Tuesday Tangents: Between the Holidays Edition

I have the week off from work, since Chris (my DC-dwelling son) is with us till at least Thursday – he may wind up the week and spend New Year’s with some friends before he flies home on Saturday. He’s keeping himself pretty well occupied while he’s here – among other things, he’s written some blog posts, watched some football, bought an iPhone and (finally!) joined Twitter – and will be sending home a boxful of new kitchen stuff he received for Christmas.

It’s nice to be away from the office during what would most likely be a slow week anyway, but I tend to be a bit ambivalent about at-home “vacations.” Since I’m home, there’s always the temptation to do practical things instead of relax, and I don’t end up really feeling like I’ve had time off like I do when I go somewhere. Does anyone else have that problem? But having said that, I spent most of Monday reading, writing, and not exerting myself all that much, and I must admit that I enjoyed it.

(L.) Indiana Vasquez (the fedora was a Christmas gift last year, but the jacket is brand-new)

(R.) Captain Spencer in his Lego Christmas fort

Speaking of Christmas, let’s ask the “loot” questions…did you get some good gifts? Did everyone like what you gave them? Everyone at my house seemed pretty pleased with Christmas morning – even Katie (15), who didn’t ask for much this year and made people guess about what to give her, so I guess we didn’t do too badly on that front. The two things she did ask for – iTunes gift cards and Beatles Rock Band for the Wii – she got. We all tried out Beatles Rock Band on Christmas afternoon, and I may have finally found the game for me, as long as I don’t try to play the instruments; I’ve been singing Beatles songs for years, and actually know the words to nearly everything already!

Since one of the gifts that Tall Paul gave me was the “Beatles edition” of Trivial Pursuit, he will one day find out just how much Beatles-related info – in addition to lyrics – clogs my brain! I also received some TV on DVD (two seasons of The Big Bang Theory, and the first seasons of Better Off Ted and Mad Men), but no books. However, I did get a Borders gift card, as well as a nice assortment of other gift cards; thanks to the iPod Nano that was at the top of my wish list, the iTunes gift card is already depleted. And once again, my very generous mother-in-law is subsidizing my trip to the BlogHer Conference – New York City, in August 2010!

I actually love to receive gift cards – they keep the fun going longer. Every one of us received movie-theater gift cards, so we won’t have to pay for movie tickets for quite a while! (Tall Paul and I gave movie gift cards too, but not to anyone we live with.) Tall Paul and I used a gift card to see Sherlock Holmes on Saturday afternoon. It was entertaining – Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law played off one another well – but I felt that it was a bit of a mess in spots, with a plot involving a highly-placed conspiracy and occult elements that seemed just a bit Dan Brown-influenced to me. I’ve never read any of the original Holmes novels, but I’ll just assume many liberties were taken. Still, it was fun, and RDJ is always very watchable.

I’ll be posting my year-end reading wrap-up tomorrow, and I’m working on a more generalized “year in review” post this week too. I like doing the “reflection” posts, even though they usually turn out to be more work than I expect…but you’re not likely to see a “resolutions” post around here. At this point, I don’t have any major changes in mind for 2010, so we’ll just see how things evolve.

Grandma and the grandkids, December 25, 2009

What’s going on during your between-holidays week? Are you at work or at home? Reflecting on the ending year and resolving for the coming one? It’s Tuesday Tangents time, so tell me all about it!

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  1. I had no idea there was a BlogHer conference! That sounds fun and exciting.

    While gift cards can sometimes be seen as impersonal, I actually LOVE getting them. I also received ones to Borders and Half Price — which I plan to go browsing those two stores today.

    We saw Sherlock Holmes last night (I tend not to watch many movies, but really wanted to see this one) and I agree that RDJ and Jude Law have a wonderful banter. The movie was far more action oriented that the original stories (or at least the ones I have read), but I thought the end of the movie was very reminiscent of the books — showing Holmes's amazing deductive reasoning skills.

    I hope you are able to continue to relax with your "at home" vacation. I know exactly what you mean — there is always a load of laundry or a piece of dusty furniture staring me in the face.

  2. I hope you hare having a nice visit with your son, Florinda. I'm so glad he could come home for the holidays.

    I have the week off too, and, like you, find myself feeling like I need to do the chores. I did spend yesterday reading most of the day–barely got dressed even. It was such a nice way to spend the day even though I felt so utterly lazy.

    I got some very nice gifts this year–my husband went a little crazy at the bookstore shopping for me. Always nice to unwrap books on Christmas morning. 🙂

    I'm glad you'll be able to go to BlogHer again this year. How fun!

    I really like getting gift cards too. Hubby and I used part of the one I got for my birthday to see Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Day. Quite a few people evidently had the same idea.

