5:00 PM on 15 December 2008.
The paper is turned in. The student grades are finalized. The plane ticket is printed. The birthday present for my mother is wrapped. All the remaining tasks are simple and pleasant: eat dinner, watch Star Trek: TNG with Z2 and the Mysterious X (and possibly the She God, if her grading allows), pack a few clothes, wash a few sheets, maybe make some muffins, maybe drink some whisky.
Head pressure is letting up. Shoulder tension remains. Hopefully the vacation will fix these things without adding too many other stresses. I have high hopes. I know for a fact that the people in NY whom I want to see are people who also want to see me. That makes all the difference.