Category Archives: Christmas lights

Christmas remains

Christmas is over, the New Year is right around the corner. We’re still enjoying the many gifts and Christmas love that graced our lives this last week.

The most popular gifts we received this year was my wife’s Kindle, she loves werewolf and vampire stories, but has only downloaded a few sample shorts like The Game of Thrones and A Walk in the Snark, that last was my idea. She didn’t like The Game of Thrones too much but after viewing a trailer for John Carter and asking me why I was so thrilled about it, she downloaded A Princess of Mars—which she is enjoying very much. It’s been so long since I read the Edgar Rice Burroughs series I grabbed it too—if it’s free, it’s for me. I don’t own a Kindle, but I have the app on my phone (I think that counts.) I used a gift card I received to grab A Game of Thrones and Tarnsman or Gor. That last one I never even heard of until someone accused me of using this series for my book The Set’la—but I digress, that’s for another blog. My wife also gave me a receiver for my surround sound, the old one went out about two years ago so now my Man Cave is back.

Earlier in the month my sister in law contacted me and told me she picked up season 2 of True Blood for the wife and her dad got season 3. I immediately passed this information to the step daughter since she does have a job now and I knew she wanted to spend money. (The step son is working too but he feels it is better to receive than to give.)

Christmas morning, L—the step daughter—handed her a package and forced her to open it, it was True Blood season 3. I’m thinking, “Shit—didn’t I tell her NOT to get that?” Thinking I will be scolded one way or another at this time it is better to keep my mouth shut. She gave me Battlestar Galactica season 3 (Don’t worry, already had the first two seasons) I also got a normal DVD remote for the PS3 which I love better than the damn game controller. (That’s four remotes now; can we say “Yeah Baby!”) I also got yet another headphone/microphone set; I only say another because the ghosts keep taking mine.

Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without my mom, whom I picked up Christmas Eve, and we surrounded her with presents she needed and not wanted, like jeans and shirts.

My step son J we soothed with Microsoft points and the dance game for Xbox connect. Now he will get his exercise. It is a reward for taking the time out of his busy day to spend time with family. Of course the first thing he did was buy another game with his points, Rock Band 3. Oh the Joy! His dad gave him Star Wars: The Old Republic which he had to install on his sister’s computer and I threw on my laptop. I managed to hit level 3 before I died but I only play for about an hour a day so it doesn’t control my destiny.

After a few more minutes of unwrapping, always amazes me how quickly the Opening lasts compared to actually preparing for it, the kids disappeared for about an hour as I hooked up the receiver and we began watching True Blood.

Then it was off to her dad’s house where we got more presents. I cringed a little when T’s dad and sister handed her two boxes that looked like a DVD, and breathed a sigh of relieve when she received two copies of True Blood Season 2. At least that’s an easy fix. I got some very good books on writing including Steven King’s On Writing and more gift cards! The cards I used to get BSG season 4.

From his aunt, J got Rock Band 3 for the Xbox (imagine that).

I think this was a great Christmas for all involved; the repeat gifts are always a little amusing.

Since we lucked out and took our vacation this week and I told my boss we were going to the Bahamas, we are doing NOTHING, except watching TV, reading, and a little game play.

Last night, we finished True Blood so now we are going through a BSG marathon, the only thing I am missing is Razor.

It was a good year, like all it had its ups and downs, and here is to making 2012 even better.

Image from Google

So, how was your Christmas?


Merry Christmas

I have heard this somewhere, “Once somce one told me I had to be more PC in my holiday greetings–so I’m doing it from my Personal Computer.”

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Party

Downtown Skyline

     I was warned about this a few weeks ago, and she made it a point to tell me to be sure to pick out something to wear at least a few days before hand so we can handle any issues that arise.

     This is a good point since I have been a Security Guard for 9 years, all my clothes say “ACME SECURITY,” even my underwear.

     Hanging in a corner of my closet, near a suit I wore one time nine years ago, I found a tan pair of slacks. I even remembered these, but they were just a tad too small. I knew that after I ate something I would not be able to breathe. This was a casual dinner, but what she called “dressy casual.” That meant my blue jeans, tank top and sandals were not an option. (which is a good thing since it was about 29 degrees outside, and snowing.)
     Like always, we waited till the last minute before we ejected ourselves off the couch and started moving.
First stop was Kohl’s where she bought me a nice pair of pants, a sweater, (We were looking for a Grinch, but couldn’t find one.) socks and a belt. We had a hard time finding anything that had traditional Christmas colors and settled for a nice winter colored outfit.

     Then she had to have her nails fixed. Once a month she has her nails done, removed, sanded, applied, painted and sharpened. She broke one a few weeks ago (you should see the other guy) and needed it fixed and then all painted a more Christmassy color. While there, I got a manicure to. Don’t laugh guys, its nice to be pampered.

     Around six o clock we took a nice slow drive over the ice and snow down to the Newport Aquarium. This is a nice place, especially when the Company buys it out and there are no screaming kids or parents. This is the second time we’ve been there, the first was last years party.

     The first part of the festivities included an open bar with watered down drinks, the wife drank as much as she could while it was free, I was allowed to have three. (really it was two, I snuck the third one). I was a little surprised at how crowded it was, over 150 people at least. 

     We managed to find a seat with people she actually knew and enjoyed being around, the people that sat near her cubicle, and we talked for about an hour. Let me clarify, they talked and my head did circles trying to zero in on one conversation. Why is it when you have ten people at a table they all have to talk about something different. I searched for a good conversation, but I couldn’t find one. I got introduced to fifteen different people, and I forgot all their names before we left. We got some horderves while waiting for the dinner. They were small but edible.

