Regardless, this has been a good Christmas.
On Friday night, I went to devianttouch and wendybyrd's Christmas party. Had a good time, saw plenty of people, some of whom I never expected to see in the same room, etc., etc., etc. Party wound down early, and most of us left before midnight, which is friggin' weird but probably a good thing given that this was probably a busy weekend for everybody.
Saturday was Christmas with the immediate family. I picked up my sister and her boyfriend and we drove down to my parents' house. Hospitality was enjoyed, office politics discussed, dogs tolerated, and the movie Willow was watched. Sharp-witted readers might be quick to point out that Willow is not a Christmas movie, but we watched The Big Lebowski last year, and it doesn't even feature snow.
At one point I was physically ill, but I've narrowed down the culprit and it doesn't really need discussing here.
Gifts were exchanged, of course (this is Christmas in America, after all), and Sarah and James had gotten me a card. The envelope was decorated with robots, and the card inside was a bland, inoffensive, "Happy Holidays!" thing with a handwritten note that said "we only got you the card so we could draw on the envelope." It was great. They also got me the cookbook from Monty's Blue Plate on Atwood (as opposed to Monty's Blue Plate on the wall in the Louvre), which is fantastic. I'ma have to buy me some tempeh.
This morning we all headed (individually and from different starting points, of course) to my aunt Patricia's house for lunch. Nice to see everybody, especially her kids, Tam and Maggie, who are four and eight years my junior, respectively. I never get to see them because she's attending college in Ohio, and he's always working to support his son, Tavian. I guess Tavian would best be described as a multi-ethnic, five-year-old version of Dennis the Menace who swears like a Quentin Tarantino movie. Oh, and apparently he told Maggie that he'd cut her eyes out, which is the kind of thing that's really funny to hear about when it's not your kid.
Anyway, my sister and I had jointly gotten presents for Tavian and our six-year-old cousin Caleigh, and they were well-received, which is a good thing because we were worried about it. Apparently five-year-old boys are all about remote control trucks, and six-year-old girls don't mind if you choose their gifts entirely based on packaging. Mission accomplished.
After the festivities I returned home to my palatial duplex where RJ and I carried the concept of enjoying non-Christmas movies on Christmas to a ridiculous extreme by watching Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses and its sequel, The Devil's Rejects. Both are movies I was going to get around to watching "real soon now" (i.e., in a social situation where the options are either watch the movie or go home). What can I say? I'm reminded of Abraham Lincoln's famous quote (no, not that one), "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."
I liked both House and Rejects, which play as homages to cheap '70s slasher films and ultraviolent crime thrillers, respectively. As genre parodies, they are effective and occasionally hilarious, but I'm afraid that people not familiar with the material being satirized won't get it. I remember lord_alucard disgustedly telling me that House of 1000 Corpses didn't work for him because the characters' actions were so stupid and illogical. I get the feeling that he's never seen Night of the Bloody Horror or Silent Night, Bloody Night or Don't Look In The Basement, so he doesn't understand what Rob Zombie was trying (and succeeding) to do. That's Mr. Zombie's shortcoming, not Tom's. Otherwise, I was impressed. Mr. Zombie's experience in A/V production is an enormous boon to this type of film. I'd recommend House and Rejects to anybody who's curious, but everybody else should probably stay away. They were good films which I won't be watching again soon, if ever.
Uh, anyway, I should probably post this while it's still Christmas. Hope your holiday, whether it was a religious observance, or just a reason to take Monday off, was a good one.