Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Damn! I did the most unusual thing for Christmas, but I felt pretty damn good about it! It was a couple days before the 24th, and I was just plannin' on havin' the regular old time, you know, fuckin' around with the boys and getting dumb on brandy and champagne, opening gifts and stuff, but then on Bravo I saw this show about moms. I was like, Ray, what have you done for your mom lately. I ain't see her much, and I know I should call more often, and dammit, this woman carried me around in her belly and gave me love when all I could give in return was a load in my pants. Ray had to do somethin' for his momma.

Next thing I knew, I had booked us into separate suites at Napoli, that swank new J. Vincent J. Lemoni hotel-casino down in the Vegas underground. I met her at the NSTL line just outta town and got us a limo to the hotel. I had the works lined up for her: fancy lunches at Spiedo (even one time at the chef's table in the kitchen so she could meet Vonrieght Auf Den Krightenmueller, her favorite celebrity chef and the owner of Spiedo), massages, an after-hours tour of the Frank Sinatra museum, and the black-tie Christmas dinner at the Algiers followed by the signature Bellini brunch at Bel Forno. Lemoni himself was at the dinner, and we traded some market banter before I noticed mom gettin' bored talking to his wife, so I had to cut it short. Too bad. It'd be nice to get in with a whale like that. I bet that guy plays golf courses that even the CIA doesn't know about. Like, on Mauritius.

Oh, and her Christmas present? You guessed it: shopping spree in the Napoli Premier Shopping Concourse. She was so thrilled, but I wish she had picked out more stuff. She is so humble about presents for herself. I had to kind of force her into getting every little thing, from a new scarf at Prada to a new pair of sandals at L'Imaggio. She would always be like "Oh but Raymond, it's so expensive." I told her that anytime she mentioned the price of anything, she had to choose something additional from the same store that cost more than or equal to the thing she was looking at, but it's hard to change people's ways. Especially if that person is a mom who is used to commenting on expensiveness. Fortunately, I made mental notes of stuff she acted silently interested in and went back later to have it shipped to her house. I got her this one freestanding green marble globe with gilded latitude and longitude lines that is gonna look mad-dope in her little parlor where she likes to sit.

For her present to me, I gave her my credit card and told her to pick something out for me from one of the shops while I had a Whangee Breeze at the Whangee Blenderdrinks, Esq. cart. She was so cute about it. Half an hour later she showed up with this little two-pack of short socks they had on clearance at Foot Time, saying how she always thought I could use more warm socks. I talked her into an Amaretto Whangee and she told me a bunch of stories about dad that I had never heard before. It's cool what your parents will tell you when you get older and they think you can handle the information. It turns out that dad was a pretty slick dude and a real ladykiller, and that he had a motorcycle.

Huh. Looking back, I guess that isn't too much of a revelation. She also said that he had a hat. I don't even know what kind of hat. She thinks it might have been brown.

Anyhow, I could tell that mom was touched that we spent this special holiday together, and I feel pretty great that it all came together. Guys, if you have a mom who is alive, or even if she's dead, do somethin' nice for her. Ain't no other person in the world who done for you like mom has done. Mom lived to make you, and wiped a million different things off you, and acted like it was a big deal when you fell on your knee, and buys you socks so your feet can be warm even if you have sold thirty million albums.

Alright, time to plan my New Year's party! Out, chochachos.