     Once the bar closed, didn’t really close, they just started charging for drinks, they moved us through the exhibits until we reached the dinning area, about 30 tables surrounded by more fishy displays. The entire time we ate I had the feeling I was being watched. 

     I kinda of figured the woman next to me, not my wife, was already smashed when she put her hand on my knee, I did advise her not to do that in front of my wife. (Don’t think she would have liked that.)

     As too the food, no seafood was served, guess they were afraid of our audience throwing a coo.
I have no idea what I ate, the steamed veggies were okay, but the chicken was dry and the steak was tough. The unidentified rice cakes were however excellent.

     The conversations that were broken up resumed during dinner. They were a little more fun now. I’m not sure if it was the alcahol they drank or the few l had.

     After dinner we were ushered back to where it all began.

     This is where they handed out the door prizes. The wife wasn’t looking forward to this because no one in her department ever won. The theory was you had to be blonde with large breasts to win. And sure enough, one of our table mates got picked.

     As the wife opened her mouth to complain her name was called. Once she was revived and back on her feet she walked up and got her prize. Just a card board cutout of the real thing. Was later told by her friend, “Oh, we’re out of stock on that.”

     It was getting close to 10 pm, an hour past my bed time and looking forward to at least a thirty minute drive and twenty minutes to let the dogs out. And I had to work Sunday.

     We left soon after, fighting with the idiots that had forgot how to drive in half an inch of snow. Remember, driving is like coloring, you just have to stay between the lines.

     At 11pm, I was asleep and dreaming. I can’t really go into what.

     The morning brought the sequel, Revenge of the Party. With my head throbbing I woke with a start and realized I over slept. But I had time and made it in a few minutes before seven.

     Can’t wait till next years. 

The Joys of Lighting the Way

When I got into work this morning my boss followed me in carrying a bag of Christmas lights. Now understand, the office we sit in is only about 15 feet square with three windows and two desks.

I was sure the bag; carrying three strands of 150 lights would be enough. However, it seems I was wrong. She will bring another bag in tomorrow. I never was one that got into the whole decorating thing. Oh don’t get me wrong, contrary to popular opinion, I am not a scrooge. I do enjoy driving through the city – the safe parts if I can remember where they are, and ohhing and ahhing at the displays of people that will be shocked when they see their electric bill next month. I understand why – I was told when I was growing up we did it so Santa would be able to find our house. Of course I thought, “Oh great, yeah he can find it – but since we don’t have a chimney, how is he going to get in?” He always managed somehow.

My only problem with lights or any type of decoration is the fact that you put all that work into them, and then take them down in a month. I mean really – if you’re going to go through all the trouble of making sure they are straight, checking each light to make sure they work and the same color light isn’t next to it – (they have to be separated by at least four colors so if you only have three that still work, your screwed.) than why not leave them up for longer?

One year we used red white and blue lights (I was surprised I got that past my wife too) and we kept them up till the fourth of July.

I personally would rather put them up, real simple maybe one or two strands over the garage door, the weekend of Thanksgiving and take them down after New Years. I have seen lights up since Halloween – that is a little over board.

Inside the house, we have two trees (the wife says it is to even the house out – one in the living room and one in the family room.) One is in a multi-color light show, blinking spasmodically like a neon light on speed. (Of course no two colors are close to each other.) Heaven forbid if one is out, we spend over an hour trying to find it and replace it. Next there is the tinsel. Come on! Who ever thought of these little pains in the butt should be shot, and then hung – maybe on a Christmas tree next to their damn tinsel. Do you really think they look like ice cycles? And they get all over the place. If you try to vacuum them up before you take down the tree they end up back on the floor a minute later. And they clog up the vacuum so you either have to fix it or get a new one. (Wonder if the company that makes the tinsel makes vacuum cleaners too? Na…too much of a coincidence.)

The ornaments are good –but watch out for those hooks and make sure no two are next to each other if they are the same style. And—they have to wrap around the tree from bottom to top in order of size.

One hard part is keeping the horde of dogs away from it; the other part is remembering to turn them on when I get home from work.

We also have a strand, blue lights, across our fireplace mantle that the wife uses to display her Santa Clause statues. This one we leave up all year, even the Santa’s.

How much decorating depends on when we do it – if we wait too long, we may just have a candle in the window, or two. (All straight and exactly even with the one above or below it.)

I have heard rumors that there are people out there that wait until December 23rd to do any decorating. I have never witnessed this display (I never go out after December 15th anyway: Fear of shopping, it’s a mancode thing)

Of all the displays I have ever seen, I think this one is and will always be my favorite;

Most everyone I talked to today has their light displays up, some don’t. I have noticed that the neighborhood displays have dwindled a little, is it that they are just too busy to do it, too poor to afford the energy bill or just don’t want to mess with them at all?
Me, I may wait till this weekend and start the processes by putting up one of our trees up and just sitting in the corner and waiting for someone else to do the lights. I know the house will be unbalanced, but that is something we will have to endure. (I know from experience that my wife will do it over again, but I try to please.)

It is time people, get those lights up and display them in your favorite fashion. My boss did her this weekend at their condo. She said no one else had their lights up and as she worked at them the neighbors started to come out and watch her. Eventually she got the whole section of condos lit up like a night game at the local stadium. Now that is the Christmas spirit – I do hope it is catching! Nothing beats upping the Griswolds!