Friday, December 26, 2008

Dear God, What Have We Done?

Santa's big "surprise" this year was Rock Band 2 for the Wii. I'm proud to say the my son is quite an artist with the fake, plastic guitar. He's getting the hang of the fake, plastic drums, too. But let me tell you, he may possibly be the worst . . . singer . . . ever!

Granted, he doesn't know the words to any of the songs, and he's just hearing most of them for the first time, so belting the lyrics out karaoke style is not an easy task. I think he's trying to compensate by shouting louder and louder. Dang, it's awful.

Overall it's a great game. I was reluctant at first, since we already have Guitar Hero, but now that I've played a few times I'm hooked, too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Have a merry one.

This next picture is blurry, but I just put it there to prove that I put enough lights on the tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas List

Here's a Christmas meme that several bloggers I follow have taken up. I thought I would join in.

Wrapping paper or gift bags?
For Christmas, for the three of us, we usually wrap. For everything and everyone else, bags whenever possible. My wife and I are the worst gift wrappers in the world. It's become a joke between us to see who can screw it up the most.

Real tree or artificial?
Real since about 1992. Firs are well worth the extra cost for the ease of decorating and reduced needle droppage. Artificial when I was growing up. It never occurred to me to want a real tree when I was a kid, because I always enjoyed putting the color coded limbs into the trunk.

When do you put up the tree?
Usually the first or second weekend in December.

When do you take the tree down?
The first weekend after New Years Day, or earlier sometimes.

Do you like egg nog?
I did as a kid - the dairy case variety. We've had a bottle of alcoholic egg nog in the likker cabinet for three years and I've never been tempted to try it. I'm thinking it needs to go down the drain.

Favorite gift received as a child?
Schwinn 10 speed bike. I was thirteen or fourteen.

Hardest person to buy for?
My wife or my mother. Toss up because neither really wants or needs anything and neither will give me any hints.

Easiest person to buy for?
My son. He tells us what he wants, but his list is surprisingly short given his age.

Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, but it's part of a setup that TB calls his "town", so it's interwoven with firetrucks and other symbols of modern life.

Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Mail. I've never sent an e-card for any occasion, believe it or not.

Worst Christmas gift you've ever received?
A sack of "Fartless Chili", which was something I took to an office gift exchange where you trade back and forth. I ended up with my own offering because no one else wanted it. Imagine that!

Favorite Christmas movie?
It's a Wonderful Life. I haven't seen that many, though.

When do you start shopping?
Generally in a one day blast, on whichever day is the most convenient after Thanksgiving. This year it has not happened yet, which makes me a little nervous because I like to make another mini shopping blast closer to the day.

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No, I don't think so.

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
We have gone to friends' for Christmas breakfast for the last 12 years or so, and I always look forward to the crumbly blueberry thing. I have no idea what it's really called.

Lights on the tree?
Yes, white ones. LBB always says I don't put enough lights on, but there are plenty. I'll post a picture one day to prove it.

Favorite Christmas song?
Do You Hear What I Hear?

Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home. We travel at Thanksgiving instead. It's easy to get away with this, since I grew up in upstate NY and the weather can always be a factor for getting up there in December.

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
No problem. Even if I were completely intoxifried, this is a list I could recite.

Open the presents on Christmas eve or morning?

Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Cold weather and stress.

Favorite ornament theme or color?
That's not my committee, so I have no idea.

Favorite Christmas memory?
When I was a little boy and the "reindeer bells" would ring to tell me it was time to go to bed on Christmas eve.

What do you want for Christmas this year?

  • Renewed optimism in America.
  • A traditional diner in Roanoke where Ranch dressing is not even an option; they serve a fried egg and tomato sandwich 24/7; french fries and gravy are a staple; sub sandwiches arrive cold, as they should be unless there are meatballs up in it; and they have a rack of spinning pies near the front door.
  • Continued loud laughter from my wife and son.
  • Good health for my family and friends.
  • Inspiration to renew this blog and my writing in general, since they have been way far in the back yard lately.
  • A good snow.

Mom with Kitten, 1945

We bought a digital photo frame, which sadly did not work, for my mother for Christmas. While looking for pictures to load on the SD card I came across this shot of my mother in 1945. She was sixteen at the time, already graduated from high school, and probably working full time somewhere.