Hope all's well! It sure has been cold in Austin over the last couple of days! I'm pretty sure that the temperatures yesterday never got out of the thirties, and we'll be lucky to hit 40 today. For people in other parts of the country this may not sound very cold, but you have to remember that Austinites just aren't used to freezing temperatures. We don't have cold weather clothes, our houses aren't really insulated against freezing temperatures (especially our pipes), many of our plants can't survive freezing weather, and Austinites really aren't good at driving on any kind of snow or ice (we don't have snow tires, the roads aren't well-treated to prevent icing, and we're just not used to driving on ice). Before you northerners get too carried away laughing at Texans for being so thin skinned when it comes to dealing with the cold, consider the fact that we regularly deal with temperatures around 103 degrees in the summer, and mostly without much complaint.
Anyway, enough of that. Blogging about the weather. Jeez. Got a little carried away there.
Don't have much to report.
Couldn't sleep again last night. I don't know if it's the weather or what, but I kept waking up over and over, almost every hour.
Roundball proclaimed at dinner last night that he was tired of being the only one who was full of Christmas cheer, and that next year he wasn't putting up any lights or decorating his house. He said he was tired of cheerleading for everyone else's Christmas fun.
I didn't really know how to respond to that. I mean, I put up Christmas lights and place a few Christmas decorations around my house. I enjoy seeing other people decorate their homes for the holidays, I appreciate the charitable work that goes on this time of year, and I even enjoy hearing a few Christmas Carols. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't have my gripes.
I don't mind giving presents, but I'm not a big fan of shopping (the internet has helped out in this area quite a bit), and I really dislike the manic crowds that fill stores around the holidays. It seems like everyone's schedule is filled up around the Christmas, and things become stressful as we try to get everything done before Christmas and try to make sure that we don't disappoint any of the people on our list or leave anyone out (and trying to get "the right gifts" is another thing, in particular, which stresses me out). In the midst of all of the shopping and travel plans, the holiday season usually involves all of the year's parties, kind of shoved into one month long explosion. And for me for the last... well, since leaving for college- Christmas has typically involved travel, which I'm not really crazy about (I don't mind being other places, but both driving and flying are things I'd rather avoid, especially when I'm doing them by myself), and this travel is usually taking place at a time when the roads and airports are kind of crowded and traffic is a chore. Christmas is just... a whole lot to deal with at once.
So there. I vented a little about Christmas. It's kind of a pain in the ass, but without it, life would probably just keep rolling by, and we wouldn't take the time and effort that's necessary to make family and friends know how important they are to us. In its purest form, Christmas is a time of focusing on the needs and wants of other people before our own, and I have to like that aspect of it as well (although as a kid, probably 85-90% of my love of Christmas was just unmitigated greed- no matter how many times adults told me that Christmas was supposed to be about the spirit of giving- a sentiment I really did try to get my head around- Christmas always came back to a sense of wonder about what toys were going to be waiting for me under the tree). As I've gotten older and have been able to buy myself most of the things that I want (and as I've come to realize that the happiness brought by material possessions is typically fleeting and superficial), Christmas has shifted in meaning, and in many ways it now means more to me than it did when I was a kid (I guess that the spirit of Christmas probably means more to me, even as the trappings of Christmas mean less).
But Christmas is still kind of stressful. And it can be difficult. And complaining about it a bit is sort of part of the tradition. But don't try to pin your bah humbuggishness on me, or I'll move you onto my naughty list and exchange your presents for lumps of coal.
I got nothing else, at least for now. Hope you guys all take a moment to take a deep breath and enjoy the company of people that you care about as we careen toward the holidays.