Saturday, January 1, 2011

Randy Jackson and New Year's 2011 (A Little BSB Too.)

So this is my New Year's post. I realize I essentially skipped over Christmas, but Christmas was weird for my family this year. Summary: We usually spend Christmas up north at my grandparents' house. This has been going on since I was about 3, so it's tradition by now. My sister has never in her life been at home on Christmas Day, and, like I said, I haven't since I was 3. This year, the day before Christmas Eve, my mom hurt her back, so traveling was basically out of the question. Now don't get me wrong, Christmas was great, and we had a lot of fun, it was just not as chaotic as I was used to. So blog material wasn't as easy to come by. Unless you want to hear about the marshmallow guns my sister and I got, and how my dog spent a good part of the day searching out the mini marshmallows we shot at each other. (I'm not so good with drawing to scale. And no, our house is not completely devoid of furnishings, nor is our Christmas tree devoid of ornaments. Putting lights on it was just the most I could handle at this hour.)

But anyway, New Year's rolls around, and another tradition is to have it at our house with some of our extended family. This has been going on since I was pretty tiny as well, and I don't think this one has ever been messed up as far as I can recall. Our gathering is pretty tame, but always a good time. We eat food, play games, bust out the non-alcoholic bubbly, and watch Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve or whatever they call it now. This year we had my dad's homemade spaghetti and meat sauce, the recipe for which he learned from an old Italian woman my dad's family lived by when he was young. So it's pretty legit. And very tasty. 

As far as games go, my dad and uncle went to the MSU basketball game, so it was just the girls at home for the afternoon, so my mom, sister, cousin, and soon-to-be aunt (stoked about that one! :D) played Scattergories while they were gone. If you're unfamiliar with the game, you roll a die with letters on it and get a letter. Then you have cards with 12 categories on each side. Once you have the letter, everyone has to think of a word that begins with that letter for each category in the given time. If two people have the same word, neither of them get the point. 

Needless to say, sometimes the answers get pretty hilarious. Or just totally random. Sometimes they're not even real things. For example--Letter: S, Category: Things you don't want in the house. My sister's answer? Snappy old men. What?! She tried desperately to defend it, but we all shot her down. Another few personal faves? Letter: O, Category: Things that are black. Cousin's answer? Obama. Letter: G, Category: Things you keep hidden. Cousin's answer? Gay sexuality. Another hilarious mishap came when the letter was R and one category was "things with balls," while the one right after was "television stars." My sister meant to write Randy Jackson for a tv star, but accidentally put him on the line for things with balls. Much laughter followed. 

Then, getting sleepy apparently, we came to Letter: B, Category: Words with four different vowels. My answer? "Beautiful." Aunt's answer? "Hawaii." We all kind of sat there for a little while, thinking that over, before I stated, "But...that's an H, not a B." More laughter. A short while later, the game ended (probably fortunately for all of us) and the winner was declared. It was me. 126 points. I was proud.

After dinner, we moved on to a rousing game of Apples to Apples, with all nine of us crammed around one table, and my dad trying to convince each new judge that his card was the best. (He tried to convince my cousin's boyfriend that "oranges" are "magical." He didn't win that round. Or the game.) If you're unfamiliar with Apples to Apples, there are green cards and red cards. The green cards are adjectives and the red ones are nouns. One person plays a green card, and the others all play the red card they think best fits the green one. (Or doesn't fit at all, but is really hilarious.) Sometimes it's just about knowing the judge. I won the "smooth" round by feeling pretty certain that no matter what the adjective was, my cousin would pick the noun "The Titanic" as the winner, which I just happened to have in my hand. I was right.

We finished the game and turned to Dick Clark (but mostly Ryan Seacrest) and the New Year's show. Things got really exciting when my cousin said "Isn't that the Backstreet Boys?" Sure enough, there they were, performing live in Times Square with New Kids On The Block. (We weren't as excited about NKOTB. BSB has our hearts.) The tv volume was definitely not adequate party volume, so I screamed at my sister "TURN IT UP! IT'S THE BACKSTREET BOYS!" and smacked her leg a few times. I was still trapped at the table from our Apples to Apples seating arrangements. Startled, she fell off her chair, and I climbed over her, grabbing the remote and cranking the volume so loud that I couldn't hear my mom yelling "JOANNA! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!" (We'd had it propped open because it was unbearably warm in the house.) She finally got my attention after my cousin had already shut the door. For the next five or ten minutes, we jumped around, belting out each BSB song included in the medley they were performing, and booing whenever NKOTB threw one of their songs into the mix.

Finally, their glorious medley ended. I'm sure the adults were all thrilled by that fact. We poured our bubbly, talked about the thing we had enjoyed most about 2010, then counted down to the new year. We all shared hugs, and "Happy New Year, I love you"s, then cousin and I knew we had something serious to do. Pictures with the bubbly bottles. Here's our fave.

Photos were taken, and then it got even better. Dance Central on Kinect. We danced our hearts out. If that's possible. I'm not even going to attempt to draw that, and there's no photo evidence, so you're just going to have to use your imaginations. Just think of what it might look like to see a bunch of white girls with no rhythm or dance skills trying to dance. Not pretty. Super fun, just not very talent-centered. Though that just made it all the more fun to watch. My New Year's resolution is to learn to dance. Just kidding.

Seriously though, I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. God blessed me in so many ways in 2010, I just know it will continue in 2011, and I hope the same goes for everyone else. Good night/morning, and Happy New Year.

Next Day Addition: Tonight we played Balderdash. Holy crap. Hilarious. According to my dad, Jacques Brandenberger was "the first man carried across country lines by holding onto a rope tied to a dirigible." Also, according to my sister, "schemozzle" is "a German game, somewhat like hopscotch dedicated to a bird named Moze who lost its life in an explosion." More than just those two times, most of us were laughing so hard we cried. Balderdash is now very high on my list of favorite games. 

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