Monday, December 31, 2007

new year's eve celebration - blog style (holiday party #29)

6:00 pm:
Cliff and I talked about having an on-line New Year's Eve party, but never ironed out the details (I think we're both 'big picture' people). 

The party is casual, come as you are. Let us know what you're up to via the comment's section. If you email me ( a photograph I'll post it. 

I'll check in via iPhone from the shows that I'm covering. 

Have a sparkly fun safe evening! 


Ralph is here (I think he took the "come as you are" a little too seriously).

Found Cliff - he and Ralph are choosing the wine. 


Those two clean up nicely!


I should have walked out the door an hour ago- as you can see, I'm still in my robe. 

I can't decide whether to wear my short "mod" dress...

...or the sparkly skirt. 

Decided on the dress and a new plan of action. I'm going to stop at the Red Key to say Happy New Year and head to the Big Damn Band show (skipping the other venue). 

Beautiful Rachel is here - looking festive in red. 

Kim and Wayne are here- but they only have eyes for each other.

I found Bad Influence Girl and she found a feather boa - that seems to be made of real feathers!

Yes, the year is four whole hours old. I'm home and in my jammies. Bad Influence Girl is deposited safely at her house. I'm feeling a little queazy, not from drinking (I had half of a cocktail all night) but from a cheese burger, fries and a giant vanilla Diet Coke. 

Thanks for coming to the party, you were all perfect guests - charming and witty. 

Good night and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

bethy's birthday (holiday party #28)

My younger sister Beth's birthday is December 31. We all gathered on New Year's Eve Eve to celebrate. Bethy will be 45 tomorrow. J.R.'s birthday is in February and for three months we'll be 44, 45 and 46. 

Beth and her hubby Ron.

Nephew John (Beth's godchild) and Dad.

Kiddies and Beth.

Beth and Molly.

Beth, Molly, Lauren, Bradley, John.

Beth Ellen blowing out candles.

Anna and J.R. 

John and Ron

Arni's is decorated with a bicycle theme. The banana seat one cracks me up every time. 

Molly with her High School Musical on Ice tee. 

John, Mom and Beth looking at my gift - a PEZ dispenser that serves up dog biscuits. 

Happy Birthday Beth!

game day (holiday party #27)

Dean and Shannon used to play board games at CATH Inc on Sundays and I'd occasionally joined in. We managed to have 'game day' earlier this year and wanted to squeeze in another one before the end of the year. Some of my favorite people were around the table at the newsstand

Cara and Tad
We played Apples to Apples, "the hilarious game of comparisons." I played the game on Christmas Day with a group that ranged in age from 8-80 and took things literally. This group of writers -comic (Dean for this morning show), song (Tad and Cara), business and otherwise (Tammy), short-story (Shannon) and music (moi) and fun people (Sarah) had a much more raucous time. 

Tad and Shannon

I think we were all hopped up on coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches. The card labeled "black hole" turned in to a laughing-so-hard-you-can't-breathe joke. 

Shannon and Sarah


Sarah, Dean, Tammy, Cara and Tad

It was a fun, wholesome (except maybe for that black hole card) alcohol-free way to spend Sunday afternoon. 

spitznogle christmas party (holiday party #26)

My cousin Judi and her lovely husband Rick hosted the Spitznogle Christmas Party. There are a bunch of us. Dad is the youngest of nine children. I have a ton (58) of first cousins. I think I'm about #50 in that group. I have cousins that are grand parents (I think there might be a great- grandparent or two in the group).  Most of them grew up in Cass County. You can imagine how hard it is to keep it all straight. I do a fairly good job of knowing every one's name, but I get stumped also. 

Judi and Rick have the perfect space for the party. A few years ago they built a barn with an eye toward also using it for parties. There is a loft with room for tables for games, a giant television, a bar and a pool table. As you can see, we like to start the pool sharks early. 

Here is a photograph of all of the aunts, uncles and cousins that were there. I'm in the middle, one of the few looking at the camera - it was my camera, so I knew where it was. 

