How about this wonderful gem of a gift from the Little Man for his daddy:
It’s got all of my published stories listed on it, as well as the magazines in which they have appeared. (Click the image to see a larger version.)
The Little Man has an ear infection and managed to have a bit of a rough night last night. He slept in this morning, however, much to the chagrin of everyone else who wanted him up so that he could open all of his presents. He finally got up about halfway through our gift unwrapping and he seemed to have a wonderful time opening all of his presents.
When he first woke up, he was a bit out of it and not too sure what was going on. But after he opened his first few presents, he got the idea pretty quickly. He got close to a dozen Thomas trains and a track on which to run them. He got some of his favorite Cars cars inlcuding Mater and Lightning McQueen. He got his own laptop computer and a Little People farm set. He got a work helmet and toolbox. The number of toys was nearly overwhelming and he seemed delighted by it all.
He is now sitting on the floor in his Santa Rocks pajamas playing with his trains, exploring and he has a big smile on his face. A very merry Christmas, indeed.
No blogging this weekend as it was a mostly busy weekend with lots of activities going on. The weather had definitely become winter-like here in the Metro D.C. area, at least in terms of temperature. Saturday morning, after heading out early to get my haircut, the three of us piled into the car and heading into Old Town Alexandria to attend the Scottish Christmas parade. We found a good spot of view the parade, the only downside being it was on the shaded side of the street which looked about 10 degrees colder than the sunny side. The Little Man was bundled up so he stayed nice and warm. It turned out to be a fun parade and I think I was most impressed by the Scottish bagpipers. The Little Man liked the motorcycles and firetruck and the dogs (there were many) that walked in the parade. We took the Metro to/from the parade and of course, the Little Man also loved riding on the train.
Saturday afternoon was quiet and I really needed that. We got home and we all took naps. I managed to get a good amount of reading done–my first fiction reading of any significance in a long time. I’m more than halfway done with Jack McDevitt’s The Devil’s Eye which I am really enjoying. Stephen King’s blurb on many of Jack’s books if that he is the natural heir to Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, or something like that. It’s true. His fiction reads like Golden Age science fiction with a modern-day spin and as sheer entertainment, I enjoy it more than just about any other science fiction that I read these days. I’m looking forward to finishing up The Devil’s Eye and starting in on Echo.
Saturday evening we had a babysitter and Kelly and I went to dinner with Sarah and Jay at an Italian place in Crystal City. When we got there, the place was empty and for the first hour or so, we were the only ones in the restaurant. It was kind of nice having the place to ourselves. It’s always nice going out to dinner without the Little Man because we don’t have to worry about him pulling the table apart and we can relax and eat our meals slowly, which is exactly what we did. We were home by 9:30, but it was a nice three hours that we got to spend out with friends.
Sunday morning we headed out to a tree-farm that Kelly had found in Great Falls in order to choose and cut our own Christmas tree. However, when we got there, we learned that the “choose and cut” part was closed until 2012. We could have picked out a tree there, but we opted to head back home, stopping at Home Depot along the way to pick out a fresh cut tree. We got a 6-footer and brought it home, got it set in its stand. We then headed out for brunch with AJ and Denisse at our “usual” meeting place, which is the Cheesecake Factory in Clarendon. We had a nice brunch with an excellent waited who we’ve had before (one of the best waiters I’ve ever had, in fact). Then AJ and Denisse came back to the house with us to help us decorate the Christmas tree. I got a fire going in the fireplace, and made some hot cider. We decorated the tree while the Little Man napped, and then we spent a few hours playing Rock Band 3.
Sunday evening was spend in front of the TV, catching up on some recorded shows and movies.
It was a pleasant, wintry weekend. This morning I was saying to Kelly how these weeks just seem to roll into one another. One minute it’s Friday afternoon, then next it’s Monday morning and the cycle starts all over again. I’m looking forward to breaking that cycle in a few weeks when we head off on vacation.
Now that the Christmas holiday is over, I feel relatively safe posting about this complaint that I have about the holiday season. My office building sits atop a high-end mall and it is jam-packed during the holiday season. There is a tremendous, ponderous five-story tall atrium into which I look. The atrium is so vast that it reminds me of the opening scene in Foundation when Gael Dornick first arrives on Trantor. At the bottom of the atrium is a food court, complete with Starbucks its attendant satellites. People scurry about like ants. It’s madness!
In the center of the atrium is, of course, a Christmas tree, and sitting in front of the tree is good ol’ Saint Nick. A line forms around Santa Claus and his elves happily exchange photos for cash. There is a sign in front of Santa Claus’s den that reads: “Please do not take your own photos unless you plan on paying for the photos” or some such thing. This is where I have a problem.
We all know that Christmas has gotten commercial, but when did Santa Claus get so commercial? When I was a kid, living in Somerset, New Jersey, Santa used to ride around on the local fire engine and toss candy to kids standing in their yards. I know: I choked on that candy! Isn’t this the guy that is supposed to ride around the world on a sleigh, giving gifts to good little boys and girls, free of charge!? There are a lot of people who would love to have their child’s picture taken with St. Nick, but who could not afford the $15 for 3 small photos. Why not let them take a picture themselves?
I think there should be a law that makes it illegal to be paid for dressing up as Santa. I think the law should further stipulate that if Santa is sitting in a mall, no one can charge money for photos taken with their own cameras. What I’ve seen these last few weeks has made me sick!
I felt much better this morning, however, when I saw that Santa had returned to the north pole along with his den and his collection of greedy elves.