Sunday, December 19, 2004

Holiday fun.

I sang Christmas songs adapted with details about the pension firm I work for, in front of almost the entire pension firm, this Friday at the Christmas luncheon. (I keep trying to call it the holiday luncheon, but since I work for Christian organization, it's really all about baby Jesus.) I ended up sitting next to the person who is functionally our CEO, though under a different name. Then I went boozing with some of the folks (Methodist organization, so no alcohol at the party), and discovered that, among the people I work with, almost everyone I can stand is in the 40-55 range. Huh. At least they can afford to treat me to Belvedere on the rocks.

I also finished voice lessons at the Old Town School this week. I want to start guitar soon, but I think I'll wait until the second session of next year so I can (a) volunteer enough to get the class for free, and (b) take Spanish lessons so that I can do that entire graduating from college thing.

Now on to the holiday shopping spectacular; I tried this year to buy as much as I could from local stores, and to avoid downtown shopping like the damned plague. I didn't quite succeed, but I got close...

I'm keeping it to family here, because apart from Collin, I don't buy much. I need to get something for my trainer, and maybe little things for folks like Tyler or Emmie (to whom I owe a backlog of several years of Xmas and Bday gifts, rather daunting), but the major gifts are familial. So, to the rundown of how much I supported big chains this holiday season...

1. Mom. She's getting a big healthy-eating basket o'fun in my ongoing attempt, post-bypass surgery, to get her to eat some fucking vegetables. Thus, I got her a vegetable grilling basket from Bloodbath & Beyond, since she still grills like mad. In addition, I went to The Spice House (feautured on Good Eats!) and got her two salt-free seasoning gift backs, the American Regional and the International. Hope she likes lemon pepper, because she's got three different kinds now. I also headed north to the Southport Grocery and Cafe to get her fancy olive oil and balsamic vinegar, grapeseed and canola oil-based grilling and saute sauces, another veggie rub, and a Vosages chocolate bar, because she needs a little indulgence.

2. Grandma. Independent bath and body crap tends to be EXPENSIVE, so I crapped out and got her an Origins Lavendar and Vanilla gift set, along with some saffron from The Spice House.

3. Drew, brother, 21. He said he wanted posters, booze, or music, so I got him three posters from Beyond the Wall (Boondock Saints, his favorite movie; Trainspotting, the movie I think should be his favorite movie; and some wildly inappropriate beer, weed, and sex poster, because he'll love it). Then I got him The Streets' latest album at Reckless, because really, it's better than Insane Clown Posse, which is what he listens to these days. I decided not to get him booze, but I may hit the Crate and Barrel and get him some roly shot glasses, because he will also love that.

4. Christian, nerdy cousin, 14. Got him what I've been wanting for ages, a neighborhood map of Chicago, from 57th Street Books, and a book on great philosophers from Seminary. I plan on wrapping one of these gifts in a piece of wrapping paper that has the London mass transit map on it, which he'll take as a bonus gift.

5. Annie, cooler cousin, 12. She loves lip gloss. I've gotten her lip gloss for the last two years. I can get cooler lip gloss than she can in Oklahoma. So... lip gloss globes from Sephora it is. I tried to branch out with comics, so she's getting a copy of Persepolis from 57th Street Books, and the first trade paperback of Hopeless Savages (thanks, Dan) that I picked up in Evanston at Comix Revolution.

6. Jonah, youngest cousin, 5 1/2. I'm glad Mom told me he likes dinosaurs, because all his parents had to tell me is that he liked Batman and Spiderman, and... ick. So I ran over to Unabridged Books (you can see the gay porn mags from the childrens' section; I love it) and got the Eyewitness series book on dinosaurs. I also got him Neil Gaiman's The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. I hope I didn't just get it for him becuase Neil Gaiman is cool. Guess we'll see if he starts crying on Christmas when he reads it...

So ho-frickin-ho-ho-ho, now all I have to do is get this stuff wrapped. Now I can go to the gym and clean this week... unless I decide to just sleep and watch Gilmore Girl repeats, which is a distinct possibility.