Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I hate the day after Christmas. Everyone is all good cheer and Christmas carols and present wrapping for a month. The sun rises on December 26th and pfftt that is all over. The light rock station is light rock again and not a marshmallow world in the winter. There are no presents under the tree. There is no good cheer left and nothing to look forward to. (Except for a bowl game on January 7th.)

This year, then, I suppose the fact that I was extremely hungover on December 26th was a good thing. Or at least had an upside. I barely left my bed. My mom came in my room at 3 p.m., after I'd been in and out of dozing all day and said, "It smells like drunk people in here." "Yeahhh...I'll take a shower." And that was pretty much all I accomplished yesterday. Apparently I was way into the holiday spirits the previous night.

My weekend wasn't bad. But it wasn't exceptional either. I dunno. *shrug*

I finally finished up my baking on Christmas Eve day, swearing constantly at the Florentines my mother asked me to make. It involved getting out the food processor, and stirring in a hot pan. They came out fine but they were a pain in the ass. The talley is 2 cheesecakes, 6 kinds of cookies, deviled eggs, and dill dip. And there's still a ton left because we just never got to it all. 

Christmas eve was at my aunt's house, the aunt I was in Disney World with. We, being native San Franciscans, eat fresh cracked Dungeness crab on Christmas eve with pasta and Caesar salad. My dad's side of the family is a fairly loud, incredibly smartass collection of people. But this means my aunt gets more shrill and her husband, good midwestern stock, gets more nasally and annoying. My dad got engaged. My dad's girlfriend (I have an aversion to the word fiance) is a modest, non-attention seeking person. So when my dad puts her on the spot it's one thing, but then my aunt chimes in both condescending and goading with "Welllllll....", I give a sharp, "LINDA!" for which I get in trouble. But I know Ange appreciated it. Her and I both prefer not to be the center of it all.

My grandfather was also there. My grandfather, for lack of any better descriptors, is a cranky old Jew. He IS! The man spent his early years being raised Orthodox in Fairfax L.A. At 17 he joined the Marine Corp and never looked back. He married a Southerner for christsake. But now that the end is nigh? He's all super Jew again. Therefore cranky around Christmas. And for a man who was known to his whole family as just an unmitigated ass who would give you a ton of shit, he's now all hypersensitive. We know how well I do with the overly sensitive among us. (Man up, Nancy.) Also: call it fatalism, though I think there's gotta be a better word for it, but death doesn't really bother me. Spoiler alert: We're all fucking dying. So my grandfather's ultra sensitivity with the end being nigh also bothers the hell out of me. I'm constantly getting yelled at for pointing out that he's, ya know, DYING and that we need to accept that. Sorry for my realistic take on reality, everyone.

Anyway, this goes back a ways, but my grandfather got all pissy at ME for picking on him over a year ago, because he can pull the old "I don't remember EVER picking on anyone!" card, which is helped by the fact that he's on his third wife who only shares a very short history with my grandfather and doesn't have any knowledge or ability to remind him of when he was an ass, he therefore gets away with all this butthurtness. Even though I am by FAR not the biggest offender of picking on him, I just think it was outside of the norm of what he expected from me because I usually do defer to my elders and don't start in on how asinine their beliefs in like, oh, I dunno, W being a good president, are. But every so often, I can't help it. A year ago was one such occasion which despite his constant reminder to us of his short term memory loss, he has not freaking forgotten. GAH!

I give all this background because when my grandfather corners me in the kitchen and begins asking me about the bar exam and says to me, "So, what happens if you fail again?" I wanted to take a meat cleaver to his head. Seriously? "What happens if you fail again? THATS what you ask me!?! Thanks for putting THAT pleasant thought in my brain. Much appreciated." He claims that's not what he meant. That he meant a more collective you, not me specifically. Still. It's stuck in my craw now. When I related this story to the other side of my family on Christmas night, my bff Chuck who was dining with us, says, "Yeah, that's not what he meant. He meant to say, 'What happens when you don't pass?'" It was so hysterically perfect for getting me to calm down.

