Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dolly Holidays

I spent most of the morning reading The Great Santa Search and didn't get to banana pancakes for breakfast until about 40 minutes before I left for work. The Great Santa Search is the last of the Santa Chronicles trilogy. This volume mainly forgoes the history for the tale of Santa joining a reality show that's supposedly going to find the real Santa...and have him become the spokesman for a line of shoddy toys. Santa's hoping to be the winner, but the nasty sponsor is backing an especially well-liked mall Santa who is only in it for the money.

Work was steady when I came in, but it picked up later in the afternoon as people began to come out of the malls and head for football and holiday parties. By the time I was just about done, the lines were down the aisles. No one ever told if if I had a relief or not. Since none ever came in, I just shut down and left.

Since I really had no other plans for today and the Eagles-Cowboys game wasn't until 8:30, I decided I'd get the photos of my dolls and Christmas displays done. I love how they look when they're finished, but they can be a pain to pose at times. Most of my AG dolls are older, and their legs are loose and don't stand very well anymore. That's why several of them are sitting or leaning on something in the later solo shots. At any rate, here's this year's Riverside Rest holiday photos:

Christmas at the Riverside Rest 2014

Listened to the Dorothy Provine album I picked up during breakfast this morning. Oh You Kid! is pretty much the same thing as The Roaring 20's soundtrack, but this time, Provine is singing the music of the 1890s through 1910s and is backed by a male combo rather than a female one. Same deal as with The Roaring 20s soundtrack - if you like Provine or the music of the early 20th Century, these are worth looking for.

Ran children's holiday albums for the rest of the afternoon while taking the photos. I liked the second Disney's Christmas Collection even better than the first. The song "Celebrate" is fun, and the Disney characters' "Twelve Days of Christmas" is hilarious.

I have two Looney Tunes Christmas collections. Holli-Daze is four Christmas-related stories on a Peter Pan LP. "Bugs the Red-Nosed Bunny" has the rabbit taking over for Rudolph when he gets the flu. The title story takes Granny and Bugs to a small western town, where Sheriff Yosemite Sam mistakes them for bandits. "Santa Claus-strophobia" has Bugs and Daffy trying to cure millionaire Elmer of his believe that he's Santa. In the last story, Bugs interviews the other Tunes about Santa in order to prove to his nephew Clyde that the jolly old man in red does exist.

I picked up my Christmas With the Looney Tunes cassette from the Wildwood CVS somewhere around 2003. Though this more recent release doesn't use any of the original voices, some of the material is still pretty cute. I'm especially fond of Daffy's "All I Want For Christmas Is More, More, More," Bugs and Taz's take on "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," and "The Halle-Looney Chorus."

Peter Pan also provides a nice, condensed half-hour Christmas Carol. This one goes the fairly unusual route by having the opening sequence with Scrooge and Bob Cratchit and Fred in the counting house as short flashbacks, heard whenever Scrooge relates what the ghosts are telling him to how he treats the people in his life.

Christmas With the Chipmunks came from a yard sale about three years ago or so. I have a soft spot in my heart for "The Chipmunks' Christmas Song (Please Christmas, Don't Be Late)." When I was in third grade, this is the song my class sang for Cape May Elementary's annual school assembly the week before Christmas break. Two kids each were chosen to solo as Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. I wasn't one of the kids chosen, but I enjoyed learning the song and can still sing the whole thing to this day.

Switched to more family-oriented programming as I made baked rosemary chicken breasts in lemon sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. I've had the CD for The Judy Garland Christmas Album since high school. In the early 90s, the Staples in Rio Grande had a display of inexpensive Laserlight holiday CDs and cassettes every year in the front of the store. I'd always poke around in there while Mom was present shopping. That's where my Glenn Miller Orchestra Christmas cassettes came from, too.

This is actually the soundtrack to Judy's Christmas special. If you're a fan of Garland (or of Jack Jones, Mel Torme, and Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli), this is worth seeking out. There's some nice moments - Liza does "Steam Heat" and "Alice Blue Gown." Garland duets with Torme on his "Christmas Song" and bobbles the lyrics (she was feuding with him at the time). Garland and her younger children Lorna and Joey do a cute "Consider Yourself" in the opening, and Lorna talks Jack Jones into "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."

Oh, and darn it. The Eagles started poorly, but came back in the second half. Though the played better than the awful first quarter, they still couldn't get past the Cowboys 38-27.

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