On Friday, I flew out of Seattle after work about 9:30PM. My parents were there to greet me (and to pick me up) in Spokane. The next morning we drove down to Worley, Idaho, and spent about four hours at the Coeur D' Alene Casino. Amazingly, I had never been in there before even though I had driven past it thousands of times. I did alright. Played many really fun games I've never seen before and walked out with almost as much money as I went in with. Basically, free entertainment. I just love the casino atmosphere for some reason. It's almost as if part of me belongs there.
Anyway, on Christmas Eve my mom made a nice dinner with ham and potatoes and salad and rolls and pie and pretty much everything else. It was great, and nice to have a home-cooked meal for a change. Afterwards we watched Christmas Vacation, as we do every year on Christmas Eve. It's sort of a tradition. After that, presents. (We always open our presents on Christmas Eve. It's so much better that way.) Here's what I got this year:
- From my dad - A brand new top-of-the-line microphone for our "studio", which we affectionately call 'Shabby Road Studios'. (It's also known more simply as "Jerry's basement".) This past year or so I've broken out of my proverbial shell a bit and started singing in front of people. This new mic will make me sound better, and we're getting a pretty nice setup now with some great equipment. My dad also got me a hard case for the mic to protect it when traveling, and a mic boom stand (sharing the gift credit with my mom for that). Basically, the boom stand lets my mic come down from above my head while I'm drumming, giving me much more room to drum like a crazy person. That'll be nice.
- From my mom - Paul McCartney's 2005 album, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard. I've been meaning to get this album for over a year now but still hadn't for one reason or another. It has some amazing tracks on it, a few of which he performed when we saw him last year. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to listen to the album in its entirety yet, but I'm hoping I'll find the time tomorrow night... My mom also got me five scratch tickets (I won $8 on them), a couple of 85 minute phone cards and a $25 gift card for Applebee's (which I live right next to and get food at occasionally). I should mention that my parents not only sprung for my flight over to Spokane and back, but also gave me $75 to gamble with at the casino. I have great parents! :D
- From Dian - I mentioned her gifts before, but figure I should include them in this list again anyway. She bought me three DVDs: Field Of Dreams, Airplane II: The Sequel & TMNT Vol. 5 (of the original series). All three had been on my personal list to pick up right away.
- From Jennifer - Jen bought me a couple DVDs as well: Clerks II (which I've been really wanting to see), and Office Space: Special Edition With Flair. When this edition came out, I gave my copy of the film to my parents because I knew I'd get this other one eventually. Also, my dad considers it to be one of his favorite movies, so it only made sense.
- Finally, my grandparents gave me some chocolates. I don't generally eat much chocolate so when I do it's a real treat.
We all usually tend to spend much more on each other, but it was nice to tone it down a bit this year... especially with a few recent money issues still nagging me. But I hope to get a better jump on it next year. I should have plenty more to spend on people by then...
All in all, I had a really nice Christmas! And I'm really looking forward to moving into 2007 with some new undertakings and projects in mind. More on that later...