After dinner, and Grumpa's early departure, we started our traditional game of Trivial Pursuit. My brother, I have discovered, likes to partner with my dad. Doug likes to win but doesn't have the trivial background that both my dad and I possess. So he, for the past couple years, has decided that if he partners with my dad, he's at an advantage. My Aunt Linda and drunken midwestern uncle play together, my uncle Charlie and his wife play together, and I pick up my 18 year old very sweet but not very bright little cousin Kyle. Kyle and I start off poorly. But then I land on pie and it's a fairly easy question: Who has been killed the most times in South Park? I don't watch a lot of South Park. But I know the answer is Kenny. Except my brother, who is reading the question, says that is an incomplete answer because the card has the last name. Are you freaking kidding me? How many of YOU know it? The answer is McCormak. They don't give it to me. This will be a point of contention later. My brother ends up with a question where Pope Benedict is the answer. He doesn't say "the fifteenth". But it's on the card!

Also, my nasally know it all midwestern uncle getting all snarky with me, WHO HAS TRAVELED ABROAD, when he acted like he knew what the outdoor space in London where some record was made was Picadilly Circus. Uh. No. Try Hyde Park, jackass. "Well I've never been there!" Well then don't act like you know everything.

Frankly, after being in last for a vast majority of the game, I was the first person in the center to almost win it and went on an impressive roll for awhile there. I didn't win. Nasally uncle and aunt won, more of a function of us wanting to be done than by any actual skill. I couldn't ever manage to get back to the middle to win. I almost won mostly on my own because other than pulling out that the fire was lit by Piggy's glasses in Lord of the Flies, the 18 year old wasn't much help (I was impressed. Said he loved the book. I read it in high school. It's not a favorite). Thank you high school poetry paper for giving me that Cervantes and Shakespeare died in the same year. And a previous round of playing for giving me that aves is the class name for birds.

Oh, and my family is such a group of smartasses, we add facts on to every card. I get a question and my brother just looks at me and says, "Say Larry Bird." I do. The question was, "Who was Boston's greatest player?" or something like that. My uncle (not midwesterner) says, "Yep. Go Hoosiers." I say, "Uh, he wasn't a hoosier. I mean, from Indiana, but he didn't go to IU. He went to ISU. He's a Sycamore." They look at me dumbfounded. My brother pulls OUT OF HIS ASS, by backing his way into it, that the U.S. started charging for postage in the 1840s. LOL wut? We go back and forth. It was mostly congenial and fun. Sometimes I wish we played more. Then it's 1 a.m. and you're just getting home and you're glad you don't play more.

My brother had to work Christmas day. And because my mom and I are occasionally still like children, we didn't want to wait 'til he got off work at 6 p.m. to open presents. So he spent the night at our house and my mom, adorably, woke us up at 6 a.m. to open presents before he went to work. Even more adorable was when my mom says, "I think I heard something at the door. Doug go get it." and he opens it to find a new bicycle out front. Look! We're ten! It was a little too early for some of her cuter moments. "Well let's see if I can find anything for you..." Just get to the point lady. I won't go into my presents, they were decidedly unexceptional this year. I asked for what I needed and got it and was kinda bummed no one put any actual effort into it all but, well, sigh, I think the Rolling Stones sang something about this so...I'll survive. Just a down Christmas but I had so much other good fortune and luck and gift giving throughout the year, I'll survive in my own princess way.

Oh. Except. One thing I am irrationally angry about. I mentioned in Disney World that I didn't have a wristlet. I KNEW my aunt locked on this and was going to get one. I should have said right then and there, "It better fucking not be from Brighton." People. I HATE Brighton. My aunt loves it. It reminds me of a) Ole Miss sorority girls and b) women going through "the change". There biggest motif is hearts. I also fucking hate hearts. I walked through Tiffany with my mother recently, saw a giant heart diamond ring and said, "Good god. What idiot BUYS those? What girl wants those? I would never ever be friends with a girl who wanted a heart engagement ring." I'm just not a heart person. Seriously, any of you that know even the littlest bit about me should know this. It fits with NOTHING about me. My name does not end in y or ie. I do not sign things flowery. I do not mince words. I am NOT a hearts person and all lovey dovey. I am, without being some angry goth teenager, the opposite of all that. So when my aunt calls me upstairs with the "I got you a present. I can't wait for you to tell me it's awful and that I need to return it!" WHY?! Why start off something about a gift like that for someone? Isn't the whole point of GIVING a gift for the other person to like it? Isn't that the spirit of gift giving? Not in my aunt's world. "Hey, I know you're deathly allergic but I like peanut butter cookies so here are some." Are you KIDDING me? And there is a black Brighton heart motif wristlet. She says, "But the heart is abstract!" It's still a fucking heart. "I asked opinions and people said it would be okay." Really? Did you start off with, "My neice fucking HATES Brighton and does not want it but I insist on keeping buying it for her"? Because maybe you should have started there. She has done this before. I have a large pair of dangly chandelier earrings from there that I didn't return. And that I so very much want to throw out now. I don't feel like a spoiled brat about this one because it was just so flagrantly not about giving ME a gift. It felt...disrespectful.

