Alas, some things aren't quite working:
1. I wasn't able to get a haircut - Brian suggested I call Dave directly to try to get an appointment, but I'm way too shy to do that, so I dropped the idea for now. Hopefully German customs will let me in even though I look like a shack-dwelling Berkeley math professor.
2. I went to pick up my wine shipment at the UPS counter in Chula Vista - I didn't have to pay the toll for the new freeway, but it was hard to find because no online maps seem to show the new freeway. I got off at the right exit, but went the wrong direction. Oops.
3. Costco was thankfully manageable: I bought two warm shirts for Berlin, some wine (I know, I can't help myself; they had Spanish grenache for $4.97 and I couldn't resist), and tax software for 2007 (the entire reason for stopping in there on a pre-Christmas Saturday). After installing the software, this is what greeted me:
Yay, this year's taxes are going to be super duper complicated thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act. Thanks, Clinton! And thank you, Republicans, for being freaked out about same sex marriage for eleven plus years and counting! So much for your BS about lowering taxes (woohoo, I'll be paying taxes on Dan's health insurance) and getting the government off your back (woohoo, the government treats different citizens differently based on religious dogma). Ah well. At least Intuit has its act together and went to the trouble of making their software work for the small number of RDPs in California. Dave, Ray - this might be useful for you to know. (How many of us are RDPs, anyhow? Michael? Scott?)
4. Finally, I stopped by fresh&easy to stock up on lunches for the work week. They had some beautiful looking for-the-holidays stuff (roast root vegetables, and a beautiful lamb roast with garlic and rosemary), so I promptly indulged myself. Unfortunately, in an attempt to help, their staff offered to bag all of my groceries, I said yes, and when I got home, the $26 lamb roast was not in my bag. Grrrr. I called immediately and the manager was kind enough to promise me a refund or a new lamb roast whenever I get back down to Chula Vista - but it's a slog and I really don't need to go there until the New Year. So, Dan - I'm sorry, but our Christmas dinner is gonna be incomplete unless one of us goes down there and fetches it. At least they were giving away large tins of popcorn (which I'm promptly gonna regift tomorrow - Tim and Gilda, watch out, POPCORN INGRESS).