ere's my pre-Christmas story for you, because I probably won't write again until like, next June (I've got a reputation, you know).
I've never been the best of gift givers. Mind you, I've never been exactly timely or consistent with gifts, let alone picked particularly good things when I actually happen to remember the event. Granted, this has laid a foundation of lowered expectations in everyone's mind, and thus if
I remember, that in itself becomes a huge aspect of the gift. My growing senility has not helped this situation, but it does give me an excuse that trumps laziness.
I dated the sister of a guy I worked with back in the mid 90's. It started when she was back from school over Christmas break, probably just after New Years, and stumbled like a drunk mime on through February. Mid-February is naturally a critical time in any budding relationship due to VD. Valentine's Day, (which is naturally what you all took "VD" to mean, because I only cater to audiences of the highest character) is a Big Day on some folks dating radar, and this girl was no exception. She SENT ME (like through UPS or FedEX) a gift basket that she had filled with chocolates, a card, and these odd Chinese relaxation chime things. They looked like 2-inch diameter silver ball bearings that you rolled around to make soothing noises with. It was all very thoughtful stuff. I predictably had got her nothing, and had little money to make a similar display of affection. So I sat down at my little Dell laptop (Pentium - 75mHz, suckers) fired up a 3d program, and modeled a heart (in marble), with an arrow through it, and a totally dramatic and symbolic drop of blood dripping off the arrow. I did some ray-traced renderings (lots of high contrast spotlights, shadows, and reflections spell r-o-m-a-n-c-e), and in a mammoth display of Cassanovian finesse, I took the finished digital image and e-mailed it to her.
The funny thing is, as I'm writing this, I imagine there are non-computer/3d folks saying "Wow, that's such a geeky yet sweet thing, etc etc" but then there are people that KNOW what a pathetic cop-out (Dave, Shep, I'm looking at you) of a gift this is. It really was. There was no exceptional effort required, and I never left the front of my keyboard to do it.
As they say though, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (Arthur C. Clarke), and this lazy gift got treated as though it were amazing.
The moral of this story is that I remembered this story yesterday, and I thought it was amusing.
Forget all that and we'll play some catch-up in real life for a minute. The church now has gas (pause for dumb jokes), and the heat is working. Sally's parents came by and helped us clean up the apartment area we'll be moving into, and her Dad and I cleaned out the gutters using the new 24" extension ladder I bought. That ladder is awesome, and the gutters are going to need some help. As a housewarming gift, they brought us a real live church pew. It fits right in. For added fun, here's another version of a No filter found for intDBImage
. Stop complaining, I've had to outsource my comedy to India.
Since last post, of our time has been spent tearing out a bathroom & kitchen that had been framed and drywalled up in the second floor of the sanctuary. Our first big goal is to get the sanctuary ceiling finished by Spring, and this means wiring, lighting, fans, drywall, paint etc. To do that we have to pull off the old ceiling plaster (it's loose in a lot of places) and replace any rotted supports underneath. The tear-down phase has been hampered lately by cutting back all the wiring run to the second floor. We need power up there while working, but we also need the wiring out of the framing we're tearing out. So I've been using a book from Lowe's along with a bunch of trial and error to unwire, rewire, and not burn down the church. So far so good.
Sally is still battling it out with end-of-semester work at school, and we plan on moving into the church by Christmas. That's right, 23 days or so from now. Mark your calendars.
And my New Year's resolution is to write a touch more often. Promise. Everyone that has hung on for this long is getting a totally sweet 3d marble heart in their e-mail for Christmas.