Thursday, January 6, 2011

Letter 8: Christmas Vacation

Merry Christmas, Jingle-Belle:

It’s a week in Alabama for me. It’s a big relief to get out of Denver for a hot minute. (From one of Charlie’s students drinking my orange juice from the fridge to another kiddo cutting class to curl her hair in the hallway – stick a fork in me, I am done with this semester.) Need any extra hands? I kid, I kid (::WiNK!:: <-- to steal some of your goofy girl formatting). Prepare yourself for the follies of holiday idleness – video games, endless meals and snacks, friends, family, staying up late and marathon-style naps. And try to do your best to refrain from sneering at my lack of attempt to find something meaningful to do with my time.

I am flying AirTran. Yay, Google Chrome, for the free Internet access. It’s really quite a wonder to get online at 35,000 feet.

Brace yourself – I’m flying to Atlanta because it’s a full 200 bucks cheaper, big airports and all that jazz. I can imagine your look of disgust and, yes, you’re right, the Hotlanta Airport is a huge hot mess - I bet any airport that serviced almost 88 million passengers in a year and is ranked 26th on punctuality would get a few jabs from even the forgiving of fliers (and you definitely aren't one, Miss "passengers please dose your babies with whiskey next time so I can get some sleep"). Anyway, when I get there, my cousin Patrick is going to pick me up for lunch with my aunt and then it's out to the middle of nowhere (ie my parents’ house on the lake). Tonight we’re having dinner with some college friends in Birmingham at some place called the Flip Burger Boutique? It makes me think we’ll be eating designer beef (whether the “designing” comes into play in presentation or genetics is up for grabs…)


Greetings fresh from 9 hours of video games – It looks like this letter will get finished at some point over this 2 week holiday.

Wii is amazing (though I am planning to soon replace it with a new piece of tech, the Xbox Kinect – try not to think we’re completely useless with this “frivolous gaming contraptions” (ha, I can almost hear you saying that out loud!) because not all of us can be doing important work and be purposeful all of the time. That’s why we got you!). My classic time splurge, Mario Kart, has been given a thorough workout so, as I write this, I gave James a go at it. He’s playing Lego Star Wars. “The force is strong with you…” (James says “aloha” even though I told him you aren’t in Hawai’i.) Earlier the girls were around so we played a board game with Mario characters that was completely arbitrary. Kit won at the last minute because, in a final mini-game, I dueled her and she won a go on the prize board – I only had 2 stars and stole them both. Grrr, argh.

You'll be happy to know that I have also found a meaningful time-waster on the iPad called Infinity Blade. Whoever came up with sword-fighting on a touch screen is pure genius. It has seriously cool graphics. I think even you, in all your need to spend your time meaningfully, would enjoy a few bloodlines (rounds) on this game. And, if not that, there’s always old school Dr. Mario and Zelda on the wii.

Did you try out any of the gaming links? Though I know you'll try hard not to come back to them, almost all of them lead to online versions of the games that you can play during any dull moments in the office... riiiiiight.

How’re your parents enjoying Christmas without you? My parents can’t wrap their heads around the thought that you can’t come home. I smirk as I write this. Somehow I can almost “get it” when I’m here in small town Alabama. I hope you enjoy(ed) the Christmas morning Skype date with the fam! (If it was Christmas morning here, what time of what day was it there?)


Merry Christmas!  (James added “Maylei Kuhlikimakah” to the page when I wasn’t around… I guess he was trying to rib Bella some more about “Doctors Without Borders in Paradise,” a joke he’s carried on since he found it she was placed in the Pacific.)


If God went on vacation, he’d go to the Rockies Mountains – this place is HEAVEN! Fresh powder and surprisingly fewer people than I expected. We caught the third chair on the lift to Peak 10 at Breck this morning and jammed until the lifts closed at 4. It.was.awesome. Can't you really appreciate that helmet cam? The mountain was so sweet that we elected to ignore lunch and, fortuitously, got a chance to grind some delicious ham sandwiches Dan’s mom made for us (can you say, Christmas ham sandwiches!?!!) when the lift stopped for 25 minutes with us on it. These bonehead dudes about 3 chairs ahead of us were yelling at the skiers below us so we weren’t even bored. Lunch and a show. Yeah.

The best part, though, is the hot tub at the condo. I know you know the hot tub – we were all there last Christmas break, remember? The chicks had a bottle of white and we sat in a hot tub, outside, while it snowed. Then Kevin made a snow angel in nothing but his swim trunks – Ha. Just to make sure you’re not getting too nostalgic for home, let me inform you that we had a rude awakening at 2 am. I was out cold on the pull-out couch when I heard these really loud (probably drunk) people stumbled into the complex. Not 4 seconds later – the fire alarm went off. Everyone in the condo was outside in their PJs (or less, believe it) waiting for the fire department to shut off the alarm sounding at full audio speed in every unit. But not us. Oh no. We disconnected the sucker, earning us a very “stern talking to” from a massive fireman and a very nominal fine from the agency.

(So I youtubed "snowing in the hot tub" and learned that there are 87 videos of people who thought it was a good idea to launch themselves out of hot water and into icy cold snow)

Remind me to tell you about a really freaky movie you’d probably like – Black Swan, a “psychological thriller” in which the main character is psycho from the first minute of the film. It's based on Swan Lake (take a moment to swoon). Just in case it didn't occur to you, that red-eyed woman is Natalie Portman.


How ya likin’ the heat? How are the kiddos? What book are you on now? Gimme the scoop!

PS - It's the end of the world (climate change). The included picture is that a friend took at the lake house in Alabama on Christmas morning. Notice anything, say, peculiar about the good ole South?

-Posted on September 20, 2010

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