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03 January 2007 @ 11:25 am
I'm baaaaaaack!  
We actually got back on Sunday afternoon, but it's been a flurry of unpacking, cleaning up from the Christmas frenzy, AAAAND.... purging! Yes, this is what it comes down to. Getting new stuff leads to the fervent desire to get rid of other stuff. Unfortunately, the "other" stuff belongs to our kids. We had to marshall a huge effort of them looking at all their toys and deciding what they could part with (IF I hadn't already spirited it away). This is always followed up by a certain amount of later reneging. And then there's the driving all over to donate the stuff to various places.

Christmas itself: Wonderful. My mother-in-law really enjoyed being with us Christmas Eve and day, the kids had a great time, and I finished Christopher's toy sleeping bag (for his animals) on time. Lauren's favorite present was the stuffed Badtz-Maru from Santa Thank you, ebay! and Christopher really loved his Morphinator (a remote-control SUV that changes shape). On New Year's Day, we made bugs with Christopher's Creepy Crawler oven. Both kids are very talented at making realistic and disgusting-looking bugs.

Christmas II in Oregon: Also great. An uneventful trip both ways (! So much better than last year), and we got to see the whole family in stages. My older sister and I did micro-running (I'm easing the feet back in), my younger sister is stalled out with an untreatable sinus-infection and a cold, and my older brother's family is great.

Highlight of above: my nephew has GUITAR HERO II, and he brought it. Oh, people. I am addicted. I beat his 16-year-old sister 3/3 on the "Easy" level, then moved up to "Medium" and had one stab at "Hard" (whoa. Too many notes!). My best score was 94% on "Heart-Shaped Box," and that included a 9-year-old niece bitching about what a lame song it was (I guess it doesn't compete with bubblegum pop) mainly because she wanted the guitar back. I now badly want one of these, and my husband definitely doesn't want 1) Playstation II or 2) Another hobby to eat up my time. (wonder why?) I have noticed that unless you hit the "note" button squarely on, it will "plink" and not count the note, and that's not so helpful unless you have big Man Hands.

Since the return, I'm getting the house in order this week and running pesky errands (post-Xmas supply shopping, donations, have to take the bike in for a tuneup today). There will be pruning outside (not the roses, though-- 85 plants, and I'm not wasting all my time off on that).

We watched "The Tall Guy" last night on video, and I always forget what a bizarrely funny movie that is. Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson (before she was famous, and the poor woman has to flash boobies and I feel bad for her). The best part is the fake musical, "Elephant!" It's wonderfully awful, and yet the tunes are terribly catchy. They're in my head now.

New Year's Resolutions (You knew this was coming)
Lose weight (I gained far too much this last year, partly due to staying up late writing and too much time on LJ)
Less time on LJ (surprise!)
Call seesters more often (especially the older one, who actually answers her phone)
Have more people over
Pick up the violin now and then
Do not space out any more hair appointments (there's one today. *kicks self* Remember?)

This week: finish photo projects, finish spn_christmas fic #2, clean up laundry-room artsy-craftsy pile of unfinished #$%!, clean storeroom, order doors for room conversion, prune stupid plants, wrest held mail back from post-office because "resume delivery" never seems to register with them.

Doesn't THAT sound exciting? :(

One fun one left: check out latest Plastic!Winchester Theatre episode! :D

Missed you all! Hope the Christmases were great, and for those who have a hard time during this part of the year, hugs and I'm glad it's over. ♥

What's YOUR news?



 
 
 
dannywinterlive on January 3rd, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
guitar hero RULES.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
My god, I did not KNOW. Even from the Jared vs. Smallville-hottie (sorry, I know he has a name!) faceoff on CW.

I am thisClose to an ebay excursion for Playstation 2 just to buy that thing.

Definitely needs more Led Zeppelin in the hit list, though-- and there was no Clapton, no Boston, no grunge besides that Nirvana song. That's all guitar heaven! :D
danny: spn: she's a ladywinterlive on January 3rd, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
i THINK it's guitar hero II, but one of the guitar heroes has wayward son on it. ROCK ON.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
It IS the second one.

I now have all the distinct amplified acoustic guitar lines in my head, because you pay far more attention to them when you're trying to match the notes. I've got new appreciation for the details in that song. :)

Oh, and -- ONE of these seriously needs to have "Don't Fear The Reaper" on it. Gah.

