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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Well, Our Christmas Shopping Is Half-Finished....

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Well, Our Christmas Shopping Is Half-Finished....

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tiki hut
Yes, you read that correctly. Last night, Bobby and I officially began--and finished--half of our Christmas shopping.

Picture it: Dawn sitting at the desk, painting Meryth's cloak in a color called Goblin Green; Bobby sitting on the couch with his laptop surfing SCUBA sites. Now Bobby and I had made an agreement that Christmas this year is not going to be the exorbitant affair of years past. It has always been my philosophy that holiday monies are best spent doing things that will be memorable in years to come rather than buying junk that will be under the bed and forgotten by the New Year. Anyway, at last, I got Bobby to agree. Since we decided to pursue this whole underwater-as-a-hobby-and-career thing, we have been eyeing up a camera called the SeaLife camera, which is a top-of-the-line digital camera that functions both above- and underwater. We decided that rather than driving ourselves--and each other--nuts with piles of unneeded gifts this year, we would split the cost of the SeaLife camera, which we will both use and enjoy.

The SeaLife camera with all things included--including the strobe--costs (hold on to your seats, misers) $999. Yes, one of those "if I end it with a nine then no one will notice how dear it is." Harumph. You can buy the camera by itself for just over $500.

Returning to our happy picture of Dawn with green-painted lips (from licking my brushes all of the time; that detail in AMC does not come from nowhere) and Bobby surfing using the latest in Internet technology, Bobby suddenly blurts out, "Oh my god, I just found our SeaLife on sale on scuba.com--the whole package, strobe and all--for $500."

Silence falls.

"That's pretty cool," Dawn says, after verifying that the usual price is in fact about a grand, and goes back to painting Meryth's cloak--and her lips--a nice even Goblin Green.

More silence but one with a vivid imagination can hear the wheels turning in the House of Felagund.

"Soooo..." says Dawn.

(Now, just as background, Dawn is the Official Skinflint, Cheapo, Miser, and Tightwad of the House of Felagund. Bobby has to put her back in line all the time. Just the other night, at the movies, Dawn wanted a soda and realized that she had forgotten her coupon for a free one. "Oh, well," she said. "There's always next time." "Dawn!" Bobby shouted. "You can still get a soda!" "But it's four dollars for a medium....")

"Soooo..." says Dawn the Penurious again. Bobby gives her a careful look. "Are you going to get it?"

"I don't know," says Bobby, who has had enough ill-fated run-ins with his miserly wife to have learned to ask, "What do you think?"

"Well," says Dawn, "if we think of it logically, it seems foolish to wait three months and pay $400 more for something that we want to get anyway."

"True," Bobby agrees.

"We can put it on the credit card and pay it off when we set aside money for Christmas. And we can even keep it at one of the parents' houses so that we're not tempted to use it until Christmas. Then it will feel like we got it then anyway."

"True," Bobby agrees, and silence falls again. A few minutes later: "Soooo...should I order it?"

Now what do you think the outcome was?

(Though perhaps in honor of her penny-pinching forefathers, Dawn did advice to wait to add the $60 wide-angle lens until a later time.)
  • But it is still Summer!

    Hehe, yes! But the camera is going away until Christmas, where it will be unwrapped and enjoyed like any other gift. And $400 off was too much a deal to pass up....

    This is also where both our worlds are so apart. We don't do gifts with Christmas, we used to get gifts with Sinterklaas, but once I quit believing in him, that stopped too. And after the past years drama's caused by my brother, the Christmas spirit as in celebrating with family is killed too.

    I have trouble mustering much enthusiasm for Christmas these days too. I really enjoy the little traditions that Bobby and I have, but that's about it. The "gimme gimme gimme!" attitude and the idea that you have to spend hundreds of dollars on making someone happy and the nasty attitudes of people who have spent too much or don't think that they've gotten enough...I am happy this year to be sharing the cost of this camera with Bobby, getting a few piddly things here and there, and getting to enjoy the rest of the season. I know that my family situation was nowhere near as awful as yours last holiday, but they really put me off all the same, after years of preaching about how they'd never make us choose between families, then doing just that. This year, we are going to a Meyerhoff Symphony show and to New York City with both families; the rest of the time, I think Bobby and I will stay home.

