Monday, November 28, 2005

What I Did On My Vacation

Ask (as did CatPants) and ye shall receive. Blame her if this is tres boring.

Saturday the 19th

Arose early, at 6am, as I usually do on Saturdays. MY WIFE says I'm crazy, and that I don't know the difference between a day off and a work day, but my thinking is different. Why should I sleep away the morning of a perfectly good day off? If I want to sleep, I can take a nap later. That's something you can't do at work.

(Unless you're a security guard on the midnight to 8am shift, which is why I didn't mind having that shift when I was one. However, I digress.)

Got dressed and put together my coupons for the weekly grocery shopping. Yes, I do the shopping. I enjoy it, actually, as long as I don't have to fight my way through a crowded supermarket. And, since I'm usually at the store by 7am, that's not a problem.

(By the way, I'm not obsessive about the coupons. I usually buy a Sunday paper and there are pullout sections with coupons. I figure the coupons pay for the paper. However, I digress again. You should probably get used to it, because it will be a continuing theme.)

This is the big shopping day, of course, as Thanksgiving is coming up. We have Thanksgiving at our place and I cook Thanksgiving dinner for 9 relatives and friends.

(Yes, I do the cooking. Damned good at it, too. As a matter of fact, much of the cooking in my family [at least on the Sullivan side] has been done by the men. We beat hell out of the women as cooks, for the most part. Trivia: one of my paternal ancestors was the chef who invented the Parker House Roll. However, again...)

So, I get to the store and start looking for a turkey with a thyroid problem. I want one that weighs in at about 24 or 25 pounds, if possible. I want enough leftover turkey to send home a good meal with everybody and still have 5 or 6 pounds for myself to make sandwiches.

No such luck. The biggest bird I can find is a tad less than 21. He'll have to do. Turnip, potatoes, carrots, green beans, yams, bread for stuffing, cranberry sauce, nuts, mints, pickles, peppers, squash, onions, celery, milk, cream, coffee, sugar, eggnog. Nobody ever leaves my Thanksgiving dinner hungry. Mom will bring desserts.

Get the big bird home and start re-arranging our fridge to make room. Take out a shelf here, double-stack a few cans and containers there. If I eat this last bit of pudding, that should just about make enough room. Perfect!

OK, I'm not going to give you every minute of every day, mostly because it would be mind-numbingly boring. I watched some football, took that nap, watched some more football, read a bit of a book, watched some non-football tv with MY WIFE, watched the Celtics, etc.

Sunday the 20th

Another way that I'm odd (you should be making a list for future reference) is that I tend to get into shape during vacations, as opposed to most folks, who just let themselves go.

So, this morning I arise early and take a good long walk. I don't do exercise on days that I work, unless it's a softball game after work, because I have trouble enough just getting to work on time without exercising beforehand, and I'm too tired to do any afterwards, unless it's something I really like, for instance softball or sex. I walk around the neighborhood, up and down different streets, for a bit less than two miles, ending up at a little store that sells cigarettes, newspapers, and lottery tickets. I buy the Sunday Globe, four packs of Kools for the price of two (which is why I go to this store - they always have some sort of two for one and I refuse to pay full price to kill myself), and a lottery scratch ticket.

(A few months ago, MY WIFE and I decided to buy one scratch ticket a week. If we hit for $100 or better, we are giving 10% to charity. Anything under $100 all goes to charity. Thus far, we have spent about $40 to make $18 for charity. If things keep going the way they have been, though, charity may begin at home. However, there I go again. I told you.)

I get home in time to watch "CBS Sunday Morning" which both MY WIFE and I consider one of the best shows on TV. Always interesting stories, just the right mix of news, whimsy, and light humor. During commercial breaks I switch over to "The Three Stooges" on another channel, because sometimes you can only take so much whimsy before you need to see someone have a crosscut saw raked across his skull.

