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"I'm sorry, but I have had it! I have never heard of such a Christmas! Sex... and drugs... an-an-and women being set on fire!"

On that rather auspicious note, I'd like to announce what will hopefully be the first writeup in a series for the coming year. Tremble in fear-- I'm writing again.

It's a strange thing, moving thousands of miles away from the country you grew up in, then moving back, if not quite to the same place. Things change. Friends move on. Family scatters. And you are left sitting by yourself in a city far away from the people and things you knew and loved. If that sounds lonely and more than just a little bit depressing, that's because it is.

There are ways around it, of course. New friends can be made, with a little (or, in my case, a lot of) effort. You can make new family, too, I suppose, though that usually requires a very large basement with built-in restraints, a drunken night in Vegas, or your very own clone farm. An easier thing to do is to go visit the friends you already have. With that in mind, I'd like to announce something of a reverse nodermeet.

Thanks to my ever-increasing student loans, I now have a small surplus of cash I intend to use to go visit people foolish enough to want to adopt a green-haired twenty-four-year-old with a squid fascination for a few days. Listed below are the places I plan to visit this holiday season. Should anyone in the vicinity be interested in meeting up for calamari, knitting, indie rock shows, or trips to the aquarium, /msg me and we'll see what can be done. If you're reading this and we've ever talked, it'd be nice to see you.

  • 19/20 Dec. to 29 Dec.
  • -- Baltimore, MD, with a possible trip into the District of Columbia.
  • 29 Dec. to 1 Jan. -- Boston, MA.
  • 1 Jan. to 6/7ish Jan. -- Jersey, with promised excursions into The City and maybe Philly. The Wednesday & Thursday of the week in question are open for debauchery visiting, as my host has to go to something called "work".

There you have it, folks. If you want to prove to yourself that I don't have either tentacles or a beak this holiday season, you know how to reach me. And if you don't have time this year or happen to live in Europe or, even worse, the Midwest, give it a little while. I did mention this was the first in a series, after all...

When hell freezes over
I work at a call center. When I left work at 10pm, it was a frigid cold night, probably a few degrees below zero. Two of my coworkers left the building with me, ironically parked one to the left of my car, and one to the right. All three of got to our cars at about the same time, and all three of us attempted to open our car doors... but they were frozen shut.

The guy on the right was a smoker who pulled out his lighter and thawed it open.

I thought I'd give it a few more tugs... Yet, then I realized my door was actually still locked.

So then the guy on the left gives up on the driver side, "logically" walks around and gets the passenger door open to his brand new car.

So I decide to copycat.

Sure enough the passenger door was easier to open, and I spider man my way through my car. Getting my legs under the steering wheel that usually touches my knees while I drive was hard enough. Luckily my engine was not frozen over, and my car starts okay. I unlock the door from the inside, but my door still would not open. I almost broke my door off when I got it open.

Great, right, end of story... right? My door is open and everything is peachy. Well for about 30 seconds... I close my door and pull out of the parking stall, and begin to drive out of the parking lot. As I turn right, my door flies open and I get hit with a gust of freezing cold air as my door flaps back and forth. I drive a stick shift, if you read one of the previous hard links... you already know that. Well, I also don't have power steering. I'm in the middle of this turn, that requires four hands, you know, two for the steering wheel, one to shift up, and one to pull my door shut. It just didn't work.

I stopped on the side of the road and tried to close my door, but every time I thought I had it closed, and kept driving on, it still was not staying shut. It turns out that hell doesn't free over, it freezes open. I drove home the entire way with my left hand bracing my door, and my right hand shifting while my knees did the steering. The latch on the door that kept it closed, was frozen open.

When hell freezes over: Phrase for an unlikely event.

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