Apologies for all the non-posting of late—that book deadline is December 27 now, and I procrastinate madly, but have had either the discipline or laziness not to be blogging up a storm in the pursuit of procrastination.
I am compelled to report Ben's latest mash-up of idioms. Are all six-year-olds prone to combining words and phrases like this, or is it just Ben?
"Holy lord of gravy!" he exclaimed this morning. And no, there is no gravy in the house. Just a saying...or two...or three. He was having a blast looking through a stack of old kindergarten papers, artsy things from last year. One item was his rendering of a train trip with Mr. Tangerine. Now, they rode the Amtrak from points north. Various commuter trains to the suburbs are called the Metra. The mash-up boy declared that the drawing paid homage to the time he and Daddy rode the "Ametra train." Refuses to acknowledge ever riding on Amtrak—nope, it's all Ametra, all the time.
Still haven't sent out my holiday cards. Why? Because his school picture was so cute, I wanted to include it in all our cards. So Mr. Tangerine scanned it in (shh! don't tell!) and I ordered a zillion prints via Apple's iPhoto. Paid extra for FedEx shipping so I could get my cards in the mail sooner rather than later. Well, them bastards inadvertently forgot to use FedEx (but not before sending me an e-mail giving me a FedEx tracking number), and said, "So sorry, we'll credit you for the express shipping, the pictures will be coming via untraceable regular mail." Then they followed up a few days later to say, "You know what? The carrier might have lost those pictures. We'll refund everything, and you can reorder your prints." Ten days after originally placing my order, I haven't received anything. My theory? Not only was the package not FedExed, it was never sent by USPS either. So I'll be heading to Walgreens (I wish they'd use an apostrophe) or somewhere and using one of those kiosk dealios to print the danged pictures myself. Which is exactly what I was trying to avoid when I ordered the pictures online in the first place, you know? Holy lord of gravy.
I'm not quite done with Christmas shopping—there are a handful of nieces and nephews who may well be receiving Target gift cards, because my gift-idea machine is all tapped out. Mr. Tangerine and Ben are pretty much done shopping for me, without having done a thing—I've been shopping for myself and getting things I want, and then they can give them to me for Christmas. The boots couldn't wait for the 25th—I started wearing those a couple weeks ago. Toasty warm! (They're the boot version of Merrell's Primo Chill slides that nestle my tootsies so splendidly.) It may be deemed highly unsentimental to buy one's own gifts, but (a) Mr. Tangerine works long hours and (b) who knows what I want better than me? I have also bought some thoughtful things for him, but he's mainly excited about the plasma TV that's coming this week. It's really his birthday present from months ago—he just didn't get around to ordering it until now. I'm not too excited about having a 50-inch screen in my living room (which we'll have to start calling the Plasma Parlor), but elsewhere in the blogosphere, somebody remarked that her new plasma TV would come in handy for making Greg House's blue eyes that much bigger and bluer. She's right! Not to mention Jim on The Office! And when some crossword fellas I know appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show next month, it'll be groovy to see it on a bigger screen. (Degrees of separation from Oprah: Two! If that's how you count it. If you know someone who knows a third party, is that one degree of separation or two? I've never been clear on that.)
Probably I should be eating lunch, decorating the tree (just put it up yesterday, and thank the good lord of gravy that it's one of those pre-wired-with-lights fake ones—real ones drop needles, need watering, like to list to one side, and occasionally give me itchy eyes, plus you have to string the damn lights yourself, and I wish to never, ever do that task again), or, say, polishing that manuscript. All quiet on the house front, with Ben and his dad out playing football. See what I mean about the procrastinating? With 10 days to go until my deadline, and 8 days until all those Christmas presents need to be wrapped (not to mention acquired!), I have no business blogging right now. Oh, the sacrifices I make. (And oh, the rationalizations of a lifelong procrastinator. Jesus gravy!)