Yesterday was pretty busy so I wasn’t able to get around to posting
anything about the holidays here. I’ve had several folks very anxious to
hear the goings-on, so figured I’d best bust ass and get something up
here before a lynch mob shows up at my door. Thankfully, I don’t think
this will be quite as eventful as you might hope.
But maybe it will.
I left work at 4:00p Friday, December 20 for vacation. It was time off,
but since I’m the only one around work who knows how to deal with web
related issues, I was still on call the whole time for emergency
situations. I run a pretty tight ship on that stuff, though, which means
that I very rarely get calls. (That’s a good thing.)
By 5:00p that night I got a call. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s an
“emergency” where someone needed access to a particular web site. It
doesn’t matter that any one of the techs at work (still there, mind you)
could have done it; I got the call. I had another one of these
“emergency access request” calls earlier in the week, and when I finally
got dialed in from home and did the operation, I called the guy back and
he was like, “Oh, well, I’m out with my wife now, so I guess it wasn’t
that important. Never mind.” So I don’t really think this was that much
of an emergency, but since I’m getting paid to deal with it, I did.
I did not get any further calls during my vacation, and that rocked.
My sister, Tai, and her husband, Dan, packed up their things in Provo,
Utah, and moved themselves back in with my parents here in Oregon the
weekend of Dec. 21/22. They swore up and down when they left that they
would never live in Oregon because he doesn’t want to be near his family
and… well, actually, I don’t know that Tai was against living in
Oregon. Either way, they were definitely not living in Oregon.
Guess who’s got egg on their face now, eh?
My other sister, Tori, flew in that weekend as well (I think?) and also
stayed with my parents. They went from no kids to three kids in their
house in a matter of days. I felt sort of sorry for them and their
“houseguests,” but they asked for it.
I think that weekend, the 21/22, my dad, Tori, Jenn, and I all went to
see Lord of the Rings: The Two
Towers. I may write up a review on
it, I may not. My opinion of it was, well, not so high. I thought there
were lots of problems with the first movie, most notable of which is
that it was three hours long and not actually worth three hours of my
time. It took too long getting anywhere, and the fights seemed more pomp
and circumstance than anything I should actually be concerned over the
characters for. I also can’t stand Tolkien’s writing - too much detail,
too long, too epic, not enough story to keep me interested. The Two
Towers followed suit. It’s sort of like Peter Jackson filmed one
nine-hour movie, then arbitrarily cut it up into three pieces and moved
on. There was no intro to The Two Towers - you start out and just
flail around and hope you can remember what happened in the last movie.
Then you finally figure it out and see that it really doesn’t matter
anyway, because this movie is going to take off on some sidetrack for
most of the time and not even really deal too much with how the ring
progresses towards Mordor. Anyway, I felt a little cheated, as did
Christmas Eve and Christmas were shaping up to be sort of
controversy-laden, but I skated through them without too much issue.
Last year it was very confusing - Christmas Eve night we went to Jenn’s
grandma’s house, then we went to my parents’ house; Christmas morning we
were at Jenn’s parents’ house, then we went back to my parents’ house. I
think at some point Jenn ended up going to her other set of
grandparents’ house, too, but I don’t really remember. This year it was
beginning to look like that, then some family issues on Jenn’s side
caused some serious confusion as to whether anyone was doing anything at
all, and, if so, what time things were happening. It ended up where
their entire family was planning everything around the fact that Jenn’s
sister didn’t have custody of her daughter for Christmas day until like
8:00p or something, and Jenn’s mom asked for Christmas day off and not
Christmas Eve, so no one could get anything together because no one’s
schedules meshed. I’ll admit I don’t understand why you would plan an
entire extended family’s holiday schedule around one four-year-old, but
that’s just me. I did my best to avoid getting involved with the
planning of that side of things, instead choosing to just do what I
needed to do and hope for the best.
