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Title of this post is 'Obligatory After-Christmas Post'. So you know.

Definitely a more humble Christmas than in years past. Nothing wrong with that. In fact I'd have to opine that it was better this way.

Each year I think well I'll skip the holidays this year, maybe visit for a couple days at least a week on one side of Xmas, respectfully request that no one spend money on me. Yet each year I'm right there opening things. Christmas isn't terrible, it could just be a LOT better if I could run it my way.

My mother's PC just isn't going to cut it. Did we ever actually consider those things fast?? Pentium 150, 32 MB, 16 colors max, 95, no soundcard, mouse made of balsa wood, 12" monitor with one dial for brightness. I'm trying to figure out what to do. Her office sold her a lemon. I'm considering loaning her my machine. Now there's the spirit of giving for ya boy.

Yah, the CD for Rachel wasn't new. I plucked it from my CD rack.

Carla likes her 365 pictures of Italy calendar. Dad also got a large book I found at B&N on various racing series throughout the years done in that nice diagrammatical and pictorial style. Still waiting on the stuff for the Vette. Q got an optical illusions daily calendar. Bob and Kristen got things for cooking banana bread, a cookie tray, and a picture frame with a moose on it (Bob is into moose, for some reason).

Lessee. I got a PC game. A greaseless frying pan. A UPS. A multi-tool for my bike. Cash. A couple gift certificates. Four shirt/sweater/sweatshirt type things. A fleece blanket. An answering machine. Lagerfeld. Socks. Notebook folders for school. I'm trying to think, but I think that might be just about it. As I said, humble this year.

Of course, the big thing will be the wedding set for May 12th of next year. I mean, that's going to cost at least what? $30,000 and that's just my father's contribution. Ugh. IMO going overboard. Not to mention do you know how much it costs to have a body cremated? Sheesh.

K & B actually did well. They got a fancy Canon digital camcorder that hooks up to a PC and looks like something from Robotech. Nobody got a $30,000 car like the girl on that 'Lexus to Remember' commercial. Can you believe that? What did their daughter do to deserve a brand new IS300?? (see the irony?)

duo (Jeff) (duo) has 4 1/2 months to read Otherland 1.

So it's kind of an odd feeling around here. I mean we had the funeral and then the subsequent raiding of Sammie's (my grandmother's) apartment, where we discovered the extent to which she kept records--she had returned checks for the last four decades, for instance (I did get parmesean cheese, a large wall-painting, a table, and a vacuum out of the excavation though). Got to see my uncles. Then the Boyles are in FW without Mike who's been crippled by Parkinson's and the fact that he refuses to be treated medically and instead has been using 'herbal remedies' which is about as smart as thinking if you drink enough water you might just wash the evil demons out of your body... So understandably they're not in the best of moods. Kristen and Bob are here but apparently they have appointments planned for nearly every day with various music providers, caterers, florists, decorators, tailors, planners, photographers, and all those other people that make a big wedding such a monumental and indefensible waste of money, time, resources, and effort. IMO. The cable is crap. There's no where to sleep. We haven't even seen Lord of the Rings. Or any movies for that matter. Not even on DVD. 'Granny' (Berno, my step-grandmother) is terrible. She can't handle visitors for more than a few minutes before it gets too much. Strokes suck. It's cold.

Oh well, I'm just reaching. Uselessly. It's really not too bad. At least it's not Afghanistan. Or any of a hundred different places in the world where the people can't even conceive of the types of luxuries and amenities and freedom and security that exist right here and now. And in a month when I'm up to my eyeballs in homework, freezing my ass off walking and riding everywhere, sustaining myself with ramen and water, I'll be wishing I was back here!!

Speedvision is replaying 2001 WSBK races. Saw the most nail-bitin' of a race I've ever seen, round 6 in Donnington Park. The whole damn race was an edge-of-your-seater and nothing was resolved as three titans of elite superbike racing went at it until the last turn of the last lap! And TechTV is just cool as hell no matter what's on.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein. WOW.

Rachel. I think Dada said it best: I'm a shadow crawling into the black, I'm a bug, sticky feet leave a trail I am nothing for no one, I'm useless... Please don't notice me my goddess... Please can I kiss your kneecaps?'

Alrighty maybe not but that song just comes to mind.

Someone might say that this is a 'boring' holiday this year. But as I haven't been bored in many years (that I can recall), I can't really characterize it as such. I like my [extended] family okay, although I sometimes get the feeling that if there were an earthquake and I and any other family member were clinging hanging off the edge and a second family member was in a position up top to grab one and only one of us and pull him or her to safety, that I'd be the one who fell to his death given every possible combination of famly members.

Really just wanted to capture the sense of this vacation so in six months when I read back I'll recall. Don't know if I've succeeded. As you might imagine I have other things I would like to write about--news things, things about my friends, school/games/bikes/etc... And I like to do an 'end-of-year' post--like milestones passed, things done, best and worst of the year, resolutions and plans for the next one, etc. Soon.