So, it appears that I actually needed a break from this thing. Well, not really from "this thing," as this thing doesn't really require too much thought, most of the time, as anyone who's suffered through these posts can attest. But I guess I did need more of a break than I thought I did from actually thinking and processing and scribbling things down. Along with anything else remotely constructive. The wife--normally an extremely hardworking human herself--has advised me not to feel guilty about this, saying, "that's what vacation is for." And she's right.
Still, I did tell myself that I would do a few semi-productive things on this break, and it turns out I kinda did none of them. Since I last blogged on Xmas Eve, I have had a long, glorious stretch of downtime, including, but not limited to:
*epic matches of both Lost Cities and Dominion with my daughter. (Two great card games, highly recommended.)
*Three movies: Frost/Nixon (surprisingly great for a Ron Howard movie), I've Loved You So Long (French movie starring Kristin Scott Thomas, who is going to be robbed of an Oscar for a stunning performance), and, just today, Milk, featuring maybe the best performance by Sean Penn I've seen since Jeff Spicoli. Seriously, he's unreal in this movie--all beatific smiles and vulnerable openness, totally unlike any other role he's done for as long as I can remember. It's a heartbreaking movie, which of course anyone who knows the actual real life story knows going into it, but it's also a fine testament to a very brave and transformative figure in our recent history, made even more worth seeing in the wake of Prop 8...
*Lots of napping and *finally* finishing Deadhouse Gates, just today. My next book was gonna be either Altered Carbon or What is the What. But I am putting both aside for the moment in favor of the book my wife got me for Hannukah: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I've been dying to read for about 6 months ago, when she first told me about it.
* a lovely, small, quiet New Years Eve with just our little family unit, spent playing Dominion, eating sushi, and watching The Beatles' A Hard Days Night.
My daughter's recent Beatles kick is extremely fun and satisfying for me to watch, as I was exactly her age (14) when I went through my own (first) Beatles fanaticism. (She's listening to Sgt Pepper as I type this now.) After we saw Milk tonight, and on our way home after dinner, she was lamenting the fact that she wasn't born earlier, because she missed out on all the cool stuff that we got to experience first hand. I responded that every generation feels that way---that me and her mom missed out on plenty of cool music that came before we were born..
Her response: "What did you miss out on? Bach?"
Which about as great a New Years Day laugh as any dad could ever hope to get.