August 8th, 2013

Venus

The Long, Dark, Post-Vacation Malaise...

I finished both my Idol stories on time this week, thank goodness. The first was the result of some terrific suggestions by alien_writings, and the second possibly the product of free-associating during the 8-hour drive from Eugene to Sacramento.

We got back just after 5pm on Monday. The Whale clearly missed us, even though we've been on vacation many times before (he's eight). Perhaps not having the other cat around made him more anxious in our absence (though he mostly tormented her—and he hasn't mourned her absence). After about two hours, he reached my maximum talkativeness level for a month. God, why is his Siamese half all in his personality? But he has certainly been affectionate.

We were back early enough that I went for a quick bike ride on Monday (and then rememembered that one of the gears is iffy). I asked HalfshellHusband to tighten the rear derailleur, and he wound up unsettling more gears, so the bike went into the shop yesterday. Major work predicted, and they wanted to keep the bike until next Tuesday—way too long. The tech put a new chain on so I could ride today and tomorrow, and we'll take the bike back in on Saturday (the first day they can get to it). I suspect HSH exaggerates my riding, since I always get the "You ride a lot" feedback. I regularly do 75-95 miles/week, depending on whether I ride 3 or 4 days. Is that a lot? I work at a big office with lots of amateur riders. A former teammate used to commute 36 miles roundtrip most days, and do long rides on the weekends. Another felt his 24-mile roundtrip commute was too short, so he also rode at lunch, plus centuries and double-centuries on the weekends. Compared to that and the many diehards I see on the parkway, those of us who ride at lunch are much lower-key. Who knows what constitutes "a lot"?

While in Eugene, we saw Despicable Me 2, which was at least 35-40% minions (i.e., just about perfect). Our daughter does not find the minions funny or adorable, which I don't understand. Plus, Gru running, with the cinder-block body bouncing over the awkward toothpick legs? Hilarious.

We're still getting the house back together post-vacation, and the kids start school next week (yes, already). I'm trying to finish Michael Palin's The Truth before my Amazon VINEs review deadline, and I've read several books since the last update... but enough that I'll postpone that for another time.

Already dreading a bikeless Monday (my longer-ride day). That thing better be ready on time. :(