I spent five days with Enrique's terrific family in San Antonio and on their ranch in Realitos, about 65 miles from the Mexican border. Exciting events included learning to drive a tractor, going to Cabela's (I have more pix to post from that itself), petting doggies (that's Chula, but there's also Chumina and Diego), playing with a fierce tiny baby kitty named Brisket, petting KC, the big black cat who likes hanging out under the Christmas tree. Fran, Enrique, Mr. and Mrs. Ramirez and I shot off fireworks on New Year's Eve. And I ate incredibly well. The Ramirez house is a vibrant and comfortable place. It was great to visit.
Then I came back to spend a long weekend with my family. It is wonderful to have these long breaks. I used to only see my family for a few days at a time. Now, I've been here for almost two weeks. I got to have beers with my brother Andy twice, go skiing with my nephews and Dad, play with Maddie, stay up late with my brother Ben, have multiple dinners with my Dad and Carol in North Oaks, where they live, and at my Mom's house with Chuck, my stepdad and outstanding cool. I even saw Darci, my stepsister, and her husband John a few times.
Managed to have a grade school class reunion… I will post something separate on that. Finished up a few freelance projects and an article for SXSWorld. Played The Sims 2 (with the Pet Expansion pack, my Christmas present from Enrique)
and a little World of Warcraft. Saw my best friend from high school, Melissa, and took
her out for something that wasn't hot dogs and Icees at Target.
The year will get going with a bang. We're putting on a colloquium and our second speaker is Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky (That Subliminal Kid). Our speaker lineup looks terrific and I'll write more as it gets official. We're putting on a symposium in late March. And then there's the issue of my thesis, which must be complete in April. If I can write 10 good pages a week, I should be able to do it. We only take one class this semester, a gigantic relief. There is so much to do.
Okay, time to head to the airport. Three hour layover at O'Hare, heavy rain in Connecticut. I don't want to jinx it, but I have to wonder whether I'll make it all the way there tonight…