Long catch-up post

December has been an eventful month but I haven’t been posting much. I extend my apologies to my two readers (who perhaps didn’t even notice that I’ve been MIA, or perhaps were waiting with baited breath for my next genius missive).

In early December Doc and I went to Boston so I could go to the Web Design World conference (which turned out to be about 70% fantastic, which is a great ratio for a conference) and spend a couple of days with my brother Bob. We had a great time, in part because it was so cold and snowy. The city was decked out in twinkly colored Christmas lights that looked so pretty with the snowy scenery.

The first day that we spent with Bob, we’d planned to go to the science museum and aquarium but they both closed early because it was snowing. I thought that northerners could still function in the snow, but apparently not! We spent a long afternoon riding the subway around to our various destinations only to find out that they’d already closed down. Then when we got back to the car at the train stop a mile from Bob’s apartment in Somerville, it took us about 90 minutes to get home due to incredible non-moving traffic. We ate pizza for dinner and Bob and Doc played Rock Band for a while.

Luckily Boston has a great snowplow system, so by the next morning the streets were clear enough that we were able to get ourselves down to the aquarium.

I wish we’d had more time to spend with Bob, but we had to leave the next morning. It was a lot of fun, though.

Over Christmas, we visited Doc’s mom and grandmother and great-aunt and brother and sisters and their families in Derby (near Wichita), Kansas. That was a heck of a lot more people than I’m used to being around, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. Doc’s grandma Rose and great-aunt Pat are in their late 80s but sharp as tacks and very up-to-date on what’s going on in the world. It was great seeing them again, and we plan to come visit more often now that they’re closer to us than they were in Idaho for all those years. All our nieces and nephews (most of whom are in their teens, and there’s about ten or so of them) got into a snowball fight on Christmas day with some of the moms and dads in the backyard. Doc got some great photography of people in mid-throw or mid-being-hit. He avoided getting into the fight until the very end by claiming “hey, don’t hit the guy with the camera, please”… but then threw a snowball at his sister on the way in. Sigh… brothers!

It snowed throughout the midwest the night before we drove to Kansas so by the time we reached the Kansas border everything was pretty well blanketed with snow. The residential streets in Derby hadn’t been cleared and so the driving was a bit iffy. On the way home on the 26th it had started snowing again but we didn’t have any trouble driving this time. We stopped at a restaurant in Arcadia, Oklahoma, called Pops 66. It has really interesting future-modern architecture and 500+ different types of bottled soda. Neato.

For Christmas Doc and I went a little lighter than normal with the gifts, by choice. He gave me some really nice things though, including some balsamic vinegar, bamboo cooking spoons, and this gorgeous Le Creuset cast-iron skillet. I adore it. I can barely lift it, it’s so heavy!! And the enamel is droolworthy bright beautiful red.

I’ve had the whole week of Christmas off, and I don’t go back to work until January 3. This week I’m taking it easy, trying to get a little exercise in, watching movies, hanging out with Doc. Saturday we went to Six Flags with Brittney and Chris. I could only go on two rollercoasters this year; I just didn’t feel up to going on some of the bigger rides. It was really crowded at the park, much moreso than in previous years. Wait times in line for the rides seemed about as long as they are in the summer. We had a nasty dinner experience too: we waited in line at a little kiosk with the “Papa John’s Pizza” label on it, but I can tell you definitively that the pizza was NOT Papa John’s quality. It was some of the nastiest pizza I have had in recent memory. For $7 per slice I would at least expect the cheese to be completely melted, but it wasn’t. I could only eat half of it. I complained at the guest services desk that they were misleading people by putting a brand name label on disgusting sub-par crappy foodservice pizza.

But, that icky food experience got made up for a little while later. We ran across a kiosk run by some grandmotherly type ladies with crockpots who sold baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted corn, cocoa, hot cider, and OMIGOD cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven with frosting ladled on out of a crockpot. I loves me a grandma with a crockpot of warm icing!!

Tonight is New Year’s Eve and I am perfectly content that we are staying in tonight and maybe watching some movies and ordering pizza. I’m not sure that any of our friends are having parties this year, and we’re not either. We’ve hosted NYE parties in the past, but after hosting Halloween and Thanksgiving and then being out of town so much in December, we just didn’t feel up to it this year.

Happy 2008 to everyone! It’s going to be an exciting year!

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