Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Newsletter

Since I've been out of action for a while, here's a rundown of some goings-on, holiday-related and otherwise.

  • With less than a week to go before Christmas, I've been (mostly) done with my shopping for nearly two weeks. The presents are now wrapped and under the tree. Those of you who know me will be shocked, I'm sure.

  • Brandi and I will be traveling for the holidays, but we're spreading it out, so it shouldn't be too bad. We're heading up to northern Ohio on Saturday to spend some time with her family, split between her mom and her dad. We'll be there through Monday, as her dad and stepmom have their big Christmas bash on Christmas Eve. Sometime after dinner that evening we'll come back to Troy and spend the night here in our own home, and we'll spend Christmas Day with my parents, who live a mere three blocks away. So it won't be as hectic as years past in terms of travel, but surely there'll be enough family drama to keep things interesting.

  • No plans yet for New Year's. A quiet evening at home? A night out on the town? Something else entirely? We should probably hammer out some plans sometime soon. As long as it doesn't involve getting locked out of somewhere, it's sure to beat last year.

  • It would be nice if our (extended) holiday plans included a trip to Mobile to see the BGSU Falcons take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the GMAC Bowl, but alas, it's not in the cards for us this year. If the Falcons make it to a bowl game next year (which they should; with all the talent they have coming back, they should be a beast), that will almost certainly be a different story.

  • Brandi and I had a quasi-holiday party of our own a couple of weekends ago, our first get-together in our new place. Most of the attendees (16 total, if I counted correctly) were Brandi's work friends, but we had a few others here as well. It was a good time. Brandi made "Christmas punch" (a mixture of champagne, white wine, and various concentrated fruit juices), which was a huge hit--we'll have to make more next time (I see no real reason why it should be contained to this particular season), as it was gone relatively early in the night. Other big hits included Guitar Hero and Wii Sports. The Wii is a phenomenal party machine.

  • I've taken to playing Wii Sports left-handed on occasion so I don't wear out just one side of my body (Is it pathetic that I wake up sore the next day after an hour or so of intense Wii action? Survey says yes.). I've been absolutely stunned to find that, after a short period of acclimation, I play some games (tennis, bowling, and boxing, at least) better left-handed than I do with my right. Maybe it's because I have to concentrate harder to play that way. I have no other explanation, because most of the time my left hand is so stupid as to be almost worthless.

  • We went over to my parents' house this past Saturday night so I could watch the Bengals game on the NFL Network, which I don't get through Time Warner Cable at home. We got a free dinner in the bargain, and it's always cool to spend some time at home, but the game was highly disappointing. The Bengals are terrible. I mean, they're really bad. I'm willing to give Coach Lewis a pass since this is his first losing season despite taking over a dreadful franchise, but if they don't replace their offensive coordinator this offseason, there's something seriously wrong. With as many weapons as they have, they should not struggle to score points. They should be able to score enough points that their weak defense almost shouldn't matter. They need to get better in that area as well, but I'm not sure if that's a coaching or a personnel issue. Whatever. If they don't improve pretty dramatically next season, they're likely to slide back into being the "same old Bengals" that were so terrible through the '90s.

  • On a happier NFL-related note, congratulations to Troy High School alumnus Kris Dielman for making his first Pro Bowl. Nice to see a fellow Trojan doing well on a big stage.

  • In conjunction with my three-year anniversary at work, I received a glowing performance review when I was in the office recently. I'm hopeful that will shortly translate to some additional financial compensation...I'm sure it will, as they've been really good about that in the past, but I haven't heard anything yet. Also, there are now a total of four employees working from home. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one doing it on a permanent basis, but it definitely seems like they're happy with how the "experiment" is going so far. Maybe I started a revolution.

  • I'd like to be able to speak to the "controversy" surrounding The Golden Compass, but I've neither seen the movie nor read the book, so it wouldn't really be an informed opinion. I initially wanted to see the movie, but being the bookish sort that I am, I decided to read the book first instead. That won't be for a while, as I already have plenty of books on my plate, but I plan to get to it sometime in early '08. By that time it won't be very timely, so let me now speak briefly just to the controversy itself. Exposing kids to atheism is no worse than exposing them to any other ideology. Let them ask questions and sort things out on their own as they grow older. The last thing this world needs is more sheep, conditioned to blindly follow without ever thinking for themselves or experiencing anything that might possibly conflict with whatever worldview was drilled into them from birth.

  • On that note...Merry Christmas to everyone out there from the Williams family!

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