December 27, 2005

peaks and perils of the holiday season

Christmas was really fantastic. Except when it was over.

It began on Friday night with a trip to my brother Kevin's and his wife Cindi's new apartment in Sherman Oaks. Accompanied by my little brother, Matt, we sped towards The Valley to swing by and pickup Erik, and circle around from there to the festivity's locale. The trip was done with extravagant speed, and the night seemed to speed by just as quickly. Spinach dip and pizza was served, and Christmas movies (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town) were watched, with special attention given to every possible unintended innuendo.

Matt was eager to leave by the time the clock struck 10pm, but we got him to stay until 11pm. Seriously, he was harshin' my vibe, because I wanted to spend as much time with my beloved as possible, and the kid just didn't seem to care. He'll get his in the end!

And so the night was over, and I slept in late on Christmas Eve. I stayed in my fleece PJ's all day, loading more CD's into iTunes, eating microwave personal-sized pizza(s) (*embarrassed look*), and generally, just loafing. It took all my available energy to get dressed and ready for the night's family festivities. My half-sister Anita came over, and Kevin & Cindi. My brother James made a brief appearance between work and going to another holiday gathering, and of course, the King of Pain, Matt, was there.

My dad made a honeybaked ham, and potato salad, and of course I don't enjoy any of that, so my dinner consisted of a few pieces of Tillamook cheddar, a slice or seven of salami, and crackers. And loads of sparkling apple cider. I KNOW HOW TO PARTY. We did a little gift-exchange thingee, and I was proud of myself when I saw Cindi's fevered response to the Crate & Barrel giftcard I procured for her and Kev. Seriously, if only everyone I gifted responded by jumping up and down in their chair, waving their fists up and down like a happy child and only being capable of the most primal of gleeful noises, I'd make gift-giving a daily occurrence.

My dad received not one, but two poker sets, with cards and chips and Jack Daniels mugs. A few were assembling around the almost-always-unused dining table to begin a game. Far from my typical antisocial nature, I decided to join them in their little game. It lasted for more than an hour, easily, and for most of the game I was TOTALLY PWNZING all of them, but I got lazy and started throwing my chips away like so much used wrapping paper. So Cindi won. The girl who spent the entire game referring to the poker instruction booklet that came with one of the sets beat us all. And she's Canadian. We should all be ashamed of ourselves!

The next morning I woke, again, pretty late. Typically I can't sleep later than 7am on Christmas morning, but I am 30 now. We didn't begin opening gifts until after 10am. The gift exchange was fun enough. The most hardcore gift I got from the family was EASILY the "Glow" by J. Lo perfume from my brother James. HOT!

Erik swung by mid-morning and we had a quick little gift-exchange by ourselves in my room. No, nothing like THAT you perverse readers! I was VERY excited to give Erik some Disney DVD's that he had had trouble procuring for himself, and I was VERY happy to receive a 49-key MIDI controller and Remix Tools jampack to use in my new favorite Apple program, GarageBand. Stay tuned for DJ Jaygee's Techno Pop #1 Hits dropping in 2006.

Then we were off to Erik's aunt's house in frickin' REDLANDS for their Christmas party. His whole family is very warm and welcoming, and I had an excellent time. The food (prime rib) was so great and I partook of seconds (I would have had thirds and fourths had it not been socially unacceptable).

So, as I said Christmas was fantastic. But the day after just sucked for me. There were some tentative plans that had fallen through, and that was just enough to send me over the edge into a totally miserable downward spiral. I spent most of the day huddled in a black (to match my mood, obviously) fleece blanket that my brother James got for me, in front of my computer, listening to The Cure and playing MahJong solitaire while convincing myself that no one loved me.

Oh, it wasn't pretty. Thank goodness Erik is so patient with me, because, oh my GAWD, I was a pathetic asshole. Erik talked me down from my ledge, and by day's end I was back in good spirits, putting togather some mad beats in GarageBand. I ended the evening with a showing of Kill Bill Vol. 1.

Today I'm back at work, but my spirits are still high because I've only THREE FULL DAYS of work this week. Friday I get off early, and Erik and I will be driving up to San Luis Obispo to have a quiet, but fun-filled New Years weekend all by ourselves. The plan is to walk around Morro Bay Rock, go see the elephant seals, take in a tour at Hearst Castle, maybe have a meal at the Ragged Point Inn, and finally drive the famed Nacimiento-Ferguson road which links the 101 to the 1. I can't wait! Is it Friday yet?

posted by julie at December 27, 2005 01:10 PM