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TOPIC: How are your holidays?

How are your holidays? 26 Dec 2017 23:28 #259640

We visited my mom and two of my brothers. She lives about 35 minutes north of us. One of my brothers, 30-something, lives in the basement and works for the railroad as a conductor or engineer assistant or something. He has more money than he knows what to do with. There are about eight guitars in a rack in the family room. He has about six Google Home and Amazon Alexa's peppered throughout my mom's house. We approach them like an isolated tribe seeing its first airplane. He gave us an Echo dot and a TP-Link smart wifi plug, which I set up today. We spent most of dinner trying to get Alexa to play competing music

Teen daughter: "Hey Alexa, play [some obscure K-pop song]
Wife: "Alexa stop!! shut up!!"

Alexa: "I can't find 'shut up'"

I sang in the choir on Sunday at church and we sounded about five times better than in practice, so that was cool.

My wife spent literally eight hours scrubbing every inch of the kitchen in an attempt to numb herself to the anxiety connected to her job hunting.

I sold Space Hulk at a ridiculous price on Ebay to a local guy. "Why don't you check 'local pickup' and I'll give you an extra ten bucks when I pick it up." He forgot, and I was too timid to ask, so I guess he gets a <$50 copy of Space Hulk! Ho ho ho!

How are your holidays shaping up?
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 00:24 #259642

Mine were good, mostly, thanks for asking.

My mother-in-law broke her leg two weeks ago and couldn’t do her usual hosting thing. We hosted, and my wife stressed out. Her mom made a bunch of passive aggressive comments about the food (“my stuffing recipe calls for French bread and you’re using multigrain, so don’t tell anyone that it’s my recipe,” etc.j.

But it was pretty successful. There’s a ton of booze in the house and I have a week to get rid of it before my Dry January is in effect.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 00:32 #259645

I made ham. I fucking despise ham. I maybe never mentioned this but I’m actually an accomplished cook. Unfortunately, my family are not accomplished diners. I continually make exceptional shit that almost unanimously gets derision for being “not normal”. I made a bad ass garlic/sherry cream sauce chicken last week and I was amused to see my wife putting massive amounts of salt on it.

Anyhow, Christmas was good. My buddy dropped in EXACTLY when I was finishing the meal and so I didn’t get to eat until an hour after dinner. Wasn’t missing anything, because all I had was my haricot vert pottage (LMAO) and a couple bites of mashed potatoes (which were raves about but, again, I don’t like those either). Kind of a shitty Christmas dinner but they liked it so it’s a win.

Ended up drinking and playing guitar, then some dice games with the wife. Talked to my very large family (I’m the youngest of 8) and fun was had.

No plans for New Years Eve. I rarely do. Mostly I just hang out here and hang with the kids until they go to bed and then I drink myself stumbly.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 01:59 #259649

We went to a mountain which is also a tourist trap. The first place we visit is as crowded as a concert (apparently they're giving thousands of free tickets, including ours), although we had fun taking motor boats and my daughter gets to play a lot.

Then we moved to an upscale restaurant which also had a riverside walk, which ended in some animal pens with birds, ducks, monkeys, rabbit and cows. Daughter had fun feeding cows (although the bottle was forcefully taken from her hands by the cow) and petting rabbits.

We also saw some baby sharks and piranhas.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 08:30 #259650

I had the most dangerous illness of all: A Man Cold. So I watched The Walking Dead and some Christmas movies. On Sunday, I was too sick to play Can't Stop. It was lame.
MWChapel wrote: Euro's are trying to bring gaming to the level of competitive sports. Competition based on skill outweighs the basic theme driven escapism. Sport over entertainment.

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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 09:10 #259651

We usually have three different gatherings to schedule for Christmas which is always a pain in the ass. First it was my wife's dad and his wife in Chicago with her brother's family, then one with my mom and my sister's family, and a last one with my wife's mom's relations.

The first was alright, it was good to see her dad and his wife again. I get along well with them. Her sis-in-law is uptight and is the type that won't be happy unless her kids are doctors and lawyers. She is not one we relate to very well, bt all is cordial. An innocuous celebration.

