January 3rd, 2015


Happy New Year!

Let's pretend I'm not a couple of days late with this already. ;)

Our trip back from Oregon was nicely uneventful until we were rear-ended at a stoplight about 10 minutes from the house. The driver of the sedan crumpled her hood, and our SUV's rear bumper needs to be replaced, but no one was hurt.

New Year's eve, we started watching Goldeneye until my son decided he was out of bedtime. Then my daughter and I watched Les Mis, which was not my cup of tea but was bonding time well spent. My daughter really likes that movie, though she told me she didn't like the beginning much. That turned out to be the whole first hour! Overall, too much recitative and too little melody for my tastes, plus obviously a very grim story. Also, I think Helena Bonham Carter might have been better off in her Merchant-Ivory days than this ongoing "loony hag" phase she's been stuck in ever since taking up with Tim Burton.

New Years' Day, I watched the Ducks cream Florida State in the Rose Bowl. There was a point late in the third quarter (after cascading disasters and a 27-7 streak by the Ducks) where Florida just looked like they wanted to go home... but sadly, had to stick around until the end of the game. Yikes.

I've also been trying to match my impromptu 5-mile run from last week. I've made it 4.6 miles and twice 4.5 miles, but not the whole distance. On Thursday's attempt, the back of my right thigh tightened up and started to ache. By evening, HalfshellHusband had to pound on it with his fists. It's the only way to get those muscles to "let go." I don't know why it happens, but it does.

I haven't biked outside since the Sunday before Xmas. One day was due to rain, but the rest, it's just been too freaking cold. Biking at or below 50-degrees is pretty much misery for me, and as boring as the garage is, my DVDs are better than being out in the frigid wind and temperatures. Today? I might be running again, if it doesn't warm up more. I have to be out biking by about 2:00 - 2:30, or I run out of daylight. Winter is the pits. :(

In other news, we have recently discovered Tiny House Nation on Hulu, and HSH and my son and I watched a couple of episodes last night. I couldn't live in any of those ultra-small spaces unless I was by myself, but I love seeing how cleverly the designers use and transform space.

While on vacation, I zipped through a Jack Reacher novel (The Affair, which offers the backstory on how Reacher wound up leaving the army and roaming the country), and more importantly, I finished a book I've been borrowing for about two years: Three Bags Full. That one involves a herd of sheep solving the mystery of how their shepherd was murdered, and it's delightful. There's the clever Miss Maple, the brave Othello, and—my favorite—Mopple the Whale, the "memory" sheep. Mopple reminds me of Shirley from the Shaun the Sheep videos, although half the farm does not disappear into his wool and fatness. The sheep see everything from a "sheep" perspective, which is what makes the story so interesting and also results in amusing misinterpretations of various events.

Work starts on Monday, and Idol started again yesterday, so I need to get back to the writing. I hope you and yours have been enjoying your holidays, and that the New Year is better for all of us than the last.

ETA: Our daughter just phoned us from her room upstairs to ask what her uncle gave her for Christmas. Kids these days!!!