I haven't written since two family gatherings, one on Sunday, and one last night. Sunday's was at my Aunt Carol's house, with the majority of my extended family there. It was neat to see my most of my cousins, even the ones I almost forgot existed. We all really had a good time eating good food, as it like a potluck affair with everyone bringing everying to eat. We talked of finances, we networked, we got to know each other again, and we even talked of good Scotch and how it's barley is smoked over a slow fire for two months, and most importantly, we reminisced. I wish we could be with family more, but I wish they lived in a cooler, less congested city. That won't happen any time soon, so we enjoyed the moments we had. Towards the end of the whole deal, and when most of the little kids had left, we got stuck into the wine and spirits, and the more we drank, the more funny we seemed to each other. I don't know exactly how funny we were, but that really doesn't matter. I was even bold enough to ask my Grandma if she'd ever been drunk before. Apparently she hasn't, but my Aunt sure didn't hold back with her stories, or I should say we didn't hold back in telling the drunken tales of Carol. We also told for the hundredth time, the time when my Cousin was in Alaska when he told one of his buddies who was a bit more than drunk that he was "pukin in the (sleeping) bag dude, you're pukin in the bag man". It doesn't seem as funny to me as it did on Sunday. It was at that point that I tried and discussed Scotch, and I'll have to try it again sometime. Note to self, don't breathe the vapors; talk about nose burn. At that point, my cousin Faye decided that we had to do it again, so we scheduled for the night after. I couldn't wait!
The next day, I got up with only a slight headache thank goodness, and went shopping. It was actually cool the night before, so we hoped that the trend would reverse, and we could get to sthing productive done. I had to give my Technical expertsse on finding a printer for my Grandma. I also needed to spend a Target gift card I got as a graduation present. We did both, found a relatively cheap printer for Grandma, bought a $20 USB cable (damn that's expensive) which she later returned because we found an extra one at my cousins, and got me a headset for the phone so I can use it to do my piano lessons and finally, some socks to replace the ones Zim eaten over the past few weeks. It was 107 yesterday, and supposedly cool, so I was quite happy to try to stay inside as long as possible. Fiona really wanted to go with us shopping, but I'm sure that she's now happy she didn't burn her paws on hop asphalt.
At my cousin Faye's house, we had yet another great time. All of the boys which I mentioned previously were there: Jeremy eaeleven; Nathan, 8; Nicko 7, and Mesio 5. They thought I was way cool because they first figured out that I was blind, and I also played with them when they whipped out the plastic toy swords and started cutting themselves to pieces, theoretically. I got stabbed in the back several times and even got decapitated twice, but when in nabbed two swords from my attackers they backed off as a decimated them all. Needless to say, they now understand that yes, I can tell exactly where they were even though I can't see. It's always the typical question, "How'd they do that?" My answer is always shown best by example.
I wasn't able to get into too much political discussion, but we did discuss religion, and I very much enjoyed it. I talked about my experiences with high pressure situation, such as those I sometimes experienced in campus religious groups and gatherings, and amazingly, the whole family didn't accaust me when I explained that I thought that to me, religion is both a guide to life and a personal decision and relationship between you and God, not one to be influenced by other well-wishing people. They also said that it was normal and good to question, so that was very helpful.
This entry has actually taken me a while to write. We're now waiting for the Phoenix to Dallas flight to board. We left about three hours early for the airport, and we got in right away, so we've been sitting on our asses for a pretting darn long time. The only excitement we've had was the plane that was djiverted due to a medical emergency to Phoenix. they sat there for about two hours in an I would think hot plane, so I'd hate to be the dudes on the plane. Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed my visit here to Arizona, but I'll be looking forward to going home. There's definitely something to be said for having family close, but I'm not complaining that I get to make a trip in less than two weeks to Alaska to visit more fam. More when I get there. that