Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Very Happy New Year!

I'm usually terribly tardy with New Year wishes. In fact, I discovered yesterday that apparently I was very tardy with birthday wishes as well, forgetting to wish Suze on her birthday! I make all the right resolves about dilligently writing those emails and making the phone calls, but then the sheer number of persons to be wished, the pile-up of other chores, and my general tendency to procrastinate takes over. Even now, as I'm writing, I'm checking out Ebay auctions. Yes, I have no idea how I ever accomplish anything. Mostly I don't.

Just like this New Year's eve, when I wasn't exactly happy with our choice of party to attend, which was the same house party that we had attended last year. At least last year, I had S, Em, Suze and Soto for company.This year there was only Em, and we were to be accompanied by G&C and the Pumpkins. G&C and the Pumpkins are old friends, but I don't think we make terribly interesting conversation when we get together. So I had hoped for a more exciting venue, a club, or a bar, or the beach, something to hold my interest. But I'm never very determined at enforcing my viewpoint in such matters, and too lazy to pursue these questions with any tenacity.

Except when we decide to eat out together and G&C and the Pumpkins suggest some bland chain restaurant like the Olive Garden or Cheesecake Factory. I've suffered enough mediocre meals at these places to have made the grim resolve never to give them my business, so all my passion is channeled into vetoing a meal at these places, unless I absolutely have no choice. That happens quite often as well, because at least one of these four would decide to celebrate their birthday at a chain restaurant, and I have to grin and bear through the evening.

Anyway, so another New Year's Eve spent in a suburban house, with very friendly but slightly boring other guests, and vodka and bacon-wrapped scallops for company. And having to spend the entire evening trying to pacify Em who was infuriated at the rather cold and bitchy behaviour he was subjected to by G&C and to a certain extent Beck (the she Pumpkin). It seems that even though they had been invited to this party through Em, they had wasted no time in ditching his company at the party, and had cold-shouldered him, when he wanted to join their conversation. Well given that all that G&C and Beck ever talk about is their families and assorted pets, I don't know why Em would even bother to join in.

Besides, this unpleasantness, there was an altogether different drama that was being played out. The Pumpkins had gone off separately to chat with guests at the party, which I thought was a very healthy thing to do, unlike clingy couples who cannot let go of each other for even a second at parties. He Pumpkin started talking to a moderately attractive woman who is perhaps in her late 30s, so nearly a decade older than him. Apparently, he has a bit of a thing for older women, and shortly we saw the two on the dance floor together. I looked around, and saw She Pumpkin merrily chatting with some fellow in another corner, so I assumed she was cool with it. After a while, Em and I were joined by Em's cousin who asked him if the Pumpkins have broken up. No, he said. She looked shocked at the news, and then told him that she saw He Pumpkin kissing the older woman on the dance floor. We looked in the direction of the dance floor, and saw the two of them dancing close to each other, arms around each other's hips. I went looking for She Pumpkin and found her quite drunk, chatting with a bunch of guys. Apparently, there had been an excess of tequila shots.

But in any case She Pumpkin knew what He had been upto, and it was a bit surprising that she didn't make a fuss about it, considering the fact that she always publicly proclaims that any cheating from him would lead to the relationship being over. Em and I discussed it and came to the conclusion that she's smart enough to give him enough rope, so he doesn't feel stifled in the relationship. After all, even if he tries to flirt a bit with various women, she knew he would come back to her at the end of the night. This had been the case at the party at my house as well, where they had both gone off to flirt with others, leaving at least one neighbour of mine very confused.

The next day, I had hoped for a gastronomically great start to the New Year by going off to one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in town, A Thousand Cranes. I wanted lunch there, because dinner's almost double the price of lunch. But Pumpkins and G&C intervened and said they wanted to go to the Farmer's Market. Em, who had been cribbing all night about them, meekly decided to tag along, because he felt appearances have to be kept up. And so I had to go to Farmer's Market as well. Which isn't such a bad choice, given there are a lot of great food places there (just stay clear of the pizza and BBQ). I decided to let out a proactive squeak at last and steer everyone towards Monsieur Marcel (lest the Pumpkins and G&C wanted to get the mediocre crepes and sandwiches instead).

So yes, finally I had a high point to my start of the New Year, an excellent meal of boeuf bourguignonne (beef in a red Burgundy sauce) and potatoes. Actually my restaurant fairy was being especially benevolent that day because at night Em and I went out with an old friend of his and ended up in a really cool cafe in downtown LA for another fine meal. And I was happy.


Blogger Rimi said...

what a deliciously (gastronomic) life you lead. *sigh* oh well, to each his/her own blessings, i suppose...

i'm pretty useless at wishes and 'special' days myself, but since you do bring it up, happy new year! here's wishing you the most interesting times ahead. perhaps, just perhaps, not all good, but interesting and stimulating all the same. live it up!

8:43 PM  
Blogger Jabberwock said...

Happy 2006, Swati!

3:14 AM  
Blogger Vijayeta said...

