Thursday, November 1, 2007

An Oklahoma Christmas

Andrew and I talked to my parents tonight, and we finalized our Christmas plans and booked our flights.

Early on the afternoon of Saturday, December 22, Andrew and I will fly to Oklahoma City, where my parents will meet us mid-afternoon and drive us back to my hometown. We will remain in Oklahoma through Thursday, December 27. Late that afternoon, my parents will drive us back to Oklahoma City and deposit us at the airport for our flight home. Andrew and I should be back in Minneapolis that night no later than 9:00 p.m.

Andrew and I are dividing our Christmas and New Year holidays between our families. We decided that five days with my family would be enough, especially since my parents will also be hosting my mother’s sister and husband, too, over the holidays. My aunt and uncle will be driving up from Dallas on Sunday, the 23rd, and remaining in Oklahoma until Saturday, the 29th.

My parents’ house will accommodate—just—this number of people.

My parents own a four-level split-level house. The top level has three bedrooms and a bath. The next level has a living room, dining room and kitchen. The next level has another bedroom, a family room and a bath. The bottom level is a finished basement, used for storage, garden tools, computer and office equipment, and laundry equipment.

During the holidays, my aunt and uncle will stay in the guest room off the family room, and Andrew and I will stay in the basement. The basement is perfectly comfortable, and Andrew and I will be perfectly content there.

My aunt and uncle have never met Andrew, so this will be their first opportunity to get to know him. I know they will like him.

My mother adores Andrew—she is captivated by him; she was totally disarmed, if not swept off her feet, the first time she met him—and my sister likes Andrew very much, mostly because Andrew is so good-looking that my sister, a 17-year-old girl, can’t take her eyes off him.

My brother, on the other hand, is uncomfortable around Andrew. My brother is a 16-year-old high-school jock, and he finds it difficult to understand that a masculine and athletic and exceedingly handsome man like Andrew, seemingly heterosexual, is not interested in girls. My brother is polite to Andrew, but they have been unable to develop any kind of close bond. Perhaps that will come with the passage of time.

My father and Andrew do not really get along, and they never have. After a few early friction-filled encounters, they have learned to observe, scrupulously, a respectful, arm’s-length cordiality.

My father is an instinctive trial lawyer, and he made the mistake of taking on Andrew very early in our friendship—and my father quickly found out that he had bit off more than he could chew.

Figuratively speaking, my father scratched Andrew--and Andrew scratched back, much to my father’s surprise. Andrew got the best of my father in that encounter, and in the half-dozen ones that quickly followed. After that, Andrew and my father somehow arrived at a truce, which they have managed to maintain for well over a year.

My father DID realize, from his first encounter with Andrew, that Andrew was going to make a superb lawyer—and my father DOES like the idea of having more lawyers in the family. However, my father can be quite difficult when he wants to be, and sometimes he tends to get carried away, as my mother often reminds him.

I am not sure what Andrew and I will do while we are in Oklahoma. There is nothing much to do in my hometown, and we may find ourselves more or less housebound for five days. We may find ourselves playing lots of canasta, and watching lots of ESPN.

It should be interesting.


  1. Drew can scratch?

    With that sweet, innocent, angelic face?

    Say it ain't so!

  2. And, Joshie, I'm looking forward to seeing you guys in January.

    I have never been to Minneapolis. This will be my first time.

  3. I can see how Drew would drive women crazy. I could not help but notice how women stared at him at the Proms. When women walked by you and Drew and Alex standing together, they became weak-kneed.

    I read a white paper today. Its subject was the 2008 American Presidential Election. Its conclusion was that the election could go either way. The previous white paper concluded that the Democrat candidate would win in 2008.

    What happened to change things in the last three months?


  4. Hey, Calvin.

    I have no clue who will win the 2008 election.

    I just looked up the most recent Gallup Poll, which is based upon data assembled in mid-August.

    Among "National Adults", Giuliani leads Clinton 49% to 47%. Among "Registered Voters", Giuliani leads Clinton 50% to 46%. There is no data for "Most Likely Voters", which is a far more important category that the two categories listed.

    Only three states switched columns in the Electoral College from 2000 to 2004. New Hampshire swung from the GOP column to the Democrat column. Iowa and New Mexico swung from the Democrat column to the Republican column.

    All I am willing to bet is that the election will be very close.

    I'll get back to you with more information a year from now.


  5. My instinct tells me that Giuliani will win. And let me state upfront that this has nothing to do with the rightward swing occurring throughout Western Europe right now.

  6. Mine, too. But I would not be willing to bet any money on it.

    The move to the right in Europe is an event isolated from American politics.

    Americans pay no attention to events outside our borders. The fact that Michael Howard out-polled Tony Blair by 500,000 votes in 2005 received absolutely no play here, but it should have. It was a harbinger of what was to come to pass in Western Europe.

