November 30, 2002

Ah, Thanksgiving. As we've done

Ah, Thanksgiving. As we've done for several years, my family went to our cousins' house in Chicago (a two-flat, but both apts are owned by the family). As usual, the food was excellent and the company and conversation excellent. It's always been weird being in the middle position---I'm six years older than the next oldest kids, but also a bit younger than the youngest of my parents' generation---but it's almost weirder now that I'm having the same adult-conversation interactions with some of the kids that I've long had with the adults. But there are now two of them in college, and six more roughly evenly spaced all the way down to sixth grade, and the high-schoolers at least are really starting to interact in a much more grown-up way. Of course, the topics still differ: on the one hand there's investments and career switching, and on the other there's video games and idiotic guidance counselors. Interesting all round, though. :)

As the dinner wound down, I decided (as I have for several years) to stick around for the overnight part: most of the kids stay and hang out while the parents go home. (I imagine that this'll be quite the party in about five more years; we'll see. ;) This time, I was introduced to Starcraft, an addictive game which, dammit, I am torn between hoping it exists for the Mac and hoping it doesn't. Then, a few of us (the boys) went upstairs to watch Undisputed, a pretty unmemorable though not bad movie about some hardcore heavyweight boxers in prison. When that ended, we went back downstairs and all nine kids watched Murder by Numbers, a surprisingly good murder mystery. The accommodations were interesting: the living room there couldn't have been more than about eight or nine foot square, and included a big TV, a small Christmas tree, an upright piano, a couch, and an endtable; so the nine of us were sort of crammed in edgewise to watch this movie. On the one hand, I felt like I was supposed to be too old for that sort of thing, but then, I've done stuff like that all the time at school, so why not? Besides, I try to make a career of not ordering my life according to others' expectations, so :P.

And then this morning I got up and had some of my cousin Linda's fantastic but very heavy pancakes, and then headed home, where we had my cousins from the other side over for a post-Thanksgiving gettogether, which was nice, since I haven't seen them since August. Kiera, my quasi-niece (I'm still trying to find a better word than "first-cousin-once-removed"), continues to be completely adorable at, hm, I guess it's 9 months. She's now able to stand more or less on her own, and with something to hang onto (such as the bright plastic pushcart designed for the purpose) she's starting to walk pretty well. I find myself paying attention to her cognitive development, thinking things like, "Ooh, her babbling is experimenting with a range of consonants to test the sound of them and try to match the English consonants that us adults produce." Fascinating.

"As I've gained more experience with Perl it strikes me that it resembles Lisp in many ways, albeit Lisp as channeled by an awk script on acid." --Tim Moore Posted by blahedo at 5:27am on 30 Nov 2002

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