Great start to the New Year indeed! I love going to a cosy, chic restaurant on Jan 1 with my closest friends too :) And the party didnt seem all that bad too, given that you had observed so much...which is always fun, isnt it?
Happy New Year to you too, babes!

1:39 PM  
Blogger dear diary said...

Isn't gossip always the best thing ever? Esp. when its about others. *sigh* when will we ever behave!

1:50 AM  
Blogger Bonatellis said...

is stuff like "boeuf bourguignonne" an acquired taste?
u could start a food blog actually :)
have a fabulous 2006.

8:28 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Rimi, call it my lucky break. I landed in LA, which happens to be perhaps one of the most gastronomically diverse places on earth. Thanks for the interesting wishes!

Jai, to you too!

Vij, great to see you! Oh yes, observations are always fun, which is why I wasn't bored a bit that night. Here's to a rocking new year to you too!

Dear Diary, I would gladly partake of gossip about myself as well, but no one seems to oblige :).

Bontellis, she ki? Boeuf Bourguignonne is an acquired taste? I thought classic French homecooking and bistro fare had a very broad appeal. Do you not like coq au vin as well?

I find food blogs fun, but I sure as hell wouldn't be able to drone on ad nauseaum about my meals.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

Yes, me too am proactive only when it comes to steering people away from Olive Garden and Cheesecake Factory :D

The boeuf bourguignonne sounds yumm!

1:20 AM  
Blogger Bonatellis said...

my apologies, i am very paati :) i am more familiar with kassa beef :p

8:48 AM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Happy New Year Swati!!

Am busy eating golda chingri cooked by Ma! Obviously have no time to blog, hehe...

11:02 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Pidus, I do hope your friends are not cruel enough to celebrate birthdays there!

Bonatellis, no, no, not paati at all. Kassa beef is yummy, sometimes I make some.

Urmea, at last! Hmmm....golda chingri you say..perhaps I should badger S a bit about a SF trip after all. When are you guys coming to LA?

10:26 AM  
Blogger Adagio For Strings said...

quick question - was thinking of putting up some pics from the wedding, do you know how to do that?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous AB said...

Hey there... I guess it's not yet the middle of the month, so I can safely wish you Happy New Year!;-)

11:03 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Adagio, it's really very easy. There is an option in the control panel when you write your post to upload pictures. Just click on the pic icon and upload from your PC.

AB a very happy new year to you too! Great to have you back.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

Yeah, rrright. They better pay the bill if they do that!
Hey, sorry about the comment. Am quite stressed out with a lot of work and didn't think much while replying, since it's only you :) I didn't intend anything against you.

Congrats on making it to THE list :D Just found it from rimi's post. I am still laughing!

9:52 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Pidus, I finally figured out what THE LIST is all about. Yay for me!!! Can't wait for the detailed description. Yummy.

And please, I didn't mind at all. In fact, it would not be incorrect to say that I'm very art-ignorant, but always willing to learn a thing or two about appreciating greatness.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Psyche said...

If I aint to late to wish ya and y'all.. .HAPPY NEW YEAR!! :)

This years party was on me, which I threw at a friend's place as mine was indisposable. So most of my "new year" time was spent in trying to convince everyone (including my friend, who wouldn't STOP cooking!) that I indeed was the hostess :)Still great fun was..

After thought confession: Also did some MAJOR close dancing with a certain VJ. But I am on a break, so thats ok I guess ;)

2:30 AM  
Blogger MAHARAJADHIRAJ said...

Zupp Mikra?? You're under a Blogger's block or something? Why no write?

10:24 PM  
Blogger the still dancer said... is past mid-month, but heppee new year ennyway. But why blog silence, i zeyyyy?

2:13 AM  
Blogger Adagio For Strings said...

You seem to have disappeared. Whats up?

8:35 AM  
Blogger 4WD said...

Yes yes you should write more. I mean, if you dont want to, its cool, but everyone else is saying that, so i did too. In real life, if you met me, i wouldn't say that. Id say, hello, and pretend i dont blog.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Adagio For Strings said...

Ok now you are just scaring me. Everything alright?

6:56 PM  
Blogger SomeOl'Guy said...

coincidentally, beouf bourgnignon is one of the few dishes i have successfully cooked for a lot of people: last made it for a bunch of ppl over thanksgiving. a friend of mine, who is from burgundy, described her grandmother's way of cooking this, which sounded fabulous .... i should post about it. maybe i will.. :-)

1:32 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Love's Angel, your party sounds fabulous. You have terrific friends, who come and cook in your house. My friends would be too intimidated by my cluttered kitchen to cook.

Dhiraj, just taking a break :)

Arka, sure, rrrrright. You're the one to talk, eh?

Adagio, here I am. Back where I was. No nothing terrible happened, thanks for asking.

4WD, thanks so much for egging me on and unleashing me on poor unsuspecting blog-hoppers :)

Some 'ol, now you're someone who should be way more prolific than you are, but of course you're spending time cooking boeuf bourguignonne, fabulous! And do pass the recipe on, pretty please :).

3:50 PM  

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