3 January 2010: Holiday report

Happy Holidays! Friends, I hope that all your holidays were happy! Janice and I enjoyed relatively quiet workweeks at the end of December 2009, and we drove to Upstate New York on Christmas Eve. We feasted on lasagna at her parents’ home and stayed at the Country Inn & Suites across from the Great Escape amusement park.

The next morning, we exchanged gifts with Janice’s parents and her middle sister Shelly’s family. Among other things, I got some DVDs, a Jedi costume, and books. Thanks to Amazon.com, I exchanged most presents online and through the mail with my own family in Virginia. Janice and I then headed down to the house of her youngest sister, Melinda, for a Christmas dinner of ham.

I gave comic books and Lego sets to my nephews David and Joshua, and we played pool and Wii video games with grandpa Marvin and brothers in law Melvin and Gary. My nieces Laura and Amanda played Dance, Dance Revolution, while Becky texted her boyfriend Tristan. I also caught up on videos, including the mildly amusing G-Force
and Night at the Smithsonian.

The day after Christmas, the children went sledding, and we enjoyed a sloppy Joe (what Janice’s family calls “barbecue”) lunch before returning to Massachusetts. On New Year’s Eve, Janice and I got vaccinated for the H1N1 flu virus and screened Sherlock Holmes at the new Showcase Cinemas at Legacy Place in Dedham, Mass. I liked the steampunky film, which I’ll try to review in more detail in the coming week or so.

We also had lunch at Qdoba and picked up my subscription at New England Comics in Norwood, despite the snow. That night, we went to local New Year’s Eve celebrations, including a Celtic music concert, some square dancing, an ice sculpture, the Needham Concert Society, and the Homegrown Coffee House. It was also interesting to visit various churches, which served as venues for the civic events. We had dinner at The Rice Barn, a good Asian restaurant.

On Saturday, 2 January 2010, former co-worker and fellow genre fan Ken G. and his girlfriend Kahmmie came over to play more Wii games. Thanks to Ken, I finally got my Wii hooked up to the Internet, and we ate nachos and macaroni and cheese. We had considered going to Avatar, but snow and mixed reviews led us to postpone seeing James Cameron’s latest blockbuster. We did watch an episode of the geek comedy The
Big Bang Theory

I liked the finale of Doctor Who: the End of Time, which I’ll also try to review in the coming weeks, along with other genre entertainment. The D&D4eVanished Lands:
the Faith-Based Initiative” fantasy campaign has finally wound down, amid some
contention among the role-players and clearing the way for one-shots and

Since my circles of acquaintances suffered through layoffs, divorces, and other stresses over the past year, let us hope that 2010 is better for everyone!