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South… then East

Christmas day brought at least one miracle to us there in Whistler: it snowed. For the first time in weeks, we’d been told, there was finally some decent powder on the ground. Cliché as it may be, a white Christmas really is something to behold… and even though it’s cold as hell and an otherwise despicable substance, falling snow is quite pretty. Unfortunately for me, my Christmas weekend didn’t see me tackle too much of the mountain because my lungs gave up on me and decided that the production of phlegm in a color normally reserved for Irish drinking holidays was more important than breathing. Rat bastard lungs. I did manage to catch up on my sleep, though, which I guess is important, and my right ass cheek repaired itself in admirable time.

After Christmas came the descent: the plan being to ride down to Los Angeles as quickly as possible, then across to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve. But you know what they say about plans… they get fucked. For the entire week leading up to New Year’s the rail system was booked solid, turning the overnight stay we’d planned for Vancouver into a three night stay and turning our New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas into a New Year’s Eve aboard a train, playing poker with our new 78–year–old friends, Will and Pete. Riveting.

Once we hit LA (5.30 AM on January 1, eight hours late) we figured we’d still take a crack at a day trip to Vegas and maybe get to Six Flags as we’d previously planned, but no such luck. Forces were conspiring to turn our holiday into an event–free yawnanza, and we spent two days in LA doing precisely squat. I did, however, score a pair of sunglasses from a bunch of easily amused San Diegans we picked up in our hotel, and we also celebrated the Tit Man’s birthday with Italian cuisine and the Life Aquatic: good movie, very Wes Anderson.

If I had to pick a highlight for the time between Christmas day and now (on a plane to Miami), it’d be a hard draw between the half hour I spent perusing Chapters in Vancouver and the half hour I spent doing the same in Santa Monica’s Barnes & Noble. Book stores: this is what’s fun for me right now. Both are three stories tall, both have their own coffee stores instore, and both have an impressive collection of varied and interesting books on sale. On the one hand, Chapters’ Humor section was muy impresionante and I picked up David Sedaris’ Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim at 30% off, while Barnes and Noble’s Humor section was pretty lame and seemed limited to Peanuts collections and joke books. But on the other hand, Barnes & Noble had a Linguistics section, and Chapters had nothing of the sort. A little too much Chomsky, but given how ridiculously productive the man is I’m not sure any book store’s Linguistics section is less than half his.

The linguistics book I bought, John Lyons’ Linguistic Semantics, an introduction is a pretty dry read, but given how quickly I inhaled my new Sedaris and Dan Brown’s Deception Point on the trip down to LA (more Dan Brown, I know), I figured a dry read is what I need to keep from spending my remaining holiday cash on reading material. Next: Miami.