Here are the remaining Spitznogle siblings. Aunt Lucille (81), Dad (71), Aunt Gertrude (82), Aunt Mary Alice (sister-in-law) and Uncle Cletus (83). 

Uncle Cletus is the family historian. 
The party was great fun and again I ate my weight in ham - this time in the form of delicious little ham sandwiches. It was fun to catch up with cousins, ohh and ahh over new babies, see how the children have grown and honor the ones who have gone. 

Dad talked me in to stopping at the Legion in Whitestown on the way home (see where I get it). 
Quite frankly, I found the place a little depressing. Lots of folks telling me that they drink there because the beer is so cheap. I did run in to some childhood friends that I have not seen for 20 years. I have to admit that my interest peeked when I spotted this glorious mullet. 

I cannot believe how obsessed I was with photographing this wonder. 

Of course I had to take dozens of other shots so I would not look like I was um, obsessed with photographing his mullet. 

On my way home (wonder where I get that?) I stopped to see the fabulous band The Benders. 

Tad Armstrong and David England

Kristin, Nora and Sarah

I had a lovely day and hit all facets of my life. I worked for a few hours in the morning, went to Logansport to hang out with relatives, had a glimpse of my home town roots and got to hear great music on the way home. 
It is a good life. 

Friday, December 28, 2007

dinner with the tonic crew (holiday celebration #25)

In my pretend life I go to fabulous dinner parties with twelve of my witty and charming friends. In my real life I sit on my sofa and eat popcorn.

This was a pretend life evening. The Tonic Ball crew and friends (we missed you Maura) had dinner at the Corner Wine Bar. It was a lovely evening of catching up and showing off Christmas gifts (dueling iPhones!), and talking about the New Year. I don't know why I didn't take a photograph of the group. Too busy eating, drinking and laughing.

One of the reason's we got together was to see the band Middletown. They had a mini reunion show since Aaron Stroup was in town.

Aaron Stroup

As always they sounded great. And they packed the house - it was standing room only. They harmonize beautifully. I think I've mentioned before (here and in print) that Tad Armstrong is my favorite singer/songwriter. All three Middletowners are great great musicians and songwriters.


Stasia Demos (songwriter, singer and accordion player) adds balance, amazing songs and a little girliness to the group. Aaron is a terrific guitar player and singer. I managed not to cry or shout out 'hey that song is about me' when he played Green With Envy. The song is beautiful and sad.

Somehow a photograph of Stasia's darling son wound up in the tip bucket (I suspect Stasia's husband had something to do with it).

Aaron was leaving town the next morning. We stopped at the Red Key for a good-bye whiskey before he headed back to his grandmother's house.

When he's in town, I never know which is worse - when we have a good visit or a bad one. It was a really fun ten days. It will be good to get back to a routine of not staying out too late and drinking whiskey - right?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

g.m. christmas party (holiday party #24)

I'll admit that I woke up Wednesday with a raging case of crabbiness. I think it was a bit of Christmas let-down and not wanting to work. Work as been a goofy lately, nothing major and nothing I can talk about - I just feel like I've been spinning my wheels a bit. I've done some soul searching and decided that I was part of the problem and I've been working on changing my communication and work style. One thing I realized in that whole process was that I'd also changed my clothing style and had become pretty darn boring. I took time to dress Nora-style, a little funky. 

I thought I looked pretty darn cute and got lots of compliments at work -- until I noticed this:
Yep, two different socks - with my cute little flood pants. And that turned out to be the bright point of the day. Again, no details, but it was a really crappy day - an employee crisis and an screechy alarm were the highlights. 

Dad has hosted a Christmas party for his General Motors tool-and-die maker buddies for years. It is always the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year's Day. The guys (and yes, it is mostly men - there were not any women tool-and-die makers in their generation) talk a lot of shop, but they are fun to be around. 

My mood lightened up around that group of rock-solid steadiness. We had a good laugh about my socks and my iPhone got passed around like a new baby. I think we Google mapped everyone's house.