My sis and mom are the only family I associate with and it is always good seeing them, My wife was sick as all get out, so bad she had to take off a couple days of work. Not the best thing to do for a salon owner during the busiest part of the year. I saw my two nieces, 6mo and 3. The Janie and Jack clothes store is my kryptonite for those two.

We have a final one on the 30th. After a Christmas supper (2ish) at her grandparents, her mom and her husband, brother and family come back to our place to open gifts. I'm working from home today, so I'll be able to get a jumpstart on cleaning. I'll get to show them the PSVR and that will be exciting.

One final get together with friends on New Year's Day. I will be smoking meats to start the new year right.

Superfly, if we are ever in the same FATtie get together, we can have a cook off.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 10:19 #259656

Trashfest midwest actually happening is looming! Sounds like a challenge has been issued!
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 10:25 #259657

I’ll be sure to grind the teeth I got from Secret Satan down into a fine powder so I can use it as a corn starch substitute for gravies.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 10:34 #259660

Christmas was up and down this year.

On the down side I've had some plague like illness that is very reluctant to leave which while the cold like part is mostly disapated has left me with laryngitis and an occasional wracking cough. So I'm more annoying than usual to be around.

Two days before Christmas, my wife was eating a caramel candy when she said she thought she had pulled a filling from one of her back teeth. Not wanting to suffer over Christmas she called the one place she could get an appointment on such short notice, Columbia Dental. Have you heard of them? If you have you know why I refer to them as Dr, Mengala's Tooth Clinic. The first thing they said to her upon calling was "This location doesn't accept medicaid." When my wife pointed out she has full dental coverage, you could hear the Ka-Ching across the room as the receptionists eyes turned to dollar signs. In the end she went in with a sore tooth and left with 3 wisdom teeth pulled as well as the offending original tooth. So much for not suffering over Christmas.

Christmas Eve our refrigerator/freezer shit the bed which called for an emergency redistribution of the tons of food we bought. Luckily my daughter lives on the other side of the duplex we occupy so some went to her freezer, some to the garage and some to my moms house. So that was a pin in the ass.

Now the good stuff:

For the first time ever my wife bought games I actually wanted. Usually I get horrible crap that I've zero interest in BUT not this year. She was watching my Facebook feed and noticed a post I made weeks back about almost buying these two games but opting not to because I've got plenty unplayed games already. So hurray, I got Arkham LCG and Terraforming Mars.

My Grandson who is 2 years old was awesome. We got him these plastic tubes of cheap toy cars. Each with about 10 vehicles in them. You'd of thought he won the lottery! The boy loves his toy cars. Also got him a Playmobil Firehouse with Fire Engine. Took me about 2 hours to put it together but it is wicked cool!

My wife and daughter really kicked ass and overcame adversity to make an awesome dinner. It was delicious and my wife made her own ice cream cake for desert but used ginger snaps instead of Oreo for the dividing layer of crunchies. This too was out of sight.

Lastly taking my nephew and a friend of his choice for an afternoon of go kart racing. AT THE BIGGEST INDOOR GOKART TRACK IN THE WORLD!!!! It's Magnificent But that's tomorrow.


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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 10:42 #259662

Leading up to Christmas, my girlfriend and I did a lot of cooking. She made some dishes for her family gathering, while I made a double batch of my annual holiday salsa and baked the 9-pound Christmas ham that was part of my Christmas bonus at work. I also helped her make some Christmas treats that look like miniature Christmas wreaths but are basically Rice Krispie treats made with corn flakes and green food dye. Stirring that mix is hard work. I do the dishes, but I almost never do more than two sink loads per day, so I did dishes for four consecutive days to clean up the cooking mess.

The day before Christmas, I woke up with swimmer's ear, so I spent most of the day binge-watching season 1 of Game of Thrones with my cat. He likes to be in the room when I watch tv and movies, but generally doesn't show any direct interest. However, he actively watched a few episodes of Game of Thrones. I think he mainly likes the music. I adopted him from a shelter that played classical music and opera in the cat area to block out the sound of barking from the dog area.

