So. The house was decorated. The presents were bought. Falalalala, etc. I had also eaten at Spirit World, which is guaranteed to lift my spirits, and we'd gone to the children's theatre to see "Peter Pan." It was a nostalgia trip, and we wanted to see what they'd done with it since we used to go. The one-word answer to that, as far as the play was concerned: Surrealism. But the children seemed to enjoy it, too, so it all worked out.

And then Scott and Michelle came. Chelle had flown out to Kansas, where Scott lives (er, lived), and they drove up to her folks' in Hastings, MN. Stopping on the way to stay overnight with us! And to exchange Christmas presents.

Scott says: "hmmmm." Then he says, "Oh, you're evil!" Michelle and I conspired in the matter of his Christmas present. He liked it, though. And if he didn't want conpsiracies, he should have left Michelle alone, because, well, we can't help it. It just happens. I think we started doing it in freshman orientation, and we haven't stopped since.

Mark also says, "Hmmm." It was the new Charles Sheffield novel. Also Nabokov's Pale Fire (which I'm reading now) and Timothy Findley's Pilgrim (which was already a pretty good read -- although again I felt he'd have benefitted from reading some spec fic), and some scented soaps. Have I mentioned that I like Christmas? Well, I do.

I want it noted that Michelle is spoiled. I took the pictures in which she looked decent, never mind the rest of us.

(I can already hear it, Small One, so you don't need to e-mail me: next time I could just refrain from taking your pictures at all. Hah. Let's hear a vote from the audience on the likelihood of you getting away with that.)

We drank coffee and ate soup and generally a splendid time was had by all. And then it started snowing just in time for Michelle and Scott to leave. And Scott (the "real" one) arrived!

This is Jan. Madame. My French teacher from high school. She's been knighted by the French government, I might add, so I rarely lose an opportunity to call her *Sir* Jan. Scott and I went to her house and petted Percy the Adorable Dog and then went out for coffee with her. She was our AcaDec advisor, oh captain our captain, etc. Poor abused woman. And she still wants to see us after all that.

This is me and Scott in the same coffee place. I could say it was good to see each other again, but that would be enough of an understatement to just sound ridiculous. Nevertheless: it was good.

We went out to dinner that night with the Wileys. And Kari made me a basket!

See? Cool basket. It's for wine. Wine bottles, for those of you who are prone to silliness.

And then....