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[Comments] (5) God Bless Dewar's, every one.: For they had the egg nog ice cream I craved, and it was very yummy. For there was no one there, and we had fast service. For the dead aminals had on santa hats, and it was wierd. Thank you, Dewar's.

Susie and I spent the week in B-town for grandma's funeral. I got to be a casket bearer, which was an honor. Because my grandparents have around 30 grandchildren and/or died while I was little, I will probably never get that opportunity within my own family. I enjoyed the open-endedness of the funeral services. It was a refreshing change to the multiple hour Mormon services I am accustomed to. And Brother John did an excellent job. I don't know if I'll ever see that man again, but I'd like to. I would imagine that a Latino Baptist preacher is a rarity.

Since we were already in Kern County, Susie and I decided to stay put through Saturday to be with family. It was fun. I got plenty of study time in, worked all day Friday waiting for my car at Nature's Car Wash, watched The Music Man, and went to a Boar's Head Festival at the local Lutheran Church. It reminded me of high school choir performances, and was tastefully done. And they had wassail!

At Pat's house after the funeral, it was nice to sit back and talk with Shannon and Brian. Brian and Eric both asked Susie and me why we aren't parents yet. Eric made some off-hand Mormon joke out of it. But Brian's sister-in-law recently converted to Mormonism, so I tried to straighten out that misconception for him. I'm slowly putting the Richardson family puzzle together, and finally understand who belongs to whom, and who is dead.

On the way home Susie and I decided to go to Ikea. It's a pretty fun store, and I think it is very smart to make it so kid friendly, cuz then parents will bring the kids and buy them lunch in the food court they have. Yes, Ikea has its own food court. But I have to wonder. Some of there stuff is so cheap. How can I possbily trust a $50 ottoman I assemble myself not to break? I think it's a great concept for transient college students to shop there. I wish Utah had an Ikea. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't complain. After all, starving kids in China don't have Ikea.

[Comments] (3) Turkish Delight: I now know what it is, and realize that I don't like it. Narnia was done pretty well. And seeing it opening night was not a prob. We got our tickets about an hour ahead of time, then grabbed a bite at Boudin, and went and got seats. It seemed slow moving at times, but I would never have guessed that the movie was 2.5 hours long until I looked at my watch at the end of the show.

I would have expected the audience to be mostly full of people who have actually read the books before, or at least understood their background. But there were a plethora of audible gasps and a shout of "whatthe" when the stone table broke and Aslan returned. Duh! He's Jesus Christ.

In other movie news, I finally saw Star Wars 3 on DVD this week. I actually liked it and wasn't bored with it, like I was in movie 1 and 2. It tied the pieces together, explained well why Yoda couldn't defeat Palpatine, immortality and Qui Gon Jin, etc. I didn't love it, but I liked it. Now the saga is complete in my head, and it's enough. We also watched A Christmas Story, the Grinch, and the Santa Clause this week. It's amazing--you can watch a whole movie at night when you only work until 5:30.

Today we are shopping, cleaning house, and going to Disneyland. We'll probably only get on about three rides the whole time, seeing that it's the holidays, but oh well. I just like being in that kind of atmosphere at Christmas.

[Comments] (5) Happy Hour: Susie and I watched Tim Burton's rendition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night. Why does Mr. Burton have to take the nicest stories and ruin them with a hodgepodge of Goth darkness and unneeded, unexplained mystery? Needless to say, Susie and I did not enjoy it. If Mr. Depp is serious about winning an Emmy, that one won't help.

Christmas Wishes: Dear Santa:

My Christmas list has changed a little bit. The following items are new requests. I sincerely hope you can pull it off in five days.

1. After reading this article about the NYC transit strike, please help all those people be safe, and remind me to be thankful that I am not dependent on unions to get about.

2. Help mom to feel better, have the courage to turn up the heat, and NOT feel the need to overburden herself this Christmas. We can do without a fancy dinner, or all those Christmas cookies we never eat anyway, as long as DeWar's doesn't run out of eggnog ice cream.

3. Help me pass my last CPA exam, even though I've hit the wall, and seem to be slipping in my study habits. I'm so close.

4. Please knock some sense into our Primary President, so that we don't have to go to CTR 6 in January and play the piano, but can instead stay with our army of two year-olds. Or just send us a new member that both plays the piano and attends church on a regular basis. As Susie and I seem to be the only ones that fit this criteria, thus far, I realize this would truly be a miracle on Baker Street.

Yes, I believe that should do it.

Much obliged, and Merry Christmas

John

[Comments] (3) The Simple Things: I received from Sumana for Christmas a rather neat book entitled "Christmas at the New Yorker." I love it. The cover has Santas all over it, making it a perfect Christmas coffee table decor, but even more than that, the stories and adverts are very funny, and each one is quite unique. I look forward to future winter nights in front of a fire (OK, maybe not in the OC) reading these stories.

Leonard also made homemade truffles, and I am afraid that I ate more than my fair share of them. Maybe it balances out, since I don't care for Christmas pudding.

It was a nice, peaceful Christmas and that makes me happy.

Unfortunately, I always seem to think that Christmas is the end all. I always think, oh that's after Christmas. I'll deal with that later. It's later now (2006 to be exact) and I have to start dealing with the new year, which, in public accounting, can be quite stressful. May it go swift enough to not be stressful, yet slow enough to be enjoyable, is my wish for the new year.


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