Christmas and stuff

All in all, it was a good Christmas. Mark was gone pretty much the entire month of December, a victim of year-end accounting at work. That sort of sucked, but we had our romantic rendezvous on the 23rd when I flew into San Francisco. Despite all my dread over flying at the holidays, the whole process was much more tolerable than I’d expected, thanks to a series of happy coincidences that resulted in very favorable seat assignments.

A few hours after I arrived in SF, we were on the way to Fresno to spend the holidays with his family. It wasn’t really any warmer in Fresno than it had been in Winston-Salem when I left, but it was quite a bit foggier. That made me happy.

There was Christmas Eve breakfast at the Chicken Pie Shop and random Christmas shopping before dinner at the home of the sister-in-law and family. I’m not showing pictures of our niece here, just because I think it might (understandably) creep out her mom a bit, but she’s adorable — trust me on this — and she also shared her crayons with me.

There was more food and family on Christmas day, and then we departed on the 26th for a quick one-night stand in San Mateo, where we had dinner with Dan, Jamie, and Eugene at Pancho Villa and then wandered around downtown and made the staff at Draeger’s nervous before bedding down in preparation for my really early flight the next day. The return flight, alas, was not nearly so pleasant as the westbound one had been.

The cool thing, of course, is that we got to have Christmas again when we got home: twice. The first was the traditional “fire in the basement” Christmas at home, where we gave each other our loot. For the record, I got a turntable (we’re now a two-turntable household), and lots of cool books and videos, among other things. We also got a quite wonderful vintage phone from Sister Betty and the happenin’ tiki lamp from Jamie.

And then, we got to go to Greensboro and do it all over again with my parents. Despite the picture, my mom really did have her eyes open through most of it, which we all appreciated.

Mark left this morning, and I have to take down all the decorations this afternoon. So I guess it’s over now, and it’s time for me to get back to the daily grind.

Maybe some day soon, I’ll even post pictures from the last two road trips. Right now, though, there’s a whole slew of exciting new shows on The CW and My Network TV that are just dying to be promoted online. And there’s a certain university bureaucracy that needs a cattle prod jammed up its ass. But that’s another story…