November 26th, 2001

JOY

Gobble-Gobble-Gluttony

Hello again, ladies and gentlemen. Oh, how you all have been missed (considering how long I’ve been in North Carolina since you’ve last heard from me you’re lucky I didn’t say y’all). As for my hiatus, I guess I should begin on Wednesday.

We were released from the shackles of internet publishing at noon on Wednesday, at which time I headed to the gym before I came home to do laundry and clean up in anticipation for the weekend away. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me preface by saying that Thanksgiving is the low point of my entire year. Not the holiday per se, but the getting to and from is what kills me. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, lounging around my mother’s house in a half-drunken haze for days, going outside only for the occasional trip to Price Club or the Makeup Outlet. Thanksgiving weekend itself is a very cathartic and meditative few days. The 260 miles I must travel to get from DC to Raleigh, however, can take a big bite out of my ass. The normally 4 ½ to 5-hour trip can take upwards of 8, traffic backing up onto my street from the exit ramp. It makes me dread the holidays. And I love the holidays.

This year, my brother and I, remembering that we are smarter than everyone around us, chose to leave DC at 9 pm instead of the usual 3. By the time we were on the road, most everyone else traveling by car was already kissing their relatives. We had 95 to ourselves, picking up sandwiches at the Wawa in Fredericksburg a mere 45 minutes after departure. We got to mom’s by two.

Thanksgiving Day was spent with the Freer clan at their new stepfather’s house (whose name is Dale Bernheardt, I shit you not) who made up a nice bowlful of what at last Christmas we named “Silly Drunk Punch”. Freer’s Louisiana-born mother confirmed the existence of Turducken, a delicacy that had come into my awareness in the past weeks, which was both a shock and a relief. Turkey, the man not the fowl, asked me the second most inappropriately placed Thanksgiving table question that has ever been asked of me (the first being in the mid-nineties when my brother asked me about how I had had a recent near-miss with being arrested for disturbing the peace) when he wondered if the weekend would be documented here on Livejournal. I keep this from my mother since I’d rather her not read most of my entries, and would rather not explain it at a family event. I played it off cool enough and the subject was dropped. My brother brought down the Playstation 2 and we played Grand Theft Auto for most of the day and went to see Monsters, Inc. later that night.

Friday we loafed about the house, went to visit my great-aunt Maria and rented Barton Fink that evening. Saturday I got my car inspected and we went to Best Buy to price computers for my mother. While there, she asked me why CD-R’s are sold in such quantity, so I was showing her the price of a 5-pack as compared to that of a 50-pack. Johnny Acne, sales representative, strolled over and asked if we had any questions about CD-R’s. I told him that I was just talking to my mother and that we were fine, and continued my explanation. He asked again if we were interested in any CD-R’s. I told him more bluntly this time that we did not need any help. “Oh, I don’t work on commission,” was his response. Listen, kiddo, I don’t care if you get paid in Milk Duds, I don’t need any help (of course I was not quick enough to say those exact words to him at the time, merely staring at him open-mouthed for a second and continuing my conversation with my mother, but for the sake of comedy and storytelling, that’s what I said). After dinner, the three of us went to a local Mexican restaurant for margaritas and a few rounds of Photohunt. Yes, Team Pantload is now first place in another city.

Sunday we had tickets to a Hurricanes game and were able to witness one of the most shameful hockey games I have ever seen, with the opposing Tampa Bay Lightning scoring two goals within the first five minutes of the first period. It even got to the point were the motivational music on the loudspeaker played “Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This” and “Only Human” by the third period. We hit the Flea Market on our way home, had a visit from one of my mom’s friends that evening and watched O Brother Where Art Thou and Insomniac.

We took the day off today in the hopes of avoiding the worst part of the weekend, the Sunday drive home. While most people stagger their departure, they pretty much all come home at the same time that Sunday. So we drove it today. The drive was smooth and hassle-free, barring the other assholes on the road who left me with no choice but to drive like a maniac: slow as possible in the left lane, trucks in whatever lane they want, and so on. I had to squeeze in between a minivan and a prefab home on a flatbed in order to get out of one situation, and had to cut off a chick in a Sentra with the licenseplate DAVEMB& out of principle. Towards Woodbridge, I was paired off and pacing well with a Mazda, when I glanced at the speedometer and noticed that I was going 96 miles per hour. I cruised down to a crawling 72 realizing that that was just too damned fast. The good part is that we got home in just over four hours, giving me plenty of time to get ready for the upcoming week.

It was a good weekend: I got all of the toothpaste I’ll need for the next six months, all the makeup I’ll need for the whole year for the low low price of twenty dollars, and spent five days relaxing and socializing with the family unit.
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