Sunday, Dec. 26th

mandarin muffins for breakfast yesterday and then again for lunch, and a better Christmas day breakfast does not exist. The oyster dressing was made by Fred’s stepfather, who is from Louisiana, and the man knows what he’s doing when he’s in the kitchen. Everything he makes (with the exception of stuff made from deer meat, because I have that mental “Bambi!” block going on) is sheer heaven. Really bad for you, too, but if you can’t eat stuff that’s bad for you at Christmas, when can you? So we got home from Fred’s father’s house around 9 Friday night. We carried our presents inside and put stuff away, and then the spud went upstairs and I started carrying the presents in to put under the tree, and Fred came to see what I was doing, and I said “Why do they have to give her SO MANY FUCKING PRESENTS??” Of course, I think everyone should give her tons and tons of presents, but I was tired and had to carry the presents into the living room from the dining room and I just wanted to go upstairs and get into my nightgown and exchange presents with Fred. Fred, on the other hand, was looking toward Christmas morning and thinking about how long it was going to take the spud to open her presents – about two hours, on average, because I make her keep track of who gave her what, so she knows what to say in her thank you notes – and he said “Why don’t we let her open some of her presents tonight?” And I was aghast “Let her open presents tonight? Without watching??” Fred said “She can take them up to her room, open them, and then show us what she got.” The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a really good idea, and so I agreed. I went into our room to change into my nightgown, and I heard him knock on her bedroom door. “Go get ten – no, fifteen! – presents that you want to open from under the tree, and you can open them tonight and then show us what you got.” “But none from us!” I yelled. “Yeah, make sure none of the presents you bring up to open are from us,” he said. So she did, and while she was opening her presents we exchanged presents – I got several books from my wish list and the Live Aid DVDs, which I had seen advertised on TV when we were watching TV. I said “Oh, I want those!” and them promptly forgot about them. Fred, however, didn’t forget. I guess he DOES listen! I gave Fred a t-shirt that says “If I got smart with you, how would you know?”, which was a big hit, a remote-control flying saucer that turned out to be a piece of crap, a couple of books, and the Star Wars trilogy. By the time we were done exchanging presents, the spud was about a third of the way through the fifteen she’d brought upstairs, so we went to check out what she got. She got some pretty cool stuff, but I would say that the hit of the night was the bathroom set my sister and mother sent her.

We laid down and talked for a while, and then finally the spud came to get us, because she’d finished opening her presents. We went into her room and ooh’d and aaah’d, and then Fred kissed me goodnight and went to bed, and I went and read for a while before turning out the light. I’d told Fred to get me up at 8, but I woke up before then, and was actually in the shower by 8. The spud was up a few minutes later and started her laundry and cleaned her bathroom while she was waiting. (And no, I didn’t even have to tell her to do her chores. She just knew, because it was Saturday, that they needed to be done!) Then we traipsed downstairs and the spud handed out the presents and we all opened ours. Of course, the spud still had so many presents to open that she was still opening them half an hour after Fred and I were done, so I got up and started making the muffins, and the spud showed me each thing she got as she opened it. She got about ten thousand Precious Moments things from her father and his wife, and her paternal grandparents. “Well, because I collect them,” she told us. “Did you know she was collecting them?” Fred asked me. “I had no idea,” I said. “Well, I didn’t tell you,” she said. “Oh.”
She and I both got some adorable pajama bottoms from my sister, who always knows the perfect things to buy for me. I also got some bath stuff from her, and books from my parents, and a book from the spud, among a host of many, many other things. My nephew Brian sent me a pair of smiley-face socks which I’m wearing right now. They’re fuzzy and warm and make me grin when I look down at them. My parents also sent a framed picture that my mother picked up when she was in Paris with Brian and his class last year. I knew it was a picture, but I didn’t know which one it was until yesterday morning.
The Basilique du Sacr� Coeur.
I took it upstairs and hung it over the washstand that used to belong to Fred’s grandmother, and it just really warms up that area. I wouldn’t have thought that a picture of a church in France would work with the other stuff in our house, but it looks really good. And then… let’s see, then Fred’s mother and stepfather dropped by to drop off a container of oyster dressing, and Fred hung around until the spud was done opening her presents, then he left to go for a hike. The spud and I ate some of the muffins, and then she went upstairs to look at her presents and watch TV, and I puttered around the house, then tried to open Movable Type so I could put up an entry. But something somewhere was fucked up, and instead of logging into MT, I was given an error, and I called Fred to consult, and he told me to put in a support request and by the time the problem was fixed, I didn’t want to put up an entry. So I didn’t. I spent the afternoon napping and reading, and Fred and the spud watched Jurassic Park 3: My God This Sucks. Then we had pizza for dinner (Domino’s and Papa John’s were closed, but Pizza Inn was open) and it wasn’t half bad, especially because it didn’t require me to cook. I chatted with Debbie for a little while, and then I called her, because talking is faster than typing – except maybe for Jane, who is the world’s fastest typer, in the space of time it takes me to type “Ha!”, she’s written roughly 63,000 words and is waiting impatiently for me to respond – and we talked for about an hour. Good thing weekend minutes don’t count with our phone plan, that’s all I can say. When I got off the phone, Fred and I started watching 24, and watched the last four episodes. Round about the second-to-last episode, we noticed that Jack likes to say “Okay, fine” and Tony likes to say “Yeah, alright”, and it was ridiculous how many times they each said their phrase. I once suggested to Fred that when stuff like that happens, it’s because one of the writers for the show has a bet going with another writer – “I bet I can get Jack to say “Okay, fine” 16 times in the space of half an hour!” – or when characters are put into an impossible situation, it’s because one team of writers is like “Let’s do THIS. I bet the other guys will NEVER figure out a way to get them out of this situation! Ha!”, so now when something big happens, Fred says “And another team of writers high-five!” That Chloe sure does get on my nerves. She’s an odd duck, that character. Aaaaanyway, by the time we were done with the last episode of 24, it was 10, so we snuggled in bed for a while, and then called it a night. It was a great Christmas day, because it was relaxing, I got a lot of books, and I didn’t have to cook! Oh, that cake that Fred made for Christmas Eve at his Dad’s? It was absolutely amazing. I was a little worried, because when I tried the frosting when he was making it, it seemed a little bitter. When the cake and the frosting were combined, though, it was awesome. And speaking of being at his father’s house – my gift from his father and stepmother was several books, and a card with money in it. As he told me, “I didn’t want to just get you books, and that’s all you had on your wish list!” The funny thing is that chances are good I’ll use that money to buy… more books, of course! Hey, I have to stock up before the first of the year, since I’ve proclaimed I won’t buy any more books in 2005 until the ones I already have have been read. (Except for my favorite authors, that is.) Thirteen days, and I’m going to be 37. Whee!
* * *
“Is it over yet?”