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03 January 2015 @ 12:30 pm
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!!!

adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on January 3rd, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC)
That FSU game was indeed sad.. For 'Noles anyway. LOL. Les 'Noles were so done. I turned the game off after first qtr.
glad no one was hurt, but car accidents are no fun. Lots of hoop-dee-do involved that nobody has time for.
Happy New Year!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2015 08:48 pm (UTC)
:D It was a great game for Ducks fans like me, but you had to feel for the Florida players in that third quarter. Yikes.

We were so surprised to get rear-ended. Everyone had been stopped for a few seconds, and then, "BAM!" Still haven't gotten the car into the shop because the claims handler we were assigned took off mid-day Wednesday and seems to have taken Friday off too. :O
uranium-235: Unicornfidgety on January 3rd, 2015 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendation about the sheep book. Sheep are awesome, and they play a big part in my knitting and crocheting ambitions. I'll have to check it out.

Oh! Haven't you heard? Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton announced that they're separating. I read it earlier this week. Of course, it could have just been a hallucination brought about by all this NyQuil, but I'm pretty sure that it's a real thing.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 12:08 am (UTC)
I think you'll enjoy that book. It has a dry, weird humor to it. :)

I hadn't realized Helena Bonham Carter was romantically involved with Tim Burton until that breakup announcement! It explains a lot, though. :O
Port: bones and kirkdesertport on January 3rd, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, no! Glad everyone is all right after the accident. I had a similar accident recently, and it was just really jarring for a while afterward. Lousy bookend for your trip, too. :(

Happy new year to you too!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 06:28 am (UTC)
It was a huge surprise, but a good reminder to both kids that just because you're a good driver does not mean that you won't get in an accident!
michellecertainthings on January 3rd, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 06:29 am (UTC)
Thanks! You too. :D
angels3angels3 on January 4th, 2015 01:32 am (UTC)
Well according to the news Tim Burton is now history so maybe she'll do other roles than crazy hag lady :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 06:29 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm hoping this will encourage her toward some variety, at the minimum!
cindytsuki_no_bara on January 4th, 2015 05:54 am (UTC)
i've never seen tiny house nation but i feel the same way about tiny houses that you do - i could never live in something that small, but the way people organize their space is fascinating.

being rear-ended sucks. and so close to home! but i'm glad no one was hurt.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 07:20 am (UTC)
What's mystifying to me is just HOW tiny the houses are. The first episode features a couple and their two-year-old fitting into a 172 square feet place. I realize that they want to be able to pull that house on a trailer anywhere they need to move for the husband's job, but really? A 400-500 square-foot house is small! Episode two was a family of 4 in a 336-square-foot house, with a deck bigger than the house itself. Why not just build the house a little bigger? Their whole model seemed to presume that it would never rain, since they had all kinds of covered furniture out on the deck.

Also, there are so few interior doors. No privacy at all. Or as my son puts it, "If someone snores, the whole house will be awake all night." It's kind of like vacationing with one family in a single motel room... except for years. :O

Still, the show is fascinating! I think it appeals to the engineer in me. :D
swirlsofblueswirlsofblue on January 4th, 2015 08:10 am (UTC)
Happy New Year

Eep, glad no one was hurt in the accident.

I enjoyed Les Mis, but then I've been obsessed with the songs for ages.

Ooh, 4.6 miles is impressive. Yay for almost meeting running goals!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 07:34 pm (UTC)
A couple of the songs were kind of catchy, but most of them were sung dialogue-- required for opera but wholly unnecessary for a musical! So why? :O

I actually hit all 5 miles during the run I took after posting this. \o/
Danmuchtooarrogant on January 4th, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year to you also!

Wow, very glad no one was injured in the car accident. Hopefully repairs won't be too obnoxiously expensive.

LOL at your daughter. That's something my kids would do.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 07:34 pm (UTC)
Haha-- would your girls really do that? Gads, what is wrong with our kids?

This is what comes of letting them have their own phones... *grin*
Danmuchtooarrogant on January 5th, 2015 03:54 am (UTC)
Yup, the ONLY difference is that mine would've texted, not called. LOL

Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on January 4th, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC)
I am sorry your vacation ended with an accident. Even though no one was hurt, that is definitely not the way you want to start the new year.

For the tight muscles, have you ever tried magnesium? When I do a particularly tough workout I will drink it at night to prevent my muscles from stiffening. Seems to work for me. If you try it, use less than the recommended amount at first. It also acts as a diuretic, so you want to see how your system responds to a smaller dose first.
I use this one: https://naturalvitality.com/natural-calm/

Thanks for the book recs. I have The Affair in my Kindle-queue, but I hadn't heard of the other book and it sounds fun.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 4th, 2015 07:39 pm (UTC)
I haven't tried magnesium! That might help.

This is a spot that locks up sometimes when I run, or with extended yardwork. For running, it's cleary something in my stride-- the shorter leg, which I try to balance by running on flat surfaces or those with a slight slope for the longer leg. But every once in awhile, it gets me anyway.

The Affair had a lot of good twists, and Three Bags Full is just very unluck practically anything you might read. Jasper Fforde comes closest, but it's not quite the same level of humor (no satire, less absurdity). It's a more gentle kind of dry humor. :)