We stopped off in The Valley on the way home from The OC, to drop off my niece Nicole at her mom and stepdad's house. (Nicole had stayed with us in Deadwood for the previous week; we drove her back to and stayed in her dad's house in Orange County for the reunion weekend.) This is not terribly remarkable.

What is worthy of note is that Nicole's mom and stepdad are both animators on a certain show/recently released Springfield-centric movie. Nicole's mom gave Iz a signed season box set (she created and directed all the interstitial pieces), and Nicole's stepdad not only gave Iz a signed copy of the Enterfoinment Weekly sporting his cover art, but walked her through the storyboards and script and general episode development process he was currently working on. Which meant I got to see it too. So frickin' cool! Iz nearly passed out, so intense was her glee.

To those of you who know of Nicole's mom: I am happy to report that she seems to have matured one thousand fold, and has become a person upon whom I no longer wish to take out a contract.

I also feel obligated to report that the fact that our intended Highway 101 route was shut down due to a thirteen-car pileup, and that the Valley-top 405/5 interchange was plugged due to an accident including a Jeep that was still in flames as we passed did very little to alleviate my near-phobia of El Lay and general Southland traffic.

More reunion weekend stories coming.

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