Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sam's gift for Dad

I almost forgot to tell one of the funnier stories of the holidays. Kathleen took Sam shopping for Christmas gifts, and he proudly bought presents for brother and sister, and for his dad. At the time, Kathleen told me, "I can't tell you now without giving it away, but remind me when you get his present, because I have a really funny story to tell you."

Kathleen then proceeded to tell everyone I know this story, always when I was out of earshot. Then everyone would look at me and giggle and say something like, "that's pretty funny." But i wouldn't hear anything more and eventually I forgot about it.

On Christmas day, I opened Sam's gift and it was the board game 'who cut the cheese'. Evidently at the time Sam didn't understand the figure of speech, so Kathleen explained it to him in the store. At the checkout line, Sam proudly told the cashier, "I got my dad 'Who cut the cheese' because he's the FARTER in our family!"

The cashier told Sam "I think you should tell your dad that when he gets your present' and tried (unsuccessfully) to keep from laughing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Timeline Part IV

On Monday the 28th, Mike and I had to leave early because we had a trailer full of trash that needed to be left at the dump. Mike got a chance to see Loudoun County's state of the art (and expensive) waste management facility, and as an added bonus we got to argue with the personnel there over just what exactly an air conditioner is anyways, and why do I have to give you fifteen dollars for each of them?

Moving along after that, I had plugged my snazzy new GPS system into the family truckster (this will become important later), and we drove over to Kathleen's parent's house in Vienna to drop off the trailer. Now, we have to go from Vienna, VA all the way up to BWI airport to pick up my mom. I wasn't sure about the exact route, so I plug it into my snazzy new GPS system, and start following its vaguely pleasant-toned instructions. It takes us directly across Washington, DC, crossing the Anacostia river and getting on 295 north, and taking that straight up to the Baltimore airport. Oddly enough, we get there on time. Mike darts in, I make a couple of slow laps around the airport, I pick up Mike and Mom, and we are off. This time I programmed the GPS with the location of a brewpub in Frederick, Maryland, and told it to 'avoid highways'. What fun!

Ten minutes later we are driving through someone's neighborhood somewhere in Baltimore Suburbia. Some people are playing frisbee in there front yard, I notice. Eventually we get through the neighborhood, and begin a series of twisty, hillly, roads. Mike starts threating to throw up to carsickness, but eventually we do make it to the brewpub. They even have lifelike statues of the Blues Brothers and we pause for photos after quaffing a few frosty cold ones and some appetizers.

After this, we headed straight home, managing to make a one hour trip into a four hour one. Kathleen, Loretta, and the children had gone and seen 'Marley and Me' during the day.

Next -- New Years eve, and Dixieland Jazz in Leesburg

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Shaw family at Christmas/New years


DSCF1030
Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Live from the cafeteria of the American History Museum in Washington, DC, on Tuesday December 30th.

But where the hell was the food? This cafeteria had no food whatsoever! It was bizarre. Only three huge coolers of Coke, and a half dozen tuna sandwiches.

Great photo tho. Props to the kind stranger who took it.

Christmas Timeline Part III

On Friday, the day after Christmas, I worked at home, and got a few errand done in the evening. It had gotten curiously warm out, and PJ was deep into his video gaming bender. Sam was still in the pajamas he was wearing on Christmas Day.

Saturday, I had to drive up to Hagerstown, MD and empty out a storage unit a tenant had left almost thirty tires, and a great variety of all things most heinous in. It was a gruesome task. Several trips to the local dump and eight hours later, I headed home. Presumable the kids were doing things during the day, but when I got home, PJ was looking kind of Haggard and was still on his video game bender. Sam was still in his Christmas pajamas.

Sunday, we had to clean the house out in the morning, because Uncle Mike and Aunt Loretta and Molly and Andrew were driving down to stay with us! The kids were very excited about this. Also, I had the opportunity to participate in the World's Largest Online Poker Tournament! It had 35,000 players from around the world, and only cost ten dollars to enter.

Mike and Loretta showed up around Two. We unpacked and proceeded to continue the festivities we had started a week ago. Christmas is exhausting! Mike got a chance to 'sweat' me playing in the tournament, and watch over my shoulder as I played, which was a lot of fun for both of us.

Up next: Nina arrives!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Christmas timeline part II

The kids come down the stairs on Christmas morning and they are very excited. I fire up the dvd player and start recording. The way it works is that first we open the presents that Santa has left, and the stockings, and then later when Kathleen's mom and dad show up we open more family presents. PJ gets 'Sonic Chronicles Unleashed' in the first box he opens and immediately wants to run downstairs and play that one game for the rest of the entire day. We don't let him, and so he grumpily continued to open presents, while repeatedly saying that he really didn't want to be here.

Anna got a video camera that stopped working after two minutes. I explained to her that even though it was a gift to her from Santa that I could probably still get warranty repair from the manufacturer. Then we got into a brief back and forth about even Santa can't make everything himself these days, that the box clearly says 'made in china' and how Santa probably has some sort of technology department that handles these things, but it might be easier to just go back to the manufacturer. Crisis averted.

PJ got a bicycle, and looked at it like it was a sweater-vest. Maybe he'll use it this summer.

It was unusually warm for a Christmas day, and the kids actually spent some time outside playing on the cul-de-sac.

Sam got a Road Ripper, which is this car that makes noise and moves around in a scary and threatening way. All five year old boys love these things, its amazing. Unfortunately the car was lost down the storm drain, and we couldn't get to it.

It was a quiet and relaxing day, we all had a great time. But the party isn't over yet. Three days later my family shows up from New York, and the holidays continue!