Skylar and I never did get to watch highlights from The Two Towers -- she wants to see the ents and when Gandalf returns from the beyond -- but had fun drawing balrogs and discussing the cheese I'd cut to resemble various Middle Earth items.
I did sneak in an Indiana and a few other states amid the ring of power, Mt. Doom, visage of a balrog, wizard enrobed etc.
Then, to round off the day, Cal beat Virginia Tech in the Insight.com Bowl and in thrilling fashion, coming from behind, then holding on, finally winning on a field goal with no time left. The best part is that almost all Cal's key players will be back next year. There will be BCS aspirations, however far-fetched.
I'd intended to drive up to Phoenix for the game, but decided that I'd be better served staying an extra day in Tucson with my family.
Tomorrow morning I drive to Phoenix to pick up someone I've never met who will be staying with me in San Diego during the Modern Language Association's annual convention.
We've talked on the phone and he seems really nice. Plus, he works at/for 826 Valencia, home of McSweeney's and The Believer, so I'll be doing "research" while he does "research" on the MLA and, I suppose, on me as well.
I'll talk to publishers about my punk book project, attend panels here and there, and try to see Jillian, Greg, Eric, and, if I'm lucky, John Brady (in L.A.).
And I'll miss Skylar and Kim enormously, it being the holiday season and all.
Here's to a fresh beginning. . .