Howdy howdy...before I start the nitty gritty I just want to keep reminding you folks to sign up on the email list. See, that thing on your right...that's it. Right there. Ok. So fill that out - and THEN, once the pack leader has worked out the kinks, whenever there is a blog update we'll let you know automatically. Which will save you searching, clicking and pacing in anticipation. Ok you can still anticipate and pace if you WANT - but you don't have to click at the same time. It's also a way of letting us know who you ARE since this Christmas a whole gaggle of people told me that they read the blog that I had no idea about. And why don't you make comments, people? Hmmmmmmm? Do you like it when I feel like I'm writing in a bubble :)
So we arrived in New Hampshire for Najuch festivities and then traveled to Bermuda on Christmas day. This, of course, involves a massive sacrifice for the Najuch world because it means Rich is not around for the day after Christmas sales which are second only to Black Friday sales.
I’m not going to get into play-by-play family holiday stuff because we’re not even IN Huntington which is what this blog is supposed to be all about…and you poor folk have to read enough junk about us as is. So – I’ll try to just talk about stuff that actually relates to the theatre in some way, shape or form.
But before that - a couple of nice little photos... We celebrated Rich's birthday with the fam... and unlike my family (where it's pretty much just Mom, Dad and myslef) - the Najuch/Ordways are quite the brood. So Christmas is spent in a carefully scheduled festive blitzkrieg from one side of the family to the other, cousins and uncles and nieces galore. Here's Rich blowing out the candles with his super cute cousin Olivia.
We also managed to get time to spend an evening with two of our most devoted blog readers - whom I had never met. Former next door neighbors of theirs, the Verges, have apparently been reading since the very beginning - and I'd never even met them. Normally Bob and Janice visit them after Rich and I have headed to Bermuda - but this year I asked if we could see them too. They were super fun, and oh my GOD I loved their house. It's beautifully done in the Colonial style and I just thought it was so pretty. You kept expecting Paul Revere to offer you a canape. Anyway - Carol Verge is like a gourmet of gourmet cooks. The dinner she made was out of this world, including these hand made chocolate mousse cups that she painted - layer by layer with milk chocolate using a teeny paint brush.
And their house was decorated so nicely I ended up taking a bunch of family pics for posterity...I shall only subject you to one of them...
While we were in New Hampshire and continuing Christmas shopping madness, Rich and Janice started scouting for a fund raiser they want us to do next year. We’re going to decorate wreaths and sell them. So, as the Christmas got closer and closer we were trolling the craft store waters like sharks at a hemophiliac convention. For the first time, as far as Janice and Rich could remember, a lot of stores put their holiday decoration stuff on sale a few days BEFORE Christmas… so it transpired that on December 23rd we attacked a Michael’s craft store at nine pm – Janice, Rich, Aunt Cheryl and myself – like an army. Earlier in the evening we had ransacked a place called ‘The Christmas Tree Shop’ (which, oddly enough, seems to sell everything but Christmas Trees) and got a bunch of nifty stuff like stuffed snowmen and things we could use as focal points for the wreaths. Janice and Rich also found sets of eight Oneida place settings (the dishes and silverware and everything) that were very pretty, at an insanely modest price. And, since we have to feed and water the Rotary in April and we’ve been brainstorming how and what to feed them, the two of them were ecstatic to find them. And, so we left the Christmas Tree Shop with table settings for sixtu-four…yes, sixty-four people. Isn’t this what everyone does two days before Christmas? And then we headed to Michael’s. They were putting all their holiday items on fifty to seventy percent off, so we decended upon the floral section like pirhanna. Apparently the New Englanders call the little decoration florist things (like berries, or birds, or all that stuff that you wire on to a wreath)…they call this stuff ‘picks’. I have never heard this term. I don’t know what the term IS…but I didn’t know it was that. So anyway… Rich and Janice worked out a scientific algorhythm for wreaths involving exactly five picks per wreath to couple maximum ‘ooh ahh’ factor with most effective charitable profit margin. So we sat on the floor in the middle of Michael’s sorting ‘picks’ for red wreaths, gold wreaths, silver wreaths, green wreaths, pink wreaths, purple wreaths etc etc etc. We were sorting and sifting until they told us the store was about to close and we had to head to the register. Where we arrived with three carts full – FULL – of stuff. And, as we got to the front of the line with a bunch of people behind us… a bunch of a people… and us with three carts o’ crap…all the other registers broke down. And, of course, we had a entry level cashier. And, at nine fifty at night, with a stack of people behind us, he was not allowed to (and I have never heard of this) he was not allowed or authorized to ring up multiple duplicate items together. You know how normally at a register if you buy say eighteen of the same things they scan it once, then punch in eighteen somehow on the register, and carry on. Well, with our three carts full of items each about the size of a sprig of mistletoe, he had to scan each and every one individually. The people behind us were not happy. Honestly they were actually in very good spirits and quite patient – I mean no one thought it was OUR fault the other registers broke, or that their cashier wasn’t trained right or whatever. Actually one dude shouted out “don’t you guys have some ‘buy two carts get one free’ policy?”. Finally, thank goodness, the manager or head cashier or whatever stopped trying to get the other registers working and came and relieved him. So we have three carts of picks and thirty wreaths. And, so I’m told, after Janice hit the after Christmas sales, we have way more wreaths and way more picks. So, now I have a feeling I’m not going to feel so bad about not having time to decorate our apartment for Christmas – since there’s probably going to be wreaths in various forms of completion in our living room from now until next December.
