Christmas 2007 Report

Here’s a quick highlight reel from the past few weeks. I’m sure I left out some important details, so please forgive me for the quick buzz:

Dad drove up from NJ on the 20th, and after a quick meal at the Halfway, I took the wheel and drove us back to Hopatcong. It was snowing in Boston-land, but once we got a bit west it mostly ceased. We made good time and didn’t really encounter any big problems. Getting home we were greeted by Mom, Aimee, Aiden and the dogs. It was the first time meeting Aiden and he was just as cute as the avalanche of pictures have portrayed him. Aimee and Aiden had to fly back to Tennessee before Christmas, so we celebrated early. Saturday morning we drove down to Grammy and Grampy’s neighborhood for lunch with them, and then returned to Hopatcong to sit down around the tree and open gifts. Everyone seemed to enjoy the gifts which were exchanged, and I got all kinds of stuff. I got a bunch of cooking-related books and items, which was cool. I also got a few more seasons of South Park to further round out my collection. went above and beyond and got me a Donkey Cigarette Dispenser. While I don’t smoke, I love donkeys, so this alone would have been an awesome gift, but she then instructed me to operate the dispenser. A pencil shot out of the ass’ ass (haha) and it was wrapped in a piece of paper reading “Good for One Xbox 360”. I had been talking about getting one for awhile now, so this was a real nice surprise. While it was weird to me to celebrate Christmas a few days early (and at night, to boot!), I soon got over it and enjoyed spending time with kith and kin. We popped in Christmas Vacation and dug in for the night.

The rest of our time in NJ was great, I even had the opportunity to make attempts 3 and 4 at “Mission: Kolach”. 3 continued the improvements I had managed with attempt 2, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I think everyone else was more forgiving of it than me, but I intend to keep working on it until it’s perfect. But I was able to get the crust much less thick by kneading less. I’m going to knead even less next time and see what happens. Attempt 4 was somewhat of a disaster in my mind. I mis-measured the butter and added 8 tbsp. instead of the 6 I had been working with. I’m also going to get a second loaf pan so I can make a double-recipe. I took the original recipe, which made 4 loaves, and quartered it, but that left some of the measurements odd (1.5 egg yolks, for instance), so by making two loaves I can eliminate those weird measurements (which I ended up rounding up to avoid having to deal with it).

On Christmas Day, Dad took Corinna and I to the Newark Airport for our flight to Michigan. When we got to the airport we found out our flight was delayed by two hours. We went to the bar for a few drinks to kill some time, and while we were sitting there I saw David Zayas (a.k.a. Lt. Angel Batista from Dexter) approach the bar, I did a double take, but without mentioning anything to Corinna, when he stepped away from the bar and sat in the booth behind me, she saw and heard him and came to the same conclusion. We didn’t bother him, but we just silently geeked out in our booth.

We arrived at Coco’s parents’ house around 9:30pm, and much of the family was already there. We mostly just decompressed and hung out with everyone. The next day we observed Wigilia, and everyone was there. It was really cool, and it was fun watching all the kids open their gifts. The Wigilia meal was huge but delicious as always… I actually felt like I was going to explode. This probably wouldn’t have been considered very festive, so I managed to hold myself together.

We spent the rest of our time in Michigan visiting friends and family. We drove up closer to Detroit to visit Corinna’s Great Aunt and Uncle. Her great aunt has been ill lately, so it was important that we got up to see them. Afterwards we headed over to the Raz’s abode to visit , Andy, and Colin. We headed for dinner over to Game Works, which is kinda like Jillians’ used to be, an adult arcade with several bars. The food was only so-so, but it was great catching up with the Razzies, as the past few visits to Michigan we’ve had limited exposure. Their kid could easily be the “token cute kid” in a sitcom if he developed a catchphrase (although “I SIT DOWN I SIT DOWN” might be a good start). Also, I can’t remember the last time I was set loose in an Arcade, so I had a great time. Corinna and Amy kicked it DDR style a few times. Andy and I stuck mostly to vehicle games, although we did go for a few rounds in that Jurassic Park shooter. When we got back to Chelsea, we dug into the Pats game with Kim. The rest of our time in Michigan was pretty laid back and quiet (at least in comparison to having 19 people sleep in one house!) We had a wine and cheese movie night with Corinna’s parents and watched #99 and #100 on my video list for 2006.

