And that’s all she wrote for 2001!

I saw Lord of the Rings on opening day and loved it. It’s an amazing film that actually delivers fantasy with some dignity. I wasn’t even sure it was possible to make a decent fantasy film with all the crap that’s come out over the years. Fellowship does it right. If you haven’t seen it yet, get in the theatre and check it out! The big screen experience makes all the difference when it comes to visuals this grand.

Gala’s hours changed so we were able to head up to her mother’s place at the last minute for Christmas. It was a bit hectic renting a car on short notice, but when we finally got up there, I was glad we had went. Spending Christmas without people around would have been too strange. At the farmhouse they’d gotten their pool table all finished, so we spent Christmas Eve playing pool and socializing.

Christmas Day was really informal. We slept in and didn’t even open our gifts until around 11:00-ish. It was a nice break from all the stress and work stuff I’ve had to deal with.

And then, Boxing Day became a Zub Tale…

(Zub Tale: One of Jimbo’s infamous stories, usually involving a stupid series of coincidences, unbelievable situations or other memorable stuff.)

Gala and I decided to drive back in the evening so we could return the rental car the next day and relax in Calgary before she had to go back to work. What should have been a simple trip became far more annoying than I can describe.

First, we missed our turn off that would have led us to the major highway because of the badly placed signs and a thick fog that swept up. This wasn’t a minor directional screw up either… by the time we got back on track we’d wasted over an hour on dirt country roads.

Second, we got on the major highway, which should have led to a simple ride back to Calgary. Instead though, we ended up parked on the highway in a massive traffic jam caused by a 12-13 car pile up that had occured up the road. When the traffic didn’t budge for over half an hour, I stepped out to discover our next problem.

Thirdly, someone else who was walking around outside his car trying to see what was up ahead noticed that our car was leaking anti-freeze. Not a dribble, but a massive puddle that was flowing freely into the ditch by the road. At this rate, we’d be out in a few minutes. Running from parked car to parked car in the traffic jam, I finally found a kind person who gave us a bottle of anti-freeze so we could attempt to turn around on the shoulder of the road and make it to the nearest town before our car overheated. The temperature outside was bitterly cold and popping the hood of the car became an excercise in aching fingers and a frozen face.

Fourth, we started to drive back only to have the car konk out 15 minutes after we had started. Now stuck a good 30 km from any sort of civilization, I popped on the hazard lights and attempted to flag down passing vehicles for help. After 15-20 minutes of freezing my ass off, a nice family in a van gave us a lift to the town of Leduc, Alberta and we abandoned our rental car. Staying in a hotel wasn’t exactly where I had planned to be on Boxing Day, but I guess it could have been much worse.

The next day, Gala’s family picked us up and drove us the 3+ hours home. Without them, getting back would have been even more difficult. The rental place refunded the money for the car, but not for the hotel because we didn’t have their extra-extra insurance plan. Ugh. We ended up breaking pretty much even and losing a half day in frozen frustration. Needless to say, I was very very happy to get back to the apartment here.

These last couple days have been far more relaxed. I’ve been drawing, geeking out on video games and just generally being lazy.

Tonight’s going to be a quiet night in, watching New Year’s festivities on TV and sleeping in tomorrow. My holiday’s been a mixture of business and relaxation, but now that it’s almost over, I must admit that I could handle even more time off. I know it’s always this way, but hey, it’s the truth too.

I was going through old files and what-not here when I saw a bunch of people’s phone numbers in an old text document. I tried to call a lot of them, but nearly all were old or wrong numbers now. If any of you get a chance, please send me an e-mail with updated info on yourselves. Phone number, address, birthday date, stuff like that. I’d greatly appreciate it.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and have a wonderful New Year’s Eve. Here’s hoping 2002 is prosperous and entertaining.

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