    One bet I WOULD be willing to make: Cameron will be your next Prime Minister.

  7. Yes, definitely. Cameron is our next PM. Gordon Brown is trying to put off calling an election as long as possible.

  8. Any plans to come to London again? I would love to get together again if you do.

  9. Calvin, I have no vacation time. I just started a new job.

    Andrew and I have no plans to go anywhere at present.

    Our only thoughts, tentative at best, are to go somewhere the last two weeks of August next year, between the time I leave my current job and start law school.

    However, the last two weeks of August are a terrible time to travel in Europe. We have been talking about finding a good place to go for that period, and we have been unable to settle upon anything.

    We are looking at places that do not close down for the month of August and feature good weather. That eliminates most of the major European cities.

    We are looking at Russia, Scotland and Switzerland, mostly, but we are also keeping our eyes on Denmark, Poland and the Baltic Republics.

    When all is said and done, we will probably end up going to Akron, Ohio.

  10. Is Alex going to go with you guys next year?

  11. We're just not that far along, Calvin.

    First, I guess we'll have to find out what he thinks about Akron, Ohio.

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  13. I would give Akron, Ohio, a pass if I were you. I think you would have a much better time in London, even in August.

  14. Allow me to interrupt the train of conversation...

    Akron, Ohio in late summer is just the place to be and be seen.

    Fashionable people from all walks of life converge on Akron to show off their latest Diors and YSLs.

    In fact, I think Vogue is planning to do a fashion shoot there next summer for a story tentatively titled, "Hippy Deluxe".

  15. Hey, J.R.

    Then Akron it is!

    But first Andrew and I have to stock up on Dior and YSL clothing, since we don't have any!

    We are counting on you to be our fashion guide!


  16. How have you been, J.R.?

    I hope your week has been a good one, and that you have a good weekend planned.

    Our week was a very important one, since Andrew--with your help--was cured of his Cheryl Studer fixation.


  17. I am fine, dear.

    I'll be more than happy to offer my services as fashion consultant to Andrew and yourself, free of charge!

    The forecast this weekend looks good. I mean for myself, not the weather. We shall see how it all transpires.

    It's good to know that Andrew has been cured of the Cheryl Studer virus that has been infecting his system! Whew!

    Have a good weekend, Josh. Enjoy the weather if it's nice, and if it's bad, enjoy it anyway.


  18. What is this about Andrew's Cheryl Studer fixation?

  19. Thank you, J.R.

    Thanks for offering to be our fashion consultant!

    One word of warning: If we have to go to Akron, Ohio, for two weeks next summer, you have to come, too!

    For entertainment, we can tour the tire factories (assuming there are still tire factories in Akron).

    Have a great weekend!


  20. Calvin, Andrew's Cheryl Studer fixation was just a running joke over on J.R.'s blog for the last month or so.

    It has now run its course--FORTUNATELY!

  21. Umm, Josh, would you care to explain to Calvin Cox what poor Andrew had to go through and overcome?

    I'm slightly nauseous when the name "Cheryl Studer" comes up.

  22. J.R., Calvin's going to have to retrace the Cheryl Studer saga himself.

    I just don't have the stomach to go through it again!

  23. I think you're all nuts!

    It was nice talking to you this morning, Joshie.

    I hope you guys have a great weekend.

  24. We ARE nuts!

    I think the men in the white coats are coming to get us any minute!

    You have a good weekend, too, Paul.

  25. Then I'll try to catch up on the Cheryl Studer saga tomorrow. It sounds interesting.

    You fellows are good company, Joshua. It is always pleasurable reading your blogs and talking to you, whether in person or online.

    I am very gratified that I made your acquaintances, online and in person. You and Andrew are each one in a million.

    I think you should come back to London next summer, especially if Alex travels with you.

    Give it some thought.


  26. Calvin, the Cheryl Studer saga is definitely NOT interesting!

    Andrew and I very much enjoyed making your acquaintance, too.

    Calvin, Andrew and I are months and months away from making a decision where to go at the end of next summer.

    If Alex goes with us, he may or may not want to return to London.

    We'll just have to see how things play out.

    I'm leaving the office in a minute, Calvin, so please enjoy your weekend.


  27. You have a fantastic blog, really first class in every way. The great James Jordan linked Andrew this week. That's how I discovered you. I have been reading you and Andrew since Wednesday. It is such a privilege to read a blog that is so civilized. Every new blog I come across is written by someone downwardly mobile, with a grudge against the world. Long ago I concluded that most bloggers were unintelligent, stuck in low-paying jobs, without friends, and in need of a forum to express their petty grudges and rages against the world. You and Andrew do not suffer from any of those faults. I'll be back. And it's great that you appreciate my local orchestra, the great Cleveland Orchestra. It is the world's best. Robert