Monday, December 29, 2008

Who? What? When? Where?

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Why haven't I posted in over a month?? Well, a combination of work and holidays. I can't even remember Thanksgiving. I remember eating way too much, but not where most of the weekend went. Yet another reason I should not neglect the blog....

I had these grand plans of writing lots of posts ahead during the Thanksgiving holidays, so that when the inevitable pre-Christmas crush hit me, there would still be a reason for you to come here. Alas, I could not find the motivation. I was too ramfeezled. (Isn't that a great word? It means "exhausted" came up in Balderdash on Christmas. I'm going to try to work it into conversations at work.) My project at work progressed as I knew it would; the business analyst (sic) rambled along discussing minutia until he was satisfied, with nary a breakdown of the requirements into functional tasks, and then expected that all design was done, and we would instantly be able to produce a delivery date. I started panicking over when I would shop, bake, wrap, and decorate, all the while running to choir rehearsals. Here's a sample weekend for you:

Friday: Took the day off! Hooray! Oh, time to relax. Go to Home Depot and get the tree. Bring it home. Leave immediately for Michael's parents' to visit his dad who is just out of the hospital. Leave from there for church for a service project and party afterwards. Get home about 10:30. The tree is up, but naked.

Saturday: Get up, go straight to choir practice. Go from there to sing at retirement home. Go from there to gingerbread house party (so fun!) and from there straight to "Cookies and Carols" party (also FUN!) Have to beg piece of lunchmeat off host so that I don't pass out from elevated blood sugar levels, since there was no time to stop for dinner. Get home about 11:30.

Sunday: Get up, go to church. Get home about 1:30, and lie catatonic for an hour. Get up, and begin putting lights and garland on. Cook dinner. Since it's the seventh, I have a playdate 'til the wee hours. Note that tree still only contains garland and lights.

And a sample week:

Monday: Work. After work, head to really fun Christmas party. Get home about 10.

Tuesday: Work. After work, begin throwing ornaments on tree.

Wednesday: Work. After work, head to choir practice. Get home about 10. Try on dress (two years old) for company party the following night and become depressed.

Thursday: Be at work super-early (for me) for all-hands meeting. Panic at lunch and run to the mall and purchase new dress for company party. Work from home rest of the afternoon. Begin getting ready for 7:00 party (30 minutes away) at 6:15. Get home around 11.

Friday: Work. Shop. Continue putting ornaments on the tree. This won't be finished until Sunday...only 10 days after the tree went up!

And that weekend was the weekend of our Festival of Lessons and Carols, which although beautiful and fun, is also a lot of work.

You may think from this post that I hate the holidays. You'd be completely wrong. I LOVE Christmas!! I just hate all the non-important cr@p (like, for instance, WORK) that gets in the way of my holiday fun. I was all put out this year that due to working full time, I could not put in my normal two full days of cookie baking and was only able to produce 23 dozen of 6 different kinds. Usually I go for about 8-10 kinds. And I'd bake for three days if I could get away with it!!

Squelching on my holiday fun also were our architects, one of which showed up at our doorstep on Saturday afternoon before Christmas and said, "Hey, I know we still need to patch some drywall for you, and I know you said you wanted advance notice, so I thought I'd let you know that they can come tomorrow!!" Fortunately, I was not the one that answered the door. Advance notice. Uh-hunh. Well, I guess for a man that usually calls our home phone during a work day at 11am and leaves a message saying that someone will be available at 2 and can we be home then...that is advance notice. We usually hear those messages when we get home at 7.

Now, I don't know if you've experienced drywall repairs, but sanding drywall creates this hyper-fine white dust that insidiously creeps throughout the house, covering literally every horizontal surface (and most vertical ones). It will show up in rooms where you've had the doors closed or two floors down from where a repair was done if you're not careful. Last time we had a repair made, I built a plastic cube for the guy to work in and carried pan after pan of boiling water up the stairs to humidify the cube so the dust would hopefully settle! Anyway, after I completely blew up and said I didn't have time to deal with this (T-minus 3.5 days 'til family events, with nary a present wrapped, nary a cookie baked), Michael insisted that he'd take care of everything.

Sunday after church he moved furniture, wrapped it in plastic and taped up drop cloths. Then he ran into the other architect, who actually seems like he might live on the same planet as the rest of the human race. That architect told Michael that they were actually showing up Monday. Great. That's cookie day. I had to pause the baking until "Pig-Pen", our drywaller, left. I am still unsure how he managed to get drywall paste on our bedside table, when it was a good ten linear feet from a patch site, or a good six feet from one through a wall. The first architect showed up at some point to ask if they could come back on Christmas Eve to finish. The conversation went something like this:

Me: We're going to be gone that day.

Architect of Unreality: Well, you can just let us in in the morning.

Me: I don't want to be cleaning up when we get home that night.

Architect of Unreality: We'll clean up!

Me: <pause...while I remember past experiences of what this architect labels "clean" and while I try to think of a way to explain his unacceptableness in this area...I settle for> Yeah, but I'm really picky.

Architect of Unreality: <who fortunately has past experiences with me, too> Yeah...OK.

Instead, they're going to show up on the 23rd at 10 and 5!! Fabulous! That's not going to destroy the day at all! "Pig-Pen" leaves at about 7, cursing and banging walls with his ladder and asking, "How did you get the furniture in here??" to which I respond, "Very carefully!" and avoid adding, "unlike how you're navigating with your ladder!"

Now, at this point in the day, the cookies are baked, yea, verily, and even assembled for transport to various households, they have been delivered to our hairstylist (who, along with his wife, is the most appreciative cookie recipient EVER!), and I am looking forward to a relaxing evening watching something and wrapping. Instead, however, Michael's "I'll do it all" slightly breaks down and I end up spraying down plastic sheets with water, wiping down walls on two floors, holding the ladder while Michael uses it at angles it was never intended to be used at, sweeping, and mopping. Fortunately, I only lose a couple hours, and all wrapping is done by about 11:30 or so.

Then the good stuff could happen...all day with my parents and my sisters, watching smiles light up, goodies be consumed, and paper fly. And, totally scoring with the nieces and nephews. The nephews (ages twentysomething) got The Dangerous Book for Boys, which I thought they might cast aside...but by the afternoon they both had their noses buried and were trying out the perfect paper airplane (one's flying jets for the Navy =). The nieces (teen and just out of college) got Vera all-in-one wristlets (thanks again, Angela, for the suggestion!!) which they loved. The youngest niece got a hand-stitched ornament (which I sadly do not seem to have a picture of!), a build-your-own track marble game (both of which elicited "Cool!")...and...a teensy kiddie starter digital camera in pink. Which, it turned out, and unbeknownst to me, had been on her list since summer. Goooooaaaalllll!

On Christmas, we went to church in the morning (a first for us; usually we do Christmas Eve service). The service was beautiful and it was fabulous to start our celebration of our Lord and Savior's birth on the actual day! After church (and presents) we went out to visit Michael's parents for the rest of the day.

And here is why my hubby is the presents were

If you're still with me, you deserve a medal. If you clicked down here from the top, well...I had a fabulous, but busy and sometimes annoying, Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, whether you observed it or not. And I pray you have a healthy, fulfilling new year!

Old Geek-outs