Sunday, December 23, 2018

By the Skin of Their Teeth

Began a beautiful sunny morning with Coconut Pancakes. I basically made these to use up the last of the condensed milk and coconut from my candy and baking. Other than I burned one, they actually came out very well, and not as sweet as you might think. The first one that I didn't burn was so light and fluffy!

Watched the Christmas episode of The Monkees as I ate. The appropriately-titled "The Christmas Show" is from mid-way through the second season, right as the series was starting to get a little weirder. The guys think they're being hired by a rich lady to play for her, but they actually end up babysitting her nephew for the holidays. The kid is a spoiled rich brat who thinks Christmas is nothing but a fraud. The guys try to prove otherwise, but they fail at every attempt...until Mike Nesmith figures out what he really wants.

Switched to Very Merry Christmas Songs as I got ready for work. This is the DVD expansion of the original Disney Very Merry Christmas Sing-a-Long video from the late 80's. The additional music is mainly there to advertise some of Disney's TV and direct-to-home-media offerings of the late 90's and early 2000's, but it does make for pleasant background music during the holidays if you're a Disney fan.

Work was busy today, though not quite as bad as I thought it would be. I assumed we'd have lines out the door all day. We were on-and-off steady for most of the afternoon. I stayed outside the entire afternoon with the bagger who usually works on the weekends, gathering carts that kept vanishing. I wouldn't have wanted to be inside, even if I'd been needed in there. It was too nice to be inside.There couldn't have been a nicer day in late December. The weather was sunny, breezy, and cold but not freezing, probably in the mid-40's. The raging gale-force winds from yesterday had gentled down to a mild breeze.

It was so nice, I took the long way home from work. I was originally going to drop a bag of cookies at the Audubon Police Department, but it turns out the building is closed until after Christmas Day. Rats. I'll try again sometime later next week. The rest of my ride went quite well. There was surprisingly little traffic, even around the Audubon Crossings entrance. Everyone must have been home watching the game.

No wonder. I discovered when I walked in Dad and Jodie's door that the Eagles, who were down 16-13 against the Houston Texans when I left work, were now ahead by a touchdown. Jodie gave me Italian hoagies and a really sweet and rich Gooey Butter Cake a friend sent them from St. Louis, and I joined her, Dad, Mark, and a sleepy Jessa for the game. It was really, really good, too, even better than last week's. The Eagles missed a few extra points that would have won the game decisively, and Nick Foles even got slammed into by one of the Texans and almost left the game, but in the end, the Eagles won by one field goal, 32-30.

Worked on writing when I got home. Han, Leia, Luke, and Chewie have fun playing in the snow outside. As Luke wonders if the Snow Queen is as beautiful as her planet, a huge gust of wind brings glistening ice crystals raining down on them. One catches in Luke's eye. He can't get it out...and he's very nasty and belligerent to Leia about it...

Broke at quarter of 7 to have a really quick leftover dinner and try a baking experiment. I've never had fruitcake before, but its odious reputation seems to have softened somewhat in recent years. I've heard quite a few people say they can be very tasty if made properly. I decided to dip a toe into the fruitcake waters with a recipe for fruitcake muffins I found on Pinterest. It was flour, orange juice, butter, spices, nuts, brown sugar, and candied fruit. Yum! I didn't have enough orange juice, so they came out a little dry. Other than that, they tasted amazing, and they smelled incredible in the oven. They were dry and crumbly, but they were also just sweet enough, and the candied fruit made them a little chewy. I may have to do these again, this time making sure I have enough orange juice.

Finished Very Merry Christmas Songs during dinner, then switched to Remember WENN while I baked. "Christmas In the Airwaves" from the second season was their only hour-long episode and their only Christmas episode. The cast of radio station WENN is gearing up for a fun holiday filled with variety programs and a holly-decked station. Their holidays hit a snag when their new owner and her miserly accountant turn up a few days before Christmas. Gloria Redmond was a singer, but she lost her husband the year before, and doesn't feel like singing...or hearing anything about Christmas. Her financier, the nasty Mr. Pruitt, only cares about money. He insists that the station eliminate any mention of Christmas from their broadcast. The cast has to find away for Christmas to go on anyway under the fastidious miser's nose.

Here's a collection of even more lesser-known Christmas programming to tide you over while you wait for Santa...

The Smurfs' Christmas
Ziggy's Gift
Old Bear Stories: Little Bear and the Christmas Star
The Glo Friends Save Christmas
A Very Pink Christmas
The Teddy Bears Christmas
Santa's First Christmas
Ub Iwerks at Columbia: Jack Frost
Little Women (Anime): "Christmas Eve"
The Bears Who Saved Christmas
The He-Man-She-Ra Christmas Special
Fleischer Bros Color Classics: Christmas Comes But Once a Year

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