I woke up at 5am EST, which felt like 3am to my Tucson-calibrated body. I sat for three hours next to a toddler screaming in agony over the pressure in his ears. I contemplated the barrenness that is the Dallas metropolitan area in the course of changing planes. I talked to a woman in her seventies on the second flight who is a staunch New York-raised Democrat and an inspiration to anyone fed up with the pretensions of our seasonal snowbirds. I managed to jog despite not having eaten all day and although still feeling the effects of yesterday afternoon's long, cold run from west of the Lincoln Memorial to the Natural History Museum gift shop and back. I gave Skylar the "awesome" present she had requested and which required my making that pant-inducing journey in a blazer and boots while my friend Angela took photos at the Lincoln and Vietnam Veteran Memorials. I hit a softball for the first time in a year and a half and managed to reach the fence on one hop. I thoroughly enjoyed my giandua chocolate hazelnut gelato and even welcomed Kim's intrusions into my final spoonfuls. I gave Skylar several big hugs. I had a great time hearing Kim read about Carolee Schneeman from the book on performance art I picked up for her at the MLA book fair. I rejoiced at the news that my Cal Bears had defeated the UCLA men at Pauley and was pretty happy that the Wildcats beat the Huskies too. I made up for a two-week drought without collapsing in a heap from exhaustion. I caught up with several days worth of unread e-mails. I spent a long time studying the photos Angela and I took in D.C. yesterday. I made a vow to not have this be the year I finally fail to ring in the new year "live," despite the fact that it won't be the same without the old "Dorian Gray" incarnation of Dick Clark. I sat down to write this entry. I debated whether to open the champagne that I'd purchased to share with the long since asleep Kim. I took a deep breath and smiled.