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<title>2004 Holiday Letter</title>
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<p>December 2004</p>

Dear (select one)
Close Friend
Beloved Family Member
Distant Acquaintance Who Never Hears From Me Except At Holiday Time
Other (please specify) 

<p>It is time for <letter occasion="holiday" periodicity="annual" number="ninth">this thing you're reading</letter>. I'm writing it at work, and since I work as a web developer, I'm doing it to look like work, so if my <hair style="pointy">boss</hair> happens to come by and see it, he won't think I'm slacking off.</p>

<p><sarcasm>It's been a <eyes action="rolling">really</eyes> great year.</sarcasm> So much so that I am considering moving to Canada, or New Zealand. I volunteered some for the Kerry campaign, going door to door trying to get out the vote. At least it worked here in Washington.</p>

<p>I cannot understand how reasonable people might vote to reelect as the <term use="loosely">leader</term> of our country a <term use="loosely">man</term> who has consistently lied to us about things that really matter. <lie color="white">But if you voted for Bush, I forgive you.</lie></p>

<p class="disgusted">Enough politics.</p>

<p>Let me think of what else I should tell you about the year that has just ended.</p>

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<p><activity type="musical">I sang with The Cascadian Chorale earlier this year, but I quit after the final concert last spring, and I haven't been doing any musical activities since then. Except I played piano for my friend Nancy's wedding in October. People ask me if I miss singing, and I honestly have to answer, "No."</activity></p>

<p><activity type="writing">Also last spring I completed the Literary Fiction Writer's Program at the University of Washington. I had set a goal of publishing my first story by the end of this year, but that has not happened because I keep postponing submission to allow myself ongoing opportunities to revise. I have a few pieces that are close, but I've started working on a novel, so one of these days I'll take a break from that to complete a story and send it off. I've joined a writing group made up of classmates from the Writer's Program, and that's helping me keep motivated.</activity></p>

Click here to view your current health insurance information.

<p>Sorry, my <hair style="pointy">boss</hair> just came by so I had to throw in something that would make it look like I'm working. This year, my team at work completed a major rearchitecting of the Premera Blue Cross web site, using Microsoft's ASP.NET technology. I've learned a lot of new skills and I'm <sincerity>really</sincerity> enjoying it.</p>

<p><activity type="travel">I didn't do much traveling this year, especially compared with last year, when I made it to <destination purpose="vacation">Alaska</destination>, <destination purpose="work_related_training">Dallas</destination>, <destination purpose="high_school_reunion">New York</destination>, and <destination purpose="bridge_tournament">Reno</destination>. My only travel this year consisted of two trips to <destination purpose="family_visits">New Jersey</destination>, in March for <relation type="cousin" degree="first" class="once_removed">Dana</relation>'s Bat Mitzvah, and in November for Thanksgiving. I did get into New York City the week before Thanksgiving with <relation type="mother">Mom</relation>, <relation type="husband" whose="mother">Milton</relation>, <relation type="sister" degree="older">Troy</relation>, and <relation type="brother" class="in_law">John</relation>, where we enjoyed some good meals and saw <show locale="Broadway">Mamma Mia!</show>.</activity></p>

<p><activity type="visitors">Mom and Milton also visited me in Seattle in early September. We took a few excursions while they were here: <destination purpose="sightseeing">Orcas Island</destination> and <destination purpose="sightseeing">The Olympic Peninsula</destination>, and otherwise just enjoyed dining out and seeing friends.</activity></p>

<p><activity type="misc">Otherwise, I played lots of bridge, and I'm closing in on becoming a <points needed="300" have="260">Life Master</points>. I continue to enjoy life in <destination purpose="I_live_here">Seattle</destination>, and it's been great reconnecting with <relation type="friends">Kevin and Linda</relation>, who are largely responsible for my having moved here back in 1998, and then moved away, but have now returned. I am still a member of the Barcelona Boys Investment Club, and I still have <relation type="pet" subtype="dog">Rose</relation>, who is twelve and going strong.</activity></p>

<p><situation type="health">I'm doing fine, but have been suffering from fatigue recently, and decided to get checked out. I went in for a sleep study, and I'll find out in a few weeks if I have sleep apnea. If so, I may have surgery sometime after the New Year. I'll keep you posted.</situation></p>

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<p class="wrap-up">Well I guess I'll wrap up now. Thanks for reading. Stay in touch, <greeting type="politically_correct">have a great time in December no matter what you celebrate</greeting>, and I hope your 2005 brings all good things.</p>

Please select the appropriate closing:

<signature>Lane</signature>

<postscript>Feel free to visit my web site to learn more about what's going on, see some photos from this and past years, check out my most recent writing, and read past issues of <letter occasion="holiday" periodicity="annual">this</letter>.</postscript>
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