Monday — The Hobbit Kimberly & I usually have movie and dinner on Christmas, but since we had other plans this year, we did that on Christmas Eve. In many past years, we've seen great fantasy flicks (Lords of the Rings Harry Potter, Narnia) — and als Golden Compass, hich was fantasy and was a flick, but wasn't great — and so we were disappointed when those movie series came to an end and/or moved to summer. Thus I was thrilled to see the old tradition become viable again this year with the release o The Hobbit I. We even read alou The Hobbi toward the start of the year to prep ourselves.
And we were both quite pleased with the movie. Great characters, great directing. I loved the addition of the Meeting of the Great to pu The Hobbit n better perspective with regard t The Lord of the Rings; I loved the inclusion of songs, particularly the two dwarf songs, which were terrific; and I loved the appearance of Radagast and the whole Necromancer subplot (please, let that be movie #3 as some sites hinted at a few years ago!). Some of the fighting went on too long, especially in the goblin mountains, and I thought some of the special effects looked poor, especially in the first part of the movie — which might mean it was an artifact of the faster frame rate. I'm also unconvinced with the whole pale orc plot, as they haven't done anything interesting with it yet.
After the movie we made out traditional trek to the great local Vietnamese restaurant to find it closed. It's really a Christmas tradition (including the bit where we discover that it's closed). We ended up having bento boxes at the Japanese restaurant formerly known as Manga Manga.
Tuesday — The Wiedlins. n Christmas Day proper, Kimberly, Lucy, and I opened our presents in the morning. I got some great t-shirts from Kimberly, all three of which have already been worn (ninja biker, kiddy dungeoneers, Van Gogh TARDIS). There was also candy and other neat stocking stuffers, including neat bookmarks, a little A-Z book, and a CD that Kimberly had made. Lucy got a laser pointer which sh loves nd a harness which she tolerates (and which we hope to soon take her outside with).
We got down to San Martin pretty late in the afternoon afterward, and there were more presents there. I got some biking gear (a new windbreaker which proved great when I tried it out on Wednesday; amazingly warm and amazingly breathable, especially since it's waterproof; and some gloves) and also some more Abercrombie books and some warm house slippers which have been put to great use. There was great Ping Pong and terrific food and good company. I think there were about 17 people this time, including my siblings and Bob's siblings in main. As has been the case in some recent years, we drove down to San Martin with Andy & family and returned with Jason and Lisa ... and Kimberly slept on part of the way back.
Wednesday — The Rest. And on the third day we rested. I took myself out to lunch, picked up pending packages, and did lots of writing and editing. In the afternoon, I took my bike out for a ride, as I try to do every couple of days. The weather was beautiful, so I decided to try and replicate my ride up Tunnel Road to Sibley. The ride was harder this time, as second rides often are, but very doable. Once I got up the hill I headed over toward Montclair again, then headed back down to civilization. Then there was more writing and editing in the evening. Yup, that's my definition of rest.
Thursday — The Appels. Yesterday, my sister Melody and her guy Jared came up for lunch. We talked, ate lunch at Bongo Burger, visited an art store together (Jared being a artiste), and talked some more. Overall, a good time was had. Melody was kind enough to give us each gift certificates at Amazon. Mine went to purchase th Doctor Who aHistory ook — which is a timeline generated from 40 years worth of show, audio, and books. I've heard great things about it, so am looking forward to consulting it as I continue reading through the 7th + 8th Doctor book series.