The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Sunday, January 01, 2006

HOW I SPENT MY NEW YEAR'S: THE ABRIDGED VERSION

It started out innocently enough. Lunch at Chili's with my friends V (in from Houston) and C. V and her sister got a room downtown where a few of us were going to stay overnight, only she had no idea where this hotel was. Fortunately, I did, only because it was right next door to a gay club that I visited once. Her and I went there, checked in, and got ready for the big party. Champagne, rum, chips, dip, grapes, bowls, board games were the supplies on hand. After coming home to get gussied up myself, I headed back downtown to enjoy the festivities. There were about 6 of us in the room; we got started by watching the ball drop in Times Square.

(Quick aside: I spent the early part of the afternoon watching a marathon of "The $100,000 Pyramid" on GSN. Seeing Dick Clark go from the ageless wonder back in the 80's to stroke victim in a few hours was, to say the least, shocking. I do hope he makes a fuller recovery so he can be back even better next year.)

After that, we headed downtown for the big party. We got there with about 30 minutes to go before the countdown. After making our way through the mass of people, baby strollers, and funny hat vendors, we found a spot to watch the big fireworks show that was scheduled for midnight. Me and about 250,000 of my closest friends counted down the seconds to 2006, then the fireworks started. Or so I've been told. Thanks to some heavy fog that came about late that night, all I really saw was illuminated condensation. After the show, our group of 6 hung around for a bit, when I saw a pair of women I met from a retreat I went on back in October. I ran them down and said hi. One of them asked if there were any single guys that I was with; I was the only one in my group that fit that description. I talked with them for about a minute or two, and when I turned to my right, I saw none other than Suzanne.

I walked over to her, hugged her, and talked with her for a little bit. She was wearing a long red gown that she'd worn when she accompanied me to fraternity formals. Next to her was some Asian guy in a decent sports coat that she referred to as her date. (For the record, I was in jeans and a lavender J. Crew shirt.) I wished her well, she did the same, and I left to rejoin my group. (I'm really hoping this is the ultimate goodbye. Else, I'm going to have to start looking for another job somewhere out of town.)

Our group headed back to out hotel room, wherein much drinking, charades playing, movie watching, stranger-chatting and conversation ensued. (My old friend Eric, the Smart-Ass AP, even made an appearance, after leaving a bar where he rang in 2006.)

Lunch at Cheesecake Factory and seeing "Fun with Dick and Jane" was how I spent the first day of the year, trying to get ready for work tomorrow. (That's right... I work tomorrow. How fun, eh?)

Hope everyone had fun. Good luck with the resolutions. I'll put mine here in the next day or two. Happy 2006.

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