As I try to make my way to that Ordinary World, I will learn to survive.

Here’s hoping everybody out there is having a happy day, first off, whether you’re celebrating Baby Jesus having a birthday, or getting together in the winter to get cool shit for free and hang out with friends, family, and loved ones, if you’re commemorating the re-dedication of a most holy place, or marking the Winter Solstice… even if you’re just airing your grievances, I hope every one of you is happy today.

Me?  I think I’ll look back at today a few weeks from now and see that things were pretty good overall, but right now I’m pretty stressed and irritated.  By quarter past 9, I figured it was late enough that my folks would be up, that my grandma would certainly have been knocking down the door — she’s gotten up about quarter to 5 every morning for at least 25 years, and doesn’t seem to ever clue in that nobody else likes being awake before 10 — at least — unless something requires more than twenty stitches and a day in ICU.

Got down to the living room and the only one I saw was my sister.  We sat and talked for nearly an hour, and it was such a fun time; I had forgotten how much I missed those chats.  Around 10:45, my mom got up, and my dad walked in too — apparently he’d been up and awake for a few hours just sitting and listening to country music Christmas crap; at least he had the decency to shut his door and keep the volume down.  Grandma still wasn’t here, and my dad suddenly says “It’s time to open presents.”  Wait, what?  We invite her to spend the holiday with us, so she isn’t stuck by herself and lonely for Christmas… but screw her, we’re going to dig in whether she’s here or not!  Don’t know about any of you guys, but to me, that’s just completely fucking unacceptable.

Well, any conflict was prevented by a knock at the door, and grandma walked in saying, “I wondered if you guys were ever getting up — I’ve been sitting and waiting in my car over half an hour now for you to open your curtains!”  Everybody pointed out that even in warm weather those curtains stay closed… they’re broken and have been for at least 5 years.  “Well, you could have at least told me…” she scowled.

We got settled in and started passing out the very few gifts under the tree… I don’t think anybody got more than 3 items each.  I got the two things I’d asked for: a 2GB microSD card so I can have one for both my phone and my Nintendo DS, and a nice set of 5.1 surround speakers for my computer.  Also got a Hickory Farms gift box, one of my favorites, and a box of gourmet crackers to eat with it.

I ended up giving my dad the mp3 player originally intended for RPJ, and when he had it unwrapped, I mentioned to him that it needed a firmware upgrade to correct some issues and to properly allow files to be transferred via drag and drop, without using Windows Media Player to manage all of his audio.  I think I might have some small clue about how that player works — I’ve spent long hours on many days over the past several months researching that player; it’s also a nearly identical model to my own.  He nods, says okay, and on things go.

A bit later, sick of listening to my grandma’s rambling, pointless stories, I wandered in to offer my dad a hand getting his mp3 player set up.  He’s got it plugged into his PC in the only available mode with the outdated firmware, which shows the player as a special device and is only intended to be manipulated via a media management app… and he’s got the hidden system folders expanded and is dropping audio files into the area that (if he’d let me link him to the user manual, I could point out where it says this) you *must not* write files, as this may permanently damage your player!  I said something to the effect of, “that may or may not–” where he cuts me off and says “It already *is* working.  I drag my files over, it boots up and refreshes the database, and plays them just fine!”

I didn’t have a chance to point out that in the current mode, Database Refresh should not be occurring; this indicates some error in the setup — he’s already shooing me out of his room so he can keep breaking… er, “playing with” his exciting new toy.

I’m not going to make any effort to help him recover things when he gets it FUBAR so badly that it won’t turn on anymore, though.  I’m fed up with his attitude when it comes to anything tech-related that he always knows better than I possibly could, by virtue of the fact that he’s worked with technology in general far longer than I have.  Nevermind that he hasn’t kept up with hardware or software in the last ten years beyond the few tools he uses for programming — and even then, he uses programming languages two or three generations old, because “that’s what he’s used to” — he’s been in tech longer, therefore he knows more.

Then he turns on his stereo full volume and queues up his country Christmas shit again, door open — everybody wants to share the joy, right?  So I checked with my mom real quick, and she says dinner won’t be until at least 4PM.  Off to my bedroom for some peace and quiet, at last… figured I’d post here then get some much-needed sleep.  Well, as I’ve been typing, those same asshole neighbors I mentioned last post have not only started their car stereos back up, but it sounds like they’re using a huge truck to run things; the engine is about as loud as their woofers.  Any chance I might have had at some shut-eye has evaporated, and I can count on several more hours of this insanity.

—————–

Well, that explains the “huge truck” part, at least.  Apparently there was a fire truck parked directly outside our house, idling, for about an hour.  This is in addition to our neighbors and their ghetto-blasters, which are still going; the fire truck left a while ago.  It’s probably a very, very good thing that nobody at our house owns any firearms, because I’d likely be serving life in prison without parole, and my folks would have new neighbors.

Been chatting via texts with Pouf a bit; it’d be great if I could just get away from this hellhole and have a fun and happy Christmas with real people with real brains and sincere emotions.

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