let’s play a love game: cupidgrams

If I love doing anything, I love telling people how much I love them with creative gestures. Because of this, Valentine’s Day is my day to shine. Or, rather, in the case of this year’s love day project, not shine. Like, not shine at all, at all costs, no light shall be emitted from me.

My idea was simple. And stolen. Around the New Year, someone was telling me about the fabulous holiday gift they’d received in which all the makings of a gourmet dinner were included. I immediately, and terribly, stopped listening and started planning a Valentine’s Day version of the very same gift that would be given to couples friends. My Valentine would be yummy, secret, inspiring passion and would include lots of driving. I needed a partner in crime.

You know my BFF that inadvertently named this blog? I enlisted her right away because I knew I needed to make this daunting task fun, I needed creative collaboration, and I needed a co-pilot. Not just for the project, but a literal co-pilot as we’d be covering lots of ground. Someone to hold maps, run to and from rung doorbells and someone to keep me awake. Aris was on-board and it was perfect. (To be honest, we were mostly excited to spend multiple hours together, which hadn’t been done in forevvvvver.)

The concept of the cupidgram was drawn up almost on the spot and it was as follows:

  • 9 couples
  • 6 bottles of wine and 3 bottles of sparkling cider (for those who don’t or can’t drink because they’re growing babies in their bellies)
  • 9 each bars of dark chocolate, bags of pasta, bags of Zoë’s Spice of Life (from the restaurant Zoë’s), pasta recipe for a night in, LOVE mixed cd
  • Lots of pink and red and glitter!!!!

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Aris took her portion and I took mine. Feeling like I make an awful lot of mixed cds for friends to be original anymore, I consulted with two master mixed cd-makers who right away responded with more sexy songs than I knew what to do with. Thanks to these two who made life so much easier! With these lists, I curated what I believe to be the best Valentine’s Day mixed cd of all time (you know I like to be overly confident even in the face of uncertainty, yes?). The cover came complete with a poem by the especially-sultry Pablo Neruda.

Next came the recipe. I got in the kitchen and thought simple and spicy, employing the flavors of what I consider to be the most sensuous part of the world… the Mediterranean. What resulted was indeed very simple and very delicious. Perfect for pairing with a nice glass of wine, some dark chocolate and the one you hold most dear. I called it “Spaghetti Innamorata” because I was really trying to cram those romance languages in there.

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We chose Thursday, February 7th to be the day to doorbell ditch the Cupid way. To be honest, I had been kind of avoiding the scheduling of all these stops because I didn’t want to get discouraged. All I did to prepare was fill up the gas tank, load the car up with SmartWaters (in case we got stranded in the desert), and tell Aris we’d be back late. I printed out a map of all our destinations minutes before leaving to pick her up. The estimated time of travel? 4 hours 9 minutes. Fantastic.

7pm Pick up Aris. Almost run over a lost chihuahua. Aris runs out to see if it will go to her, but it is skiddish and runs off into the darkness and we are sad. We just have to switch gears.

7:05pm I am pumped. I am ready run. Ready to deliver love! I am also, damn it, hungry. In all my prep, I’d forgotten to eat and so a stop at the Taco Bell drive-thru became the first (shut up) fast food stop of the night.

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7:10pm Well, clearly, I can’t drink any of that ridiculousness at Taco Bell, so we crossed the street and got Starbucks. So… close…to…the…freeway… we nearly run over a man and his two (count them!), two chihuahuas. He needs cash. We don’t have cash! Who has cash anymore! We are sad again. Those poor dogs. For those who are counting, that’s 3 chihuahas and 2 drive-thrus and time is not on our side.

7:15pm The freeway. For what seems like forever. I will remember this always when this first friend of mine treks over to my neck of the woods. (Tangent: We once had a huge karaoke contest at my house with a $5 buy-in and this faraway friend got the jar of bills and I was relieved she had been compensated for gas. And that’s when she lived closer!)

