Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Norman Rockwellian Christmas

1) I had a short week at work, much of which was spent unpacking. Here are some photos I took of our new office space. Here's the entrance to our suite which has our big shiny acronym on the wall.

This it the hallway where most of the offices are. It has some chairs for sitting.

This is my desk. Look at the fancy track lighting.

I had more pictures, but they were all pretty barren/depressing. Once we're more fully moved in maybe I'll post some more.

2) OMGMYBFFJILL!!! “The Attic” (latest episode of Dollhouse) was so awesome. Echo and Dominic chase a killer through the minds of Victor and Sierra (and others) who are trapped in repeating nightmares. Secrets are revealed, and our heroes rally for the coming fight against Rossum. Only 3 more episodes to go I’m sure they will be action-packed.

3) On Tuesday Bert made me dinner again (salmon and couscous) and drove me home so I could finish packing before work the next day. He's so good to me :)

4) Got home with no major delays, despite the weather being bad in Chicago and tons of flights being cancelled. Somehow mine got through with only a short delay at the terminal and since I was on the plance already I slept through it so it was basically non-existent. Alright, now I’m going to recount the details of my trip home. Rather than have this list burgeon to 30 things I will list them as subpoints. I think I have things on the right days, it all blurs together a little. (A wonderful blur, of course.)

5) Christmas Eve
• Waking up after 10
• Sledding and playing in the snow with Jenny, Leo, Isaiah and Mom. I only have this video, but I'm sure Jenny and Mom have pictures they will share soon (hint hint). My favorite parts were racing down the hill vs. Leo and Jenny&Isaiah and when Mom went down and almost crashed into her trees.
• Good food - Asparagus soup (even if Stephanie hates it) - Brisket – Christmas Cookies
• Being together with the family
• The one gift I opened was Fluxx from Jenny and Leo. I previously played this with Robert, but the edition I got is slightly newer. It was still pretty crazy. Playing with 6 people, the rules could change entirely and back again in between your turns so we all learned not to try to keep track of them until it was our turn. It was a lot of fun.
• Then we watched a couple episodes of “How I Met your Mother” Season 1, which I had gotten for Jenny and Leo. Neil Patrick Harris is hilarious.

6) Christmas
• Got lots of awesome presents – 1st Season of 30 Rock, Wii Fit Plus, A Boy and His Blob (next game for Stephanie and I), Boom Blox Bash Party, a whole bunch of legos, battery powered speakers, the obligatory socks, a photo book of our trips to the shore, and this cool veggie peeler that comes from a whole line of kitchen utensils that look like people.
• Cinnamon rolls for breakfast
• Beat New Super Mario Brothers Wii with JP
• Had a delicious dinner with Turkey, Mashed Potato Casserole, Zucchini thing, Jenny and Leo’s cranberry sauce, sweet potato fries etc.
• After Isaiah was in bed we had pie and watched a couple episodes of Dollhouse.
• After the rest of my family was asleep, I headed down to the basement to my satellite studio and animating the first scene for the upcoming Anti-Orange commercial.

7) Boxing Day
• Got to see Talya for a couple hours in the afternoon.
• We had salmon and spinach rice for dinner – twas delicious.
• Put together one of the models of the Family House set that Jenny and Leo got me. I then fell asleep on the floor. It’s been ages since I’ve fallen asleep on the floor by accident. I was roused from my nap when I heard my mom talking to someone about how I had fallen asleep on the floor at which point I moved to the couch and completed my nap.
• Then Veronica came over and we caught up a little and then watched the final 2 episodes of Dollhouse Season 1 with my family. Epitaph 1 is still incredible, even the third time through.
• After my family went to sleep Veronica and I sat around talking for several hours. We talked about Joss Wheedon and his many shows. Then I was telling her about some of my long term plans for NNN and said “surely you also have big elaborate plans in your head for a sweeping epic story.” And of course she does, and then I convinced her to walk me through the main arcs for the first 4 seasons or so. It was awesome. Now I just have to bug her to make something with it.

