On a personal note:
Home is where there are mugs that hold three quarters of liter of tea... Where there's football on the TV all day Sunday (fortunately confined to a back bedroom), and you realize that you're tuning everything out but the sound of the penalty whistles and your brother's occasional shouts of "Nooo!" (The Niners are playing. Sigh.) Home is where you arrive, disheveled and lugging suitcases and no one comments that you probably need a bath. Your Mom hugs you anyway. Whether you want her to or not.
Home is where you're really glad the Shrinking Violets are sending you ear plugs.
So far, holiday shopping is actually not bad, much better than expected. The parking lot was a little crazy at the bookstore today, but people were handing out cookies, and no one was throwing elbows or screeching. That's the benefit of buying people books for Christmas -- no toy aisles.
Thus Far: ~I've gotten Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Roderick Rules and Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! already in the bag from ten minutes just ghosting through a nearby bookstore. Tomorrow I'm going to do The Serious Shopping first thing in the morning, and see how far I get. Still a seventeen year old sports nut to find a book for, an almost-two year old (and thanks to everyone for the great suggestions for him) and a twelve year old girl. Plus the older sibs, and the 'rents, but I think they'll probably be pretty easy.
Since I've only been in the U.S. since Friday afternoon and I've a.) been to the symphony b.) been to a choir show, c.) been to a Christmas brunch, d.) been shopping and e.) helped my Mom crash a wedding, I think I need a nap. Now.
According to NPR, James Thurbers' Thirteen Clocks is back in print. I've never had the pleasure of reading, but it's apparently pure, classic Thurber, in a The Princess Bride meets Fractured Fairy Tales type of way. Sounds like fun. Meanwhile, a special Christmas treat comes from Gregory MacGuire, of Wicked fame; on Christmas Day, he'll be reading an original Christmas story on All Things Considered. That's worth sitting quietly for!
Yep - this picture is of the SF City Hall. Nope, I don't live in SF, but this building has my birth certificate on file.