Lehman Family Christmas Letter 2006

This morning, I spent 15 minutes shaving and showering and after I was almost all dried off realized I never put shampoo in my hair. It’s just been that kind of day.

This year, I spent most of my time doing various school-related extracurriculars and random odd jobs around town and now that it’s almost over I realize I don’t really have a direction in life. It’s just been that kind of year.

Luckily, I’ve always got this gig to fall back on. The ol’ Lehman family Christmas letter. An honor bestowed in the following manner: “Mark, would you write the Christmas letter again this year? It probably won’t go out until after Christmas, but your father and I are just too busy.”

And so let it begin.

It was a year of ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, so we turned to face the strain. Dad switched jobs, Daniel switched jobs more, I graduated and then switched jobs more than both of them combined, and mom switched from “getting up there in years” to “seriously old” by turning 50.

Spotlight on Dave. After 8 years of sipping coffee and “managing” the CENTURY 21 Select office, he finally said his goodbyes and joined up with Michelle to become team Lehman. Think Captain Planet: “With our powers combined…” and you’ll get the idea. As far as I can tell, though, this has meant spending a lot of time at home, doing “behind the scenes stuff.” Really, I think it’s just an excuse to hang out and practice guitar. Probably better that he stays home anyway, since we’re not sure how safe the road is after he totaled his Honda Civic in April. Fortunately, no one was hurt and he came away with a sweet new Honda Accord. Total chick magnet.

Also, a somewhat somber story. Dave found out in September that he had a tumor in his neck, and despite him yelling in his worst Ahnold impression “It’s not a tumah!” the doctor cut it out on Halloween and he’s doing six weeks of radiation starting the week before Christmas. We’re all hoping something will go awry and he’ll end up with superpowers. Well, maybe it’s just me hoping that, but I think the rest of the fam will come around to my way of thinking.

Spotlight on Daniel. At the beginning of the year, he quit his job at Washington Mutual to go to work in the doggy dog world of Beverly Hills real estate. He soon found out it was more of a dog eat dog world, so he got out as quickly as he could with most of his soul still intact. For a brief period he had a part-time gig in an actual doggy dog world, at a place called Doggy Day Care where rich people drop off their dogs for the day. Now he’s playing sports and jumping on trampolines with autistic kids and getting paid for it.

Not to be outdone by dad, Daniel totaled his Camaro in September and got another in October with the insurance money. I think he did it on purpose to add some spice to his life—after all, you can only run and surf so much before you start to forget which one you’re doing and end up drowning. Grad school and a new girlfriend might be on the horizon, but those subjects are taboo. Like pitching a perfect game, if you talk about it, it won’t actually happen.

Spotlight on Michelle. She’s still a workaholic like usual, but it’s more difficult now that she has dad bugging her to stop working. In between real estate craziness and 9:30 mass music group rock star status, mom found time to gamble and drink in Vegas for the CENTURY 21 convention and mostly just drink in Cabo San Lucas with dad and family friends the Reibolds. She did list her first million dollar home, but unfortunately hasn’t sold it yet, so it’s only a half victory, like running the 100m hurdles at world record pace but without ever crossing the finishing line.

In other news, mom’s having a blast bossing dad around as part team Lehman. For a fun activity, ask her about what it’s like working with her husband. Then ask dad about what it’s like working with his wife. Then compare notes.

Spotlight on me. I began the year in my last semester at Loyola Marymount holding down three jobs with the school newspaper, the yearbook and the priest residence, all while finishing my thesis and pretending to care about school and grades. Oh, and I went to England for spring break with some friends, one of which got into Oxford. Oh, and I went to New York City for a media convention. Oh, and I went to Mexico for an evening, most of which I don’t remember. Needless to say, it was a tough semester.

Now I’m in the real world, where it has been difficult finding a nice place to live that will leave me money for food, booze and Ellen, my girlfriend of over a year, and where it has been time-consuming and tedious finding a job that isn’t food service or real estate and pays more than $10 an hour. However, I’m finding that life is pretty easy with only one job (working as a customer service agent for SkyWest Airlines at LAX—woohoo free flights!), no school and no homework.

In other family news, Grandma Lehman broke her hip in March, dad has started buying the small bags of dog food since our deaf and dumb dog (stupid-dumb not no talking-dumb) is barely clinging to life in her old age, and Grandma and Grandpa David accompanied mom, dad, Daniel and I on our annual vacation. This year, that consisted of a cruise to the Mexican Riviera, where we drank, gambled and watched some spectacularly bad Reno-style shows in between calling out coded messages on our walkie talkies. Example: “Gizmo (Dave), this is Dragon (Mark). I’ll rendezvous with you and Irish (Grandma) on the Lido Deck at 1300 hours. Maintain radio silence on all channels, copy.”

So even though it has been one of those days, and one of those years, sometimes change is a good thing. Time may change us, but we can’t change time, so here’s hoping at least one thing will remain the same: that all of you, our friends and family, have a merry Christmas, joyous holidays and an amazing and prosperous new year to come.

Dave, Michelle, Daniel, Mark and Harley (unless she dies before we actually send this).
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