December 24, 1997

We drove in this morning in the Stoat. No top, and it's a little better than freezing in the morning. But there is some cloud cover, and we did okay, on the whole. John, of course, sang like a happy loon, and it was fun to drop by Victor's, where they were giving out free coffee drinks to everyone that came by. It's a tradition for them. It's a way to give all their friends gifts without having to wrap them all. Or at least that's what Jane says about it all.

The sky was a grey that hinted of blue behind it. It's gorgeous out and while it was cold enough to wake me up, it wasn't so cold that I was freezing out in the open top car. The convergence zone here makes for really weird weather, on the whole. Since the clouds get parted by the mountains and then converge here in the valley between the two sets of mountains, when the colder clouds from the north mix with the warmer clouds from the south, where they meet, it rains. Which is most of the time.

It also makes for some really weird weather patterns, days when it rains, suns, hails, blows, and is utterly calm all in the same day. There's days when it's just pours 100 feet from a place where there's sunshine, and other days, like Monday morning, when there's no rain at all, but there is a rainbow in the sky, because of the mist up in the sky and an odd configuration allows the sun through multiple layers of clouds over the Olympic mountains. And it's always different. Nearly always gorgeous or awesome and very different than from any other part of the country I've been in.

Today's a very quiet day at work, and things are okay. Got to talk with a Data I/O employee and found out that during their Christmas party Bill E. said something derogatory about Synario and the room *boo'ed* him. That was really interesting to find out. Also got to talk to the VP of Sales on that side of the house about the difference it made to now belong to Minc and it was fun to talk frankly about it all. He's Canadian and cool.

Amazing what can fall apart given a CEO that just doesn't listen or respect the people that work for him. There's a lot of still pent-up frustration and it may well explode, sometime.

I'm just glad that I don't have to worry about it anymore, and that both the pressures that would lead up to it and the things that would happen afterwards aren't things that I will be involved with anymore. That is sweet. Though, I guess if I were to get a punching bag, I'd put a picture of Bill E. on it just to make *sure* I got a thorough workout.

Last night John and I discussed just how hard he was laughing at the RealAstrology forecast for me. It was pretty funny. We got out of work fairly early, and he went with everyone else to Redhook brewery while I went and did the last minute Christmas shopping thing for him. I met back up with him there and we sat around and drank and talked for a long time with everyone else. That was good.

But we didn't get out of there until far too late for this puppy. I was very hungry and tired, and wanted sushi, so John suggested I Love Sushi, so we went there. It was good, not Excellent, but good enough for a late night very hungry person, and so I ate quite happily. Had two orders of saba just because I wanted it. That was nice. Mackerel is a very oily fish, and when it's lightly pickled the way they do it, it's a very dense fish as well, so it's a lot like eating butter, for me, at least. I love the stuff, especially with some experimental evidence that fish oils break down bad fats. It's kinda cool to love eating something that's actually good for me.

We also had the usual soft shelled crab, and a roll and I had an order of unagi that wasn't that well done. But the miso was a godsend from the cold air and the hot green tea was excellent. All in all a good way to make me happy, content, and I slept deeply last night. I have a feeling that I'm not really going to be dreaming again until I do catch up from my sleep debt.

On the way in this morning, John and I met Tom Bowns going out for the last time, and we said out good-byes and we'll likely see him this coming weekend, as we're throwing another house party... It would be very good if he could find a fun job after the beginning of the year.

My only plan for the holidays is to sleep. It's a good plan in that it's simple, straightforward, and measurable. The rest is just gravy. Heh.

Of such simple pleasures is my enjoyment made.

Fezzik, being a far more social animal than I, invited everyone to our house for a Holiday Open House two days after Christmas. Yeesh. Just to retaliate, or, perhaps, to use up some of his social energy, we may look at a few companions for him this week. We'll see...

Ate at Las Margaritas, which has lots of Hispanic wait staff, very Americanized Mexican food, a loud Mariachi, but usually very good chips and a really mild green chili pork burrito with good flour torillas, a nice green tomatillo sauce, cheese and very plain rice and beans. Not for someone that loves truly spicy Mexican food, but good on a cold night when my mouth is set for the burrito and John wanted Mexican food of some kind. So we ate the supremely hot food, listened to the music, did the right body language things to make the guy NOT stop at our table, and enjoyed ourselves.

Afterwards we wandered through the cold night air to the next door pet supply shop, then the market, both of which were closed or closing just as we walked up, and finally the local drug store, which was, of all things, mobbed with holiday shoppers. The only creature we'd forgotten a present for was Fezzik, so we bought him a few things and then drove home. There's a midnight Christmas Eve service tonight that we'll likely go to, and that should be fun.

For some reason Fezzik yelped as we brought him in, so we've been watching him pretty closely, though he curled up on the kitchen floor and watched me while I wrote Christmas cards. It's still kinda amusing me that I'm doing it even late, but it's fun to summerize well wishes for the coming year. We also watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I'd forgotten just how marvelous a Willy Wonka Gene Wilder made. To borrow the quote from Tomorrow Never Dies, "The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success." Wilder made the point exquisitely without having to say it, at all.

I've half a mind to just take a hot bath, instead of going to the service as I'm so cold, though, admittedly I could probably build a fire and get warmer much more effectively and for a longer-term kind of solution. Oh, yes, for those that don't know that, yet, our base heat is gas, but to get the house any warmer than 65 F we usually just light a wood fire in our fireplace insert. It amazed me, coming from California, but all our wood is actually from trees that have fallen over during storms on our property. There's another alder down in our pond, which we haven't even sectioned or split, yet, and it would probably be a good idea to do so before spring, or the pond will swallow it for a while. But it's always kinda amazed me that we could heat our house from wood that dies from natural reasons.

So I guess I'll just make it not quite so cold, in here, at least.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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