And I'm happy to say that not only have I survived them, but I enjoyed them as well. I have been off since about 2:30 on Thursday, and it's been pretty awesome. Just a great feeling not to have to go to work, even if I wake up at the exact same time just about every day (7:30 am).
Friday was Christmas Eve, and this is my favorite day of the year. I love the anticipation of Christmas and getting things ready. This Christmas Eve was especially nice because Aly and I had to stop at an Italian bakery early in the morning to get some pastries. It reminded me of a Christmas Eve day from about 18 years ago when my mother, my brother and I went to Tripoli's bakery in Lawrence and we got pastries then hung around my aunt's store. Actually, I went to Mahoney's drug store and read comic books.
That's one of my favorite childhood memories and Friday I got to relive some of that, minus the comic books. There's not a lot of opportunities to go back in time and feel the feelings you once did, but I got to do that on Friday. That was a Christmas gift in and of itself.
After wrapping 15 presents, Aly and I took off to Franklin where we met her two friends (Danna and Rick) her family and just had an old-fashioned Italian Christmas Eve. Three courses, lots of fried food, lots of seafood, lots of good food. Had baked stuffed lobster for the first time, incredible. Also had a steak and some pasta. Aly's mom knows how to cook, she really does. And her grandmother is an awesome cook too.
Besides a gaggle of new outfits, Aly got me a digital camera. It is so sweet. It's an Olympus and while I haven't had a chance to really look at everything, but a cursory glance says that it's a great camera. I can't wait to bring it to Fenway next year. Every year Aly gets me an awesome gift. She knows how to pick them.
On Saturday, Danna, Rick, Aly and I went to my parents' house and it was a lot of fun too. My parents really took to Danna and Rick, and my grandmother did too. I'm really glad that every one got along and had a good time.
The one awkward part of Christmas was my Aunt Rita and Uncle Joseph. For the last eight years, I think that the Christmas that has just passed will be my aunt's last. She's not doing well, osteoporosis has destroyed her and senility is more than creeping in. Half the time she didn't know where she was and the other half she was throwing up at the dinner table. I don't want to get old.
And her son, Uncle Joseph, is not doing much better. He closed the family store because he's up to his eye balls in gambling debt, he looks like a beaten man. He used to have it all: women, cars (he had three different Jaguars at once), money, vacations. What ever he wanted. Now he lives in the back of a storefront (that he owns) and had to sell the store that was in our family for three generations.
The worst part is that he is trying to get Jay to get in on a store with him. He wants Jay's money and credit because his is so shot. Normally I say "Family First" but he'll destroy my brother and his future. My Uncle Joseph is an awesome guy, I don't want to completely throw him under the bus, but he's got a bad monkey on his back and he needs to get some help. I only hope he does.
Sunday, Aly and I did nothing. Literally nothing. We made dinner and watched TV and also napped. One of the movies we saw was "Matchstick Man" with Nicholas Cage. Good flick, a bit long, but it had a twist ending, which I sort of saw coming from a mile away. Glad that Jay let me borrow it. We also watched "The Others" with Nicole Kidman. Another good movie, not great though. Sort of like "The Six Sense" times three. I hate giving away spoilers, and these last two movies have them in spades, so just rent them. You won't be disappointed.
Not too much happened today, returned some DVDs that I got for Christmas. Ended up getting "The Best of Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog", "Mr. Show" season four and "Spider-Man 2". After getting the movies, Aly and I took in a matinee, "The Life Aquatic". Typical Wes Anderson film, well written, well acted, pretty funny and touching at the same time. The characters were perfect for their roles.
Here's the thing, as much as I liked this movie, "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tannenbaums" I don't think I want to see them again. They're very good, not great. Sometimes there are slow parts in each of these three movies that make them seem a bit longer than they really are. Out of 19 stars, I'd give it 15.
Tomorrow I have an interview with Band and Brown for a public relations job. I had a phone interview last Wednesday and we spoke for about a half hour. Turns out that he probably can't meet the salary I desire, but he still wants me to come in. I'll listen to what he has to say (he actually doesn't make the salary numbers). Hopefully things will work out.