Well, the holidays ended up being quite a bit more whirlwind than I anticipated. I took the S.O. up to visit with my family for Christmas. My brother, his wife, and their brood were in town, as were some of my mom's family. It was definitely interesting, I think, as S.O. normally doesn't really celebrate Christmas, plus most of said relatives she was meeting for the first time. It could've been extremely awkward for her, but she took even the most oddball moments in stride.
Our first night in town, we were relaxing on the couch when my mom calls up the Tivo and said she had something interesting to show us. She zips through the previous night's 10:00 news until she gets to their weekly "Fugitive of the Week" segment. It turns out that my cousin's former boyfriend -- and the father of her three-year-old child -- was the highlighted fugitive, wanted for multiple federal charges. While he had been using an alias when we knew him, my cousin still called the police and he was apprehended within 12 hours of being shown on television.
None of us were terribly surprised, frankly, but it does help to explain some of the behavior of his son, who we've nicknamed the Free Range Kid in recognition of his backyard potty training. Later that evening, I spent a fairly long time explaining that portion of the family to the S.O. (As a an aside, anyone want to draw a comedy Western comic called "The Free Range Kid"? I've got plenty of ideas now -- call me.)
Christmas morning was excited, with three youngsters running around opening presents.
I continued my efforts to make geeks of my niece and nephew with these gifts...(I'll let you figure out who got what.)
I also picked up a copy of Viper Comics' Kid Houdini & The Silver Dollar Misfits for my dad, the magician.
Most of the rest of the weekend was spent keeping tabs on the kids as they tore through my folks' house, and trying to keep Mom from going nuts by helping with some of the household chores. I did take a half hour or so to borrow Dad's laminating machine to laminate pages from New Warriors #27 and Spider-Man #24 to include in my copy of The Infinity War but much of the week was something of a blur.
I did get a chance to read through Holy Sh*t: The World's Weirdest Comic Books. It's a light read, just touching on some of comics' more off-the-wall books, ranging from underground fetish porn to Jack Chick to Mr. A to promotional comics blatantly touting the benefits of their supplier. I'm not sure what struck me more, though: that none of the books presented struck me as particularly weird, or that I actually had a few of them in my collection! For a relatively small book, I was impressed that as much information as there is about each comic is presented, and it has certainly much more than I've typically found in this type of book. Readers, then, who are a bit more savvy about comics and want to track down more information about, say, Octobriana or Reagan's Raiders. Overall, a fun book, just not one that you should leave out where kids might see it. (My folks actually placed an "R" rating on the gift tag, since they knew there'd be yung'uns around when it was given to me.)
There was also plenty of Playmobil and Playstation, and general laughter at 20-year-old pictures of me sporting a mullet. More laughter ensued at 30-year-old pictures of Dad sporting a handlebar mustache. Not to mention extended stories about Hot Pants Carol and being able to witness the Free Range Kid in person! (And the S.O. thought I was exaggerating!) All in all, an entertaining -- if not exactly Rockwellian -- Christmas with family. Hope yours has been just as interesting!