Wow... the Christmas holiday was a good one for us, nicer than other recent times. I always like giving presents more than getting them, and it was a good year for that. It was nice to actually surprise kids for a change. The Wii was a hit, and a total surprise. It was a surprise because all the kids, and ThatOneWife as well, know how I generally LOATHE the gaming consoles and the gaming industry in general. If you have been a reader for a while, you'll remember how genuinely Piss-ed off I was when Mrs. ThatOneGuy brought it home this summer. And how I was pissed off at my brother for having talked her into it while I wasn't there. The Big Wanker.
I was side-swiped by my absence. Oh well. Frankly we could package up all the other consoles (of which we have a few) and send them to Outer Mongolia for the poor kids, and just stay with the Wii. I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. You have to pick your battles.
Anyway, it was a good surprise. We'll see if it was at my expense, and the expense of my sanity. But if it's at the expense of school grades or normal social interaction, that's not going to stand. So my view is that it is there to lose.
Anyway, I was also able to generally surprise the Mrs. too. Although one gift was spoiled by an overly verbal and informative youngster who lives at our house.
But all in all, there were some surprises for everyone.
And in a fit of succumbing to the thought that my credit cards hadn't yet had their complete workout, I went and bought myself some skis on Christmas eve. This is something I had talked about for the last few years, and had never done anything about. I skied on the ski team when I was in high school, and I kept skiing for some years afterward, but being a somewhat expensive sport, kids and other career pressures always came first and it had been several years since I had skied. The last skis I bought were 210 centimeters long and were not the newer "shaped" skis - so that should tell you something about how long ago that was.
With one daughter into snowboarding, begging me to take her over the last three years or so, I finally decided to get going with it again. She has had some trouble with her mom this year, and was reaching out for some acceptance and somebody to give a damn about her for a change. Which is hard because she tends to bring some things upon herself in that regard. But it's hard to sit by and watch it happen without making a concerted effort to at least do something to let her know she is cool and swell, and has value in our family.
Then there are two others who have been wanting to give it a try, and it was a good opportunity to let That One Daughter be the cool older sister and do some teaching and mentoring, etc.
So we piled in the car last night and headed up the hill to Snowbird. My skis weren't mounted and ready for me, but the other kids weren't going to wait, so we all went up and had a good time. She was the consummate older sister and was a total trooper with the younger ones just learning. When you learn to snowboard, you spend a fair amount of time on your arse in the snow - it's pretty easy to get disheartened with the whole thing. But she was right there with a hand up, and the right encouragement when it counted and made the younger ones feel like they did a great job. Which they did.
My skis will be done today, and I look forward to getting up there with them all again soon so I can show them that people who ski rather than snowboard are cool folks too, and not a bunch of old fuddy-duddies. I guess that impression remains to be earned.
On another note, I had several people who read here send me an email wishing us all a good holiday, and a few others did so through direct comments to posts as well. I thank each of you, and send back the same wishes to you all.
And finally, I mentioned last week that I was preparing an update for the UtahModernHomes.com site. Obviously, if you're a susbscriber there, you know that hasn't wuite happened yet. However, it is coming, in the form of a short piece called "Edifice Complex", which will look at our obsession with oversized homes, as if that's the only factor used to provide the impression of value. Bigger is better. Except not really.