I hope everyone's holiday was lovely. Ours was good, more on that later. I had a virus, as did my PC. I currently have my original PC pulled aside to take to someone to give it a jolly good workover. Amy's old PC is here, running and taking care of our Internet and Blogging Needs. Hurrah. The one thing we're lacking is a better video card in her PC to run "Spore" and keep Doug and Geoff happy. But they'll live. As long as I can use Facebook and write in the journal, I'm content. I'll address the video card thing later, once the original PC is healed, and I get a network going to get the second PC online.
All told, from the date of the last entry to now it's been busy and chaotic here. The usual stuff that I'm sure all of you have dealt with as well in your own lives. I was sick with a horrible cold and absolutely no gumption (funny how colds just wipe the gumption out of your system) and I had to wait until I got a couple of checks from my parents and Doug's parents so we had money to even go buy presents. Those, of course, came on the Saturday before Christmas.
I didn't even get out to go Christmas shopping until Monday the 22nd. That was actually okay. I went to Best Buy and Target... and the crowds were huge, but manageable.
Geoff got Guitar Hero World Tour, which he's been wanting since the day it was released. We got the version with the drum set and the microphone. So we can have four players at once. Drums, bass, guitar and vocals. It's pretty fun... there are a few songs that just flat out suck. I have no idea why "Shiver" by Coldplay is on there and "Clocks" isn't. Who the hell wants to sing "Shiver" anyway? I hate it.
We didn't see Geoff for a couple of days.
Jess didn't want anything, as she's been reading a lot of Emerson and Tolstoy and is very anti-materialistic and down on the whole hype of consumerist culture. I got her iTunes gift cards, her one indulgence is her music, so she was thrilled to have that but played it down low-key.
And I got Spore for Geoff, but more for Doug because I knew he would want it.
I felt that our gift giving was spotty and weak, mostly due to money and just not having any sort of inspiration. Geoff wants a new camera, but I don't want to spend money on something decent and nice for him (especially after what he pulled this morning on me with MY camera. I'm rather pissed at him and don't want to give him anything worth more than two dollars right now). There was one thing I felt would make Christmas extra super special.
On the way home from work on Christmas Eve, I stopped at the pet store. I felt it was time for a new guinea pig.
After Gordon's passing, we knew that Geoff would be doing a Pet Care badge for Boy Scouts and needed to maintain a log for 4 months on his pet care duties. There's a Dog Care badge, and we noticed that his duties for Dog Care couldn't be duplicated for the Pet Care badge. So, I figured it was time. I'd been looking for a few weeks, and everywhere I went the pigs were male, and huge. I kind of wanted something tiny and young, and female... So as a last ditch effort, I went to one last pet store and walked in to find a display of 18 female guinea pigs, all babies. Wow. My lucky day.
The girl said she had two others out back, that they were much smaller than these ones and a couple weeks younger, around 8 weeks old. She kept them apart because she felt they were too small to compete for the food. She brought them out to me and I ended up buying both of them, because I felt badly about breaking them up. One is black and white (Yes. I know. I have a lot of monochromatic pets). And the other is tortoise with a funny little cowlick on top of her head. I called Jess and asked her to set up the guinea pig cage, clean it up and put it in the brown room, and have it ready for the new arrivals.
She obliged, and I brought them home and snuck them into the house. Quite by accident, Geoff discovered me in my quiet sneaky state. I'd wanted him to come down on Christmas morning and meet them, and be surprised... but he saw what I was doing and turned on his heel to march away quickly with "I see nothing! I SEE NOTHING!" kind of spirit. I called him back and showed him and wished him a merry Christmas.
He helped set the cage up, and put the very terrified and squeeley pigs into the cage. He decided to name them Helena and Hermia, from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Doug wanted him to name them Twigs and Berries, or Cheddar and Monterrey, but Geoff was having none of that.
Helena is the black and white one... the one who would perceive herself as plain and un-special, but she really is beautiful. Hermia is the tortoise one with the fancy hairdoo. She is fancy and special and all the guys like her... I love how he applied what the characters in the play are like to the actual guinea pigs, and their looks.
They're quite happy little pigs. Helena is quiet and sweet. Geoff takes her out the most. Hermia is fast and noisy. When we try and take her out of the cage she screams like we're going to kill her. And then snuggles right in for a good cuddle.
Geoff is tracking his care, and doing the feeding and cleaning. I think this is my favorite gift this year. They're really cute and sweet... and much better than a DS game or Guitar Hero. Really.
In the meantime, the office was very quiet this week.
A lot of people on vacation, and a lot of peace and productivity. I'm scheduled out to the end of January, and feel relaxed and organized. That's a nice way to start the new year. Or end the current one, I guess.
My girl C was laid off, which broke my heart. I will miss her walking into my office every day and saying "What up, bitches!" and flopping down into the chair by TJ's desk. I inherited on part of her job, and it's kept me busy, getting the feel of how she did things and figuring out all the ins and outs of her process. The first week I had to do it, it took me 15 hours to get the job done. This week I had it done in 4 hours... and was happy at how it made the afternoon fly.
I took today off, and this afternoon am taking a group of Rebel Shakespeare kids to perform at the Beverly First Night celebrations. We have about 7 kids who are on the docket for the afternoon and I'm wondering if others will just show up if they feel like it. They can be fickle.
The plan is to perform in the street for an hour, and then we have an indoor performance space for 45 minutes where the kids can do scenes, monologues, sonnets. I may even do "Blow, blow thou winter wind" myself. Who knows. It's amazing what you can remember from high school choir. Sing high-ho the holly.
It's a good thing we have indoor space... initially we were supposed to be 100% outdoors, but the coordinator wanted to give us space to perform so she worked it out. If it goes well, hopefully this can be an annual thing. It's a heck of a kick-off to the 20th anniversary year for Rebel though.
We're looking at about 8 inches of snow today. So that kind of sucks for the performing out-of-doors portion of the program. Hopefully the kids will be able to make good of it and have high spirits. At least not give up and blow it off, not showing up because of the weather would suck.
Right then. On that note. I am off for more coffee and perhaps a bagel. If you're in the area, come to First Night Beverly. Don't be shy or scared of the snow. And if we don't see you ... Happy New Year. Hopefully it'll be a good one. I'll give you a little link here to Barenaked Ladies singing "Auld Lang Syne..." it's a windows media file, so hopefully you can play it. I don't have it as an MP3. If you can hear it, great... if not. Oh well, I tried.
Be well, and we'll chat next year. Okay?