Today we played Settlers of Catan with friends for the 4th or 5th time in the past few weeks. Rachel and I played as a team, and we won! This was a first. For either of us. We make a much better team than we used to. Then we all watched Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King . . . the extended 4-hour version. We watched the other two over Christmas. It’s our friend’s holiday tradition to watch all three, and Rachel had never seen the trilogy. She saw some of the first one when it came out, but she fell asleep halfway through. So this viewing was overdue.
This holiday season was all about friends and relaxation. I’m usually not good about vegging, but it seemed like a necessary precaution this December because tomorrow starts the marathon that is January. At work we are faced with a parade of deadlines that will let us breathe for a few days at the beginning of February and then not again until March (if then). Our theater turns 100 years old on Saturday, and all of us will be playing hosts to the San Francisco public for an all-day open house (You should come! You can go literally everywhere we can safely let you go!). And then starts our new works festival that will take over my nights and weekends until the 31st. This fall I have been protecting my personal time—which could easily have been stolen by reading the endless stacks of plays on my desks at home and at the office—by reading David Eddings novels. I have only 100 pages left of the 10th and final book in the series I started last August. I think I will move to Sherlock Holmes novels next (the most positive influence of that new fun but frivolous Robert Downy Jr. movie).
My New Years resolution is not to lose my shit. Ok. That’s not really true. I didn’t make a New Years resolution this year. I did, however, maintain my two New Years traditions:
1) Burn a calendar: My best friend in high school and I started this tradition in his backyard many years ago. I don’t think I have missed a year since. I might have though. There is something very cathartic about watching last year turn to ash. A physical representation of irreversible time. The year is over. Done. No turning back. Those decisions have been made. Those paths taken.
I love New Years. I love the excuse to examine who you have become and take note on how you should stay the same and how you might change. I love how one night can lift the weight of 365 days off your shoulders. I love the promises of new possibilities.
I have five calendars: two Google calendars (work and home), one huge monthly pinned to one of my two wall-sized bulletin boards over my desk at work (on which I write down all of our office’s happenings), an oversized production calendar of our shows’ runs, and our dry-erase board (on which a breakdown of our deadlines can be found). Obviously, none of these were appropriate to sacrifice to the fire. It has always been a pretty wall calendar from the fading year that receives the torch. I didn’t have one for 2009. Luckily, the paper store a few blocks away did. Maine themed. Very pretty photographs. The nice lady on the phone put it behind the counter for me and then gave it to me for free. I wonder if she would have done so had she known her gift’s fate . . .
I am not sure when I started reading the remains like the innards of a slaughtered lamb, but somewhere that became part of the fun. Whatever scraps survive have some added importance in the year to come. The winners for 2010 are:
January 15, 18, 19, 25
April 10, 11
New moons (1/15, 2/14, 3/15, 4/14, 5/14, 6/12, 7/11, 8/10, 9/8, 10/7, 11/6, 12/5)
Good Friday (4/2)
March (the whole month apparently)
3, 11, 16, 29, & 30 (Just the numbers survived, so I don’t know what months they’re from.)
2) Two-day anniversary!
The great thing about having started our relationship on New Years (Eve?) is that it gives us all the incentive we need to extend our anniversary to 48 hours. You cannot have New Years with out New Years Eve, and vice versa. It’s been 10 years. The decade of Rachel. She pointed out that this was the first time, however, I marked the event by getting her flowers. I found a very forgiving partner.