We last left off, dear readers, with Nicholas Kotar and I catching a plane to San Francisco. Although we had purchased tickets separately, we coincidentally ended up on the same flights. All was well at Syracuse Airport: the place wasn’t crowded and the plane was on time. Meanwhile, Nicky was excited to get some meat after the long Nativity Fast.
“I’m getting Beef Jerky from the vending machine!” he said.
“I’m not sure if that’s a good idea…”
Nicky took the risk and purchased the 1 oz. package of beefy goodness. He took a bite. “This is the worst beef jerky I’ve ever had,” he said.
I tried some. It truly captured the quiddity of vending machine beef jerky.
Still, we finished the whole thing.
We flew out on JetBlue, with a layover in JFK. I took advantage of the audiovisual amenities of the flight to watch hardy men mine for little yellow rocks under the Alaskan permafrost, among other things. By the time we got into SFO, it was quite late. We got picked up by Nicky’s dad, Fr. Serge. I got dropped off at my temporary dwellings at my friend Pafnuty’s* place.
The next day I attended the early liturgy at the Holy Virgin Cathedral. After the liturgy, I joined some friends to breakfast at one of the priestly homes. A certain P.K. had made some idiosyncratic cookies for the occasion, including the pièce de résistance:
Holy incense smoke, Batman!
In the afternoon, I went to the St. John’s Academy annual Christmas Yolka, which went very well. This year, the kids put on a little play interspersed with holiday singing.
The main event came that night with the Kotar Christmas party. Although the Kotar home is pretty average-sized (i.e. small) as far as San Francisco houses go, it seems to fit an extraordinary number of people during special occasions. I dare say that it seems “bigger on the inside.” There was good food, good company, and a great deal of singing of Christmas carols from multiple centuries. I finally returned to Pafnuty’s, looking forward the rest of the Christmas vacation.
*not his real name, of course.