I would make a bad spy. If caught by the enemy, all it would take is one good dose of sleep deprivation and I'd either be so cranky they'd kill me or I'd sing like the proverbial canary about whatever my captors asked.
Which brings me to why I skipped a week in the PhotoShoot saga. You may have not noticed. You may have been relieved. You may wish I'd stick to the new pattern.
If you care why I lost the week, I'm blaming it on a serious case of not being able to focus on much of anything due to my own self-induced lack of zees.
It all started on the 23rd when an ice storm started creeping across the Midwest. My brother-in-law James noticed our flight to Portland, ME, was cancelled before we did. I'd just printed out the boarding passes and we were preparing to be chauffered to the airport when I noticed the airport didn't list our flight. About that time, James called and said, "Just get to New England, I'll come get you." Wouldn't that make a great country song?
While he didn't come with three wise men, he did bring Jen to Boston at 12:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve. They got us home around 3 a.m. and we had much fun right up until we departed, rising at 4 a.m. on New Year's Eve to get back home.
The flight home was uneventful. Team Ogden sacrificed to deliver us to and from the airport, so we didn't have to worry about getting our car out of hock, which was great. While Jeff was able to nap after, I couldn't relax and stayed mostly upright until about 1 a.m.
If you ever run into me and I've been up for 20 hours, just keep walking. Chances are I won't recognize you and even if we chat, I won't be coherent. I might be cranky. It's just not worth the risk. I could not have been pleasant to be around.
I went back to work on Friday, which was madness.
Saturday, we drove to Jasonville to see my family. While I've long known they'd much rather spend their time with Jeff than me, it was solidified in the heat of a discussion he was having with my brother, David. You have to know David to understand that when he referred to my beloved as, "you moronic bastard," that he said it with affection.
Red-neck affection to be sure. But affection reserved for only a few. Heck, David won't even tell stories to most people. He only really lets loose with those he loves. So Jeff is definitely in the family.
And yeah, that's right: Jeff's brother said, Just get to New England, I'll come get you," and my brother called Jeff a moronic bastard. It's hard to see how these "best of" quotes could be construed as to offer up equal amounts of affection and esteem. Unless you're a Bickel. So you'll just have to trust me.
Other highlights of the past two weeks:
Alison got great piles of gifts but in the midst of opening, she stopped, turned her back on her package mountain and scrounged under the tree for the gifts she'd bought for everyone at the school's Secret Santa shop. She watched while each of us opened it, explaining carefully what it was and why she'd picked it out. Brother-in-law David, for the second year running, got the most religiously based gift. I'm not sure if she thinks he's more of a heathen than the rest of us and needs the additional instruction or if she thinks he's more devout than us and would appreciate the scripture more.
Alison finally wised up to the fact that Peter and Jen are a couple and was singing the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song all week but she wouldn't do it in front of them. She sat on Peter's lap for a family photo, too, bringing back my days of heisting time with Jim, back when he was just dating Donna.
Jeff came through with shining colors on a wall-mounted jewelry closet. It's great. I love it. I do not love (as much) the Wii Fit that he bought which declared me both obese and 53 years old. I'm giving it one more chance if it arrives intact from shipping this week. I'm considering that we were trying it out on carpet rather than the hard floor it wants; I shorted myself an inch; and I went first in the balancing act it requires to factor in the age and weight.
The Wii creators must be genetically gifted skinny, tall people. They go so far as to make your little figure grow a fat little belly depending on how well you fare with their measuring stick. I hate them.
Maybe with a tile floor, my full height and an inkling of what the test is, I can improve my image. I'm not optimistic. I may just have to have my jaw wired shut.
Jeff also got Alison a Wii. It came from Santa. She's still a believer. It was not, however, among the items she asked the great elf for. She'd asked for a game (which she got the day after Christmas from Auntie Mary and a bat Webkinz, which came the day after that, and an LPS item that didn't come at all.)
On Christmas Day afternoon, Auntie Jen asked Ali how she'd fared with Santa. She dipped her little head and said, "I only asked for three things and he didn't bring any of them." She didn't cry, though, and concentrated on the other stuff he had brought.
And of course once she figured out what the Wii was, she commenced to killing everyone who played against her. When two of her three items came through she was over the top.
All in all, it was a good holiday. I'll eventually get the camera hooked back up and download everything. But right now I'm going to bed. The Japanese would think it's time.
Happy New Year!