Merry Copics-for-Christmas to me!
Christmas Clues 2012: Days 14, 15 & 16 - it's a triple!

Christmas Clues 2012: Days 12 & 13 - it's a double!

You know how sometimes a week just slams into you? This was one of those weeks. Any week that finds me driving into the city three days in a row . . . that's a busy one!

26 City
Tuesday's jaunt into the city was to ride along to a Doctor's appointment for John just in case he reacted to a procedure that would require a driver. No reaction. No need for me to tag along, although it's always entertaining to spend an afternoon with John. 

ME: (yelling at driver on highway who won't let me merge) Let me in! Why are you speeding up?! Don't you see I have my turn signal on? (muttering) You can go straight to hell.

JOHN: I think your turn signal is the problem. You're not supposed to warn them that you're coming over. (pause) Did you just damn that guy to hell?

ME: (grinning) I was mad. You know, I can see how people who have to drive in this stuff every day develop road rage.

JOHN: You think?! You've been in it for 10 minutes and you're already sending people to eternal damnation. Good thing that's not in your purview.

ME: Well yes, because it is not in my purview I can use a phrase like "go to hell" more loosely. Obviously I would take much greater care if . . . (almost cut off by signal-less lane changer) OH NO YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT!!

Speaking of John, we went back down to the city on Wednesday to help him clean out his office. Well, technically it's a cubicle now. Since his company was acquired last spring they've been making a ton of changes trying to merge the two companies. They just moved people from offices into cubies last week. John didn't mind, since he was leaving and would need to pack up his office anyway. 

Today is his final day of work. Eleven years he's been there, but the merge hasn't been an easy one. A lot of people have left for better opportunities and John is no exception. He will start a new job next week and we are all excited for him. 

27 John Office
ME: What on earth are you wearing?

JOHN: It's my Work Cardigan. I keep it here for when it gets chilly.

ME: Do you also have a pair of slippers?

JOHN: Yeah, yeah, join the club. Lots of people call me Mr. Rogers, or an old man, but their lips are blue while they're mocking.

EMMA: Dad, I have a word to describe your office . . . crushing monotony!

JOHN: Ha! Not a fan, huh?

EMMA: Why is everything the same color? It's all beige. As far as the eye can see.

She has a point. I had the same reaction the first time I saw it, and was shocked to hear that they had won some awards for office decor. 

After packing up John's office we headed over to BBVA Compass Stadium to see the US Women's Soccer team take on China. John was excited to see one of the Fox Soccer announcers that he watches all the time on TV.

28 Fox Soccer
It was an awesome game! Our seats were at one end of the field, so we could watch Hope Solo warming up and had a pretty good view of the game overall.

29 Hope Solo

30 US Women

I'll include this next photo even though it's blurry. I didn't bring my SLR camera because I wasn't sure if I would be allowed to bring it in. I saw plenty of people with cameras, though, so it would have been fine. Still, it was much more fun to watch the game than to take photos. However, I did pull out my iPhone to take a picture of a corner kick at our end of the field and managed to capture (just trust me) Carly Lloyd's header for another US goal. 

31 Lloyd Goal
The final score was US 4, China 0. We felt a little bad for China, but it was exciting to see all those US goals. 

We got home very late and of course there was no time for clues, so I told the kids we'd do a double on Thursday. 

  22 Clue12 23 Read12

EMMA: What could this be?

KARL: Maybe it's a lunch bag. We only use those on school days.

EMMA: But what about the "wearing your fruit" part?

KARL: Because if you didn't have a lunch bag you'd have to carry everything.

EMMA: What does that have to do with a suit?

KARL: Because suits don't have pockets!

EMMA: Yes, they do!

KARL: No, I'm pretty sure they don't. Well anyway, it's worth a try. Let's go check the lunch bags.

And check he did! I can see that Karl is learning to be more diligent in his search methods. He pulled out the whole stack and checked every one!

24 Look12
Next they started discussing the fruit angle. 

KARL: Well in my lunch I have applesauce . . .

EMMA: And in my lunch I have craisins . . .

KARL: Maybe it's a sandwich bag! 

EMMA: But you don't put applesauce in a sandwich bag, Karl, just the craisins.

ME: But sometimes you have Mandarin Oranges, Emma.

Karl checked the oranges.

ME: So let's say that Karl gets applesauce and you get oranges . . .

EMMA: We'll need a plastic spoon!

25 Find12

25 Victory12
They had agreed that Karl would read the Day 12 Clue and Emma would handle Day 13.

32 Clue13
33 Read13
Now I should preface this by saying that I wrote this clue after the installation earlier in the day of our new superfast DSL. I upgraded to the highest plan offered by our phone company and it required a technician doing some work to the lines outside and doing some work inside as well. He installed a fancy new router with CAT5 lines and before he left he had me test out the speed. Lightning fast! Awesome.

We had been sufferening maddening dropouts on our previous plan. YouTube videos were taking hours to upload and if one of the dropouts occured in the middle - restart the upload. Too frustrating!

However, in the time between writing this clue and the kids opening it, the internet slowed down to a snail's pace and if all three of us were online at once, nobody could do anything! So now I have to have the technician back today to fix it.

Thusly, this clue was a bit of a dud.

And of course Emma figured it out right away.

KARL: What's that word that starts with D? It's smudged away from the wax.

EMMA: Dropouts. It says dropouts. "a thing of the past" - OH! It's the new internet router, Karl.

They ran to my office faster than I could chase them.

ME: (panting) Hey! Put that money back and find it again, I wasn't ready with the camera.

EMMA: And will you explain on your blog that this photo was staged?

ME: As you wish.

34 Find13

ME: Karl, I'm surprised you didn't notice the very professional wax seals on both these clues!

KARL: I did see that, but I really only feel the need to comment when something is done poorly.

Yeah, we know!

I didn't even mention the other big time suck of this week. Yesterday, while driving the kids to school, my van started making a "this-doesn't-sound-good" noise. (It's a technical term) We had purchased an extended warranty for the van and, as luck would have it, that warranty is good for two more months! Although the van was drivable, the warranty people wanted to tow it, just to avoid any further damage. 

This wouldn't have been a big deal at all, other than the slight complication that we had forgotten to pick John's truck up from the Park 'n Ride lot when returning from the game Wednesday night.

Our plan was for me to simply give John a ride to the bus Thursday morning.

Except my van broke down.

And we found ourselves trapped, sans vehicle.

Since the internet technician was still at the house, John rode with the tow truck driver to the dealership and picked up a rental car. I then had to drive him downtown to his office because he couldn't catch a bus that late.

I may or may not have taken a return route via Texas Art Supply to check out their Copic Marker selection. I may (or may not) have picked up the grays required to attempt to duplicate Kelly's awesome snowman hat shading. I may (or may) have a slight Copics addiction.

Emma arrived home from school first, walking right past the rental car and into the house.

EMMA: Hi Mom.

ME: Hi Em. How was school?

EMMA: Good! I got a 94 on my Biology quiz!

ME: Awesome! 

A few minutes later Karl walked in.

KARL: Is someone visiting?

ME: No. Why?

KARL: There's a strange car in the driveway.

ME: I wondered if either of you would notice! It's a rental. The van's in the shop. Emma didn't even notice!

EMMA: I did too notice! I just thought Ms. Gretchen was over or something.

Gretchen doesn't drive a white car and the van was missing, so I'm not sure that really counts as true detecting, but Emma did solve the #13 clue very quickly, so I give her a pass.

As for trips to the city - not today! WHOOT!