New Year’s Eve was pleasant and quiet: I read a book and, just after midnight, inserted earplugs and went to sleep while the merriment continued outside. I didn’t particularly intend to be up until midnight, but was enjoying the novel The Help, which I had received for Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, it was tremendous, as always. On Christmas Eve, I went with Tom to Paul and Eva’s in Sacramento, and we (Paul, Eva, Steve, Julie, Chris, Bino, Dan, Mac, Ann, Tom and I; Sarah and Josh were in Seattle) had a lovely evening of just being together, eating Eva’s marvelous dinner, opening gifts and admiring the tree. Chris wore the Santa hat and handed out the presents. I believe most of the tree’s decorations are traditional family items, some from generations past, but I also spotted what must have been a contribution from Paul: a cutout of guitar player Steve Morse.
Gifts included a couple of books, my favorite olive oil (Bariani, from right near Sacramento), a Foo Fighters CD, and Steve’s annual family calendar, a highlight every year. (Last year I was surprised and pleased to see that two photos I’d taken were included.)
Tom and I spent the night at Steve and Julie’s, and in the morning went back to Paul and Eva’s for stockings and brunch, then to Ann and Mac’s for further refreshments. By the end of that day, I was very highly refreshed.
On New Year’s Day, Sarah and Josh had Tom and me and Chris and Kristen over for a delicious brunch, and then Tom and I BARTed to Berkeley for the Berkeley Rep’s production of Lemony Snicket’s The Composer Is Dead, which was very entertaining and imaginative. Ann and Mac had tickets they couldn't use and generously passed them on.
As we waited in the BART station afterward, a drunk fellow with a punishing personal essence happened along, reminding me of the Will Ferrell movie where someone is showing off a new aftershave, “Sex Panther by Odeon,” and Will gasps, “[That’s] a formidable scent.”
We have lately gotten some new bus lines in San Francisco, joining the 22 Fillmore and the 30 Stockton and so on: the Genentech Noe Valley, for instance! Tom has observed that our neighborhood is increasingly full of these giant buses, whose windows you can’t see into, that take tech workers to their jobs and back. I wouldn’t have guessed there were enough Genentech workers living in Noe Valley to fill an entire bus, but evidently there are.
I have received a quote for the out-of-pocket portion of my dental work, somewhat indefinite, as what insurance will end up covering isn’t fully known. At the worst, it will be $3773! That money would, over time, have gone into retirement savings, but I suppose a full set of choppers is also something I’ll enjoy in my golden years.