Christmas Eve eve

What a month it’s been! Good thing I had that lazy day to prepare for it!

December 5-7, I was in Palm Springs for a work conference. The hotel was really nice, but I basically hung in my room and worked (TA stuff) when I didn’t have work functions to attend. I enjoy this conference. It’s for managers and above at the company I work for, and they treat us very well.

On Friday, December 9, Han & I had made a plan for me to surprise my folks and drive up for the weekend. He had a lot going on and was going to be busy all weekend, including a gig out in Ramona. We decided that I would drive the truck and he would take Ginger (the Avenger). 🙂 I drove to work, pulled into my parking spot, and the engine gave out. I couldn’t start it at all. After some hassle with AAA, they towed it from the parking garage to the dealer who told me that it was the fuel pump and that it would cost $1200 to fix it. It was Friday afternoon, and I just didn’t know what to do. The lady at the dealer said I could wait until Monday to decide. Sweet. I did have to go by because I’d forgotten to get my suitcase out of the truck before it was towed. Thankfully, I was able to get a ride from my friend, Tessa, at work.

So we had a decision to make. But first, there was a party to be had. My 40th birthday party. Although my birthday was in November, we scheduled the party for Dec 11 because it fit people’s schedules and the weekend of my birthday had already been very busy. It was a lovely night. All my closest friends, great food, all arranged by Han. Toward the end of the evening, some friends got up and did some of my work. Matt Silvia sang a version of “Ode to My Hair,” Myran Vasquez read “Green Man” and wrote an original haiku for me, Cathryn Beeks read “Fire & Fiddles,” The Lovebirds sang a version of “Blues Drop,” Marcia Claire read “The Kind of Smoker I Would Be,” and Barbara Nesbitt read “The Fire Season.” It was amazing to hear them read my work; their inflections and tone. And I think, for them, they realized that it’s not as easy as it may look to read poetry. They were fabulous, and it was touching beyond words. They also showered me with gifts (wine, gift cards, journals). I can’t thank them enough. And Han, for putting it all together. What a great night.

I had already scheduled to take Monday the 12th off of work. I didn’t want to ruin the vibe of the party with me having to work the next day. It worked out very well, because Han took me to get a rental car, and I arranged to have Lucy (the Dodge truck) donated. I went to the dealer and let them know. Then I was able to go clean her out, grabbing every last shred of paper out of her. I do think I left last year’s holiday CD in the stereo. I hope someone enjoys it. It was raining like crazy, and I was blocking one of the mechanic’s from parking so I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye properly, but the time had come. She was a great truck, but we had put too much money into her over the last couple years, and it didn’t make sense to do it again. Jewish Family Services agreed to take her and so the era of Lucy is over.

The car situation was a bummer. And then, I got sick. I stayed home from work on the 13th, in bed, sleeping most of the day. I felt terrible. I rallied and went into work on Wednesday, and had to get reviews done, and other work stuff. All the while sniffling, coughing, sneezing, and wondering how I was going to get a car.

Well, I cashed in some stock, and Han borrowed some against a future project. We just needed to wait ’til the money was in our accounts to go looking. So I kept the rental car.

The weekend of the 17th was a good one. Not only was it my mom’s 68th birthday, but it was the annual Star of India show. Flan asked me to open the night with a poem so I wrote a new one that day and read it that night. It was a hit 🙂 and as Flan said, “it set the tone” for the night. It was a great night. I loved hanging out with Barbara before she headed back to Austin. It was a show full of love and happiness.

On Sunday night, we went to a White Elephant party at Cathryn’s. We arrived in the middle of the gift exchange (we knew we’d be late), but we got to see many of our friends and it was really fun.

On Monday, the money was posted to my account. Han had rehearsal all day Monday & Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, I left work around 1:30 pm and Han & I headed for Carmax. We were able to get financed since we were going to make a down payment. I drove away from there in a 2010 Hyundai Elantra 🙂 I absolutely love it! I will post a picture tomorrow.  After we got the car, we headed to Oasis for the San Diego Troubadour’s annual holiday party. It was really fun. The party is usually held at the home of the publishers, Liz & Kent, but this year, Oasis hosted it. Inside was a more formal listening scene (which is different than it usually is at the house), but outside there were 2 fire pits. We went to hang out around one with our friends, and then some spontaneous bluegrass kicked in. Chris Clarke, a guy on banjo, another guy named Beston, and Robin Henkel ripped through a number of great songs. It was a fine way to end the day.

Then on Thursday, I finished up some errands and stuff at home, then headed up to La Mirada for the weekend. That night, Mom & I went to eat at Red Robin. Then today, we went to Costco (terrible shopping cart drivers), Stater Bros, had lunch from KFC, then went to Office Depot and Target, then I went to pick up Pick Up Stix for dinner. Tomorrow, my dad’s family will come over around 4 pm and we’ll open some gifts. Christmas morning, I’ll open up gifts with Mom & Dad then head home and have Christmas night with Han.

Merry & bright.

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