In fact not only did we not have time to put up our Christmas tree – which I hated – we didn’t even have time to wrap our presents for each other. Normally we do our gifts for each other the night before we leave for our families – and since we had been so busy with the youtube thing it just didn’t happen. So, we although I DID manage to get his birthday presents wrapped (which we also celebrate early – since it’s December 21st and we’re always away) we didn’t manage to get anything for Christmas anywhere near paper or scotch tape. We just closed our eyes for each gift, handed it to each other, and said ‘open’. Of course when we got to the Najuch’s, I ended up Bob’s designated wrapper. Which apparently was a step up for his present presentation because, so I’m told, he has a habit of taking small scraps of remaining wrapping paper, taping it all together like a quilt and then wrapping the present. I guess Al Gore would give him props.
The other major theatre related find we hit upon over the holidays was at a place called Building 19. It’s this close-out warehouse that gets all kinds of merchandise from all kinds of places. Stuff that’s discontinued… survived floods…fires… seriously… it ends up there. And, it turns out a tuxedo rental place had gone out of business and they were selling tuxes for like thirty bucks. Rich thought we should get a bunch of them but I wasn’t sure we should invest money in clothes we might need in the future, rather than clothes we knew we would need. Of course, in terms of Sound of Music, there wasn’t a convent going out of business at the time – so I guess you take what you can get.
‘Forever Plaid’, another show we are planning probably for the first season also requires tuxes…but it’s only four guys, and who knows what their sizes will be. So we held off on the tuxes, for which Rich thought I was a nimrod. Then, later that night, I realized that Sound of Music has a big ballroom scene (when the kids sing “So Long Farewell”) and that WOULD require a male chorus in evening wear. I told Rich I’d just realized this, to which he said “duh.” So – we went back and got about fifteen of them in the most likely sizes we figured we’d be hiring people. At the same place they also had, (knowing this place probably dredged up from the Titanic or Chernobyl or something) an array of very, very large outdoor Christmas light display things… giant stockings, a Santa sleigh, a train… all with rope lights attached to light weight metal frames. They were big and cool and would look great on the front of the building. They actually were just like the kind of stuff that they had at the zoo xmas display I posted pictures of in Ohio. The problem was – even thought they were at this clearance place – they were still a hundred bucks. Which we can’t afford to spend on Christmas lights. So, we told Janice that if she had a chance (she was staying in NH longer than we were), to go back after Xmas and see if they went on clearance. Or rather, since it’s a clearance house… clearance clearance.
And they DID. So – she got two giant stockings (one for each side of the building – we’ll flip one round so it’s mirrored) for like 60% off. Whoo hoo. She picked the stockings because, well, they were only ones that we had a hope in hell of fitting in the truck. So come May (since Janice has so much crap to bring back from NH (like table settings for sixty-four) and can’t even fit her new Christmas tree into her car (which she got LAST year and didn’t have room for then)) she and Rich are gonna make a visit to NH and bring them back.
So that’s about everything of great note that happened on the first leg of our Christmas transcontinental journey. New Hampshire was sooo beautiful – I love the architecture and so many of the houses and streets look like little Currier and Ives models. And so, after opening lots of lovely gifts on Christmas eve, we awoke Christmas morning packed our gigantic suitcases into the car, and headed to the airport for Bermuda. I know, it’s tough being us.
I want to leave you with one picture I forgot to post... Here's a shot of Rich carrying our gift from Cindy and Jean Anne down the street back to theatre.
Part three comin' soon.