coffee in my favorite mug

awakened early
by a boy in pajamas:
"dad? dad! it's snowing"

Yep, White Christmas in Wisconsin, it's not usually a miracle but this year we hadn't had any and now: everywhere. Gentle flakes, weird fractal patterns coming down, Sammy's hoping for snowman-level stuff but Emma was like "Dude, don't get your hopes up." Then he went Meta-Beavis and said "This is going to sound complicated, but I want to throw a snowball at a snowball." Wow.

Gotta type quickly, the kids are in the other room watching a SpongeBob Xmas thing, we've set 8:30 as the time to open presents, it's almost that now. We are all Spartan this year, minimal, on a "make each gift count" tip; this is spiritual, but also economic (Liza has like NO JOB people) and religious (technically, the kids are more Jewish than anything else, and we don't deo any other Xian thing all year, so it's kind of hypocritical to get all hyper over this one day) and political (we do not want to contribute to the U.S. plastic crap economy). We donated to Doctors Without Borders in people's names this year, and we also got gift subs to Salon for people. I think the kids understand; they're also getting lots of stuff from g'parents and uncles, so they're hardly missing out.

sit and watch the drifts,
all a Whistler white and grey
outside in the street

Last night, we watched A Christmas Story, which is genius on so many levels that it's chilling. Darren McGavin gave the performance of a lifetime in this one, from the fake swearing ("MUNDANE NOODLE!") to the disgusted put-upon looks to the flipping of the remaining turkey wing after the Bumpus dog rampage; young Peter Billingsley was an amazing actor; hell, I think the mom is hella hottt. So yeah, popcorn all over the couch, Liza wrapping presents, laughing at an mean old mall Santa: this is the kind of stuff I'll miss when they're all old and cynical and "get away from me old man". I guess it's stupid to miss them being this age while they're still THIS AGE.

Today, over to Liza's mom's place for dinner and hanging with her brother and his family, freshly arrived from la Ciudad de la Reina de Los Angeles. Halfway through the celebration, I will sneak out and go over to my brother's apartment to present him with his gifts and get a little family time all by ourselves. Then back to the madness.

I'm not expecting any gifts, by design this year; I already received enough when my long-awaited package from the Czech Republic arrived day before yesterday. Premyl Stepanek from Indies Records hooked me up with like seven new albums RIGHT BEFORE I'm supposed to be turning in my P & J ballot for 2004. Looks like I might have to sacrifice one of my Brazilian records for one of these, it's amazing stuff, Romany rock with heavy klezmer and Latin influences, funk and jazz combined, wow. If my dad's family had never left Slovakia these would be the tunes I'd be grooving to. (Then again, if my mom's family had never left Ireland, I'd be a mad golf raver.)

Anyway, tomorrow we're going to Milwaukee to see my college roommate W1ster and his family. No updates until after that probably. I don't know who reads this anymore (disabled my statcounter, no comments ever get left) but Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Rockin' Kwanzaa, Joyeux Ramadan, whatever and ever amen. I love you all.

Pile into the car
Over the suburban streets
To grandmother's house

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