another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


OK, this is the Christmas vacation post. "Inquisitive" is how one visitor described this blog (OK, it was the guy that left blog spam on the football post).

And so, at least until it bores me to do so, the titles on this blog are some of the random phrases used in spam I get. "Its so night" was buried in a spam e-mail I got at work, trying to get me to invest in some no-doubt-junk stock.

Anyway, on to Christmas stories:

First of all, I didn't get into Christmas at all this year. Well, maybe a little, but in odd ways.

I made Kringla for the Chestnut House open house, as well as Chocolate Cherry drop cookies. Not great ones, but adequate. Then, the weekend before Christmas, I decided to make yet more Kringla so I had it to take home to Iowa. Basically creative avoidance, avoiding anything else about Christmas, like shopping.

Shopping, eh, I didn't get into that at all. I knew what the kids most needed -- cash! Not hard to shop for that. And Ellen announced what she considered her Christmas gift from me. So, the only things I really wanted to shop much for were something for mom, Bob, and a couple things for the kids. Basically, for the kids I was going to get something from their list on which I knew they'd spend any cash I gave them anyway.

(heh, try to diagram that last sentence! Yuck!)

Anyway, the main reason to get the kids something they'd buy anyway was to make sure Ryan got the Nintendo DS package he wanted, with the red DS packaged with Mario Kart. It was a Game Stop/EB Games exclusive. I knew after Christmas he probably wouldn't be able to find it. I didn't look real hard for it. I tried the Game Stop near us -- all sold out. That was Dec 21, the day before we left for Iowa adn the only day I really tried to do Christmas shopping. And the only thing I bought all day/evening was the traditional comic trade paperbacks for the kids "stocking". I decided that maybe, just maybe, some of of the stores in Omaha might still have Ryan's DS in stock, where the stores around Naperville were almost all sure to be out. So, I went home. That was basically Day 0 and before (including the Kringla).

Day 1 - Thursday, Dec 22
The first day of my week-and-a-half off work, burning all of my remaining vacation for the year. This is the first time I haven't carried over any vacation days since, I don't know when. Ever?

This was the day we were to leave for Iowa. "We" being the four kids and I, since Ellen had to work Christmas Eve. And the girls had dental appointments in the morning, so we couldn't leave until after noon. I was trying to get things ready, and for reasons I can't even remember now, I was a wreck. Every single thing was wearing on my nerves. Matt was frustrated because he couldn't find the charger for his DS, figuring that he left it at his apartment in Urbana. And he was unhappy that we had to wait for the girls to finish their appointments. Oh, and Kalen needed to do a little shopping after her appointment, so it wasn't even going to be non that we left. And I was crabbing and snapping at everyone. Like I said, I can't even really remember why, now. I think it was lack of sleep more than anything. Anyway, I was bad enough that when Kalen did get home and we did get ready to leave (2:30pm!), the kids decided that it would be best if I didn't have to drive, so Ryan started out driving my car. Oh, and since Matt was the target of most of my snapping, he chose to ride in Kalen's car.

Matt wanted to get another charger for his DS, so he'd asked if I knew of a place where we could stop and get one on the way? Well, yes, I certainly did! The Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville/Iowa City was pretty much perfectly situated on our route to stop for supper at the food court. And, I knew right where the EB Games was in that mall. We stopped on the way in and got Matt's charger, and I had Matt ask about the Mario Kart/DS package. They had one! I just had to distract Ryan. So, we went to the food court to get dinner, then I excused myself after eating (someone was still finishing, so I could do it without too much suspicion) and said I was going to see if they had an Amana Store in the mall so I could get some Amana Black Bread.

So, a quick stop at EB got me the DS package for Ryan, then I hiked the rest of the length of the mall looking for an Amana Store (since I really did want to get the bread, too). No luck on the bread, though, and I didn't want to make another stop to get bread, so we just continued to Missouri Valley. By this time, my stress had totally dissipated, so it was possible for any of the kids to cope with me. We got into MV and to mom's house exactly at 10pm.

OK, so this is already a huge post, so I'll continue with the tale in another post later. Today or tomorrow. Dang, I have to dig out another spam mail to get a title.


  • Ya, I know how stressful holidays and/or family can be. Even though I love Holmes, we weren't getting along too much out in Seattle. Instead of shopping for clothes (like I needed to), we were at home resting. Since we were both sick, I can't really blame him. Point is: we were both ready to kill each other.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/18/2006 10:47 PM  

  • Putting any part of spam to good use is a fine thing.

    Christmas now seems an age ago, yet I've come very close a few times in the past couple weeks to catching myself looking forward to the holidays as if it were still early December.

    Thanks for the kringla recipe link - including the variations mentioned in the comments for it. Now I want to go home and bake cookies...

    By Blogger MJ Norton, at 1/19/2006 12:00 PM  

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