Christmas! (surprises, baby's first, and exploding cars)
We watched The Polar Express but Round Two of drinking kicked in for me then, and I fell asleep before the end.
This was Alex's first Christmas so the gifts never actually made it under the tree, else he probably would have devoured them--or at least ripped up the paper. On Christmas morning, however, we decided that it wasn't worth it to try to keep the discarded paper from him, robbing him of his fun and ours--since being constantly vigilant and yelling at a three-month-old puppy is not all tinsel and joy. Since it only comes once a year, we let him rip the discarded wrapping paper to his little Golden heart's content.
Which resulted, of course, in the whole floor being covered in tiny bits by the end of the hour. Not fun to pick up but he had such a great time...and it tired him out for the rest of the day!
We took pictures, but most are on the SeaLife (!!!) so I will upload and post them later. I only have roughly two thousand pictures to post from the past month anyway.
Since Bobby and I had bought for our collective couplehood the SeaLife camera, then we had a spending limit on gifts for each other. This was more my insistence than his; Bobby would gladly buy me the universe, but I think it's less special to just get each other stuff than to stop and think and choose gifts with some function and meaning. Anyhoo. So we wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve and both brought in our piles to stack on the coffee table.
Okay. Mine was waaaay bigger than his.
"You went over your limit," I said. "You told me that you didn't."
He got a very innocent look and insisted, "No I didn't! These--" gesturing to a largish box and a bag filled with lots of little things wrapped in tissue paper--"are for both of us from Alex."
"And where," I asked, "did Alex get the money for that?"
"I asked him the same thing," Bobby said, "and all he told me was that it had something to do with smuggling and Cuban cigars...."
I looked at Alex. "Alex, did you do that?" and Alex replied, "Oh, Mommy, what the f--"
"Alex! Where did you learn such language?"
"From you, Mommy!"
Okay, he had me there, so I didn't inquire any further about the "gifts from Alex."
The next morning, Alex wanted me to open our gifts from him first. Bobby said that Alex had told him what was in the box, so I had to open it. I had no clue. Alex had bitten a corner off of the wrapping paper, and I could see that it was a white box. Largish. So I opened it and....
It was a Nintendo Wii!
All this time, Bobby had been hyping up how hard it was to find the Wii, claiming that he was on lists, but it wouldn't be until after Christmas. The Wii is the first time in a long while that I've been interested in a game system. I'm an old-school Nintendo girl, and Legend of Zelda was my first fantasy fandom. Sharon and I used to put on our bathrobes and play Legend of Zelda when we were kids. I was always Link; even then, I had a thing for pointy-eared men.
But apparently, Bobby--excuse me, Alex--has had our Wii for some time now. I did forgive him for going over the limit since he will play with it much more than I will, so it really is a family gift. I will play my Legend of Zelda and some of the original NES games (and this crazy thing that Potter got me where you milk pigs; I teased him that he must stand in front of the game wall when shopping for me and choose the most outrageous thing up there!) but am not into driving games or anything that involves guns. Nor do I like sports games, though I love sports. Weird. Mostly, I like fantasy and crazy shit where you milk pigs or roll around as giant marbles or toss newspapers through people's windows...yep, those are Dawn's sorts of games.
I had told Bobby that it didn't matter that we wouldn't have the Wii until after Christmas. "Let someone else have it," I said, "who will probably like it more anyway." (Looking back, I roll my eyes at myself and this attitude: "Oh, you can have it; you'll like it more than I will!" I've gone without food because of this outlook!)
The bag of tissue-paper-wrapped things from Alex was Wii accessories. Bobby did inform me that he'd tried and tried but could not get a hold of my Legend of Zelda game, but he would get it for me as soon as he could find it. "That's okay," I said. "I'm sure someone else bought it who will play it more than I will." Pointy-eared men can wait.
So we went on to open our gifts from each other (versus Alex)...well, sort of. I'd wrapped my gifts first, and I made out the gift tags from all kinds of crazy people. Bobby got gifts from Maedhros, Feanor, Maglor, Meryth, and Felak (my original Elf character). Bobby took my lead, and I got gifts from Nelyo, Meryth, Maglor, Captain Jack Sparrow, the National Slash Association, and Klaus Von Uber, Bobby's D&D character.
So let's see....
- The Last Unicorn on DVD
- Little Miss Sunshine on DVD
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on DVD (from Captain Jack)
- Brokeback Mountain on DVD (from the National Slash Association)
For this one, I asked Bobby, "You bought this online, didn't you?" And yes, he did. Actually, I'd thought of buying it for him to spare him having to go to the store to buy it for me. That was to be my gift: "Here, hon, now you don't have to go into Best Buy and pick up the gay cowboy movie for your wife." I'm glad that I didn't because then I probably would have made him go to the store with me to take it back!
- The Chronicles of Narnia on DVD
- Napoleon Dynamite on DVD (how did I not have that movie??)
