It has gotten to the point where the guilt of not updating for so long has kept me away from this blog -- which is just getting silly. And since I am in a "getting things done" kind of space, why not check this off the list of Things That Plague Natalie Just Before She Falls Asleep.
Christmas was fantastic. This was my first official grown-up Christmas: I cooked Christmas Eve dinner (with lots of help) for my family, got grown up presents like socks and a new frying pan and good cheese and beautiful new cookbooks, and spent a 72-hour period around Christmas itself running around like a maniac trying to get all the visiting in. There's always been some splitting up of Christmas day with boyfriends and the like, but there's always been My Family and His Family. Now there's Our family -- and it's huge. It's neat to have suddnely expanded your base of immediate relatives by about sevenfold (there sure are a lot of Schmutzes running about), but by the 28th I was very, very happy to be home too -- if only to be able to starfish (the bed Ed and I shared at my parents' place was a single -- great for snuggling, nto great for space) and not have to see anyone if I bloody well chose not to.
We saw The Producers on Christmas night -- I was a little unsure at the beginning of the movie, as it is definitely a filmed version of the stageplay rather that a stageplay reworked into a film, but by the end I was laughing so hard I didn't care. That movie is *hilarious.* Gary Beach, I will forever sing your praises and you look smashing is a cocktail dress.
We had a really great time with my brother this visit. I forget how darn funny he is until I am weak and in pain in the passenger seat of his Jetta because I have not stopped laughing for 20 solid minutes and Michaels STOP BEING FUNNY or I am seriously going tp RUPTURE SOMETHING. It looks like he's going to be visiting us, maybe for an extended time, this summer, which will be awesome. A couple of his best friends have moved out here to scope out the job market, and it is possible that in another year when his undergrad is done, he might start eyeballing the fair City of the Stampede himself. And thus, the Western exodus of the Walschotsen will continue.
It was lovely to see so many of my friends. Emily and Jess and Vive and I had dinner together just before I left, something I hope we can do again and tunr into a tradition. They all looked lovely and seem so happy and doing so well. Jessica's son, Quinn, in one of the neatest, handsomest babies ever, and visiting with her and seeing how together and happy and rewarding mommyhood can be makes me less terrified by the whole prospect. Em and Vive are both doing what they want to be, and it's cool to see them full of energy again. We had some of our old dynmaic, certainly, but we're getting to be adults now. I am married, Jess is a mom and plnning her wedding, Vibe is due to be engaged any second now and Em has an actual career going -- again, it's a bit spooky and grown-up, but much more fun than I expected to.
Speaking of babies, Henry and Romina's daughter Sierra is also AWESOME. she and I are homies now. she let me feed her peas.
We saw a lot of Glen and Sue, which was wonderful. We helped them paint a bit and their home is really coming along. They were so good and patient and generous to us, letting us crash repeatedly on their couch, hosting parties and generally putting up with us, that they really deserve a medal.
Everyone else we saw: thanks for making our visit incredilbe. Everyone we didn;t get a chance to see: we love you and miss you and we'll work it out next time.
Summary: more of you rockin people need to MOVE OUT HERE. dammit.
I have discovered what may be the best game ever designed -- for me, that is. Katamari Damacy. I know it's beena phenomenon now for a while, I am slow with some things so shut up. I got a chance to spend a few hours rolling about and the sheer, inexplicable delight of picking up an elephant for the first time was amazing. And the squid! The Jumbo Aquaman! I am terrified I might end up buying a PS2 just for this game.
Also: Robot Chicken is teh awesorm. "Voltron represent!" Lindsay Lohan starring in a remake of Anne Frank! The Hulk on crack! The World's Most One-Sided Fist Fights! Optimus Prime gets prostate cancer! "behold the stench of Skeletor's breakfast burrito!" It has touched my heart.
Between the media and recovery time, Ed and I spent New Year's in Canmore with Jeremy, Natalee and co. I had a lovely time losing at pool, talking to Jonathan about music, poking poor Neil when he started to lose ay and all logical continuity, and watching the second season of Little Britain. His parents' home is so beautiful. In the morning, we had an awesome breakfast, complete with OJ and champagne, and rocking eggs benedict. I need to perfect hollandaise. Need. So good.
Since then, Ed's getting back into the work groove. He really, really likes his new job. I think I've said this to several people but I'm going to write it here too: it is WONDERFUL to see him happy, doing something rewarding and technical that he genuinely likes. He comes home happy and energetic, gets all excited when he talks about work, and doesn't even mind getting up in the morning. Our marriage is happier because he is happier.
Our relationship is always good, but now, and for a while before, it was absolutely spectacular. Whiel I've been content, I'd be lying if I didn't look back to that somewhat magical year or so and think: what's changed? Nothing is wrong, certainly, everything is in fact very good. It is just and early sprkle thing I miss? But it's back. I finally realized when that was, what the connection is between then and now: Ragtime.
In the fall of 2003, Ed got a supporting lead in the musical Ragtime. He'd been preparing for the role ever since he's heard, a year or so in advance, that the amateur company he volunteered with was doing that show, listening to the music obsessivelyto learn the music and taking voice lessons. In December of 2002 he was cast in the part he wanted, Younger Brother; he was ecstatic. He worked his ass off for that part, and loved every minute of it. The show was a huge success, and during crunch time he perfomred brilliantly; so much so that the rest of the cast recognizedd him at the banquet after the show with a Best Supporting Lead award. It was an amazing experience. I was so proud of him, and I had never seen him happier than he was during Ragtime, dumping all the energy he had into something he loves.
While the New Job is less glitzy and not as broadway as the Ragtime experience, he's still spending the majority of him time spending what he really likes to do, and that same kind of comtentment and energy is starting to ooze out into every other area of his life. Seeing him happy again like that is absolutely thrilling.
I think we're going to be staying is Calgary for a while. =)
Speaking of which, I have a PhD application due imminently. Now with more sodium. Sweet Jesus.