As I sit on my couch, listening to the tail-end of Little Steven's Underground Garage, occasionally eyeing my bag containing all my holiday marking that has been curiously untouched since I sat it down two weeks ago (and feeling curiously un-guilty about it), I can't help but conclude that this has been a pretty good, if improvised, holiday season.
The Beginning: Assorted Debauchery
White Cowbell, tons of booze, and sloth out the wazoo — but we've already discussed this.
The Middle: Family Commitments
As I've been told, and as I am slowly coming 'round to realize, my family is freakishly normal. We don't fight, we don't hold decades-long grudges, we don't throw around racist epithets at the dinner table — whoops, two out of three ain't bad. My niece is cute, natch, and it's amazing to see her more grown-up than ever. My uncle also reprised his Santa Claus role at our family's Christmas Eve get-together, to the astonishment of the two little ones who still believe The Lie.
The End: Travel Clusterfucks Somewhat Averted
Iceland didn't work because of a d-bag in a plane over Detroit, but I did manage to crash ECB's party in Chicago instead. Some highlights:
- finding a kickass parking spot in a neighbourhood notoriously tough for them
- finding a kickass new radio station, WXRT
- enjoying the Field Museum and its gigantic collections of, well, everything
- experiencing the countdown on TV from New York at a time which was not midnight for me in the location where I was at the time
- eating the second-best ginger snaps I've ever tasted (sorry, grandma's come out ahead by a nose because, hey, she was my grandma)
- watching six, possibly seven, hours of a Twilight Zone marathon on TV and developing a slightly twisted mancrush on the late Rod Serling
- having a truly superb slice of Detroit-style thin-crust pizza at Supino Pizzeria, in the Eastern Market, on the way back through to Toronto*
In conclusion, I haven't felt this well-rested and relaxed in a long time. The fall brought with it a whole crapload of extra work which I really wasn't expecting, especially with one course in particular which was new to me (and practically new to the school) — I'm actually thinking of buying them thank-you cards for sticking it out to the end — but things get a hell of a lot more manageable from here on out. To wit:
- 3 weeks left in first semester
- 1 week for first-semester exams and turnaround
- 2 weeks in second semester, then a 3-day weekend with a PD day glued onto it
- 4-ish weeks, then March Break
- 2-ish weeks, then a 4-day weekend for Easter
- 5-ish weeks, then a 3-day weekend for Victoria Day
- 3-ish weeks until exams, then summer holidays
Good times, they are a-comin'.
* This was seriously some stupendous pizza. I'm generally a fan of thick, doughy crusts (and, naturally, Chicago-style deep dish), but the slice I got from these guys was fabulous, even though it had probably been sitting around for a while. The crust underneath the pizza was extremely thin but crisp, and the edge-crust was crisp but yet not dry-as-cork. This is quite close to Comerica Park, and I'll be sure to check this place out either before or after the next game I take in there.