I'm still at my parents' house in the snowy midwestern territory and haven't been so much about the internet, per usual, given the agony of the dial-up connectivity. In the days since my last update, I've done quite a bit of gift exchanging with a side of movie watching. Among the neat CDs, books, etc., the bulk of my receivables were of the cash variety, with the intention of upgrading the audio-visual components of my apartment. A very thoughtful approach, given the shipping situation.
On "boxing day" we had a family hangout experience of playing the SceneIt television DVD game followed by an expedition to watch Spanglish at the Crossroads [soon to be Celebration!] Cinema. I think their recent remodeling made it appropriate to break my boycott. The funny thing about cinemas here is that they turn out the lights during the advertisements; so when we arrived it was pitch-black and a huge adventure trying to shepherd our moderately large group into a bank of seats. To accommodate my uncle, we needed to be several rows from the screen. As a result, we needed to climb over a rail and I had to direct latecoming parents through the darkness to our not-so-easily accessible location.
Spanglish was fairly good. Everyone will hear something along the lines of "I liked it and I don't even like Adam Sandler." Which is not surprising, given that it isn't an "Adam Sandler Movie." The kids were definitely too cute (as was Paz Vega, though this wasn't so problematic). It was funny and sentimental enough to please the whole family; so no complaints for a post-xmas flick.
After the movie, I met up with the [obx04 subset of the] table15 gang at the LoDo (motto: good enough to be your third choice!). The waitress was extremely perplexed by our collection of out-of-state identification documents as well as the prospect of preparing a 'hot toddy'. Given their extensive selection of fruity 'martinis' this was either surprising, or not. I went for a Goose Island for sentimental flashback purposes rather than brave the mixed drinks. We piled into Aaron's car and adjourned to the Rocket Star Cafe for more gift swapping and game playing. In addition to the white elephant, where I received a pretty awful denim purse + cookie recipe towel + cookie cutter, Jenna and Rhiannon gave me some fantastic books (America: Democracy Inaction and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, respectively). The games were of the German award winner variety: Hoity Toity and Settlers of Catan. I lost both. The Rocket Star was really neat, they've done a great job with the renovation.
On Monday, we reconvened to watch The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which was quirky and sad and funny and generally pretty great, but not as great as The Royal Tennenbaums (which might be impossible, anyway). Maybe I will see it again, write more about it later, or both. By the end of the evening, Jenna, Aaron and I went to The Union, where I braved the 'martini' list and learned about a liquor product called Hypnotic. Monday was also a day of random visitations -- my grandfather's brother (great uncle?) showed up in the morning, and our neighbor dropped by in the evening with her crying baby.
Last night, I followed my mother around town to run errands, we went to help out the great uncle with some technology problems, and had dinner in Kalamazoo at the Olde Peninsula. I think that I might have seen someone from high school (Adam Stubbs) at another table.
Today was entirely uneventful. I went swimming and stayed at home reading and catching up with the internet a little bit. Did I mention my broken iBook? Today would've been a good day to do some work, but alas. At least it is fixed and is en route to my office.
I'm flying back to Seattle on New Year's Eve and am without definite plans, but am refusing to panic.