On Sunday, I started what would have been my post-Christmas vacation, had I actually put in for the time off in time. But I think this is going to work out well; I’m going to get a ton of our holiday preparatory work done this week, and I think I’ll manage to have some fun along the way.

Want to know how I’m doing so far?


  • Sleep until 9:30.
  • Come down and discover we had everything we needed to make my dad’s roast beef hash for breakfast. I did it exactly as he did for the tailgate party we missed, with two exceptions: I used some Tater Tots instead of frozen hash browns, and I tossed some cheddar cheese on top of the hash just before I served it.
  • Take a nap.
  • Haul all the outdoor lights up from the basement.
  • Disturbed to find how many lights decided to die while they sat in the basement in the last 11 months.
  • Decide that re-stringing the garlands with lights will be easier than trying to figure out while bulbs are causing the problems.
  • Discover that I could have been wrong about that.
  • Head to Target for more lights.
  • Fix one strand. Start re-stringing the others.
  • Allow Mrs. Crappy to talk me out of finishing the re-stringing and hanging the lights, in favor of eating the delicious chicken/prosciutto/vodka/creamy pasta thing she made for dinner. And watching football.


  • Wake up at 8:30.
  • Hit up Angie’s List to find a repair guy to fix our dishwasher and look at our ancient oven, which also has decided to quit.
  • The guy I pick says he’ll be over in the afternoon.
  • Discover the definition of irony: having to hand-wash a stack of dishes so the guy who’s coming to fix the dishwasher won’t see a stack of dirty dishes when he arrives.
  • Spend the next two hours re-stringing the lights. They’re all working perfectly while they’re sitting on the dining room floor.
  • Hang the lights outside. Find that two strands have quit again.
  • Just as I’m about to start swearing at the lights, the repair guy arrives.
  • The repair guy’s verdict: The dishwasher is fix easy, cheap and he has the part in his truck. The oven, however, needs a part we won’t find because it’s 50 years old.
  • Resist the urge to cook a bunch of shit, just so I’d have some dishes to put in the dishwasher.
  • After dinner, head outside to check out the lights. While there, discover that my street is the one Jacob has chosen for a break while checking out Brighton Heights. Boggle at the coincidence.
  • Shower and head to Walnut Street for a little shopping and to meet Jackie and her new-t0-Pittsburgh boyfriend for a couple beers.
  • Sit on the couch with Miles, write a blog post (twice, because WordPress is cranky tonight).
  • Start researching new ovens.