Last evening I was at a birthday party where I did what i will call a St Nick celebration in honor of his big day. That is not entirely true, it is a rationalization for me eating a bit too many delicious sweets and trying to justify it.
When I saw the desserts of mousse au chocolate, panna cotta, and gingerbread cake, I knew all the hard work with exercise and fitness in the past year with slimming down was going out the window for a night. I really enjoyed the treats. REALLY enjoyed them!
In the USA we really don’t have neighborhood Advent parties. I am not sure if this is a European, Swiss, or Catholic Church type event. Each day in advent, one of the houses in the village will get together and have a little fire, some nibbles, and what they call a spiced punch, which is very tasty as well as having the added benefit of alcohol in it.
I hardly drink anymore, so I learned of the happy powers of this punch as I was feeling my lips get numb and I asked, “is it cold? Or is there alcohol in the punch?
“Yes, there is alcohol in the punch.”
The good news is one could simply walk home and try to rationalize laws of thermodynamics that while I felt warm, the reality is my body was giving off heat.
So last night at the birthday party, in addition to the mousse, panna cotta and gingerbread, my brother in laws fed me beer, wine and this nut schnapps dessert that I should have poured over the panna cotta.
“I have had more to drink the past week of advent than the last three years of my life” was the comment I made. (It isn’t all that much either)
So I have had a nice time, feeling more at home here, yet, missing my family back in the states. Holidays have become a big treat for me with them. For many years, I was always on the road, doing some show. I can vividly remember many Christmas days in Paris France, where in the early morning you would walk along the seine and there would be no one in the city but yourself and then you would get depressed going back to your hotel room, no show that day.
I still remember drawing all the sketches for the core idea of the first 3d spatial audio ideas on a Christmas day in Paris in the early 1990’s while running back and forth to a burger king. “Maybe if I eat enough of these bad whopper sandwiches, I will feel better?”
Perhaps that is why I Love the holidays so much anymore. It sounds corny, but I really like my family and spending time with them. I hear so many people lament spending time with their family in the holidays, as if it is an inconvenience or something they are obligated or have to do – not want to do. I have heard enough friends’ tales of the alcoholic or bi-polar family member holidays where it sounds horrific. I used to think they were making up the stories they told until one day I was invited to a holiday gathering and the turkey showed up 9 hours late and when someone asked “do you have silverware?” The chef ripped the turkey apart and said, “we don’t need silverware.”
Forgive me for laughing now, but I didn’t realize what was going on as after my stuff was prepped that morning, and I was told dinner would be at 1:30, I was outside on the farm all day, anticipating a delicious meal…”slight delay…2:30…3:30…. 5:30.”
Dinner actually was about 8-9 pm that day. Today, I can laugh about it. That day I was like, “WTF? This is what my friends were talking about with their families…freak me out.”
Visiting a dysfunctional or addictive substance holiday dinner is something everyone should attend once. While you might feel you are in a Rod Serling TV shows for the day – the next holiday with your family, you will cherish even more.
In a sense, that is life. I am not sure which path is better to live. There is the simple one where you do what you are told, stay in one spot on the planet and live your life there. The other is to do what I did – simply get blown like a leaf wherever life took you on the planet and experience as much as there is.
Neither path is right or wrong, but I think the second one, with time, gives you a massive experience base with the wide variety of different cultural and traditional elements on the planet.
There was a TV show documentary on about Hiroshima and the day after the atomic bomb went off on the television last night. I stopped; looked at it, saw the horrific carnage of the people suffering, who didn’t have the benefit of being incinerated in a nano-second.
“That was the one spot on the planet, where my mind could just not grasp the size of what transpired.”
Most of the time, I think people must think I am making stuff up about the places and stuff I have experienced in this short life.
Then I explained how you are in the middle of the peace park and this big city encompasses you, yet, pretty much everything you physically see was annihilated with one bomb. (If you are interested at reading about it, type Hiroshima or Dachau into the search button on this site)
As I finished explaining what it felt like, the TV cut away to an aerial view of modern day Hiroshima. Then the people understood how big the carnage really was, and how my mind had such a hard time with the idea of the devastation one bomb could bring.
Now I shudder to think that the new bombs are 500 times more powerful than that one.
SO that is the Sunday ramble. I was going to st nicks service, but they just asked if I could work a football game. Perhaps tonight I can go to the big St Nick’s church on the hill. I think they built it in 1200? I am not sure of the age, all I know is I walk into the place and marvel at the beauty of it - if a harp, pipe organ and some string instruments are being played...divine acoustics.
I guess I will post an image of the interior. The church is St. Nickolas with a giant Christmas tree in it.
Have a great one.