"'Appy Noo Yeer!" as we say around here! Anyhow, that's how I was sayin' it last night. Somehow, I had managed to go all these many years without ever having had a champagne cocktail (they mix drinks with that stuff? Who knew?). Lost time was made up for.
I would like to give you an honest report on the size of the shrimp in Morton's* but A) you would not believe me even if I'd not just admitted to havin' a wee dram and B) apparently they've hired an agent, who must approve all detailed mention. My dining companion suggested the creatures each had their own ZIP code. And unlike the usual over-fed suburbanite crustacea, these beasts were by no means devoid of taste. Yum!
And that was just the appetizer. The remainder of the trip to 2008's threshold was buoyed upon a chopped salad (the usual stuff but diced fine and with plenty of pickled artichoke), asparagus that had been crept up upon by tiny folk with blowtorches and given just enough heat to lock the flavor, and delightful slabs of beef from cattle that had been slaughtered painlessly in the middle of happy, happy dreams and prepared by cheerful butchers and dazzlingly upbeat chefs. ...Who thoughtfully tucked a little Bearnaise sauce on the side to help maintain the mood. I'm not sure I can mention molten-center double-chocolate cake ala mode with hot fresh coffee without a dreadfully jaded note of crazed lust creeping into my tone even before I get round to describing the dusting of confectioner's sugar and ripe berries that topped the creation.... Oh! Oh! (Be right back, I just have to swoon quickly.... Ahhhhhh).
I'd not wrung in the New Year by wringing out every last bit of enjoyment from a good meal in a nice establishment with convivial companionship for many years; it was very nearly overwhelming, no matter how ordinary it may sound to readers.
Rolled outta bed right at the crack of...10:30!?!? One of those mornings where I first see the clock about eight, think OMG-I-am-late, realize it's a day off, resolve to arise nevertheless, stop to plan my day and suddenly it's 8:45. Repeat process until the cats decide they've had enough and begin patting my face: "Laaaa-deee? Wake up, lady... We neeeeed yooooo, lady. You have the can-opening thumbs, lady... Hey! Lady!" After awhile, feather-touches become the lightest of pinpricks and my guilt sharper still, so much so that as soon as I'm shod** and on my feet, cat-feeding immediately follows.
And so here I am, expressing the hope your own celebrations were as enjoyable and wishing you and yours the very best 2008. Sure, it's like cheering when the odometer ticks over a nice round number but so what: these man-made markers and rituals are how we add more meaning to our lives. They're part of what differentiates us from the ants!
* If I'd had a better idea of how like a good basement speakeasy the place was, I'd'a marcelled my hair an' worn a flapper dress! They do a right fine job of it, too, with a maitre'd of nearly military bearing and a delightfully exotic stock of drinkables. Or has the vast vat of pressed pineapple soaking into vodka become a staple of the American bar?
** Bare-minimum sandals with serious soles, Tevas maybe? I'd wear 'em most of the time if I could: it's like having wings on my feet! Not always the best choice and banned at work by virtue of having open toes, ::sigh::. Y'know, I almost think those boys are bent or something, they're pretty cynical about safety in other ways.
CHICAGO RAILROAD FAIR, 1948
1 day ago