My first vacation in a while, Danielle and i are headed to montana tomorrow to spend a week with the folks, see our grandparents and extended family, and have a fun, relaxing (early) Christmas – since we’re both working thru the actual holidays. I decided it would be a good idea to procrastinate packing until, oh, about an hour ago, and also to knock back well more than the legal limit of gluwein (hot spiced wine) as i’m scrambling around the house alone tidying up, wrapping presents and rummaging for things i wanted to bring – most of which seem to be in boxes i haven’t even unpacked yet. Being noticabley lit didn’t make packing any easier (i kept tripping over stuff) but i think i am done quicker than usual. I’ll probably get there tomorrow and realize i forgot something like socks or a winter jacket, but right now i’m just concentrating really hard on typing… must… keep… fingers… on the… home keys…

My iPod is pumping out a punk cover of “99 Luftballons” – not exactly holiday music, but music with a ferocious beat helps me move quickly. Plus i’ve been listening to that

same Christmas playlist for the last month or so, and it’s the same playlist i made *last* Christmas and listened to every day and nite on the bus, so it’s getting pretty tired. “Make a new one” you say? Well, funny you should suggest that, since my iPod is *broken* or at the very least has developed some sort of aversion to my computer, as the two refuse to speak to each other. I know they’re connected – cause the iPod’s battery charges – but they just won’t resolve their differences and engage in their little digital conversation so i can add songs, edit playlists, and remove those couple of stinkers on my fav playlists that always seem to pop up when i’m least in the mood for them (ahem… Beyonce). Other than that, things work great – i play the music all the time, no issues there. But it’s a real bummer, cause i bought a bunch of great tracks with an iTunes gift certificate from Lindsay and Adam, and then got carried away and bought a bunch more (plus i’m in there every week for the free track like the handout-seeking bum that i am) and there’s no way to add them to my iPod, which really squashes all the fun. So if anyone has $299 they want to spend on me for Christmas (or only $7 a month on the Apple credit account – now who can’t afford that?) you can just run right over to Apple and pick that up for me. I’d do it myself, but i’m still making payments on the busted one…

Okay, i’m starting to do the sleepy head-bob, as it’s currently two hours past my bedtime and alcohol is, after all, a depressant. I think i should go to bed, since i have a 600 mile drive ahead of me tomorrow, with Danielle, her cat Ferris and a truckload of Christmas gifts and baked goods. So while you’re all headed to work tomorrow, we’ll be getting fat on cookies on I-90. And i may not chat with you kids until i get back – there’s usually no GSM service anywhere in montana unless i climb a tree wearing a tinfoil hat, and i think that freaks Mom out (she already thinks i’m strange, so i really don’t have far to go until she starts shopping for used straightjackets on ebay). Mom and Dad have internet (broadband, actually!) but i’m really just trying to set low expectations so i won’t disappoint my loyal readers (either one of you!). I’ve learned this past year that having high expectations of people only ends in frustration or disillusion, where if you presume only the worst from everyone, you will occasionally be pleasantly surprised that some people aren’t totally useless, or complete weasels, or flagrant attention-whores. There are actually a few good ones out there. But you don’t always know which ones they are at first, and it’s more fun to be astonished than disenchanted, so i suggest that as a course of action. It may even be my new year’s resolution…