austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I'm not like everybody else

Back to work and while I mean to talk about my week with bunny_hugger I want to get down what's happened here before I forget it. Last year the office had a Polyanna, with everyone participating picking slips of paper with another person's name on it, on which the person wrote gift ideas. Last year I wrote down, I believe, one book, one DVD, and one computer game, with notes about where they might be found. Last year the person I drew offered as suggestions ``Gift Card'', which is an acceptable gift but one I'd really rather not give (also, a gift card to where?), and ``Surprise me'', which is a bit less vague. I carried on, I think, with courage. (I gave one of those computer speaker dog robots with the head that lights up.)

But the draw for gift-giver/receiver partners was held on last Friday (that is, before Thanksgiving), so that I missed it first due to my four-day work schedule and second because I was flying out to Chicago by way of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, a detour necessary because it would be absurd to imagine a major United States airline offering direct flights between Newark and Chicago. I figured that I'd come back to see the name slip on or around my desk, the way my birthday card was delivered. Actually, as I left for lunch (the first time someone actually spoke to me during the day, incidentally), one of the first-foor people warned me my Polyanna name was still in the jar. Also another person warned me as I came back in, and another as I went to the jar. There was just the one slip in the jar, and the lid to the jar was sealed tight, in case of.

This year I wrote down as suggested gifts for me two books and one DVD, which again I think meets the implied obligation to suggest modest-priced gifts that are not unreasonably difficult to find and are diverse enough that you can't be guaranteed what you will get, and cover enough range to suggest what might be a good gift if they can't be found regardless. The remaining person and my gift-recipient this year is ... one of the other programmers, it happens, and someone who had to be lobbied to participate at all. His suggested gift? ``NO FRUITCAKE''.

Well, that helps a lot. Incidentally, I find the ``fruitcake is the worst thing in human history'' idea to be less irritating than ``clowns are somehow inherently scary'' mostly because fruitcake is a seasonal inaccurate and unfunny bit of observational humor-themed extruded jokelike product while the clown one comes up all times of the year. This is the sort of thing that drives people to giving gift cards.

Trivia: The Roman Emperor Commodius tried to rename the twelfth month of the year `Exsuperatorius', after one of his many names. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: The Victorian Eye: A Political History of Light and Vision In Britain, 1800 - 1910, Chris Otter.


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