8) Sunday the 27th
• Adam came over after lunch and we spent the rest of the day together. It had been more than a year since we last saw each other and with him living in Sweden, the opportunities to see one another are few are far between. So that in itself was nice, but then we proceeded to awesome things.
• We put together the LEGO submarine my parents got for me . Then we promptly took it apart and built some alternative models. We each worked on a monster or two on our own and then we tried combining them and ended up trading parts and refining each other’s work until we ended up with these three creatures.

• Then Adam and I worked together to animate a scene for the Anti-Green commercial. It’s been a long time since I animated with anyone. It was nice to have someone to run ideas past and to have another set of hands that could focus on a character in a multi-character scene. (The scene has 3 cheerful children, 4 sneaky snakes, and 1 giggling goblicaun)
• Adam joined my family for dinner – we had leftovers galore.
• Then I introduced Adam to Super Mario Brothers Wii. I took him through levels from a few worlds to show off some of the various powers Then we played through world 7 which my brother and I warped past. We had a lot of fun helping and thwarting each other. Then we went back and found some missing star coins to unlock parts of world 9. Lots of fun.
• Then we called up Jeremy and went over to his dad’s house to hang out. We played a round of Fluxx and Grave Robbers from Outer Space and then we sat around talking for a couple hours. It was good to catch up; I hadn’t seen or spoken to Jeremy for two years. Nice to know he’s still doing well. His girlfriend is also 33 years old - so I was able to tell that to mom, since she keeps bringing up Bert’s age like it’s a problem. ;)

9) I flew back to Chicago Monday afternoon. Getting through check-in and security took as long as you’d expect, so I had barely sat down at the terminal when it was time to board the plane. It was nice getting home early in the evening. It gave me time to unpack and unwind and prepare for the week. I watched the penultimate disk of Angel Season 4 while eating dinner, unpacking, and building the main model of the Family House that Jenny and Leo got me. A nice relaxing evening.

10) I know what you’re thinking, “That’s strange, Dave did a whole update about going home and being with his family and he barely mentioned his nephew.” But I’ve saved the best for last. :) I already mentioned that we went sledding on Christmas Eve Day, and of course there was an obligatory session of Baby Baby Baby Sliiiiide, but there were also a whole new host of games we played. In between all the other things I listed I spent a good amount of my time with Isaiah:
• Running around the first floor with Isaiah while saying “Beep beep”
• Playing with the Little People “Main Street” set. In addition to rolling cars down the ramp and taking them through the “car wash,” we also took the babies (Baby with a hat and Baby with no hat) to get ice cream and to go grocery shopping. I could not convince him that the bank or the post office were worth visiting, maybe next time.
• After I had built the Family Home alternate model, I had had a bunch of pieces left over. Isaiah asked if he could help with the house. We built a red bathtub and then he decided it would be fun to drive his red car through the big pile of legos. So he would drive the car through (each time proclaiming “Red Car - Splaaaash!” and “That was the biggest splash ever!” and then we would put the pile back together and do it again. And then after the biggest splash of them all we worked together to find all the pieces and put them back in the box.
• Isaiah got two Bob the Builder DUPLO sets, which he was very excited about. So there were some good times playing with them.
• There were also several games of hide and seek, although Isaiah did not always get that the place you hide is supposed to be secret, instead proclaiming loudly where he wanted to hide next.
• Of course he proclaimed a lot of things through out the holiday. Such as “Merry Christmas Uncle Dave!” “Christmas Cookies!” (to which my brother would respond “Christmas Monkey?”) “Hello in there!” (to the pits of his olives) and “A-men!” (after hearing Dad say it at dinner.
• He was definitely into opening presents this year. Here’s a video of him helping Jenny open one and another one of him finding a very special present from his grandparents.

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