In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Year of the Water Dragon

The Chinese New Year officially began yesterday and from what I'm told, it's the year of the Water Dragon. I heard somewhere that for some inexplicable reason (to me anyway) this year is considered to be more auspicious than normal. Just like the year of the Golden Pig several back, it's a good luck charm of sorts to be born this year. This means that there are no doubt a good percentage of the billion or so Chinese people out there furiously going at it like rabbits to grant their perspective children that extra little bit of divine providence. They've got another 3 months or so to plant the fields if they want to make the deadline.

Frankly, I've never quite understood Chinese horoscope. It always seemed weird to attribute some global effect to every single person born in a whole year. I mean, what could you sensibly say about population that large which would somehow apply, in some way, to everyone? Then again, I guess if you view it that way the Western astrology system is even more screwed since there are only 12 signs total and everyone has to fall in it somewhere. at least with the Chinese system, there are subdivisions which only cycle every 60 years. I remember looking it up in a Chinese horoscope book I had but I believe I'm a Fire Dragon. That particular sign won't come around for another 24 years. There are, of course, even further distinctions based upon the hour of birth and other claptrap, but it all seems sorta wanky to me.

The family always gets together for Chinese New Year, though it's a lot less standardized than it used to be. In the days where we still had restaurants, the celebrations would be held there as much for the employees as for the family. It also made it easier to prepare all the various food with a full kitchen available and all it took was picking up the various ingredients needed for the feast. Since then, it's usually been held at my grandmothers place and is more low key. Our get together took place on Saturday and was pretty much just the immediate family. My mom, grandmother, Shelley, Connie came with Jeff and the kids and Uncle James brought Kaila along with Gene and Raymond. I took the opportunity to empty out my game closet a bit. Raymond had recently bought Kaila a copy of Settlers of Catan for Christmas and her and James really enjoyed it. I ended up digging through mountain of games and brought over some of the other Catan games for them: Cities and Knights, Seafarers, and Starfarers. It's unlikely I'll ever get around to playing them again and at least someone will enjoy them this way. They'd just sit and molder in the closet otherwise.

Since the last time I had seen Morgan, she had learned to crawl and can power herself about as well as stand as long as she has something to support her. She's also entered the glutinous phase that all of Connie and Jeff's children seem to have where she eats nonstop and wants to try everything. If you don't give her some of whatever you're eating or are slow to feed her, she starts making these angry grunting noises. Both Maddie and Will went through the same thing but they eventually grow out of it. Both of the older ones eventually entered the picky stage where now it's a chore to get them to eat anything and it comes with lots of cajoling and whining.

All in all, it was a pretty laid back night. I don't have any real expectations that this year will actually end up being lucky in any fundamental way, but I've pretty much learned to play the odds there. Water Dragons or polka-dotted Octopuses, it all pretty much ends up being the same.
Tags: board/card gaming, chinese new year, family, holidays, morgan

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