The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: December, 2004

Elf Watch

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before – so if I did, you can just skim on past or perhaps visit one of the other fine blogs I’ve listed over on the right. See you tomorrow!

Okay, for the rest of you – I just wanted to say that when I was a kid of Santa-believing age, every Christmas Eve was a hellish sleepless night for me. That’s right. Hellish. You know why? Because Santa won’t come if you’re awake. And if you do happen to wake up, you have to pretend you aren’t awake because what if that noise wasn’t really the heat registers but Santa in the living room? My house growing up was tiny – 4 rooms and a bath, and if I breathed the wrong way, Santa would know for sure and he wouldn’t leave anything. So I would lay in bed, rigid with fear, waiting for either sleep or sunrise.

Doesn’t that sound happy?

It wasn’t. I did the same thing the night before Easter. I was always the kind of kid who heard noises at night and assumed the worst. I am exactly the same as an adult. It was a blessed relief to learn the lowdown on Santa, let me tell you.

Okay, so fast forward to last night. Junior asks me what he should do if, on Christmas Eve, he needs to get a tissue in the middle of the night. Because he’s not supposed to be awake, you see. Oh God, how cruel to make our children so much like us. Junior may look like his dad, but he’s got so much of me in him. His current paranoia is tornados hitting the house, or fire burning it down. I refuse to admit to him that tornados are a big fear of mine. Even though, as I told him for the 100th time that I’m almost 40 years old and I’ve never seen a tornado, so I’m pretty sure we live in a safe place. It’s weird how you have to act like you aren’t afraid of things you are, just to keep your kids sane.

Anyway, I told him it’s okay for him to get a tissue, Santa knows that sometimes people wake up and roll over. And that Santa is in and out in an instant, so chances are, he wouldn’t be there anyway. I mean, what else do you say without blowing the whole thing. I just wish someone had told me that when I was little, but who’s to say whether or not it would have made a difference.

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Clean Your Car!

I think this is going to be the 10th Christmas in a row that Santa doesn’t bring me a garage. I’m starting to really dislike the guy. I mean, I only ask for one thing, right? A garage. It doesn’t even have to be that big and fancy. I’ll take a plain one. I’ll even handle painting the inside and putting up shelves and hooks so we’ll have a formal place to hang up our shovels (snow and the other kind. Dirt?) and our power tools that we don’t really use as much as we should, which you can tell by looking at the shrubs in front of the house.

So I don’t think Santa is bringing a garage because he probably already would have had to start working on it, don’t you think? It’s only a few days until Christmas (Junior can do the math, so he has reminded me about 700 times that it’s only three more days – see, public schools work!) and I think they’d have to put in some kind of foundation. I’m resigned to looking out the window on Saturday morning and seeing my driveway. Resigned, but not happy about it.

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Xmas Music Reviews

Okay, sorry for the interruption. Moving servers is a bigger pain in the nether-region than I anticipated (due to my stupidly trying to upgrade some software at the same time) but I think I’ve got it all set. My email was a bit off yesterday and this morning, but I have a work-around in place. Whew! Remind me to not do that again, okay?

What else, then?

Oh, right. I need to update my Christmas music page – it just isn’t high on the list of priorities if you can imagine that. The thing is, I haven’t purchased much in the way of holiday music this year. I had a couple of items in my Amazon basket, but when push came to shove, I didn’t end up buying them. I did pick up two CDs, though, and will give you a brief review because you mean that much to me. I want to help you with your CD buying, you know.

Barenaked for the Holidays – A+

Just fantastic, really. And it even contains three Hanukkah songs, two of which are just beautiful, and a version of I Have a Little Dreidel that had the kids clapping their hands and singing along. The one sore spot for me is the remake of Do They Know It’s Christmas. Do not mess with the all-star 80s version, gentlemen. The best part of that song is switching singing styles between Boy George and Bono, and we were forced to fake that when we tried to sing along with you. Really, did this song need a remake? No.

