Yep, I’ve been slack in writing here. I wasn’t sure how I was going to play Christmas this year; I really wasn’t getting into the mood, in contrast to the previous year, so I was kind of just patiently waiting for it to go by. As it turns out it was pretty good, though. Christmas Eve I was around at nana & pops; Chris and Andrew had come down, with the others to follow at an indeterminate time later. I think I spent much of it playing Dawn of War. I watched Damien play it a bit over a year ago while I was living with him, and also heard that it was all the rage at the time in the old net-night circle. It looked like just another buggy RTS to me, although it was interesting to watch for a bit; lots of nostalgia from the days when I used to collect the models.

Anyway, that wasn’t a bad way to pass time waiting for Christmas. I went home at about 1am Christmas day, only to return ten hours later. Dad was supposed to be just behind me – in fact, while I was stuck in abhorrent traffic on the Moorooduc Highway I rang him to warm him about it, and he joked that he might get there before I did. A few hours later, he finally turned up; Jens apparently “ambushed” him as he was leaving, and made him have a drink or two first. :P

Once he arrived, we settled down for Christmas lunch… that or opening presents. I can’t remember the order – in any case we did both. Lunch was good, although I wasn’t much hungry – a sentiment echoed by most others that I talked to that day, oddly. Presents were good too – the fourth series of the Brittas Empire, which I’m yet to watch but looking forward to, as well as some assorted chocolates (all gone by dinner time :D ) and some assorted bits and pieces. And a cheque from pop… he must have forgotten the drama the last chequed caused, because I didn’t bank it for months and months, and it apparently was throwing off his chequebook. :D But if you insist on still using cheques in this day and age, you can only expect trouble. :P

After that… well, I guess there was more Dawn of War, or somesuch. I can’t recall. I looked over Emily’s yearbook a bit. She finished high school this year, and did quite well for herself. But most importantly, she got a yearbook! We didn’t get no stinkin’ yearbook when we finished high school.. *grumble grumble sour grapes grumble* We had Ripple, but as Bobo informed me (I’d say remind, but I still don’t remember) we didn’t even get that until half way through the next year, and even then it wasn’t even mailed to us or anything… so I don’t actually have a copy; Bobo has one only via her brother. Grr.

Anyway, Emily’s yearbook made for some entertaining reading. Their muck-up day seemed a fair bit more entertaining and a whole lot less slutty than ours; costumes that were comical – from superheroes to sets of tradies and so forth – and activities that were relatively benign… although I did hear they chopped up a table and put it in a fridge… curious. I recall Chris talking about his muck-up day, where they dragged all the six-foot tall lockers into the common area, stuck the couches on top of them, and then just sat around until the teacher(s) turned up. :D

They also had actual profiles for each graduating student, as opposed to just the passport photos we got in Ripple. They included nicknames, life aspirations, worst/best moments – all the usual kind of stuff you’d find in your standard “here’s fifty things about me you couldn’t care less about” emails. But some of them were scary… a few of the girls – the students were able to pick their own photos – had submitted full on glamour shots; done professionally with make-up, proper lighting, poses, etc. Now, objectively the photos were fine in and of themselves, and I’m sure they’d be great framed on a nightstand somewhere, but in a yearbook they’re just not right. Call me cynical, but to me they just scream “hi, I have no self-esteem, grand ambitions, and will invariably be raising a bastard child within 24 months”.

If you don’t like it, go see where all the similar girls are from my year at Mt. Eliza S.C… to help speed up your search, I’ll recommend starting in North Frankston.

Well, ‘course, I say that, but I’m going only on rumours and what the legal aficionados would call “here-say”. I can’t wait for our first school reunion, just to see. :D

Anyway, callous spite aside, ;), I eventually left nana & pop’s on Christmas day to head over to grandma & grandpa’s, for the other side of the family. That was good – Scott was there, as usual, although it’s the only time of the year we usually see him; he was intelligent and escaped to Adelaide early on ;) – as well as Corina’s boyfriend whom I’m going to dub “Aaron” in the absence of proper recollection.

That went well, although I was even less hungry, so I didn’t get too much into dinner, aside from the ham. After that (or before; order inconsequentia :P) we did the presents bit. I scored a couple of nice t-shirts, actually, which was cool. Unfortunately while I was sitting there during the processions, I noticed one of mum’s boxes of crap next to me, in the top of which were some old photos. Baby photos and whatnot – scary stuff. I put them back after a cursory glance, but while I was distracted helping grandpa with his computer, the others got them back out. And that was that night shot the heck; manic laughter and “oh my god!”‘s inevitably ensued… :)

It was kind of cool… some of the photos I’d seen before, but many many I hadn’t. There were even photos of my parent’s wedding, which was a scary shotgun-style affair at dad’s parents place, where the priest was a friend of the family and the bride was more than a little pregnant. :D I’d always known the timing between the wedding and the birth was suspiciously close, but I’d never bothered to inquire or work out exactly how much it was… I’m going to go with, now, about three months. :D

Who wasn’t there this year though, was Lee & Johnny. They’re over in Ireland with Johnny’s family for Christmas, which would be really good for Johnny, but still it’s a shame for us not to see them. Still, they’re be plenty of catching up and many more photos I’m sure when they return. :)

Also, nana, remember that :D means cheesy grin. :D

Anyway, after that… well, I think I went home to dad’s. I don’t think it was actually that late when I got home. I think we watched the first five episodes of Black Books series 1 – one of the gifts dad gave me, before both heading to bed.

I did quite well this Christmas, actually, present wise – lots of goodies all round. Mum gave me cash for clothes, which even I concede I do need – so the situation is, by any normal standard, bordering on requiring U.N. aid – and dad like me had trouble finding the ideal gift for me (like I did for him), so we both coincidentally went the safe but quite reasonable route of DVDs and books. I got him some Rockwiz and Topgear bits & pieces – including a Crap Cars book from Topgear which I choose almost entirely because it had that awful Toyota minivan in it :D – while he for me got Red Dwarf series five through eight, Black Books (all series’) and that book of 244 scary cat photos that I think mum has, actually. So I’ve already read it, but it’s a good book, and I’ll certainly have a squiz through it again sometime, and a few laughs. :)

So, that was Christmas 2006. It went quite well, all in all. My bank balance isn’t entirely agreeable right at the moment, but I have been working hard for the last few weeks in full anticipation of the Christmas Toll, as well in saving for my road trip, so it’ll recover well enough. I’ve managed to glide along quite well in the last two months, financially, despite the colossal number of k’s I’ve done travelling between mum’s, dad’s and nana & pop’s, among other places.

I also went shopping Christmas Eve (during the day) for dad’s present, I’ve just recalled… yeah, I know, dumb time to do Christmas shopping. Anyway, what I was really going for was the second series of Fraiser, the boxed set, since dad has series’ one and three (and the next bazillion series’ aren’t yet available in Australia). Unfortunately, despite checking out literally every book store, CD store and general may-possibly-in-a-bizarre-split-dimension-sell-DVDs store in Mornington, as well as J.B. HiFi in Frankston, I could find only a single copy of the desired DVDs, and they were in a cheap and nasty single-width case, which I finally decided just wouldn’t do (especially given it was still $70… pfft, no thanks). So yes, I settled with the other DVDs and books, which ironically came from the very first book store I’d walked into, some two hours earlier. Grr. :)

So anyway, Christmas in a nutshell. Next, I shall have to cover Chantel’s Boxing Day Thingie… provided I can find the time… no, who am I kidding; I’ve all the time in the world. What I really needed for Christmas was self-motivation. :D

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