January 1, 1998

Forgive the Chinese superstitions, but the New Year was brought in in good style with good friends and it feels like it's going to be a year with very good company.

Jon Singer dropped by just before John and I wandered off to a New Years Eve party. He called to ask if we would be around, and we delayed going to the party, which wasn't a problem anyway, as they said any time after 7:30 and that the party would last until the New Year anyway. So Jon showed up, very happy and appeared with an utterly gorgeous teacup for John.

Singer had done magical things with the glaze he'd mixed up in conjunction with the other blue opal glaze that was a bit too runny, and came up with this gorgeous, fractal thing of a thousand shades of blue on white with gold glows and star fractals at the bottom of the cup. Just amazing.

So we baptized it with some of the Silver Monkey, brewed with 170 F degree water and it was marvelous, with the berry undertones that the man at the shop had spoken of. Jon declared it a very nice tea, and then disappeared into the night to meet up with someone else for a nice, formal dinner in suits with good conversation and a man that drank only green teas. So I gave Jon a green-like tea anemone to try out sometime and tell me how it went, as it was a little too something... briny might be the word... for me.

We went to our party, thrown by folks that used to work at Data I/O with lots of other people that still work there and a few that don't anymore. It was fun, three four-year-olds and John all in a room together. My. It was really funny watching John play with the kids as he was as happy with their games as they were. That was cool. And when it came to noise making time for the new year, John had the biggest lungs so kinda won by default.

What was funny was that everyone thought he was drunk, when he was just really happy. It was really keen.

We got to see the Space Needle blow up at midnight and did the whole countdown, noise makers, bottle rockets, and champagne with a kiss thing at the stroke of midnight (have you ever tried throwing streamers, making noise, kissing, and drinking champagne at the same time? Trust me, wear something you don't have to dry clean). Which was probably the first time I've done that in a very, very long time. I know the last few years, we've just slept through the moment.

But this year might be special for us, with how things worked out at the end of this last year, it looks like it's going to be a good beginning.

Woke up to the phone ringing and John fumbling for the clock. "Phone," I mumbled and he answered and then kinda metamorphosed into cheerful-awake John in a very startling manner. He happily told mom that we were well, told her happy new year and very happy birthday and my, we're glad you got the flowers! How are they? Listened very courteously to the phone and then smiled and said, "Phyllis is still asleep, I'll have her call you when she wakes up, will that be okay? When are you home? Ah. Good. I'll do that, then." God bless John, the sweetest, most wise man I know.

I didn't call back until noon. This was after making an apple baked pancake, some tea, and drinking some of said tea to be civilized again. You don't want to meet me before caffeine.

Mom was really happy with the flowers we'd sent, loved the tiger lilies and orchids and lovely stuff. So I'm glad that the flower place did well by her, so that's very keen. Food was good, and then John and I plopped for New Years Day Vegetating and watched a lot of football, until there was a knock on the door.

It was Raven, in suitable black leather jacket over a sharp black shirt and black jeans and shoes. Hugs and greetings were exchanged and it was good.

I then subjected him to having to choose between rice and hand-rolled pasta and he chose the later, so he watched while I worked on food for the three of us, and let him touch and see and work with some of the stuff so that he'd be able to make the stuff for himself later. I love doing handmade pasta, it's always so good, and I'm gradually able to make it more easily with practice, so it's always fun to do it again. So I just did salmon with cream sauce on the pasta with the red cabbage salad, yum. White wine kinda filled out the meal.

Tea and Isabel's fruited cake were dessert. A very fine grade Dragon's Well was sweet and light and marvelous, and then we had a pot of the Cherry Sencha from the Republic of Tea. That was good to talk over.

Had a lot to talk about with Raven. Conversation was nice and easy and fun. It was very good to see where he wanted to go, what he was doing, how he was doing, and find a face and voice to go with the words and dreams and thoughts. Subjected him to music and thoughts about books and all kinds of things.

A new friend for the first day of the year. How keen. And long-time friends to share the passing of the old.

How very keen.

© 1998 byLiralen Li.

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