8:15pm San Tan Valley, stop 1. Did you know that to get to San Tan Valley you have to go where it’s very dark and trust Google Maps with your life? And also, you have lots of time to discuss how this runaway delivery will be executed and instead you talk about your kids and gossip? Bah!

First couple. I cut the lights. I park in front of a house I haven’t been to before. I can’t see which side of the house the door is on! Aris has made up the package and I take it and I pad quietly up the walkway. “You dropped something!” I hear whisper-yelled and I quickly snatch up the fallen spice bag from the rocks. Guilt waves over me as I realize this couple is totally putting their baby to bed and, oh, they have dogs. I ring the doorbell and run in my (hello, genius) ballet slipper flats which threaten with every step to fly off, trip me and give me away. A dog is barking furiously! I get back in the driver’s seat and peel away. I remember to turn the lights back on but I decide it’s bananas that I be the runner and getaway driver. New plan for house numero dos.

The adrenaline is amazing, btw. We now know how we’ll survive the long night. YES.

8:30pm Starbucks having run through us, we need a stop. We find a safe-enough looking Burger King and are surprised the bathrooms are wide open, unlocked for all to use. Hey, we are from the city and there, the only way to get into the bathroom is to obtain a banged-up, gross-infested metal spoon with a key on it. We scamper away as if we stole something.

We transverse what seems like circles over the same four street names and end up…

9:15pm Mesa, stop 2. I’ve been here. I try to get a photo of Aris running back to the car, which, by this point, I realize will be the best entertainment ever!, but I end up with a shot of her flying hair when I realize, oh, we should drive away. I make a wrong turn and we end up having to sheepishly pass the house again but I know now we were not noticed. Terrible at being inconspicuous.

9:30pm: Gilbert, stop 3. I’m in a bad place with the map thinking I’ve yet again made a wrong turn and I realize my lights haven’t been on. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the scariest thing has happened. But I notice and I turn them on and no one gets hurt. I see a familiar landmark. We’re there already?

Okay, folks. I can literally hear my friend cussing out the doorbell-ringer before we even do it. I’m afraid. As I turn around onto the right side of the street, Warren G’s “Regulate” comes on and I freaking turn up the radio. Aris has to tell me we should probably turn it down. Doorbell rung. Love package left. Minutes later, I will come to find out, our friend texts my husband at home asking “Were you just here?” With all honesty, he’s answered with a simple “Nope.” Ha.

9:45pm Chandler, stop 4. Arriving at a place I’ve been to a couple of times from another direction has messed me up. I take the map from Aris and end up making so many wrong turns. Logic is working against memory against printed map. We finally find the house and there are a tremendous amount of lights on. There’s also a huge front window I don’t remember. Aris has to essentially be invisible to pull this off. The doorbell is rung and my tired (already!) eyes see what appears to be a little furry dog. Aris sees a confused face. Either way, we gotta go!

10:10pm Ahwatukee, stop 5. I literally see familiar street corners and thank the heavens we are somewhere I can get home from, sans-map. I manage to take another wrong turn and we retrace our steps. I begin to fear that the 4 hours and 9 minutes will turn into days at this rate. I have to get it together. I know I won’t, but I can be optimistic.

Okay, seriously, Ahwatukee, what’s the deal with having both odd and even addresses on one side of the street? Why are you messing with the very principle driving my confidence for this evening’s activities!?

We have to more-than-obviously walk up to houses to read their street numbers and surmise that our target is between the two houses we practically trespassed on. It is now very dark and Aris is hesistant. But we do it. And the couple at this house was afraid to open their door to get the stuff, I later discovered. We scared each other! What a fun story!

10:20pm Another potty break. Oh, and also, we’re hungry again. Fear of breaking down on an “unmaintained” road or getting caught by grouchy neighbors sure makes a girl hungry! We stop at Sonic, America’s Drive-In and opt for sweet drinks instead of food. Nothing can hold us back! Also, we use the world’s most lit rest stop with what Aris called “crackhead sinks” and realized we were indeed “in the zone.”