    Oh, and my sister will be in town in early December! *squee* So we'll hang out with her too.

    Aaaanyhow :) Last year I got such an unexpected present from an author named Dawn Felagund and up to this day I still frequently read the story named 'The Gift'. Maybe because it reminds me that gifts don't necessarily are only given around Christmas...

    *squee more* :^D I am so happy to hear that that gift meant that much to you. And the sad thing is that I asked people on my flist for gift requests, and within minutes, had a dozen responses...and many either never read their stories or never even wrote a comment to say that they had, even after asking for one. It was kind of hurtful, truth be told. Then I write a "surprise" story for one person; amid twenty-odd requests, I am trying to convince myself that it is the wise thing to do. "But Rhapsy never made a request; she might not even like the story; blah blah blah," and then you end up being the most wonderful and grateful of all about it. So maybe there is a lesson for me in there somewhere. :)

    (Somewhere, Bobby is muttering, "Yeah, like you damned straight better not take open requests again this year!" :^D Poor guy; he had to put up with me for the duration of it....)

    {{{{{hugs back}}}}} and thank you again! :)
    • And $400 off was too much a deal to pass up....

      Oh yes, I agree! But I think I heard some weeks ago that in Harrods, London, they already started with Christmas sales and it was around 100F outside!!!

      This year, we are going to a Meyerhoff Symphony show and to New York City with both families; the rest of the time, I think Bobby and I will stay home.

      That sounds wonderful. With Christmas we tend to stay at home and those are really introspective days. Hubby is a hermit and this year I wonder if Kevin will crawl under the Christmas tree :)

      I am so happy to hear that that gift meant that much to you.

      It does... I remember that it popped up and I stared at it going like.. oh my and the story itself is amazing. I am very bad myself in keeping up with b-day fics or requests as I did in June, so I rather not ask if I can't make it myself.. And I am not such a gimme gimme person myself (unless it's shiney ;) ). I somehow always get these great bunnies to write for someone, some of them turn out to be epic or I end up too late meeting *that* deadline.

      I still feel so guilty of not leaving a proper review, but will make up for that soon!

      (Somewhere, Bobby is muttering, "Yeah, like you damned straight better not take open requests again this year!" :^D Poor guy; he had to put up with me for the duration of it....)

      I am sorry Bobby! When was your b-day again? I feel writing a hockey game featuring an impressive line up of the Feanorians vs... hmm the house of Fingolfin? Hmmm I think Celegorm would shine as a right wing player... Curufin on the left, the twins as right and left defenders, Feanor as centre, Maedhros being the backup... Maglor in the goal... Celebrimbor as coach or universal backup or as a referee? Ut oh... where did this bunny came from?
      • But I think I heard some weeks ago that in Harrods, London, they already started with Christmas sales and it was around 100F outside!!!

        Oh, I have no doubt! When I still worked in the restaurant, across the hall from us was a Hallmark store, which is the best known greeting card and gift store in this area. They used to get in their Christmas ornaments in July. I'm sorry, but that ruins it.

        Now, they decorate the mall starting 1 November, the day after Halloween. The pumpkins come down and the Christmas lights go up. Ridiculous.

        I'm a traditionalist: The holidays start the day after Thanksgiving, which is (I think) the third Thursday in November. We call that Black Friday here because it's the first big holiday shopping day of the year...or used to be. Now I guess people start in...July?

        I wonder if Kevin will crawl under the Christmas tree :)

        Oh! That's right! It'll be his first Christmas! How precious; I hope you post lots of pictures? *hopeful grin*

        I still feel so guilty of not leaving a proper review, but will make up for that soon!

