In Review

Okay, so here’s what’s the haps in Hal-werld.

Finals went by, as they do, the lying things. If they’re so final why will I have to take more next semester? That aside, I feel pretty good about how they went. They tag-teamed me with Christmas Shopping Season to keep me well and truly out of action for a while, but then I put the finals in a sleeper hold and was down to one aopponent.

Holiday Shopping proved a more fearsome adversary, but I have seen the worst he has to offer and I remain here. So nyeah. All he has left is some after-Christmas blowouts, then he’ll fold up before my might.

On Christmas eve I encountered my third adversary, Head Cold. More on him later. I thought tag-teams were only supposed to have two guys on them… anyhow, after work I got hold of my lifelong friend Drew just in time to find out that he had just proposed to Sarah earlier that night… and she said yes. Congrats to my loyal henchling, Drewski. Good little minion.

K and I read that Grinch book together, then dinner at K’s aunt’s place. Then sleep. Mmmmmm. sleep.

Christmas itself was busy, busy, busy. beard shaving, Church, plethora of cookies (Dave baked 20 dozen over the course of 4 hours on christmas eve), driving out to the Redlands area to spend part of the day with my family. Here are K and I on Christmas Day.

H&K Christmas

Mother and Father are well enough, it would seem, and lunch was good. Hung out and talked with them, showed dad how to use his DVD player’s remote and watched the first few minutes of the classic Cyrano De Bergerac (we love that movie, and mom got it as a present for him) with him before time dragged us away. I always love spending time with them, but that goes without saying. They’re Mom and Dad, after all.

Next, swung by Peter’s place and dropped off presents and yapped a bit with Peter and Kathy.

Whizzed down the road to my brother Mike’s where we spent some more time. I got to yap over the phone with my nephew (really more like a little brother) Michael, who’s serving his mission in Bavaria and Austria. Ich spreche auf Deutsch mit er sehr gern. His mother found the way that Michael and I were rapidly bouncing back and forth between “English, German and American” (as she put it) most entertaining. Ich werde aufgeregt, dass ich meinen Neffen wieder im Februar sehen werde (I’m excited that I’ll see my nephew again in February). He and I have always been very close. In fact, he was one of my groomsmen. Here’s a shot of the two of us together back then.

Hal und der Neffe

His younger brother James stated at one point that if he could get any one game for Christmas, it’s be LotR Risk. A few minutes later he opened his present from us and officially freaked out because that was exactly what we’d gotten him.

Then back to LA for dinner with my wife’s folks and sundry guests. Good times, then off to bed. Head Cold remained in force, but I survived.

Yesterday morning, Head Cold still remained my foe, but I couldn’t call in sick because it was the day after Christmas and that just isn’t done in retail. So I had to stick it out. First, though, we took care of the kitty we were catsitting and went over to Aida’s house to do breakfast with the sweet old lady and her kids and grandkids. Aida is a substitute mom for K, and K is her secretary in the YW presidency too. She is also an amazing cook and nurturer, and her whole family is awesome. One of those women with only one child by blood, but a virtually uncountable number that claim her. One of her grandkids got a Darth Vader mask with voice modifier thingie for a present, and shoved it towards me to try it on… so I did. Here is the result, with mini-cape and all.
Darth Hal
I do a good vader-breath & voice impression anyway, so I spent the next while quoting lines. Fear the geektude.

Aida opened the present K made for her while we were there and much cooing and happy grandma noise ensued. Here’s a shot of the whole set this pillow is part of.
Awwwwwwww
The yellow one went to Aida. My girl is most awesome.

Then off to work, and being all sniffly and icky. Eventually they let me go a little early (I’m staying home today or I’d be there by now). Busy busy work. Yet I shall return and claim victory, though that round went to the holiday shopping.

From there, off to the airport to welcome Dylan back from Hawaii, where he’s been studying astronomy. He hasn’t been on the mainland in a year and a half, and it’s good to have an old friend back. Strange thing about this all is that when peter met up with me to greet Dylan, he had a former friend I haven’t really spoken to in three years (big falling out), but that he and Dylan have kept in touch with, with him. We were all so glad to have Dylan back that there wasn’t really any awkwardness between Elgin and I. We chitchatted easily as a group, I filled the guys in on Drew’s news, we hung out at Denny’s for a little while, then I returned home to catch the tail end of Phantom of the Opera with K and went to bed.

Which brings us pretty much up to date. My head cold has moved south and turned my voice all froggy, but I’ll get over it.

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