Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Heads or Tails #16 (Mark)

I suspected that Barb, Chairman and CEO of Heads or Tails, Inc., might have dipped into the old random word generator for this week's Heads or Tails topic -- "mark."

Mark what? Mark ye well? Mark Twain? Matthew, _______, Luke and John? I've read Barb's post this morning (
I don't think that's cheating) and I'm somewhat mollified. And relieved.

And in the meantime, I had an idea....



A lot of people are in the starting blocks now -- at least -- for the Christmas season. Maybe some of you are already in the race -- buying presents, decorating your homes, baking.

There is no season that brings out the Curmudgeon in me more than this one.

I'm never ready for it.

Money's extremely tight in the Curmudgeon home this year; there was no way that Long Suffering Spouse and I could go out shopping on "Black Friday." (There's something intimidating about giving your charge card to a 20-something cashier, watching her run it through the machine for approval, and then watching her try and stifle a horse laugh.... *Sigh*)

But Older Daughter and her Boyfriend were going to go shopping early Friday morning, they said. Then they stayed up until who knows when on Thanksgiving night.

I was unsurprised, therefore, when I came down in search of coffee Friday morning, that Long Suffering Spouse and I were the only ones up and moving. And we'd been listening to the news and traffic reports on the radio for awhile -- about stores that opened at 4:00 or 4:30 a.m., stampedes, long lines, traffic helicopters swooping low over suburban malls counting (on the fingers of one hand) the available parking spaces....

By 11:00 a.m., though, Older Daughter had returned to consciousness and come downstairs. She went in the den to try and rouse the Boyfriend. By 11:30, though still groggy, they were ready to leave. "Where will you go?" I asked, incredulous. "The last mall parking place vanished, like the dodo, long, long ago."

"Oh, we've got that all figured out," Older Daughter assured me. She always has it all figured out. Then reality intrudes. But, this time, the plan seemed sound: "We'll take the train downtown; then we don't have to worry about parking."

Hmmmmm, I thought. But Youngest Son was invited to join them and he agreed. No ring shopping today, I thought -- strictly to myself, of course.

And, I guess, they're at least in the starting blocks for Christmas.

Long Suffering Spouse suggested that we put the tree up on Friday or Saturday, while most of the kids were still home. "No!" I protested, "It's still November." She didn't really think the kids would actually help. So she shrugged and started her Christmas baking instead. She's at least in the starting blocks for Christmas.

For the last several days, I've been transcribing a document -- typing it out word by word. It's a document that started out life as an HTML printout. Since then, it's been faxed, photocopied, scanned, and reduced in size to the point where the type is, on first glance at least, a series of indecipherable marks -- smears, really. My magnifying glass (with the teeny little light bulb) is getting a workout on this project.

The bad part is that I actually have to read this document -- worse, I have to understand it -- and, worst of all, I will have to quote from and cite extensively to this document in another document I'm supposed to be preparing. So I'm transcribing. I can't go for more than an hour at a time without getting a queasy stomach and pounding head. Then I must recoup. This does not make me feel festive. But the client paid my first bill promptly and I am therefore highly motivated to complete this task, hoping all the while that I do not actually go blind. And I have other projects backing up as well, while this one takes far longer than projected.

So I'm not yet in the starting blocks for Christmas. I may be in the locker room. I probably have not even yet donned my uniform.

But Christmas is coming anyway.

On your mark, get set....

14 comments:

Skittles said...

Are you saying you're naked in the locker room? WooHoo!!!

I know tons of people get into the Christmas spirit early.. putting up their tree on Thanksgiving.. or Halloween. Not me. Around here it's not until the second week of December. Last year we didn't put one up at all, but instead me & Mike gathered around a snow globe Christmas morning. LOL!

16, 17. I couldn't remember. Let's just call it 17 and roll with it. :)

Natalie said...

I've been on my mark for awhile...I'm almost done shopping for Christmas! And nope, didn't go out on Black Friday. I live too far out in the boonies for that. LOL!

Have a great week!

katherine. said...

if I went shopping on Black Friday I would probably smack some idiot and then would hafta hire someone like you to get me out of jail.

I'm wondering if my oldest girl and her boy are gonna make some sort of announcement this year as well....yikes.

tegdirb92 said...

great post, I almost did it on the same theme!! Have a great Tuesday.

Misty Dawn said...

I'm not even close to the starting blocks yet! I think I'm in the locker room with you!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

We in Britain start long before then.

Ralph said...

The old bromide that states 'it's better to give than receive' is so apt here. Not that I was in the mood to do Black Friday at 0500 hours, but I do enjoy Christmas shopping at the right times. Kid1 was home and her friend from BU went shopping at the appointed 5:00 hour on Friday, but she only purchased things for herself...humbug I guess...

Shelby said...

"I'm never ready for it."

Me neether.

Mother Jones RN said...

Christmas, bah, humbug!

MJ

Lahdeedah said...

I refuse to even consider Christmas until Dec. 2. Dec. 1 is turbo and bear's birhtday.

I just want there to be a clear separation between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and dang it, I'll take a week of pretending not to see the Christmas lights and refusing to go out on Black Friday :).

Jeni said...

I've had cards bought, waiting since October to be written out, addressed and sent - still sitting, probably will be sent out and arrive late -normal. My daughter usually puts the tree up on Sunday after Thanksgiving -not done that yet. But we had company for dinner Sunday so she has an excuse. For the first time ever, I did do a little shopping on Black Friday but not at the early, early hours -late morning, early afternoon. No baking even thought about as yet -will probably spend at least two all-nighters, baking from about 10 p.m. till 6 a.m. in mid-December to do that. But -and I can't believe this -I actually finished my shopping this past Monday! I've never done that before -EVER! Of course, by Christmas when time comes to wrap them, I may have difficulty remembering where I hid everything. So at least I am out of the starting gate in one respect -following far, far behind in the other things though.

Ellee said...

I agree it is early to put up your tree, we will wait a couple more weeks. In fact, our weather is so mild here in the UK that it doesn't feel Christmassy at all yet.

Andrée said...

How gruesome this past Friday was for people. I can't imagine a worse way to honor the Christmas season than to participate in a Friday like that. With these oil prices, there won't be any shopping here. Good luck with that transcribing. I've done that before and it's quite a strain on the eyes, magnifying glass or not!

landgirl said...

My birthday is December 4, so I refuse to start Christmas season until after that date. I love the spirit of Christmas tho and I will sing Christmas songs any time of year. I am not good with date so I frequently buy Christmas presents whenever and whereever I happen to find something that I think is right. Sometimes they actually make it until Christmas; ofentimes they don't.