27 December 2004
Okay, so I'm a little late. I've had a few things to do in the last couple of days. The house is clean now, though, and the groceries are bought, and the in-laws are here and fed and playing games with Mark at the kitchen table. I can hear him reading them the rules. He's using his rule-reading voice. Those of you who have played games with Mark know this voice.
It's strange enough being in a house with four men with very similar voices. It's stranger still when it's my house. Sarah, who will come see us tomorrow, also sounds a lot like her mother. I joked that I was glad she brought Jeff into the family so I could tell who was talking in a different room at least some of the time at family gatherings. But I can tell Mark's rule-reading voice for sure.
We had a very good Christmas in Omaha, very relaxing. The down side to the way the schedule worked out was that I only got a little bit of time Christmas evening with friends in Omaha, since very few of my Omaha friends still live there, and most of them were arriving when I was already firmly committed to family stuff. The up side was that I didn't have to make hard choices about how to spend my time and which of my loved ones got how many hours. I just hung out with the folks and the grands and Onie, and a little bit with the Wiley side of the family, and that was all very good.
Because I am an idiot, you won't see Christmas pictures with my side for awhile now. I forgot our camera here when we went to Omaha, so I had to pick up a disposable digital at Target, and that means I need to take it in to get the pictures extracted. So I'll have Gritter Christmas pictures long before I have Lingen Christmas pictures. Sorry about that.
I'm down to one volume of the Baroque Cycle. I can't say I'm eager to read The System of the World next. In some ways I really like what Neal Stephenson is doing with these books, and how he's doing it. In other ways it drives me absolutely nuts. The fun he's having at such great length seems to be a different kind of fun than Dumas has at great length. Hmm. I have The Knight of Maison-Rouge on my pile after Christmas (yay, Christmas books!), and if I really wanted to mess with my brain, I could read it and The System of the World and The Disorderly Knights all in a row.
Ummmm. Perhaps let's not do that.
I'd established a definite routine for Christmases with the Gritters in Milwaukee. I'm not sure how that routine goes here. I can do more of the things on my list, which is both a good and a bad thing. I'm aiming for a list-free week sometime in January. Maybe. Somehow.
In the meantime, I'm reading Joel Rosenberg's The Fire Duke and writing a letter or two and gradually handling the backlog of house stuff from our absence. We may take Mark's family, or some components of it, around to various local attractions. We may put together a puzzle, we may watch a movie, we may do who knows what. There is no end to what we may do. Well, there's Thursday: Thursday is an end to what we may do. Still, it's theoretically a set with many items in it. That's what I'm saying. And there will certainly be rosemary buns and presents. And really, how can that be bad?
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