editor's note: we hold to a firm policy here to never reuse a post title or picture. somewhere in the air between texas and arizona, it occurred to our staff that we may have used the title "such great heights" before. sometime in 2007, actually. and while there is the temptation to change the old post title, since we like it so well, we are holding to principles of historical accuracy and integrity and adjusting the title of this post, instead. not quite the same but it still works.
the newsstands at the austin airport haven't yet stocked time's "person of the year" issue. that's become a tradition of mine every year for the past four or five years, except for two years ago, when ben bernake was chosen, because that was just boring. i was almost faced with a massive holiday conundrum when the lady at the u.s. airways counter told me that my snowboard would cost $200 to check through. when i asked her to confirm that, she got on the phone and soon informed me that snowboards are not classified as "sports equipment" but are checked as standard luggage. i'm pretty sure the exact same scenario happened last year.
as best as i can tell, the only thing i forgot is my wacom bamboo tablet, and if having to use a mouse for my photoshop projects is the biggest challenge i'll face this trip, i'm marking it as a success. having my vision focused passing (or at least, surviving) this semester, coupled with the 70+ degree weather and total absence of snow around here, it hardly feels like Christmas is in ten days. i listened to david sedaris's "santaland diaries" while i packed this afternoon, hoping that would help. but i'll be in utah tonight, with my friends tomorrow, on the mountains on saturday, and drinking homemade nog that evening. as i'm able to sit and relax and unwind from that force that is school, it's nice to look around and realize that it is Christmas time.