I guess I've reasonably finished decorating the house for Christmas. Since I promised to post a picture, here's the outside of the house. If you want to see the inside, you'll have to stop by and see it. :)
Last night I went to the Seattle Symphony's annual Holiday Pops concert. This being the first one since Marvin Hamlisch became the principal Pops conductor this year. What a concert! I always have claimed the holiday pops concert to be one of the best of each year, and this year was far and beyond better than any past. I think what makes Hamlisch's pops concerts standout so much is that it's more than just a lot of great music, it's usually much more of a stage show. As is usual, there was a sing-a-long portion, which the entire audience was implored (er, required) to stand up and sing it out. And, as always, the music was spectacular. Benaroya Hall was packed, and at the conclusion after the encore, the applause wouldn't stop, so Hamlisch comes out for one final bow, and this time drags the concertmaster off the stage with him. :) Even more so than usual, next year if you make it out to see one concert, this is the one that is a must see!
... until I stopped by Lowe's on my way home tonight to pick up some purple Christmas lights, and found that starting today all of their holiday decorations are 50% off! AND they had purple, gold, green, blue, red AND white lights... all at $1.20/each on sale. Let's just say, I stocked up big time. And bought a whole bunch of other Christmas decorations at half off, AND I get to enjoy them before Christmas!
Back to work, and time to take a few moments to update on the activities of the past weekend.
Wednesday we got out of work a bit early, as is the standard operating procedure around here the day before a holiday weekend. It was a very good thing because it gave me a chance to make it to Safeway (which was crazy) and then home to bake cookies for Thanksgiving. Of course, I neglected to purchase one key ingredient necessary for the cookies... butter. That required me to take a nice walk the 2 blocks from my house to Safeway to pick up some more, but on the brighter side, pretty much every cooking / baking product was on sale, so I stocked up! And the cookies turned out, well, different than usual and I'm still trying to figure out why. But I actually liked them better! Just as tasty!
Thursday I actually slept in a bit, which was nice. I got up though, and did some work around the house before I went to catch the ferry to my cousins' house on Vashon Island. Part of the reason for the delay was that Andrew was coming into town to visit (and to spend Thanksgiving day with my family) so I was waiting for him to get in from the airport. He rented a car and drove up to meet me at Fauntleroy. We were originally going to combine into one car and drive over, but once we saw how long the lines were and how easily parking was, we just parked there and walked a block to get onto the ferry. My mom and uncle drove down to the Vashon ferry dock and picked us up. It worked out well (and we saved the extra $10 by not taking a car on the ferry). Thanksgiving was nice as usual, with the whole crazy family. Food was great, nothing to complain about, it was all good.
Friday Andrew left to drive over to Richland to visit one of his brothers, and I went down to FW to visit the parents. We proceeded to unpack all of the Christmas decorations from the garage, and I went through and found what was mine / what I wanted to take now that I have a house of my own to decorate. Now I just have to put the decorations up... hmmm. But that was fun. Went to dinner with my parents and then eventually headed home. On the way home though, my sister called and was heading out to check out the new Snoqualmie casino with a few of her friends. I wasn't wanting to either stay out late, or spend much money, but I did want to see the new casino in the middle of nowhere, so I joined them, where I proceeded to stay out later than I wanted to, but on the bright side, made a killing and won about $525! Not a bad way to start the holidays. :)
Saturday morning I went up to help out with Christmas decorating at church, before heading home to do some Christmas decorating of my own. Yeah, like that actually happened. That was the plan anyway. I managed to do about as little decorating as I could, before I decided I was still tired and it was time to take a nap. Later in the evening Andrew made it back from his trip, and we decided to go get some Mexican food for dinner at Chevy's in Lynnwood. Little did we know until we arrived that Chevy's went out of business! SO disappointing! I still have a craving for chips and salsa now. But we went over to the Old Spaghetti Factory instead and that was mildly satisfying.
Sunday I went Christmas shopping with my sister. We were very productive, after going to Alderwood, Costco, and finally ending up at Northgate, we had taken care of Christmas presents for mom, dad, both sisters, and the niece and nephew. It was a big win all around! Now I can just worry about a few other Christmas presents and I'm done, almost a full month before Christmas, and let me tell you, that's a first. :) That night after I got home, Chris and Jonell came over and we had pizza, while waiting for Andrew to get back from his afternoon/evening with some other friends. Of course, he was later than expected, so we had pizza and hung out without him. :) As expected, he arrived about 15 minutes after C&J left.
Monday I took the day off of work, and it's a good thing. Andrew helped me put up Christmas lights on the outside of my house, which currently looks pretty awesome, if I do say. Though I am slightly unimpressed with some of the LED lights I got because they just look too... what's the word... freakish. I used them to outline around the door of my house, but they really just look out of place among the rest of the regular non-LED lights I used on the trees and bushes. I think I'm going to do a bit of reworking some of it and limit the LED lights to the shrubs where they might be a bit less obtrusive. But first, I must point out that in this city it is next to IMPOSSIBLE to find purple lights. I think everyone buys them up and I can't find them anywhere. OK, so the only place I really have looked was Target, I do mean to look elsewhere eventually, but whatever. I'm sure it won't be so bad. But I need about 4 or 5 sets of them, so hopefully it isn't too hard to track some down. Spent the rest of Monday hanging out with Jonell and Andrew, before he caught the red-eye out last night to head home.
Now I'm back to work, pretty tired, and oddly hungry even though I shouldn't be. Maybe I need a snack, but it's nearly lunchtime. Either way, I should work.