Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Halls Were Decked

And I'm back. Happy New Year.

Hope everyone's Christmas was a good one. Most of my Christmas week was good. I had Lt. Trouble and Puddle together at my house for a good part of it. Puddle dropping in on occasion, and Trouble staying with me.

Actually, Trouble didn't even make it into town until about 3:30 PM on the 25th. He got a great deal on a flight that came into a neighboring city on Christmas day, so I had to drive 100 miles on Christmas to get him. Not a big deal, because the kids were at their Mother's this year (as per our divorce settlement), so it wasn't like I had much of anything else to to. Plus, I had my new hooptie, so the ride was pretty sweet.

What do you mean, what new hooptie?

Oh. It has been a while, hasn't it?

The previous week, I finally got out of bankruptcy, and that, coupled with my previous windfall, (with a generous dose of suspicious noises emanating from my old van thrown in for good measure) , prompted an early purchase of a new car. Well, new to me, anyways.

I'm now the proud owner of a 2003 Chevy Impala LS, loaded, with a V-6, sunroof, spoiler, premium sound system, heated leather seats, and only 45,000 miles on it. That picture over there isn't my car, but but it could be--right down to the color and the rims. I have a client who's become a good friend over the past few years, whose used-car business is set up backwards from most: he does a credit report on you, looks at your finances and expenses, and then figures out how much you can really afford to spend on a car, then finds a car that fits. He went out and 'stole' this car for me. Plus he threw in a 5 year, 100k mile warranty on it for one buck above his cost. Man, it's a sweet ride. The kids love it, and even the El-Tee was impressed. Surprised the hell out of him when we left the airport, that's fer sure.

And, yes, it's far too nice to be a real hooptie, but a white guy can pretend to be a brotha, can't he?

So where was I? Oh yeah. Christmas.

I didn't get the kids until Christmas night, so I dropped him off at his mom's and met up with him and the kids (and EW) at one of EW's sister's houses in the afternoon, and they all came home with me.

Lots of fun opening presents. One of my daughter's 'big' presents was a used Olympus digital camera. It sold for several hundred bucks about two years ago, but now it's been replaced with smaller cameras with larger memories, but it's still a good camera--better than the cut-rate ones I would have had to buy if I had spent the same amount on a new one that I paid for it. Plus, the size is better for littler fingers.

She set the timer so that we could take this picture. I got all my kids football jerseys this year. Trouble is a big fan of the Bills, as is my youngest son. Puddle likes the Bills too, but likes the Steelers even more. Just like me. So I got them all jerseys. And Trouble surprised me with a jersey of my own--customized with my last name on the back, but with the number of my all-time favorite player.

After all the presents were opened, I brought out a last, Santa-sized bag, with five identical packages in them. I handed them out, and kept one for myself, and told them not to open them until I said so. Inside were identical Nerf guns. My youngest son wanted the Nerf dart tag game, but I saw these six-shooters at the store, and thought it was cooler, since you didn't need to reload as often. Well, if I was going to get one for him, I'd need to get one for my daughter as well. And I would be a complete idiot (and a sitting duck) if I didn't get one for me. And then when I found out Lt. Trouble would be here, it seemed obvious that I would have to get him (and then Puddle) each one as well.

Best $36 I think I ever spent.

I wrapped them loaded and ready to go right from the moment they were unwrapped.* Since I already knew what was in the packages, I was able to get the drop on them, and nailed them all before they could react. Which was fortunate, because after that I was pummeled. It turned into an hour-long house-wide foam-dart firefight. My oldest, especially was in his element, squeezing off rounds while executing SWAT maneuvers on us.

I still haven't found all the darts yet.

The rest of the week went okay, except for the glaring lack of interest Trouble showed in his mother. He has a lot of anger and resentment towards her, and I had to practically twist his arm to get him to spend any time at all with her. I had to keep reminding myself that it's not my problem, but it's incredibly sad to see. I know it's eating her up that he doesn't want to spend time with her. And, of course, even though I was advocating that he spend time with her, she's already made it known to me that it's my fault he didn't spend time with her.

No surprise there.

But now he's in Vegas with his fiancee, and Puddle's on his way to his girlfriend's house in New Jersey. My youngest two and I did our now-traditional New Years' Eve of games, movies, and watching the fireworks from our front porch.

And as much as I love the holiday season, I'm looking forward to getting the Santa's all packed away, the tree taken down, and the return of what passes for normalcy in my little crooked house.

Maybe it's just my age, but I'm beginning to see the advantages of a little undecking these days.

A blessed New Year to all of you.


*Something that I'm doing with regularity these days in 'pre-opening' the kids stuff; making sure the work, have batteries, et c. I'm tired of getting them cool toys that are then nearly destroyed as they struggle to remove them from packaging designed for shelf appeal, not ease of removal from aforementioned packaging.


Blogger Guy Wonders said...

Happy New Year, BP - What a great family moment to have a Nerf battle in the midst of a Christmas celebration. Unique, fun and memorable! Best of all, I like how Dad got the jump on everyone first.

By the way, if I knew you were looking for a car, I could've put you in a 1993 Cutlass Supreme for almost nothing. . . .

8:54 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

What, and deprive Maxwell of his excuse for not finding a real job? No thank you.


12:56 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Happy New Year, buddy!

Nice piece of Generous Motors you got yourself there! Slick! Can't wait to see it with some big fat treads on it, hee hee!

1:45 PM  
Blogger GC said...

Happy New Car
Now you can ride around like NYPD undercover
I swear, they only drive chevy impalas--my heart stops every time I see one

2:58 PM  

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