December 26, 1997

Fourteen hours of sleep.

A blissful fourteen hours of sleep. My. I needed that. So much, it's crazy. What's half frightening is that I really think that I could use more, even.

But I woke around 11am, made eggnog French toast for John and I, as we saw it on the menu at Coco's in San Jose, but were afraid to try it in a restaurant. I just mixed two eggs with some supermarket eggnog, a dash of cinnamon and then French toasted 'em and it was was really good, especially with the Grade B maple syrup from Trader Joe's. Yum.

During breakfast I found out that Paul and Deirdre's Boxing Day Celebration was at noon in Highland Park, which is north of Seattle. So I hurried getting ready and we went with the box of butter shortbread, as there was no time to bake the insane brownies that Mary gave me a recipe for.

Their party was an hour and a half at an ice rink in Highland Park and then dessert items with cider, mulled wine, and the like at their house. So we arrived at the ice rink a little late, got skates, and then went on the wrong ice for a circuit where we recognized no one. To give you some indication of just how cool and popular we think the Brownlows are, we had to take that circuit before determining that there was no one on that rink we knew, because it was quite possible that they knew that many people we didn't. But on the way through we saw into the other rink, which had half a rink filled with people attempting things with hockey pucks and sticks. *giggles*. So we headed that way.

Paul plays hockey. Deirdre used to figure skate. So it was pretty much the perfect thing to do for their party. Sadly, my first pair of skates were just too big, and after wobbling about the ice and getting an arch cramp, Dave K found out that Charlie also had skates that were too big for him, so Charlie and I went back to the skate desk and got skates that were half a size smaller, and we both declared them much, much better, and got back on the ice with much better grace.

I discovered that my soccer reflexes did a pretty adequate adjustment for hockey, though handling a stick had its own quirks, it was more dangerous for me to be out on the ice with sliding pucks without a stick. With a stick in my hand, my mind was able to focus on the idea that I was supposed to go after the pucks with the stick. Without a stick, my soccer reflexes would literally kick in when a puck went by, and I'd be on the ice *wham* without ever realizing what it was that I was trying to do until *after*. My eye foot coordination was such that when a puck would go by within foot reach, the wired in reflex was to reach for it with my foot without any compensation for the fact that I was on ice. Yeesh.

After hitting the deck a few times, I just resigned myself to skating about with a hockey stick in my hand and bird-dogging stray pucks back into the hockey side of the rink. Until folks started passing back to me. Then I started finding out that the soccer instincts were good. Keeping the eye on the puck when taking a swing at it, the feeling of balance when under motion still worked like a charm. Even to the point of making sliding stop-turns when the puck went by me, doing the turn to going backwards was harder, but it worked for getting a puck turned around when I really wanted to send it back the way I'd been going.

It was great fun.

It was also completely exhausting to muscles that had never had that kind of workout. Which was also a very good thing. It was nice to be physically active again.

Somehow or another we arrived at their house before everyone else, so we sat out on the bench in their front yard. It was frigid out, but they've always had a beautiful front garden, and they had lights up and toys out and everything decorated, so we sat there and watched and braved the winds with not much of a problem.

Hot cider felt very good. The mulled wine was nice as well, but I drank a lot of the cider and ate a few cookies and wandered about and talked with a few people, and then hid for a while in the basement, or watched other people talk and petted Sadie, their new pup and talked with her for a bit. Lots of cool people were there, and fun people from Synario's old days, folks that have all kept in touch and stayed fast friends, so it was very good...

But folks were tired from all the skating and so everyone kinda filed out around 3:30. John and I dropped by the University Center QFC and bought curry, chicken, apple sausage and I shattered my hundred dollar bill there, as the guy mostly only had 5 dollar bills. We went home, and took a good couple of hours giving Fezzik a bath so that he'd be fresh and lovely for his party the next day. After that was a nice luxuriously hot shower to wash the tub and shower down to get rid of all the black fur that had magically appeared to adhere everywhere. For dinner we had the sausages with macaroni and cheese and left over red cabbage salad and watched Michelle Yeoh in The Heroic Trio. We skipped The Executioners and set the recorder to get Wing Chung and then got to sleep.

Yum. Sleep.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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