A Spot of Tea and Some Toffee

It’s Christmas eve (day) and I am sitting here at work trying to decide what to do next. I have my spot of tea (Earl Grey, hot) and I have had more toffee than I ever really wanted so the next question is what shall I do next?

Obviously, the answer was write about what I’m going to do next, but that aside I have a couple projects that might be fun to dink with on this very dead day of the year. I could lazily go through the book ads that have been piling up, I could dink with the statistics or I could update the users guide. Whatever, I’ll think about it some and decide which strikes my fancy the most, or I may create some silly little project, like office cleaning, and ignore all three of my previous ideas. The day lends itself to this sort of whimsy.

The atmosphere around here is very laid back, mostly because there are no students anymore and no one wants to do legal research on Christmas eve. There are also very few employees as well, I think we are running at about 60% staffed giver or take. As the day wanes, I’m willing to bet the numbers decrease rapidly until the five of us left at 6:00 shut down an eerily silent mausoleum of books. It’s a pretty good gig to work today and not so bad doing the long haul ’till zero hour. Sure it’s late but I get to experience the building in a very different light, or not light as the case may be.

Each year we get wiser in the ways of shutting this place down. Last year we started shutting down, turning off, closing up about a half hour before the building was supposed to close for good. Despite signs and despite it being Christmas eve, there was one straggler who was obstinately glued to a research terminal when we sauntered downstairs.

Just one more moment, I have to have this done by…

Blah blah blah it doesn’t matter. The reality of it is that this person was suffering from poor planning and waited until the last minute to get their project started. Consequently, she (it happened to be a she but it could have just as well been a he or it) ran into problems and was in a panic at 5:40pm when we started shutting things down on her. She was a most unhappy camper when she couldn’t get her print outs (we had shut down the printers, having done what we could up to yanking her computer for the year and moving on with our schedule) and left in a huff when we finally got firm with her and said that she Had. To. Go.

This year, we are shutting things down at 4:00. That gives us a leisurely two hours to unplug, unhook, shut down and shut off the entire lab plus some fudge factor time for shooing out last minute stragglers. Not so bad. I’ll let y’all know how the new and improved 4:00 deadline goes with the research community at large. I’m betting we have at least one straggler and that he/she/it is disgruntled. Then again, I like to think the worse of a situation so when it doesn’t come about I am pleasantly surprised. We shall see.

In other non “Let sleeping Libraries Lie” news, TheMan and I went out and about to look at lights last night. We hit the subs where all the profs tend to congregate in their stately Wayne manors, figuring they would have the places all ablaze with lights, and were quite disappointed. Not only were the lights subdued and rather meh, but there were a lot of houses up for sale. Hmmm. I wonder if that is a sign of the economy or if profs are finding new and better places to live.

We wandered here and there, turning as we saw fit (or lights, whichever occurred first) and made our way through a couple different subs. I think I am going to say that the smaller houses had a more impressive lighting thing going on than the huge mondo houses, in general. At least I remember there being more “Dear GOD what were they thinking?” moments the smaller the houses got. We zipped by the general condo area to take a peek in there and found it rather festive. Those who lack in lawn make up for it in lights I suppose.

One thing I made my mind up about is big lights on indoor trees. Don’t like them. They are fine and cool on outdoor trees (and we saw some with a mix of the two which was pretty cool) but the indoor trees (and yes I looked. Come on, you leave your drapes open and of COURSE I’m going to look into your house to see what you have going on with the tree there. Pffft, if it’s shiny then I’m looking!) just seem wrong with those big old gobby lights on them. Can’t put my finger on it, but it just aint right.

Some highlights of the drive were the house of Satan where even the devil enjoys the holiday season. Of course, he’s got one of those white trees all decked out in red lights but it’s festive. Brings out the demonic spirit of Christmas in the behorned guy. He also keep all other lights in his house really low just so everyone can enjoy and appreciate his hell fire and brimstone tree. Deep down, he’s a really festive guy.

We also saw the house with the primary bushes of color. We can thank these people for all the colors of Christmas light for if they had not turned on each of the three bushes then there would have been no mixing of Christmas light to liven up the holidays. It’s a sad day when the red bush goes down and we are just left with the blues, yellow and greens of Christmas.

We drove by one family who had their tree out on the porch. Lights, ornaments and everything sitting out there for all to see and touch since they did not have a screened porch but rather an open air deelie. TheMan and I speculated that Christmas morning was going to be a bit of a nippy affair. “Timmy, why don’t you put on your boots and snowmobile suit and go get the presents?” “Dad! Someone took them all (again)!”

Least you think we are all sarcastic all the time, we saw one house that was trimmed and treed entirely in blue lights. I was unsure whether I liked the varying colors of blue found in and among all the strands but it was an interesting effect. I have seen houses done all in white and they are nice but unless you do a spectacular job it looks pretty run of the mill. There is a lot of competition for great looking house done in white trim only because everyone and their brother has this idea of trimming the house only in white. Blue rocked the evening in it’s blueness. That much I did like, cool blue trimmed house.

Another house along the way that we didn’t get to get a really good look at has their evergreen ground cover all Christmas lit. That’s pretty novel and cool to boot. Ankle high light bedecked bushes rock. It too might be the novelty of seeing something that isn’t so classically done that makes it cool, or maybe I just dig low slung lights. Who knows, but as soon as I have some creeping juniper bushes you bet I’m gong to throw some lights on them.

As for just wrong, we found two incidents of “Ummm, no” so far this year. One was up at my mumses where TheMan discovered Anorexic Santa and his reindeer. Creepy. It’s this skeletal looking menacing Santa figure up on a hill so it looms down at you as you drive by. The stuff of nightmares. Ho ho ho…Merry Christmas! What’s that in your stocking? Why it’s a Bowie knife. I’ll be sneaking back later in the quiet wee hours after Christmas when I’ll gut you and eat your innards. I’m so HUNGRY ho…ho…ho.

OK, now that I just wrote that, my next wrong doesn’t seem so bad. One of the houses had a wreath suspended from their porch thing so it just hung there in mid air free swaying in the wind. It was like some weird holiday sign, the Pine Circle Bar and Grill Saloon or what not. I expected to hear Errreeeeet, errreeeeet as it swayed back and forth, maybe some ching, ching of spur festooned snowmobile boots. People, wreaths go up against a wall or in a window, not free hanging down from the roof of your porch. Of course it wont gut you and eat your liver with a Bowie knife but it’s still not right.

Heh, well with those happy thoughts I’ll leave you for your own festivities. I’m here until 6:00 and then it’s my own Christmas time. I just hope I don’t get the Bowie knife.

Last Year at the booniverse: Playing flute and wearing sandals (of death). One of these things seems to have been a constant this year.

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