Surreal Christmas

I went to Atlantic City with my dad to meet a cousin and her family and friends. Some part of me is in shock. It was really good to see her. That sounds terrible. I wasn’t in shock because it was good to see her. I was in shock because Atlantic City on Christmas Day is a like visiting Alice’s Wonderland tequila-drunk after getting dumped by someone you liked.

A.C. is Vegas re-imagined via New Jersey, like an ugly wharf town with a veneer of neon over it and some kind of Fear and Loathing sprinkled in.

There are these stunning fish tanks everywhere. I wanted to just walk around and look at the fish. There were these fish behind the lobby’s front desk that were so unreal that I thought it was a digital screen and not real tanks. Someone told me that the fish were a thousand bucks each. I imagined a hiest movie involving the fish.

My main gambling involved eating at the buffet my cousin was kind enough to buy me and my father tickets for. I seem to have beaten the house on that one, I think. Time will tell.

Then I came home and my divorced parents sat in my mother’s TV room and we watched the last half-hour of Kill Bill 2, a film that apparently my parents adore (they should both be gamers).

Now the South Park is on, the Critters’ Christmas. Hail Satan.

It was a good day.

And I don’t know what else to say.

Hope everyone had a good holiday if this is your thang.

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A Holiday Outline

Sometimes I head south and visit my father in Georgia. That is a very different holiday for me. Georgia has never really been my home. My father is the only link I have there but its nice to spend time with him.

In Jersey the holidays are a different thing. I can stay at my mom’s house where I grew up and spend time with her. Rob and Jay are generally still at the same house, kitchen visible through my back kitchen window across our backyards. Its nice to see them. When and if their parents sell that house, Raymere just won’t be the same.

X-mas day is always spent with the Morey’s. I can catch up with them. Mark and I haven’t been able to see each other much lately so the holidays tend to be when I get to find out how the year’s been.

Then its a matter of when to head back north to Ithaca. I generally want to feel that I’ve spent enough time with my mother and when that doesn’t quite happen, I head back north.

Holidays in Jersey

I haven’t driven to Howell to visit my cousin since I was 15. I never thought it was possible to pack more mini-malls into this state but along the route it has become even more dense with consuming opportunities. The only thing that stood out was something called…Hubcap Jungle, Hubcap Forest…Hubcap something. I knew I was on my way when I saw that, remembering it from the drive to Marsha’s with my dad.

It was nice spending the evening with my dad’s side of the family. I had to sidestep political issues, being the family’s token liberal but other than that it was quite pleasant.

Had a nap on the Morey’s couch, just like old times. Mom and I will eat at Nick’s tonight for some good Italian food.

Rob burned a copy of the first eight hours or so of the Song of Ice and Fire for the car ride home. Its unabridged, should make tomorrow’s ride back to Ithaca just fly on by.

Old School D&D

The same core guys who I gamed with in Junior High still meet in the same house where we all gamed when we were 13 years old. Today I sat at that table and gamed with ’em, rolling polyhedral dice while playing pretend, cracking the same jokes, and wincing when Jay farts.

Nothing has changed. It is like a weekly museum dedicated to my teenage Saturday afternoons. It was a total blast. It was horrifying.

Pete still hits half a dozen or so dick jokes per game. Today the finest was:

“Holy shit, his dick has more than seven hit points? Don’t I at least take off the tip with that hit?”

Back in Joisey

It is my home and I am proud of it. I enjoy the distance my New Jersey license plates afford me on the upstate New York roads. I am proud of the rudeness, bad accents and big hair that is embedded in my hometown’s heritage. I like Wanamassa, the little suburb where I grew up.

When I get on the Garden State Parkway I can feel a part of me that is asleep in Ithaca wake up. I’m not sure if it is a good part but some part of me sleeps while I’m in other states. I think it has something to do with defensive driving.

I can’t sleep here. My first night back in Jersey is always sleepless. Maybe that has something to do with my mom’s cable TV. The…pictures…move.

Byonce’s booty, Ed TV, Infommercials with Christine Brinkley and Chuck Norris, Girls Gone Wild, that hot metal VJ on Fuse introducing Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” and Inside the Actor’s Studio.

As my mother said, “TV is a wasteland.”

I’m tired and I’m writing and my schedule is good and fuct.

Welcome back to New Jersey, exit 105.

And some part of me misses it. Odd.