Playing Catch Up

I’ve been really busy lately both with work that is kind of overwhelming at the moment as well as actually doing the fun activities I’m going to write about in this post and thus have had no time to spend here writing about anything. Here’s a quick look at some of the fun things I’ve been up to lately.

1. This past Saturday was the annual holiday party that one of my groups of friends holds every year. For a decade we rented out the upstairs bar at Max’s for a few hours of fun every December, but time moves on and there are now too many kids to make that an option. Last year we thought we found a good alternative that was family friendly by renting out the Women’s Industrial Kitchen, but that sadly closed and ruined the chances for that again this year. Instead of undertaking the difficult search for another venue that would be good for our group in it’s current configuration our friends Kevin and Tracie decided to just go ahead and hold the party at their house. It was a different dynamic, but it was still great fun to hang out with friends that I don’t always see as often as I’d like. Most of them have moved out of the city and have kids now, which means that a lot of the time I only see most of them when there is a party. I wish that wasn’t necessarily the case, but I get it. We still kept with tradition and held our white elephant gift exchange. This year I came home with Brewopoly, which is essentially a beer themed Monopoly game. Paul came home with something called The Whole Brain Game, which I brought home from this same gift exchange 2 years ago, never played, and brought back last year. Whoever it took it home last year obviously brought it back this year. I suspect I know what one of our gifts for next year will be.

2. Sunday was a very busy day. It started off with my friend Carissa’s annual birthday/parade brunch prior to Baltimore’s Mayor’s Christmas parade. It was fun to hang out with an almost entirely different set of friends from Saturday and of course to watch my favorite parade in the world. I have said many times in the past that I love that parade so much. It’s so perfectly Baltimore with it’s random assortment of people and things. I don’t care about some big, fancy, polished parade I just love the heart that is this parade. We headed straight from the parade to meet our friend Heather for dinner at Alewife. Speaking of friends I normally don’t see enough, it had been quite some time since I had gotten to hang out with Heather outside of our most recent book club meeting. She doesn’t have any kids, but she commutes to DC for her main job and then takes on 85 other side jobs so she is always busy. We added on a ticket to Newsies at the Hippodrome to our season tickets for her, so we met up for dinner and then went to see the show. I saw the movie once when it first came out many moons ago, so I didn’t really much about it. I enjoyed the show though aside from the family (of all adults I might add) that were annoyingly disruptive coming in late, going to the bathroom, and the person sitting next to me reeking of marijuana. I don’t really know what their deal was.

3. Monday night was one of my book clubs. I was hosting this month and had us read Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose. I had heard an interview with the author on NPR and thought the book sounded really interesting. We pretty much all agreed that the concept was intriguing, but it failed in execution. Too bad. I always hate when I pick a book for book club that isn’t that great. We had a delicious dinner, a good discussion, and white elephant book exchange so not all was lost.

4. Tuesday night I headed down to DC with my friends Heather and Karen to see Pop Culture Happy Hour Live. I’ve been to 3 of the 4 live shows they’ve done in DC. Sadly I had to miss the last one because I was out of town. They had been selling out their space at the NPR Headquarters in a matter of seconds, so this time they moved to the Sixth and I Synagogue. There were probably about 3 times the number of people, which gave the show a good energy. I definitely laughed a ton, and really enjoyed being there. Unfortunately because of coming from Baltimore and the need to snarf down dinner once we got into DC, we weren’t there when the doors opened at 6, which meant we had to sit up in the balcony. My view from the balcony was almost on par with my view during their first live show where I was standing in the back of a standing room only event in the middle of a pop up NPR store next to their old headquarters. This time I could only really see Barrie Hardymon. If I craned my head the right way I could sometimes see Glen Weldon’s face while he was talking, but mostly just his torso. Stephen Thompson and Linda Holmes were pretty much out of view for me. I appreciate that the larger venue allowed for more people to attend. When they asked at the beginning how many people had and hadn’t seen a live show before the people who hadn’t been able to attend in the past far outweighed those of us who had. Hopefully maybe they’ll be able to find a venue that supports the right number of people as well as provides everyone in attendance with a decent view. Even if I couldn’t see very well I still had an excellent time and am glad I went.

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