Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Holiday Weekend Recap!!

Sorry for the light posting over the weekend. I was either out gallivanting around, or comatose from excessive merriment. Not that I even got a buzz on, darn the luck. It was an ate-too-much & slept-too-little comatose.

Friday night Little Bee-Boy and I continued our Xmas eve ritual of getting together and exchanging gifts, prior to drinking ourselves into a state of extreme conviviality. This year, due to a variety of factors, was almost a sober one. I polished off my last half-bottle of this year's stash of Beaujolais Nouveau after dinner, and Bee-Boy limited himself to a couple of snorts out of the whooskey jug, and that was it. As we get older, we behave more and more like responsible adults, dammit.

About 10:30, we went out in the PimpSled looking at the neighborhood Xmas lights. Not exactly wild & wacky behavior, I grant you, but a welcome sequel to last year's horrorshow. A year ago, Bee-Boy had just been diagnosed with cancer, and last Xmas was held under the grim specter of not knowing if both of us would be here this year. We went out last year doing the light-show circuit mainly to be doing something other than sitting around moping. This year, Bee-Boy's cancer-free and the lights looked a lot brighter as a result.

No pictures, unfortunately. I didn't have the manual for the digital camera handy, so I couldn't take it off automatic mode for nighttime work. I really wanted to get a picture of the dyslexic house, just for proof it was really there.
Whoever did the decorating spelled out a Xmas message across the front of their house in big strands of red lights. I nearly swerved off the road laughing the first time I passed by at night and saw the house proudly proclaiming:

(I am somewhat annoyed that the "blink" tag fails to work here...)

I suppose it might have been done as a joke, but who knows? Maybe they really are dyslexic.

Xmas day itself was devoted to sloth and gluttony. When I wasn't shooting people online playing Ghost Recon (boy, you'd think we'd take a break on Xmas, wouldn't you?) I was napping or making double-stuffed ham & cheese quesadillas. Our family Xmas gathering has been postponed until after New Years due to people traveling all over creation, so it was a quiet day with only myself and the two cats. I gave them each a can of tuna garnished with some chopped boiled egg and some leftover salmon cakes. They seemed most appreciative, and neither one yakked it up later, so it was a double bonus.

Saturday evening was spent at H3. We've called it the "Happy H----- Home" ever since high school, and it's a Xmas tradition to hang out, drink wine and chat until the wee hours of the morning with the motley collection of folks that show up. I'm having trouble coming to grips with the fact that two pairs of my high school friends have been married now for 11 and 13 years respectively. Makes me feel old and alone. Given that we're all 18+ years out of high school, and they were dating then, I also wonder why they didn't just get hitched the summer after graduation!

I had a great time, and my basket of high-dollar imported chocolate bars made a big hit at the White Elephant Gift Grab. This is where everyone brings a wrapped gift, and then you draw numbers and pick gifts in order. Higher numbers have the option to select a new gift, or hijack one that's already been opened. In case of a hijacking, the person who got the gift 'stolen' can pick a new one, or steal someone else's. Top gifts this year in terms of hijackings were the chocolates and a flexible screwdriver set.

Sunday was the big solo Xmas feast. I dropped most of a C-Note at the local gourmet market on all sorts of goodies. Imported cheeses, fancy salads, bleu cheese-stuffed colossal olives, Marcona almonds in sea salt and olive oil, veggies for steaming, a nice bottle of Barolo, and a 24 oz. USDA Prime slab of dead cow.

I have to say, that steak was one of the best I've ever eaten. Usually I just grill the dead cow into utter submission, but this was too good a cut of meat to cook over LP gas. I put the big cast-iron skillet in the oven, and turned the gas on "Incinerate". About 25 minutes later, I pulled on the welding gloves, took out the smoking-hot skillet and set it on a burner set on high for another 3 minutes. The steak was already rubbed down with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and a light coat of canola oil. I dropped the steak in the skillet, and was rewarded with a huge cloud of smoke as the meat started cooking. 30 seconds on all 4 sides, (yes, it was that thick!) and then back into the oven for 5 minutes on each side. Then it came out, got set on a plate and covered with a foil tent to let the meat relax.

Goddamn, that was a good piece of cow. No steak sauce needed or wanted, just a bit of garlic butter poured on top.
It was so good that 2 days later, when I finally got around to scrubbing out the skillet, I was tempted to take a sip of the scrub water because the essence of steak was so strong. Next time, I'll have the stuff ready to make a pan sauce with shallots and cognac.

The rest of the evening was spent in the recliner, barely able to move. It is a Very Good Thing that Xmas comes but once a year!

Monday was spent at the movies. I haven't been out to the flicks in a while, so I made it a double feature. Saw Ocean's 12, which was a mistake, and Flight Of The Phoenix, which was OK, but not as good as the original.
Then, dinner at the local taqueria so I didn't have to face up to the pile o' dirty dishes just yet.

So, a good weekend, even if it was spent mostly solo. Back to full-time blogging!