It ended up going like this: Christmas Eve Jenn and I went to my
parents’ house. There we opened stockings and a couple of gifts.
Christmas morning Jenn and I opened our gifts to each other, then went
on an unplanned foray to Jenn’s parents’ house because Jenn and her
sister “weren’t feeling like it was Christmas” without getting together
over there. After that, we went to my parents’ house where we finished
opening gifts. Later on, Jenn’s parents and sister came over, my dad’s
parents came over, and we all ate. It got a little chaotic there at the
end and Mom started tearing out her hair (she needs to not stress over
that stuff, but then, I’m not one to say anything; I stress over stuff
that might happen), but once people started leaving, things calmed
down and everything was cool again. That night, Jenn and I went back to
Jenn’s parents’ house so we could watch Aurora (Jenn’s sister’s
four-year-old) open her presents. Let me tell you how stimulating that
was. After that, we finally went home, exhausted from the holiday.
So what did I get? Well, I’ll list a few of the things, but honestly, I
don’t remember every single thing off the top of my head, or exactly who
gave me what. I gave my thank-yous in person and have since wiped it
from my brain. Just let it be known that I appreciate each and every
item donated to the cause (me).
Stuff I Got:
I’m pretty sure I got some other stuff, too, but I don’t recall off
hand. If/when I do, I’ll tack it on to the list above.
One thing I didn’t put on the list: My new prize possessions. I got two
shirts from Jenn’s grandma (step-grandma?) that require some mention
here. Imagine a polo shirt made out of very, very thin cotton. Sort of
like a cheap t-shirt. Three buttons at the collar, which is also made of
this thin cotton (not the stuff a real polo shirt collar is made from).
Elastic surrounds the waist and both arms. Each shirt is divided into
thirds from left to right, like three giant vertical stripes. The third
on the right contains smaller vertical stripes of teal, dark blue, and
white. The middle third is entirely white. The left third on one shirt
is teal, the other shirt is dark blue. The collar of each shirt matches
the left third of its respective shirt.
I don’t know when I’m going to wear these. I don’t own any white
loafers or polyester pants, and I’m not going on a senior citizens
cruise any time soon, so I’m at a loss. I think I’ll bring them into
work and put them on the “shirt wall” we have in the back for odd and
annoying shirts we receive.
The rest of Christmas week played out very light. I played a bit of
PS2, renting a game called Burnout
game was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t worth $50. I like winning and all,
but there was so little challenge that I was near to unstoppable at the
game. I won way too easily. Then again, if I wasn’t winning and the
challenge was there, I would have thought the game pretty repetetive.
Either way, if it was a $20 game I’d have snapped it up, but at $50,
it’s only worth the rent.
At some point between Christmas and New Year’s, Jenn and I went to see
Two Weeks Notice. It was a
pleasant romantic comedy and I must say I was much more pleased with it
than I was with Maid In
Manhattan. It was
fun, and I felt good coming out of it.
New Year’s was sort of lame. On New Year’s Eve, Jenn and I went to the
Winter Hawks game against Seattle and
watched the Hawks lose 5-3. We were supposed to go with Jenn’s friend
Apryl and her husband Tony, but we found out that after about a year of
marriage, Apryl and Tony are splitting up. It’s unfortunate, especially
because I really liked Tony and hanging out with him, but it sounds like
it’s for the best. I forgot to ask Apryl if she wanted to move in with
Jenn and I and be part of my harem, but I think maybe it’s too soon. :)
Anyway, Apryl ended up coming to the game with her brother, and rather
than coming back to our place with him to play games, they went to one
of Apryl’s friend’s houses.
That night, Jenn and I went home after the game and played Trivial
Pursuit 20th Anniversary
I have never felt dumber. All the questions in the game were stuff that
happened in the last 20 years and on a good majority of them, I had no
clue. I cleaned up at all of the music and movie questions, but outside
of that category it was hit or miss… mostly miss. That was the longest
game of Trivial Pursuit ever. (Jenn ended up winning, but I wasn’t far
I don’t really remember what we did New Year’s Day. I think we went to
the mall or something, but who’s to say?
