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5:42 a.m. - 2001-12-21



Last day of work! Last day of work!!

I seriously feel like a little kid on the last day of school. I've thought about it long and hard and I have NEVER had 11 days off in a row in the last 23 years.

The year was 1978 and I started working at Opryland USA as a garbage man.

I've been working ever since. In college I worked. After college, I worked.

And I always envied those bastards who got a week off at Christmas. I always told myself "Self...someday YOU will be a part of that elite group of people who get a week off at Christmas".

And today ... I can live that American dream.

Here's how excited I am ... I've been awake since 3:40 a.m.

I could not get back to sleep. I was too giddy.

You'd think I was going on a cruise or a Tahitian vacation.

I'm just going to be working around the house and staying with the boy. Susie's going to be here every day but one of those days (next Wednesday).

AND...I'll have a houseload of in-laws for three of those 11 nights.

Doesn't matter.


I already know what today at work is going to be like .... I'm not going to be able to get anything done.

I spoke with my evil boss Wendigo yesterday about it and we decided that we have Christmas Fever. Once again, it's similar to the last day of school where nothing gets done and the teachers just throw up their arms (not "vomit up" their arms...I mean put their arms up above their heads in a symbol of giving up) and let the students have fun.

PLUS....lean in for this one...WE GET TO GO HOME EARLY TODAY!!!

At the end of the meeting yesterday, the COO said "Let's all try to get wrapped up early tomorrow so we can get out of here early."

I dunno, boss....ask me twice....

Shit. I had everything wrapped up YESTERDAY!! I'm ready man!! Blow that work whistle early, dude!!

Wendi says this probably means we'll be leaving at 2.

I was thinking more like 11 a.m. But I can live with 2.


"Vacation's all I ever wanted! Vacation, havin' to get away"

That was me doing my Go-Go's impression. Thankyouverymuch. Next up...Cyndi Lauper.

This whole giddiness follows a serious depressing day yesterday.

I told you yesterday that I ordered all that "Twin Peaks" DVD stuff, right? I spent close to $80 on five DVDs behind the wife's back and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was going to be tough to hide from her and eventually I was going to get my ass reamed for it.

...And not a GOOD ass reaming either. Not that I've ever had a good ass reaming, but word on the street says there is such a thing.

So I was kinda bummed out about that. Feeling guilty.

THEN...during our meeting yesterday, we determined that I will be flying out to Eugene, Oregon the week of January 27th-February 1st.

I knew this was coming. One of the reasons I took this job was for the travel. To get paid to get out of the office and see different parts of the country. comes the real sappy wuss part of the program ... I don't know if I want to be away from my family that long.

As much shit as I tend to give them here, I love my family very much. The most I've ever been away from Susie in 15 years was three days and that wasn't very pleasant. It was just a business trip, but I was glad to be home.

And I haven't missed a single day of my son's life yet. Now I'm going to miss five and a half days in a row.

A lot can happen in five and a half days. I could come back and he'll be walking around and smoking cigars and gambling like a little man. That would break my heart if I miss his first steps. Not to mention his first cigar.

But, this is part of the job. And I keep telling myself that at least it's not the military where I'd be away for months and months at a time and then see my family for a few days.

I'm not really sure how the military works anymore. I've basically lost touch with reality several years ago. But I do believe that your family's allowed to come with you in the military. know what I'm trying to say. I'm going to miss my wife and boy.

So that REALLY bummed me out yesterday. The fact that I spent money on myself for Christmas when my wife was getting nothing...and the fact that I'd be away from that seething, pissed-off wife for five days ... bummed me out.

Technically, if I could just wait and postpone her finding out about the five DVDs the day I leave for Oregon ... it should have blown over by the end of the week when I get home. So that little thought gave me a shining ray of hope yesterday.

So I came home last night ... to an empty house since Susie took the boy Christmas shopping.

I began opening the mail, including a Christmas card from Mom and Dad.

I think I told you ... Mom and Pop have always given us cash for Christmas. And it's usually been enough to cover all the money that we spend on Christmas. They're very generous with their money and I've always appreciated that. I may be close to 40 and they still take care of me every Christmas.

But this year is different. Mom said she wasn't giving cash, she was giving presents. I found out that the presents were Waterford crystal pieces that my sisters both aired their disappointment over. Deep down, I was disappointed too ... but my parents are in their 60s and I wasn't about to act like a pouting 10 year-old over some expensive crystal pieces. I was going to be thankful for whatever I got.

So as I opened that card yesterday and a check fell out, I gasped.

I went like this..."GASP!" Just like that.

Mom had pulled through.

And judging by the amount of zeroes on the check, my worries about paying Christmas bills AND those Twin Peaks DVDs were over.

I guess it pays to have a kid because Mom REALLY took care of him.

However, the kid has 25 presents to open up on Christmas already. I don't think he'll miss his grandparents getting him anything. Well...his grandparents bought him a digital about that? can't pay for the fact that I still have to be away from my bride and child for close to a week.

But at least the other problems were quickly alleviated.

Susie got home and I let her tool around the house a while before I showed her Mom's check.

She gasped. Just like this..."GASP!"

I explained to her what Mom had told me ... the reason she originally wasn't going to be giving us any money this year was because we never spend it on ourselves.

The money goes into savings and gets eaten up gradually. Or it's used to pay bills or mother's biggest gripe ... we use it to feed Susie's family when they come to visit every Christmas. I think it was the last thing that really bothered Mom. Rather than us getting tangible gifts that we could say came from her, we made sure these stinkin' nephews had plenty of chips and Cokes to grind into the carpet while they bitch about my total lack of new PS games.

So I told Susie...she has to spend her portion of the money on herself and NOT put it in the bank or pay the mortgage with it.

Now she's all giddy, not knowing what to do with her cash.


Truth be am I.


I was kinda upset that Frank got voted off of "Survivor" last night.

And that goodbye speech he choked this old guy up. For being such a hardass for 30 days and then to look at the camera and talk about how much he loved his daughters and nose is burning now as I think about it.

...Maybe it's the cocaine residue. One or the other...

Anyway... losing Frank was kinda a shock to me. I thought for sure one of the old ladies was gone. But in the end, they got rid of Mr. Quiet, Brooding Guy.

Now Frank's stuck in a hotel with Brandon for several weeks.

God help them both.

Sorry...just a little "Survivor" humor.

Alright...I've gotta get ready to face this hellacious day of sitting at my desk with a huge grin on my face until evil boss Wendigo says we can all haul ass outta there.

Then...I'm going to toilet paper the office in glee, with my dinky computer speakers blaring "School's Out" by Alice Cooper.

"Schooooooool's Out for summah!! Schoooooooool's out for EVAH!!"

Or at least 11 blissful days.

Peace out star child.


If you don't normally read The Sinnamon Girl check her out today. More importantly...check out the link she provides. She found it to be sad and touching, while I found it uproariously hilarious.

DO IT!!!

Let her know what you think about it on her message board and if she really needs help or not.


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