Sunday, January 15, 2012

December 10, 2011 The 1997 Christmas Letter

HI THERE! We’ve had a WONDERFUL year. The BIG news is our new additions. We bought a beautiful house way out in the suburbs. Actually it used to be a farm field. So there are no trees now, but it only smells like cow manure when it rains for two straight days. But the neighborhood is great. The only thing black is the streets. Our other addition is a baby boy, Hunter. He is very beautiful. He could probably model or do commercials. He doesn’t look like the other babies. (You know how most babies look like aliens, ohhh not our Hunter.) His sister, Brooke, is five now. She is enrolled in the gifted Kindergarten class. The school says she is the smartest…..UUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! If this type of newsletter doesn’t have you reaching for Dr. Kevorkian’s number, then don’t read on. If, however, you enjoy an honest recounting of a couple’s struggles against the world, PLEASE CONTINUE! (even if you secretly laugh at this crap then say to people,”Poor George and Bernadette, where did they go wrong?”)

Welcome to the fourth annual TWISTED NEWSLETTER, with me, your host and tour guide through the past year, Gregg. Well the big news is WE ARE STILL MARRIED!  I know everyone says, “Poor Chrissy, How does she put up with him?” Maybe you should say, “Poor Gregg, how does he put up with her?” Actually it really wasn’t that great of a year. I mean as years go, this one is pretty forgettable. But I must bore you with the details so here we gooooooo!!!!!!!


Check all the other newsletters, what did we do in January? We went skiing in Michigan with Jim and Debbie Drescher. The same goes for this year. But wait, we did something different this year. WHAT? You asked. WIFESWAPPING!! No, we went tubing. And it was fun.(Oh Golly Gee!!) We spent an afternoon flying down a bobsled run on big inner tubes. It was more fun than wifeswapping, okay, maybe I exaggerated on that one. Anyway, the point is that tubing down a mountain is a lot of fun. Especially nude with some one else’s wife. That part didn’t happen either. (But it does sound fun.)


This was one of those years where everyone seemed to be celebrating a big birthday. My Grandpa Ott turned 80. So my family all got together in NYC to celebrate. It was fun to be together with everyone at my Aunt MaryAnn’s house. We went to Ellis Island and to the Empire State Building. We were probably heading down the elevators, when that asshole shot several people on the observation deck. I’ll bet you his tormented rage was due to spending time with his family. I’ll give you an example. The weekend is going fine. We decide on the last night to go to a local Irish Pub for dinner. Great. The Irish aren’t exactly known for their good food, but it was within walking distance. Everyone orders, the food is edible. BUT my father is all pissed off and says his dinner tastes like dog food. Oh, what did he order? SHEPPERD’S PIE. Now you’re asking “WHAT THE FUCK IS SHEPPERD’S PIE?” Exactly. No one knew. But he had to order it then was pissed when it wasn’t good. This outburst brought the weekend to a perfect Ott ending. It is enough to make you wanna shoot up the Empire State Building!


Jeff turned 30. My cousin Mary turned 40.(Sorry Mary, I was just proving my point that there were a bunch of big Birthdays) And my mom turned 50. So with the help of my Baker cousins, we had a bash for my mom. Thanks to my cousins, the party went great. Georgie even DJ’d the party. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I LOVE THEM HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY! Some of you think it is a shame that we live all over the country. Trust me, it is much better this way. After a few months apart, we actually miss each other. After a few days together, we need a few months apart. Thanks to everyone who helped and who came to the party. I think my mom is still young enough to remember it.


After nearly 12 years, I quit my job at DRW. And much to my shock, the company continued to do business without me. I didn’t think it was possible. I busted my ass for them, but began to think there was no future there. So I got hired by OES in Indianapolis. I spent almost three months in Indianapolis for training and a big job for Shell Oil. I swear to you, the sun shined twice in those three months. The Bottle Rockets have a song that goes “I’m not sure if this is Hell or Indianapolis”. I know exactly what they mean. The job has been great though, especially since I got back to Chicago. The techs in the Indy office were very friendly to me. Especially since they were all southerners and I’m from the north. We were working 70-80 hours a week, but we found time to visit many of Indianapolis’s strip clubs. I had a dancer yell at me because I was watching the TV instead of her. She didn’t like my explanation that the Rangers were up by only one goal in the third period of a crucial play-off game against the Flyers. Jesus, she sounded like a wife, what happened to the good old days. When a strip club was where you could forget you were married.

Kimmie had a baby boy named Kennedy. Christy and I are the Godparents. How cool, I’m the GODFATHER. Nope. I was called the sponsor by the church. Great! I go from being Marlon Brando to being Sally Struthers. This is the story of my life.


In August, we helped my friend Debbie move on up to a high rise apartment with a view of Lake Michigan. (See I do have successful friends) In September, I went to Gettysburg for my Cousin Ken’s wedding. Let’s face it; a battleground really is the perfect place to get married. It was very enjoyable to see my cousins on the Hynes’ side of the family. Ken and Joey were hilarious; they have the same twisted sense of humor as me. This trait must come from further up the family tree. My cousin DeDe was amazingly like my cousin Patty.  So there really is something to this genetics thing. This family should quit reproducing now, for the sake of the world. The weather in October was great. Eighty degrees most of the month, which made it the nicest month, weather wise, we had all year. It also is the only reason to mention it since we didn’t really do anything during October.


 My friend Debbie talked me into volunteering at a nursing home for Thanksgiving. Pick yourself back up off the floor; I actually have a soft spot in my cold heart. It wasn’t too bad. We helped serve dinner. Sure I lost my appetite, I mean, old people are just like babies. They are disgusting to watch eat.(Messy, drooling and making strange noises) I managed to live through it. We sat and talked with four old women for about an hour. That was interesting. They could remember stuff from 70 years ago but kept asking us the same questions again and again. They kept saying how handsome I was, which was cool. Now if I could only get women under the age of eighty to think the same. Maybe I should visit people in desperate need of eye care more often. We did visit Boston and NYC in December. It was our first visit to Jeff & Jen’s house. They have a beautiful house, thanks to Jen, I’m sure. My brilliant car mechanic brother, after moving our car into his side lot, left the lights on. The next day we had to recharge the battery before it would start. We then stayed at my Aunt MaryAnn’s house. The perfect synopsis of my year can be described here. She made a plate of veal chops, my favorite, and I was too sick to eat more than one. WHY GOD WHY!

 Well I guess it is time to put this year to rest. Thank God. Oh well, they all can’t be wonderful. We both lost a Grandma this year, we didn’t actually lose them, we know where they are. They are in jars in our mother’s closets. Of course Chrissy only cares about her animals, she wants everyone to know that Anastasia, a Siberian Tiger, was born this past October. The baby polar bear turned 1 in late November. We saw a bunch of concerts, as usual. The Presidents of the USA, Cheap Trick, Mighty, Mighty Bosstones (twice), Bodeans, John Hiatt, Pietasters, Reel Big Fish, Live and John Mellencamp. We also expanded our cultural horizons by seeing a bunch of plays, Chicago, TangoX2, Triumph of Love, Riverdance and Rent. We highly recommend Rent and Riverdance. My hockey team, Natural Disaster, lost the championship game 4-2 last winter. We won the summer league championship. If you have Internet access the website address for the team is  Hopefully all is well with you. Please keep in touch with us. Chrissy and I truly wish you a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.

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