Halloween/Autumn

Posted October 2nd, 2008 (3:53 pm) || Comments Off

Yes, it’s that time again. That time when four old, battered cardboard boxes are pulled from storage and unloaded, their contents tossed about the apartment so that it looks a bag of dead cats and Reeses’ Pieces exploded in our living room. Ahh… I love this time of year!

However, I have a challenge this year. I want to be a space cadet for Halloween. I’m finding it extremely difficult to locate a fish-bowl helmet, or anything I can use as a fish-bowl helmet. All I want is a glass bowl to put around my head. A simple phone headset, jumpsuit and hair-dryer/ray-run are all easy to find, and cheap! But without the helmet, I’ll just look like the guy from the Verizon commercials. Then again, that may be scary enough…

…especialy if I have a ray-gun.

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The Party

Posted December 17th, 2007 (3:12 pm) || Comments Off

I attended the 2007 company holiday party Saturday. It was a lot funner than I’d expected it to be. Last year it was at a resort/hotel and had this disgusting tropical island theme. For one, no one in Arizona needs to be reminded of what the typical weather is like, especially during the one cold month we get out of the year. This year was much different. In stead of being inside a fake tropical environment, we were “outside” in the Chase Field ballpark. The top was closed so technically we were inside and there were heaters to keep us from getting too cold; I liked it. We had real entertainment as well. The Gin Blossoms performed for us. Yes, a real band. And that comedian who does the impersonations of George W. Bush also did his bit. All and all it was really awesome. Granted, when the boss started giving away money in denominations of $1000+ at random it really got people’s attention. I didn’t win anything unfortunately, but I did get some nice door prizes.

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Gift Cards

Posted December 14th, 2007 (10:34 pm) || Comments Off

I hate gift cards. If I receive a gift card, I know for certain it was not from a friend. A gift card is a way of saying “I think I know you well enough to buy you something, but I don’t really care enough about you to put any effort into it.” I suppose in this regard they’re great, but then again I don’t really buy gifts for people I don’t care enough about to think of what to actually give them.

Now I don’t really think gift cards are all bad. They do serve a purpose. They make a wonderful prize for example. Then again, a prize is not a gift, so maybe they should be called prize cards. Congratulations, you’ve just won whatever it is at this store you might want that happens to be under $50! That’s nice. People giving out prizes don’t care what I want, and a gift card is an excellent way of pretending to give me cash without really giving me cash.

And speaking of cash… I don’t like cash gifts either. That’s just lazy. At least there’s physical effort in purchasing a gift card even if it requires no thought. Giving cash is what older relatives give to children they don’t know well enough to understand but want to be liked by them anyway. And they do it for no special occasions. You visit Gramps over the summer and he slips you a fiver while no one else is looking and winks. Gramps does not (or should not) give you a box with a $20 bill in it for Christmas or your birthday. Naturally, padding a Christmas or birthday card that’s sent by mail with cash is to be expected and is perfectly fine. After all, you can’t exactly send a stereo by mail without paying extra for the postage.

So instead of giving people you hardly know gift cards, don’t instead give them anything at all. If you absolutely have to give them something because of some incomprehensible compulsion you have, give them something simple that you like and that’s cheap enough that neither you nor they will feel offended much if they should “lose” it. Personally, I feel making cookies or some other baked goods are nice, but as they require a hell of a lot more work than buying a plastic card from Target, I can forgive you if you just pass out some fancy holiday candy you picked up at Trader Joe’s or some similar store.

And remember, it’s the thought that counts; if you don’t do any thinking, your gift doesn’t count.

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A Skewed Perspective

Posted December 6th, 2007 (10:41 pm) || Comments Off

Okay, so about that dressing up bit… Not going well. Last week ended with me feeling a lot better then throwing my back out. This week ends with my back still hurting and the little handicapped thingy I have for the car falling apart. They really don’t make those with Phoenix weather in mind… Anyway, I still feel like crap.

Also, finances aren’t so good. Those are at least improving. Turns out that DeAnna will not soon be gainfully employed. At least not where I work. I’m not sure what happened but she didn’t make the cut. We’re still not sure if she can reapply, but we’re not waiting. She’s headed back into the field of education. This makes sense since she has a degree in that. Granted, she can’t teach classroom stuff, but there are lots of positions at a school and she can get a feel for the system and see if it’s really what she wants to finish college prepared to do.

Now yesterday I got a call of the electric company and they wanted to shut off the power. Something about me not paying the bill. This puts a bit of a damper on my mood, let alone my shopping plans. You see, I get my big paycheck next week. This week, I apparently get just enough to pay the past due on the electric bill. So no shopping yet… I really hope the stuff I want to buy people for Christmas is still there. If not, everybody is getting a bag of 250 tea-light candles from Wal-mart.

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Life After Christmas

Posted December 26th, 2006 (12:58 pm) || Comments Off

Christmas was good, but busy. On the upside, DeAnna and I had the good fortune to be the hub of visitors. That saved us from driving all over town, but did keep us busy for the entire day. The morning was good. For once it was really easy to wake Jacob up, though he was sound asleep ’till we did so. I don’t know how that kid can sleep on Christmas morning. I’m over 30 and I still can’t sleep on Christmas Eve. Jacob got a good haul this year though, so it was good he got up for it. A stereo from Grandma, a Robosapien from Santa, and Transformer Jedi Starfighters from DeAnna and I were the big gifts. Then of course the games, candies and small toys. He also got a new bed, nightstand and dresser, but they wouldn’t fit under the tree and we’re not setting them up ’till we move anyway.

DeAnna and I did good as well. I got two wonderful shirts from my Secret Santa from the Hero Boards (thanks Satinkitty!), lots of chocolate, a Go set and book. DeAnna got her own Heroscape set, so now we have his and hers fantasy miniatures ( :-D ), a scarf like thing in her teal and violet colors and lots of chocolate. Our gifts to each other were great this year. Unlike previous years where we each got the other the same thing, this year we managed to that that yet have different gifts. We each got the other what they wanted most but couldn’t fine. I found DeAnna a pair of heart shaped garnet earrings like she wore when we met, and she got me, well made me, a snow globe with a guitar and rose in it (like on the cover of one of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s albums). It’s cool.

I think we did good giving gifts as well, though I wish we could have done more. Jacob of course got most of the attention, but he’s my son and that’s his birthright.

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