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10:30pm The long haul to the west Valley begins. Reinvigorate that “love” playlist, DJ.

10:45pm Avondale, stop 6. Surprise, I turn into the wrong street, but I’m getting better at being a bad navigator. This time, I did get a photo. And I’m pretty sure someone saw us. But as far as I know, we either scared them or someone stole the loot because our girlfriend hasn’t said a thing. We realize we accidentally made this as much ghost story as love story.

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10:50pm On the road again. This time, I ditch the map. I mean, I didn’t like litter, but it was definitely not consulted anymore. I get on the 101 and we head to north Phoenix with a goal of trying to figure out how/where to leave the stuff in a place they’ll see it because for a house with kids (sorry, Avondale), it is now officially too late to bug people. We are sobered with a challenge through our sleepiness.

11:30pm North Phoenix, stop 7. We put the cupidgram by the front wall, hoping for obvious placement to homeowner and not to early-morning-walking neighbors. My sources tell me the second car to leave the house the next morning saw what cupid left. Whew. We. Are. Tired.

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Oh, and also, I’ve been to this house a million times and I got lost. Twice. Eye roll times a thousand.

Down the 51 to our hood. Our conversation has turned to sinkholes on highways and we are seriously hoping we don’t run into one.

11:50pm  Central Phoenix, stop 8. This guy. Seriously, STOP WATCHING TV ALL AWAKE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM! The door is right next to the couch. The driveway is a million miles long. Aris has made a night out of sprints and she’s running out of gas, guys.

The doorbell happens because there are no dogs or babies. Suckas! (I mean I love you guys, obvs.)

I was wickedly glad to learn days later that this couple was stumped by the Zoë’s Spice of Life. Like, they thought Zoë was cupid. I love this. Especially because I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten at Zoë’s with this person before.

Midnight: Central Phoenix but down the street, stop 9. It’s the house next to the house that looks like it’s always having a party. Read: the whole damn street is lit up like Christmas. Also, we thought the last driveway was the longest driveway. Ha ha, no no. This one is. This house has a dog, a big dog and they believe super strongly in porch and security lights and we no longer care that it’s after midnight. It’s our last stop and the doorbell will be rung.

Aris removes her shoes and it’s like a slow-motion prison escape movie scene with “Chariots of Fire” playing in the background. I’m beyond giggly and just like that, it’s over.

And we can go home. Just over 5 hours and 193 miles later.

Aris quickly checks social media and the confusion is beginning to spread on our feeds, complete with photos and friends reassuring other friends that it’s okay to bring the stuff inside, it’s not for some other house.

In the end, I had an amazing night with my best friend full of hours of tireless talk, a few life epiphanies and lots of radio dancin’. I was blessed to have the opportunity to share the mystery of the cupidgram with a bunch of my favorite people and I hope that we’ve inspired some love to be shared in the form of steamy music and garlicky carbs.

I hope our glitter hasn’t gotten on too much of your house to ruin any sort of mood.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. xx

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Four whimsies

After dropping off the boy at school, I usually enjoy the minute I have to get my bearings after a morning of regular chaos. Yes, two hours after waking up, I finally take stock of what’s going on. Oh, yes, work. Onto work.

This morning, four things happened in quick succession that, alone, would’ve made me smile and daydream myself into oblivion (well, as much oblivion as is afforded when you’re trying to safely drive a car through morning rush hour).

1)  I saw a backpacked girl walking along the busy street toward the school I had just passed. Suddenly, she looked to her left and began happily running. I thought, wow, to be young and be spontaneously inspired by that surplus energy coursing through your veins to RUN FOR IT. Then, I saw what she’d seen. Across the vacant parking lot separating them, behind a fence and disappearing down an alley pointing to the school, was a backpacked boy. It was a race whose catalyst was a wordless glance. I can’t even handle it.

