First though, let's talk about my New Year's Eve.
I took off from work early on Friday so I could go home and get ready to go to a celebration with Ellen's dad's family in Germantown (not Cedarburg, as previously reported). The plan was to leave around "between three and four," but Ellen and I were riding with her mom who would be followed by her sister, and her sister is almost as terminally late as I am. We got on the road around 4:30, and arrived at the Country Inn & Suites where a conference room had been reserved for the party. Astute readers may have noticed that the party is being thrown for Ellen's dad's family, but we were riding with her mother. The story is convoluted, but the gist of it is that some years ago after they'd moved to Ohio, her parents had divorced. Mom and the kids moved back to Madison, and Dad remarried. Dad's family really liked Mom and continuted to include her in family functions. Mom is now an honorary member of Dad's family, and relations betwen Mom and Dad and Dad's New Wife (not their actual names) are suprisingly good.
While we were waiting for Ellen's mom to check in, her father came out to greet us. I hadn't met this man before, but I'm told that his primary interests in life are Bob Dylan, Monty Python, and maintaining his high-score title on a computer version of Yahtzee. Little surprise then, that my handshake was greeted with "I'm Rob. Do you play Yahtzee?" I hated to let him down but, well, it's what I'm good at.
We unpacked in the room -- this is going to be a really boring post, by the way, sorry -- and headed down to the conference room, where I mostly held out my hand and said things like "Hi, I'm Colin, Ellen's boyfriend," "Ellen," and "she's the redhead over there." Apparently I have an uncanny knack for introducing myself to spouses, significant others, and hotel staff. They were all friendly, though, and they all remembered my name. I'm not good with names, so I only remember a few. No, I take that back. I remember all of the names, I'm just not sure which ones apply to Ellen's family.
There was a potluck dinner, and afterward we played Bingo. There were wrapped prizes, and the first few winners got to pick a prize from the table. After all the prizes were taken, winners were encouraged to steal prizes that had already been won. The hot items turned out to be a hat shaped like a cow, a bag of Hershey's Miniatures, and a pair of girly socks which went home with someone else despite my best efforts to retain them.
After Bingo some of the kids got put to bed, and the adults played Trivial Pursuit: The Ridiculously Difficult Edition (sample question: "Q: Which European country is 27% hats (by volume)?"). We played boys against girls, which I've done before, but I've never played on an all-male team so worried about missing the sports questions. No, really. Ellen's dad comes from a family of Hemmingways and men's men The countdown to midnight happened during the game, and eventually people just got tired and the guys "won" because we'd make more of a fuss if we'd lost. We went upstairs to go to bed.
We were sharing the room with Ellen's mom, and while Ellen was in the bathroom, her mom turned on the TV with a cheery "let's see if we can find some porn!"
She then spent the next couple of minutes trying to find something that wasn't porn.
Saturday morning we monopolized the continental breakfast, said our goodbyes, and headed back to Madison where I slept and slept and slept and slept and slept. It was glorious. I got up in the afternoon, threw January's MP3 of the Month together, and headed out to Ellen's through the freezing rain. I was fine, but I watched an SUV go off the road in front of me, and saw quite a few other vehicles (mostly pickups and SUVs) at the side of the road. There were a lot of emergency vehicles out downtown.
Today I went to my parents' house and picked up some hermit crabs from my friend Thea who's been trying to get rid of them. My hermit crab habitat is now back in service, and (with any luck), none of my housemates will accidentally kill them. I hope.
Anyway, it's bedtime. I'm gonna post this and hit the sack.