Friday, December 29, 2006

December Activities

A summary of December fun:

Dec 2nd: Cutting the Christmas tree.
This is by far one of my favorite things to do in preparation for the holidays. I love the smell. I love to wear cute hats. I love it when the places have hot chocolate. Etcetera. Etcetera. This year's cutting is chronicled much better on The New Awesome but I want my own post. Besides I have to defend my tree-cutting decision and point out how environmentally helpful participating in this tradition really is.
Luckily we were able to make this years trip with some real Outdoors Men.
One of them even had a beard and another of them wore plaid, so we were pretty much the real deal.
There was also some rather frisky girls there.
First I made the Becksteads take some family photos:
As the activities got underway, Steve tried to protest by climbing the tree and sitting in it but sadly he outweighed most of the trees and it wasn't very effective.
And Courtney, while she looks so cute,
had quite the shift in personality when she realized how much power she had with a saw in her hand.
At one point she wanted to fight Shawn but Shawn insisted (and sang) that we was actually a lover, not a fighter.
Turns out saws not only made her a warmonger, but a whore monger too. Nate was off being a big rock star that day and Courtney was totally all over Wayne . . . .
who, by the way, was really helpful when it came to carrying trees but embarrassingly misunderstood what we meant when we asked him to "go mark" a particular tree that we wanted to come back to.
Becca was especially excited for the trip because she read somewhere that unicorns live in the mountains and she's secretly been wanting to site a unicorn for a really long time.
Sadly, she just didn't look in the right direction.
Anyway, good times:
So after that we all went to Suraj for lunch and then to Malibu Grand Prix. Steve seemed to quickly get over the pain of cutting trees down when Shawn gave him some tickets to drive a go-kart around in circles.
Shawn kicked all our butts, but experienced a bit of heartache remembering that he is a computer engineer and not a race-car driver, a feeling I can't wrap my brain around as it pertains to driving a car but one in which I still try to be a patient and supportive wife in response to, all the same.

December 9th: Becca's Iron-On Birthday

This is also better chronicled on The New Awesome, but here's a small sample of what is possible with 1000s and 1000s of iron-on letters:
Usually pictures of Emily just come out as a big white light, but here's a rare shot of her.
My shirt has to be read like Gob from Arrested Development was saying it,
otherwise don't even bother reading it. And Shawn's has to be said like the voice from DDR.

December 10th: Cookie Decorating Party
So then the very next day (I know, TOO much fun) we hosted the cookie decorating party, which I barely took any pictures of but it was grand, especially when Trey used the entire jar of purple sprinkles for one cookie.
Emily and Liz were a little more discriminating with their use of decor.
I think I made about 300 cookies in preparation for this party but it didn't even matter because I totally have a Kitchen Aid Mixer-the pink one. Oh yeah, they taste better when you have the pink one too. Merry Christmas to me and Shawn.

December 16th: Grace Cathedral Boys Choir

Some time ago I was photographing a wedding at the Grace Cathedral where the couple had hired members of the Boys' Choir to sing as part of their ceremony. I was so mesmerized by them that I completely forgot to take pictures for a few minutes. Anyway, ever since I've been wanting to go hear one of their performances. Today we went to their Christmas program and it was just lovely- too much organ, but lovely. Here's us in front after the show.

December 20th: SF Friends Holiday Party
On Wednesday we had our annual friends Christmas party.
Sadly it was the first time in 4 years that we were without Robert and Mahjinka :( which also means it was the first time in 4 years that we don't have video coverage of the event. Double :( Here's a picture of them that I took before they decided to up and move to Oregon, just so no one forgets.
Anyway, we did a gift exchange and seeing as how there are a number of literary snobs in this group- a lot of books were given. For example:
Mark received: The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
Alex received: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and Something like an Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa
Nathan received: We have always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Robyn received: A 6-month subscription to US magazine by a group of fine authors.
Two other gifts that I think everybody was secretly wishing they themselves had gotten were:
Hand made beanie by Emily
And a Refrigerator Rabbit magnet
And the icing on the cake- I made creme brulee for the event, using egg whites, not egg yolks mind you.

December 25th: Christmas
Shawn and I went to my mom's where we scored a portable gas stove so that we can be prepared in the next power outage, and Addie scored this very appropriate shirt which I could only get a good picture of while she was stretched out looking for food on the table.
Does This Shirt Make Me Look Fat?
We went to Bonnie and Kevin's that afternoon where Alicia taught the twins the real meaning of Christmas: Mouthfuls of sugar! This is them getting whip cream sprayed into their mouth directly from the can.
Luckily Jessie seemed to survive what appeared to be a stroke and we can now remember this as the Christmas Madeline wore that cute dress and not the one that Jessie died 15 minutes before the Christmas feast.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Photographing Christmas

Shawn and I had this great idea to take the Saturday before Christmas and go walk all around the city taking pictures of "Christmas". I love to photograph. I love Christmas. What better activity could there possibly be?! Turns out "doing the books" actually won. I realized that I really only had a week left to get my receipts all entered for the year and get my books in order and seeing as how I had not done it AT ALL for the year- it was a huge "to do" looming over my head and I responsibly decided to do that all day Saturday instead. But we did take a break and had some sushi over on Union St. after which we did a condensed version of the project. So here is an hour's worth of "christmas". We'll do an all day project next year.

The New York Times on a Starbucks table
Santa passing by on a trolley
Sake amidst cotton snow
The subject reflected
The subject
Parking meter
Window displays
And my favorite thing about Christmas
being with him.

And these weren't the same day, but also on a festive note, our stockings created a little Christmas Disco in our hallway one afternoon.