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Christmas in a certain square state.

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Dec. 29th, 2009 | 08:30 pm
mood: sillyIndependence!
music: Janet Jackson "Go Deep"

I've said this all before, but it's a tradition, damn it.

This entry will sound like every late December one in the last eight years, but I'm back from New Mexico. So glad to be back I can barely express it. The multiple iterations of visiting home every six months and finding everything just about the same make the process ... trying. More and more, my feelings about New Mexico are slipping from an even split of love/hate and pride/shame to overall loathing. I love my people there, but ... there are tons of problems (not just systemic stuff like teenage parenthood and pride in drunk driving, but also random bullshit like the neighbors having a screaming fight in the alley behind the house at 2:00 a.m.) and it's becoming clear they probably won't ever change. I need to keep telling myself that it's all good because I don't live there anymore, and have no plans to move back. And in the realm of very good news, Momma moved her retirement date up from August 10 to July 1. I'm very happy for her; she shouldn't have to deal with bullshit every day either.

If you're interested in the basics of what I did (I'm mostly writing this for myself): Arrived in Albuquerque at 11:00 p.m. on December 23, and Mandy (of HASTAC fame) and her boyfriend were on my flight from Atlanta randomly. The family picked me up and we slept at our favorite hotel by the airport, which is nice, but. The experience made me vow that I will never share a hotel room with my parents again. I do not understand why they would think I'd be interested in breakfast at 7:30 a.m. when I didn't get to bed until 1:00 ("But they only serve it until 9:30!" "So I'll go at 9:20!"). On December 24, we took care of a good bit of shopping, and I managed to get jeans and boots out of the process. I also took my parents into Urban Outfitters and it was not really that awkward. We finished the day with dinner in Santa Fe, at the mariscos restaurant that Dad loves; I had bomb-ass shrimp in an unidentified spicy cream sauce, and I liked it much better than the usual Christmas Eve menu of posole and red chile. We spent the morning of December 25 exchanging gifts with Brian, Susannah, and my nephews and nieces; Jonas Brothers purses were involved. In the afternoon, we went to Chimayo with Auntie Laura and Billy, and Jamie, Josh, their kids (Jaelynn is huge!), and Eddo and Alejandra, though their father was MIA. Awesome food, and I learned exactly how much energy four kids under the age of ten require. Lawd help their parents. The rest of the days were spent watching TV and popping Claritins in an attempt to feel somewhat normal (see below).

To be fair, I was in a shitty mood for a lot of the time, because I contracted some sort of sinus bullshit on Christmas Eve and that persisted for most of my time there. Claritin helped keep me sane. And then on the 27th my stomach turned on me. I assume it was something I ate, but with the amount of food in the house, it's hard to pinpoint what was the culprit. I'll spare you the details, but I spent most of that day and night writhing in my bed, and was extremely thankful to be well enough to travel back the next day. I managed to score upgrades on both flights; the extra room was so welcome to keep my body happy in that state. When I got back to DTW, the only problem was that I had to wait for my checked bag and had no patience left. But it came, and all was well.

I've spent today loafing around the house (my house, in Ann Arbor), though I did get the laundry done and managed a quick workout at the gym. Having one out of three campus gyms open was a festuche, but I managed. When I wrap this up I need to pack up the car, for I am driving to North Carolina tomorrow morning! Going to spend 5 or 6 days hanging around with folks, eating good food, and doing a little work on a conference presentation here and there. The Eisenhower Interstate System is my friend.

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