sip of my Guinness.

After that, I sang a couple more times. People kept handing me drinks, and this whole karaoke thing began to make more sense after a while. At work the next Monday, those who hadn’t even been there would come up and comment on my singing ability. I figure that I've done enough in the idiot department to last me a good couple of years, but I'll probably end up doing it all over again next year.

The other party I attended was the next day at a co-workers house: a husband and wife who work at the school regularly host parties, mostly because the husband loves to cook. He has a wood-burning stove the size of a Buick, which I recently learned was stolen, and he makes a mean sauerbraten. In any case, I ate and drank and conversed with people I knew. The party was nice and uneventful, until the hot tub.

There were only two other people who had foresight enough to bring their suits. They hadn't been in long, and I was a little late as I had to search the house for my Martini (if you're going to do something, do it right). I entered and settled in, Martini in hand. I noticed that one of my hot tub companions was a gentleman who we will call Mark. Mark, who was moderately young, handsome, and spoke several languages fluently, had been making flagrant passes at married women all night through use of terribly strained double entendre. My other hot tub buddy was a middle-aged woman whom I didn’t know.

As I enjoyed the tub and my martini, the woman produced a joint, and the two of then proceeded to attempt to smoke it. I say attempt; you try smoking something like that when surrounded by bubbling water. Somehow they managed to finish off most of it, as I watched and sipped. After the joint, things got a little interesting. Now, I was a little tipsy myself, and rather interested in the stars out on this December night, but I gradually became aware that there were things going on under the water that the host and hostess would not approve of. Fondling and the hasty shoving aside of bathing attire. I then noticed that the woman was no longer wearing the top to her suit. Amused and drunk, I just returned to the stars, as they didn’t seem to mind that I was there. In all actuality, I received a vibe or two that my presence was actually desired, and this was confirmed when, a while later as I was counting the stars in Orion's belt, I was groped. Yes, groped: forcibly and painfully. I don't claim to know a lot about the erotic techniques women use to seduce men, but as a man I do know that having one's testicles squeezed firmly and repeatedly is not a way you entice one to join your little party. To be honest, it took me a little while to realize what was happening, and when I did I didn’t know exactly how to react. The woman was getting something underwater, care of our friend Mark, and she was looking at me with come-hither eyes. I do suppose that this is a situation that many a man would enjoy being in, and, being now single as I am, I suppose I could have taken advantage of the situation and added another interesting footnote to my life, but to be honest, I just felt really oogy, and made a move to leave. The woman was still trying to get the tie of my suit to come undone, and ask where I was going. I announced politely that I was leaving, and that I hoped they enjoyed themselves. The woman gave me the look again and said "No you're not." Yes I am.

Aside from this interesting tidbit, the holidays were a great time for me this year. I made it home and was able to see everyone I was missing by being stuck in the damn mountains. Christmas was nice; I received a veggie steamer, a toaster (I needed one), some clothes, a complete ratchet set (needed that, too), and a rather nice set of throw pillows that my mom made for me. Max received a new bed, also made by mom, which she has ignored so far. In all actuality, she is a bit big for it. New Year's Eve was at a good friend's house, where I finally met his new boyfriend. Wonderful guy. I'm a little jealous.

In lieu of Christmas cards, which I love receiving but dislike doing myself, I made a holiday cd. I attempted to put on something that everyone would like:

Get Happy!


I want an Alien for ChristmasFountains of Wayne
Positive FrictionDonna the Buffalo
Daydream BelieverShonen Knife
Tom and MaryBen Folds Five
You Belong to MeElvis Costello
Miss AmericaDavid Byrne
Juxtapozed With USuper Furry Animals
When the Angels Play Their Drum MachinesHefner
Sad Sweetheart of the RodeoHarvey Danger
Oh Well – The Classics
Zavelow HouseOwsley
The Great BeyondREM
Alech TaadiKahled
99 Luft BalloonsNena
Signal in the SkyApples in Stereo
The Suits are Picking Up the BillSquirrel Nut Zippers
Cross the Tracks – Maceo and the Macks
Tropicalia- Beck
Mr. E's Beautiful BluesThe Eels

Happy Holidays, 2002
Love, Pretz