Hello.

I hope y'all are reading the book list because that's the only part of this site that's getting any attention these days.

Winter is setting in. We got a gorgeous snowfall the other day, the kind with really fluffy flakes and no wind, so the snow heaps up on the branches and telephone wires and makes everything all pretty. It melted by the end of the day so I have no pictures, but I made a point of stopping and enjoying it and remembering it so I have a picture in my head, at least. Sorry, y'all are going to have to imagine it based on my inept narrative.

Today is Saturday. Delphine is at Baba and Zeyda's sleeping over because last night was Blake's company Christmas party. It was at Five Doors North, which is just a few blocks away from here. I got all dressed up in a new low-cut lacy black top -- very foxy -- and my same tired old ballgown skirt that I pull out for every event ever. I was way overdressed -- most other people were in jeans -- but I am grown-up enough that I don't care. I don't have anything else to dress up for this year.

We are hosting a party here, next week, but I don't think I want to wear my foxy top -- it's kind of tight. Okay for standing up or hiding behind a table, but when I sit it shows all my rolls so it's not good for sitting on an easy chair. I think I will wear brown pants and my new pink v-neck sweater. (My mother told me to buy new clothes for Christmas and she would pay, so now I have two pairs of pants and three sweaters that fit. What a treat! I look like I have lost forty pounds!)

Today I have choir practice at 10:00 because tomorrow is the concert: Messiah with the orchestra playing period instruments. We have done Messiah a couple of times since I have been with the choir, so we're really good at it note-wise which frees us up to do interesting things with tempo and expression and stuff. Jurgen is really excited. We've already sold out the concert -- Messiah is our cash cow, the piece we do when we need money to do a piece with a big orchestra that isn't going to attract much of an audience, which I think would effectively describe the other two concerts we are doing this year. Tomorrow's concert should be particularly profitable since we only have a small orchestra.

I am still full from dinner last night. The food was served tapas style, which is the new trend. Everyone gets a little plate and they bring the food to the table on big platters. I do not like this trend. First, there was no menu so we had no idea what to expect and it was impossible to pace yourself. I filled up on pasta and rice (the second course) because I thought that was all there was; all three starch dishes had meat in them so I didn't figure there would be a meat course, but I was wrong.

Second, it was very wasteful. Each platter from our table (of twelve people) was sent back to the kitchen at least a third full. Either they throw it out, which would suck, or they repackage it and give it to someone else, which would suck more. The only non-sucking option is that they give it to Second Harvest or some similar feeding-the-foodless-type organization.

Third, the people in the middle of the table spend half their dinner passing heavy platters back and forth, and you have to bother them every time you want to try something different. Finally, I just don't do well with family-style service; when there is food in front of me, especially tasty food, I eat it, even when I am full. It is why I am so fat. So I ate way way way too much last night; I was easily keeping pace with the pregnant woman beside me. Although it was really very tasty.

Oh, and I also had two amaretto sours, which the kind waitress brought for me after I flailed around trying to think of a fun fruity girly drink. I can never remember what cocktails to order, but amaretto sours are going to be my go-to drink from now on -- sweet, sour, bitter, and girly but not too girly. Sadly I might be a little bit pregnant -- I am in that post-ovulatory-pre-menstrual limbo -- so I hope if I am I didn't do any damage. It was kind of stupid, in retrospect; no-one knows how much and when you can safely drink when you are knocked up so I should have abstained altogether. I hope I didn't screw up.

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