In the intervening days since last I posted:
~ I visited my mom and brother in California and enjoyed a warm Christmas with family for the first time in years. My father was missed.*
~ I was able to spend time with my other favorite girls: Magdalena the Magic Bullet and Lily the Smiling Idiot.**
~ A girl didn't break my heart, but she certainly bruised it.
~ I spent NYE with one of my best friends, the one I hadn't seen in over four years, in Bear Valley. We mountaineered with snowshoes and and climbed the rim of the valley, taking in amazing vistas from over 8,000 feet. (I know, hardly the Himalayas, but it beats Maryland, no?) I loved spending time with him and his wife but I did get to feeling like a third wheel. I was, on that auspicious night, quite lonely, but I survived.
~ Madison and I shared a close and loving weekend together; picking up where we left off as though no time had passed at all... a characteristic to our relationship I am increasingly amazed by and thankful for.
~ I attended a special survival course in Washington state.
~ A very cute and very timely Air Force girl renewed my self-esteem.
~ I accomplished a three-part Christmas present to myself: new ink (Persian two-headed horse at the base of my half-sleeve); new gun (Sig Sauer P229 .40); new car (MB E320 AWD).
~ I finished, for perhaps the sixth time, Far Pavilions, by M.M. Kaye, one of the best novels ever written.
~ I began attending Georgetown University for a special post-grad course.
~ I've learned that I still live life at one hundred miles an hour and I'm okay with it.
*Father: while on a plane at some point going somewhere from somewhere else, I read the latest issue of Esquire. In its "What You've Learned" special, I found the following quote:
I have learned you will never know your father as well as you do after talking with your mother after his passing. -- Jeff Isbister, 51, Holualoa, Hawaii**Maggie/Lily: my dogs.