a yearly trip to chicago for the family christmas party is basically essential.

first stop -- well, second stop if you count the regrettable white castle burgers -- was to visit dominic. i found the "test" button on my camera flash, and decided to conduct various tests. mostly on him. which he was obviously very happy to participate in.

dom puts on his hood of invulnerability. somehow, he knows that this time, it isn't working.

all kinds of chaos leaving the bar; allie was lucky enough (?) to attend, so we stop for a snap.

two fellows with very, very unfortunate head proportions.

day two.. or three.. who cares? family christmas party yields the usual motherlode of the years hottest gifts. wait... this thing has AM AND FM?!!?!

actually, susie did get a bona fide hot gift: an emergency blanket and accompanying set of fastening clothes pins.
i'm telling you, you'll never watch TV without one. "clip in! (tm)"

the whole fam gets a picture, along with baby julia!

"yeah, it's like i told you kid. sometimes, the bar eats you."