‘Tis the Season

Happy holidays to all!

I am sooooo enjoying this winter break, it feels decadent.

We aren’t doing much: chilling out, watching movies, reading, playing with electronics, cuddling, having friends over. Some of us are writing and editing stories. All of us repeat how glad we are that we don’t have to go to school or work tomorrow. The kids are old enough that it’s pure fun and relaxation and very little hassle for everyone to be cooped up together for days.

On Saturday, I drove all day. I took Eldest to a neighboring state to meet a prospective teacher at the music school. Eldest applied to two universities—both big state schools: the one where I teach (no, sadly, no tuition relief whatsoever for employees) and a comparable one in a neighboring state—and was accepted to both. He wants to major in molecular biology and was admitted to the appropriate colleges in the two schools, but as his second major (or perhaps a minor) he wants music, and the auditions for music schools aren’t till January. It’s also recommended that the students have an hour-long lesson with the person who would be their likely teacher (for many instruments, there’s only one), to see how they would gel if they were to work together. Thus far, Eldest has been dead-set on staying here, but he seemed to have really clicked with the music teacher out of state whereas the local guy seemed grumpy, so we’ll see. Auditions are in a month. I will have another road trip with Eldest for that right before the new semester starts.

Christmas Eve was uneventful. I have no idea what we did. I know I wrapped the presents with the speed and stealth becoming of a true consumerist superhero.

On Monday (yesterday, the Christmas Day), DH and I celebrated 18 years of marriage! Happy anniversary, DH! We were married on Christmas Day in 1999, and while no one ever forgets the date, we always have a hell of a time going out to celebrate because everything is closed. This time around, we had a proper dinner-and-a-movie date (Eldest babysat). We saw The Shape of Water, which is beautiful and satisfying on so many levels.

Today, I took all of my offspring to see Jumanji, which I also enjoyed. It’s really funny and just great stupid fun. It was well done—sharp comedic writing, without sluggish excess, and with strong performances by everyone involved. Jack Black and Kevin Hart predictably killed it, but The Rock definitely held his own (smolder LOL). Two of Middle Boy’s friends also went with one of the moms, and these kids later joined us for a playdate. Finally, Smurf also had a playdate, so I had six boys total at my house today, which was fun. I love impromptu little parties. At one point, all five who were not Eldest were lying spread out on the floor and on the steps in a doggy pile, if the dogs were actually made out of very relaxed slime that’s on winter break.

I can’t remember the last time I so thoroughly enjoyed a vacation.


  1. That sounds sublime. Congrats to Eldest on the college acceptances — how wonderful to have your first child semi-launched towards such great opportunities!

  2. Congratulations to you and your spouse! And also to your child’s college acceptance. Big accomplishments, big steps forward.

  3. I did see The Last Jedi. I liked it okay (I didn’t hate it), but I don’t think it was as good as The Force Awakens or Rogue One (both of which I quite liked, and The Force I saw a few times). I felt the plot of The Last Jedi was thin and not satisfying, and mostly an excuse to give enough screen time to old favorites (Leia and Luke; there was even Yoda). Luke had some of the best lines and scenes in the movie, though. I wish we’d learned more about where the hell Snoke had come from (outside of the galaxy?) but no luck. I suppose that’s an ailment of most second pieces in a trilogy (book or film) — a bridge, not a standalone story. The spaceship battle scenes which I generally like were too numerous and protracted and I caught myself feeling bored and reaching for my phone amidst the third or fourth one. The younger actors all did a very good job with what they were given, which for many wasn’t much (e.g., Finn). There was a bit of existential angst for Rey over her parents that I felt was forced and didn’t resonate with me, but she was great overall. Rey and Kylo have great (if very unsettling) chemistry. I love Adam Driver in general and I think (contrary to popular opinion) that he’s an excellent villain — sniveling, deeply conflicted, and perpetually clammy — the villain we may not want, but the villain we deserve. 🙂

  4. Interesting review, thanks! I agree the plot was thin and the space sequences started to wear, but I thought the character stuff with Luke, Rey, and Kylo Ren more than sold the whole thing. Agree the chemistry was delightfully unsettling. The Rey parents stuff came pretty straight out of Force Awakens, I think, and I really liked what they did with it. I don’t think it’s the best of the movies because of many flaws, and I’m not sure how I rank it vs Rogue One (need to rewatch that), but I do think it’s the most thought provoking.

  5. Yes, I agree with you on the Luke-Rey-Kylo Ren/Ben Solo character development. It was more nuanced than we usually see: kids need adults; adults must be stronger than the fear of the bad they see in the kids; giving up on the kids is what pushes them towards bad choices…

  6. Hooray for restful vacations! Mine has been a little less restful, but still good, and thanks to the job shenanigans I have about three weeks off after the new year, so its all good.

  7. Happy anniversary and hooray for relaxing midyear breaks! I’m hoping to see a movie before this is all over (maybe Last Jedi).

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