Monday, August 22, 2005

Life Things: The Family Visit

It's been ages since I posted anything about my life, so I have decided to do a couple of posts to catch everybody up.

I really enjoyed the time I spent with my cousin and my uncle during their visit a couple of weeks ago. They are always a lot of fun. Over the course of the week or so they were around, we did some interesting stuff. For one thing, all of us got to check out the new house my mom's friend bought very recently. It's a very nice house (and bigger than ours). I just wish it wasn't "out in the sticks" as they say. The route to her house is certainly very dark at night, even if it isn't really that far away from where I live.

One of the other things we did was learn how to play Texas Hold 'Em poker. I bought a Texas Hold 'Em set a while back from work and we finally learned how to play it. When we first tried it, we went by the instructions in the little booklet provided. They were a little vague, so we just played it the way we thought was right. A couple of days later, we tried it again. My dad was around this time and he showed us how it is supposed to be played. We really weren't that far off. It's an easy game to learn, especially once you know what hand beats what. The highlight of our Texas Hold 'Em playing came when Auntee set up a little tournament. It was fun, even if the rules were borderline ridiculous. For example, everyone had to pay a dollar to get into the tournament. If they only had 50 cents, then Auntee (being the banker/dealer and not playing at all) would get 75 cents of their first winnings. We had bizarre denominations for the chips that threw everyone off. White chips were worth a penny each, so that was normal. But it got confusing when the three red chips equaled a dime and two blue chips equaled a quarter. I jokingly noted that each red chip was 3 and 1/3 cents and that each blue chip was 12 and ½ cents. In the end, though, I won a lot of change. In fact, I just ran out of it on Sunday when I used the last 75 cents to buy some candy from the vending machine at work.

Another thing that we all did together was make pages for a scrapbook. Auntee sprung this one on Chenelle (my cousin), Samone, and me kind of late. We had no idea it was coming. Auntee pulled out a bunch of photos (since she is the family photographer), and gave us groups of them. The photos were of ourselves when we were younger. She wanted us to take those photos and make a scrapbook page that told a story. She had tons upon tons of stuff to use from a variety of paper to stickers, letters, crayons, glue sticks, and colored pencils. I have to admit that I really did not feel like making a scrapbook page at that time of night. I sat there for a while and pondered not making the page at all. Eventually, I gave in and "rebelled" by deciding to make a page that followed a theme as opposed to telling a story. It took me a while to finish mine (mainly because I didn't start right away), but I did a halfway decent page of pictures of myself dressed as "a little businessman." When I was younger, I always seemed to be in dress clothes (with a bow tie) and I took those pictures and posted them on that page. Chenelle and Samone came up with nice pages and my mom's page was probably the nicest of all. It consisted only of pictures of me, Chenelle, Samone, and our cousin Phillip.

There were other little fun things we did during our family visit. Samone and I showed Chenelle the "Trapped In The Closet" saga since she hadn't seen it before. My uncle cooked barbecue as only he can. His barbecue isn't as tender as my mom's is, but he gives that meat some good flavor. My uncle also engaged in the two traditions that happen every time he comes back to Chicago. He loves White Castle and since there are no White Castle restaurants in Seattle, he always buys some at least once each time he's in Chicago. The other thing he does is buy some Tennessee Pride sausage. He (and apparently his friends back in Seattle) love it enough that he buys pounds of it from the store each time he's back in Chicago.

We always enjoy my cousin and my uncle when they come visit us and we're always sad to see them go. We spent a long time at my grandmother's house the night before they left. It didn't matter to me that we didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. and that I had to go to work that morning at 7:00 a.m. I just wanted to spend more time with them. I would've like to have spent more time, but my work hours increased during the week they were here. Well, I look forward to the next time we see them. My cousin will be graduating from law school in the summer and we plan to attend her graduation. I didn't get the chance to go with the family to her college graduation, so I am looking forward to this one.

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