Thursday, January 1, 2009

so how'd you fête the occasion?

My brother David had to tend bar at his nightclub last night, and Sean was called away for a last-minute gig, so I rang in the new year with my parents. Mom organized our little feast, which included several fruits (strawberries, grapes, clementines, pear-apples, and dried persimmons), several cheeses (spicy jack, mozzarella rolled in prosciutto, Emmenthaler, and a fantastic baked brie slathered in a fruit jam), several types of crackers, and several types of dry sausage. Dessert was two types of rum cake plus a Costco cheesecake. All excellent.

We watched "Kung Fu Panda" (I bought a copy at the local Hollywood Video), then settled in for Dick Clark's show. The parents informed me that Clark had suffered a stroke a while back, which shocked me: like everyone else, I had begun to think of the man as ageless and indestructible. In our viewing, which began a bit after 10PM, Clark didn't make his appearance until right before midnight (Ryan Seacrest, who seems to be prepping to become the next Dick Clark, did the heavy lifting). When he did finally appear, the moment was bittersweet for me; it hurt to see Clark struggling against his stroke-induced speech impediment, but it was also heartening to know he was game enough to get back out there and host the show to which his name and image are inextricably tied. There wasn't a trace of self-pity on the man's face.

Along came New Year's. We clinked our glasses together and knocked back our faux bubbly. There were no post-midnight phone calls as in years past; we goggled the goggle box a little while longer, then went our separate ways. I ended up staying up until after 5AM, watching reruns of Season 4 of "The Next Food Network Star," which got Aaron "Big Daddy" McCargo his current show, "Big Daddy's House."

It's a bright day with a blue sky. The trees outside my window are naked and proud of it. I've got a back yard to clean up, so I'll leave you here and see you when I see you. Happy New Year!



kwandongbrian said...

Happy New Year, big Hominid!

I notice Emmental wasn't on your list of cheeses, but it is the only kind I can get here. I'm a little bitter.

But not much. The skies are so clear at this time of year- it's time to get hiking again and enjoying the mountains.

Kevin Kim said...

For what it's worth, I did mention Emmenthaler, which is the same thing. The cheese goes by both names, I've noticed. That plus Gruyère gives you fondue neuchâteloise, probably the best-known of the fondues aside from fondue moitié-moitié. We'll probably be doing a neuchâteloise sometime soon.

Glad to hear the skies are clear on the peninsula-- no yellow dust! Enjoy the hiking, man. As long as one stays away from the crowded mountains, Korea's not a bad place to hike.