We left Erie in a whiteout and came back to Minnesota in time to weather a couple of really cold days. Now that the temperature has reached the upper teens, it feels almost balmy.
The visit with the DeNiro clan was great as always. We celebrated New Year's for the second time in a row with Chris in Youngstown and Elad, who was also visiting, made four of us. The crappy-okey was fun but daunting. College aged kids were lined up to get up on stage and belt out 80s classics such as Bon Jovi's Blaze of Glory (personally I think Wanted Dead or Alive would have been a better pick), a-ha's Take On Me, Def Leppard's Photograph, and Men without Hats's Safety Dance. Yes, I admit it. I was there for all that music the first time around, and I was at that age where music vibrates through your emotions and into your soul. So, I knew every word to every song. Some of them were favorites, tied to important teenaged memories and episodes. (Pyromania always will be linked to a summer spent at a cabin on a northern Minnesota lake flirting with boys and water-skiing. I'm smiling just thinking of it.) It was unsettling to say the least to have them so boisterously and affectionately mocked by kids.