A brief synopsis of my Christmas vacation thus far: (Go ahead, skip down to The Bad and The Disturbing part, you know you want to, you sadist.)
The Good: Hanging out with a good friend from home and getting a nice bottle of whiskey out of it. Doing Christmas shopping at the last minute. Spending time with relatives from both sides of my family, some that I hadn’t seen in 5 years. Seeing We Are Marshall and The Good Shepard, both excellent movies. Getting some excellent gifts, including an mp3 player (welcome to the 21st century Across the River, we’ve been waiting for you). Being able to relax and still having a few more days off!
The Bad: Having a conversation about the gruesome nature of the torture scene in the movie Syriana with a relative at Christmas dinner is not bad in itself. It is when you are sitting at a table with Congolese Americans who only a few years ago witnessed torture firsthand, and had members of their family tortured and taken away to never be seen again. The quick glance I got from their direction was not an acknowledgment that they had seen the movie and agreed with my assessment. (As to why Congolese Americans were sharing Christmas dinner with my family, I point you toward my Thanksgiving post and say that it’s a long story, but that this was similar.)
The Disturbing: While visiting family in North Carolina, the 7-year-old step daughter of my cousin followed me around like a puppy. "Aww, I think someone’s got a crush on you" said numerous relatives. I haven’t had as much luck with the 18+ ladies lately, but apparently I have all the suitable qualities for a 7-year-old to find attractive. (I’m also sure that the fact that I used "attractive" and "7-year-old" in the same sentence will net me all sorts of interesting visitors.)