        Please don't feel guilty. You didn't ask for the story, for one. My beef was with people who could type out a request five seconds after the post was up, I'd spend hours on a story, then they couldn't even read it. Or read it and couldn't even type a comment that said, "I read it." Three words. Four if they want to be extra-polite and say "Thanks." Secondly, there was a lot going on in your life at that time, iirc, and RL and Kevin (especially!) are more important than fandom. Thirdly, you did review it, iirc...then LJ ate the review. I know that you got the story and read it and liked it and that's enough for me! Then you nominated it for a MEFA, which completely blew me away!

        I am sorry Bobby! When was your b-day again? I feel writing a hockey game featuring an impressive line up of the Feanorians vs... hmm the house of Fingolfin?

        I told him this and he laughed. (Laughed in a good way!) He wants me to ask you if you follow NHL hockey or another league. (Sorry...the man is a hockey junkie; you might have opened a can of worms with this one!)

        And his birthday is 8 April. ;)
        • They used to get in their Christmas ornaments in July. I'm sorry, but that ruins it.

          Now, they decorate the mall starting 1 November, the day after Halloween. The pumpkins come down and the Christmas lights go up. Ridiculous.


          Over here in my town they have a public ordanance that Sinterklaas (see my other comment) is not allowed to appear before the 5th of December, so therefore all Christmas ornaments will pop up around the 6th of December. Including Christmas cards ect ect. Some shops do start a wee bit earlier, but mostly a bit more hidden in the shops. Sinterklaas is still a big event here, so we have extra shopping days on Sunday (yes in this part of the country all shops are closed on Sunday) to buy gifts (which I haven't done for years, but well Kevin's first Sinterklaas... yay!) What they start to do aroudn October though is putting lights up on the city square (the largest in the Netherlands), so that is really atmospheric when the days start to shorten.

          Oh! That's right! It'll be his first Christmas! How precious; I hope you post lots of pictures? *hopeful grin*

          Oh yes!

          I told him this and he laughed. (Laughed in a good way!) He wants me to ask you if you follow NHL hockey or another league. (Sorry...the man is a hockey junkie; you might have opened a can of worms with this one!)

          Well I passed on my review for the Gift. :)

          LOL I used to watch NHL hockey almost daily around I think 1992-1994. My dad loves it and he made me enthusastic for it (Eric Lindros, Mario Lemieux, Pavel Buren, Dale Hunter, John LeClair were heroes, and I still think I have my Toronto Maple Leaf jackets somewhere). But then the television hot shots decided that, due to commercial gains, that they wouldn't broadcast any american sports on the channel we watched or could receive over here. But now we have digital television and much to our delight they recently added ESPN. Hubby loves to watch baseball, so that is what I so far saw of it. What I heard was that the NHL has been crippled by salary strikes the past years, so if everything is back to normal I hope to see exciting games from the Eastern & Western Conferences.



          • The strikes for the NHL ended in time for last season, and they have a salary cap in place now, which I personally like because it becomes less an issue of who can buy the best team and more about who can build the best team. As a Baltimore sports fan, baseball is frustrating for me because I like (of course) the Orioles, but Peter Angelos our team owner is a tightwad who won't spend the money on decent players, and so we always end up at the bottom of the barrell. And the Yankees (our archrivals) inevitably win because they buy their championship. American football has had a salary cap for several years now with the result that every year, a different set of teams is really good and teams have to really plan how to spend their money. It makes it much more enjoyable, imo, to see your team have a bad year and know that in another couple of years, they'll have a chance again because teams are no longer allowed to horde all of the good players.

            So I hope that's what is going to happen in the NHL too. Being a Maryland girl, I follow the Washington Capitals; we had a crappy season last year but have the best rookie of last year (Alex Ovechkin), so I'm hoping that with a few new players, the Caps will stand a chance this year.

            And all those names you listed...when I first started dating Bobby, he worshipped those guys, had posters hanging in his room, had every jersey. Ai, it brings back the old times.... :)
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