2) Then I saw a man, seconds later, walking-blinking- into the sun, into the brisk wind (we have winter for 5 minutes here, let us all enjoy it with grimaces and longing sighs for warmer times, please). He walked under the awning of an orange furniture store whose sign was written in graffiti font. He wore an orange coat with an orange plaid scarf and I wanted to jump out of my car and take his photo. But, again, the safe driver thing.

3) Enter the moon. The size of the sky. I’d heard yesterday was a full moon but I was too busy herding crazy babies and missed the actual moon in the night sky. Was it even visible with all the storm clouds? I’ll never know. But I got an encore that seemed made just for me. It literally was the biggest daytime moon I’d seen ever and it was barely discernible from the blue-gray sky it lay upon. So, I’m glad.

4) Our adorable little old cleaning man was sweeping up the front of the library when he decided to set down his broom and carry a bag of trash away. A white something fell from him and I thought (’cause I’m a jerk) “Yuck, trash” and I vowed to hand-sanitize myself right after I picked it up since littering (or letting litter happen) is no way to start your day. To my delight, I learned I hadn’t picked up trash but his monogrammed handkerchief and holy baloney, isn’t that adorable? As I chased after him, I realized I didn’t know his name (I did know it starts with an “H” but you can’t yell “H! Oy, H!” after someone, I mean, I wouldn’t respond to “K!”, okay, wait maybe I would; some people actually call me “K”). He was super grateful and my next goal in life is to be bold enough to ask people I see everyday what their name is.

I hope your days start with just as much whimsy.

miaxmas

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I didn’t forget about you, little blog. I think about you often. Whenever popcorn is brought up (NO, I don’t want any, gross) or marshmallows are mentioned (Rocky Road fudge season, what what), particularly. I literally have no time to do this. I know, I know, there comes a certain discipline with being a blogger, but I’m not one of those in any official or even non-official sense just as I am not an official baker, musician, or party planner. But I do all these things, to drive myself loco. It is this , I believe, part of what makes me me and causes those around me love and appreciate me so much.

So, just know that while I’ve been spinning in delightful circles at home, work and play, I’ve been enjoying every droplet of this wonderful time of year. And I’ve been thinking about blogging. Like, in my head, before I finally drift off, I write a little something. And then I start thinking about why I have so many polka dots in my wardrobe and I exhaustedly roll over and fall to sleep.

Also, yay Christmastime!

Let’s just sit back and unwind? No.

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Who says resolutions are only for the New Year? For many people, summer is when you really come alive and inspiration is abundant. Why not monopolize on this energy and make some goals for yourself?

Here’s what you do.

Choose 5 realistic goals for yourself. It helps if they’re measurable as this makes you more accountable for following through. You’ll notice I didn’t do this at all, but I really didn’t know how to make most of what’s up there measurable without tiptoeing into serious OCD land. So, for my sanity (and that of my loved ones), I didn’t.

Choose goals of things you love or once loved. You’ll stick to them this way. It’ll make your summer memorable regardless of how far your success goes. Fun is fun. I’ve chosen things like bike riding because nothing defines summer nostalgia better. Take good-for-you goals like exercise and eating better and spin them so that your stomach gets butterflies and not the willies.

Use asterisks only when necessary. I can’t have dairy, but I have an ice cream maker. I asterisked the ice cream goal because I will likely make most of this stuff for other people. You lucky, lucky people in my life. I will experiment with coconut and rice milk frozen treats, but only to a certain extent because you will notice the running/biking goals would kind of be at odds with massive ice cream consumption.

Fun it up. I found a fun pin up girl on a bike because she is the spirit I’m going for this summer. Please, though, coax me off my bike gently, sit me down and talk to me if I’m sporting a garter about town like that.

Post your resolutions somewhere. Blog it, Facebook it, tweet it, Instagram it, print it out and stick it somewhere. Look at it all the time. Once your people know about it, too, it’s out there and it’s real.

I invite you to create your summer resolutions! What’s been nagging at you that you want to deal with finally? Let’s do it!

