Goodbye 2014

Another year in the books, another year just beginning.  This year probably had more ups and downs that we’re used to, and I don’t know if we’re through the worst of it yet.  But it’s time to look forward, hold our heads up high, and trudge out into the new world.

Man, I’m really mixing the over-sentimentality with a lot of cliches.  I apologize.

One more family gathering

My parents hosted my mom’s side of the family at their house today.  Though I had seen most of them Christmas Eve, we had some relatives from out of the country drop by today as well.  Nothing too formal – dinner was Costco pizza and various sodas and alcohols.  Fun time, though.  Sometimes the more informal get-togethers are the best ones.  Sure as hell beats a funeral!

Nothing as comfy as a chair

For Christmas, I received the usual television sets and movies, but what I really enjoyed was getting a new office chair. Yeah, something pretty simple, but man is it appreciated. My old chair had started cracking at the base, making me sit at an angle while simultaneously dipping backwards. Needless to say, it was not an ideal situation. In order to do any work at the computer, I had to sit at the very edge of the seat, where all the padding had worn down. Made for some painful haunches!

My parents noticed my predicament a few weeks back and lent me a folding chair in the meantime. The idea being that we would look for a new chair once the Christmas shopping was under control. That trip never happened, for me at least! Nope, on Christmas day, mom and dad surprised me with a large box from Staples. The new chair! I refrained from assembling it then and there, as I still had to get it back to the apartment that night. Easier to fit a box in the car rather than a chair.

Once assembled? Let me tell you, this is a comfy chair.

Behind Again

Once again, I’m trailing in my Christmas shopping!  I’ve gotten a few items, but it seems like it’s only half my list.  It also feels like the shopping is a bit harder this year, as I literally have no idea what to get people and wandering the shops isn’t helping.  But I’m keeping it together!  No freakouts here.  None at all.  Absolutely calm.  Calm.  CALM.




Weekend Outing

I traveled out to Burbank with my girlfriend on Sunday for a small G.I. Joe toy show.  It’s not normally her cup of tea, but she was willing to go along with me this time.  I’m glad she did!  Afterwards, we went to the nearby Toys R Us and Burbank mall to browse.  We both found stuff we were looking for there.  Of course, my girlfriend was also on the hunt for something from the Disney Store.  Sadly, the Burbank mall does not have a Disney store, but the nearby Glendale Galleria does!  A quick drive over and a quicker than expected parking, we were inside.   It was my first time there, so I was a bit impressed at the stores, and especially the Shrek-themed house in the middle of the place where kids could meet Santa.  And I mean Shrek-themed, this was not some half-assed effort.  The house itself probably reached 30 feet high, with life-sized statues of Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey as a photo op.  On top of that, most of the walls of the house were giant projections screens, and periodically, characters from the Shrek films would show up, interacting with the windows and doors.  Original CGI footage!  And while my girlfriend didn’t find what she was looking for at the Disney Store, the candy store next to it more than made up for it.

Blackest of Fridays

Did a little Black Friday shopping today, but no midnight browsing or line waiting.  It helps that we don’t really need any big purchases right now, but it also seems like it’s not worth the stress.  And if you think about it, it’s a bit wrong, too.  Big screen televisions – the biggest allure of Black Friday sales – nobody buys those for other people.  The best you do is rationalize that it’s a gift “for the entire family,” but it’s really for yourself.  But Black Friday is the start of the Christmas shopping season (or at least, it used to be).  Technically, you’re supposed to be buying gifts for other people!

Made sure to wear green

My girlfriend and I went to my parents’ place on Monday for St. Patrick’s Day. With an Irish name like mine, it’s definitely a tradition to eat some Irish foods for dinner. We had the obligatory corned beef and soda bread, and this year we added in Shepherd’s Pie. Dad forwent wine for beer this time, though he was sorely lacking in Guinness! All in all, a great dinner.