Saturday, December 30, 2006

The tree

We're taking down our Christmas tree sometime tomorrow. Figured I'd post this short album of tree decorating pictures up before then.

A funny thing happened: I was crawling around on the floor trying to water the tree the other day, and I pulled on the base or something a little too hard. Next thing I know, I hear my mother-in-law shouting "Tree! Tree!" I'm not aware that the darn thing is falling over on top of me till needles and ornaments start coming down like a hailstorm. Fortunately, Wife was only a couple of steps away and was able to save the thing from going completely horizontal. That's a first for our family! After we up-righted the tree and re-decorated it, it never really quite looked as good as it does in this album. It has a pretty good lean to the left. Oh well.

Anyhow, here's the album.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mappy Chrismakuh/Herry Hannumas

When I was younger, my bi-religional (bi-religional?) family would use these phrases to ring in the winter holiday season. Herry Hannumas was my personal fave.

Speaking of which, I completely missed Hannukah this year. This is unfortunate because for me Hannukah is more of a celebration of God than Christmas is, even though Hannukah isn't all that "important" in the Jewish faith. Don't get me wrong, I think the American Christmas is a whole bunch of fun, but the part one celebrates at home is essentially a big birthday party. Doesn't do much for me in the god department, but that's just me. The home festivities themselves are fun, I love the music, and my wife does a wonderful job of decorating our home with festive things. So, I'm thankful for the season and the various tidbits therein, but I'm kicking myself for not at least taking out the menorah and lighting a candle or two. My own darn fault on that one. Bah humbug. At least we'll hit church tomorrow (twice, I think?), so there will be some religion in the season tomorrow. This is good. I don't mind a little liberal religion one bit.

I've not written here in the blog most of the month. But the dissertation is going well, believe it or not. Chapter 1 is revised already, chapter 2 is into DC (the ball is in her court to give me feedback), and I've created much of the interview protocol that I'll write about in chapter 3. That chapter should go smoothly as soon as I find time to write it. Finding the proper balance among dissertation work, family work, and work-work continues to be a challenge, but overall I've no complaints.

Wife's family arrived here last night and will stay through Christmas. Then wife & I head to see my family in Chicago for a few days while parents of wife stay here with Moose (a VERY nice Christmas present!).

We actually got a "real" Christmas tree this year that was chopped down yesteday. It just went up in the livingroom/dining room/music room, so I need to run and help decorate. Bye.

Happy Christmas, too!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Moose hung out with Santa

I completely forgot to post this last week. The day after Thanksgiving, Wife and my mother took Moose shopping around SCT (not at any of the big-box stores at 5:00 AM, mind you).

They had a chance to stop & see Santa. If they hadn't taken these pictures, I never would have believed that Moose actually interacted with this strange man in the fake beard. He's making a ton of progress lately - very exciting to see.

Writing and Holiday Preparation

I cranked yesterday, thank God. Got lots of writing done, and am attempting to do the same this afternoon. In the past hour or so I've only written another paragraph and done a bit more moving around of other paragraphs. I guess this is part of the whole deal. It may never end, but if it does I've certainly come much closer to it in the past couple of days.

I also have the warm fuzzies I usually experience preparing for the winter holidays with Wife. We decorate the house a bit, play some of our holiday music that we only take out in December, that sort of thing. We sang "O Come O Come Emmanuel" at church this morning, which reminds me of college and fun times singing in the Christmas Carols & Scripture concert each year. No doubt about it, it's Advent out. I do enjoy this time of year.

It's funny: I now associate these Advent weekends with the time when I hunker down and write final papers till my wrists hurt. For some reason, today's afternoon solitude in my home office/prison is actually adding to the warm fuzzies. Well that's sort of messed up, isn't it?! But, this is my fifth December in a row doing this sort of thing, so it's becoming sort of a tradition, I suppose. And I actually don't mind it this year - it's that "do or die" time of year with my academics. Not that anything academic could really ever KILL me, but, well you know what I mean. Life's pretty simple right now: I just have a SHITLOAD of work to do in the next two weeks.

Guess I should get back to it, then. Just had to share these weird thoughts & feelings of "comfort & joy" along with fervish writing. I am SUCH a nerd.