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How quickly the month of December passes. Remember when you're a kid and it seems like xmas can't come fast enough? Whatever happened to that? So with the sun setting on the month and the 2014 calendar almost ready for the recycle bin, time to catch up on how the month went down and later (for a seperate post, if I have time) a review of the year in general.

Holiday Confections
So the 12th was our holiday party at work. Weeks before I was alone in the office when the admin from HR and a couple of people from the Holiday Party Committee came in with this gingerbread kit, some candy and an envelope. They said there was going to be a gingerbread house comptetition for the holiday party where each department was encouraged to participate and I was in charge of getting everyone involved in ours, but of course it's optional. Yeah, sure, like I'm going to get the executives to build a gingerbread house. I pretty much figured that it would be me and the Reception Admin, Jill, doing this thing. I had too much important stuff to do first so this kit sat on my desk for weeks. I really didn't see the point in starting it until the week of the holiday party. Then talk was getting around that it was getting pretty compeditive.  Jill had a good idea that, since we're the President's Office we should do a Gingerbread White House. I liked it. Not the most crafy person I popped out to the little mart across the street and spent $30 on candy and stuff to make this happen and Jill and I got started. The build worked out okay but it wasn't looking super pretty untill we got a lady who is somewhat department-less to work with us and she was a frickin' godsend. She had all this baking stuff at home and all these great ideas for it. We would work on it for an hour here and an hour there and I must say I was pretty proud of our final product.



Unfortunitly, at the holiday party, our house was no match for the skill of a couple of other departments. I mean, some of them looked like they were made by professional cake makers. Ah well. I'm still proud of what we created, especially for it just being the three of us.

Once it was done and time to clean up, I thought to myself, ugh all these confections, I'm so sick of being around all this sweet stuff. Yet on the 14th I still managed to do the annual holiday cookie baking day with my mum. This time though we did it at my place, as I finally have a place with a good amount of counter space. Made a quadruple batch of sugar cookies, dear lord it was a lot, but we had a good assembly line going. Also we made Hanukkah sugar cookies as well for the first time. My boss is Jewish so if I was going to take them into work (which is, of course, the point of baking them in the first place) I wanted to be all inclusive. I like it. I think I'll continue doing so.

My Birthday
Although my birthday is technically my favorite holiday of the year (becasue it's mine, all mine!) now that I'm in my 30s I have more of a Patton Oswalt approch to birthdays. Maybe not as far as saying I shouldn't have one, but there doesn't seem to be much cause for celebration in turning 32. Though I still like celebrating me, I'm not going to demand any big to-do. However, I had a very nice birthday all the same. My boss gave me flowers. My folks came to my office to see where I work and met my boss and they took me out to lunch. I opted for the Hurricane, since it's not going to be around much longer. (Sad, very sad, face) I got cake and stuff from co-workers the Friday before becasue there are so many December birthdays we had to spread out the treats. After work, I met up with Raye at the Rabbit Hole for some BFF time. She gave me way too many prezzies, a Dr Who mug and socks and the Neil Patrick Harris Choose Your Own Autobiography which is fucking amazing. A little while later my folks and Dani made it to the bar and Dani got me a writer's pin and a gift certificate to Elliot Bay Bookstore. I bussed it with my folks to theirs and my dad gave a ride home. Andy made me a delicious shrimp alfredo dish with a home-made goat-cheese bassed sause and we watched some Coupling. It was a very lovely day.

A Christmas Story
I got the the whole week of xmas off from work as a paid holiday (whoo hoo!) though for the most part I spent almost all of it either at home or at my folks' place with one exception. On Tuesday night the four of us had tickets to A Christmas Story at the 5th Ave. It was my mums birthday gift. Unfortunitly traffic was terrible. Andy got off work early to get downtown in time for dinner and the show. My dad warned us that 15th was bad, the radio warned us that 99 was bad so we took 8th/Leary/Freemont Bridge/Dexter route which was a total breeze that rainy night. However, once we got into downtown it was a bloody parking lot. I'm not kidding, it took like 10 minutes to get downtown but an hour to get from Denny to Union. Hell we spent literally a half hour stuck on 5th between just Blanchard and Lenora. Eventually, though we got to Union and parked the car and met up with my folks at Elephant and Castle and had enough time to still have dinner before the show.

The show was enjoyable. There were a couple of numbers that I could have done without but it held up to the film and those lovely short stories. The lamp dance (get your mind out of the gutter, I said laMp) was undoubtibly my favorite. The tunes were mostly catchy but still not something that you walk out of the theatre humming. The cast was great, although the actrees playing the teacher had very obviously blown her voice out and her song was painful to sit through. There were a couple of great lines that stuck with me that were origional, not in the film. ("Cardigans, sweaters for men unwilling to commit to real sweaters.") The one we laughed at the most was when they acknowledged something that we've been saying for years when watching the film. In the musical at the scene where they're at the Chinese restaurant the family says "Hey there are the Swartz's!" and wave. THANK YOU! For years watching the film we've expressed how weird it is that there are no Jewish families at the Chinese restaurant and that it's empty, especially when there's a kid in the fim (and his mother) named Swartz. This, not quite plot hole, but question has plagued us for years, I'm glad that they acknoledged it in the show, and it was a fine substitute for replacing the racist version of Deck the Halls (now cringe worthy when watching the film). Thing is no one, at least in our imediate area seemed to notice the joke. The Staleys were the only ones who laughed.

