a new year

I’ve been back in California now for a couple of days after a short but sweet trip out to Texas to visit friends and families. We left last Tuesday (23rd) and flew to Dallas. We spent a couple of days there, relaxing and eating and such. On Christmas eve we had an awesome dinner of roasted duck that Les’s mom whipped up. As always, her food is perfect and comes into being seemingly without effort.

Another interesting thing we did on the trip was get Les’s dad set up with his new computer: a 14″ G4 iBook. Since I didn’t have the money lying around this calendar year to buy a mac for myself, I gave him my personal discount from Apple. He’s got all the trimmings: Airport Extreme, extra RAM, a bigger hard drive. The thing is quite sprightly. We outfitted him with all the important accessories, too, like a wireless network for their house and a shiny new digital camera. They seem to be enjoying their new toys. There are a few pictures from the events on gallery, but I also set up a little picture website for them to have. You should check it out: http://marcandsusan.overt.org.

Other highlights of Dallas include driving around to look at the elaborate displays of lights on the houses and getting a sweet duffel bag (monogrammed) and a very nice pen and set of engraved note cards from Leslie’s parents. Cameron also got me an awesome book of collected Tori singles arranged for solo piano. Not a bad haul.

We left on Christmas day to go to Austin. The afternoon was spent with my parents, opening presents and eating candy and nuts from the stockings. I scored a very nice light for the front of my bike, a questionable dancing turkey, and Metroid Prime, a video game for GameCube (which is good, since I just beat FFX-2 yesterday. Got to have a constant supply of distraction). We had an excellent turkey dinner with the stuffing that my parents make that I love so much. The turkey was also even better than usual, a fact my parents attributed to it free-rangeness (amongst a rash of inane jokes about catching the turkey).

The rest of the time in Austin was spent catching up with friends that were in town. It was awesome. There’s no doubt what I miss the most here in CA are my friends from home. And I’m not making the same kind of friends here, partially because of my geographic isolation from other people my age, and partially because I ended up working with people who are mostly 5-20 years older than me and are married/have kids/otherwise don’t want to hang with me. In any case, I’m going to do my best to hold on to my good friends until I can systematically lure them all out to the west coast.

So, now we’re back in CA. Yesterday, Clare arrived (yay more friends!) and we spent the afternoon in the city, walking down Haight and around in Golden Gate park. Today is getting off to a lazy start after a perfunctory celebration of new year’s last night (damnit, we did at least have champagne!). We’ve taken some pictures that I imagine we’ll post eventually. Stay tuned.

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