By the way…

Since I am talking about it so much, perhaps I should show it off a bit.  This is the picture we used for our Christmas card this year.      Our House

Plus, I wanted to see how adding pictures worked.  Not exactly what I was expecting.  I thought the picture would be embeded in the post.  I have a lot to learn about this whole blogging thing.

Auld Lang Syne…

Let me start by saying that S and I have no land telephone line.  Each of us has a cell phone and my cell phone is what we consider to be the house phone, since I am always here and it is the only number we give out.  S’s phone is the emergency phone.  She carries it with her to school and to class and only uses to call home when she needs a ride or can’t use the land line at school.  Her phone always has the ringer off, but is always on.  Somehow a few people (family and friends) have gotten her number and call it as a first resort, not a last resort.  That’s irritating, but we can live with it.

Several months ago two friends of ours were moving out of state for grad school.  A third friend was in charge of planning the good-bye party.  The party planner texted us the time/date/info about the party, but sent it to S’s phone which is almost never checked over the summer.  We missed the party.  Well, missed it in the sense that when she finally called our home phone the day before the party, we had already made other plans that we couldn’t cancel.  I am pretty sure that I explained to her that she should send all future messages to the home phone.  Then again, we don’t see this friend (and I use the term loosely) all that often anyway.

This morning the friend sent another text about another party, but again it was to S’s phone.  I got the message right away because I was in the process of charging it and heard the vibration.  Here’s my gripe about today’s message.  She says that there is a slumber party on New Year’s Eve and then gives the time and address of the party.  But I know the address isn’t hers or any other person that I might possibly know.  She didn’t mention whose house was hosting the party, just the address.  Isn’t that odd?  Why would I want to spend the night at the home of someone I do not know?  What if we just accidentally got the text that was actually meant for someone else?  And yes, I could just call her and ask, but I shouldn’t have to.  And it’s not like we are going to go to the party anyway.  So, I can’t just call and ask questions and then say that we’re busy that night.  But I would like to know.  And I also have to wonder if she bothered to listen to me when I told about the phone number usage a couple of months ago.  Maybe she is only sending an invite because she feels she has to, but sent it to S’s number in hopes that we wouldn’t get the message.  Damn her and her demented text messaging ways.

S and I prefer to stay at home on New Year’s Eve.  If we have to go out, we try to be home by midnight so that we can ring in the new year with just one another.  We like to drink sparkling grape juice and play marathon games of Scrabble.  Sounds boring, I suppose, but we really enjoy it.

I also have this theory that the thing you do or the people that you spend time with on the first day of the year is indicative of how you will spend the rest of the year.  It’s been a pretty solid theory so far.  One year we went over to S’s parent’s house on Jan 1 and then we ended up seeing them  at least every two weeks for the rest of the year (which was a lot considering that was during the time period when they really hated me).  For a couple of years we drove two hours to spend New Years and New Years day with some friends and then for the rest of those two years we ended up seeing them at least once a month all year.  Another year we had a particularly elusive friend over on New Years day and then we ended up seeing her more than a dozen times through the year.  It has also worked when we have just spent the day alone with each other watching movies.  Yep, spent the rest of the year having intense visitations with the video store.

All of that is to explain why I take great pains to plan out what we are going to do New Years day and pretty much pay little attention to how we spend New Years Eve.  Although I can pretty much say flat out that we will not be slumber partying at the house of someone I do not know.  Just think of it…  We would be waking up at the home of a stranger on New Years day and that could very well lead to use being destined to spend the year waking up in stranger’s homes.  Yuck.

Post Christmas Extravaganza…

S’s family always gives us Christmas money in addition to be overly generous on the Christmas gift front.  I am not complaining, but it is kind of odd to me that someone’s parents, not my own, would give me money.  And it is also odd to get a card with $100 in it and to have it signed Mr & Mrs S.  The sister-in-laws call S’s parents “Mom” and “Dad” but I just haven’t gotten to that point yet, even though S and I have been together 10 years and the other ladies are additions within the past 5 years.  Probably it’s the gay thing.  And really, the formal addressing is the most minor thing we have faced with them, so it’s hardly considered a point of contention.

 Anyway, back to the cash.  S has used most of her Christmas bonus (as I like to call it) to buy these purple Dr. Martens.  She is very excited.  I took my Christmas Bonus to Half Price Books, which is my most favorite store.  Usually I get a small carrying basket when I go into the store, planning on buying just a few books, but this time, I got an actual shopping cart, knowing that I was going to be obscene in my book shopping.  I didn’t quite fill the cart, but when we checked out, the cashier asked if I would prefer he load the books into a big box, rather than using multiple plastic bags. 

Here’s this list of books I purchased…

The Death of Right and Wrong by Tammy Bruce

Judging Thomas by Ken Foskett

Bill Clinton: An American Journey by Nigel Hamilton

John Tyler: The Accidental President by Edward B. Crapol

Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare by Phillip Short

High Jinx by William F. Buckley

James Monroe by Gary Hart

American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Amongst Us by Steven Emerson

Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

James Madison by Garry Wills

The Warren Commission Report

A History of the American People by Paul Johnson

I am a book fiend.  I admit it.  I love books.  We have an extra bedroom that we use as an office, but instead of calling it the office, I call it the library.  My next home renovation project is to line the walls of that room with built-in book shelves.  I’m even going to go fancy and put in those halogen spot lights. 

Youth…

Take a look at these photos of the 2008 Presidential candidates then and now.  They say John Edwards was hot in his youth, but I am digging the hunky photo of John McCain in his fighter pilot gear.

