Had to work on New Years Eve, but we got let go about 3:30pm, which was nice. kitanzi wasn’t so lucky, and not only had to work her full shift (which lets out at 8pm), she got stuck on a call at the last minute and didn’t actually get away until a half hour after her shift ended. Such is the life of support folk, though. She came home in need some serious festivity, so we quickly ate the sloppy joes I had prepared for dinner and then set off for New Years Eve at Bedlam House.
I have been going to Bill and ladyat‘s New Years bash since 2000 (I was forced to work an overnight Y2K shift in 1999, and prior to that we’d been going back to Athens every year). There’s always good beer, good cheer, and good folks, most of whom I know and a few of whom I don’t.
We sat around and chatted for most of the evening. I got to see hilfy, who’s been consumed by a nasty case of life lately and thus hasn’t been around nearly enough, so it was fun to catch up with her. telynor, khaosworks and surrdave were there, of course, and we sat and discussed our favourite Christmas movies and told stories about crazy co-workers and relatives and sometimes even ourselves.
As it got close to midnight, everyone was supplied with hats and noisemakers and champagne, and we gathered in the living room to watch the ball dropped in Times Square and the peach dropped in Atlanta (no sign of the Brasstown, NC possum drop, though). filceolaire took the role of the First Foot in the door, with his lump of coal to offer and a drink to procure (in the form of a blue Jell-O shot — take THAT, tradition *G*), and then we set out for the parade.
The parade is….an astounding thing. In the past I had only watched from the doorstep, but this year, I took a blue (not green, alas) tambourine in hand and set out around the block with another two dozen folk, all equipped with pots and pans and large metal spoons and noisemakers of all variety, and we made a racket like you have never heard. I understand the concept is to frighten away all the evil spirits from the neighborhood. I also understand the neighbors have gotten used to this over the years, and some of them even join in. This is a good thing, I think. At one point, surrdave noticed that khaosworks was walking along with us pensively, but not making any noise. “Are you having fun?” he asked. “Oh, he’s a judge, he can’t help it.” I said, jangling my tambourine. “He’s busy calculating all the charges we’re up against. Disturbing the peace, drunk and disorderly conduct, Creating a Public Nuisance. It’s quite a list.”
Further around the block, Dave and I speculated when the cops would arrive. “Hey, I’m just following her!”, surrdave cracked, gesturing at ladyat in the lead of the procession. “Yeah, you know what that means, don’t you?” I said. “It means we all go to jail, but she’s the only one who gets her picture in the paper.”
No one was arrested, and we got back to Bedlam House just in time for me to run out of energy. I really need to exercise more. I sat on the front step with kitanzi and we watched the kids set off the fireworks, and then went inside for the “Song of the Year” announcement. This is another Bedlam House tradition — every year, they pick an offbeat song to feature as the Song of the Year. This year, after listening to Three Weird Sisters rendition of “My Karma Broke Down (On The Road To Glory)”, which was the runner up, we got to listen to Billy Jonas‘s sublimely spiritual God is In, which I’m told the Sisters are planning to cover sometime in the future.
After the Song of the Year, we got to listen to the master of the next Sisters album, “Hair of the Frog”, which should be off to the duplicators soonish. Somewhere around 2 am, we started to feel pumpkinish. The Suttons invited our houseguests to spend the night there, so we left them in good hands and came home alone.
What a GREAT night.