Christmas, the aftermath
Christmas this year was pretty wonderful. After some past holiday debacles which need not be detailed here, the two oldest kids were trying hard to stay on their best behavior, and having learned some valuable lessons ourselves, SuperWife and I put on a show. All presents were eagerly fallen upon and appreciated, although the biggest hit was the gift Santa left for our entire family - a karaoke machine, along with 15 mixed karoake discs.
It wasn't such a nice gift for our new neighbors, I imagine, but when we originally decided to get the thing, the apartment immediately above ours was still empty. Ah, well.
Super Drama Adult was delighted to find the new Beatles version of ROCK BAND upon unwrapping a gigantic box to the rear of the tree; Super Dependable Teen was equally pleased to open a tiny, tiny giftbag and find within a new I-pod. And Super Adorable Kid was over the moon about her new American Girl doll and attendant paraphenelia, although Nate entirely stole the show with his gift to her of a 17" flat screen TV for the top of her bedroom dresser, which he then also installed for her using his Level 7 Tech Geek skills to hook it up to our existent cable line.
As for me, well, it wasn't about me, but thanks to a last minute, unanticipated Christmas bonus, SuperWife and I okayed each other to spend a relatively small amount of money on each other at the last minute... about five days to the Day, actually. So I ran around like a monkey on crack trying to spend my allotment, and SuperWife, naturally, deployed her assets far more wisely and strategically, with the end result that she wound up with a lot of crap she has no use for, while I got huge stacks of incredibly cool loot, including many, many books (deep breath: WHISKEY AND WATER and BLOOD AND IRON by Elizabeth Bear, THE GIVEN DAY by Dennis Lehane, THE SPIRAL LABYRINTH by Matthew Hughes, INSIDE STRAIGHT by George R.R. Martin, and THE PREFECT by Alastair Reynolds), a couple of hardcover comics collections (the second DC Archives Supergirl volume, and the latest Fantastic Four Treasury), a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Santa hat, an extra special Snuggie with pocketses, a fabulous t-shirt, a card shuffler, some comic book image imprinted undies, a lovely warm corduroy winter jacket, the Director's Cut of WATCHMEN on DVD, and, in my stocking, a booster of HAMMER OF THOR, just for nostalgia's sake, and what appeared to be a pack of DISSENSION Magic cards, but upon opening, proved to be a customized booster created by my wife full of amazingly cool and rare vampire cards, which have already energized my vampire deck to the point where everyone else at the table groans when they see me breaking it out of the box.
Then from other people:
Nate gave me an entire booster box of DISSENSION packs, which was awesome, Super Dependable Teen gave me QUANTUM OF SOLACE on DVD, Super Adorable Kid gave me one of the books listed above (the George R.R. Martin one), Super Drama Adult and her girlfriend gave me a much appreciated copy of THE MARVEL VAULT, which I had pined and moped over ever since we bought the last one off a Books-A-Million remaindered table and sent it to Mike Norton last year, and which, now that I own it, has proven to be a fabulous treasure trove of wonderful and beloved goodies indeed (although the interior text by Roy Thomas and Peter Sanderson is generic, boring, imprecise, all but useless as either a historical or journalistic document, and in short, not much more than a fairly tedious advertiser's puff piece), my mom and stepdad got me a movie trivia game, my in laws gave me a sweatsuit and some microfleece pajama pants and a Christmas ornament and some socks.
But far more important than that is the fact that my kids had a wonderful Christmas and my wife had a wonderful Christmas and I suspect even Nate had a wonderful Christmas.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, too.
And for Mike Norton: Pluto, Fandral, an Asgardian Warrior, Malekith, and Mico Minoru. I'm a little shocked at how crappy most of the sculpts I got look; Pluto is especially disappointing, although Mico Minoru looks like her mutant ability is stretching her neck like a giraffe, or something. The Asgardian Warrior looks by far the best of the lot, although Fandral isn't all that shabby, either. I didn't get any kind of Feat or other sort of card, besides the power cards for the sculpts, so I don't know if I got a bad booster or if the new company isn't including cardboard components any more.