So I ended up spending Christmas with my brother, my sister-in-law, my two lovely and amazing nieces, and a large handful of my brother's in-laws. Good trip, overall, maybe a bit long with too much time spent not seeing people, but I'll fix that next year (which will let me visit the Old Country sometime when it's not fucking freezing). The downtime was good for me, though, as I've realized I need a new bed, and I find a lot of little habits and routines I'd developed before I left are gone now--albums I was listening to, things I was doing before and after work. It's nice--refreshing, helping me be aware of where my ruts and grooves are.
I...I just...*sputter*...have no words...
I watched a little bit of movies tonight: the Tivo caught Forbidden Planet for me, finally. I haven't watched it all, but I was expecting a bad sci-fi movie, and it's actually good, sort of. Certainly not the campy sort of awful I'm used to my friends enjoying...it's dated, but substantive. The crew of the arriving ship, "young men" having been in transit for a year, barely disguise their leering at Dr. Morbius's daughter Altaira, who seems sweet and innocent in her remarkably high-cut futuristic skirt-dress outfit (sample 1, sample 2--dang); to my modern eyes, the whole thing has a fascinating porn-movie dynamic. Not that I've ever actually seen porn, of course. *cough*
(I've seen a few. They pretty much all suck and I find them deeply non-sexual. Porn that doesn't suck usually gets labeled "erotica", so porn almost sucks by definition.)
And then there's You Only Live Twice, one of the James Bond franchise's forays into multiculturalism, as he fakes his own death, gets some makeup and temporary plastic surgery, and poses as Japanese. Now, if I were trying to hide a white guy, and I had to do it in Asia, I might pick a culture a little less obsessed with fitting in than Japan. It's much better than the voodoo movie (which almost ventured into blaxploitation territory), and was probably the best (only?) let's-not-make-it-entirely-white-people Bond flick until Tomorrow Never Dies, which already kicks ass for having Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh, but gets extra points for Jonathan Pryce, Teri Hatcher, and Ricky Jay.
One thing I noticed about my visit out East is that I didn't watch much TV, partly because of the lack of Tivo, partly because I didn't fix my parents' cable until I'd already been there a few days, and partly I just didn't feel like it. I played with my laptop and read books (geek books, but books). I think I want to continue that habit of using my brain instead of watching lots of TV, so tonight I cracked open my TrainMech kit from sciplus.com and started it. It's actually cheaper than it looks in that picture, and screwing the wooden parts together is a pain in the ass, but it's still pretty satisfying. I'll finish it up tomorrow. (How many educational toys do I need if one kit will only occupy me for two evenings? Um, well...)