Then they went off to a fancy dinner while I met plumtreeblossom for a yummy but much less upscale dinner at Mike’s before the show. Had a great time being all shmoopy with my wuzzle, and then we went across the street to see the New Year’s Eve command performance of The Slutcracker. As with the two other performances of it we’ve seen this year, we got there early enough to get front-row seats and had a fabulous time. This audience was (as one might expect on New Year’s Eve) a bit more raucous than previous ones, and the cast had a lot of fabulous energy. We love our cherished family Christmas tradition!
Then we went to a great New Year’s Eve party nearby, among the highlights of which were a wonderful Buffalo chicken dip, chatting with audioboy about exciting radio theater plans, and especially getting to see surrealestate, DD, and little J. We had a great time.
When we left shortly after midnight and were walking towards the car, we saw this odd light in the sky. It was moving through the sky more or less like a satellite or a very high, very fast airplane, but it was way too bright, and an odd colour — kind of yellowish. (And it was way too long after sunset for satellites to be lit that brightly, and they were moving a bit too fast.) As it disappeared into the distance and we were wondering what it was, we realized that another one was crossing above us, equally fast. And when I looked back in the direction it had come, there were a couple more, coming together. And as each one or two passed overhead there was another one off in the distance following. They all stayed quite bright, but they would dim and brighten a bit, as if they were passing through thin clouds. (Turned out not to be that; see below.)
This all took about five minutes, for much of which we were standing still on the sidewalk just looking at them in bafflement. All sorts of possible explanations popped into our heads, from military jets with searchlights to War of the Worlds.
Finally, we saw one that seemed lower, and seemed to be moving a little bit differently, bobbing a bit. And we saw what appeared to be a short cone of light pointing down from it, showing up in the haze, and pointing this way and that. At that point, I was sure it was something with a searchlight. But it moved more and more erratically, and eventually it became clear that it was not something large and bright and far away but something small and very very close. It was a white approximate sphere a bit less than a yard in diameter, lit by a flickering flame inside, and it was falling, and bouncing around in the breeze. It came lower and landed on the porch roof of a house directly across from us (with the flame still burning). As we were debating what to do (call the fire department, or ring the bell of the house and tell them something burning had landed on their roof), a breeze carried it off the roof and it landed safely in their driveway, still burning but definitely starting to sputter out, and we got to go examine it up close.
Some googling found out that they were these flying lanterns (although the ones we saw used wire to support the fuel). I am really glad that one landed so near us; otherwise, we’d still be wondering! On the other hand, having burning things randomly landing in the most densely populated municipality in New England full of old wooden houses strikes me as a very bad idea. They were beautiful, though!
Then we came home and had a lovely New Year’s Day hangout in the kitchen with vanguardcdk (who had just gotten back from the Slutcracker cast party — he’s their house manager) before going to bed.
It’s less than fourteen hours old yet, but 2012 is really awesome so far. And I’m so happy to be starting it with my wonderful partner plumtreeblossom and surrounded by friends.