The rest of the day is just like Saturday - football, nap, football - with the exception of The Simpsons, which is like watching a car wreck involving a whole bunch of your good friends. It used to be the best show on TV, ever. Now it has a couple of good lines a week, so you can't give up on it totally, but the rest of the time you kind of wish they'd put it out of its misery and salvage what little dignity there is left.

(OK, digression time again. The Simpsons started to go downhill dating from the "Mary Bobbins" episode. That wasn't a horrible episode, but it was around that time that the writing staff absorbed much of the staff of "The Critic". That show had an entirely different sensibility. It wasn't built on characterization so much as it was on broad jokes, mostly at the expense of celebrities. From that point, there were more and more disconnected-to-any-plotline "outrageous" jokes showing up in The Simpsons, and what had been inviolable rules concerning characterization were just tossed whenever an expedient solution or a "shocking" joke was needed. I am thankful for the writers' ability to sometimes see how much they've fucked up this show ("Worst episode ever!"), but instead of referencing their inability to keep the level of the writing where it should have been, I'd prefer that they had just done so - or let someone who could do the job, do it.)

Monday the 21st

Ahhhhh. The first actual day when I should be at work but I'm not. So, of course, I'm awake almost an hour earlier so that I can savor all of it at length.

Again, a two-mile or so walk, but this time heading into parts of the general neighborhood I've never visited before, at least on foot. It's funny - you can know in your head that you can't possibly be too far from someplace you'll recognize, but if you've been walking some streets that you're unfamiliar with, for 10 or 15 minutes, you still begin to question your sense of direction and you even begin to wonder just how lost you might be. Certainly not any sort of full-blown panic attack, but more the thought of "Shit. I've gone about two miles already. How far am I going to have to go to get home?"

I got home.

Spent much of the day cleaning this and that, in preparation for the great influx of company on Thursday. Not much entertaining in that, so on to...

Tuesday the 22nd

This is the day of the haircut.

I'd been putting off getting a haircut for a couple of weeks now, although I've been getting pretty shaggy. Or, at least as shaggy as a bald guy gets. Anyway, I just never dragged my ass down to the guy who usually does my hair. I know his shop opens at 7:30 on Tuesdays, so I figured I'd go today, early.

First, though, I took another longish walk, this time heading in the direction of Belmont. Did another 2+ miles. After getting home and driving MY WIFE to the T (Ha-Ha! You have to work!) I head to the barber.

Problem is, he's not open. It looks like he's taken Thanksgiving week off. How dare he! What sort of irresponsible buttwad would do that? I... Uh...


Anyway, I have my mind set on getting my hair cut TODAY. So, I decide to investigate another local barber. I mean, I'm almost completely bald on top. How much can anyone screw up my head?


My first clue should have come when I was waiting for one of the two barbers to become free. There was one fellow in front of me. When the older barber finished his previous customer, he called out, "Next!", and I deferred to this guy who had been waiting. He said, "No, you go ahead. I'll wait for Angelo."

I end up with the shortest haircut I've had in at least 35 years. I mean, almost a buzz cut. And I'm afraid it does NOT flatter me. Not that it looks totally hideous - I don't need to start wearing some sort of Elephant Man getup - and I did tell the guy I wanted it short all around, but this is just not the best look I've ever had. The drastically short hair on the sides makes my hair appear even whiter than it already has become, what with my pasty skin showing through. And he totally hacked the tiny bit of hair I had on top, so that now I can't even pretend to comb it over. Eh. It's alright, I was no matinee idol to begin with and it'll grow back.

More sports watching, then "House" (which is easily the best show on TV these days) and a bit more cleaning and so forth. I find that I am slowly relaxing from the tension I'd built up over the past year or so at work without any sort of a real extended vacation.

Wednesday the 23rd

Will be forthcoming. Right now, I have to get back to work. See you tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Your haircut is NOT THAT fact you looked younger when I first saw you after your vacation.

Suldog said...

You are WAY too nice (and I know who you are, so you'd better be careful - whenever anyone is that nice to me, I usually take advantage of them.)