Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Party Cheer

This year, after the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day parties I attended, I thought about the conversations I was a part of, wondering if they varied in any way from conversations at parties at other times of the year. 

Much of what was talked in my own conversations had to do with entertainment, such as interesting movies, plays and books that were enjoyed.  I was fortunate enough to meet a very kind man who was a long-time television and stage actor, and who had stories about the industry that kept me asking questions, which he endured graciously.

At another party, I talked with a gentleman about the current state of home entertainment.  Both of us, trying to peer over the distant horizon of when each of us might have steady work and money again, imagined the perfect home-entertainment system; Blue Ray, Sony LED flat screen monitor with a surround-sound system in place.  Such fun to dream!

Another person and I talked about speeding tickets; the common places to get them in the areas we drive frequently.  My girlfriend was issued one for speeding not too long ago, and her uncle confided that he’s been prolific in his collection of speeding tickets.  He said that he’s been pulled over twice as much, so he has about a 50% “warning” rate from officers.

His best story was that he had a mid-1970’s Corvette, which he wanted to test.  He drove it up the Grapevine hill (the section that is the steepest from the town of Grapevine to Lebec headed Southbound on Interstate 5), and he was keeping a speed of between 80 and 90 miles per hour.  He leveled off at the top of the hill to see a CHP behind him with lights on.  The CHP officer told him that he had to wait until the top of the hill to catch him because he couldn’t keep up with the Corvette.  There was no warning given on that occasion.

Then, there were conversations about traveling to Europe.  Like me, others have not been able to travel for years and have also missed having that in their lives.  One person I spoke with had traveled to 9 countries in about three weeks throughout Europe using the Eurorail with his buddy. I had enjoyed two glasses of wine by that point, so I don’t recall the details of his trip.  But how fun that must have all been! 

I think the most unexpected fun I had was during a third party I went to just last night.  It was a low-key get-together with food and my girlfriends’ brother’s house.  They had a game on Sony Playstation 2 in which you and one other person pick from a myriad of songs with videos and compete to sing the whole song on key.  The system has a quasi-musical staff indication on the screen along with the song’s video production, and while you sing, you can see the words come up along with your on-going score.  It’s Karaoke, VH1 or GAC, music theory class and singing around the campfire combined.

What I noticed though in all of my Christmas conversations was that, though the content didn’t vary much from that of other parties, everyone was in energetic and chipper moods.  And that made the holidays a lot of fun.