Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

Christmas was good at both my parents and Bobby's. Emma had a great time, and really made out... really, the amount of gifts she got is ridiculous. My nephew, Jonah, was totally enamored with her. He kept looking at her, batting his big eyes... it was quite amusing. Malachy not so much - he's going through a bully phase right now... it's very frustrating. He started trying to wrestle with Emma, and he upset her pretty bad. She was crying pretty hard for a bit, but I made her tell Shannon what happened so she could punish him, and told her next time to go straight to Shannon so they can correct his behavior right when it happens. But Emma calmed down, and in the way she does, forgave the situation quickly. Besides, Jonah wanted her attention. We didn't get out of there until close to midnight, so when we got to Bobby's parents' we marched Emma straight to bed so Santa could come.

Then everyone else stayed up until between 2 and 5 in the morning. I was quick to fall asleep, as usual, but most everyone else still had wrapping to take care of. I was, as usual, first to wake up, followed quickly by Nana. I wanted to let everyone sleep until they woke up, but at the same time I knew Emma needed to be back at 10am, so I woke her up just before 9, and then had her wake her Dad up... then everyone started to drag themselves out of bed. After we opened gifts, we pretty much had to get Emma ready to go. As we were leaving to take her home I saw Bobby's sister Katie sleeping amid the wrapping paper in the middle of the living room floor. She had just passed out.

We made it back shortly after, and hung out the rest of the day. Bobby's dad had a pretty bad cough, but no one seemed to be too concerned. His mom just said he needs to quit smoking. Later that evening some cousins came by and we all had dinner. We were sitting around after dinner and decided to open some of the wine I received for Christmas. It was yummy. Once people started to go home, Bobby & I, Brian & Jessica, Katie & David, and Erica all headed up to Jessica's family's cabin. Once we got up to the cabin and set up, we had a good time. Brian and Bobby taught Erica how to play pool, we played some darts, and Scene It.

We had a nice leisurely morning, and eventually made it out to breakfast. At the restaurant we had two talbles and started slinging jelly packets at one another. Katie said something about loving the smell of napalm in the morning... smells like victory. Bobby and I both hear Emma say that all the time, where is that from. Well, Emma gets it from Garfield, but it's originally from Apocolypse Now. Bobby and I admit we've never seen it, and it is then decided that when we get back to Norco, we are buying it and we are watching it.... So they bought the double disc with the original and the extended edition.... which is 202 minutes. Weird freaking movie. Good, but bizare. The extended version has some really bizare scenes.

Bobby and I didn't make it home until almost 9pm. Lucas was not happy with us. Grandma said he was very depressed. He was okay until that morning, but he really missed us.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Night With Dirty Frank

We went out with a bunch of Bobby's friends - his brother Brian, Brian's wife Jessica, their buddy Andy, Andy's brother Jimmy, and Brian's Navy buddy Skibo to see a Pearl Jam cover band, Dirty Frank; the one thing all these boys have in common is a deep love for Pearl Jam. I swear they knew and sang every word to every song. This is actually the third time we went to see this particular cover band. Everyone had a good time.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

McCallum Christmas Party

We picked Emma up, and went to my mom's family's Christmas at the nursing home. I was not looking forward to this, as my mom's family is rather strange. I just wanted to see my grandma open her gift ( A Year of Tea Sampler, 52 varieties, 520 tea bags - she must drink 5 cups a day, and LOVES tea). When she did, the look on her face said that this was the best present she could have gotten. I was worried that Emma wouldn't have a good time at all, since I'm usually bored out of my mind, and there were no kids there under 14. My uncle is in a barbershop quarted though, and brought them all along to entertain.

Some video of the quarted singing:
An Intro Song
Jingle Bell Rock
Merry Christmas to You
Gloria in Excelsies Deo
Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Emma was entranced. After they sang some songs for us, they wandered through the nursing home singing to people there. The lady in the hall in the last picture cried, she was so happy. Emma followed them around while they sang to everyone, and when it was time to leave, the only people she hugged were my grandma and my uncle.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Harvco Christmas Party

Bobby switched his visitation with Emma from Thursday to Tuesday for last week, since my Christmas party was on Thursday. I meant to go out there. Sent an email saying I needed to leave by 4. But then I decided to run updates on peoples computers here during the meeting. Little did I know that my boss' computer still didn't have Service Pack 2, so it took until 4:45 to update. So I didn't make it out to Norco. Bobby did though, then left his wallet at his parents'.

Which isn't the smartest thing to do when you are going out drinking on someone else's tab a couple days later. So Wednesday, after taking he took his final (which ended at 9:30pm), we drove out to his parents' to pick up the wallet, then stopped by my parents' to drop of presents and say hello to my brother and his wife who had just flown in from Italy. We were immediately offered wine, and since my brother had arrived - fresh olive oil too. Hard to say no. Even though it's already 10:15, we have to drive back, and Bobby has to be out the door by 5:30 or so. As we are sitting there chatting, Tania is checking her email, counting. "That's it! We're sold out. Keith, change the website NOW so no one else orders." It only took 2 weeks to sell out.

We finally made it home and into bed just before 1am. Much too late for us old people that need our sleep. Thursday morning was rough, and I'm sure Bobby didn't make it out the door until close to 6:30. Not good.

Thursday afternoon was frustrating. I left work at 3 so I could get home, and get ready by 5pm. I told Bobby the day before that 5pm is when I wanted to leave. I expected traffic. He needed to buy a tie. His brother had bought him a pinstrip suit for Christmas last year, and he just got it tailored the end of November, but the only ties he had were from when he was bartending, and they are in pretty bad shape. I was on time, getting out of the shower at 4:15, and Bobby calls. He's just left Macy's with some ties. Now he has to stop at school and pick up the book he just returned to the library so he can do some extra credit assignment in order to pass his class. What time is it? 4:20. Crap. That's ok, cocktails are at 6, dinner doesn't actually start until 7. Just hurry and we'll leave as soon as we can.

