We arrived by late Saturday afternoon, and Laura (my old roomie, and current lovermuffin) got ready for the ball together. It all felt very prom-esque, which I suppose is appropriate considering I was wearing my prom dress from senior year highschool. It's a bronze-copper color, shimmery, with a halter tie, low back, deep v-neck and (Caitlin will understand this reference) a "really really poofy" skirt. Laura was wearing a burgundy-cinnamon dress of loveliness. Met up with everyone in the dining room, where we had full access to a buffet: salmon, salads, chicken pasta alfredo, etc etc...drank some wine, yadda yadda.
The ball itself was pretty small - couldn't have been more than 2 dozen guests. The DJ was legit; my date and I requested swing music and frolicked about to that. We've been taking lindy hop classes (which is a style similar to swing) since September, and also took classes throughout most of sophomore year, before I went off to Spain and such. Laura and I rocked it out to "Lady Marmalade", I requested some sappy songs to bust out some ballroom moves, and in the end, my date and I were voted King and Queen. This entitled us to free strawberry daquiris and a sweet tiara. My date gave a speech (upon request, that is) and we danced about to Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing". The rest of the night consisted of almond champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Balls need to happen more often - there's nothing like a big dose of dancing, poofy dresses and wine to raise one's spirits.
As we were driving back to Seattle the next day, we stopped in Olympia to have dinner at my parent's house. I had called my mom just to let her know I'd be swinging by to pick up a box of stuff I had left there, but she suggested we stick around to eat. My family typically eats dinner around 8 or 9 pm - by the time we arrived it couldn't have been much past 5 pm, so in my mind I wasd picturing making a few peanut butter sandwiches or something. Wrong. David Buckland - a family friend who we've been close to for about 15 years, had driven down from his houseboat in Seattle. After hosting a dinner party the night before, he had tons of leftover food. So..he called up my parents, told them to get some more food together, and by the time we arrived there was baked chicken, grilled shrimp, grilled flank steak, a very Spanish-influenced rice with chorizo and saffron, asparagus, yadda...more wine. :) We left for Seattle an hour or 2 later, completely stuffed on good food and better conversation.
So - got back Sunday night, and jumped right into a silly final paper. On Monday, I turned in a final paper for Spanish - loosely speaking, it was about justice and the legal system in the movies "Traffic" and "The Border". Tuesday, I had an in-class Nutrition final. Wednesday, I had a research paper for my Human Rights in Latin America class - wrote about the ineffective practices of the Mexican government (and international human rights community) in response to the murders of women in Juarez, Mexico (right on the border).
I haven't done much since last Wednesday. Had the last lindy class of the year, baked and decorated cookies with Laura, went to Jackie's cocktail party, house party at Justin's, lots of hanging out with Caitlin and way too much time spent watching Food Network. On Sunday, I woke up at 5 AM - went to Jackie's at 6:15 AM to eat pancakes with her, Jaime and Danny and then headed with them to the Eagles Hall in south Seattle. (Thank god it was right near a Starbucks..) We spent the next 5 hours volunteering at Sea Mar's annual Children's Xmas Holiday party. Sea Mar is a non-profit health clinic that mostly serves the Spanish-speaking community. It was pretty sweet - we spent the first several hours helping to set up chairs, tables and all that jazz. Assigned ourselves :) to put up tons of decorating stuff - tinsel, silver bells, etc. I filled an unspeakable number of punch cups. The last hour or so was spent helping with registration - we were blown away by how many people showed up - easily 800. So many adorable little kids, all dressed up to see Santa. Nearly everyone was speaking Spanish. We served food for awhile, and then decided it was time for us to jet. I figured I'd come back and pass out, but for whatever reason (um, probably the coffee I drank) I couldn't sleep. I've been super chill since Sunday - spent lots of time cooking soups, stuffed peppers, vegetable dishes, southwestern-style couscous and beans, etc...Sunday night I watched "Aladdin" with Caitlin and made candy cane brownies. I swear to god we're resorting back to being little kids :)
Last night I saw "The Santaland Diaries" - it's one of David Sedaris' many (MANY) essays, and arguably one of his best. It's this absolutely hilarious true story about a Christmas season spent working in NYC as an elf in Macy's Santaland. He definitely brings the funny, but it's also laden with social criticism and some slightly serious moments. By and large, though, it's just a hell of a good time.
Tonight I'm headed down to Olympia. Going with the family to visit my grandparents in Cannon Beach/Astoria December 24-26; back in Seattle December 27-28 to work; then probably back to Oly for a few days.
Here's to Christmas break, the Food Network and cozy socks. Holla!