10. Our laptop died. The smug bastards at Geek Squad could not revive it, nor could they retrieve the data from it, which includes all of our pictures and videos of Daughter from her first year, all of my other pictures (including Oktoberfest pictures, so the stringing out of the Oktoberfest recaps will continue into to the new year), as well as what I assume are millions of dollars worth of intellectual property. Thus, we have sent it to an outside data retrieval company, who we will likely have to pay more than the equivalent of a new laptop to retrieve our data.
9. I had a steak burrito for dinner on Sunday. Now that I no longer (regularly) roam the streets in a drunken haze between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m., my burrito consumption is less frequent. Still delicious.
8. I had Taco Bell for lunch on Saturday.
7. I got a new laptop.
6. My boss took a bunch of us out for "lunch" Friday, which meant I not only got a free lunch at a nice restaurant, but I also had to do nothing the entire afternoon.
5. While scouring the nearby Salvation Army for a bad Christmas sweater (which I did not find), I purchased several 1990s alternative rock CDs for $1 each, including, but not limited to, Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream, The Offspring's Smash, Oasis's What's the Story Morning Glory?, Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, Rusted Root's When I Woke, and Better Than Ezra's Deluxe. If you are looking for pretty much any early to mid '90s alternative rock or grunge, the Salvation Army on Clybourn just south of Fullerton is a bastion. I didn't realize The Why Store put out that many albums.
4. The Bears clinched the NFC North title last night.
3. I went to a bad sweater/white elephant party. My friend Adam and his wife Jen throw said party every year, and I had to miss it last year because Daughter had only recently escaped from the womb. Needless to say, good times were had, White Russians were drunk, and crazy holiday clothing was abundant. Here is a picture of Jester (as well as Gemkeezi's wife). She was the runner-up for the best dressed.
2. I got a samurai sword at the white elephant party. I should say, Jester got a samurai sword. Since she was the runner-up, she had second-to-last pick for the white elephant presents. It was between the sword and a little gaming system you can plug into any TV that has old Atari games on it. We found out that the winner wanted the Atari thing, so we went with the next best thing: a fucking sword. Look at how giddy I am. Do not concern yourself with the trophy I'm holding. Now I just need to find some nunchucks, a bo staff, a couple sai daggers, three other turtles, and a mutated rat sensei. Then I'm coming for you, Oroku Saki.
1. Last night, I clinched a spot in the finals of one of my fantasy football leagues. The reason this trumps the samurai sword is the way in which it happened. I would liken it to Sunday's Eagles come-from-behind victory over the Giants. I was left for dead, staged a furious comeback that looked like it wasn't going to be quite enough, and then in the last minute, I stunned my opponent. Here's how it went down. I am the #4 seed in the playoffs, and I was playing the #1 seed. Going into last night's Bears/Vikings game, I was approximately 34 points behind. He had Joe Webb, who was somehow listed on Yahoo as a WR or a QB, so he started Webb at WR. I had my kicker, Robbie Gould, and the Bears defense/special teams. One note that makes it more interesting, which I didn't know until last night, is that, unlike many leagues, there are no points for special teams touchdowns (although we get a point for every 15 return yards). Anywho, the Bears defense was spectacular last night, and Devin Hester had a ton of return yardage (and a punt return touchdown for which I got no points). On his side, Brett Favre started, so it looked like Joe Webb was not going to play. Of course, the Bears finally ended Favre, and Webb came in, playing admirably. I was down by about one point when the 2-minute warning hit. The Bears had the ball in Vikings territory. They had a chance to kick a 48-yard field goal (which would have got me 3 points), but chose not to, since they were already up 40-14. So they went for it on fourth down and were stopped. The Bears D came on the field. I needed a turnover. Webb completed a pass. I was down by about 1.5 points. With about 30 seconds left, Webb completed another pass, and then it happened. FUMBLE! Bears recover. This put me up 122.60-122.17. The Bears knelt to run the clock out. I was literally frothing at the mouth. Christoff, who was over watching the game (and had stayed despite the fact that the game was a blowout solely to find out if I would win my fantasy matchup), was equally as excited for me. I burst into Daughter's room to tell her the news, and she was so excited she started to cry. For those of you who think fantasy football is just some dull thing dudes do, good God, you are wrong. And Jester, this is the last year you chastise me for being in three leagues.