Crap I got the hiccups. Or the hiccoughs as they say in other countries. I think. There was some book I read a as kid where they talked about hiccoughs and it took me half the book to realize they were talking about hiccups. Mom dad and my sister are off to the jewelry store – uncle George stopped by this morning on his way there.
We had a fine thanksgiving dinner. We went to Tommy Lancasters where the buffet was a bit abused looking. Heather is into raw foods eating (as most of us should be) and so the restaurant had told us that they were going to have a salad bar but when we got there what they really meant was a big bowl of iceberg lettuce along with pasta salad, fruit salad… but Heather and I had a good time making fun of the dippy teenagers behind us ‘Oh my God, I got like so much ice cream oh my god…’ We also kept a lookout for a mullet in the restaurant – mulletspotting – it is always double points if the mullet is on a woman. Even more bonus points if the mullet includes bleach blonde hair.
"What is with all these fucking Christmas decorations!?" Dad and I were driving to the store to fetch some groceries. He always says that he didn’t curse until he met my mother’s family. I think that eventually the Thanksgiving sales will actually start on Thanksgiving day. It only seems logical. There are stores here in Louisville that are opening up at 5am. One of mom’s co-workers detailed how they get all the kids in the van and get blankets and pillows and they just shop all day and oh what fun it is to ride in a bargain-packed open sleigh. I think it is great that they have that kind of family activitiy – but isn’t it a little gross that it has to be connected to our annual shopping madness holiday? That’s my mom’s term for anything tacky or distasteful – that’s just so ‘gross’ – I’m more wont to say ‘that’s total bullshit’ or ‘what a bunch of retards’. Though mom doesn’t like when I say ‘retard.’ I really should scrub that. Because when I refer to someone as retarded they are stupider than any mentally disabled person I ever met.
My aunt Joyce is a testament to the power of worry. God bless her. She has the faith of an angel and has always bent over backwards for anything her kids or grandkids need. Hell, she’d do anything for Heather or I too. She’s one of those people that finds great comfort in a continual slowburn of anxiety. I think aunt Joyce should work for Homeland Security because she creates future scenarios of mishap and catastrophe that no terrorist could ever dream up. She also exhibits my mom’s genetic disposition to be a packrat. Actually I think that denigrates the habit. It isn’t that we are packrats – we catalog and organize all of the things that we save. I guess it’d be in the world of obsessive-compulsive disorder. We poke fun at aunt Joyce because she is so good-hearted and she takes the offhand remarks Heather and I make about people in great stride (usually by saying she didn’t hear what she said – another powerful skill from my mom’s side of the family – we call it selective hearing). I think people mistake people like aunt Joyce for being weak people – but I think the truth is that she is much more resilient than her own children give her credit for. She’s taken it all on and has survived with a carefully calibrated expectation that the other shoe will drop at any time. If ever there were a massive zombie virus outbreak, I’d want aunt Joyce on my side because she would step over dead bodies to politely pilfer bottled water from an overturned truck (its driver currently distracted as zombies feed on his brains). I think Aunt Joyce’s lesson is worry without action. Sometimes we all fall into this: we are much more comfortable worrying about things than 1) taking action 2) reducing the source of the worry 3) asking for help 4) realizing that worrying about things we can’t control is a waste of our endocrine system. Aunt Joyce is one of those people that I really think Heaven exists for. She’s worried and toiled over generations of her family and relatives and she deserves to sit up with St. Peter under an oak tree and have a nice stiff drink for the rest of eternity. I don’t know what Aunt Joyce drinks. Oh and don’t think that just because she’s a dedicated Christian woman that she doesn’t drink – she’s still Catholic – we all have our favorite drinks.
I read Dress Your Family in Cordory and Denim last night. Heather had brought her copy up for me to borrow and I figured I might as well finish it so I was up until about 2am finishing it. Just when I think I’m nuts, I read Sedaris and realize that he is much crazier than I could be. My favorite part is when they covince their sister Tiffany to lay down in the middle of the road to get run over to get back at their mom for locking them out of the house in winter.
