Ellen and I both had a good time, and I hope dinner lifted her spirits a bit. She went outside on Sunday morning to find the front, passenger window of her car broken and a few CDs missing. I always thought her unnecessarily cautious when she'd take the faceplate off her stereo, but it's still intact and that's what the vandals were probably after. The CDs they took were a curious assortment: Apollo 18 and Live in New York by They Might Be Giants, Abbey Road by The Beatles, and a CD of my original music with the handwritten label "Mostly new stuff, 12.03.04." What did they leave? Tracy Bonham (which was right on the passenger seat). The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Probably some Pearl Jam and Nirvana, and The Best of Bread. I'm gonna be pissed if my cover of Sweet Dreams shows up in the background of a car dealership commercial.
On top of the window, Ellen also had a couple of newspaper stories to write. Both were due this morning, and both required information from outside sources. She received one of the calls she was waiting for just as I arrived and took down some notes. The other story was basically written but needed some names which she wasn't able to get last night. We cut the night short (short as in I went home at 10:15 on a Sunday night) so she could write. She estimated that the story would take an hour and a half to finish, and I hope she got some sleep.
Secret Santa today at work. I hate Secret Santa gift exchanges (described most accurately by the AEG's friend as "Buy a bunch of crap, get a bunch of crap."). If I had spoken up about it I wouldn't have to be included, but it was just assumed that I'm interested in participating. Obviously I'm annoyed by this, but based on my relationship with my coworkers it wasn't an implausible assumption to make. Every day last week I promised myself that I'd take my lunchbreak the next day to pick up stupid little gifts, and every day I forgot about it. It was a scary feeling to realize that I hadn't done my shopping when I came in this morning to find a small bag of assorted hard candies and an M&Ms dispenser that rolls its eyes on my desk.
This year's gift exchange consists of four days of $1 presents and a $5 present on Friday. I took my lunchbreak early to check out Big Lots, which has the tackiest Christmas merchandise ever. Today my recipient gets a harmonica (yes, a harmonica) and a 25¢ cassette copy of Khool Yule by Khool & Friends. I'm not familiar with Khool and Friends, but this guy is just as white as I am (and actually, his music is whiter). This is not the only rap-related gift the guy is getting. He was on his lunchbreak when I got back from Big Lots so I dropped the two items off at his desk. This is probably my plan for the rest of the week, as he comes in an hour and a half earlier than I do. I don't know what his Friday gift is going to be yet, but he's unhealthily obsessed with fish.
I came back to work hoping that I hadn't missed the 11:00 lunch order deadline only to find out that nobody was ordering lunch after all. The vending machines don't look promising either, so I think I might just subsist on coffee and maybe a can of juice later in the day.