Saturday, December 25, 2010

quick and dirty for the holidays

School's out, I'm on vacation til January, and the family is all in town.  Start the holidays!!!

Joe and Celeste drove up from Kentucky on Tuesday.  Long drive, but safe trip though.  They've done birthdays with his mom's fam, and they're doing Christmas stuff with her mom's fam tomorrow.  They're meeting up with us on the afternoon of Christmas day.  This is their first year trying to balance so many houses, so I'm sure it'll be a challenge.

We have the shared-holiday down to a science though.  Since the actual holiday is always a jumble of super-hectic activity, we just do Christmas early.  Regardless of the date on the calendar, it's good family time without all the time constraints.

Missy and the kids started Friday night by baking and decorating a whole rack of cookies.  These were FoodChannel quality cookies, too.  Win-me-ten-thousand-dollars cookies.

The adventure didn't stop when the cookies were finished.  Sam and her bf got in a car wreck late that night.  They're both OK, he got a couple stitches and they both got a whole rack of bruises, but nothing permanent.  I did have the pleasure of answering that 1am phone call telling me she was in a car wreck.  We spent the whole night in the ER, but sadly I missed watching when they dug this piece of glass out of his face:

Saturday was still fun, but thankfully with a lot less excitement.  We had reallllly tasty dinner down in Alexandria at Columbia Firehouse.  It's a top-notch restaurant built into what used to be a for-real fire station. The original building dates from 1883, and it's still got the classic feel to it.  

After dinner, we went across the river to the National Harbor for a bit.  They've got a lot of holiday stuff to check out:  light shows, giant Christmas trees, dancing fountains... it's all really fun freebie stuff.  Not enough to fill an entire evening, or to do year-after-year, but definitely worth the trip at least once.  (We didn't do the ICE! displays, bc $30 each, times the size of my crew, gets a bit expensive.  Just didn't seem worth the reward.)

Once we finished all the running around, we had a late night gift exchange back at the house.  Everybody in the fam really gets into gift-giving; finding the right present to deliver a big smile.  As a result, I think we all made out like bandits.  :)

Over the coming days, we've got a whole rack of Christmases to celebrate.  We'll be running around the DC area doing the holidays with all the different branches of a big ol' family tree.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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Bloons, Christmatized.

The best part about the 12 Holes of Christmas (besides the Tiger Woods jokes) is being able to color your balls.

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Pam says have a classy Christmas.

Jess sent in the 1811 version of the Urban Dictionary.  Captain Grose's "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue." I'm happy that sort of buckish language has progressed, bc I'd have a heckuva a time not giggling whenever I mention my twiddle-diddles.

The classic:  Drowning Pool "Bodies (Let the Bodies Hit the Floor)"

The remix:  TouchCat gives us Lolita the Parrot rocking a spot-on cover.

Um, I'm not sure how Gina's doing things in TX, but I'm not up for much of mobile-anything in the back of a white van.

Everything but secks.

Simple and accurate.  Worst part is, I don't even offer one.  Missy has to deal with me in fractions.

I've had this in my inbox for a while, and I'm not sure exactly why I think it's so awesome.  Maybe she reminds me of someone.  Maybe it's just really cool.  Maybe this is how Penthouse Forums appear in my head.  

Closing this week with my all time favorite Christmas image.  To me, nothing says Christmas more than watching the presents open their children by the tree.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

done done done done DONE

I've been gone for a while.  I've been getting whipped by my schoolwork this entire semester.  Whipped hard, too, with no SafeWord to loosen the straps when things got a little out of control.

It was worth it though.  Last weekend, I finished my senior project.  103 pages of tension, sweat, and bloody keyboarding.  Earlier this week, I completed my final final.  Say that with me:  "final final."  No more exams, EVAR!  I am one-hundred-per-cent, now and forever, i's dotted and t's crossed, DONE with my degree requirements.

Once I get my grades back and do all the formalities, I'll have:
(assuming that I passed of course)
  • Diploma in Homeland Security
  • Associate's degree in Computer Information Systems
  • Bachelor's degree in Information Systems, focus on Programming
I feel more smarticles already.

Besides schoolwork, we've had the typical whirlwind of family stuff happening around the house.  I have a few  dozen topics dancing with the sugar plums in my head.  I really need to flush my brain and start over, though.  Kinda like coming back from vacation and deleting the email inbox.  If it's important, it'll come back.

Megan lettered for doing her 3rd season of color guard in the marching band.  She's just now a freshman, so she got credit for the years she was in middle school, but spinning flags w the high school band.  She's kicking tail in her classes too.  Missed straight A's the first semester by one class:  B in violin class.

Sam is home from Radford.  For keepsies.  Before you jump to conclusions, her return is by choice.  She earned solid A's and B's her first semester, but decided to switch schools.  She's already registered for the spring semester at NOVA, and will be transferring to JMU either sophomore or junior year.

Ethan just finished a really cool science project.  He built models of three different bridges, and tested how much they flexed under different weight loads.  His project looked like the projects you see in the movies, 1000x better than anything we ever did in school.

Joe and Celeste are doing their thing down in Kentucky still.  My mom and I took a road trip a while back, checking out their apartment and delivering furniture.  The apartment is super cute in a nice neighborhood, just up the road from where he's working.  They're coming into town for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to getting caught up on all the latest.

Christmas for us is actually starting tomorrow.  Since the kids have so much family, step-family, and extended family, December 25 is insanely busy.  We do our famstuff on a different day, so we can relax a bit and enjoy the time together without dealing with a high-pressure schedule.  We're going to dinner in Alexandria at Columbia Firehouse.  I know it sounds like a bingo hall, but it's actually a really cool restaurant built into the shell of an 1800's firehouse.  After dinner, we're heading down to the National Harbor to check out the lights and shows, before heading home to exchange gifts.

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Balls.  Not like that.  These are balls in a Christmas, as well as a use your brain, kinda way.

This game kick's some Christmas ass!  You'll soooo wind up on the naughty list, though.  Super Santa Kicker!
(Why is Santa so jolly?  'Cuz he knows where all the naughty girls live.)

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Send submissions!!!!

Five ways to let your Facebook password get stolen.  (Side note:  it drives me effing crazy when people say "I was hacked!"  After a decade in IT, I've only seen one instance when the user hadn't done something boneheaded first.)

Gawker's password database was compromised.  Here's a graph of the most common passwords in that data spill.  If your password is on the list, maybe you should be a little more creative...


Dog people are infinitely funnier than cat people.

Dogs don't need people to be funny:  "I made food!  I'm magical!"

Candy is my favorite part of Halloween.

The 1985 John Riggins limited edition Ford F-150.

Only in West Virginia.

CrifDogs NYC!

All I need is the little box of 8 Crayolas.

I just got free of my BlackBerry.  I can vouch for accuracy of the dinosaur picture.
(btw - Verizon, which caught a lot of my venom over the summer, backed off of their stupid "pay extra for nothing" policy.  We renewed the contract and got three new phones, including my Droid X.  I'm still irritated at Verizon, but I LOVE MY DROID.)


Dammitall.  I knew it was them.

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