A note on my resolutions (the full disclosure addendum to this go-get-em-tiger post):

1. I’ve fallen behind in my reading. And I’m a librarian. I’m in big trouble with myself if I can’t do this one. For this exercise, let’s say “summer” starts now and ends August 31.

2. We’ve discussed this. It’s going to be amazing.

3. I say “again” rather loosely. When I was little, I could be found to run across a playground at times. That was once. Now is again. See?

4. Breakfast and lunch have been vegetarian lately. I feel better. Life is good.

5. I want that bike, damn it.

Chelsea + Vodka

Makes a girl wanna take a nap.

2012 began with a book that’s been on my to-read list forever.  And a day.  And a bag of chips.  A long time.

My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler appeared on my radar in the spring of 2008 when she released Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. I was working at a neighborhood branch and all sorts of readers were checking out her latest. It was as if –at the mention of alcohol and the allusion to a classic teen read—even book-club grandma was ready to try out this blondie on a lawn chair.

For me, I was interested but not enough to read her myself yet. At the time, I was reading a lot of memoir-y books about having babies since that was something I was considering at the time. Conversely, I was padding such weighty reading material with Martini Mondays and Mojito Tuesdays at my local watering holes at night, so I felt I was good on the vodka front as it was.

Still, I added her canon to my ever-elusive reading list and there it stayed.

Until I had to decide what to read first in 2012.  A classic? A best of 2011 pick? Something resolution-driven seemed most appropriate, but I’m 8 months pregnant and I’m not exactly hardcore hitting the gym or eating remarkably well and I had been craving a vodka tonic for the good part of 2011, so Chelsea it was.

And thank goodness. This book was exactly what I needed after months of feeling jolly and bouncy and, you know, righteous, for having created the best Christmas ever.  What I’m saying is, the only way to get off your high horse as the domestic goddess of Christmas is to have a drunken midget in a sombrero knock you off it.

The book would appeal to women and men alike and to people who like quick reads but also to those who can stretch out a book over a year (who are you!? return your library book already; people are waiting for it, creepy!). It probably won’t appeal to your book-club grandma. I mean, unless it does. I don’t know. I don’t know your grandma.

I finished this collection of hilarious-ridiculous short stories in no time and was sad to perhaps have to move on to another author. Luckily, the good librarian in me had chosen this title based on the fact that it was Chelsea’s first and I can now read more of her books. I can read more as if I didn’t just see the minute that I put down my Kindle that her written work is being adapted into a sitcom starring Laura Prepon as Chelsea and Chelsea Handler as her older sister Sloane (which I find to be brilliant bee-tee-double-yoo).  I am thrilled to see these characters come to life on television. I have to be a nerd, though, and finish all her books before I can watch the show.

Maybe I can celebrate with a vodka tonic with extra lemon once I’ve completed Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me. Don’t worry, gasping folk, I’m kind of a slow reader.

Christmastime Movietime: Scrooged (1988) & Four Christmases (2008)

Saturday, November 26 is the day I decided to do something for my soul. I had to rectify the mess that I made by starting off the season by watching something other than the actual A Christmas Carol or, it’s near-perfect adaptation and one of my top top top tops, Scrooged.

After saying she enjoyed Christmas Cupid, my mom got pretty much screamed at by me. We were going to watch Scrooged to make the universe right again.

Okay, so I love this movie. It’s got a thousand one-liners my sister and I quote all day long, Christmastime or Fourth of July. It has a stellar cast and Bill Murray. I am easily amused so the casting of Murray’s two brothers craaaaaaacks me up for no other reason than that family really, really looks alike. Also, I have Buster Pointdexter’s song “Hot, Hot, Hot” in my head almost the whole movie as he stars as the Ghost of Christmas Past. This is not annoying, as it may sound. We learned a dance to this song during my stint in dance when I was little. I’ll do it for you right now. Olé, olé.

Scrooged, always a winner.