Radio Disney Jingle Jams – C-

I’m just not crazy about it. I’m sure there are tweens out there who think this is the greatest Christmas CD ever, but I remember thinking that about the Partridge Family Christmas album. We were both wrong.

The ones I want but didn’t yet buy:

Chris Isaak Christmas – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this.

A John Waters Christmas – yes, that John Waters. No, he doesn’t sing, he just picked all the offbeat (and some disturbing, I hear) songs.

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DNS Me, Baby!

Okay, the DNS servers need to talk to each other to get you guys pointed to this new server. I feel like a character in Horton Hears a Who. You know, the people who yell because nobody believes they exist: “We are here we are here we are HERE!”

Today school was cancelled due to snow. It wasn’t much, so I’m not exactly sure why they cancelled, but actually, it worked out for me because Junior developed a cold or something over the weekend and I didn’t want to keep him home because he’s already missed too much school. This way I could keep him home and snuggle up with him (did I mention he passed it along to me?) and it wouldn’t count! Weee!

In other news, a friend of ours from the place where we eat breakfast on Sundays gave us a little box of treats and I just now discovered that her peanut butter fudge is EXACTLY like my grandmother’s used to be. Now I have to hunt her down and force her to give me the recipe. You see, Grandma B decided to never give anyone the recipe. Or she’d leave out key ingredients. I don’t know why she wanted to take the recipe to the grave, but she got her wish.

On that happy note…could it be any COLDER out there?

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Award Losing Websites R Us

Would you rather win a Best of Blog award or a few “Buy one get one free” coupons for margerine? Right.

I did nominate my two favorites over at http://www.blogmechanics.com/bob/ for the Best of Blog awards. I would love to be as good and as funny as my favorites. Maybe if I put a little more effort into it. A little more “elbow grease” (What the hell is that?) to channel my dad circa 1977.

Okay deep breaths. Mr. Dump is out looking for a Christmas present for me, with a whole 6 days to spare! Do I have a wonderful guy or what?!

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Underestimating the Road Conditions

Yesterday there was a fine dusting of snow and frost on everything. I don’t even think it was a measurable amount of snow. So the general consensus was “ah, that’s nothing” and none of the roads were treated. Big mistake. You see, it was cold out…very cold. So that stuff wasn’t melting and evaporating. It was melting and freezing. Instant ice! It took Mr. Dump over THREE HOURS to drive from Leominster to Framingham. He missed his 8:30am root canal appointment because he didn’t get to Framingham until after TEN AM! I am going to be so upset if this means the appointments (I think there are three remaining) float over into 2005 and the dental insurance makes us pay the 2004 deductible AND the 2005 deductible. I would seriously pick a fight with them over that, that this is all “one” thing and should be treated as such. I’m not paying 1500 in deductibles just because the treatment requires a week between appointments.

Anyway, I only mention Mr. Dump’s commute because in my infinite wisdom, I planned to work at home yesterday. I had the furnace cleaned, saw Junior in his school play, and had a follow-up doctor appointment. I like to jam as much into a single day as possible, to get it all over with at once. I did sneak in a stop at the grocery store to pick up as much stuff as possible to get through until after Christmas – you know, the things we need every day, like juice boxes, stuff for school lunches, little bags of cotton candy. No wait, those are for Christmas presents.

Anyway, I would have lost those three hours of work and pay if I’d tried to drive in (we go the same way at different times because I have school bus duty at 7:45 and he’s already at work by then, usually) and thus not been paid for them. To hell with that! I’m not losing money because someone decided not to throw some salt down.

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No Letter From Us This Year

First, I wasn’t going to send out any Christmas cards this year. I barely sent any out last year, and I didn’t want to break tradition. Except we kept receiving them, and I started to realize that if you get a card from me every year for 20 years, and then two years in a row you send me a picture of your child/dog/swimming pool, and I don’t return the favor, you’re going to think that somehow you offended me and I hate you, or no, in fact, I never liked you at all.

