The front end of the 2014 holidays were OK

I don’t really consider the whole period over until New Year’s Day’s evening because New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. Sure it’s an arbitrary matter given the significance of things in our enormous, uncaring universe. However, we humans have a thing with time. Maybe it’s due to us being trapped in a linear path with the fourth dimension. Maybe we’re just too sentimental. There could be a couple dozen more reasons yet I know one that’s as certain as death and taxes, we have calendars for accounting purposes.

2014 decided not to buck the trend with the years ending in four or nine. This Christmas wasn’t super joyous given all the bad news happening around the world (Robin Williams killing himself, Bill Cosby is probably a serial rapist, the Flat Earth Society controls both houses of Congress, Stephen Colbert going to a network fewer people watch) but at least it wasn’t as crappy as ’89, ’94 or ’04. Austin weather was mostly gorgeous leading up to the day off. The downside? Cedar pollen. Starting around the beginning of the week I felt like I had vise grips pinching my forehead and upper nose. The cost of paradise. (Austin is paradise compared to Milwaukee or Central Illinois this time of year, more affordable than Hawaii). I eked through Christmas Eve at work sitting in available for calls which never came. I did manage to build a Lego V-Wing, a Jedi Scout Fighter and the fuselage of a Z-95 Headhunter. As soon as I got home, I passed out watching TV or something. (The Green Lantern cartoon sucked less than I feared given how awful the Ryan Reynolds movie was.)

The Maggi Republic doesn’t have much going on when it comes to a Christmas tradition. The Aggie faction lives in Qatar since 2013 so I miss out on playing with those three rascals’ new toys and telling them age-appropriate jokes. The Phoenix faction was visited by my in-laws. My parents probably set up camp in California to hoard all my brother’s family’s time, a major reason why I missed out while in Chicago back in 2011. Meanwhile, Apple is swamped. Somara racks up the hours with her iTunes duties and I make additional money since I’m no longer allowed to take the shutdown period off; I guess I’m too far off the shareholders’ radar to matter. Last year was cooler. I got to be the acting team manager. This year, the real managers were called in to stay put too. They’re on salary, I hope they receive comp days in exchange. We often get fed too, the cafeteria people are on vacation.

It doesn’t really eat away at us. As I said before, these dates are arbitrary. We will have belated parties/exchanges in the near future to make up for the missed opportunity. Heck, we mopped up at this year’s Festivus White Elephant in my opinion; what’s one person’s crap is another’s treasure! Other friends with strong familial obligations will get together with us over the next couple weeks. I enjoy their company more than my family’s; there were great, memorable time but when I grew to adulthood, they became an unnecessary source of stress.

With having to stick around Austin since 2012, I have revived my old tradition of going to the movies on Christmas Day. Jews go eat Chinese food. Atheists hit the movies. I took in Big Eyes since all the other serious, adult movies I wanted to see were either down south or at the non-Alamo art house; The Imitation Game and Foxcatcher remain high on my list. I was always indifferent to The Interview, Rogen and Franco aren’t funny, they’re just a younger version of Spade and Farley or Sandler cut into two crappier halves. I’ll have a review soon on what was a rare appearance of the Good Tim Burton (see Ed Wood, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Sweeney Todd).

It was wise of me to hit the 10 AM show. Afterwards, I was exhausted by the food and cedar fever. I passed out before 1 PM and didn’t regain consciousness until five-ish. Somara appeared around 7 PM, we debated dinner, gave up and then focused on finishing the Aggie nephews’ overdue present. The allergy jazz continued to plague me because I called in sick for Boxing Day. I really wanted to go in too. Double whammy; Friday and the day after a holiday, you can count on most customers taking a long weekend. They definitely will next year.

Today has been better. I managed to fight the pain and fog to achieve a major errand at Target before noon! Then I scored Somara’s main gift (noise-reduction headphones that aren’t beats, I go with Consumer Reports on why I won’t buy them). She already received a $100 in iTunes from me courtesy of my work bonus. The biggest surprise is yet to come. It’s mostly our joint New Year’s Resolution for 2015.

Where was I going with this besides trying to push the site past 400 posts for the year? Just updating anyone who gives a crap. Spending most of the holiday in bed was better than fretting/hating my job yet not knowing where to go next (’04), having my apartment broken into (’89) or feeling isolated, regretting the move to Austin (’94). Regarding the last crappy Christmas, seeing IQ with Meg Ryan probably didn’t help.

Onward to pictures of what booty others received from us (lot of jerseys) and overdue stories I need to clear out before 2014 ends. I did finally transform my 1992 Xmas mixtapes into podcasts! Not bad, I procrastinated that task by three years. I got a head start on the 1995 sequel but I will hold off them to have around as their 20th anniversary remasterings.

I know I’ve tried again and again, I’m not going to stop but please share your great holiday memories with me. I would like to read/hear them.

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