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December 26th, 2004

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11:29 pm - 'Tis the season to catch up on movies
I had this long and borning description of my Christmas which I was going to post earlier in the evening, but I decided not to post it yet. Now that I'm home I've thought better of it, so I've written a less cranky post. Both are boring, but should you wish to read the boringer one,

The original version:

So I hope everybody's Christmas was enjoyable. Mine was as enjoyable as they ever are.

I left work on Friday around 1:00, and drove to my parents' house. The usual Christmaseve routine is for me to get there after work and then start cooking and cleaning to accomodate the seven million guests we usually have the next day, but this year we were off the hook thanks to my five-month old cousin. His parents had a couple of Christmas celebrations to attend in the evening, so they wanted to have people over during the day to agitate the baby as little as possible.

Not having to do anything on the 24th was nice. My sister and I wrapped our remaining joint presents and watch Napoleon Dynamite which I hadn't gotten a chance to see in theaters. The verdict? Probably the only good film MTV has ever distributed. Actually, that's not high enough praise because MTV's logo has never been on anything good. Anyway, I don't want to dwell on it now (and besides, everybody else's journal dwelled on it when it was new), so in short: Napoleon Dynamite = good.

On Friday night I'd suggested that since we didn't have to be ready for guests in the morning, we could take our time getting up and getting ready, and wouldn't have to open our presents for each other until we got home from my uncle's house. The morning was indeed lesiurely. We showed up an hour late for lunch at my uncle's house and were still the first guests to arrive. My mom's sister could have been there earlier, but they ended up stuck behind an accident on the interstate and arrived long after we did. I felt especially sorry for our relatives from Illinois who basically had time to drive up, eat and drive home. Such are family gatherings. Uh, I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyway, I didn't as much as I'd like to anyone, but I did see everyone at least a little. We had an exceptionally large delicious meal, gifts were exchanged, and we went home. This is exactly how I wish Christmas were every year, instead of all of that ridiculous "Colin, could you please vacuum the light fixtures before Aunt Pat gets here? You have about ten minutes."

Christmas evening with my family was a quiet, relaxed affair. More gifts were exchanged as we made snide and derogatory remarks at 50 Years of Lawrence Welk. Since we're not Christians my immediate family doesn't do a whole lot of Christmas except with my mom's family. I suspect that even our gift exchange is more a hassle performed out of habit and deferece than something any of us really wants to do. The gifts are never extravagant and I mostly received practical items. I've never figured out why some people don't like receiving practical gifts -- $30 in clothes is $30 I can spend on something else.

I left a little after 11:00 to drive home through the snow. Once I hit Madison, there were two idiots in front of me who kept speeding up like crazy and then fishtailing in an effort to stop at the lights. What idiots. I can't believe they didn't collide with each other. Anyway, I got home late, went to bed later, slept until 10:00 and have wasted my day. I don't feel too bad about that (it's the weekend, you know?), except that I've had a splitting headache for a few hours and I simply haven't dealt with it yet. This feels like caffeine withdrawal. I'm gonna post this, take some NoDoz or (if I'm out of NoDoz) some Tylenol, and head over to Ellen's.

The less-cranky version:

I hope all y'all have had good Christmas weekends. Mine was quiet, and that's a good thing. I left work at 1:00 on Friday and headed straight to my parents' house. Historically my mom's family has always gathered at our place, but this year my uncle decided that between the relative inconvenience of the new location and his five-month old's nerves, it might be better to do Christmas over there instead.

As a result, the usual flurry of cleaning and cooking wasn't an issue. My sister and I had a leisurely afternoon of wrapping presents, and lter in the evening we watched Napoleon Dynamite with my dad. I hadn't seen the movie when it was in theaters, and it was every bit as excellent as everyone was saying a few months back in their own journals. Not really a Christmas movie, but then, we watched The Big Lebowski on Thanksgiving, so that's my family for you.

On Christmas day we woke with mixed emotions of pleased surprise and churlish irritability thanks to the first real accumulation of snow since last winter. We went to Whitewater to visit my aunt and uncle. Gifts were exchanged and the food was excellent, but it was fairly rushed because our hosts had another engagement to attend at 3:00. Still, it was good to talk to everyone, even if I didn't get to see as much of them as I'd have liked. One of my cousins who rarely attends family gatherings was there. He's 20 (a month younger than my sister) and has a son who is four. He's usually working so we don't get to see him with his son. At one time I was thankful that his mom was there to play full-time backup parent. By now my sister and I are very impressed that he's the most competent young parent we've ever seen. Good for him.

Anyway, Saturday night was spent quietly at home. We marvelled at the lameness of Christmas PBS programming ("Doris and I are so pleased to be here on Lawrence Welk with our sons Spanky and Clarence, and our daughter, Myrtle."), and exchanged gifts. Mostly I got practical items, which is exactly the sort of gift I like to get. My sister and I gave our parents a new stereo system, a couple of DVDs, and a few miscellaneous trinkets. I gave my sister a copy of America (The Book), and she gave me a really nice harmonica in B flat. Like, really nice. Like, I feel really bad for having given her that crappy one which doesn't even say what key it's in. We finished out the evening by watching About Schmidt (which I'd also never seen), and I got home late.

Today... I did nothing. I discovered that one of my bastard housemates ate some of my precious food (it's mine, dammit). Was it xoshua? He says no, and I believe him. Nate? Nate also says it wasn't him, and he's usually sheepishly honest about that stuff, so it must have been Sean. I'm trying to decide when to kill Sean in his sleep, but he hasn't collected money for our utility bill yet, and I want to make sure all the bills are sent out first.

Uh, where was I? Oh yes, digressing. I felt lousy this afternoon, took a nap, and woke up with a splitting headache which I attribute to caffeine withdrawal. Undaunted, I went to Ellen's and we saw The Incredibles. We'd been considering some of the more recent releases, but those of you who have seen The Incredibles (primarly devianttouch, wendybyrd and agaysexicon) had talked it up so much that we decided to catch it before it left theaters. The verdict? It's at least as good as y'all had promised.

Yikes, it's 11:30. I'm really tired and tomorrow I start coming in half an hour earlier than I have been. I should probably wrap this up and get some sleep. Um, in conclusion, merry Sunday, stay in school, say "no" to drugs, and Hal and Jim, if you haven't noticed yet, I've critiqued my most recent acquisitions from Mitsuwa Marketplace. I haven't tried God Coffee yet because I'm afraid of it.
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
Current Music: Rufus Wainwright -- One One

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Garmonbozia for the soul.

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