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December 19, 2004

So this is Christmas...

With our upcoming journey to the homelands we decided this weekend to lay low and do some of the prep work: cleaning, laundry, etc. The usual “What do we take?” formula has been compounded by the Jack factor to the point of my wanting to rent a U-Haul. I’m already thinking about wearing one set of clothes and simply taking 5 pairs of underwear and socks to save room. If space is a real premium I’ll just go commando.

The house will be well served. We’re having a house sitter in the form of the reliable teenager from next door. He’s looking to Halo 2 his brains out on the tv in the basement. (It doesn’t hurt that he stays up all night and sleeps all day.) Between him and the periodic visit from the Racetracks the two cats, Aida and Tosca, should be fine.

Since he didn’t have his operation and can’t read this I’ll let you in on a secret: I’ve built a computer for my grandfather for Christmas. It will replace the piece of crap that he bought 8 years ago from those vultures that prey on the elderly known as the Home Shopping Network. I’m finishing loading the software up this week but so far so good. Hopefully he’ll get some use out of it.

For the family Secret Santa I think I've found something no one else would ever think of: an autographed copy of Dirk Benedict's autobiography: "Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy". That's right, the same actor who portrayed "Starbuck" on "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Face" on the "A-Team". (Actually the content is anything but humorous. It's about his beating cancer and is in it's second printing.) None the less a gift sure to delight the recipient. Hey, it was either that or the frightening adult sized Aquaman Underoos I found.

Saturday night ended up being our Christmas celebration. Over dinner Fabulous Babe asked if I wanted my gift early due to its needing “prep” work. Not sensing a trap I agreed but said she had to take the rest of hers as well. Jack must have wondered what the heck was going on as she scurried off to the spare bedroom and I headed for the basement. A few minutes later we were squared off like gunfighters.

Fabulous Babe always does pretty well for Christmas. (She has a hookup line straight to the Claus.) I plan this stuff out way in advance and try to sketch out ideas for gifts that will match who she is. I actually end up making a chart with some “areas of interest” that officially makes me a mushy softy. (Big surprise.) I’ll quit babbling. Here’s what I got Fabulous Babe:

CD’s: Since we used to live in Seattle I ran down copies of the KMTT Mountain acoustic samplers for her. I got her this years edition and a few we didn’t have. (I only need to find number’s 2, 3, 4 and 5 and we will have all of them.) I also got her the new Alison Krauss and Union Station which fills the Bluegrass quotient for a while. The last was that damn Shania Twain Greatest Hits CD that I lost until I remembered Sunday that I had hidden it in the glove compartment of my car.

Eating way too much at McDonalds during the last Monopoly game and some horse trading with co-workers landed me a pile of “Best Buy Bucks” that I had been hoarding. Between those and the rebate I picked up a second Tivo for our bedroom for next to nothing. Now Fabulous Babe can catch up on “Survivor” and any flavor of “CSI” she wants from the comfort of our bed.

Since there’s no room for a wine cellar in the basement anymore I tried to go the next best route and got honey bunch a wine fridge. It’s the size of a dorm fridge but will keep more than enough wine chilled for our needs. There might be room for some beer in it but I won’t get my hopes up.

Usually I try to buy some sort of unusual jewelry. (Utopia in Redmond, WA is highly recommended.) This year I wanted to try to get something that brought Jack into the occasion.

The trend in this area of the country is for mothers to have “motherhood” bracelets. One for each kid or one that is just loaded with charms that have some sort of significant meaning. (The “Queen Bee” charm is the most highly sought since Mom’s rule the roost.) Every one that I looked at struck me as being tacky and the sort of trendy doodad that will one day be regarded in the same vein as mood rings. Even the nice Italian models that I spent time pouring over left me cold.

Resigned that I wasn’t seeing anything I liked I decided to fall back on the classics. I began looking at Faberge, Cartier, Bulgari, etc., trying to find something that was nice but wouldn’t break the bank. That’s when I discovered this:

Nifty Bracelet for Fabulous Babe.

(Oops! Hit "US" for country and then try the link again so it will work.)

It’s from the Tiffany 1837 collection. It’s simple and elegant. It goes with everything that I could think of that Fabulous Babe wears. On the flip side it would be a subtle, understated, reminder of her unique position in the world as Jack’s mother, something that wouldn’t be obvious to everyone. It’s intimate and personal. After the holiday rush we’re sending it off to be engraved on the inside with Jack’s name, birthdate and time.

That’s it. She made me promise not to go overboard this year.

For me? She totally surprised me this year: An iPod and the wireless doohickey for my car. To quote Squirrel Bottom: “W00T!” (It means “Yea!” or “Woo hoo!” in english.) After coveting hers since March I no longer have iPod envy. It’s just perfect. (Fabulous Babe rightfully shot me a nasty look when I, the thoughtless dolt, verbally debated upgrading from 20 to 40 Gig.) It’s already brimming with 11.5 Gig of music after some efforts tonight and will come in handy on the trip.

What about Jack you ask? Santa doesn’t visit children early. You'll have to wait.

Posted by Jim at December 19, 2004 10:34 PM


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