>Taking off for the fourth weekend in a row (which is fun, but exhausting), and heading over to my parents' house in Chicago this afternoon. The Reisman clan shall be celebrating Bubbe's 85th birthday party on Sunday at a Russian restaurant. My dad ordered two bottles of vodka for the event.

"Only the cousins will drink it," he told me on the phone on Tuesday, "and this way they'll still be able to stand up straight when the leave." I could sense his satisfaction.

"Except that if they have only two bottles of vodka, they won't even be tipsy," I noted. These relatives drink a lot of vodka at celebrations; their tolerance level probably exceeds what would kill a normal person.

Other weekend activities include seeing my friend Rachel, her partner, and their adorable daughter on Friday; going to the new Indiana Jones flick on Saturday afternoon (so excited!!! And unlike NYC, theaters in Chicago actually have matinée prices, so it was a bargain to pre-buy tickets); and eating grotesque quantities of BBQ shipped overnight from Neely's Interstate BBQ in Memphis. (When we went on a family outing to Graceland last year, Neely's was the highlight of the trip. It was probably the best meal I've ever eaten.)

Plenty of hijinks to follow.