The Holidays are Officially Here

So extended season (T-Zone) became an impossibility for me this weekend. Our first obsticle was the 17″ or so of snow dumped on us Wednesday. Wednesday the only venturing out we did was when the dog needed to go outside – and he never went very far before he decided he was done and wanted back in. He did want to go play in the snow a couple times though.

This brings up my first topic of the day – I love living in a condo. By 11:00 Tuesday night the builder was already out there getting one pass in on the parking areas and walkways. I knew this because at 11:00 that night I figured out that garbage pickup was a non-essential service and therefore canceled. I really didn’t want to have to dig out the garbage and recycling, so I went and dragged them in, running into the builder and chatting a bit. Even as of today I have a clear driveway and walkway, even to our mailboxes.

So that eliminated Thursday hunting, which left me home for my wife’s managers meeting and holiday dinner. So Thursday night I was at a place called the Union House eating wild game (Swedish Red Deer to be precise) and not shooting it. With the lack of communication from my friend, I am guessing there was not much seen this past weekend. Although there was the added benefit of my wife’s coworkers, boss and even the president of the company asking me about zombies and why “Zombie Joe?” That makes for an interesting night – not to mention once they start calling you Zombie Joe you can make all sorts of crazy comments and people expect no less of you. Last comment of the night from my wife’s boss was, “I can’t believe I am putting Zombie Joe in the back of the Packer Bus with booze and the president of the company.” Luckily everyone made it home, but I hear by the time the president and his wife were dropped off he was definitely “shaken, not stirred” – which is less about a martini and more about the circa 1985 RV rattled like the Enterprise during a particularly difficult battle. Only there was no mechanic with a Scottish accent.

On the drive home Friday it became apparent that there was no way I was realistically getting any hunting in that weekend, but I was okay with that. I was eating better and not freezing the twins off. That is a win-win in anybody’s book. Plus that allowed us time to work on some stuff at home. Specifically our holiday decorations.

It took a good many years, but we finally decided to do a Nightmare Before Christmas style theme. That is not to say a bunch of Jack Skellington ornaments, as that would be incredibly expensive. The whole idea started with our haunted manor I bought my wife this Halloween. You know the kind – a black metal form that you put a tea light in for illumination. Only for Christmas it took on a different look.

We have a spooky holiday tree complete with skulls. Gas lamps for that steampunk feel. More skulls around the trees of the castle. Even a haunted Christmas Village. I would have riddled the whole blog with photos, but instead go check out the set over at Flikr.

My wife is still in process of completing our actual Christmas Tree. It is a dead branch she found in the woods. She mounted it into a base she made with some 2×4 blocks glued together and we are going to paint it black, hang lights and ornaments and use some cobwebs instead of tinsel or the like. Should be awesome.

That still left Saturday night for my wife’s work party. It is the office’s official holiday party. Every year it is held at the Phister in Milwaukee. It is the one time a year (barring weddings or funerals) that I wear a tie. This year I went a little different. That is to say I wore a tie with Spider Man in a Santa Hat on it. I also forgot to pack my shoes, so I was wearing my brown work boots with my suit. Real GQ, I know. That was apparently not what made me standout though.

My wife likes to dance and so she does so at the Christmas Party. In fact she dances most of the night and then we head up to the room. Last year I just sat, watched and drank wine. My spine is not quite to the point to allow me to dance too long. This year, instead of getting ker-schnockered and risking a headache in the morning, I brought the book Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland. Milwaukee party; Milwaukee author; novel takes place in Milwaukee – I figured that worked. It was hard for people to believe I was having a good time with my book in hand.

If you are one of those folks from the party and you are reading this, I am an odd person. My wife was having fun dancing, I was able to listen to the music and read my book. I did not even complain when I would get interrupted. The wife of the company president stole my book and held in open on the dance floor so I could read while dancing. My wife – supportive as ever – laughed and took a picture of it.

Although I do think it was pretty funny when I was greeted to the party by the president of the company going, “Hey! Zombie Joe!”

A rare moment of introspection tells me it is somewhat strange I am more comfortable being myself around that corporate environment than I am at a get-together with my own co-workers. The sad part is that it has nothing to do with me and more to do with the level of acceptance in those two settings. What am I grateful for this holiday season? My wife having a job that pays her corporate money (I am a state employee, after all) yet still seems open to accepting that weird guy married to the woman in Advertising.


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