Thursday, December 29, 2011


Another Christmas has come and gone. Thank goodness.

The flooring guys wanted to deliver the flooring on the Thursday before Christmas, just hours before company was to arrive. They couldn't get the long boards down the cellar stairs, so they stacked the boards a dozen deep in a corner of one room. The pile seemed awfully heavy, and the fact that they were all placed along a single joist didn't help matters. When I inquired about the safety of this, the owner of the company agreed that yeah, that seemed too heavy and placed wrongly, so the guys had to return and re-stack the piles. I suspect there will be a construction nightmare in my future.

I drove to my father and stepmother's house on Christmas Eve. Traffic was light - I assume everyone left Thursday afternoon or Friday, leaving Saturday morning free for me - which was a pleasant surprise. My sister and her two teenaged sons arrived a few hours later. The boys almost immediately entertained themselves with electronics. Unfortunately, the crazy stepmother decided they needed to be "entertained," so she popped in a DVD of a movie called The Blue Butterfly, a 2004 indie flick about a 10-year-old boy dying of cancer who wanted to go to South America to see a beautiful butterfly. This seemed (a) a little depressing for Christmas and (b) not all that entertaining for two teenaged boys. They disappeared quickly, I changed rooms to read a book, and my sister and father had a conversation in the kitchen until they were shushed. Shushed? I thought the whole point of getting together at a holiday was to TALK. My father says to his wife, "Gee, it looks like no one else is interested in the movie." Her reply: "I don't care." Indeed.

We survived dinner and the grand gift opening. The teens both wanted, God help us, "Beats by Dr. Dre," because adding some old rapper's name to a set of headphones makes them worth three hundred bucks.* At least their mother had the good sense not to buy the darn things for her kids. Various people, including me, contributed gift cards that helped the cause. I'm going to hope that this provides a good lesson in opportunity cost for the young pair.

My headache the next morning was better than usual. Although one might reasonably guess that the source of the headache was distilled at 80 proof or so, but that would be incorrect. The combination of an overheated house and something I'm allergic to - cat hair, I suspect - combines to create a sinus headache every year. I just dial that in. I managed to escape without taking any ham home. I like ham, but there are limits. This season, I was eating on ham no. 1 (leftovers from a get-together) when ham no. 2 (dinner for company) arrived. Hence, I had no need for ham no. 3 (Christmas dinner). Back on the road.

I don't mind people who drive faster than I do. I try to stay out of the left lane except when passing. During the holidays, when traffic is heavy, most everyone drives sanely. Still, there are always a few jackasses aggressive drivers who blow down the right lane until they're (inevitably) close behind another car and wonder how to change lanes, or who zig-zag among the lanes, assuming the rest of the drivers will get out of their way. Also: a solid line means do not change lanes, people. It's not that difficult.**

At least the world ends around December 21 next year. That will save me a bundle on gifts.


*I needed new headphones, too. Sennheiser 202 II for $20 at Amazon. Does Rasputina really sound that much better on audiophile headphones?

**I made an exception for myself when I encountered a petrified lady driving about 40 mph on an exit ramp connecting two interstate highways. Sorry, ma'am.

No comments: