Luckily the day on Tuesday went fast. Few things are worse than days at work that drag - busy or not, I simply want the time to pass, thank you. So that was good. Not surprisingly, we didn't get let off early like the week prior, but I didn't mind too much.
I stopped by the liquor store on the way home, without thinking that it would be a complete madhouse. Duh. It could have been worse - the clerk only had to throw one person out of the store during my tenure, for trying to purchase when they were practically too drunk to stand. Gotta love the big city. Me, I collected the wine I wanted to take to the party as a host(ess) gift (or whatever you call it) and got myself out of there. This was in the neighborhood of 5 p.m., and there wasn't a drop of champagne to be had, with the exception of two extremely fancy (and expensive) gift sets. I wasn't too crushed, as I'm not overly fond of champagne. Or rather, I'm not overly fond of the quality of champagne that my pocketbook will support - I discovered later that evening that I'm quite easily lured back into the fold of aficionados by the quality stuff.
Then I started gathering up all the things I needed to take - to return to people, to pass along to people, for the party, etc. It started to get absurd, so I cut the amount down to the critical stuff only and managed to make a pile I could at least carry in one trip - then I phoned Sharkins to see if she could give me ride on her way through town. Happily she agreed, so I bundled myself and my wares into her vehicle and away we went.
It was a nicely mellow gathering. MiKeK came down from Bellingham, as did Devon and later Paul & Julie. Ted and his friend Meg (who is delightfully polyglot) were also present. grouchychris was there for a couple of hours before he had to take off for work and canyonwren made a welcome in-person appearance. sculpin, rjl20 and amnotsurly were missed, alas. Dan (who I want to call Scott) was there in a very stylish kilt - until he left just prior to midnight to go home and kiss his wife. [Ok, I actually found that very sweet.]
Speaking of sweet, Scott R. and Kristen arrived with the announcement they are affianced. You can't dance with a cat anymore without tripping over the betrothed around here, it seems. Sharkins' brother and his girlfriend of nine? eleven? some large number of years became officially engaged over christmas as well, making three couples planning nuptuals in what I think of as my semi-core social group. Maybe there is something in the water... Scott shared a puzzle that was part of his proposal, where he had a number of different alliterative objects, each with a story, that eventually spelled out "will you marry me?" It sounded quite, quite elaborate - the actual event also included singing an altered version of the 12 days of Christmas with these props in a restaurant in public. The romantic in me was touched, and the rest of me was horrified, of course. The only really wierd thing about it was I was completely unsurprised when the engagement was confirmed, because I had dreamed about them getting married a few days back.
Then it was midnight, and we had champagne (good champagne, too) and watched the Space Needle fireworks from the livingroom window - I quite liked what they did with the display this year, having some fireworks come from the base rather than all from the top. Then we had more champagne, as people slowly trickled off and away home. At some point in the revelry, the cell phones came out and it was discovered that quixoticfish had called to wish us Happy New Year, so we phoned her back and had a nice chat, passing the phone around and about.
Finally, though, it was dawn, and even the hardcore few of us were falling asleep in a dogpile on the couch, so we all rearranged ourselves and formally went to sleep in various corners and spare bedrooms. It was cute, because I'd gotten up from the couch for a few moments, and when I returned both Devon (from the right of my spot) and Sharkins (from the left of my spot) had gently tipped over sideways into where I had been sitting. Then Paul had sort of slumped over onto Sharkins' shoulder, so it was just Ulysses and me giggling and deciding it was time to go to bed, since we'd killed two bottles of shiraz and four of champagne, and even enfeebled we realized that dawn was not the time to be opening more.
Noonish I think was when I woke up, and seemed to be when the majority of the house finally stirred. Carol, Mike and Julie (who had all sacked out quite a bit earlier) had gotten up and gone to breakfast at the Cyclops, but were back before I cracked my eyelids, certainly. The consensus was to attend an afternoon showing of the Two Towers, since while most had seen it, there were some that wanted to see it at the Cinerama on a proper screen. I, alas, wasn't able to join them as I had a prior commitment to have dinner in Bremerton with the family.
So I hauled my ass down to the ferry and met faintheart, bought a paper for the crossword, and ended up napping about half the trip, which of course made me cold. Paul and Cordelia picked us up on the other side and squired us back to the house and a lovely dinner Cordelia had made. There was much chatting and catching up - they're normally domiciled in New Jersey, Paul & Cordie - and then it was home to a mildly disgruntled cat.
On the whole very pleasant. It was good to see Devon; he and Sharkins spent a chunk of the evening working out whether 2003 was prime - ah, math geeks! I mostly watched with envy, my brain handles mathematical theory just fine but actual calculation is a laborious and somewhat painful process. I am truly truly lucky in my friends.