Wednesday, December 24, 2003

December 24, 2003
Well, this is the oddest Christmas Eve I've ever experienced. Here we are 6 billion kilometers (75 miles) from home, in a white-washed beach town on the Mediterranian and although there are Feliz Navidad light ornaments everywhere it feels more like Spring Break in Cancun than It's A Wonderful Life.

I'd tell you how cold it is, but I can't find out what 15 celcius is. It feels like about 60 degrees but I'm guessing.

The Spanish think it's groovy to put the door knob in the middle of the door. This applies mostly to the outside of the main door, but still, when you've opened every door in your life for 57 years by reaching to the left, it is quite weird.

Another thing that's hard to get used to is the light switches which go down for on and up for off. And, not to complain like an ugly American, but the urinals are quite high. I'm six feet one (150,000 milimeters) and I often have to stand on my tip toes to do my business. Most Spaniard men are around five feet seven. What do they do? Use it for a chin rest?

We had our first family road trip meltdown three days ago. Deena cried and said her mother and I were driving her crazy. We were in an Argentina bar and Tommy and Kathy went to get the car while we got a drink and waited for them. Over olives and a diet coke, she broke down in tears and said I am oppressive, obnoxious and obsessive. I told her my staff at True West would love to talk to her about this, but she didn't think it was funny.

We came to an agreement that the next day would be "The No Expectations Tour". It was the first day of our road trip and I promised I would not give quotes and antecdotes that had Aesop morals about graduating from college and getting a job (something I was doing obsessively and obnoxiously for the first seven days of the trip). This was hard to do, but I bit my tongue a lot and got drunk on a half liter (35 gallons) of red wine at San Jose. Later, when I came to, on the curvy highway leading into Nerja, I got cranky and demanded to be taken home (to Cave Creek), but the kids just laughed at me and turned up the Strokes and blasted me out of their lives. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to managed health care, when this will become a daily occurance.

We bought a Christmas tree yesterday and I put it in the glove compartment of the Ford Focus. Details manana.

"Those that make the best use of their time have none to spare." -Thomas Fuller

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