This year, as every year, I vow to get in shape, exercise more, eat less, be physically fit. This is how 2005 started, or rather, how 2004 ended. We, the husband and teen daughter, had decided on a late dinner after D drove the college daughter downtown to Shannan's for NYE bash (so she wouldn't be behind the wheel, drunk or not drunk, in the craziness). When he got back, we went to Chili's on one of the many gift certificates I have received recently. After D ordered a sirloin, the server returned to report that they didn't have any sirloins left. So D, in the true style of his father, The Major, started badgering her to tell the manager that he deserved the same price as the sirloin no matter what he ordered to replace it with. He was so obnoxious, although in his right, that I wanted to crawl under the table (and not for the reason he wanted me to). The waitress came back to announce that he would get the steak he ordered at the price of the sirloin. Happiness abounded. When we got the bill, his entire dinner was comped. Maybe acting like "the major" gets you results.
On a whim, we decided to go to my sister's house for NYE. We never ever go anywhere, let alone for NYE so this was quite thrilling. She and her friends were playing Trivial Pursuit, but when we got there, they were playing a combination of Win/Lose/Draw and Charades. On the chalkboard was a house so as they welcomed us, I shouted, "CIDER HOUSE RULES." Damn, if I wasn't right. I was immediately on my sister's team, and we kicked chalk charade butt. D did amaze us all when his team, the opposition, had a 4-word movie/book. The drawer drew four lines _______ ________ _________ _______ and circled the last 2, indicating they were the same word and proceeded to draw a gun. While teammates were shouting all sorts of clues, gun, murder, bullet, D just waited and finally blurted out "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." Not bad for a man who hates musicals and has never seen "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in his life. We watched Conan and toasted the New Year at midnight. Then everyone parted. Apparently, some people actually turn into toads at midnight while it's just the beginning of my evenings. Matter of fact, several people asked me when Conan is usually on, like they never stay up till 11:30. Then embarrassingly, I could recite the NBC line-up for the entire evening into the morning hours including a really bad show at 2:30 called "Stating Over
So we left about 12:30 with the spinach and artichoke dip and bagels chips in hand and headed downtown to pick up our drunk daughter from her party. The traffic was nuts once we got downtown, and luckily we went down there from St. Charles (Hwy 70). (more later) We finally found Emily at the corner where Shannons is while her friends had already started out walking back to Drury Plaza. I don't think I have ever seen so many drunk girls walking barefooted or being carried on guys' back as I did that night. E got into the car reeking of booze and cigarettes. She was feeling no pain and had to pee like a royal Lippizoner. We managed to get her to the Drury Plaza where she squeezed in amongst the others to go pee in the lobby bathroom even though she was not a guest. Can you believe drunk kids actually ran into our van? With her back in the car and relieved of the "pressure," she wanted T Bell, her definition of Taco Bell and kept inquiring into the aluminum foil of T Rav's, her abbreviation for toasted ravioli. Despite the massive amounts of food she consumed, she wanted more, but we did not give into her requests. We drove home by way of Hwy 44 and witnessed more sirens, police, ambulance, firetrucks at 44 and Murdock than I have ever seen.