So, after receiving the card from my sister with this cute picture of my niece and nephew, I thought “I can’t have our friends and relatives hanging them on refrigerators all over central Mass, but not hanging one of my boy!” So I bought a box of cards, which limited me to 18 people. Oh man, I used to send out twice that, but somehow, I had fallen out of touch with a couple of people and don’t even know if I have their addresses any more. I keep hoping they’ll send me a card so I’ll have the right address, but so far, I’m sure they are thinking the same thing of me. The thing these people need to know is that I lost my list of current addresses and for some people, the only ones I had were at least 3 or 4 years old. Seriously. I tore the house apart the other day. And then asked Mr. Dump to please get me an address book (nothing big and flashy) for Christmas.

So 18 people are getting cards, and if you expected one but didn’t get it, it isn’t that I don’t love and appreciate you, it’s just that I only had 18 cards and 20 photos (at 29 cents a print there) and 20 stamps. Yes, I know I can buy more of all of those things, but it’s also only about a week before Christmas.

I also didn’t get around to writing up one of those funny little letters to put in the card, so maybe I’ll write one this weekend and put it here on the site.

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Aha! That’s Who I Forgot

I was forgetting a group of people from my shopping list. See, my brain knew there was something wrong. Of course, I’m a little stumped as to what to do. You see, my son is in an aftercare program at his school, and that is run by about 6 college-aged (or post graduate) men and women, who are really great. I like them all, as does Junior. He’s sort of “assigned” to one of them for check-in and quiet time, but after that, he goes off with whoever is doing the activity he’s interested in. If it was more of a one-on-one situation, that would be easy. But it really isn’t like that, so I have 5 or 6 people to buy for.

I’m thinking maybe I’ll just give them each $5 worth of Dunkin Donuts gift certificates or something, but my fear is that I’ll forget one of them. That would be bad.

Anyway, I’m just happy my gift radar was working properly. They really are great with the kids, and make it SO much easier for me to feel good about leaving him with them every day. And he claims it’s his favorite part of “school” so it has that going for it.

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The Panic Period

Okay, this is the part of the Christmas season where I start to panic that I’ve forgotten to get someone a gift. I think I’ve accounted for everyone, but you know how it is. I know I have plenty of time left to take care of this, but it still nags at me. I sent out my Holiday Evil present as part of the Secret Satan gift exchange. (You know, gifts to bring horror and laughter. One year I gave out an autographed copy of Jamie Farr’s autobiography. I have received in the past the Henry Winkler version of A Christmas Carol, and Bill and Hillary paper dolls. You get the idea.)

I can’t say what I sent this year because I know at least one person who is involved in it reads the dump, and even if she isn’t the recipient (she’ll know soon enough, eh?) I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say I’m really proud of myself. This was some good evil. It’s the 25 cent Candy Bar Salad of Christmas gifts.

I ordered something from Amazon for Junior’s teacher, and I’m hoping it comes in by Thursday because I’m going to be seeing her on Friday at the holiday play so I could give it to her then instead of sending it in on the bus with Junior. Of course, stuff I ordered from Amazon on November 26 was shipped on the 28th and arrived today so hoping for a Thursday arrival of stuff I ordered yesterday, even if I didn’t go for the free shipping this time, still seems unlikely.

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The Christmas Card

Okay, I think I’m going to have to use this one next year because it’s so late in the season that it would cost me my life savings to put a rush order on creating and shipping me custom cards made with the following photo:

my train set

I took that picture the other day. It’s my new train set, going around my Dept 56 village. The train station I want now is of course retired, but I did find a set of three railroad figures. That’s one of them there, adjusting the time of the next expected train.

I thought this picture came out great, and wanted to make a Christmas card out of it. Of course, you’re supposed to use pictures of your kids on your Christmas cards, but the Dept 56 village was so much more photogenic than a kid who doesn’t want to sit still and have his picture taken. *sigh*

So lets pretend that this is your holiday card from me. I’d add some crappy background music, but I hate sites like that. Ho Ho Ho!

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