1. A few years ago, my wife and I acquired an advent calendar "“ like the one pictured, only older, and without the faux fruit. Being more greedy than gluttonous, we decided to fill the days with scratch-off lottery tickets instead of candy treats. Last year, I believe we earned ourselves $54. I don't remember what we did with that money. (Bags of candy, perhaps?) What not-all-that-traditional holiday traditions does your family have?

2. As the wise George Costanza once observed, "Great couples always have a great story about how they met." But is the opposite true? Think about the worst relationship you've ever been in. Did the way you met foreshadow the drama, heartbreak, doom and/or gloom that would follow?

3. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have a hard time remembering whether it's "bear with us" or "bare with us." (Oh, who am I kidding? I'm quite ashamed.) For whatever reason, whenever I want to use that phrase, I clam up and click on the Oxford American Dictionaries widget. What's your word usage or grammar weakness? You can be honest with us. You're among friends.

By the way, it's bear with us. I'm 70% sure.

4. What are you reading right now? (And would you recommend it to the rest of us?)

[See previous 'Friday Happy Hour' transcripts.]