Fact: I grew up in Hawai`i, and my parents still live there.

Fact: Starting tomorrow, I'll be on vacation for 10 days.

Fact: As of this writing, Christmas is two days away.

Given the length of my vacation and the fact it's the holiday season, it's easy to assume I might be traveling all the way to Hawai`i. A number of co-workers making small talk have asked me the very specific question, "Are you going to Hawai`i for your vacation?"

It's not a vague question, such as "What are your holiday plans?" or "Are you doing anything special for Christmas?" It's a very specific, "Are you going to Hawai`i for your vacation?" The answer surprises them — no.

For some reason, the specificity of that question has been bugging me, more so than the surprise I get from my answer. Yes, a trip to Hawai`i would require a lengthy stay because it takes an entire day of travel to get there and another to get back, and historically, any long stretch of time away from the office meant I was back home. But is it so odd to take vacation time for the express purpose of not coming to the office? Using vacation time doesn't necessarily require taking an actual vacation. (In the same way sick time isn't necessarily taken because of illness. Not that I ever do that, no.)

Then there's the surprise at the thought of going nowhere for 10 days. I fail to see why that should be such a weird idea. I would love to take more vacations where I do nothing but stay at home, get neglected chores done, wander about town aimlessly, maybe even chip away at some fun work. Some of my best vacations in the past followed that agenda.

The people who ask this question tend to have families, and I don't think they can't frame the holidays as anything but social.

But this time of year is one where I can take a lot of time off and not burn so many vacation days. And I'm using it to get as much work done for Eponymous 4 as I can. I spent four days recording vocals last Christmas vacation, and I haven't been as productive since. I'm almost of the mind to reneg on all the social commitments I've already made. Rather, I'm ruthlessly instituting a first ask-first answer policy. If you're the first to invite me, I'll probably accept. Everyone who asks afterward gets a no.

The Thanksgiving weekend went by fast for me, even though I took five days off. I had gotten so focused on recording, the days flew by. I hope I can do that again for this vacation.

That's my idea of a vacation. Evidently, it's not anyone else's.