Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Once Upon a Rugrats Holiday

I had to work at noon today, so I only did a few small chores around the apartment. I vacuumed the kitchen first. It looked pretty bad after all the baking I've done over the past few days! After that, I called South Jersey Radiology and Camden County College. I've gotten two bills from South Jersey Radiology, and I wanted to know if my health insurance had gone through. Apparently it had, or will, since they said I don't have to pay it at this time.

I had less luck with CCC. I was hoping I could get grants for those non-credit online courses. Alas, the secretary says they don't give grants for online courses. I'll keep trying to get through to Stockton, but if I can't talk to them, I'll have to look into those government loans.

Ran the Rugrats holiday specials all morning. Having been on the air for over a decade, the Rugrats have done shows on every winter holiday imaginable, including two for Christmas. "Babies In Toyland" is the newest of the lot. The kids run around a huge holiday amusement park looking for Santa, whom Angelica has annoyed into quitting. Meanwhile, their parents are "snowed in" when a malfunctioning snow machine dumps a foot of snow on their rustic pioneer cabin in the middle of the park and end up learning how much fun an "old-fashioned Christmas" can be.

"The Santa Claus Experience" takes the entire crew to a more modern cabin in the woods. Angelica plays a trick on Phil and Lil but soon regrets it when she worries about getting coal in her stocking. Meanwhile, Chuckie and Tommy aren't sure about this "Santa" business and set a trap to see if the old man everyone is talking about is really such a nice guy...

My favorites were the specials that covered holidays that don't get discussed as often. The Rugrats' African-American friend Susie Carmichael has her own worries in "A Rugrats Kwanzaa." Her Aunt Tia has told them all about the wonderful holiday that involves unity and celebrating "the great ones." Trouble is, Susie feels like the only untalented person in a family where everyone has a trophy or a special talent. It takes her Aunt's scrapbook full of memories and a blackout to bring Susie's family and friends together and make Susie realize that she does have a talent after all.

I believe the oldest episode in the set is "Chanukah." Tommy is baffled by this holiday that involves lighting candles on a lamp and dreidels made of clay (that Phil and Lil want to eat). While the kids try to figure out what's going on and save Tommy's grandfather from the "Meanie of Chanukah," Angelica tries desperately to find a TV set to watch the big Cynthia Christmas special.

Thank heavens work wasn't anywhere near as busy or as frustrating as last Wednesday. It was on-and-off busy, pretty normal for the day and month. Most people are probably spending this week either in the malls or behind a stove baking, like I did yesterday. There were no really major problems, and I was in and out.

I had to make a short groceries run after work - needed to replace canola oil, eggs, and brown sugar after baking this week, and I'm almost out of dish washing liquid. When I got home, I made fish, carrots, and mushrooms sauteed in home-made chicken stock for dinner and ran Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. The first of two direct-to-home-video Christmas anthology movies featuring the Disney gang, Once Upon a Christmas is made up of three (2D animated) shorts, two of which are based after classic holiday short stories. Of the three, the hilarious "Donald Duck: Stuck On Christmas" is my favorite. Huey, Dewey, and Louie find themselves reliving Christmas Day until they finally realize that the season is about a lot more than presents and carols and toys in this retelling of "Christmas Every Day" (with a touch of Groundhog Day). I also like "Mickey & Minnie's Gift of the Magi," in which the two mice trade their most prized possessions to get Christmas gifts, only to learn that the greatest Christmas gift they could ever have is each other.

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