My small neighborhood here on the Eastside of Lake Washington is most often extremely quiet. It's tucked away from any major roads, down a gently sloping hill, and is positively riddled with nature and pricey houses. You would hardly even know that anyone lived here outside of a few cars that drive by and joggers facing the slog going up or the relief coming down the hill. In the springtime, the most annoying sounds come from the birds. Do you have ANY idea how LOUD bald eaglets can be? Jeez. In the summer, I roll my eyes at the daily buzz of Very Loud Fancy Speedboats and Hopefully Expertly-Landed Seaplanes. In the fall, I detest the constant blast of leaf blowers. Oh, the First-World Problems of Suburbia.

And in the winter, by FAR the loudest noises I ever hear come from the annual nightly-for-like-six-weeks lake tours of the Argosy Christmas Ship. It's a beloved holiday tradition here in Seattle and Seattle-ish. Argosy gussies up the very large "Spirit of Seattle" boat with lots of lights, and people buy tickets to chill out on the boat and eat and drink and sing along and drink some more while listening to the 900-part-harmonies of the Dickens Carolers as the boat makes its way to several different docking spots around the lake. At each stop, the public is welcomed to stand and listen to the VERY VERY LOUD MUSIC for about 20 minutes or so. Sometimes there is a bonfire, or gratis hot cocoa.

In years past before I figured out what this WAS, it used to drive me MENTAL. At times, depending on where the boat is docked, I can hear the music PERFECTLY from inside my house, all doors and windows shut for winter, of course, and I'm not super-close to the lake because I am not rich. It sounds like some insane party that you can't even imagine hosting or attending, but you can never quite pinpoint where it IS. So, now I know, and when I hear the ending disco funk of the "Hallelujah Chorus," I know the Christmas Ship will be moving on.

Last night, I took MissNine and we went down to actually SEE the Christmas Ship. Other smaller boats (and all boats on Lake Washington are smaller than this beast) are invited to decorate with lights and tag along behind the Big Boy for the night. No longer do you have to imagine what this might be like, because I took some video. MissNine thought it was way cool and I enjoyed the free Starbucks Mocha and gingerbread samples.

You can from now on further enjoy the thought of me sitting here in my home trying to write stuff in November and December while trying to not be distracted by the lilting insanity of "Holly Jolly Christmas." LA LA LA LA LA.

Argosy Christmas Ship, Carillon Point, Kirkland WA, 12/20/11