The trip back to Boston was pretty uneventful, occuring mostly on time and after a short taxi ride to Watertown we were home. I turned right back around to go to the markets to get supplies for our New Years party, and afterwards crashed into the bed for a nap to recharge. Everyone came over around 9pm and seemed to have a great time. The party broke up around 2am, and while we had a ton of leftovers I was actually expecting worse. The next morning I went out first thing to redeem my Xbox voucher, and after some AV-setup wrangling (and a trip back out to Best Buy for a forgotten accessory) I was up and running. I basically played with it for the rest of the day… You can find me on Live as “dos burros”.

Let’s Go Maize!

[info]coco_b and I trekked out to Michigan for her brother Paul’s wedding this weekend past.  Due to some airline BS, we ended up having to fly in and out of Providence, and we hit traffic in both directions, but especially on the way down.  Once we got there though, it was a very nice way to fly.  We got to DTW and picked up our rental, we met up with Corinna’s friend Michelle in Ann Arbor and had dinner at Blue Nile.  It was delicious all-around, but their hot tea was out of control.  After dinner we headed to Corinna’s parents’ place and hung out with them for awhile before her brother Fred and 5 of his 6 kids arrived by car from Georgia.   We hung out with everyone for awhile before passing out.

We woke up first thing Saturday morning to head over to Ann Arbor to watch the Michigan Marching Band practice for the big homecoming game that day against Purdue.  Corinna was part of the band, so she was excited to see them perform, even if we were unable to catch the game.  We brought her niece along for the ride, leaving the house at something like 7 in the morning.  The band practice was really interesting, even if there were some eccentricities that took some getting used to..    For instance, to rest their lips, lungs, and cheeks, the horn sections didn’t actually play their parts for several sections of the rehearsal, instead they brought their horns to their lips and sung their parts.  The announcer, who is apparently very loved among the Michigan community sounded like a Yuk-tastic morning DJ to me, but I guess I just can’t appreciate his grandeur.  We cruised around campus for awhile before heading back to the house to get ready for the wedding.  But on the way to the house, Corinna granted me a wish and took me to lunch at DiBella’s, who’s westward expansion has taken it into Ann Arbor.  How about moving eastward, guys?

The wedding was quite a bit of fun, with a short ceremony leading to a very nice reception.  It was great only only getting to hang out with Corinna’s family members I was already acquainted with, but also meeting several more.  It was especially nice to meet


who I feel like I’ve known for years now through LiveJournal but had yet to meet.  We stayed until the very end, and other than a somewhat creepy garter/bouquet throw narration by the DJ, it was a great time.  We got back to Chelsea just in time to see the Red Sox get beat by the Indians in the 11th inning.

Sunday we just kind chilled out at the house, and in the evening, lots of people came to Chelsea for dinner.  After a great meal, Corinna and I just chatted it up with her family and their friends, and eventually helped her mother prepare rations for her brother and his kids car ride back to Georgia.  Monday morning we got up bright and early, returned the car, and flew back to Providence.  All-in-all it was a very successful trip.  It will be nice to see everyone again in a few months for the Holidays…   Renting a car was also a genius idea, as now that her parents only have one car, and it gave us some extra mobility without bothering anyone.

Christmas 2006 – Part 1 of 2

It’s about time I wrote about the holidays this year…  [info]coco_b and I have never been able to celebrate Christmas together because it is such an important holiday for both of our families. This year, however, we figured out a way to be together, even if it did involve quite a bit of hectic traveling. Her family celebrates the Polish tradition of Wigilia on Christmas Eve, while my family does most of it’s celebrating on Christmas Day. So with some help from her family, who decided to celebrate Wigilia a day early on the 23rd, we decided to fly to Michigan on the 19th, fly to NJ on the 24th, and return to Boston via an undecided mode of transportation some day before the new year.

Someone Needs an Editor

Homes for the Holidays


 and I are jumping on a plane and heading out to Michigan to spend time with her family for Christmas.  Tomorrow, we are borrowing a car from her folks, driving out to a suburb of Chicago to visit some of her family living out there, and returning to Michigan that same night.  It should be a fun, but hectic, time.   We are celebrating Wigilia a day early, on the 23rd, so that we can fly to NJ the evening of the 24th to celebrate with my family.  It is going to be some hectic traveling, but it will be nice to spend Christmas together for the first time..  I also don’t know much about Wigilia, so it will be interesting to participate in that tradition too.