So then. Now that I got that belated New Year's post out of the way, should I belatedly talk about Christmas? Eh. It was same old, same old, really. My grandma is gone, but the KFC legacy inexplicably remains, so although my mother actually made a meal from real ingredients rather than from paper to-go cartons for our Christmas Eve dinner, that meal was still accompanied by chicken and biscuits from KFC. People, I cannot explain my family. But you know what? If I'm being totally honest here, KFC is actually pretty good. I mean, it's fried chicken. And delicious, starchy biscuits. How am I going to argue with that? Also, we had fresh brownies for dessert instead of year-old pie, and my older sister ensured we had red wine that wasn't labeled "serve over ice," so really, I can't complain, I guess. Also, we didn't slide into a ditch and die on our way to or from church during the Christmas Eve sleet storm, so hurrah for that as well. Christmas Eve miracles abound, even aside from that whole Son of Man born of a virgin thing.
As for Christmas Day, now that we no longer have a grandma's house to go to, apparently our new Christmas tradition is a movie and the Chinese buffet, and I have to say, that's not a bad tradition either, if you ask me. In fact, next year, when we drive to Sheboygan in search of an open restaurant for our pre-movie dinner, I am going to cut to the chase and outright suggest we drive directly to the New China Buffet, as we have already done the rounds throughout the city twice, and we already know it is damn near the only place open. I have had better Chinese food, certainly. But I sort of love the low-brow ridiculousness of the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet--a buffet that includes watered down Americanized versions of all your Chinese favorites, as well as imitation crab leg sushi, pepperoni pizza, and a soft serve ice cream machine from which to self-dispense your dessert. On an ordinary day, it might be my last choice, but on a major holiday? It's got a certain ironic A Christmas Story charm.
I also received several useful and much appreciated presents, including a toaster oven that is approximately half the size of my Saturn but that I need to somehow fit into my kitchen anyway rather than admit to my mother that I didn't confirm the specific model's dimensions before adding it to my Amazon wish list. And I am eagerly awaiting my next journey to a location I've not been before, so I can test out my new GPS unit. I remain disappointed, however, that I haven't been able to locate the Yoda voice the marketing copy promised me I could download. I mean, the standard, built-in, personalityless voice named Megan is fine and all, but I totally wanted to hear Yoda say "In 300 feet, turn right you must," or "Reached your destination you have." Wouldn't that make driving about town that much more fun? Then again, maybe Yoda doesn't dictate precise directions at all. Maybe he just says, "The force is strong with you. Find your own way, you shall." Maybe Megan is my better bet after all.
I know I received other lovely gifts too, but I've almost forgotten about them at the moment, as I barely had time to toss things into various disorganized piles before my friend and tiling savior Andy came in with a vanful of tools and started tearing my house apart. I'm exaggerating. Slightly. The truth is my house is a disaster area at the moment and it's driving me a little bit mad, but I'm well aware it's a disaster very much worth enduring, as at the end of it, I will have a very dusty, cluttered home, but I will also have a brand new bathroom with genuine fully waterproof tiles and no duct tape whatsoever in sight. I cannot wait. Meanwhile, however, I still lack a functioning toilet, so I'm crashing at my pal Carrie's place. It actually worked out pretty well, as she happens to be out of town this week, so I can pretend that I am doing a good deed and house sitting for her rather than just squatting on an available couch like a common vagrant. Yes, she is preventing me from having to both pee and bathe in my basement utility sink, but I am doing her favors as well! I am here to make sure her car still starts in this ridiculous sub-zero cold, and equally important, I am here to keep her cats company, too! I have a lap full of cats at the moment, actually, and a keyboard growing increasingly more dusted with cat hair. Who ARE these furry creatures who want little or nothing to do with me when I come over to visit but who are purring like friendly little outboard motors when they rub up against me now? A few days without their usual human around and look how easily they adjust and make do with whoever feeds them. I've known people like that, actually. (With cats, somehow it seems slightly less cheap.)
All right. I have various other things to ramble on about, including very important questions to help me decide upon various details of my new bathroom's design. But right now, it is getting late, and the lap of cats is making it ever more difficult to type, so such surveying will have to wait for another time, I fear. Can I move, however, with a lap full of cats? Is it rude to disturb them? I feel it may be, but I also feel like, "I'm sorry I'm late, but I had a lap full of cats" is not the sort of excuse that's deemed acceptable at work, so chop-chop, off with you, kitties. Night then.