Normally I don't bother much with New Year's Eve ... 'twas never a big deal in my family (I've slept through far more midnights than I've seen in) and, personally, I consider solstice to be the true turning of the year (a phone conversation with my mother today revealed that she always considered the beginning of September to be her personal New Year, because that's when the outside influence of school buses and packed lunches and homework and presentable-to-the-outside-world clothes would suddenly began to dictate life's daily schedule ... we probably all have personal annual events/dates that mean far more to the marking of our year than this particular arbitrary calendar day) ...
Now, where was I before I started rambling? Oh yeah ... tonight I broke my personal tradition and accepted an invitation to dinner and music at Juan's Mexican Restaurant in downtown Calgary. An excellent Spanish folk singer/guitarist entertained us for the early part of the evening, followed later by a 3 piece cover band that was fairly decent, but disappointingly non-Mexican/Spanish. In between live sets, CDs were played that reveal how very universal music styles are becoming ... Mexican polka music!!! ***chuckles*** Due to the weather (minus 24C when I got there), the place was only about half full and it stayed that way all evening, even though they'd sold out on tickets for tonight (kinda nice, since the background noise level stayed low enough to allow conversation without shouting).
Dinner was excellent and very Mexican and we ended up with double dessert! When G. bought the tickets, she was given a menu for that night's meal that said the dessert was to be three-milk cake. When we arrived, the menus on the table said the dessert was to be deep-fried ice cream ... something unfamiliar to several of our party, although they were quite looking forward to it once the rest of us explained how it was made. Dessert arrives, and it's three-milk cake. One of the deep-fried ice cream newbies was disappointed enough to query the waitress on this ... she was surprised, checked the menu, went to the kitchen, came back and said the menu was a mistake but, because we'd asked, the kitchen was going to fry the ice cream for us anyway, in addition to the cake. :-)))))
After dinner, good conversation, champagne at midnight, much hugging and kissing between friends and strangers alike, a bit o' dancing. And then home, as eyes were getting tired and cranky (last day of one-month contacts ... I'd meant to use the fresh ones tonight and forgot) and it's a bit of a haul from downtown to home. Snow was starting to blow around and hide the patches of ice that had been on the streets when I'd gone downtown, so was happy to be a bit ahead of the closing-time crowd and able to be cautious without somebody driving up my tailpipe. Am now curious as to why the cops went to all the trouble of setting up a Checkstop on the Macleod Trail in this miserable weather and then were just waving traffic past (instead of stopping each vehicle, which is the whole point of Checkstop) ... maybe they were waiting for the main exodus from the downtown bars/clubs/restaurants. According to today's news, last New Year's Eve only one charge of drunk driving was laid in Calgary ... here's hoping that this season's don't-drink-and-drive promotional slogan ("coming home alive is the best gift you can give your family and friends") has been effective enough that the boys and girls in blue will be rewarded by only finding drunks in the back seats of taxis. :-)))))
Hope everybody had a good evening, however they spent it, and that 2005 brings good health and the best kind of happiness to all.
MEGAHUGS TO ALL!!!!!!!