Saturday, December 17, 2016

As Long as It's Christmas

I got up relatively early and had time for a couple of holiday specials before work. It's Christmas Eve On Sesame Street, and all up and down the neighborhood, everyone is preparing for the big day. Oscar the Grouch worries Big Bird when he asks him how Santa can get down those skinny New York chimneys. Big Bird, Snuffleupagus, Kermit, and one of the kids try to figure it out. Meanwhile, Bert and Ernie sell their favorite possessions to buy Christmas presents for their best friend, only to get a big surprise from Mr. Hooper. Cookie Monster would love to tell Santa he wants another kind of surprise (the kind that looks like cookies), but he keeps eating his writing utensils.

In honor of our first snow of the season, I ran The Snowman as I packed a couple of boxes to be sent out next week. The late David Bowie introduces the Oscar-nominated tale of a little boy who is taken on a flight over England with his frosty friend to meet Father Christmas and all the other snowpeople.

The snow had long changed to sleet and freezing rain by 9:30, and to just plain rain by an hour later, but the roads were a sloppy mess. I just opted to call for a ride from Jodie. She said she had to go to the Acme anyway...but I'd be on my own going home. She and Dad had other plans.

The Acme had its annual Christmas Luncheon today. In fact, I asked to come early so I could set up my cookies. There was plenty to eat! I saw potato salad, pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, stuffed pepper soup, meatballs, roast beef, turkey and gravy, buffalo chicken dip, sausages, deviled eggs, chips, pretzels, and shredded barbecue pork. There were tons of cookies for dessert, along with chocolate cake, cherry-topped cheesecake, and bowls of Hershey's Miniatures bars. I tried the pasta salad, mac and cheese, roast beef, deviled eggs, and a bunch of the cookies. The beef and pasta salad were pretty good, but by the time I got to the mac and cheese, it was a little dry.

Considering the weather, it's probably a good thing that I spent most of a busy afternoon bagging. For once, there was plenty of help, including all those new high school baggers. The only time I went outside was briefly when I rounded up baskets.

My schedule for next week is much better than I have been getting. It's all morning work, including tomorrow and on Christmas Eve. In fact, I'm only 10 to 2 next Saturday. That will give me plenty of time to get ready for Dad and Jodie's big Christmas Eve party. I have Tuesday and Wednesday off as well - I'll be able to get the cupcakes and the last two loaves of bread done. The only day I work late is Monday.

I needed a few things after work. I forgot my nephew Collyn's birthday and my mom and stepdad's anniversary were last week. I got Collyn Hot Wheels cars and a card. I couldn't find a card I liked for Mom and Dad. I'll get them something later in the weekend. I also got that whole wheat flour - I ran out yesterday.

It wasn't raining by the time I got out of work. I just walked home. I figured there wasn't any need to call for a ride if the weather wasn't bad. Ended up running into my next-door neighbor Richard half-way home and getting a ride from him.

Spent the next few hours working on my story. The entire group is on their way out when Palpatine arrives, awakening Vader. Ben is killed while distracting the heartless giant. An upset Luke takes his place.

Had leftover chicken vegetable soup for dinner while playing Lego Star Wars. I didn't get far. I'm not having much luck with these challenges. I just can't find those blue pieces in 10 minutes! More often than not, I'll get half of them, or all but one, and have to go back through the round, trying to find the rest and letting time run out.

Finally just got fed up and switched to Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. In this direct-to-video feature, Belle is determined to bring the holidays to the citizens of the castle, including a bitter angel ornament (Bernadette Peters) who was once the castle decorator. A gloomy organ (Tim Curry) wants to keep the Beast listening to his depressing melodies forever and orders a piccolo (Paul Reubens) to do whatever he can to break up their romance. When an attempt at getting a tree ends in disaster, it looks like no one will be having a happy holiday...until the Beast remembers the true spirit of the season.

This is a guilty pleasure of mine. It's neither the best nor the worst of the infamous Disney sequels of the 90's and early 2000's. It does have some lovely music (including the oft-repeated "As Long as It's Christmas") and decent CGI animation for a lower-budget production.

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