Has anyone noticed how Vince Vaughn is suddenly the king of Christmas? I mean, how did this become? Is it a comment on how raunchy and cynical Christmas has become? Yes, I know, this from a mom who wished for a pretty, young Mrs. Claus (who would inevitably be slutty) for my son to go visit for pictures since he’s terrified of the real Santa. Okay, I just checked. He’s technically only been in two Christmas movies, but they were made a year apart and that’s enough for my tiny little brain to short circuit a little bit.

I expected nothing from this movie. The previews for it were God awful and I’m sorry, we’re at the point, right, where we pretty much know how any movie starring Reese Witherspoon is going to go? She’s the Meg Ryan of this time (which is odd, considering this movie poster that is currently bugging me). My BFF watched it earlier that week and just casually texted me how hilarious it was. I, being the ever judgmental one, wrinkled my nose at it like “ohhkay…” Still, her review of it was enough to push me and the hubs to order it (for freeeeee!)

Um, where do I begin? I hope the guy that was in charge of the trailer got fired and kicked in the butt by everyone he passed on his way out of the building. Always a sucker for ensemble casts (oh, get ready for Love, Actually…), I thoroughly enjoyed this movie at a really basic level. Beyond that, it stirred out of me some pretty intense laughs that frankly scared my young, sick, son.

Jon Favreau stars as Vaughn’s brother (as he tends to always do) and, also, so does Tim McGraw. At first I didn’t recognize him and then it got oh-so-real. That in itself was reason enough for me to love this movie. Oh, and Robert Duvall, my beloved Tom Hagen, is their father. Mary Steenburgen is Witherspoon’s mom (Elf, I’m coming for you, baby) and Kristin Chenoweth is her sister (no singing this time). Carol Kane is her aunt (hellooooo Ghost of Christmas Present) and to round out the country music singer-actor casting, Dwight Yoakam is Steenburgen’s boyfriend. Oh, there are more. I’m just kind of tired of looking at IMDB to make sure everyone’s name is spelled correctly, to be honest.

Despite its moments of gut-busting laughter (I’m thinking of a specific game of Taboo) the overall charm of this movie is the main plot line. It’s about two people who are so stuck on fighting the traditional path of 30-something couples, that they don’t even see that it’s something they might actually want. It’s about when the having fun with just the two of you runs out. It’s about realizing that your families are crazy, but you kind of are a little bit, too.

Enjoyed. Watch it.

Christmastime Movietime: Christmas Cupid (2010) & Deck the Halls (2006)

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The day after Thanksgiving began with a visit to the pediatrician. The boy was sick. With my mom in tow, our day of holiday preparation became one of couch hostages. We were okay with it. We had some nursing back to health to do and some bad Christmas movies to watch.

Okay, it didn’t start out that we were intentionally going to see bad movies but in lining up my M.O.I. (movies of interest) list, I did choose some saccharine-laden-made-for-tv-with-clear-breaks-for-commercials selections that my husband rolled his eyes at. My mother, however, it game for any “bad” movie. In fact, they’re her favorite. Her entire DVD collection consists of $2 clearance films starring has-beens and, often, animal actors.

We began with Christmas Cupid (2010), an ABC Family film from last year (I could tell since it began explosively with some serious character establishment to the song “Oh, Santa!” by Mariah Carey, a favorite of last holiday season). Before this time, I only knew Christina Milian as my little brother’s high school crush. I IMDB’d her and realized we were the same age. The movie progressed with quite the teen/early 20s drama that ABC Family requires to exist. Then, at some ridiculous point way too far in the game, I realized the storyline was based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This then made me 100% more interested as I looooooooove picking apart adaptations.

All in all, it was cute (perfect adjective, right?). I didn’t hate it. Jackée Harry emerged from my 80s memory as Milian’s daschund-loving mom. The little girl from Growing Pains also joined her. This is always entertaining for me. It’s ACC value was pretty decent for an intended audience that was likely to be texting through the whole movie. Plot points were clearly spelled out and linked to the literary work. That bugged me, but was probably helpful for someone using this movie to do their Dickens’ book report. I do have to say, though, that the green dress above has more likability than the movie as a whole, but that’s a little unfair because I really like emerald green.

