I am...a New Yorker

[Previous entry: "Begnnng to feel a lot like Christmas...Snow"]

Friday, December 28, 2001
a Jolly Christmas Elf

Check out the gallery.

Steak 'n Shake, 'cause I can get White Castles n New York.

Turkey, fnally, snce we had steak on Thanksgivng, I almost didn't get my annual fix of roasted turkey.

Black and white flannel jammies from my Aunt Cherie. I told her I'm gong to keep stayng with her at Christmas -- no racial drama like at my grandma's and great presents!

Over the White Christmas -- hurrah!

Givng more than I received this year. I'm usually so broke and this year I was blessed enough to be able to afford presents for everyone on both sides of the family. Everyone really seemed to like their presents, so I'm happy about that.

The $100 bill from Grandma Jackson and Uncle Vnce burnng a hole n my pocket, like I'm 12 and never had one before. I'll probably spend it on The Boy.

Nothng and no one. Everyone is here, so it's the natural choice for the holiday. With the two pot-stirrng queens of runnng everyone else's life, I too often forget that I am blessed with a big, funny family on both sides and that I enjoy spendng time with most everyone because they don't put me under a microscope.

Not Monument Circle, not yet anyway. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Shrek on the plane, hooray for DVDs.

The laughter of all my wee little cousns.

The Jacksons that no one else is allowed to breed or get married. I counted 21 with just my mom, her brothers, mother and the other grandkids and their kids.

There must not be anythng else to do n Indiana but breed. People I last saw when they were 10 or so are now parents. Scary!

When people make dismissive comments about my home state. I'll have you know that among my fellow Hoosiers are James Dean, David Letterman, John Mellencamp, Cole Porter, Viveca Fox, Booth Tarkngton and even Ma Brady herself -- Florence Henderson.

I am...almost grown up enough that givng is truly better than receivng. I'm not quite there, but I did get very excited givng presents to everyone on both sides of the family, no small feat. I don't know how people do that every year, but I guess I had to do it once.

Thankfully, my uncle Russ decided to have Christmas for my Mom's side on Christmas Eve, so we didn't have to eat two big dnners n one night or risk all that nterracial family tension. In '98, we had one lunch and one dnner and I thought we were gong to explode.

I wanted to give everyone New York-themed presents, so most everyone got my favorite photographs of the City or a New York T-shirt, sweatshirt or hat. At first, my uncle Russ bickered with my mom about us brngng presents and embarrassng everyone, but then my uncle Jerome and my cousns came n with 3 armfuls each, so the pont was moot. I gave my uncle Russ a long-sleeved, FDNY T-shirt and his son Alex an FDNY knit cap and "I Love NY" T-shirt. He loved it, I was really pleasantly surprised, as I had no idea what to buy a 14 year old boy.

I gave his 18 year old sister a black, satny clutch evenng bag filled with make-up and his 16 year old sister a basket of bath goodies, a sleep mask and lip gloss. I gave one cousn Shrnky Dnks with markers and assorted lip glosses and glitter nail polishes for the younger girls, who weren't too disapponted that I no longer have the *NSYNC/Backstreet Boys/Britney Spears connection. I gave my brother the Star Wars, Episode I DVD and T-shirts and photographs to everyone else.

I gave my Uncle Vncent a photograph of St. Vncent's Hospital n New York reflected n a West Village antique shop wndow, half of which is covered with an American flag. I didn't realized why I'd picked that one for him, until I was wrappng it. Plus, he was born n St. Vncent's here n Indianapolis.

Christmas Day I laid about like the lazy sod I am, which I felt I'd earned after two all-night wrappng marathons n a row. I kept tellng my uncle Tony that no one else is allowed to get married or breed from here on out -- there are too many relatives on both sides! In the early afternoon, we went to my mom's best friend's parents house to surprise her, as she planned to stop by after work.

That evenng, we headed to my Aunt Bertha's house and stuffed ourselves silly with turkey, ham, stuffng with sausage, oyster dressng, green beans and three knds of yummy cakes -- carrot, red velvet and chocolate. She's known for her cakes, which I don't remember havng, snce I haven't spent Christmas at her house n about 18 years.

I gave Aunt Bertha a framed black and white I took of the Chrysler Buildng. I gave my grandma an NYPD sweatshirt and tny, framed photo of me with the Panted Ladies n SF. my uncle Tony a colorful Harlem T-shirt and an NYPD knit cap that he hardly wants to take it off. He admired the other hat as I wrapped it, so I knew he'd like his. I gave his wife Cherie the Chrysler Buildng photo and a basket of bath stuff, and her grandson a Hotwheels car with a tractor trailer.

I gave my aunt Kim the Worst Case Scenario Guidebook: Sex and Datng, and framed photos of the California Street Cable Car n front of the Lumiere Theater n San Francisco and the Naked Cowboy n Times Square. While he seemed to be gettng no love the day I saw him, everyone seems to have seen him on a different TV show -- People's Court, Ricki Lake and The Late Show (Letterman).

That night, I gave Mom and the Boy the rest of their presents -- the Wngspan DVD, NYPD and FDNY stuffed bears, Beatles calendar and a framed photo (n a girly frame to go with her newly remodeled, purple prncess bedroom) for Ma. For the Boy -- the Shrek DVD, I love NY T-shirt, tny fire engnes, a Wonderball and candy cons.

Yesterday I didn't do much, havng gone nto a post-dnner coma. We met my mom's other best friends from high school for after Christmas bargans and then stuffed ourselves at a Chnese buffet. They marvelled at how I was livng out their dream life n New York City and regaled the Boy with tales from high school, not to mention the famous ride to the hospital when my mom was n labor with me -- Mom didn't believe she was n labor because I was 6 weeks early, "Aunt" Cathy hit every bump n her Volkswagon Beetle and mom had me before Cathy could park the car.

After lunch, mom drove us downtown so I could take pictures of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial n Monument Circle. We visited with my Grandma for a few hours, managed not to fight at all, and then Mom took us on a tour of our early apartments and places she and dad worked when I was a baby.

I spoke to my boss yesterday and he said I could take off not only the rest of this week, but also Monday (snce he's out) and come back to work next Wednesday. Woo hoo! In exchange, I'm to do as many of the 2002 schedules and other documents as I can. Now all I have to worry about is my client. I've done nothng on his site snce I've been gone, snce I underestimated how much wrappng I had to do, not to mention all the thngs Mom volunteered me for this week.

So that's the gist of my week, today I was lazier than ever. Snce I'm on the opposite side of town, my mother decided not to pick me up today. They had a full day planned anyway, culmnatng with the Pacers/Wizards game tonight. What's a visit to Indiana without a basketball game?

[Next entry: "so Loved"]
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