One of my cousins – one of my favorite cousins – has had three miscarriages in the past two years. It’s very painful because she is also over 40 and I know that age has an effect on the success of a pregnancy. Sometimes I think there is such a pressure in the family to have a ‘real baby’ that the possibility of adoption gets overshadowed. I don’t think people know how common miscarriages are. Most of the mothers in our family have had one or more. There is a strange tribal code that kicks in when a couple loses a baby. Other women, mothers, aunts, neighbors that have gone through it come to the woman and help her through the grief.
A father feeds his baby girl with a bottle and bounces her up and down quietly whispering Yankee Doodle Dandee. George M. Cohan to soothe the savage beast.
Not a very full flight today.
Heather’s cat has been cleared of any possibility of urniary problems, feline leukemia or feline HIV – Luna, a fluffy black long hair with a fey kink to his tail – had grown listless and they suspected he had bladder blockage.
I think that I need to start calling mom and dad on Friday’s and recording a Grey’s Anatomy debriefing with them as a podcast. That’d be fun. Or calling Uncle George for a holiday jewelry shopping primer.
Whenever I go home, I spend at least 5 hours reading all of the Martha Stewart Living magazines that I’ve missed.
(on the plane now)
Mom and dad get to give a subscription to Living as they renew their own so they are going to send me Martha’s magazine. I’ve always admire Martha Stewart from a marketing perspective for the same reason I admire Hugh Hefner – they both took their passions and crafted them into an entire brandscape. And they both have an intense focus on style and design. A lot of folks would say Madonna does this but I really think that Madonna checks in with culture every few years with a new album and a new motif – people like Martha are there every single day. I think Ron will like the magazine. One of my favorite Martha Stewart things from last year was making an ice wreath: you have too circular pans and you put holly and berries in it and then freeze it all into a ring of ice to hang outside (assuming it is freezing outside). This time I liked how she took three small benches and screwed them together to make a bookshelf.
I always pack too much for my flight home. I have my laptop, my iPod (with 4 ripped episodes of X-Files), Fitness RX, Men’s Health, In These Times and I bought a copy of The Economist. Sorta covers my entire spectrum of interests and obsessions.
I think I have to stop watching CNN. There’s no reason I should be watching any corporate-owned or mass media produced news program for actual news. I need to switch soley to Democracy Now and BBC and NPR via podcast.
Dad told me I should go into politics again. I think I’ll need an email newsletter of about 3 million people before I feel like I can really get in there and make things happen. I see combining K-Rove’s focus on demographics and direct marketing tactics with a firm embrace of technology.
The plane just did the first ‘slow down’ t always happens 20 minutes before we land. That means were are getting close.
I’ve got some pretty tall plans for 2007 but I’m excited at the challenges I’ve set for myself. I just picture having everything paid off and then taking some time off to do more creative stuff. I told Brigitte we can do some Ibsen – I’d love to get her and Brian or her and Matt in Doll’s House. Love that play. Or Ghosts. Or a tight bloody chamber version of Oedipus Rex. I picture it all taking place in the bedroom of the Rex family – they are sequestered by a ravenous media – so often the play is about grand prononucements in public – I want to unlock what happens in the castle – that was a big part of my Antigone adaptation. That you have these characters acting grand and epic and then when they get back inside they are stubborn, meddlesome assholes.
The funniest thing my dad said this trip was when he was recalling the woman that tried to sit on us at the restaurant. They had the tables packed in there like sardines and a woman sat down and rammed her chair into Heather’s chair, the lady’s gold blonde bubble haircut rippling with classist glee. Later my dad would say, "Then Mrs. Butthole rammed our table." It’s like Molly McButter: Mrs. Butthole.
I’m really pissed about the 100% Juice Cranberry that they had at the Wal-Mart. Notice I didn’t say 100% Cranberry Juice. Nope. The label features lucious plump taste-engorged cranberries and the word ‘cranberry’ appears on the bottle as well as the phrase ‘100% juice’. Turns out it isn’t 100% cranberry juice – it is cranberry juice mixed with other juices (I think apple). So they could market it as ‘100% juice’ because it was all juice – just not all cranberry. Sam Walton was an asshole.
Second plane slowdown, bank to the right. Computer turning off.