Holidays and Nights
Holy shit, air travel sucks. I mean... yeah, yeah, more convenient, takes less time, whatever... but consider this: When was the last time you stepped off of an airplane at your intended destination with a song in your heart and a candy-flavored rainbow wrapped around your shoulders? Don't worry, I'll answer for you. Never. Because air travel is to the human spirit what Raid is to cockroaches. It's an Earthly purgatory with uncomfortable seats. It makes a trip to the DMV feel like a Six Flags excursion. Air travel; not a fan.
To get to Texas cheaply, we had to take a 6am flight. For those of you who've never had the pleasure of being at New York's LaGuardia airport at 4am, let me sum up the experience for you: Rude. New Yorkers are, in general, a pretty salty lot and New Yorkers that work at the airport are that times ten. Case in point: Because we had about 500$ worth of Christmas presents in our suitcase (including a couple of bottles of wine) we asked, sweet as pie, for a fragile sticker for our bags. We were told by the trollish, overly-made-up woman behind the counter that there is "no such thing as 'fragile' in the airline business" and that "they didn't have stickers like that." Never mind that I've gotten those stickers before and never mind that I saw other clerks putting said stickers on other people's bags. So pleasant. Anyway, we make on to our plane and fly to Nashville, for our connecting flight. Because of ground fog, our connecting flight gets cancelled and we have to scramble to get on another plane, lest we spend our Christmas Eve in Tennessee. We're two of about twenty people who get in line fast enough to be granted passage on the next flight out, proving once again that God (or whomever) watches over fools and drunks, of which I am both.
Christmas in my family is a big, swirling, chaotic event that involves more food than you can possibly imagine a group of people eating, gift-giving that borders on indulgence, and an outpouring of love that rivals your average tsunami in it's strength and ability to destroy small Malaysian fishing villages. Let me give you an idea of how my people do things when it comes to Christmas: We don't use stockings; we use buckets. My girlfriend and I bounced from house to house, eating bacchanalian quantities of ham and turkey, giving out hugs like Altoids, and just generally getting our Fa-La-La's out with abandon. The day after Christmas, the whole family gathered at my grandparents and had our collective picture taken, family portrait-style. I haven't seen the finished product yet, but I'm just going to assume we all look awesome. At the very least, we'll look better than the families that got their portraits taken at Kmart or some such this year. Why? Because at my grandparent's house, we had wine. That always adds to the photographing process. As is my understanding.
And now, a brief rundown of the movies we saw over the holidays:
Rocky Balboa - Surprisingly good; much better than it should have been, judging by Rocky V. Stallone looks amazingly fit for a 60-year-old man and the movie it's self was a perfect nostalgically-uplifting blast for the holidays.
Slither - I'd seen this already, but I got the DVD for Christmas and thought it'd be a hoot to show it to the Moms, both of whom are squeamish around gore. I was not disappointed in their reactions. My mother, actually, was more entertaining to watch than the movie, which is pretty damn entertaining in it's own right.
Jackass 2 - Same as Slither. You haven't really bonded with your folks until you've watched together a man freeze his balls to a block of ice. It makes going to church together look like drug-fueled bar fight.
The Holiday - Ugh. Easily one of the worst movies I've seen in the last five years. My mother is no longer allowed to pick the movies that we go see. Parenthetically, who the hell keeps letting Cameron Diaz in front of a movie camera? The dog from Frasier had more personality.
The Non-Holiday Food...
One of the great things about coming back to Texas is getting visit the regional fast food establishments that I no longer have access to in the White Castle-saturated North. The most prominent among these is the hideously orange-and-white, 24-hour burger chain known as Whataburger. If you've never been there, you don't know how good fast food can be. When I lived in Austin, I had one about ten blocks from my house and I was there so much they made me pay rent. Also worthy of mention is the venerable Waffle House, otherwise known as the place I used to skip school and go drink coffee at. Defiantly trashy (it hasn't changed it's decor since the 70's; probably hasn't been cleaned since then either) in this day and age, it serves the best coffee, hash browns and pecan waffles on this planet or any other.
We're driving home and my mother turns to me and my girlfriend and says, "Oh, I've been meaning to ask you... what's a 'wiffy?'" We look at each other in bafflement and say we don't know; haven't ever heard of a "wiffy" before. She says, "Hmm, okay, well I've just been seeing a lot of apartment houses these days offering free wiffys and I'd never heard of them. It took about three seconds for it to click that she was talking about "WiFi" and my girlfriend and I had to be taken to the morgue because we died laughing.
And now we're home. Somehow, we managed to avoid all the storms and tornadoes that the Texas weather threw at us at the end of the week, and our flight arrived in New York sans hitch. We've decided to eschew any New Year's celebration tonight because we're both, still, dead tired and also sorta broke. It's the Twilight Zone marathon for us. However, despite the tiredness and the financial ruin, it was a hell of a holiday and we had an absolute blast. Hope everyone else's was as good a time as ours.
See ya'll in 2007!!!
(God, my accent's back. Damn you, Texas!!!)