Saturday, November 25, 2006

happy hatesgiving.

Robert Altman died this past Monday, but i didn't actually find out until tonight. i was driving on 95, listening to A Prairie Home Companion like the insufferable NPR nerd that i am. i actually let out this little "oh" into the silence of my car. it's not like i didn't see it coming (he was 81, after all), but still.

John got me into Altman. i think the first one i saw was Nashville, which is just such an dense, incredible film that i haven't even really begun to understand it. i remember watching Gosford Park with a friend of mine, and all i heard for two hours was "this is confusing" and "why is everyone talking over each other?" it's true, he's not for everyone, but when you do finally get it, it's incredibly rewarding.

so, Thanksgiving. i spent most of it in bed with a migraine. i get them about once a year (the last one i got was right before Thanksgiving last year), and this one was a doozy. even the vaguest moonlight coming in my bedroom windows was painful; the sound of my aunt's voice downstairs became physically manifested into bright white sparks of pain. what a way to spend my day off.

i did attend some of dinner, and manage to stuff myself sufficiently before succumbing to the pain. the entire dinner was spent discussing my sister's recently discovered allergy to wheat. witness this conversation earlier that morning:

Lauren: "I just want to say right now that I don't want you asking me questions you already know."

Dad: "What?"

Lauren: "Like, don't ask, 'So, Lauren, what do you do at your job?'. Don't bait. I don't feel like talking about my job."

Me: "You have to talk about youself. That's just part of deal with Thanksgiving."

it backfired quite nicely, although with zero help from my father. at every family gathering, there is a general scrutiny of my sister and her life. i attribute this to my suburban relatives having visions of Sex and the City dancing in their heads, and imagining Lauren's life as an endless round of leisurely lunches, martinis and running in impossibly high spike heels. in reality i think my sister's life mainly entails working lots of overtime at her new job at a fancypants cosmetics company, where everything seems to be continually disorganized and all her coworkers speak French.

i am content to sit back and let her fry under the microscope, though i am becoming slightly more disgruntled with every family gathering. these gatherings are like small class reunions: a chance to trot out your accomplishments. i'm a little miffed that no one asks how i am, how Philadelphia is, how i'm getting promoted at work in a few weeks, how i'm working on some amazing drawings, how i'm applying to graduate school in January. ah well.

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