New Year's Eve was less than great. I got back to Austin around 5:30, then had to wait for my luggage, then took a bus home. After walking for nearly a mile from the last stop to my place, I made it into the apartment around 8:30. I was a grumpy Flenker. I actually ended up going to be at like 11:15, then woke up when my brother called at 12:05, then I got a couple of text messages, and another phone call at 2. Happy New Year. Had I actually known anyone in Austin, I'm sure I would've enjoyed it more. But I've never been a big fan of the holiday. You would think I would be, seeing as how it's basically an excuse to stay up late and drink, then do nothing but watch football the next day, but for some reason, it just doesn't do it for me. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that I've only had a midnight kiss once ever. Who knows.
My trip home was excellent, though, I got to see a couple of decent snowfalls, and was lucky enough to get go shovel and use the snow blower!
The view of my house from the back, during one of the periods of snow. It was great. Also, this was the only picture I took the whole time I was home. Oops.
Christmas treated me well, I got some clothes, lots of books, and, maybe best of all, XM Radio. I'm way pumped for it, I just installed it into my car today, and drove around for a little while, just to listen to it. (Something I didn't get was a laptop. I wasn't really expecting one, seeing as how I didn't really ask for one. But, I thought that it could be a good gift for my loyal readers to all chip in to get for me! I don't want a fancy one, just one in the $300-400 range for now. So if every loyal reader chipped in, it would probably only be about $100/person! What a deal!)
It was so nice to be back in Iowa, even if I felt like I needed another week to do everything and see everyone that I wanted. I was able to make it to a Hawkeye basketball game, against Southeastern Louisiana University, a team which features two players at 5'5". That entertained me, even while the Hawks were losing. They ended up coming back and taking control of the game, but it was a little frustrating for a while there. Of course I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures. But our (Marin accompanied me) seats were awesome, right at center court, row 14. Maybe the best seats I've ever had for a game at good old Carver-Hawkeye. Afterwards, we met up witha couple of my friends at the Fieldhouse. Now, if I had to make a list of bars I would go to if I had one night to go out in Iowa City, the Fieldhouse wouldn't be last, but it'd probably find its way into the bottom 5. (off the top of my head, Vito's and the Summit would be fighting it out for the last spot, with Old Capitol Brew Works possibly taking the top spot.) But, since my friends were there, with free beer, I felt alright going there.
The rest of my time was basically spent with family. KP stopped over for a little while, with beers in tow, which was nice. And any time that was not spent talking or traveling was spent eating. I ate a lot of food. A lot. It was awesome. But now I'm pretty sure I've gained a few pounds, so now it's back to not eating a lot. Which is not awesome. Oh well.
My flights all went smoothly, if sitting around waiting for a pilot for 3 hours can be considered smooth. I don't quite understand how we can sit there for that long with the plane sitting just outside the window, looking in, mocking us, while there's no pilot to take it. Then, once that flight left (going from Dallas to Moline), I had the worst trouble with my ears not popping. Or not popping. I don't remember, but whichever it was, sucked. I've never had a problem with it before, but I think since I was in the middle stages of a cold, it made things worse.
All in all, though, it was an awesome trip. I'm back in Texas for the time being, but a week from Thursday I'm taking off again, this time for the east coast. I'll be going to DC to meet up with Marin, then we'll be taking a bus to New York City on the 11th, which just happens to be my birthday. I will be celebrating the 27th anniversary of my birth by going to a taping of Conan O'Brien. I am super excited for this. Then, it happens to work out that I'll be in DC for their "Restaurant Week," a biannual event where all sorts of fancy restaurants have special menus made up for those who go, where a 3-course meal can be had for $30 a person. Not a bad deal. I'm really excited for the whole trip.
That's all I got for now. As you can probably tell, I'm still a little disjointed from the past week, and haven't gotten my thoughts straight, but I felt like I should do some sort of summary of the goings on around Flenker. More (potentially big) news will come soon. Until then, I'll be out enjoying the perfect weather here. And watching USC absolutely throttle Illinois in the Rose Bowl.