For Christmas Eve, Mom, her b/f and I went to mimi’s cafe for dinner. That was probably our first mistake. Mimi’s is a somewhat upperscale chain restaurant; I’ve only been there for breakfast a couple of times and loved that.
Dinner was something else. Our waitress was on auto pilot. She was polite, but not there. When we got our drinks, my Mom and i noticed the cokes tasted funny. Rather than just whisk them away and see if there was something wrong, she got somewhat defensive and offered something else. “We just replaced the syrup so it couldn’t be that,” she said. Mom stuck with it, but I couldn’t drink it, and got a raspeberry iced tea which was better. Mom and Jere ordered turkey, even though Mom said she didn’t want it for Christmas. They said it was pretty good, if somewhat dry. I ordered Chicken fried steak-something I have only a couple of times a year, as my arteries can only tolerate so much. Bad choice. These were simply frozen patties that they deep fried, and tasted like cardboard in a barely warm and quickly congealing pepper gravy. The mashed potatoes were bland and best forgotten. When the check came it totaled close to 50 bucks; however when Mom got the receipt it said 25 dollars. She brought this to the attention of the stepford waitress, who took it went away and came back saying there’d been a mistake, and it would show up as either 25 plus the difference on her statement, or as the full amount, she didn’t know which. We left quickly, and once at my Mom’s house, I was mauled (in a very friendly way) by their dog Roxie. I love this dog, and the dog loves me, and I always love seeing her, though her smell pisses my cat off. She apparently thinks I’m seeing other pets behind her back, and ignores me for a couple of days.
After settling in a bit, Mom and i set about cooking the meat for the baked ziti. I was in charge of the sausages, and browned them to perfection except for one which was a bot overdone and squirted hot fat on my arm as itried to turn it over. We watched a bit of tv, talked some, and we all went to bed early.
Christmas morning, Mom panicked a bit as she thought the red sauce was a bit thin, and needed tomato paste. Two closed Walmarts, a closed Fry’s grocery store, 3 open Walgreen’s and a Circle K later, we still had no tomato paste. The sauce turned out fine, but watching Mom get annoyed by the thinness of the sauce was amusing. It was also a nice way of us spending some together. we talked about my Dad, and how he’s still missed, even 19 years after his death; my grandparents, and other family members. A bittersweet talk, but one for the record books anyway.
We had on BBC America that morning and watched some truly funny Christmas shows from Absolutely fabulous, and another from a woman whose name I can’t remember. ***A quick search tells me it was The Catherine Tate Show. This woman is hysterical, catch her show if you ever get a chance***And then there was the message from the Queen Mum. If her plan was to comfort Britain and spread the warmth of the season, she really failed. One of the most depressing things I have ever seen. Those of you in the UK may be able to tell me if all her Christmas messages are that dreary. I would hope not. She spent a majority of it talking about the serviceman in war-and I have no problem with that-but it was so utterly razor-across-the wrist inducing, it almost seemed like a parody.
We finally got around to opening our presents. The best of the lot, was a pair of wireless headphones for Jere, who’s deaf as a post, and can’t hear the tv unless it’s so loud, the airport tells us it can’t hear. My nephew David set it up-he does the AV stuff, I do the PC stuff, and I never saw a happier man in my life. “I can hear it perfectly!” he said, with a tear literally in his eye.
I got my new Nintendo DS to replace the one I broke a couple of months ago, along with Chrono Trigger, one of the classic RPG’s, that was recently ported to the DS. I also got assorted gift cards, undies, socks, etc. My nephew david, his fiance Mary Beth and my other nephew Bryan showed up around noon, and it was good seeing them. Even Bryan who’s been in and out of jail and living on and off on the street for a few years now.
Lunch was excellent. The ziti perfect, and since there was no drinking, there were no family fights. My sister called and we all spent time talking with her for a bit, and our day wound down, culminating in a movie. you’d think it would be a Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th St., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, or something, but no-we watched Young Frankenstein. And that wasn’t even my decision, it was Mom’s. Neither of my nephews had ever seen it, nor had Mary Beth, and it was wonderful watching them laugh themselves silly over jokes I’ve known by heart forever.
Like all good things, the night came to a close, I went home and found that Detta was pissed off at me for leaving her alone (even though I’ve done it before), by a pile of cat turd on my pillow. I’ve been home 24 hours now, she’s been fed 3 times and refuses to let me pet her.