Holiday Letter

Dear Friends & Family,

I hope this holiday season finds you with your homes out of foreclosure and your 401Ks on the mend.  2009 has been one heck of year for all of us and I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of our personal highlights with you all on this festive occasion.

As 2008 rolled into 2009, Kelly was pregnant and the result of said pregnancy was our boy, Zachary, who is now six months old and an utter joy to be around except for the middle of the night when he won’t sleep.   It’s at these times that we consider putting him back in storage for the winter.  In keeping with tradition, however, we find that Kelly is pregnant again, this time with octuplets.  This turns out to be precisely 7 more children than we’d hoped for, but all things have a silver lining (and this is the time of year for silver linings).  So I am happy to announce that we will be featured in a new cable reality show called "You Made What?"  The show has nothing to do with the octuplets, but instead focuses on our attempts to cook exotic foods out of the ordinary things one finds in their pantry (if said pantry has not been foreclosed on).

2009 was a good year for writing.  My story, "Hindsight, In Neon" appeared in Apex Magazine back in April, and was anthologized in DESCENDED FROM DARKNESS, which is being shipped as we speak.  I also successfully completed NaNoWriMo this year.  The novel that I wrote for NaNoWriMo ended up at auction and eventually went to Simon & Schuster for a low 7-figure advance.  A small production company ("Imagine Entertainment") picked up the option for the novel and the movie (with an ensemble cast featuring the likes of Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Bill Murray, "Fergie", Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld, and Robin Williams [in the role of the pregnant teenage divorcee astronaut]) is scheduled to begin production in 2011.  I’m told that Martin Scorsese and Hayden Panettiere will co-direct.

And speaking of movies, Kelly signed to star in the motion picture version of Gilmore Girls.  She will be playing the part of Lorelei Gilmore. The story takes place after the end of the final season and Rory is living in Washington, D.C.,.  Filming will be on location, so fortunately, we don’t have to move back to L.A.

Having an infant makes it difficult to get out and see new movies.  This year we only managed to see 114 new films, I’m afraid.  113 of them were absolutely terrible, but you know, you put yourself through the pain for the one diamond in the rough.  I think we’d both agree that the diamond this year was "The Fantastic Mr. Fox".

Zachary is a truly fantastic baby.  He said his first word ("more") the day before we left the hospital.  By the end of the summer he was reading Dr. Seuss on his own.  Last night, it was all I could do to pull him away from the unabridged edition of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".  But don’t let me give you the idea that he spends all of his time reading (most of it gets done in the early evening).  He was offered a tryout with the New York Yankees, a team looking to get a little younger.  (I suppose they thought that a 6 month-old would help bring down the overall average age of the team.)  Zachary decided to pass on the tryout this year because it conflicted with his training for his scheduled flight to the International Space Station.

He talks a great deal at this point, and believe me, I have the phone bills to prove it.  What is remarkable to me is that he has inherited his mother’s ability to multitask–an ability of which I am completely devoid–oh, look, something shiny!  What was I saying?  Right, multitasking. Not only does this kid spend hours on the phone, talking to his cousin Sadie, but at the same time, he is texting jokes to his cousin Calvin.  At the same time!  I kid you not!  I don’t know how I will keep up with this kid!

We bought a house this year and enjoyed the process so much that we bought four more.  I keep resisting adding a sixth house (I think it would be cool to say "half dozen"), but with interest rates as low as they are, it’s hard to pass up.  We’re just doing our part to stimulate the economy, something that sounds a little kinky, if you ask me.  As you might expect, the new houses are perfect in every respect and required not a single change.  We’ve always been pretty lucky people, but how we managed to find five houses that had the perfect wall colors, light styles, bathroom fixtures, and kitchen counters is something I will never fully understand.  I am certain that our luck will change and that the sixth house will have a pink kitchen with shingled countertops and an outhouse, but hey, I really can’t complain, right?

Our cats, Simon, Maggie and Zeke have had their ups and downs this year, but they have landed on their feet, as they always seem to do. Simon had major surgery to correct a problem he had balancing his checkbook.  Maggie won $535 at a slot machine in Atlantic City.  Zeke threw his name in the hat for the governorship of Virginia.  He lost, and has been bitter about it ever since, calling his opponents dog-faced creepos.  Nevertheless, I think he’ll try again in four years.

We haven’t traveled much this year, but we’ve been blessed with many visitors.  Parents, siblings, cousins, friends.  Perhaps the most interesting of all of the visits came the night we were both awakened from a deep sleep to find ourselves surrounded by little green men with big eyes.  I don’t believe that aliens have ever visited Earth and suddenly, I felt as if my worst nightmare was going to come try and I was going to have to face a phalanx of my more savvy friends saying, "See, we told you so!"  Turns out these guys had run out of juice in their GPS and were looking for directions to Starbucks.  Not being coffee drinkers, you could imagine our dismay when we told them, "There’s probably one down Route 50," and sent them on their way.

That about wraps things up.  We want to send out our warmest holiday wishes to you and your family, your mistress and her family (I don’t know the proper word for a male mistress, paramour, perhaps, but if you’ve got one, God Bless).  For your doctor, accountant, lawyer and agent, we sent along a happy (belated) Hanukkah.  We hope that 2010 is the year you make contact.

With love and kisses,

Jamie, Kelly, Zachary, Simon, Maggie & Zeke