Monday, November 27, 2006

A Hectic Holiday

Thanksgiving didn't just represent our family being thankful for everything we have, it also represented the end of the largest family project in a long up our basement.

You see, for the past couple of years, our basement has been unbelievably junky. Although it had been junky for a while, it got really bad when my mom was laid off and brought a lot of her stuff from work home. For a while, it really looked like a lost cause.

Over the summer, we managed to throw away a lot of stuff. We threw away junk that had been in the house since my parents moved in over 20 years ago. We threw away so much junk that our garbage bill was significantly higher than it should've been. Even after that, we still had a long way to go.

On Thanksgiving, we usually go over to my grandmother's house. My aunt normally cooks a turkey and other food and we eat, laugh, and have a good time. Since a lot of my dad's family lives fairly close to my grandmother's house, he usually goes over to his family's annual gathering to see his relatives.

Before Thanksgiving this year, my aunt told my mom that she didn't feel like cooking this year. After hearing that, my mom decided that Thanksgiving should be held at our house this year. That way, my aunt wouldn't have to cook (plus we wouldn't have to go anywhere). With that announcement, we all realized that the only place we could have a good Thanksgiving was in our basement, the largest room in our house. The planning began.

We did so much over the week or so before Thanksgiving, it's ridiculous. We threw away more junk. We put a lot of the stuff worth keeping in our garage and in our storage rooms. My mom mopped and shined the floor. She and I put primer on the ceiling in the basement to cover up the water stains. All of us helped my mom sort through bags and boxes and plastic containers. My sister came home on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to do her part too.

We spent a ton of money getting ready for this. We bought food, cleaners, rugs, mats, and anything else we needed. Everyone spent out of their own pocket to help out.

The holiday wasn't without its setbacks. For one thing, my aunt decided to cook some food for Thanksgiving anyway for my grandmother since my grandmother did not make the trip out to our house. This, of course, defeated the purpose of my mom offering to do Thanksgiving in the first place. Then, the television in our living room decided to stop working...only three years after we bought it. We took it over to the repair shop hoping that it could be ready before Thanksgiving (it wasn't). We found out just after the holiday that we probably will not be able to get it repaired and we will have to buy a new TV.

Ultimately, though, when the big holiday came and we could eat and spend time with our family in our home for the first time in years, it all seemed worth it.

In addition to the holiday madness, I ended up working on both Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” for the second year in a row. Thanksgiving was a lot busier than you'd expect. Apparently, a 25% off coupon will make people leave their family gatherings and go shopping.

When I worked on “Black Friday” for the first time last year, it wasn't that bad. This year, though, was busier. Our store opened at 5:30 a.m. and I had to be at work at 5:00. When I got to work, there were actually a few cars waiting in the parking lot for the store to open. Considering that our store is somewhat specialized, that was an achievement. After I got in, the store manager announced on the P.A. to everyone that there were customers outside waiting.

Things went pretty smoothly even though we were pretty busy. I helped as many customers as I could and even did a few carryouts despite the fact that I wasn't actually supposed to be doing them on that day. The store manager bought us lunch although it was one with an acquired taste...White Castle. Let me say that I don't think I've ever seen so many slyders in one place at one time. So many were bought that we had a whole Crave Case left untouched the next day.

Yes, it has been a hectic past few days. I pretty much abandoned my NaNoWriMo novel because of everything going on and my reviews and posts ground to a halt. I know I won't finish my NaNoWriMo novel before the end of the month but I'd like to try to finish it. Also, I will get back into the reviewing game soon as I finally do the reviews for Beyonce, Lupe Fiasco, and J. Dilla along with reviews of the new albums by Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Clipse, and Yoko Kanno. My next post after this one will likely be a review of the animated film Happy Feet.

Oh, and I finally know what I'm going to do with Everyday Author. I'll reveal that in the coming weeks.

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