Which brings me to my last point about seeing the show. People are terrible. Two rows in front of us was this lady who was perfectly happy obstructing the view of the people behind her by using the cushion that is meant for children, then saying it's okay becasue she paid for her seat (as if the person behind her didn't). There was kind of a cat fight there before the show. The family behind us were from somewhere way out of town and were terrible. The father hit Andy's head like seven times with his ass, trying to figure out their seats and the guy even farted in Andy's ear at one point. The lady behind me was futzing around with a blister pack of gum right in my ear for 5 minutes. So rude. Really I get anxious at a theatre or someplace when I see there are a lot of kids around becasue I assume they'll missbehave and be annoying but really all the kids around us were fine. It was the adults that were being pig-headed douche bags. Although during the intermission while we were out soming we saw a woman berading a little boy to tears all in French. That was odd.

Xmas Time
Christmas eve Andy and I did the shopping for our xmas dinner and Andy took a nap wherein I watched some xmas specials on Netflix. (I revisited Pee Wee's Xmas Special and I'm convinced that those of us who grew up watching Pee Wee grew up to be cool and appreciate camp, art, and a touch of the dirty and slightly evil since it was instilled in us at an early age.)  We went over to my folks that night, as is the tradition. We had lamb and opened stockings. We usually watch A Christmas Story at xmas eve but since we saw the musical that week we opted for a different Christmas movie: Die Hard.

Christmas morning the parental units came over to ours with prezzies. The tree was ever so full.

I made out, man. I got loads of Dr Who stuff (hoodie, slippers, ice cube tray, games). Andy replaced my IT Crowd Moss Mug. Andy also got me an amazing gift. A copy of Life, The Universe and Everything signed by none other than my writer hero himself, Mr. Douglas Adams! That is awesome and I will cherish it and find an acceptable way to preseve & display it.

The final gift I opened, though, was even more of a huge surprize, somthing I never thought I would ever get and certianly not from Andy. It's been kind of an on-going thing that's turned into something bigger than ourselves. I've long wanted a Roomba. I think they're excellent! I've wanted one becasue there's that part of me that longs to feel like we live in the Jetsons future. I mean when one asks, Do you want a robot? Hell yeah I want  my own robot! Something that will do my bidding, if my bidding happens to be vaccumming...and it is! I can bid that! Fuck vaccuuming! Make a robot do it! God, I've wanted one so bad, but Andy thinks they're dumb. To him they are expensive glorified vaccum cleaners that don't even vaccuum all that well and are many IQ points shy of being actually considered a robot. I show him videos of adorable animals riding Roombas, he shows me videos of Roombas spreading pet shit all over someone's white carpet. Of course we share these videos on Facebook so the debate has grown far beyond ourselves and, lucky for me, there are a lot more "you should get your wife a Roomba" voices out there. One especially vocal voice being the Miranda we met in NOLA who could turn every FB discussion back to how Andy just needs to get me a Roomba. But Andy was so ademitly against them, I seriously figured it was just not meant to be. I would not get my robot until what classified as a commerical robot was something more than a Roomba. So I surely did not expect to unwrap my final presant and see...


It's a Christmass miracle! Andy's still not keen, but I have my robot minion. I turned it on for the pets the other day. Which, lets face it, was also a huge part of the appeal. I knew Vyvyan would be too scared to sit on it and ride it like those cute kitties on the internet. I knew Sparky was too big to do the same (and besides, he can't even figure out the steps we got him to help him up the bed in his older age) but I still wanted to terrorize them with it. Well Andy won one point on this one. The Roomba scared Vyvyan so much that Vyv vomited in the closet after being introduced. So that was one mess the robot made, rather than cleaned up. Still, it was cute to see thier confused and terrified little faces.

Anyway xmas was good, though my dad was sick (and I had a bit of the same thing but to lesser extent) and looked like death so after dinner, we let them get back home and we had the evening to ourselves and I got my Dr Who Christmas Special on.

Boxing Day
In the morning I Skyped with Charlotte for the first time in what felt like ages. She's been so busy being a teacher our fortnightly skype dates had fallen why behind and I hadn't skyped her since probably late October or early November. Shameful, but may be the way things will have to be if she keeps up being this busy. It was good to see her lovely face and catch up. Later in the day, Raye came over and the two of us chatted and had beers, caught up. We Skyped Rob for a little bit and Dani came over as well. We all had a second xmas dinner wherein we had the leftovers from the night before and it all reheated nicely and was pretty much just as good and nice to share with friends. Dani opened her xmas presant from us and we all played it (Scrabble) together. It was a nice boxing day, indeed.

So there you have most of it. I spent the last week mostly at home or at the folks (I've also been working on a trailer for QC). It's been pretty laid back. There's other stuff but I think I've rambled on quite enough. But just for good measure here is one more photo. Sparky cuddling with his Admiral Akbar squeeky toy he got for xmas.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dan10things
Dec. 31st, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
I hope your Roomba works out for you, ours lost battery life pretty quickly and ended up fully dead within 6 months. The battery life on everything seems to suck for me, be it my cell phone, laptop, appliances or tools.
pandapropaganda
Dec. 31st, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
Andy ordered a fresh battery for it. So, since it was a refurbished one, I'd bet that's a regular problem with them. good to know. I have rubbish luck with batteries, too. My phone won't last 1/2 a day without charging it if I use it at all for even slight FB/Internet use. It sucks.

Happy new year, Dan!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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