[ Father in hospital update: he's still feeling fine, and had even more visitors today with a friend from Connecticut driving down to see him and watch the Giants game. Still projecting the catheterization for Monday, and a return home Tuesday. ]
For Friday of bunny_hugger's visit we ... slept in longer than we expected. It's understandable she'd be exhausted after the rush of Christmas events and the long trip. For me, it's less so, except that I probably need more sleep than I'm getting even with my better sleep schedules of late. I can't much help that.
We had partial plans for New Year's Eve: for the day, at least, we were all invited up to my brother and sister-in-law's, to get everyone together and also to see my other brother, his girlfriend, and their daughter. This would be my first time seeing my second niece, and bunny_hugger's first encounter with both her and my brother's girlfriend. But that was to last only until the early evening; what would we do for the midnight countdown?
My mother planned to go to bed about the usual time and sleep through midnight. My father said his plans were about the same. But he clipped out an advertisement from the Park Press about Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes having a concert; this was what we had done to see in 2011. He also pointed out that the Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, usually did something. So we started looking at local events. The State Theater in New Brunswick offered a concert of Viennese music, but ending by 8 pm. The Stone Pony had a Grateful Dead tribute band. But the Wonder Bar, also in Asbury Park, offered a band called the Gas House Gorillas about which we knew nothing, but their web site made them sound appealing despite its starting up with music. We bought tickets.
bunny_hugger was interested in seeing a movie, and since we had already missed the day's showing of Arthur Christmas, that made the best candidate for us The Adventures Of Tintin. I was a bit interested in seeing that, although not excited one way or the other since I never read the comic books. bunny_hugger was also, I'd say, mildly interested, but it's not like we were going to see We Bought A Zoo instead.
Tintin turned out to be a pleasant surprise, mostly. It's an interesting story, if a bit relentlessly paced --- they could do with some quieter patches; some of the strongest moments of the film are a cute side story about a pickpocket --- and the design is often quite clever, particularly in scenes where Captain Haddock narrates backstory and his present actions are matched to distant-past ones. The relentless use of motion capture to create a wholly synthetic world I thought really neat, promising the chance to make imaginary settings that were greatly fanciful and yet as broad and deep as any real-world setting. Unfortunately, the tools probably won't be used that way. It'll just be a way to save on set construction.
We also went to the mall adjacent, partly to ride the carousel --- we went on the lower level, this time, with the automatic horses --- and partly to enjoy the post-Christmas air --- there wasn't even a queue to get into the Apple Store, in contrast to Monday's crowd --- and partly to see about exchanging clothes. My parents had given bunny_hugger a sweater, but hadn't got the size right, and we sought the same in a better-fitting size. We had to make do with the same style but in a different color. There was also a slight difference in cost between pre-Christmas and post-Christmas sweater prices, which bunny_hugger was able to put into getting a gold-colored reindeer head pin.
We also tried looking closely at the remaining men's sweaters and whether the one I'd got for Christmas could be traded for a less generous size. There were similar sweaters, but none of the same pattern or anything very close, and I just didn't like any of them. So I stuck with the sweater received, and that was plenty well-done.
Also, bunny_hugger bought a guitar tuner, almost wholly on her amusement regarding the guy selling it to her as far better than the tuner her brother the professional musician recommended.
On the way back bunny_hugger noted a Windmill restaurant, a hot dog franchise which has popped up in the area without my really paying attention to it. I hadn't noticed there were so many hot dog options around.
Trivia: The governor of Massachusetts was given pigeons as a gift in 1642. Source: Superdove: How The Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And The World, Courtney Humphries.
Currently Reading: Bloom County: The Complete Library: Volume Three: 1984 - 1986, Berkeley Breathed. I had been making a joke along these lines to bunny_hugger before, but, wow, how many Bloom County strips do end with one character having a loaded gun pointed and cocked at him? Also, was there any time that wasn't really funny?