Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa's Latest Visit Sparks a Debate

Hey Gang!

It's Christmas Eve, and those of you that are stuck going to the office today, I feel for ya. I don't have to work 'officially' today, but my shift starts at 1:00 am late tonight/early Christmas morning, so technically, I have the day off. And I'm guessing that my trip to the casino later tonight will be a short one. Back when I was working in the pit, all it took was one jackass who wanted to play blackjack to keep me stuck at work overnight on Christmas, but in the poker room, you need a quorum.

I like my chances of being back home in bed before the sun comes up.

Anyhow, those of you goofing off at work today, have fun and drive safely back home when it's all over.

When I got home from work last night, I was just exhausted. It was one of those draining shifts that just sucks the life out of you. Not that I had to deal with any jerkoffs or anything like that, but it was just a grind all day long. And my hands were hurting--what's up with that? My hands never hurt, but from the wrist down, it feels like I was in a prize fight or something. Weird.

My plan was to go down to the grocery store and pick up some holiday munchables--more eggnog, some cheese and crackers, some cashews, stuff like that, so that I could have my own little Christmas Eve celebration tonight while I'm listening to the holiday music and talking on the phone to the family back in Tennessee. In fact, on the way home from the casino, I stopped at Albertson's and used up my gift card that they gave us at work. Luckily Albertson's was having a huge booze sale. I picked up some Captain Morgan Parrot Bay coconut rum (nothing better in eggnog, except maybe vanilla rum), and a bottle of that new hazelnut Kahlua. I also grabbed a couple of four-packs of Vernor's in the glass bottles. Yum!

When I got home, there were a couple of other things waiting for me on the entry-way table. First of all, a couple of Christmas cards from family and friends, which is always nice, and then a couple of packages. One was from Eric in Maine, a Super Troopers DVD, with a cool note telling me thanks for the years of right-wing common sense, from my friends at US Customs. Sweet. It's good to know that The Man is on my side!

The was another box, too. Inside was a note from reader Benji up in Minnesota, wishing me the best for the holidays, along with a Harlem Nights DVD and that Freakonomics book that's been on my wishlist for a couple of years--a great gift because it's something I've always wanted, but probably would've never bought for myself. So thanks again guys--it's much appreciated, and nice to know that folks are thinking of me this year during the holidays. I don't know why, but this year seems to be a little tougher for me than years past. Maybe because I came so close to being able to go back to Nashville, and then at the last moment the opportunity evaporated. But I just felt like I really needed to be there this time around, and being stuck here in Vegas for Christmas just ain't much fun.

But that's ok, I'll get over it. Besides, the other 364 days of the year, I'd much rather be in Vegas than Nashville, so it kind of balances out.

One of the other things waiting for me there on the table when I got home was a claim ticket from the post office. Mamasan's package of goodies finally made it here, but unlike the UPS man, the post man won't leave anything on the porch. Luckily, it's only a block away, so as soon as they open at 8:30, I'll head over and pick it up. I *think* there may be another set of 600-thread count sateen sheets in the box, along with my usual calendar featuring pictures of islands and beaches and whatnot, but what I'm really looking forward to is the batch of famous peanut butter balls. Some folks, like Rob and the Suburban Hausfrau, call them 'Buckeyes', but that's blasphemy as far as I'm concerned. Real peanut butter balls are completely covered in chocolate, no naked insides exposed. And tis *not* the season for blasphemy, anyways...

But Mamasan's been probably more excited for the package to get here than I am, and calls every day asking if it's here yet. And it's led to an interesting debate--she thinks that everything people send me should be considered Christmas gifts, and I shouldn't open any boxes before Christmas--that I should just take all the brown cardboard shipping boxes and pile them up under the tree like a redneck and then wait until Christmas morning to open them all at once.

I, on the other hand, disagree, and think that the packages should be opened as soon as they get here--besides, if I were to open a box and see that the stuff inside was giftwrapped, of course I'd wait to open it. But stacking up a bunch of cardboard boxes under the tree looks kinda ghetto-ish, and it's easy to post up individual thank-yous as things come trickling in (I think if I did it all at once, I'd probably end up leaving somebody out, and that would be very uncool). But Mamasan thinks I should've waited to open anything. Even my sister Amy said the same thing.

I disagree. Maybe I'm wrong, but hey--I've been wrong before. What do you folks think? I'll go with majority opinion next time around...

Anyhow, y'all have a wonderful Christmas!


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