December was an extremely eventful month, although sadly I failed completely in capturing everything in a timely manner…
Vegas, Dave, Tim, and Audrey
The first weekend of the month saw Audrey and I off to Vegas to see Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, something that I would do on a weekly basis if possible. Tim Reynolds did some utterly ridiculous things with a guitar – I don’t know what an echoplex is, but it is clearly awesome. Dave started the concert by revealing that any bubbling noises were not a stylistic choice but were instead the result of mucous, and followed that up with a discussion of how Las Vegas is a weird place and proof that something has gone off kilter in the human evolutionary chain. They played for three hours, and afterwards Audrey and I returned home happy despite making the acquaintance of a drunk woman who decided that pressing every button in the elevator would be terrific comedy.
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
December 23 saw an end to my tenure at DIRECTV after three years and nineteen days. My co-workers there were a lot of fun and the work was interesting, but it was time to move on to new things. I had expected a lengthy retirement, but a new offer came along that may be too good to pass up, and, being a fan of things like eating and paying rent, it looks like I’ll be working from home starting January 11.
Holliday Family Christmas
Christmas came up fast this year, and while I managed the gold in getting Audrey a membership to Zingerman’s bacon-of-the-month club, I failed utterly with everyone else’s gifts and headed to San Francisco with only gift certificates. Sally came through with “Holliday Family Recipe” books for Aaron and I, and a two hour game of Quiddler ended with disastrous results. Aaron, Ryan Sutherland and I also started coming up with bizarre “what if” scenarios at some point during the trip, and people’s answers made for revealing insights into what was most important to each individual:
- There are eight planes, and all of them are going to fly across the country. One will crash. You can either choose a plane and take the flight, and if you don’t crash you get to choose any three houses in the world when you land, or, if you choose not to fly, your thumbs will be surgically removed. What do you do?
- You get to be the richest person in the world, but you have to live in a hot-air balloon that must stay at least 100 feet off the ground at all times, otherwise you explode. You can modify the balloon in any way, but it can’t be tethered to the ground for more than two hours a day. Do you take the offer?
- You get $40 million today, but at some point between age 65 and 80 you will be killed by a sword to the stomach. Death may take as long as two hours. Deal or no deal?
There were many more, but not all of them were appropriate for a public web site. Needless to say, Ma & Pa weren’t huge fans, but everyone else involved seemed to enjoy the thought-exercise.
After four days at home Aaron and I were getting a bit stir-crazy so we headed out to a fancy hotel in Avila Beach, ten miles outside of San Luis Obispo. Apparently the place caters almost exclusively to couples, so the lady at the desk gave us a funny look when we checked in, but at this point we’re pretty used to embarassment and it was well worth it to have a jacuzzi in the room and a wine reception in the lobby.