I learned something this Thanksgiving, the reason why my mother "was up cooking till three in the morning" all those years when I was younger wasn't because cooking a proper Thanksgiving feast is a 15-hour affair, but rather because she likely procrastinated. Kristin and I were up Wednesday night cooking nearly till sunrise, but there was a very good reason for it: we were watching television and playing on the Xbox until nearly midnight. I had already baked a couple pumpkin pies and made a pumpkin soup earlier in the day and felt these laurels indeed warranted some resting upon, but we had friends coming over at 2pm and had a lot of cooking left to do. So, with the little hand atop the big hand, we headed into the kitchen, made a pot of coffee and commenced Operation Turkey.
Sometime during the kitchen mayhem that took place that night we decided that it would be "fun" to head to Best-Buy at 4am Friday morning, to wait outside with the huddled masses and go shopping. We weren't interested in any of the advertised "doorbuster" sale items, but were rather feeling a bit voyeuristic. That, and they were having a big sale on HD-DVD players. But moreso, we just wanted to people-watch. We make fun of those who do this every year, but felt that it might be fun to go and observe in person. And to maybe have some fun with it by spreading absurd rumors about sales at other stores. I even considered scanning and altering the prices on the Circuit City flyer to just screw with people. A little shopping stampede never hurt anyone... Hey, it's Christmas shopping, what could possibly go wrong?
My friend Brad and his wife arrived at 2pm on Thurday. The turkey was nearing its half-way point and all was under control. We had a great time with them and it was really nice to have others over to share in the feast -- especially since I continued my tradition of not being interested in the meal after I spent so much time cooking it. We played some Scene-It on the Xbox 360 (which I'll be writing about later) and mostly just sat and talked. Brad and Gina both work as interpreters for the deaf and had some rather incredible stories to tell. Brad's signed for everyone from the crazed psychotics in the asylum (do they call them asylums anymore?) to Bill Gates. He's even been along with the police in standoffs and involved in some pretty tense interrogations. The best of his tales though were from when he and his wife were working for an agency that offered video relay interpreting -- essentially video conferencing for the deaf. The caller would call into the agency and be on video relay with the interpreter while the interpreter dialed the third-party. Many of the calls were for mundane everyday stuff like ordering pizzas or calling for a taxi, but the rest? Well, the rest of the calls were for sex. To the comic enjoyment of their coworkers, my friends had to interpret calls being made to prostitutes and to 1-900 sex lines. To envision them translating and speaking out loud all the nasty, dirty things people would say to one another on a sex-chat line is hysterical. Factor in the crowd of other interpreters standing in the background laughing makes it even better. What makes it even funnier is they had to interpret in the first-person. This meant speaking as if he was the woman on the other end of the phone for the male caller and vice-versa when a woman called a male. I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks, but I was nearly tearing up laughing so hard.
Brad and Gina left around 10pm that night and Kristin and I were exhausted. We took a nap on the couch and when we woke up, decided that getting up at 4am was really a stupid idea. After all, it was already midnight and it was about 30 degrees outside. I woke up at 8:30, walked into my office, and ordered the HD-DVD player I wanted from Best-Buy's website. Same sale price. Free shipping. No lines. It will be here next week.
We did head out pretty early though to go to the National Geographic Warehouse Sale at the convention center in Seattle. That was really fun. They had aisles and aisles of books and travel guides and even some clothes and gift items all marked down to ridiculous prices. Judging by the t-shirts the staff had, this warehous sale tours the country like a rock band. Definitely hit it up if it comes to your neck of the woods, as the deals were pretty awesome.
We also went to see "Beowulf" in Digital 3D on Friday at Pacific Place. Yes, we had to wear the glasses. I almost considered leaving after the first ten minutes, but this was one of my favorite mandatory readings from high school so I hung in there and it did eventually get better. It's not a good movie by any stretch, but it's not heinous either. It's just a CGI fluff film filled with lots of violence and gratuitous shots of a digital version of Angelina Jolie's tits. In 3D.
On second thought, maybe this movie wasn't so bad after all...