Do you have Guitar Hero yourself? I would fork over money at a video arcade to play that thing. :0
dannywinterlive on January 3rd, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
i don't, but i have a bunch of friends who are nerds and have TWO guitar controllers. :D

damn saturday night live, though, DAMN IT, because i can't listen to reaper now without hearing the freaking cowbell.
merctales on January 3rd, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
Welcome back and Happy New Year!

Christmas was good for me. Managed to hang out with my ex without it being overly awkward (I did a double-duty Christmas, going back and forth between his family and mine...thank goodness they only live 8 minutes away).

sierra_foxx hosted a lj New Years party. Lots of hot PB picspam.

Going to have lunch with Mom now...will be back later.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
This is your ex-husband, isn't it? Still getting along with his family? When there have been divorces in our family, it's seriously hard to let go of the ex for the rest of the family members! Except for my brother's Ex, who was a sociopath. The rest are kind of an eternal extended family, and that's really kind of nice.

I should check out foxriver_lady's post. I'll bet there's Lincoln in it. :D
merctales on January 3rd, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
This is your ex-husband, isn't it?
Yep. I've been hanging out with them, but I hadn't seen him since July? August? So I was a little uneasy, but it all worked out fine.

When there have been divorces in our family, it's seriously hard to let go of the ex for the rest of the family members!
Yeah! I'm not the only one. Everyone finds it very weird, but his family just dubbed me #6 (there are five kids and everyone has a number) and keeps me around.

I should check out foxriver_lady's post. I'll bet there's Lincoln in it. :D
Lots of Lincoln. Lots of Michael. Some Sara, Veronica, and Sucre. We had tons of fun.
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on January 3rd, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
Seems like you had a ton of fun :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
I did-- and coming back the trouble spots on the road were bone dry this year (last year was avalanche, mudslide, mudslide, flood, etc. Bleh).

The downside... my younger sister is now bringing her pfefferneus candy house to parents' every year, and my GOD I love chewy pfefferneus with frosting. I have no willpower. :( *bloats at the memory of it*

How was your holiday? :D
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on January 3rd, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
It was pretty relaxed. I even made picturespam (here) but my provider is having hiccups and suddenly the pictures don't show up anymore.

*pouts*

I'm so glad Christmas is over though because I have a cousin who makes the best cookies in the universe and Christmas is also the time for the annual bacon insanity festival at my uncle's :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
OMG. Bacon.

I finally admitted to my kids that when I was their age (before all fruits being available year-round thanks to greenhouses & exports), whenever I went to a breakfast buffet my plate would look like: bacon, bacon, strawberries, pineapple, bacon, dessert. All the beloved rare commodities. ;)

MmmmmmBaconnnnnn. :D~~
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on January 3rd, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
Grin. We call it "eating the stone". Because they have several stone plates that get put on those little fire things that you use for fondue and you put the bacon (and some additional meat) on top and it gets roasted right there on your table.

The cutest thing was that my nephew and niece got their very own table for the first time (sans stone of course) :D They were adorable and suprisingly well behaved :D
When it is darkest, men see the stars.witchofthedogs on January 3rd, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you had a good holiday!!!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you, witchy!

I'm sorry yours were not better, but I know this is not the greatest time of year for you and thus I'm glad it has moved on! Still got my fingers crossed for your myriad job opportunities. Did you get my Christmas card?
When it is darkest, men see the stars.witchofthedogs on January 3rd, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
YES! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
alazysod on January 3rd, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year! Glad you had a good time. :D

Badtz-Maru! Eee! :D I think I still have my own stuffed Badtz-Maru doll around my room somewhere.

I have yet to play Guitar Hero, and I only know what it is because Jared Padalecki totally whooped that Smallville guy's ass at it. But seeing as how I have a video game obsessed brother, it'll probably end up here at some point.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I forgot to add that Lauren's present to me was the "Hoops Maru" and also a soft-Maru keychain/backpack thingie. So cute. :)

Guitar Hero... you MUST get it. My god, I could have spent the entire vacation playing it. Plus, even the two 9-year-olds (my daughter and one niece) made progress in about 4 hours on and off. Reed had a great strategy-- just play the long notes until you get the hang of those, then add in the shorter notes. Because if you don't play any, the game will bomb out on you and your 'guitarist' throws their instrument down in disgust. ;)
aeroport_art: Michaelaeroport_art on January 4th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
Guitar Hero! I suck balls at that game =_= boo.

You're resolving to spend less time on LJ? *makes sad face* Well it's a good thing New Year resolutions are often forgotten by the end of the month :D Ok ok just kidding. I'm sure for most of us here, a little less time on LJ would be healthy. But what's the fun in that :3