So here I am in the snowy wastelands of Omaha, Nebraska (well, the snow is melting now) on holiday vacation to spend some time with my parents. With my new full-time job starting in a little over two weeks, this may be the last time I see them until December 2004. I like visiting here; I get to spend time with family, recharge my batteries in front of the big screen TV, and drive around town where nobody knows me so it doesn't matter if I sing along to the radio. I've been here for one week now and have simultaneously accomplished both lots and nothing at all.

It seems that we've spent most of the time catching up on the movie blockbusters of 2003. The three of us love a good movie, but for some reason between the three of us we missed out on a number of the year's big movies. In the past forty-eight hours I have seen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (again), The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Next week we plan to see the new Steve Martin comedy Cheaper by the Dozen and the sci-fi action thriller Paycheck. Add to these any of the DVDs I have reason to believe are waiting for me under the Christmas tree and, well, you can see we spend a lot of time in front of glowing screens.

Beyond that is some physical activity. My parents recently bought a treadmill and I've been using it during my visit. As I am still recovering from surgery I am under doctor's orders not to exercise in any manner that could upset my surgical site. Treadmill walking is allowed, and getting back in shape is a wonderous feeling. I plan to buy a treadmill of my own when I return home so I can continue getting into and then staying in shape.

We've also been out into town. On Saturday my father and I drove into Iowa to throw down some serious coin at one of the local casinos. Unfortunately our time there lasted less than twenty minutes and unlike the last time we went, nobody won any money. We've also been to local stores and malls for that last minute holiday shopping, plus just some general browsing. The shopping is amazing here; there's so much competition among the stores that everything is joyously cheap. I still have fond memories of the time I bought three CDs and a DVD for just $20. I make it a point to stock up on those things I've been wanting for a long time when I visit. I must also mention the local candy factory that makes and sells delicious sweets right on the premises (I recommend the root beer float taffy).

As I now bring this entry to a close let me wish each and every one of you out there in the nodegel a happy holiday. I encourage everyone to take some time out of your lives to spend time with loved ones and, if you can manage it, drive through town while singing along to the radio.