Anywho, we had a nice morning. But I never went back to sleep. We did breakfast around 10 and then I hurridly threw everything in my closet so my room looked semi-respectable when our relatives came over. It was raining awfully that day but I went and picked up Chuck and we watched episode 2 of Penguins/Capitals 24/7. I remain in love with Brooks Laich and wish I'd been raised on hockey because I love the violence of it and wish I had played growing up. I'm probably more cooridnated now than I was even as a teenager (seriously), and if I could find the pair of rollerblades I know I have but never opened somewhere in this house, I could give it a try. Or break a leg. Either way.

Everyone came over and it was a lovely mellow dinner of way too much food. Doug picked on me a fair amount which was ANNOYING but I like that it gets Chuck's ire up a bit, the way my brother treats me. I love knowing my friends have my back. Chuck and I mostly drank the two bottles of Veuve during dinner. So after dinner and pleasantries, and the adorable 6 year old twins, the boy of whom I showed that girls can like football too, we did what any single people do on Christmas night: we went to a bar. First we went to my usual haunt: the Philly Club. When we got there around 9:30, it was quiet and great. There was one bartender working and he was super friendly. But then. Sigh. All the entitled rich shits from SI home for winter break showed up and the environment was far less inviting. They ordered a ton of long island iced teas. A total amateur drink. Oh, and did I mention that was the BOYS drinking that? Yeah. You haven't been drinking long when that's your go to. The bartender even warned them, "Hey, I'm here alone. Don't give me any trouble tonight." I doubt that ended up working. That's about the point that Darren Criss from Glee walked in. I mean, I knew he went to SI. But to show up at this awful (and yet charmingly awesome) inner Sunset bar on Christmas night? Really? In water is wet news: he is tiny in real life. Are people on TV midgets and everything is built to scale? I'm starting to think so.

Later, Chuck went to use the restroom. His jacket was on one chair and he was sitting on the other. Kid sees the jacket and moves past it, going to take Chuck's seat. I say, "Uh, my friend is sitting there." "Oh, well...is she coming back?" No, jackass, I'm gonna sit her alone at a bar on Christmas. (Actually, at Philly Club, that'd be par for me.) Anyway I say, "It's HE and he just went to the restroom." Half drunk kid says, "Oh. Ok." and moves on. But then proceeds to batter Chuck with his arm there. So we left. That, folks, right there, the entitled rich kid of it, is the reason I hate pretty much every second of my time at SI.

So we headed to a bar I knew would be far more Irish in clientele and less elitist St. Francis Wood rich kids: The Four Deuces. And I was right. Chuck and I people watched, and drank and drank and drank. I was by far outpacing him. I don't know what got into me. All the holidays, all the family. I dunno. But whoa. Also: I adore my male friends. ADORE. But man are guys super intimidated by them. I can usually at least get a guy to talk to me if out with female friends. But with Chuck? Yeah. Not happening. I did say hi to the guy there that I've known since kindergarten and finally talked to some other guys that I know are friends with my brother. I think one of them may have been flirting with me, but, honestly? At that point I was too drunk to notice. He did ask me why I didn't come there more often (wow thats cliche), so he might have been. Oh well. Whatever.

I finally make it home and spent the entire next day in agony trying not to throw up and sleeping through that lovely stench of day old cider. Wheeeee!

I hope all of your Christmas's were merry and bright as well. I also love that with the invention of iTunes, I can continue playing Christmas music as long as I want and can continue trying to capture some of that spirit.



  1. Wow, you had a much more active Christmas than I did. I think I was still too hungover from Christmas Eve to do too much.

    Quick question: I always thought of the Philosopher's Club as being a West Portal bar, not an Inner Sunset bar. Am I wrong on that?

  2. Yeah, you're right. It is West Portal and not Inner Sunset. Apparently in my brain I was at the Blackthorn.

    Or I'm just retarded and don't know what to call anything ever because it's all divided by the large swatches of police districts in my brain.

    Probably the latter.