[The link is to TMZ.com which may have further links to pictures or stories that are not kid-friendly.]

Christmas 2007

Not bad, not bad at all, really.  On Christmas Eve we traveled to visit S’s family.  They have a tradition of gathering at the grandparent’s house for a small family party.  It was just her grandparents, parents, brothers and their wives.  Calm and peaceful by all accounts. 

When I first started going to these parties ten years ago I had no idea how to interact with S’s family.  They all drink, a lot.  At first, I did not partake in the libations because we didn’t spend the night there and I was going to have to be driving.  S’s family doesn’t look kindly on people who don’t drink.  It is suspicious behavior to them.  Once we started spending the night for Christmas, I started to drink at the parties.  Two years ago a I drank a lot of beer.  And then S’s whole family started peer pressuring me into doing shots of various hard alcohols.  And sadly, I gave in.  At the end of the night I was wasted like I had never been wasted before.  As we turned in for the night, I lost control of my vomit reflex and puked all over their sofa.  I was ashamed of myself and begged God to put an end to me right then and there.  But the odd thing was, it was a turning point in my relationship with S’s family.  That is the exact moment they finally accepted me and accepted us as a couple.  My boorish behavior was apparently endearing.  My puking on their sofa made me one of them.  Go figure…

Last year, S’s brother D started a new tradition called Christmas Memory.  Essentially it is just like the child’s game of memory but with Christmas related pictures.  We played in couples and it was really competitive.  We were vying to win the “secret gift” which turned out to be one of those clear plastic bowls that you fill with candy or seeds for decoration.  S and I won and were then responsible for bringing the prize gift this year.  Instead of finding some crappy gift, we went to a trophy store and purchased a gold cup on a marble pedestal that we had inscribed with the words “Christmas Cup“.  There are also name plates all around the base so that each year’s winners can be inscribed for further glory.  Whichever couple wins gets to keep the trophy for the year.  It was a big hit.  D & B won this year and the month old marital union of J & L hit the skids when they did so poorly in the game.  Good times…

On Christmas day we traveled for several hours and a whole tank of gas to my brother DK’s house.  Everyone was there and it was absolute pandemonium with the opening of the gifts and the noise produced by my gift for SK.  We only stayed for a few hours, which was a few hours more than I could really handle.  I don’t know why, but everyone seemed to think I was upset when we were leaving.  I wasn’t, really, but it’s frustrating when you want to leave and ten people are asking you not to.  DK walked us out to our overstuffed car and asked, “Why do you have to get back so soon?”  To which I replied, “Because we have been away.”  What was I supposed to say?  Make up a lie?  I just wanted to get home.  I am like that all of the time, it’s called a pattern of behavior.  I don’t know why it always comes as some surprise to my family when I pack up and leave early.

 But we made it home by late Christmas night and I couldn’t have been happier to pull up to our house.  I love our home.  I hate leaving it for any reason, for any length of time.  I love sleeping in my own bed, drinking out of my own coffee cups and using my own bathroom.  I love my things and take comfort in knowing that if I need some Rolaids or an ibuprofen, I know exactly where they are.  I am a home-body and proud of it. 

Bad Aunt, part 2…

I may redeem myself on the bad aunt front, just for this particular holiday anyway.  For little SK, I got Band in a Box, which is a Melissa and Doug product.  It is comprised of real wood toys or musical instruments to be more precise.  There’s a tambourine, triangle, rhythm sticks, cymbals and more.  A loud toy.  And I can buy this because it is not my kid and I can leave the house when it gets loud and annoying. 

For L, I picked up The Daring Book For Girls, which I have been hearing great things about.  It is a primer on a whole slew of things that every girl should know.  I only wish I had a nephew so I would have had an excuse to buy The Dangerous book For Boys.  Maybe one of S’s brothers with give us nephews in the near future.

Greasy egg sandwich…

S is not feeling well this morning.  Not good.  We have so much to do and only today to do it. 

Last night we went to a little cafe in a really charming town (sort of reminded me of Stars Hollow from the Gilmore Girls) to see one of her fellow teachers perform with his band.  Musically they are pretty good.  But they really can’t sing. And I found myself thinking that there comes an age when men shouldn’t sing the Beatles line “She was just 17, if you know what I mean…”   These guys were way past that age.  Thankfully the cafe also had flat screen tv’s with the BYU/UCLA  football game on in HD.  I’d never seen anything quite so beautiful.  I am a football freak and finally seeing a game in HD was almost too much for me to take.

On the way home from our rare night out we stopped at a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts.  I needed something sweet and I knew there was just a small bit of pound cake left at home, not enough to share between the two of us.  I had no idea that S was going to order a greasy egg and sausage sandwich.  If I had known, I might not have stopped.  It just seemed like such a bad idea.  But she got it anyway and ate it with pleasure.  All was well until 4:00 am, when she woke up not feeling so great.  And she still isn’t feeling so great.  I blame the sandwich.  She blames a flu bug that she claims is going around.

I feel bad that I am going to have to press her into action on this ever so busy day.  But we have a security light on the side of the house that needs a new bulb and I am afraid of heights.  We have to get some more gifts.  We have to clean out the car before our holiday travel.  The dogs need to have their nails cut before I sic them on friends and family.  The gifts that we have yet to purchase will need to be wrapped.  We need to pack for our three days of holiday travel. 

And while I blame the greasy egg sandwich for all of this, I am still happy that we stopped to fill my sweet need last night.  When we got home we found that they dogs had managed to get the pound cake off of the counter and left not even one crumb.