Friday night, Jan. 3, Jenn and I went to see Catch Me If You Can. It
was pretty good. I had a good time seeing how this kid kept duping
everyone and making fake checks, knowing it was all based on actual
happenings. Plus, Christopher Walken was in that as the kid’s dad, and I
love Christopher Walken.
At the same time we saw that movie, we found that the theaters in our
area jacked up the ticket prices. It used to be $5.50 to see a matinee
and $7.50 to see a prime time show; now it’s $6 to see a matinee and
$8 to see a prime time show. Sure, that’s not a lot in the scheme of
things (especially considering that’s low compared to the national
average, from what I can tell), but it’s a lot from my frame of
reference. Not to sound like an old miser, but I can remember when you
could get into the prime time picture for $6. I’m not so sure that
upping the price of movies in a down economy is the smartest way to go,
especially when, in times of depression, the first portion of a person’s
budget to get cut is the entertainment part. I guess I will invest more
heavily in Blockbuster or something.
Maybe Netflix is the way to go. We’ll see.
Also Friday night, Jenn and I totally spaced that we had a Winter Hawks
game to go to. For some reason, we thought the next game was on Sunday
but there was also one that Friday. To avoid getting hassled, we told
the folks there that we had to have dinner with my family because of
Tori’s imminent return to school, but that was just to avoid the grief.
So there you go - if you were one of the victims of the lie, I trust
you to keep the truth under wraps. You know who you are.
I finished off my vacation Sunday night (Jan. 5th) by going to a Winter
Hawks game (where we lost 3-2 to Kelowna) and then coming home for a
well-needed new episode of
Alias. I was
not so pleased with the hockey game, but the Alias episode rocked. I
love the Marshal
and I hope he continues to be a prominent figure.
Thus I returned to work on Monday, January 6. Upon returning, I began
to wonder if things actually run when I’m not in the office, as I
parsed through quite a bit of email, most of it requiring action on my
part. I’m almost caught up now, though I’m still trying to remember what
I was up to with certain projects two weeks ago and doing my best to
come back up to speed.
Last night Jenn brought home one of those Pilates inflatable ball
workout DVDs and the ball and started in with that. I tried it out, too
(hey, I gotta get off my fat ass and do something before I atrophy away
into nothing), but I think the ball is about six inches in diameter too
small. I’ll try it again, and if it’s something I could do on a regular
basis, maybe I’ll get a larger ball.
My cat, Xev (who is eight months old and still only about six pounds,
and who I have taken to calling “Tiny Tiny” because of that), has
started standing up and looking around like a prairie dog. If anything
gets her attention, she’ll sit up very tall, sometimes even on just the
toes of her back feet, and look around for it. I’m going to see if I can
train her to walk around upright like a little person. I think that’d be
I’ve started working out of the tassel-making books I got for Christmas
and have discovered that making a tassel is harder than you might think.
I’ve only made a couple, but I’m already coming to understand that the
thicker the string you work with for the skirt of the tassel, the easier
it is. I’ve tried a few with a thin rayon thread, but they usually are
pretty hard to get to work and I think they turn out sort of poorly.
I’ve done one with some hand-weaving wool (sort of like thin yarn) and
it turned out really nice, so maybe I’ll go that route for a while.
I’m also starting to really get into watching the director’s
commentaries on the various DVDs I’ve got. I just watched the one for
the other night and it was really interesting to hear some of the
stories the actors and the director have from the making of that movie.
They also did something different with that commentary than they
normally do - they actually showed the actors and the director while the
commentary was going on. I kind of liked that; the movie played in the
bottom corner of the screen, and you could watch the reactions of the
commentators as the show was going on. (Also, I still think Kerri
Green is totally hot, and you
got some good footage of her in there.)