I really don't miss living in places like that. But it's totally nice and nostalgic to visit one for a few hours again. =)
Emily's family was also totally cool; I've been an orphan at various holidays before way too many times, given my Navy past and tendency to get uprooted a lot. It usually doesn't really go all that well; everybody's so intent on being nice to the holiday orphan that, well, it's all kinda fake. But Emily's family basically just ignored me in a friendly sort of fashion until we'd had a chance to do the human equivalent of doggy muzzle-sniffing for a while, and eaten some turkey, so it all seemed a lot more natural and in the end I felt genuinely welcomed instead of just ... you know. Fake-be-nice-to-the-poor-homeless-guy welcomed. Also, I took pity on Em's mom and spent an hour or three helping build The Rocking Chair That Satan Stocked The Big Lots With, which resulted in the breaking out of the Wild Turkey and much goodwill after the rest of the mob started drifting away. Her dad, as it turns out, manages the networks in the CS / CSE department at USC, and between talking shop and talking about former Navy experiences (he was a fighter pilot, I was... well, let's just say I was in the Navy and leave it at that, unless YOU want to ply me with some Wild Turkey) things just got downright convivial. And hey, it never hurts to have a friend in the department, right?
Sadly, the neighboring "eccentric" fellow who had turned the nearby 40-acre clearing into Deer Vietnam had misplaced his AK-47, so there was no ceremonial Thanksgiving rifle firing. Eventually, though, he's GONNA find it again, so I would strongly recommend that if you're a deer you stay the fuck away from that field. Between one low blind and two tower blinds at various angles, he's got better intersecting fields of fire than your average bukkake festival, so, y'know... stay away from the little pile of feed corn, it's just not worth it. Just a warning.
Egads, it's 4:29 AM. Again. My sleep cycle has been all FUBAR'ed lately, which is probably why I'm rambling so badly. But I feel my eyelids starting to droop pleasantly, so I think I'm going to ride the wave. G'night folks.