Friday, December 31, 2004

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

When I was a tiny child, my mother had a record of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" by Dante and the Evergreens. I didn't know the name of the band, as I was too young to read or to even care. I could tell which record it was by the brown and white label. It was a really creepy version, with lots of 1950s style "Ooooo's" and haunting music.

Somewhere along the line, the record got broken, and then vinyl gave way to CDs anyway. Every December, I would think about that song and wish that I could get another copy. Unfortunately, at the time I didn't know who performed it. I worked my way through a myriad number of versions, but I could never find the one.

Finally Al Gore invented the internet, and I was able to narrow my search. Originally, it had been like searching for a needle in a haystack. Now, I was still searching in the hay, but at least I was looking for a knitting needle. I found a scan of the familiar old brown and white record on a Japanese website. I have no idea what the caption said, but now I knew that I was looking for the Dante and the Evergreens version.

Now I started working my way through rare record stores (this song was too rare even for Ebay, where I had gotten a CD of Robin Gibb's "Secret Agent" album from a seller in Germany after years of searching). All of them told me that the song was not available on CD.
Every now and then, I would also do another web search, and one day it finally paid off. I found a CD through a place called Golden Apple Comics, which apparently has some connection with Dante. It contains 25 songs, but there was only one that I cared about. I immediately placed an order, and finally I had my belovedly creepy song. (If you're curious, click here to visit the Golden Apple site and view info. about the CD. Apparently Dante was a one-hit wonder who became famous with the original version of "Alley-Oop" before dropping into relative obscurity.)

Of course, none of this has anything to do with life in Celebration, except that the song came to my mind because we're celebrating our second New Year's Eve in Duloc Manor. Last year was quite different; we had just closed on our home four months earlier, and it was still rather bare. We didn't know too many people yet, and we were still in the process of getting settled in.

This year, our home is just about fully furnished, and it is taking on that "lived in" look. We'll be off to one neighbor's house for egg nog, and then we'll be ringing in 2005 at another neighbor's party. It's not even 6 p.m. as I write this blog entry, and according to the news, the fatal traffic crashes have started already. I'm glad that I'll be able to just walk home after welcoming the new year tonight.

We did venture out earlier today to stop by Publix (the grocery store). I had a major craving for pancakes, particularly the wonderful blueberry ones served at Max's in downtown Celebration. Unfortunately, it was long past breakfast time, so we opted for IHOP instead. There is one practically right across the street from Celebration, so we headed over to fulfill my hankering for blueberry flapjacks.

Unfortunately, we discovered that we'd somehow blundered into the IHOP From Hell. I realized that we were in trouble when I noticed that all the people at the other tables around us had no food, despite the fact that they'd all apparently arrived quite a while before us. There were three or four parties, and I heard the people at the closest table grumbling about how long it was taking. Then I heard them ask the waitress; she assured them that their food would be up "any minute," but that stretched into an indeterminate length of time.

Of course, the Cosmic Domino Effect Law decreed that all of those poor, hungry souls (including one group of 11 people) would have to receive their food before we had any hope of seeing ours. We waited...and waited...and waited. Finally I decided to take a restroom break. Bad idea!

I entered the restroom and traipsed innocently into the first open stall. UGH! The bowl was completely filled with toilet paper, and the soggy Charmin mess was topped off by a huge brown mountain. Good thing I hadn't eaten yet or I think I would have instantly lost my pancakes. I rushed out and foolishly tried the next stall, where I found a toilet with a coverless tank and a seat liberally sprinkled with...well, I don't think it was lemonade. At this point, my horror had shriveled my kidneys into lima beans and all urge to use the facilities was gone.

Back at our table, we watched as people at the surrounding tables would occasionally hit the Pancake Lottery before starving to death. At one point, our waiter passed by and assured us, "It will only be one more minute." My husband set the timer on his watch, and we took bets as to whether he would run out of fingers and toes on which to count the passing minutes before our food actually showed up.

He had run out of fingers and was starting on the toes when his waffle and my blueberry pancakes finally put in an appearance. They definitely weren't on a caliber with Max's, but at that point I was hungry enough to start gnawing at my own limbs, so I tore in with gusto. At least the meal would fuel me until party time tonight.

Now dusk is settling around Celebration, and it's just about time to get ready for the parties. Hard to believe that another year has passed, and it's time to get ready to remember to write a new year on my checks. To my readers: Happy New Year, and remember to "celebrate" safely tonight!

My email address is

My Celebration website is at

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