Christmas in Michigan 2009

Portland, Oregon, 8am-“I forgot my camera…shit.”, I thought to myself while waiting for my flight out of Portland. My connection in Seattle was an easy one.

Fast forward. Michigan-8pm greeted by my step mom, brother, and Dad, we quickly exited the airport. I wasn’t feeling too hot. A combination of stress from the flight and work plus low blood sugar. I was starved. We wound up at a local seafood place. I had crab legs and crab cakes. Talked with the folks about life and times in Portland while intermittently accosting my brother with mouthing his forehead. It made for good laughs.

That night, I unpacked, claimed the couch, and passed out.

In the morning, I woke up, got some coffee with dad, Priscilla, and Zack. We were in search for a rental car for myself. Apparently this year was hard for a lot of people to find rentals. Eventually the Enterprise on Woodward and 13 mile was available to give me a good car. A Lincoln Towncar to be exact. Thank goodness for my charm…and my corporate discount…the normal price was close to 125 dollars a day. The representative gave me the car for $64 a day! Quite a deal.

Later I wound up at my old friend Tommy’s dad’s place as he was cutting lengths of metal stock for the family business. It was great to get to talk to him and hear him decompress about life and love. We wound up going back to his house and playing Left 4 Dead 2 and coffee bombing at Ram’s Horn. It was like old times…minus him salting my coffee when I wasn’t looking….;) After a while we picked up his wifey and hung out a little longer before I had to go home and catch some more “Z’s”.

Christmas eve I woke up and quickly left the house. I had to get gifts. I suck at getting gifts. I hate bringing gifts on the plane…so I usually default to gift cards. Be warned. I finished up earlier than I thought I was going to so I had time to grab some lunch. I found this great little crepe place called “What Crepe?” AWESOME crepes. I had a spinach, prosciutto, and cream cheese crepe followed by a dessert of strawberry, cinnamon, and butter crepe. I creped my pants…hahahah..ha..yeah…anywho.

The night was punctuated by my annual ass-kicking. This is where my sister Sierra invites me out to pool…then stomps me while giving me some updates on how her life is playing out. It was nice to hang. We wound up back at Ram’s Horn…drinking coffee, laughing, and gorging on salt and butter. It was great. I dropped her off at her house and headed back to the loft for even more “Z’s”.

Christmas morning was kind of special to me this year. As Zack has come to be under the impression that there is, in fact, no such thing as a “Santa Claus” there is more excuse and reason for him to sleep in…which means so do I. I made it to 830. It felt a little off not having Sierra and Adam not there in the morning. Sierra eventually came by around 5pm for AMAZING sausage soup and salad. She unwrapped gifts, hung out for a bit, then left. It was good to see her. The evening wrapped up with talks with the family, watching the movie “Up”, and having some reflection time. I slept well that night.

Saturday morning I was really excited. I got to drive up to Midland, Michigan and visit my friend Kate. I am a bit socially retarded (no offense Pearl) so I didn’t give Kate quite the heads up that she needed. So when I called to tell her I was in Midland, “What? Right now?…” It was funny. I didn’t know where she lived so I was waiting to meet up with her in a parking lot on the other side of town. While she got ready I went to a dollar store that was moving and liquidating and bought her a rubber monkey. It was pretty cloudy out. When she pulled up, like magic and metaphor, the clouds broke way and the sun filled the Midland Town Center Parking lot. I gave her a big hug and we said our hellos. We drove to a coffee shop, talked life, laughed and smiled. We then went to the Midland mall and tried to find a safe quiet spot at Barnes and Noble to talk more. We wound up sitting in those crappy black massage chairs that molest you for a dollar. It must have been serendipity that I had 2 one dollar bills in my pocket. We sat, received robot molestations, and decided to grab a bite. By the time it was time for me to go back south to Royal Oak, the sun was setting. She felt it obligation to give me something for the rubber monkey…so she scoured her front seat and center console of her car. She gave me a CD with Trespassers William on it. I hadn’t heard of them before, now I play it constantly. If Mazzy Starr and Beth Gibbons did a side project, it would be Trespassers William. I highly recommend it.

I drove home, drunk on my friends hug and interaction. I decided to drive around a bit longer before winding up at my favorite Michigan establishment, Andary’s. I texted Tommy that I was there and he should come. He brought Jackie and his nephew Andrew. I haven’t seen that kid since 1999 when he was 2. Holy smokes time flies. We went back to his house and played Wii and I enjoyed the company until it was time to once again retire.

Sunday morning, I had a breakfast date with my good friend Sarah and her daughter. We caught up, smiled, talked some more and then it was time for me to head back to the house. Adam had made it in so we had a second Christmas dinner with some family friends. Artists Greg Z. and Mark Arminski made great dinner conversation. It was a beautiful night. At last minute I decided to go catch up with some old stage crew friends from high school. It was a great end to the night.

In the morning I casually prepared for the trip home. I made it to the airport around 230p to allow plenty of time in the airport security dance I figured I’d have to do. Overall the commute home went smooth. I even talked to a stranger on the plane! Social Experiment_004 complete!

It is good to be back in PDX. I need some mental digestion time though. My head is in the clouds still. You can check out the sketches I made starting here.

Have a great evening everyone.

~G