December 30, 2004

somebody stole my subject line...

lj-music: Buena Vista Social Club

First entry! I'm going to cover my whole vacation here...

I just got back from a great Christmas vacation. I actually did get what I wanted for Christmas, and it was completely unexpected. A great end to a very eventful year.

Every Christmas, I fly to Michigan to visit my parents for the holidays. This year, I went a little earlier to make a christmas party (18th) of a good friend from college, Sheri. Had a lot of fun, so I stayed on, perhaps past my welcome, a couple of days to hang out with her sisters and her friends. (They'd organized a game day on the following day.) Made some new friends, including Sheri's sister, Emily, who introduced me to livejournal.

After that, I caught up with a friend of mine who I neglected the previous Christmas, saw "National Treasure" with him. Caught up with my 97 year old grandmother, who still drives well, gardens (in summer), and is in very good shape for her age. My parents and I took her to a bar for hamburgers, she tried my Guinness and decided to get one herself. I commend her taste. :)

We did the traditional extended family party on my Mom's side on christmas eve in Harrison, MI (I'd point at my hand, but this isn't a visual medium, try mapquest.) Lots of fun. It's a fun, low-key occasion. It's great to be in a family that gets along so well.

Christmas was just my immediate family - my parents, my brother and his wife, and me. I got a couple of DVD's: "Hero" and "Matrix", a cookbook from the Cafe where Jamie Oliver was trained, and another book on sauces. My grandmother came over for lunch, we talked my mom into doing a ham so she wouldn't have to cook all day, and we opened stockings afterwords. (A family tradition.)

I spent monday and tuesday with Emily. She'd asked me to call her if I got bored, so I got bored.

On Monday we did coffee, saw "Ocean's Twelve", more coffee, got dinner at Bravo, a reasonably good Italian restaurant, got more coffee, and then called it a night when starbucks closed. There isn't a lot to do in michigan in the winter.

Tuesday was lunch, the movie "Closer", dinner at applebee's (I think), "Kinsey", and looking at photo albums, with trips to coffee shops in-between. We had more fun than I though could be had in Michigan, and a lot of pleasant conversation.

The flight home was pretty crappy, what I thought was a 2 leg flight turned out to be 3 legs. They were all delayed, and the last and longest leg was next to a guy who desperately needed a shower. I did have a pleasant IM conversation with a friend afterwards and some sleep, which more than made up for it.

Oh, and I picked up a copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day on Emily's recommendation, which I read on the flight back. It was a pleasantly sarcastic collection of essays on American Culture and anecdotes from the authors life.

Movie reviews:

Hero is similar in style to Crouching Dragon, very beautiful, good story. I'd highly recommend it if the defiance of gravity doesn't bug you too much.

National Treasure was kind of a bland, predictable action flick, which seemed a pale shadow of Indiana Jones. Maybe good once for some mindless entertainment.

Ocean's Twelve was an entertaining action flick, but would probably only work once because of the way the plot unfolds. I prefer the original, but it was worth seeing.

Closer was good, but a bit dark. A relationship story involving two guys and two girls. The general gist is a guy screwing up a bunch of people's lives by cheating on his lover (Natalie Portman). It didn't seem too predictable, and had some very funny parts. (esp the IM chat bit.)

I also enjoyed Kinsey. it was very interesting, and John Lithgow reprised his Footloose role as Kinsey's father. Good, but not for the prudish.

See also Emily's livejournal (Dec 29) as she does better movie reviews. :)

25x2 + 9y2 = 16
4x2+9y2 = 25

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