- That Thing You Do on DVD (how did I not have that movie?!)
- The 2005 and 2006 Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies
- Ocean from the American Museum of Natural History
- Eragon (since I hear either all-good or all-bad about this book and need to form my own opinion since I consider myself a fantasy author and all)
- A picture frame that rotates up to fifty digital photos
- A photo printer (also a family gift)
- The infamous SeaLife of Lore (a family gift that has barely left Bobby's side so I think that I'm going to adopt the poor neglected Canon Rebel)
As we were opening gifts, Bobby stuck a big pile of DVD-shaped things in my lap. "These are DVDs," I remarked wisely.
"Yes," said Bobby.
"There's a lot of them. Are you sure that you didn't go over your limit?"
"Overstock dot com, baby," he replied with a sage nod.
"Okay," I agreed and started to tuck in. I got Little Miss Sunshine first, then Napoleon Dynamite. ("But we have this!" "No, we don't." "We have to!" "We don't. I checked." *Dawn goes to check anyway* "Oh. We don't have it. *pause* We don't have it! How don't we have it?!" "Well, now we have it.")
The next one I opened and stared in disbelief: The Legend of Zelda.
"You told me that you didn't get this!"
Bobby was rolling by now.
"You liar!" But I was laughing too and quite happy. Pointy-eared men! Whee! All I need is a blue bathrobe and dreams of making a tinfoil sword and I'd be ten years old again!
Bobby got from me:
- Ghostbusters on DVD (from Meryth, who thought that the "cover looked cool")
- Spies Like Us on DVD (from Nelyo)
- Incubus CD "Light Grenades" (from Maglor)
- Star Trek Legacy for his Xbox 360 (from me because none of the muses wanted anything to do with the sheer geekiness of that...pot and kettle, right?)
- Madden 2007 for PSP
- Sega Genesis Collection for PSP
- A book on Rome (from Feanor, who says that he needs to learn a thing or two about history but all the books about the most important civilization--the Noldor--are biased because they're written by Nolofinwe's tools)
- Neil Gaiman's short-story collection Fragile Things
Also, we have Ravens tickets for next week's game. Today, we went out and bought purple, black, and yellow face paint. When the Ravens won the Super Bowl, the AFC Championship was broadcast live at the stadium, and Sharon and I went all painted up, and people kept stopping us to take our pictures. Hee!
Alex got lots of new toys and treats, including a stuffed gator for the carpet alligator from his Grandmom! Poor Alex, though, has slept all day after the excitement yesterday.
So Christmas was pretty awesome. We had a fantastic time together, Alex had a great time, and we both adore all that we got for each other. Contented and tired, I went to bed at midnight last night and left Bobby playing his Star Trek game. He didn't have to go to work today but I did. Of course, I was hyped and didn't want to be in bed. Around 12:30, I began to achieve a twilight sleep and was just getting comfortable when--
A frightening, loud noise woke me up.
I was on the edge of sleep, so I wondered if maybe I'd just heard something and my overactive imagination had made it worse than it was. It sounded like when the trash collectors come around and drop the dumpster back onto the parking lot; it was a loud, resounding kind of boom.
Still, I'm so accustomed to waking up to giant spiders on my ceiling or yellow cats on my bookshelf that I figured that it was me and tried to settle back to sleep.
But...Bobby had stopped his game. I heard him get up and open the sliding door, and just as I was getting out of bed to ask, "Did I imagine that?" he shouted, "Ree, you have to come see this!"
The way our community is designed, the main street runs down the middle, and there is a big hill to the right of it. There are buildings along the street at the bottom of the hill; at the top of the hill is our street, so we overlook a small wooded area and down to the parking lots of the street-level buildings. In the summer, all we see is trees, but in the winter, we can see all the way down to the main street. In that parking lot, a parked car was completely engulfed in flames. What had awakened me that I'd assumed was 10% normal noise and 90% imagination was the car exploding.
Bobby who was awake and coherent at the time said that he'd heard a small boom that he'd thought was someone next-door bumping into the wall. A short while later came the noise that woke me up, and it was so violent that it literally rattled the walls of the apartment. He said, "WTF was that?" got up and saw the car on fire down in the parking lot.
Two Easters ago, there was a rather large fire in that same building. It's just not a good place to live on Christian holidays, apparently.
We've had to call the Fire Department once since living here. Over the summer, we were eating supper on our balcony when we noticed large quantities of smoke coming from the apartment next door. It does remind a person that when living in an apartment, one is more or less at the mercy of the neighbors' sensibilities as well as one's own.
As for the car explosion, the cops were there when it blew up, so someone must have called as soon as it caught fire. As to what caused it, I have no idea. There's nothing in the paper yet, but I'll be keeping a lookout.
I went back to bed, but I was pretty jittery after that and on edge for every little sound. What an exciting Christmas!