Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Very Blustery Day

Started off a rainy, windy morning with breakfast, baking Cranberry-Orange Muffins, and watching the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I normally wait until later in December to watch this one, but since CBS did it last night, I figured, why not? Rudolph is a baby reindeer with a big problem - his nose glows red. He's taunted by other young reindeer and embarrasses his parents and Santa. Only pretty Clarice, a sweet and gentle doe, believes in him. Tired of the teasing, he runs away...and runs into an elf named Hermie. Hermie wants to be a dentist, but changing careers is apparently frowned on for elves. Helped by boisterous prospector Yukon Cornelius and an island filled with unwanted toys, Rudolph discovers that sometimes the thing that seems to be all wrong about us is the one thing that really makes us special.

While much of this is still sweet today, including dear little Rudolph himself, some of this has dated rather badly. Donner and Santa can seem kind of cruel early on to modern ears, and there's Donner's comments about "man's work." Not my favorite Rankin-Bass cartoon, but it was their first holiday show and is still one of their most beloved.

Moved to Max & Ruby as I got ready for work. In "Max's Thanksgiving," Ruby wants to make the table look beautiful for Grandma's Thanksgiving feast, but Max just wants her nut and cranberry stuffing! Ruby wants to have the best fall leaf project in school in "Ruby's Leaf Collection," but how can she find leaves when Max keeps burying her project book? Max is having fun with light in "Max's Shadow," but his newfound shadow buddy keeps disappearing every time the clouds cover the sun. Meanwhile, Ruby and her friend Valerie are trying to make a ballerina poster, but they need a steady model to be able to draw a really accurate ballerina.

Thankfully, the rain had come to a temporary standstill by 10:30, allowing me to take the bike to work instead of asking for a ride again.  It did start raining again as I headed down Kendall Boulevard, but the worst of it came long after I was behind a register.

Work was exactly the same as yesterday, only more so - steady when I came in at 11, insanely busy during rush hour, starting to clear out by the time I finished at 6. Other than a couple of grumpy people (including one man 10 minutes after I came in who fussed about Acme's new generic brand looking like Bottom Dollar's), there were no major problems, and my relief, one of the high school boys, was right on time.

I got lucky with the weather again after work. My customers and the NBC newscast in the back room had blared dire warnings about heavy rain and bad traffic all afternoon. By the time I got out, the rain was not only long gone, but the clouds were starting to break up. I had no problems riding over to Chick Fil' A for a quick dinner of a Charbroiled Chicken Sandwich, waffle fries, and a Diet Dr. Pepper. I made a really quick stop back at the Acme on my way home; I needed skim milk. Thankfully, the crowds had gone to dinner or hit the now-drier roads, and I was quickly able to get in and out.

When I got home, I put everything away, then worked on Golden Pumpkin Bread to bring down to Mom and Dad's tomorrow while watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Neil Page (Steve Martin) is an ad executive who just wants to get home for Thanksgiving. Not only does he keep running into public transportation delays and break downs at every turn, but he keeps ending up with Del Griffith (John Candy). Del is a shower curtain salesman and a nice guy, but he's also a mass of bad habits who keeps driving Neil crazy. As the two make their way across the frozen Midwestern landscape, Neil learns about the importance of being thankful for what we have.

John Hughes was hoping this movie would help him finally climb out of the teen movie ghetto; it didn't work, but this does remain one of his more popular films. Granted, some of it is a little dated (a lot of Neil's travel troubles would be solved with a cell phone call or by checking an app today), and the film's left turn into sentimentality towards the end feels slightly forced. On the other hand, if you're a fan of Candy or Martin, this is a necessary movie - this is some of their best work.

Switched to Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special as the pumpkin bread finished baking and I packed for my trip tomorrow. This odd little holiday tale revolves around a young Peaches (the baby mammoth born in Dawn of the Dinosaurs) who is looking forward to the holidays with all her heart. She's very upset when Sid accidentally breaks Manny's Christmas rock and he says that Sid is on Santa's "Naughty List," and that he doesn't believe in Santa. Peaches journeys further north with Crash, Eddie, and Sid to prove that Santa - and the Christmas spirit - really does exist, even in prehistoric times.

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