Sometimes to have a complete holiday experience, you need to decompress. Perfect decompression for me and my significant other was a night of fine cheese, great wine, good friendship, and Jason Ganwich's "Santaland Diaries" reading at Vin Grotto Cafe and Wine Bar. While the downtown Tacoma wine bar was packed last night, with one lucky gent sitting in owner Kris Blondin's big leather desk chair at the table with his party, it wasn't a crazy crowd of intense and angry people.
These people were mellow, wine drinking types familiar with Sedaris and what to expect of the reading. One party had been stalking Ganwich since his first performance at the Tacoma Little Theatre back in the day.
Ganwich threw in a few surprises. Who knew his singing voice was so impressive? Who knew he'd be nervous after quite a few performances already?
After the reading, he met with each member of the audience, he seemed to unwind and loosen up a bit, though the nervous tension he might have been fighting on the makeshift wooden-pallet stage suited the high-strung elf persona perfectly.
For our own after-hours function, the significant one and I headed close to home, to the Unicorn Tavern. I had a Tanqueray and tonic that put hair on my chest (all I want for Christmas is a full-body depilatory experience) and discovered the Unicorn has changed from the last time I went in, which had to be sometime in the last millennium. I have to say, I like it better now. The music had us shaking our rumps on our barstools; the usually dour significant one even pulled out a white man overbite faux dance move on me.
Sometimes the best Christmas gifts come in mellow packages, with bows that don't sparkle with newness.
Sometimes the best Christmas gift can be quiet togetherness, and a return to past haunts.
But tomorrow, I still want a large gemstone, lots of cashmere, and that aforementioned heavy-on-the-depilatory spa day.¬" Jessica Corey-Butler