Holiday Break 2001

Higlights from this vacation:
  • No egg nog or fruit cake. But Christmas Day turkey.
  • Lots of Krispy Kreme donuts.
  • Lots of eating in general. I got fat.
  • Lots of sleeping. Helped the fat to settle in.
  • I gave James the Zoolander screener for Xmas. We watched it too many times over break. I'm already guilty of constantly quoting movies (an easy fallback when I can't conjure up original material), but this holiday break was excessive, abusive. Zoolander, like Austin Powers, improves each time you watch it. Will Farrell, Ben Stiller, and Owen Wilson are just invite imitation.
  • Managed to avoid trite comedic clams "Don't go there" or "That's a little too much detail" or " Nazi" like "soup nazi." One New Year's resolution is to try and never resort to such trite comic sayings.
  • My stepbrother James is currently the funniest guy I know. Our family's favorite is his scream of delight. Example. After opening our presents, my dad suddenly announced, with some gravity, "Now it's time to eat jello." James raised his arms up high and screamed, "Whoooooooooooooooooooo! I didn't think it could get any better."
  • My little sister Karen has more guys chasing after her than any girl I know. Of course, my only evidence is the five million phone calls she receives everyday from random guys, since she won't tell me anything. Claims I'm overprotective. Hmm, I guess I am. She's so nonchalant about it all, too.
  • A healthy (unhealthy?) dose of Grand Theft Auto 3. "Mike, beat that guy up! Use the bat! Wait, beat up the pimp! Pick up that whore!"
  • Played drinking games with sisters. Karen was the King elephant. I was the fish. What's more disturbing? Knowing your sisters know drinking games like this, or knowing they can beat you at them?
  • Sisters tried Pepcid AC to prevent Asian alcohol blush. It failed.
  • Learned some of Karen's 2XS dance troop moves.
  • The ostrich appetizer at Cafe Absinthe is pure butter, i.e. melts in your mouth.
  • Listened to jazz at the Green Mill. I miss the Chicago jazz and blues scene.
  • Visited my cousins back out in Naperville. They're well. My aunt gave me a huge bottle of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula lotion, currently my favorite. The advantage of having a cousin who works for Johnson and Johnson. I get lots of free Neutrogena products. I still need a loofa, though. I always forget to pick one up when I'm out at the store. Yeah, I'm going to start using a loofa, you have a problem with that? It's a result of watching American Psycho with James and practicing my Patrick Bateman voice in the shower. "
  • "Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where, uh, Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Christy, take off your robe. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. Sabrina, remove your dress. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as, uh, anything I've heard in rock. Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your ass. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and, uh, Against All Odds. Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite."

Yes, this is all fluff. I don't get daily or even weekly phone updates from everyone in my family, so holiday breaks are for gathering as many data points as possible on just one point in time and trying hard to get a sense for whether the trendline are up, down, or flat. All things being equal, I think everyone's looking good. Nothing's guaranteed, but we've all got a fighting chance to have a great 2002.