1) Quiet family holidays with plenty of time to read. We had Christmas for just the three of us in the Seattle branch of House Fraser, though we'll see more of the family (my in-laws, to be specific) next week. I worked Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, but I won't be back at the day job till January 5. It's a treat to have a week or so without my usual pressures and multiple commitments to just plain relax.
2) The best pizza in the world is back on the menu at Pagliacci. Unfortunately this is a pleasure you can't share unless you also live in the Seattle metropolitan area...but if you do, the Chicken Rosemary Primo is back on the menu! Get it while you can, since the seasonal pies only stay on the menu for about a month. And while I like the late summer prosciutto fig pizza almost as much, there's just something about that combo of chicken and potatoes on an olive oil base on a cold, damp January night...oh nom nom nom.
3) Singing the Whole Thing. Last night I was at my third of three Messiah singalongs, this one at University Unitarian Church. Every other singalong I've attended has sung maybe half the oratorio--focusing on the Christmassy and/or better-known bits. (No one leaves out the Hallelujah Chorus, of course. The singers would mutiny, and I'd lead the charge.) But last night we took four hours, including two intermissions to soothe our throats with hot drinks and restore our blood sugar with cookies and fruit, and sang all of it. Instead of having soloists, everyone with the appropriate vocal range joined in on the solos, so I got the fun of joining the tenors on "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted" and singing "Oh Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion," which has to be one of the best things every written for an alto.
And imagine this sung by 30-40 robust bass voices, not half as polished but a mighty wall of sound:
I got to sight-sing songs like this: