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I've been out of town practically since I finished my thesis chapters. I shopped Wednesday for the clothes my parents were buying as part of my Christmas. Sara came to town on Thursday the 18th and we went to Auburn for Em's graduation that Friday. After that what my dad calls the Mario Andretti Christmas commenced. Auburn to Newnan to visit Jimmy and Felicia and drop off Jill (the dog) with Katherine. Then Newnan to Atlanta to do Christmas with my dad's family, where I refused to participate in the gift exchange, as gag gifts aren't my thing, though I do have a Spencer's... Atlanta to Birmingham to see mom's parents, brother, and latest squeeze, as #8 kicked him out two weeks ago. Then Birmingham to Augusta for Christmas itself, and more than one day per location.

Finished my shopping on Christmas Eve, and Katherine volunteered to wrap my gifts, which I accepted. I got clothes, books and DVDs mostly, spent what little cash I got on Vera, on sale. The sale saved my bday coupon from Sweetbrier Fair for my next trip to Augusta, probably in April for Masters and bridesmaid's dress fitting.

Christmas also included several references to the engagement party I missed, but I have no remorse. My last football game as a student may have been a mess, but it was still meaningful. *cue lump in my throat and tears* It was miserable weather, reminiscent of the 2003 Miami game, which we also lost. And my seats were again first row for a debacle, but this time the fact that I was soaked and upset was outweighed by Sara's brother, Michael getting sick and causing an evening of drama (alcohol and wet cotton are not a good mix). It was so cold that much of the second half scoring I witnessed, but don't remember, as I was too busy trying to maintain my balance while shivering. And I was too stunned at the magnitude of the defeat, 45-15, to process it at the time. However, this trip down memory lane does relate to Christmas, as I organized us leaving Augusta to return to Mobile in time to not miss all of our bowl game, which we won, 42-13. Our defense took part in three scores and three punt inside the five held Wisconsin scoreless while our offense got in gear. This team is young and good, which makes the fact that I may not see a game next year that much more painful. Thank god for the Garnet and Gold game in the Spring. I need to find a job here or elsewhere in ACC country, so I can establish residency to pursue my next degree and not lose touch with the team that is part of my identity. Hopefully I'll finally get the Legacy Walk brick I was promised as my undergrad graduation gift.

Anyway, I'll post more when I get to Tally, or get bored. Am working book rush at Bill's again, so buying more time in the job search.