Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: The Countdown to Our Death

Just kidding. But that's what my kids were discussing last night, in light of the impending year 2012, signifying the end of the Mayan calendar,a new blockbuster movie, it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it (thanks REM) 80s rock anthem and some other stuff. That was a mouthful, huh?

Actually, we had a wonderful NYE. And a busy, exciting Christmas. (That will have to be another post.) After working a full day (not planned, but necessary. Sort of.) I hurried home to find a house full of kids. Our dearest Heeda is visiting and was gracious enough to play child wrangler for the afternoon. I seriously owe her one. The kids are nearing the end of a two week at home period, and it was starting to get ugly, in a "I'm bored" kind of way. They both managed to swing play dates with friends and apparently spent the afternoon killing off the Dutch ( offence, people), saluting neighbors, practicing their sharp shooter skills, playing on their DS games, dancing, and chasing each other. Wrangle on, Heeda, wrangle on.

Kev had been working all day and arrived shortly after I did. He was thrilled to have a few hours between gigs to rest, eat, shower and throw back a few beers. I caught up with events at home and played on my brand spankin new Crackberry. SIDE NOTE: This is a VERY dangerous development. I can take photos, upload music, facebook and respond to emails ANY time I like? Oh, and use the phone? It was more than once that W, husband and children had to remind me of their presence.

After a couple of hours, it was time to get ready for our evening out. I loaded up the kids, kissed the husband goodbye and drove off. We dropped off Keller's friend and headed east toward the most amazing Salvadorean restaurant ever. I had recently discovered the wonders of amazing coupon deals thanks to Spend $10 ($6 if it's your first try) and get a $25 discount after spending a minimum of $35. Sounds complicated, but it's a total deal. I got two coupons and plan to go back for more.

The restaurant is unassuming, outside of the ginormous neon sign out front. El Pugarcito is now on my top five restaurants in the Queen City. The chicken tamales were the best I've ever had, beating out anything here, in TO and NYC. Their shrimp cocktail (it sounds better ordered in Spanish, but I can only remember French) is full of juicy, fresh salsa, huge chunks of avacado and huge shrimps. Keller ate them all, along with two beef tacos. I know, I still have no clue where he puts all the food...tape worm? Cyre had a pupusa and some of the sizzling hot fajitas W and I ordered. There was so much food left over, we took an entire meal home for the hubby. Hard to believe we ate all that, had two sodas and two beers and only paid $39. Total. Including tip. Seriously.

You would think we were stuffed and unable to eat one more thing, but no. We ate on. A quick trip over to Amelie's in NoDa meant we had to snarck back some french pastries. Have I ever mentioned their salted caramel brownies are dreamy? As my friend Leslie so wisely advises, "just smear it all over my body". Just as we were ready to go, I spotted my dear friend, Mr John Love. Have I mentioned he could quite possibly be the grooviest man in Charlotte? (outside of my husband, of course.) And, W was with me so she could totally confirm that he is the long lost, twin brother of another dear friend, John James, stylist and general raconteur, and resident of TO. These two just gotta meet!

The kids played dominoes, xs and os, etch a sketch and tag while W, John and I discussed meditation, goals for 2010, astrology, music, and internal plumbing. The cherry on top of the whipped cream? Crystal Dempsey, THE social media, social butterfly of Charlotte was there too. Yeah!!!We were close to wearing out our welcome and it was time to go. After a long goodbye, we got in the car and headed home.

It was time to watch the Times Square show and countdown to midnight. Cyre then reminded us that 2012 is only two years away, and perhaps it was time to start the countdown to our death. Yeah, OK. I tried to get everyone to focus on the television show which was a big mistake. Maybe it's cause I'm a honkey, but I don't get JayZ or Rhianna. And, they su-ucked. But, I always love watching the crowds and how excited people get, amazed at how long they will stand out in the cold, crappy weather wearing a "Happy New Year from Nivea cream" hat. That's when one of the cameras zoomed in on some European couple who proceeded not to kiss, but rather, swap spit, tongues and smash faces. "Lose the tongue people, it's a family show!" was all I could say.

Hubby came home in time to watch the countdown and quickly changed into his jammies. And start cooking. Of course. Keller then began his own minute-by-minute countdown, absolutely freaking out that we wouldn't be able to put on shoes, grab some pots and pans and make it out to the lawn in 20 minutes. Somehow we managed to make it to the last minute. Poor Alfie missed the countdown. Somehow he escaped outside and was desperately trying to get back in. After it hit midnight we did all run outside and made as much noise as possible. Kev light off the last of our firecrackers to which there was absolutely NO response from the neighbors. We really do live in a quiet, little sleepy hollow.

We ended the evening curled up on the pull-out bed, with a Harry Potter movie and a whole lotta popcorn. It was a joyous way to end the year.

Here's to 2010. And to the rest of our lives.