or, the real reason I took the day after Two Towers off work
Got up after 6 hours of sleep, quickly showered and rendezvoused with extended family members, and got in the car to drive out to my grandfather's place for his 80th birthday. Tried a new route which Mapquest had suggested a while ago; it turned out to take just about exactly the same amount of time, but was considerably more scenic, so that's a win. Dinner in Vermont, then more socializing with my youngest cousin on that side, and his wife and two charming little daughters. So odd to hear him constantly being called "Daddy" -- not only is he still a little kid himself in my mind, but also none of the rest of our generation has had kids yet. Grandpa was thrilled to see us; we also regaled him with gifts -- in my case, one which I'd bought him four years ago and then forgotten about, so in a way nice that it had wound up being a gift for a more significant birthday -- but after 80 years he has everything he needs and even if that weren't true I think he'd have been just as happy without any presents.
Home now (via the old route, as it has gas stations), and ready for bed. I'd wonder how long it'll take me to get back on a normal schedule, but really I should just admit that this is
a normal schedule for me and have done with it.