Next.

I got a lovely email from Cox saying they’d give me 3 On-Demand movies for free this holiday season. Mom and I decided to cruise the On-Demand holiday movies for prospective next-watches. $4 for Home Alone? Golly. Glad I own it. I get Deck the Halls and Jingle All the Way (over-the-top, weird ensemble cast, Christmas carol lyrics, ugh) so I selected the preview for Deck the Halls and look at that, clumsy fingers, I bought the movie. So, I had to watch a movie I’d already sort of seen and not particularly liked despite the fact that it stars often-entertaining actors.

Let me summarize. Massachusetts. Christmas lights. Odd marital pairing of Kristin Chenoweth and Danny DeVito and even more odd marital pairing (for the SATC set) of Kristin Davis and Matthew Broderick. Families falling into irreparable debt and growing apart from each other, respectively. Davis has about 17 lines and is wearing pjs or a robe for nearly all of them. Out of place, but totally obligatory singing by Chenoweth. Kal Penn, Fred Armisen, and Jorge Garcia have small parts; two of them with accents. I don’t want to see it again. It was more like an improv plot thought  up on a whim by these four actors than a film that was planned and paid for.  Good sick day movie if there is nothing else on and it’s Christmastime and you hate yourself.

Christmastime Movietime: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

This year, I decided to give myself an early Christmas gift: relaxation. Despite accounts that it makes “people sick” or that I’m “a crazy person” because I have all my Christmas decorations up and all my gifts wrapped under a decorated tree, I would like to argue that I won’t be the one running around traffic and stores in December or messily scrawling addresses on Christmas card envelopes. Sitting at home with friends and family 7-8 months pregnant watching holiday movies sounds much more appropriate for fostering the whole “peace on earth and good will towards men” spirit to me. So, this year, I’m getting to all those holiday movies I’ve never seen as well as viewing my favorites as well.  I begin with perfection…

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A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on television in 1965. I find its seemingly dated concerns of Christmas “turning commercial” quite poignant since, yes, I’m writing a blog about watching a movie as the peaceful alternative to holiday sale shopping. Christmas has, unfortunately, fully turned commercial to most and I’m afraid that with the rise of Black Friday shopping creeping further into Thanksgiving (leave us alone, stores! there’s cranberry sauce to clean off my chin yet!), it’s becoming downright savage (that’s why I shop small, local and slowly in November).

This mini-movie is amazing. Vince Guaraldi’s score has become a modern classic and Linus’s speech about the meaning of Christmas is one I sweetly throw at Scrooges this time of year. I admit, I didn’t see this tv special all the way through till I was a teenager. That’s when I noticed the little boy dancer in orange dances like my dad. Like, for real.

Last night’s viewing was fun! We figured we should have the boy sit and watch this one since it was a mere 25 minutes and surely he could squeeze that into his schedule (toddlers are very busy). He found Snoopy and Woodstock hilarious (as, I think, little boys are required to do) while my husband had the epiphany that I am Lucy. Good for him and his epiphany, I say.

We had hot cocoa and it was over all too soon. Good warm up for what I hope to be a month of heart-warming, cheeseball holiday movies. Deal with it, Scrooges.

November 12 of 12

Good morning! You know you have unconditional love for someone when you let them take the first dip at new body butter.

Decaf and Greek yogurt and honey at the Starbucks

Zoo day! I got a little big sister bossy and made my brother and sister (whose birthday it was!) take the baby on the merry-go-round.

Once the resident of a zoo exhibit was spotted, he felt it was his duty to try and climb in there with them.

Christmas shopping. Someone buy me this. Yellow or red. I'm not picky.

Happy Frances Vintage purchase.

Happy birds between Frances Studio and Smeeks.

The scene as friends from out-of-town enjoy Carolina's Mexican food.

Monogram Christmas ornaments are a thing of mine lately.

Fight night.

Night night.