Monday, December 27, 2004


A Christmas Story

As expected, Christmas was great. A very long day, but lots o' fun.

Started off at around 6:30am, opening presents with the BF. Not many surprises this year. We just decided to go shopping together, tell each other what we'd like and get those gifts. This year's unofficial theme was "things that are warm." Hats, coats, slippers, robe, etc. And music, of course. My "big gift" was an mp3 player. However, my favorite present was these slippers. mmmm....toasty.

Off to pick up BF's mom. Exchanged presents with her (she got me Dylan's Bootleg Series 1-3 box - Sweeeeeet), then back to our place to load-up the car with gifts for my family.

Dinner with my family was nice. Very little drama (not always guaranteed). My parents went WAY overboard with gifts though. I hate it when they do that. They don't have much money at all. My dad is retired and my mom is going to retire this spring. They need to be saving their money. I made a deal with my mom that they would just get us a toaster-oven that we wanted, and that's IT. She finally got me to agree that she could also buy us something small to surprise us with. Like a cheap gift card or a sweater. So we're opening our presents...the toaster oven - cool...a sweater for each of hmm... another shirt for the BF. That's cool. But she still got us gift cards too. That wasn't part of the deal, but it's ok - she LOVES giving presents and it makes her feel good. Fine. But then we get a look at the value of the cards. In addition to the toaster-oven, sweaters and shirt, she got us $225 in gift cards ! Dammit. That wasn't how the deal was supposed to work. We've now progressed from a single, $80 present, to about $400. My parents CANNOT afford that. Especially when they basically did the same thing with my sister and niece. My parents (who are supposedly worried about paying their bills next year) have no business spending $1500 on Christmas presents for their adult children and grandchildren.

My mother's logic: "We might not have any money next year, so we're giving everyone lots of presents while we can. I'm not sure what to do now. They wrote a check to us for the toaster-oven (we actually purchased it for them to give to us). We've since torn up that check. I don't know what to do with the gift cards. I don't think stores will let you return them and get your $$$ back, but I'll check. The irony of it all is that she's trying to make us happy by buying us lots of gifts. In reality, she's making us feel miserable, angry and guilty instead.

Anyway - enough of that. After dinner and way too much carrot cake for dessert, we headed for home. A quick stop at the house to change clothes, then up to Germantown to drop of the BF's mom. From there directly to Iota to catch The Slickee Boys.

Tru Fax and the Insaniacs were up first. I never got to see them back-in-the-day. They didn't disappoint. Lots of fun. They were "new wave" back when "new wave" was still cool. I was glad to see they had their LP available on CD, but it's just a CD-R. I bought it anyway. Supposedly, it has 5 bonus-tracks. They said they're playing somewhere again in February. I'll definitely check them out again.

But the highlight of Xmas had to be the return of local heroes The Slickee Boys. Mark wearing a fez, bottle of Jim Beam in-hand. Marshall dressed as an ice cream man. Kim dressed as...well...Kim Kane. They did not disappoint. Lots of classics: "Going All The Way/Glendora", "Jailbait Janet", "The Brain That Refused To Die" (including the jungle mask and lots of wiggly fingers), "Escalator 66", "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" and lots more. Of course they ended with a combo of "When I Go To The Beach" and "This Party Sucks". Awesome. There were a couple of shaky moments, but overall it was terrific. Unfortunately, Dan wasn't there, so we didn't get "Eighteen". Oh well.

The only thing missing was my old buds I used to hang out at these shows with. They're all married with kids and rarely go out these days. The fact that this show was on Xmas night didn't help. Their loss. As far as I was concerned, it was 1985 again. Merry Christmas to me.

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