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2004-12-21 - 5:24 p.m.

Wow. What a hectic day-and-a-half. Yesterday I managed to knock over the majority of my Christmas shopping. It was made a lot easier when I finally decided what I would do about Jane's present. I'm going to get her a weekend away for the two of us to a Health Spa/ resort in Bateman's Bay. She went to something similar with her Mum this year and we have both talked about how it would be nice to do something like that together. Massages, spas, pedicures and the like. Let's just hope she hasn't thought of something similar :)

My sister is the only one I still have to buy for. I'd like to think of something other than vinyl, books, DVDs or CDs. Her last couple of birthday's I've been buying her classic (in the 'High Fidelity' "how can you not own..." sense) albums on vinyl, as she is going through a vinyl revival phase and got a record player for her birthday last year. But, I don't want to keep getting her the same thing even though I know she likes them. My brother I got some DVDs which I've just got to hope he doesn't have. I guess in the spirit of "it's the thought that counts" it doesn't matter that much if he does- I picked them with him in mind and if he has them already he can exchange them for ones he hasn't got and that will be ok. My Mum's not-particularly inspiring Xmas list included the new Macquarie Dictionary, so to make the present a bit more personal I also got her a book that was very her. My Dad apparently wants a discman so I got him one- should be a good present because he didn't specifically ask me for it and it cost more than I'd usually spend on him so he probably won't be expecting it. It's a rare occasion when my Dad has a genuinely pleased reaction to a present, he usually does the *feigned pleasure* "Oh" *pause* "Thankyou". Suffice to say he's a pain to buy for.

I've also been a busy little social butterfly. I like finding the time to catch up with everyone that I can before Xmas- the fact that time is such a premium I guess makes it all the more important to me. I don't really do presents for anyone other than Jane and my immediate family, instead it's my presence, or theirs, that becomes important. Lame and predictable pun I know.

So anyway, a couple of weeks ago (or was it just last weekend?) after quite a few drinks at Jane's friend Alex's party, Mark and I made plans to go out drinking on a weekday, specifically last night. As the time grew nearer and I started to stress out about all the things I had to do I thought "if he doesn't hold me to it I'll probably be relieved" but sure enough he rang on Friday to ask "did we drunkenly decide to do something some weeknight?"

"Um, yeah."

"Do you remember what night??"

In the end it was good to have a night out almost to celebrate the fact that I was back on track with my "to do" list. At the same time Chris was asking if I wanted to start my night out with music trivia at the Hopetoun, Jane was asking if it was alright if she scheduled some apartment appointments at 5.30pm Monday afternoon and my friend Steve was keen to catch up before Xmas.

So the real estate didn't get their act together and I was relieved, as I don't think I would have been in a house-hunting state of mind, Steve dropped by aftr work at 7pm, I convinced him to come to music trivia for a bit, Jane got home at about 7.20pm so I got to see her for 10 minutes before Chris came by to give Steve and I a lift to the Hopetoun where we met Mark at about 8pm.

It was a fun night. Bunch of elitist music wankers (Chris being one of the worst) including one Ross Clelland from Drum Media (I swear that wasn't a name drop, I just know a few people reading would have been interested), and the best part was we won! So really Chris and I won. Steve and Mark were along for the ride. And some random girl from another table helped us in the tiebreak round (causing us to change one of our answers from NoFX to Lagwagon- you can see why I didn't have a clue there) when we were pitted against Monsieur Clelland and friends. As well as being the overall winners, you were able to buy your way into a lucky dip at the end of each round, if you won the round out of those who put money in. We did that twice. So I came out of it with a Depeche Mode DVD, a Nick Cave t-shirt and a Placebo Greatest Hits/ Remixes CD (Steve and Mark also took home Placebo CDs while Chris got a bunch of obscure stuff I'd never heard of :)

Then Chris, Mark, Mark's friend John and I went back to the Townie followed by the Zanzibar, where Mark and I (the two coupled parties who left their other halves at home) proceeded to live vicariously through John (as Mark put it), encouraging him to talk to a really cute girl who was sitting by herself, and turned out to have just finished a shift at the Sando. They were still talking when we left the Zanzibar at about 3.30am so it might have worked out okay. John is someone Mark knows from a Science forum on the internet ipso facto doesn't have a great deal of confidence in that area.

So then I got up at a reasonable enough hour this morning (say 10 minutes before midday) to meet up with the lovely Blueshoe. We had lunch and coffee for a couple of hours though I think the last cup (or bowl) of chai was going a bit over the top, especially as my stomach was busy dealing with all the Kahlua I had last night. And then walking home I bumped into Antz on King St. Yesterday I bumped into my English friend Andy walking through the QVB, and on Sunday we bumped into Eegs while doing our Grocery shopping (who I hadn't seen for a good day-and-a-half). Everyone is out and about.

So Christmas is almost upon us and I'm feeling surprisingly organised. Only I know I'm going to have to use my only spare night (bar tonight) to find my sister a last minute present. Tomorrow I'm going to Bernie with Cindy and Blueshoe, while on Friday all the fun of getting to 3 different Christmas things in as many days begins.

I'll let you know how it all goes. Plus there are still a few nights out missing from my chronicles.


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