Friday, December 21, 2012

No Time for Christmas

Started off a quiet morning with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and crocheting. Clark Grizwald (Chevy Chase) wants a "good old-fashioned family Christmas" and will do anything to make it happen, from stapling 20,000 lights on his house to dealing with two sets of bickering in-laws and his obnoxious cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid). When Christmas Eve finally comes around, the night becomes one disaster after another for Clark. By the time the S.W.A.T team is coming through the windows, Clark has finally learned a lesson about the holidays. We can't make Christmas perfect...but we can make it memorable.

Along with A Christmas Story, this is one of the most popular holiday comedies of the last 30 years. The humor is heavy on the slapstick and mild gross jokes, but there's some nice moments with Clark, his wife Ellie (Beverly DiAngelo) and the family. There's also the wonderfully senile Aunt Bethany, who steals the last 20 minutes of the film and gets many of the best lines. Mae Questel (the original voice of Betty Boop) really should have done more live-action - she's a riot.

I headed out to the Acme to do grocery shopping around 11. The Acme was steady but not that busy when I came in. I was able to get my paycheck and grab a fairly large order with little fuss. I got dollar packs of fish and found thin chicken breasts on sale. Bought lots of fruits and vegetables (and was disappointed to see that the $1.49 bags of apples were gone). Restocked white cake mix after making the cupcakes yesterday; needed a graham cracker pie shell for the pudding pie and heavy cream for the whipped frosting for the Swirled Peppermint Cupcakes. Needed to restock cheese, butter, and wraps.

After I got home, I made the whipped frosting for the Swirled Peppermint Cupcakes. Ran Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas as I did that and ate lunch. This is a late 90s direct-to-video anthology of holiday tales featuring the Disney gang. "Donald Duck: Stuck on Christmas" is my favorite of the three. Huey, Dewey, and Louie wish it was Christmas every day...and if you've ever read the short story by that title (or seen Groundhog Day), you can guess where this is headed. Minnie and Mickey appear in a sweet version of the classic O.Henry short story Gift of the Magi. Max and Goofy's original story about Max losing his faith in Santa has some nice moments, but doesn't come off as well.

When I arrived at work, I was extremely disappointed to discover that I have to work on Christmas Eve from 11:30 to 6:30, after I'd specifically asked to work early! Turns out that, in addition to the seniority thing, they simply don't have enough help. Even people with "seniority" are coming in earlier and staying later than they usually do this weekend. Many people were let go; some college students found better jobs.

I was frustrated and upset all night, and I'm still not entirely happy. The rest of my schedule isn't great, either. Though three days off (including Christmas Day) will allow me to get some shopping done, my remaining hours are generally late, Sunday until 10:15.

If I don't end up going to someone else's house on Christmas Eve after work lets out, I'll go next-door to Applebee's after work and treat myself to a big dinner that isn't a sandwich. It won't make up for having to miss Christmas Eve with my family, but it'll be something.

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