Christmas Eve, my girlfriend went to see her dysfunctional family while I did dinner and presents with my dad's side of the family. They are mostly dignified upper middle class folks, but the kids are now old enough to drive so some of the parents got loaded. I'm not really into the materialism of Christmas, but they give me small presents anyway, and I give them the homemade salsa that they love.

Thanks to swimmer's ear, I skipped a trip to Wisconsin to visit with my mom's side of the family. She died on Thanksgiving, so the thought of hanging out with a bunch of people who wanted to talk about her had limited appeal this time around. My mom was wonderful and everybody loved her, and watching her decline from Alzheimers was a sad goodbye that lasted many years. So I stayed home and binge-watched season two of Game of Thrones. I also did more dishes, some laundry, and swept the driveway clear of a light dusting of snow. That evening, my girlfriend and I opened our presents and spent some quality time together.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 13:14 #259675

I don't like them. They have all these expectations and I just want to relax and enjoy the day off.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 13:56 #259676

My holidays have been over for a week. So this is just break time and relaxing. We went on a hike on Christmas morning, saying "hi" to all the other Jews. We'd gone to Great Wolf Lodge for an overnight a couple days earlier, and that was fun. As themeparks go, it ends up cheap for us too, as you get two full days in the park for $70 per person (we have four kids and the $350 suite was fine, plus food, &c).

Today we are plotting our cookie menu for New Years, where we watch some kids movies and eat cookies.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 14:12 #259678

We did a little Indian Christmas eve at the Indian restaurant, not the Jewish Christmas at the Chinese restaurant on Christmas day itself. ;)

We've had a pretty good holiday. My wife was feeling like shit during Christmas but we don't have any family here or anything so it was no big deal. Went for a hike on boxing day to a couple national monuments. I think the only problem for us is that we're still figuring out how to get work done and normal stuff when I'm home for a long holiday---since I'm commuting both the semesters it feels like we should spend all our time together when I come home but that's not a good idea for 4 weeks either.

I'm torn on family stuff for holidays. I find going to visit family all day for a 3-4 day or longer stretch or something pretty stressful and this was definitely better than that in some respects, but seeing nobody is super weird too. None of our family live anywhere even close to us so that's the only option for us.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 14:42 #259680

I feel you. I’ve never lived close to anyone in either of our sides of the family (our parents have never met, nor any of our other family members). We just do our thing or see my dad’s side of the family as they’re closest, or head to LA to see my wife’s aunt.
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How are your holidays? 27 Dec 2017 15:25 #259683

jeb wrote:
My holidays have been over for a week. So this is just break time and relaxing. We went on a hike on Christmas morning, saying "hi" to all the other Jews. We'd gone to Great Wolf Lodge for an overnight a couple days earlier, and that was fun. As themeparks go, it ends up cheap for us too, as you get two full days in the park for $70 per person (we have four kids and the $350 suite was fine, plus food, &c).

Today we are plotting our cookie menu for New Years, where we watch some kids movies and eat cookies.

Yeah Jews! When I was growing up I read a lot of Chaim Potok, and really wanted to be an intellectual Jew agonizing over his faith. I'm Mormon, so it didn't really work out but there you go.

As far as food goes, a guy on Facebook sent me his Dorkfood Sous Vide thermostat for the cost of shipping, so for Christmas dinner we made sous vide lamb with mustard rub and my wife made fresh falafel and yogurt mint sauce.
Gary Sax wrote:
We did a little Indian Christmas eve at the Indian restaurant, not the Jewish Christmas at the Chinese restaurant on Christmas day itself. ;)

We get Chinese on New Year's Day, but I'd be fine with doing Indian or Chinese for Thanksgiving too.

I received a copy of Axis and Allies: 1941, because my mom had my nephew order everyone presents on Amazon. I don't think I can give it away.
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