Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas and Other Matters

I haven't been feeling all that Christmasy this year, for reasons most of you can imagine. But we've been working hard this weekend at getting a bit more into the spirit. I spent Friday afternoon shopping like crazy and with just one or two little exceptions, I got it done. I got tons of great bargains off Amazon.com--I probably slashed the bills in half for what I thought I'd pay for certain items and I know the recipients will be pleased with what they get. I also know my brother-in-law will love what my dad is getting, as when I told Lucas about it, he started writhing with joy and anticipation. So at least I've hit on one winner for sure.

Do you have tough people to shop for? I sure do! MY MOTHER! (I know you're reading this, Mom, and I want you to know you are the toughest person on my list this year!) Ask my mom what she wants for Christmas. Go ahead. I dare you. Dimes to donuts, she'll tell you, "stamps". She will also tell you this for her birthday, Mother's Day, Flag Day, and Easter. Stamps don't cut it with me. The laugh's on her, however. I came up with a few little things and yesterday had a stroke of absolute genius, so fortunately I know what she's getting now, and it's brilliant.

My husband is also a challenge. I was going to get him a nice surprise of satellite radio this year. I went to Best Buy to find out about getting it. Why is it that those little geeks at Best Buy treat women shopping alone like gum on their shoe? I hate that! This little twerp was so condescending about what I'd need and spent all of 15 seconds with me before turning to the guy behind me and talking his ear off with a completely different tone of voice and body language and everything. This is the second bad experience I've had at Best Buy in the past couple months. So I'm not going in there unless I know what I need and I don't need to ask questions about it. Jerks. So now I'm stumped on a gift for the Mister. I know one thing he wants, but I need to find him a surprise too!

Yesterday, we spent the day at our friends Paul and Kris's home in Springfield. Each year, their church puts on a big shindig. It's a lovely concert for Christmas with a huge choir and orchestra, the pastor says a few words, and there are a few dramatic interpretations (although they save that largely for Easter). I don't know why, but whenever I go to big productions like that I get all weepy, and yesterday was no exception. I handled it, you know, but frankly it's getting embarrassing. I'm becoming one of those weepy women.

Afterwards we went back to their house for a big lasagna dinner. Paul is a fantastic cook, and we really enjoyed ourselves being loved up on by the dogs and cats, meeting their nephew and his wife, as well as catching up with a friend of theirs that we see at every Christmas and Easter show. Driving home, we both agreed that now it feels like the holidays. The show really kicked it off for us both.

Then we returned home to our cold, dark little house. We didn't do Christmas lights this year. I'm a bit sad about it, but a) my sister is the one who always goes up on the ladder, and she's in no fit state to do so this year, and b) I'm not so sure I want to pay the electric bill for it this year. We don't have up a tree yet, and that's going to have to wait till next weekend. Pretty much all that's up are the two nativity sets. One was my grandfather's and one is one that my dad gave me a few years ago.

I got a defective advent calendar this year! There was no little box for 12 or 13, and one of the boxes didn't have a number on it! Freakin' German paper engineering!

Today will be grocery shopping and enjoying the last few days of peace and quiet before the storm arrives. Everyone is arriving on the weekend and next Monday. Tuesday I have 2 medical appointments--the doctor in the morning and the dentist in the afternoon, but I've commanded my dad to take me to the dentist as I'm having both sides of my mouth done, because I just want to get it over and done with. However, I don't especially like going, the General is getting his crown replaced, and I just don't want to have to drive. I'm going to let Mom cook for everyone :-) Or something. (Surprise, Mom!)

This week at work will be pretty laid back. I have very few appointments to handle as most people don't want to see you this week. My busy day will be on Friday--I actually have 3 people pencilled in. And I have 2 on Wednesday. Tuesday and Thursday I'm still trying to work people in so I don't have to go to Fairfax. I have one a piece then. Monday is our big office party and staff meeting day. Apparently we're going out to eat, Kris informed me, and I have to ready myself for the gift exchange. I drew a hard pick this year, so I'm going with the infamous baked goods gift. I also have to make Kris some scones today--she won my baked goods auction item for the Combined Virginia Campaign at work.

And we have to go to the dump and the grocery store. So today will be quite busy. Fortunately there are some very good football games on today, so I can enjoy the sounds of the General hollering his head off while I bake up goodies for other people to eat. They warn us in Weight Watchers about "food pushers"--people who are constantly trying to get you to eat a little of this and a bite of that, or a bunch of something else. I have become the ultimate food pusher. I don't want to give up baking, but I'm not eating much of that stuff any more, so I send it work with Michael, I let him eat it, I take it to my office or to book club. Anything to have it out of the house. I still have about a dozen scones left (should have given out more at book club!), so they're becoming part of my gift for the gift swap. Hope she likes 'em!

Michael is loving the new job and I am loving the new him! He has so much more energy from getting an extra hour and a half of sleep that I fear I may not be able to keep up with him a whole lot longer. He rolls out of bed ready to take on the world, and comes home with a grin on his face. He keeps saying, "I made a good decision, Susan." And I believe he has. I think he likes the Marines way of doing things. You say, "Joe, I want a cup of coffee" and two seconds later, you have a cup of coffee. There's no taking it to the committee, discussing for days the various coffee additives, and what you might have meant. There's just coffee. That certainly appeals to his no-nonsense side.

As for me, we have two exciting new retail businesses opening here soon and I am strongly considering trying to get myself hired at either one. We are getting a Barnes & Noble here, and I'd love to work there doing something other than stocking and selling. I'll have to check their job listings to see if maybe they need an event planner or something like that. The other is Wegman's, which is opening in June. I really would like to open a decent bakery here in town, and I really don't know the first thing about it. So I thought if I could get myself hired on at the Wegman's bakery, which is a real bakery, not a fakery like the grocery store, then I could learn tons about what goes into it and would probably wind up forgetting all about the dreams of working there. I asked the General, "Would you still love me if I quit my good job and went to work at a grocery store?" and he said, "I'd still love you even if you were just bagging groceries at the grocery store." Awww. What a guy.

So that's the news from here. I hear him in the shower, so I'm going to get myself dressed and ready to roll for the day's tasks. Hope everyone's having a fun weekend!

4 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Melissa said...

You know that Wegmans is consitently voted the top place to work? I think you would LOVE working there! And you might get a discount!

B&N in Fred huh? That's AWESOME!!!! B&N is sooooo much better than Borders....should work in both places! :)

So glad The General is enjoying the new job! :)

manda said...

I'll get a job at Barnes and Noble with you. Think they hire librarians.

Elizabeth said...

There's a lady named Teresa Velasquez who owns the bakery Baked & Wired in Georgetown (best cupcakes ever, anyone? How about ode-worthy pumpkin bread?). I've seen her around the store and she seems really nice. If you dropped her an email I bet she would talk to you about what it's like to start a successful bakery.

I feel strangely confident that you are going to utterly rock all your goals and dreams.

Seraphim9 said...

Another reason why we need to move up there....so you and I can open a bakery together!!! :-)