7 italian relatives, 6 ladies dancing, 5 gold rings...

greetings from the 609.  i landed in new jersey this morning to visit my family for xmas.  life is different here: people smoke but don't look sexy.  there is snow on the ground.  sunsets are bland.

but even more upheaval is ahead, as my grandmother's getting out of physical rehabilitation in 2 days, my dad's retiring at the start of next year, and oh yeah, 7 italian relatives (5 family + 2 close friends) are coming for xmas and new year's.  the term "three ring circus" has been used more than once.

so if/when you wonder, "why's that punk julia not posting while she's chilling (literally!) in stupid new jersey," please know i'm probably struggling to make stupid new jersey appealing to people who live in freakin' rome.  

and while we have excursions planned and lots of carb-rich meals to ingest, i have an original activity suggestion for me and my male cousins (ages 31 and 26, more or less) who are part of the entourage.  below is an excerpt from an email i recently sent friend:
     "i bought nerf guns and extra ammo to use for hide-and-seek then shoot on site when you find someone.  whoever avoids getting shot 5 times wins.  or maybe cops and robbers?"  and yes, i was inspired by television:

why do guys come up with these elaborate and fun but ultimately time-wasting enterprises while we do productive shit that is never pointlessly entertaining?  this is the evolutionary question of the ages..."