    I was planning on spending the day behind the computer, preparing my final two blog posts of the year and tidying up some, but suddenly I feel like doing something completely different. On the plus side, I can do whatever I want–maybe a little bit of everything since I'm not stuck in the office.

    Have a great week, Florinda!

  3. Sounds like you are having a great week. I have to work this week, surprising, I know, but it's not terrible.

    My son got a lot of LEGO stuff too. So far he's built a couple of Star Wars ships (smaller ones) and a Space Police set. He still has a big Indiana Jones thing to build. I think I'm going to be helping with that one.

    Right now the kids are learning to use the Wii right now. there has been a little fighting over it, but not too bad. Yet.

  4. Molly – I'm sure I'll mention the 2009 BlogHer conference in my year-end wrap-up later this week – I did a few posts about it back in thr summer. Despite a shortage of book bloggers, it was interesting and fun…enough to make me want to go back for more!

    I'm off to Borders today too :-). I did some house-cleaning yesterday, so now I can go off and have some fun!

    Kathy (Bermudaonion) – I might feel guilty about a week off if we were extra-busy at work, but right now we're not. Have a great visit with your in-laws!

    Wendy (Literary Feline) – It's good to have Chris here. We may actually leave the house today!

    I've been doing more writing than reading so far this week, trying to get ahead on posts, but I'm trying to balance it out, too. Tall Paul is off from work after today, so we may go to the movies again tomorrow or Thursday. What did you think of Sherlock Holmes?

    I felt lazier yesterday than I do today, but since I did rouse myself to do some housework yesterday, my conscience is now clear to goof off :-).

    Enjoy your time off too, Wendy!

    Mike – Well, I guess they need you at work right now, since it's such a big travel time.

    I expect the house to be overrun with Legos soon – either that, or Spencer won't be able to move around his own room.

    Maybe you can channel the kids fighting over the Wii into a game where they compete against each other ON the Wii :-)?

    Karen H (Scobberlotcher) – Thank you so much for the award…AND for getting into Tuesday Tangents! I'll look forward to your posts :-).

  5. Sounds like you enjoyed a great holiday. It's nice to be off work but I know what you mean…I often feel like if I am off work but at home that I am supposed to be organizing or cleaning. I have to leave my house and go on a real vacation to relax! Hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

  6. Kathleen – I agree. It's nice to sleep a little later, skip my daily commute, and not feel so rushed, but it still doesn't feel like a true vacation. It's too easy to fall into at least some of the routine when you don't physically get away from it.

  7. That picture of me is awful! Better than the other one, but, still awful! Next time you want a picture of me to post, let's hire a stand-in for me.

  8. Wow, you have a great mother-in-law! I'm with you on gift cards–I love them! Sometimes I forget I have them and then get to be surprised by them twice!

  9. I have the rest of the week off, although I'm supposed to be preparing a syllabus for the class I meet next Tuesday. Instead I'm going to movies with my family and sleeping late. Sometimes you just need to procrastinate! I was surprised by how much I liked the Sherlock Holmes movie; I didn't expect to like it. Although I have enjoyed everything I've seen RD Jr in, he's not my picture of Holmes. But like with the Lord of the Rings movies, I can like someone else's picture of a beloved character.

  10. Paul – No one could POSSIBLY stand in for you, honey. But if either George Clooney or Hugh Jackman is available, they'd be welcome to give it a try… 😀

    And by the way, I like that picture!

    Lisa – Yes, I have an awesome mother-in-law…and she has a pretty great son, too :-).

    If I don't use a gift card right away, it tends to slip my mind too…so as you said, I get to be surprised by them twice :-).

  11. Jeanne – You won't need that syllabus for a week. I'd be procrastinating too. (And I'm not getting up before 6 AM, which IS "sleeping in" for me, since my dog is a morning person.)

    I agree with you about the rather unexpected casting of Sherlock Holmes, but it worked. I was on the fence about seeing it, but I'm definitely not sorry I did.

  12. Florinda, George Clooney or Hugh Jackman? Honey, with your eyesight, I should have given you a white cane for Christmas. Better stand-ins would be Adam Savage (no offense, Adam!) or that guy who plays what's-his-name on the thing that we saw. You know the one.

  13. Sorry to hear that Sherlock was a bit of a mess in spots. I want to see it, but I am not dying to see if so I will probably wait for the DVD. However, I did see It's Complicated with Alec Baldwin and Meryl and it was really funny with only one little slow spot.

  14. TiSherlock Holmes was fun, but you won't be missing anything if you wait for the DVD. We might see It's Complicated – I'm not sure yet. Glad to know it was funny; the previews looked good.

    My husband and I saw Up In The Air today. I loved it. It's nice to see an actual "grown-up" movie every now and then :-).