I received a notice from LiveJournal that my paid account was going to expire, and I had pretty much decided to let it happen in spite of the loss of my extra userpics, but Ratha extended my account in response to a gift I gave her. I used to value chronicling everything that happened to me, but that's obviously slipped off a lot lately. I guess I've simultaneously felt more overwhelmed and less interesting. Nevertheless, writing has been a big part of my life and it's been a bit frustrating to let it slip away. Perhaps I should try to write at least once a month—it doesn't seem like that should be too much to accomplish.
I took a vacation for the whole week of Thanksgiving. I flew into New York City, where I visited Ed for a couple of days. It was interesting to see Ed in his natural environment and realize that although he is a much more social person than I am, he was basically just working connections and his environment, and would probably be lost for at least a while in a completely foreign environment, as I basically have been for the past year and a half. I'm not quite sure what his friends thought of me—I don't think I made a huge impression. Oh, I did see Misha, which was a blast from the past. Actually had a whole conversation with him. At the club we went to, after a couple of hours, I got “angry-bored”, as Ed described it—apparently this is an emotional state that I manifest and most people don't. The next day I talked with Ed, then later went out for dinner and to see Casino Royale so Ed could work, and the day after that (Monday) I took a Greyhound bus to Albany.
I visited my sister, my mom, my dad and my grandfather, and on Tuesday I went up to Charlie's. Aside from watching an episode of House and our normal hanging out, the conversation led me inexorably to the conclusion that I need a plan that goes beyond the next 10 years, even if it is vague and mutable. A basic concept has now been formulated, though it still needs a lot of work.
Thanksgiving was spent with my mom, Vic and my sister. There was good food, including artichokes at my request.
Saturday was my grandma's memorial service. I cried. Everything was very beautiful, except that I have to admit I found the religious parts of the ceremony offensive. I guess I feel that definitive belief in an afterlife trivializes the world where we are now. I drove my grandfather to the gravesite and back to the church. Later, we played pinochle. Actually, I think we played pinochle and/or pool at the Pavilion (an assisted-living facility where my grandpa now lives) every night I was in Catskill. It was also nice to see my relatives.
(For the record, I hate the usage of “passed away” instead of “died”, but I used it anyway in my last entry because I thought other people would probably prefer it.)
Sunday, my dad and Nance drove all the way to JFK Airport so I could catch my plane. It was a very long drive, and I'm not sure I would have asked them to do it if I had realized how long. But they didn't seem to mind. We stopped at a restaurant on the way there that had amethyst geodes half the size of my head for sale.
This Christmas I'm spending alone, in Dallas, by my own choice. I mean, it could have been difficult to get the vacation from work, particularly since I also wanted pretty badly to spend New Year's in Pittsburgh, but I also just felt like staying here. So Christmas starts in 11 minutes, and it will be the first time I haven't been with family.
This weekend, I've been spending a lot of time cleaning and cooking. I haven't managed to set up my home theater PC yet, so I've been trying to move forward on that. I watched The Godfather today, which I had somehow managed not to see until now. It really is a classic; I'll have to watch 2 and 3. I also want to swap my bedroom (currently downstairs) with my office (currently upstairs) and have been trying to plan exactly how to do this, though I'm not sure I can accomplish it without assistance due to the heavy lifting and awkwardness involved.
I do have 5 packages here that I'll be opening, and the Hamm Family Christmas will be celebrated while I'm in New York. I'm flying there after New Year's in Pittsburgh. And I have Kat. I can't complain.