the times, like the leaves, are a changing
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Monday, December 19, 2005

The Particulars: the Holiday Party of 05'

So, the day began with running around picking up last minute ingredients and stuff for the Christmas Tree. We headed out to Fairway in the City at about 9am to get the standing rib roast for saturday evening's extravaganza. While there picked up the rest of the greens and cheeses for the event. Let me tell you...that place is awesome, but it's a damn madhouse during the holidays.


The checkout ladies were pleasant, but not just the regular polite hi, can i help you and have a nice holiday, but more of the sincere holiday spirit that we don't see that often anymore. It may sound silly, but it was quite refreshing to see that some people still know what Christmas is supposed to be about.

With Fairway done, we hopped in Rocco (yes I named my car!) and headed off to find the tree stand (got the tree the night before). On the way we ended up stopping at the New Milford Shop-Rite with two members of the girls softball team raising money for some cause. Can't really remember at the moment, but I gave them some change and went in to grab a few things that were forgotten.
After that we hit Perrone's Farm; one of the Bergen County's last remaining historical farms. You're all probably thinking, "how the hell does he know this?" aside: I did a comprehensive master plan for New Milford back in 03' and got to learn a lot of interesting historical and general property information. At any rate, we got the tree stand pretty quickly and were off again to look for a table cloth.

Homegoods on 17 in Paramus was the next stop. We came here for a table cloth but what did we wind up leaving with...a BEAUTIFUL round and heavy butcher's block and a knife sharpener. Side-point of this story...never send me into a discount store for things around the house and knick-knacks. I get distracted from the mission. I actually did look, briefly, for the table cloth but didn't find one I liked. Josh and I get to the cash wrap and of course he finds a knick in the butcher block's wood. Now I'm gonna tell you...it was a small knick but it was an opening for him to grill the nice lady at the counter for a further discount. For most of you reading this you know I'm pretty easy going and for small things like this I figure the reason for it being in the store at all is because of this imperfection. Afterall it's a discount store right? Anyway I wanst going to be greedy and confrontational over something small. Don't get me wrong, the bigger stuff I'll argue to the end of the day, but this is his specialty so I went to get the car. Ten minutes later and a phone call to see what was going on, Josh emerges from the store with a grin on his face. Devishly he looks at me with that fiery hair and attitude to match and says something like "10% bitch! I could have gotten more but you were rushing me." At this point it's about 12:30pm and we need to get back to the apartment to start cooking.

Prep time is always a bitch and even worse when you have two huge egos in one small kichen cooking for a group of about 10-15 people. I'll leave the cursing and goings-on out here. I started with dressing the rib roast with the flavor rub while Josh started in on the cornbread for the duck stuffing. After that was done he started on the ill-fated cheesecake. (I told him not to fill the spring-form pan that high). After that fiasco, he started on the second cornbread for the oyster stuffing that never got made and i got started on seasoning and stuffing the two ducks. The salad was next and I left that to Josh. I started the crab dip but realized I was missing the horseradish. So I called my go-to boy Paul again. Needless to say the horseradish arrived just in time and all was well. He and Steph showed up with condiments and brownies in tow; the first guests of the evening.

It's 7:30 "get-pretty" time. I lock myself in the bathroom for like 45 minutes and put Paul on phone/directions duty. At one point Josh is in the bathroom trying to hurry me up. How he got past the lock, I dunno. Next thing I know Matt's in there too saying hi. LOL. I'm like get out!
I emerge to great my guests and to make sure everyone is mingling and having a good time. I think it was about 9pm by the time we all sat down to eat. Everyone's having a good time and feeling really good (lots of wine!).

So it's like 1:30am and Paul, Steph, Marc, Josh and I are all relaxing in my bedroom. Josh is curled up in a ball knocked out, and the rest of us are sitting there gossiping and talking about random crap.

2am comes and the dishes are staring at me. Everybody has left and Josh is still asleep. I put away a few things and bag up some trash. I've had enough...this shit can wait till morning!

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