Thursday, December 13, 2001

Hurtin' Friends, Yankee Swap, Fuddruckers

There is someone that I want to do something very nice for, at least I think it is very nice. Someone very close to me whom I love and hold in amazing esteem.

I want to pay this person's debts for the month of December. At least ONE of the bills that is looming overhead. But this person won't let me. He/she has NO money to pay the bills, and has a debt load that looks as if they'll be snowed under and declaring bankruptcy in a few months if things don't get better. I don't make this offer lightly, knowing that I can do it but only do it for this person for a certain amount. I think lifting a 200 dollar credit card bill out of his/her plate would help him/her deal better.

I got a "thanks but no thanks, it's my pride" thing kind of response. It breaks my heart. I may just send him/her money to do with as he/she feels. I figure he/she needs no more sweaters of Dave Matthews CDs or candles.

Debt relief Jubilee-style isn't going to come their way from a creditor, so perhaps just a helping hand from the friends at way out inn... But sending this person money without putting the creditor's name on the check is sort of problematic. The person isn't going to spend it on him/herself. The person isn't going to buy drugs or do something stupid. The problem with sending this person money is this person will spend it on other people because he/she is always thinking of other people before him/herself. Sigh.

I know this person reads this journal. If he/she will just email me and say "yes, this is how much, make the check out to xyz creditor," it would make my Christmas. I'll leave it at that.

At the office today, we did our annual Holiday party, complete with Yankee Swap. Tess emailed me and stated she didn't know what a yankee swap was, and asked if it was like a chinese auction. Well, seeing as I don't know what a Chinese auction is (and it sounds delightfully politically incorrect) here is a brief outline of how it works:

  • Everyone brings a gift, usually 10 bucks or less, and they draw numbers from a hat.
  • Person number one picks a gift, opens it, sits down.
  • Person two picks a gift and then has the option to keep or swap.
  • This goes all the way through the numbers... with the person picking having the option to keep or swap.
  • At the end, person one gets to swap with anyone he/she wants... seeing as that person never had the chance to swap because they were the beginning of the chain... so they get the pick of all the gifts for themselves.

So it is best to draw number one, or another very high number, to keep the likelihood of holding onto your gift. There is usually always a gag gift or two that NO one wants, so that is the dud that lands in someone's lap.

I ended up with two boxes of Hershey's Chocolate, one of which is going to another Yankee swap tonight (with the gag gift I bought... to 'sweeten' the pain of said gag) and the other box will stay home to my family and they will inhale it tonight.

I also ended up running out quickly to a local music store to grab some music for the party. I got Vince Guaraldi Trio's "A Charlie Brown Christmas," one of my all time favorites, "Rudolph, Frosty & Friends' Favorite Christmas Songs, A Holiday Classics Collection," featuring Burl Ives, Jimmy Durante and many others, and Netwerks Various Artists "Christmas Songs," which features BNL with Sarah McLachlan (recorded backstage at a radio station concert December 1996) Dido, Delerium and others. It's pretty decent.

The crowd here preferred to listen to a computer streaming of Spinner's Christmas selections, which were okay but they had commercials in the middle of them, and I had to listen to Ricky Martin. Meh. So we got through one of my CDs before we switched over to pop music. Sigh. I'm trying to culture these people and they don't like it. Oh well. Best to share this stuff with my kids, because I already KNOW they love the Charlie Brown Christmas, and Jessica digs on the Rankin Bass cartoons and the music therein. I'll nerd out and "culture" my own fan damily!

Cool news in my life, the guys met me for lunch at Fuddrucker's yesterday. Ben Brian and Dan brought along a woman who used to be one of the students at the college working for our department, only now she's got a staff position, seeing as she's all grown up and working in the real world. Her name is Michelle and I always got such a kick out of her when she was a student, only I never got to see her much because she was lab attending across campus, and only stopped in once in a while to see her supervisor.

So the guys initiated her in her first week to the joys of the two hour state college employee lunch trip. How thrilling is that! I was so surprised to see her there, had no idea that they'd picked her up as an employee and now she's hanging with the cool crowd.

In some ways I'm jealous, I miss the guys painfully. But I'm glad that she's there and so cool and can hang and joke and pick on Dan just the right way. More power to her!

I also reconnected with a woman I grew up with. She lived three houses down from me when we were growing up and I haven't chatted with her in about four years. I have some GREAT childhood memories of hanging out with her and the two girls who lived directly across from her in the courtyard. When I have a second I've got a good lesson that I learned from one of the girl's moms back in the day.

Tess emailed me and told me that a Yankee Swap and a Chinese Auction are one in the same. Just regionally different titles. Sigh. I should tell my super Asian girl LLP about "Chinese Auction." See what she has to say.

Okay. I need to get some work done.

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