It's silent in our house right now. The only sounds are the whirring of the iMac, the click of my fingers on the keyboard -- punctuated by the occasional grunt when the left shift key sticks -- and the faint strains of CNBC on the television behind me. In fact, I turned on the television just to add a little din to the nothing.
That'll be the last time I crave noise. We're in the calm before the storm, or as Gandalf says in Lord of the Rings, "The deep breath before the..." except I don?t remember how he finished that, because although I saw it yesterday, my memory's not that good; I like to imagine he would have been fine with me finishing it for him: The deep breath before before the puking. The clean before the babies.
My sister, her husband, Leah, and the six-month old twins arrive tomorrow, and that's when Chaos kicks my mom out of the throne and starts ruling the roost. We?ll have a little girl whose moods and reactions we are only just learning to understand, much less anticipate; we have one twin who pukes a lot more than the other; and we have two adults kicking the stomach flu. Two days after that, we'll have a 91-year old with poor hearing and an uncanny knack for saying the wrong thing to the wrong set of ears. In all, a hectic Christmas week at my parents' house.
This is the first time I'll have met my twin nieces, one of whom is my goddaughter. Lauren and Doug both saw them already during separate trips to the D.C. area, but I haven't, so that'll be exciting. And Leah's grown and developed since I saw her last.
I can't wait. It's excellent to be home.
I thought I'd wrapped up work on the show on Wednesday, the day before I flew home, but as it turns out I'm going back for another week. They want me to wrap out my episode, which makes sense; it was a little asinine to schedule our out dates for a time before the thing was locked, but hey, I'm not the money honey, so I don't know what budget tomfoolery led to that. At any rate, I'll be heading back for one last week...
... back into a familiar abyss. Yes, we moved offices. And yes, they won't have Internet access at the new one. I wish I could've warned them about my previous experience with this, but they didn't ask, I didn't tell, and so we're back in information-free hell. Nice little bitter poem I just wrote there. We don't have internal modems in our Macs, so we can't dial-up, which is just as well given that the phone jacks aren't working either. Not in our offices, anyway. All the top-level producers are up and running just fine. Which is to be expected -- most of us were lame ducks last week, anyway, and didn't really care. But that explains some of why I haven't updated.
As for the rest, it's just been nonstop Christmas shopping. I just found out that, although I'd believed I'd ordered Carrie's Christmas present, apparently I did not. Amazon beat me, the bastards. So I need to take care of that. Then Julie and I need to run some more shopping errands, buying stocking tidbits and baby-proofing locks for the cabinets and mulling spices.
Not in that order. Clearly, the one that mixes with alcohol is the one we're buying first.
Yesterday was lost because my Dad couldn't wait any longer to see Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and frankly, neither could we. It was a huge concession on his part, or so he'd have me believe, to resist going on opening day and wait the extra two days for me to get home and get a good night's sleep. I won't spoil the movie but to say that it was excellent, and that Orlando Bloom remains hot as a blonde, and if he were to move into my pants at any point in 2004, he would not get evicted, even if he failed to pay rent. I'll probably see it again in the theaters with Lauren, and hopefully Jessica, unless they go see it over the holiday as I believe Carrie will. On the one hand, I hope they wait so I can go again, and on the other, I want to dish it with them. Looks like Carrie's going to be fielding those phone calls solo. Poor girl.
Finally, I'd like to talk about a bit of a sparring match that went on in my Guestbook. Someone saw my complaint about the Sports Illustrated blow-job of Pete Carroll, and figured I was just a sour Notre Dame fan. Yes, I hate that we had a bad season and lost to a perennial enemy, but I'm a sports fan at heart, so I can always appreciate a team that's coached well and playing well even if it's a team I dislike. So I'll admit that USC got screwed out of the national championship game. But I can also say with honesty that I am sick of reading and watching puff piece after puff piece about Pete Carroll and his rah-rah attitude that was "too spirited for the NFL," or somesuch. It'd be nice to see a well-rounded piece about him. About his unsportsmanlike play-calling at times, about how he enflamed parents and much of the LA community by bringing O.J. Simpson for a pep talk to his team. He's made questionable choices as he's brought the team up atop the ranks, and so I think the things he's done to make his players cocky should be explored as much as the things he's done to make them great. I read stuff like that all the time about NFL coaches, about ND coach Tyrone Willingham, about everyone -- and what's more, I look for pieces like that, particularly about my own team. I don't just want to read puff pieces about Notre Dame when they're (admittedly infrequently) playing well. I want to know what's really going on, and what the coaches are really doing in South Bend. I'm not sure why Pete Carroll's the exception to that kind of reporting, but he has been lately. That was the root of my frustration. Sure, I'd love it if we'd beaten them, but we didn't -- we were the inferior team, for sure. Why be bitter about that loss and only that loss, when it was one of seven we didn't have to give up?
I don't know why I wanted to explain that, but I did. I'm a Notre Dame fan, but I'm also a sports fan and a sports journalism fan, and that's why I disliked the article.
Enough. Safe travels to everyone who's heading somewhere this season, and hopefully I'll update sometime amid the screaming babies and the diaper changing and the cooking and the presents.
Someone got here by searching for: "burgers to cure a sore throat," which... hey, sounds sensible to me. Reading: White Teeth, by Zadie Smith Watching: The extended version of The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, which actually has some pretty informative deleted scenes, including one that gives backstory on the brothers from Gondor, both of whom are hot (well, one hotter than the other, but all the dirt and long hair goes a long way in that movie toward making an average man smoke).