Friday, December 21, 2012

End of year odds and ends

Usually we get out of school for winter break around mid-month, so it's been a longer haul to make it to the 21st, especially since Thanksgiving was on the earlier side.  But, when twelve o'clock rolls around tomorrow, I will not dilly-dally, as the expression goes, but will head home immediately, and then we will hit the road - Colorado bound!  We have some new gear for this trip - skis - which we found in September at a remarkable Labor Day sale.  I still can't believe the deal that we discovered, and I've never ever skied with such nice equipment.  We had a great time skiing last year, even though we just went to Eldora, the local ski place outside of Boulder which does not merit rave reviews.  Still, it was so fun to return to the slopes to ski - after ten years, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it, even if I just stuck to blue runs!  Keystone, where we'll meet up with my family, should offer more options, as long as the snow is good (which it hasn't been great, but good is better than nothing).  But tomorrow, the car loaded down with dogs in the backseat, skis on top of the car, plenty of crap in the trunk, we start the trek east!

I do wish that I were leaving all work behind, but that is not the case.  Sadomasochist that I am, I assigned essays and gave tests this week, so these will accompany in my travels.  However, all of my college recommendations due on January 1st are finished, so that is a huge relief.  And, having some work over breaks is par for the course.  Even with a bit of grading, the next few weeks will be filled with plenty of celebrations!

As I've kept this trip in mind as a starting point for the holiday season, I suppose I haven't felt 100% in the "holiday spirit".  By no means have I felt ba-humbug, but certain traditional gatherings and events have felt more like obligations than usual.  That said, I've also enjoyed a few recent discoveries which I'll share, in no deliberate order:

- Neruda once wrote a series of poems Odes to Common Things, and one is "Ode to Socks" ("Oda a los calcetines").  I would write an ode, quite different from his, to my now-beloved Strassburg Sock.  I do think that it is helping with my PF 'condition'.

- After a long absence, we returned to Mijares, a Pasadena Mexican restaurant/institution, this week and enjoyed the food, drink and company!  While we love Amigo's, especially the margaritas, it was nice to change it up.  Also, the food was excellent, and I may have to return JUST for the machaca (shredded beef) - so good!

- In recent years, I've become a huge dirty gin martini convert, but I recently discovered whiskey drinks.  A dangerous find, I know, but especially on the colder nights that we've had, whiskey, apple cider and bitters is a great combination!

- Finally, I stumbled upon this fascinating interactive media article yesterday.  NYTimes take on an outdoor adventure gone awry, a bit like Kraukauer's Into Thin Air. The article, "Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek" is fascinating!

Anyway, it's now Friday morning, so everything that was supposed to happen 'tomorrow' will be happening quite soon!


Anonymous said...

I hear ya! My husband's last day of teaching is today, too, meaning we had to push our annual winter solstice party back to the Saturday before Christmas. So it feels like Christmas will be everything from the 22nd onward. Fortunately we both have a lot of vacation days after Christmas to relax and enjoy.

Have a great ski trip! I bet it will be beautiful to see snow in the mountains.

kilax said...

I hope you have a great trip! We are going to CO in March to ski. I have only ever skiied once, at Keystone ;)

Have a great holiday!

Kristina said...

I hope that you had a great solstice party! I will be looking forward to longer days coming along?

It's great to be in CO! Skiing in March sounds a bit warmer, but I hope to survive the cold!
We head to the mountains tomorrow - can't wait!