<sigh> He's gone. Mike went home to visit his family for the holiday season. He left early this morning and I miss him terribly already but, there are some good things to it. It's nice that he'll be off to see his family again. He hasn't seen them since July, even longer for his aunt and brother. Also, I'm not sure if he would have as much fun with our Christmas traditions as his own. We do Christmas differently than Mike's family (they open presents in the morning when they wake, we stay up all Christmas Eve night and open presents after midnight when we have our Christmas meal). So, since I'm supposed to put a picture of myself with each new entry, I decided to put a picture of my better half. Isn't he yummy?
Actually, I took these photographs yesterday before Mike and I went off to dinner for our Christmas celebration. We were able to make reservations at our favorite restaurant, Robertos. It was a wonderful dinner! I started with clams on the half shell (which I have been craving recently for the past several times that Mike and I have been out to dinner. I don't know why I have such a craving for raw seafood. It's to the point that I think I need to get sick on something before I will stop ordering it as an appetizer. I discovered in the latest Time Out New York of a wonderful oyster bar in the city that has very reasonable prices. I should go there someday. Perhaps bring Christine since Mike would probably find it unpleasant (unless they have some non-raw seafood). We'll see...) and Mike had the shrimp and garlic in a bread bowl. It doesn't seem to be as good as the first time I had it. I think that the garlic isn't as heavy is it used to be and it doesn't have the same creamy texture that I recall. Mike and I are huge fans of garlic. We miss Roberto's baked onion, which should be coming around sometime in late spring/early summer.
For our main courses, I decided on the paella and Mike chose the Steak Roberto. The paella was huge! The amount of seafood in the dish totally overpowered the amount of rice. It was delicious. I couldn't finish (neither could Mike) and we brought home two large doggie bags. We typically have dessert (tiramisu for iko!) and, unlike our natural tendencies to be creatures of habit, we decided to come home and do our typical Christmas celebration instead.
Every year, Mike and I do the same thing for the holiday season. We try to do our ritual as close to Christmas as we can (we've never spent a Christmas day together) before the holiday. We get "home" (either his apartment in college or my apartment when I was out of college) and put on some Christmas music. The first 4 years, it was Tim's Radical Christimas tape. Last year, Mike accidentally dropped the wonderful tape into some water and now, it is not playable. Last year and this year, we are playing some snippets of Christmas songs and a Bach CD. Mike will prepare some hot cocoa and we nestle down together on a couch, sipping our cocoa and talking. The topic of conversation really isn't important. Sometimes we'll work on a puzzle. This year we talked about rituals and how we will spend Christmas. It's always nice snuggling with each other, the lights of the Christmas tree dancing on our faces. We typically will open up presents when we're done with our cocoa but I really didn't want to wait. For some reason I was more anxious this year. I knew that Mike knew what I got for him this year, but I was impatient and wanted to see his reaction to my gift. But first, the happy gift! Mike really loved Tuck and Roll, the two acrobatic bugs from A Bug's Life. A few weeks ago, I was in Port Authority where I saw these two character's dolls and I bought it on sight. It made the perfect "fun" gift for Christmas. I had Mike open that first and he totally loved them! He then opened the watch that I purchased for him. It's a really beautiful Citizen watch, two toned with primarily gold trim and a black face (for high contrast). The band was definitely too large for him, but when he gets back we will get it sized at the jewellers. He really loved it! Then he had me open my present...
Picking the two packages up, I knew both of them were books. As per his instructions, I opened the "fun" gift first. It was the Encyclopaedia of Star Wars! They catalogue all the names and references in all the various books and movies and comic books in the Star Wars Universe. It's a little outdated, but I figured that I could add to it with handwritten entries in the margins or something like that. It's something that I've always wanted but never got the gumption to buy it for myself. Then he had me open up the second present...
I screamed with delight! It was the Star Wars book that comes with the Smithsonian Exhibit in DC. The Magic of Myth. What a gorgeous book! I hugged and squeezed Mike for a long time for this present. I haven't even seen it yet in the stores! I felt bad about my present. I felt it was somehow inadequate. My present was very functional. His present was something that touched me. It got to the soul of what I enjoy. I felt kind of bad in a way, but Mike assured me that he really loved his present and likes the fact that I am practical.
Ella joined us for a while and she opened her gift from Mike: the fez. She totally went nuts! She says that it was the best present she has ever received and my gift better be "damned good" to outdo Mike. I assured her... it is. <grin> Ella got Mike a book on Connections. He loved it. I was jealous. I wish I got him more. A game. Something genuinely fun. I'm glad that Mike has the ability to reassure me and take away my fears. We snuggled close on the couch and all my negative feelings drained from me. Merry Christmas, baby.
This morning, when we brought Mike to the airport, I brought my Star Wars book. Well, I accidentally left it in Mike's bag and he's got it now in Illinois. A small chuckle on my behalf. <grin> I can be so absent-minded sometimes. I got an invitation from my friend, Rebekah, to see her hood piercing at Keith's place on January 1st. I'd like to see it. We'll see. At the very least, I'm going to visit her at Penn Station after she gets her tongue split on the 7th of January.