Jan. 1st, 2017

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Galina got a call last night around 8 pm, asking if we'd like to join with some of our friends at 10 pm to see the old year out and the new year in. She looked at me and I said "Sure."

I actually felt pretty good, and proceeded to dose myself with painkiller to make sure I stayed that way.

I actually has a pretty good time. The table was well-laden, with dishes that included two of my favorites, kholodets (meat in aspic) and "Olivier" salad (a potato-salad-like concoction that includes finely diced potatoes, carrots, sweet peas, pickles, onion, ham, bologna, and eggs, all held together by mayonnaise).

The hosts were streaming a New Year's variety show from Russia, which struck quite a contrast, in my mind, to the kinds of entertainment broadcast from, say, New York. The Russian show was set up to appear to take place in a ballroom, with all of the attendees having a good time, clinking champagne glasses, waving sparklers, laughing, and providing an endless stream of approving reaction shots that appeared every few seconds while a performer was on stage. The performers, by the way, were also part of the audience sitting in the ballroom, and their reactions to whomever was "on" which lent a certain air of spontaneity to the show, as if this was one big, happy family celebrating the New Year.

Compare this to the typical American model, which consists of a faceless mob gyrating (with or without the help of props) before a stage featuring a big-name artist, with shots of the crowd and of occasional groups of individuals in that crowd in the breaks between artists and commercials.

In the end, I tuckered myself out, and we were the first to leave (though, I am told, not by very long). I'm glad I went.



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