Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday recap

Christmas Eve: The weather has been so horrible upstate that my parents have not been able to do any Christmas shopping. For the first time ever, I'm out in stores on Christmas Eve Day. It's really busy and crowded everywhere, but there isn't the short-tempered snappishness that I was expecting. There's more of a "we're all in this together" kind of vibe.

Christmas Day: First thing Christmas morning, the water heater decides to hand in its notice. Showers are ice-cold. Luckily the dishwasher has its own heating element, so we can wash the dishes without worrying that they won't be sanitary when they come out. Presents are distributed, and everyone likes what they got. My father spends the better part of the afternoon playing with his new TomTom (a GPS driving device). Dinner consists of prime rib, mashed potatoes, corn, and (uh-oh) Brussels sprouts. Later, there is a cloud of methane and sulfur over the house that could probably show up on a weather map.

Boxing Day: A plumber comes to replace the water heater. I babysit the dogs in the back room until he's gone. We spend most of the rest of day wandering around the house amusing ourselves with our presents or our laptops.

Tomorrow: My parents will be leaving in the morning. Ditter and I are going to go see Sweeney Todd in the afternoon. 'Cause nothing says "Christmas" like a murderous dude with a straight razor.

P.S.: I almost forgot! We've been watching the National Geographic channel all weekend (or NatGeo, as it now insists on calling itself (rolls eyes)). They're doing a marathon of episodes of "The Dog Whisperer." We've spent the whole week going "Ch-ch!" at the dogs any time they do something we don't like. I don't know why that noise works, but it does. Thank-you, Cesar Milan!


G said...

You got a plumber to come out on Boxing Day?

You probably have no idea how fantastically improbable that sounds here in Britain. It's the combination of two improbabilities that's so remarkable, like buying two lottery tickets and having them both come up together. Finding a plumber at all, anywhere, and with less than a month's notice, is the first. Getting anybody to work, except in a shop, for treble time, on Boxing Day is the second.

What are house prices like?

--V said...

Boxing Day isn't really that big of a deal over here. To most people it's just December 26th, and I know lots of people who head right back to work the day after Christmas. I don't even know whether most people call it Boxing Day. I just did it to be cute.

Mr. S (my sister's father-in-law) had called and left a message on someone's machine on Christmas Day. The fellow called back the next morning with a recommendation for someone else who was closer to us and was actually a plumber--not sure what this guy's business was. General contracting, maybe?

I don't think that the wielding of this man's name is what got the plumber here so fast. It's a buyer's market when it comes to plumbers over here. If one refuses work, he's just making things easier for his competitors. This is a water heater he just replaced, a fairly significant fee attached there, I'm sure. Has to pay for all those presents he just bought somehow.

I have no idea what house prices are like, but my sister just became a real estate agent. Would you like her number?

G said...

In this country at present, it's difficult to tell which is the telephone number and which is the price.

And Christmas is turning into a two-week general shutdown, it seems to me, except for electrical retailers and clothes shops.

Am I showing my age, I wonder?

--V said...

That's funny, because over here it seems like people pay less and less attention to the season. Well, except for retailers and radio shows. You know what I like best about December 26? The radios go back to playing regular music, and I don't have to listen to countless variations of the same fifteen songs. Some of the renditions made me want to throw back my head and howl like a dog.