He calls again later. He was in line at the bookstore, when one of his classmates called him back, she has the book, he can borrow it. So now he has to stop by her house to pick it up, then home. (Argh) Guess what time he finally made it home? 5:45! Then he has to shower and shave and get dressed. Luckily he can be quick, so he was ready around 6:15. This is the first time he has put on the suit since it's been tailored.
"How do I look?"
They had cut the jacket wrong, so it looked like the opening in the front was bowing over a big belly. At that point I had to laugh. But it looked ok if he left all the buttons undone, so that would have to do. We get in the car and head into the traffic I expected. Then I felt like I was in Office Space. We jumped into the carpool lane right before it came to a halt and the rest of the freeway started moving. We eventually jump the line and move a bit, but then the carpool starts moving again. When we got to the interchange, we debated - carpool or no? Yes, the ramp alone is probably worth it. Except that we had some SUV in front of us that needed to drive 50 mph the whole way - even though no one is in front of them.

We pulled in front of the restaurant at 6:58. I feel better. Dinner wasn't even served for at least 20 more minutes. So it all worked out well. The Christmas party was fun.

The moment we walked in, my boss was the first to greet us. His wife mentioned something about how interested she was in my brother's olive oil, and Eric cuts in with, "Oh, yeah, I'm in trouble for not ordering any yet, is there any left?" Nope, sold out last night. She wasn't very happy about that, and let him know it. He just looks at me with this "save me" glance. I told him I would see what I could do. Bobby and I decided that I would drive home later, so I kept myself to less than 2 glasses of wine the entire night. They had a wheel set up to spin for giving away prizes. I won a shot - but Bobby took it in my place since I was already stopping (though I did try some of the port later). The next prize given was a night on the party bus. (Why wasn't that my prize?) Everyone got $200 at South Coast Plaza, though, so that was nice.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Preparations

It's 6:30. Yoga is at 7:30 (I know, I could have taken the 6:00 class, but I like the 7:30 class more). I'm trying to motivate myself to hang out the extra hour and go. But really I just want to go home. But I haven't been since last Monday night, and I probably won't go tomorrow.

My parents have embarked on this massive picture project. They've taken all the pictures from when we and they were growing up, and have been organizing and scanning each of them. The idea is to make them all available to all of us - so we all have the pictures of our childhood. It's a monster project - I can't even believe they are doing it. But they want it to be a surprise for Keith (since he's really the only one that doesn't know yet), so it needs to be DONE by the time Keith and Tania get in on Wednesday.

(It's going to be so much easier for those that are kids right now. My nephews and Emma and Bobby's neice practically have their lives documented in digital photo and video and uploaded onto the web. We won't be showing anyone's dates their baby pictures, they just need to google them.)

At the same time, my mom wanted the house to be decorated for Christmas when they got here. Keith is especially partial to Christmas. So mom asked Jessica and I to decorate on Saturday. Like always, it was fun for about 5 minutes, then it was a chore. But we did it. Have to add, that trees are cheap at Wal-Mart. As much as I hate that place, I might buy my tree there every year. We got a 5-6 ft. Noble for about $35 (they were $80 at the tree farm).

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours on Malachy's present. Printed 110 pictures and put them into an album. It's kinda hard making sure you have enough pictures of everyone, and spacing them about evenly. Suddenly realize I have very few pics of my middle brother's wife. Have to find some, trying to keep it limited to pics from the last 2 years. Barely any of my younger brother - he's been AWOL a lot.

Friday, December 8, 2006


Gma just found out that she's been having mild strokes for years. That seems to be what's causing her lapses in memory. I now am responsible for seperating her medications - she started a new medication and "forgot" the doctor had told her to stop the last one, so she started taking both... not good. Luckily they caught her early on, since she went back to the doctor the next day - if not she could have overdosed and killed herself.

It was strange - she was sitting at the dinner table with Bobby and I, telling us what the doctor said about her strokes, and that night I had a dream that really stressed me out. In my dream we were sitting at the table (just as we had been that night), and she had reached for something and strated shaking really badly. I asked if she was ok, and she fainted but woke right back up. Then she just looked off into the distance, and said, "I'm going to die." As if she were accepting it at that moment. I responded, "That's ok." as if I had also accepted. Then I started crying. That's when I woke up. It kinda stressed me out Wednesday. The company went golfing and out to dinner, but I couldn't shake it off.

Monday, December 4, 2006

How Will I Get There?

The president of my company got onto a bit of a soapbox for about 15 minutes in the meeting today. Started talking about how this time of year is a really good time to evaluate our personal goals and decide where we really want to be in not just 5 years, but in 1 year. And how are we going to get there. Mentioned how when he was younger he really wanted to be successful... more than he wanted anything else. How instead of living in Manhattan Beach where his buddies were living, he lived in Pasadena. How he skipped parties during the week, because it was more important that he get to that successful mark.

At first I thought he was trying to encourage some people to just quit, but his goal was really to motivate everyone to work harder to bring more deals, which doesn't really apply to me since I don't source deals, but I did get something out of it: I need a plan. Not just an idea about what I want, but steps and a timetable, and all that.

I got out of the meeting and wrote Bobby some long winded email about how we need to make a budget and figure out how we can cut our expenses, and I set some goals for what I want to accomplish in the next year or so. We've been doing pretty well paying off our debt, but we spend a lot too. We want to be able to start this contracting business, and we need to get on it. If that means we have to sell our cars and get something cheaper, or I have to find another job, or whatever, we need to do it. I don't want to live paycheck-to-paycheck.