Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Slightly White Christmas

I awoke to snow. Sort of. Actually, there was less than an inch on my porch around 7:30 this morning, and even then, it was rapidly melting. It was gone by the time I sat down with my Multi-Grain Cheerios and half a grapefruit.

Spent most of the morning making Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for my friend Lauren (she requested them; she and her parents loved the ones I made for her birthday) and watching Here Comes Santa Claus. This very strange French musical involves a little boy named Simon whose parents were taken prisoner by angry natives in Africa. Simon would do anything to get them back...including traveling to Lapland with his friend Ellody to ask Santa to find them. While Santa and his fairy helper Mary Ellen track down Simon's parents in Senegal, Simon and Ellody try to escape the clutches of an ogre who eats children, puppies, and fairies.

Well, you can't say this one isn't original. For one thing, I've never heard of a fairy helping Santa, instead of the usual Mrs. Claus. It was also filmed on location, not only in France and Lapland, but in Senegal, too. You don't often see Santa conversing with real African natives or being accused of spying! The English dubbed version is on video (which is how I got it), but to my knowledge, it hasn't been released in the US on DVD at press time. If you can find the video, it's worth a look if you enjoy unusual Santa tales or 80s musicals.

Though the snow was long gone by the time I started getting ready for work, I put on The Snowman anyway to honor the first real snow we've had this year. This charming British animated tale shows how a little boy and his frosty pal have fun together one winter's night. The little boy shows him his home, including his parents' room and an old motorcycle. The snowman takes the child across the sea to meet Father Christmas himself, along with a host of other snow people. Deservedly Oscar-nominated in 1982 for the wonderful animation. The score is lovely too, including the song "Walking In the Air."

It was so clear by 11 AM, I rode to work with no problems (other than having to dodge the road work on the ramp into Oaklyn). Work wasn't bad in the morning and early afternoon, when the weather was still scaring people off. It didn't really pick up until around 3...and people were not happy campers. Either they were mad about the weather, or they all just came from the malls. There was one especially fussy woman who was nothing but a pain. She bossed her husband around. She bossed me around. She kept complaining about the prices on the items that had already been marked on clearance. She went back and complained to a manger about the prices.

It snowed again while I was at work, but this time, it left no accumulation. When I got out at 5, it was just wet. Any precipitation was long gone. I cheered myself up with a short ride around Audubon Park to look at their lights. Audubon Park is the development across from the Audubon Crossings Shopping center that separates the shopping center from Oaklyn (along with the creek). The plain white houses were gleefully strung with everything from the dripping pale-blue "icicle" lights to green light wreaths and dark red lights that looked like strings of cinnamon red hots. It was chilly, but not abnormally so for this time of year, and the wind from this morning had vanished. I very much enjoyed my ride.

When I got home, I changed into regular clothes, then put the cookies in a box. That finished out Lauren's package. I taped that one up and labeled it. I'll do my friends Linda and James Young's batch tomorrow.

Heated up the last of the leftover Turkey Vegetable Soup while watching the second season of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Though the very first episode involved Donatello creating a formula from a crystal that will release some friends of theirs from an illness that turns them into mutants, most of the episodes I watched tonight involved New York's gangs in a turf war prompted by the Shredder's death. Leonardo blames himself and wants to stop it. Raphael thinks it's none of their concern. When Leo takes off, the other three go after him...and they end up involved in the gang wars anyway. Casey Jones is more than happy to jump in and help. (And it looks like him and April are an item again. Time to break out the Moonlighting jokes!)  There's also a lovely young Japanese woman who seems to be close to Shredder and the Foot...and is a formidable fighter in her own right.

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