Holiday Wrapup

After not blogging for two weeks, I’m going to be shooting blog posts out of a confetti cannon today.

First up, how was Christmas, Eric? Well, it was very nice. Let’s see…

I got my performance review at work! I was supposed to get a three-month performance review, which would have been like Thanksgiving time, but they just combined it with the end-of-year review. I’m delighted to report that, as I suspected – but have lost faith in my instincts about such things – I’m doing fine! People like me, they like my work, I’m a good addition to the team and so on. I got a little raise, which is lovely. I’m going to have more responsibility and interesting stuff in the new year, but I will say that what I’ve already been doing was interesting enough. The amount of energy I’m putting into the job (which seems to me, as part of general life malaise, somewhat lacking) seems to be getting the job done, so although improvement in that regard is indicated by me, no one else is standing over me with a stick.

So, bottom line there, I’m in a good situation, will do my best not to fuck it up, and I think we can finally declare ourselves to be ‘back on the horse’, as far as how we feel about ourselves and our job competencies. One year to tear it all down, one to build it back up. But we’re back.

So the leadup to and celebration of Christmas was as lovely as it could have been, considering that we couldn’t do things like go look at the Rockefeller tree. We saw a bunch of Christmas movies (and continue to do so): a lot of old favorites and new ones we’d never seen before. Since there are an infinite number of Hallmark Xmas movies (“Hallmark” being used here as a genre, not a brand – some are on Lifetime, some are Netflix, etc.), we have been shuffling those in, and deliberately seeking out the ones that are coming out lately that aim to be more inclusive: gay, or black, or Asian-American and so on. It’s been fun!

I’ve been enjoying my own Xmas music (recordings) and re-genre-ing them in Itunes and such. Rating unrated tracks. Trying to spend equal time listening to beloved stuff and enjoying new stuff. (I have so much Xmas music.)

C and I had both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day off. Xmas Eve, C likes to do the 7 fishes thing (or 3 fishes or 1 fish). We started the day with a breakfast of smoked salmon and bialies, yum. And dinner was shrimp cocktail and then homemade mushroom ravioli from last Christmas, unearthed from the freezer. C had made a maple walnut cake using the walnuts I’d given him in his stocking last year that had been sitting around. I had enough energy to buy a Pillsbury cylinder and make sugar cookies, but not enough to do the rolling out and the cutting into Xmas shapes, I just did circles – but they were decorated four different ways.

We also gave each other Xmas eve gifts of clothing – I got Xmas socks. He got lounge pants with candy canes all over, and two shirts: one with a cartoon of the bimbo from “White Christmas” saying “Mutual, I’m sure!”, and another with a cartoonish Bette Davis with a caption of, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a Merry Christmas.”

Xmas day, we actually opened gifts fairly early. Usually, especially if we have family houseguests, C likes to passively-aggressively postpone present opening for some reason, but not this time. We each got stocking stuff (nuts, candy, lip balm, fancy soap, a scented candle). I got clothes and a circular knitting needle set; he got Swarovski ornaments and a jewelry box, plus digitized CDs of all the old Firestone Xmas records.

The rest of the day was phone calls to friends and family, mostly separate, but we had a zoom call set up by my cousin that was the whole Peterson side of the family, so that was fun. Then for dinner, C made a turkey rolletini with stuffing, mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. Just lovely.

I also did some piano recordings. I’ve been working on the two-part inventions all year, but had really spent the last couple of months focused on the rather-tough C minor. Sort of in the wake of that one, the D major one fell together pretty quickly (and the D minor one is coming along nicely too and should be ready soon).

And I also put this together, which I worked a lot on last Christmas.

More to come, including an end-of-year wrapup, a ‘best of 2020’ (if there could be such a thing), and possible another piano thing…

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