Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sign of the Times

Now that we are on the cusp of a new year, I thought I should post a special new year post. This has definitely been a crazy year for me. It started out so positive and then took a sharp turn off a cliff and crashed into a burning inferno. Then Godzilla stepped on the rubble. But I'm still a positive person at heart, so it's all good. I have hope for 2014!

But in case you didn't know, I'm turning 40 in February. I try not to think about it but in the corner of my mind it's like, "40...40...40... You are old, girlfriend. And even older because your slang is really old too. Like gag me with a spoon. Sike."

If the dates didn't tell me I was getting older there are other clues:

Clues that I'm Turning 40.

1. I can't go anywhere without taking a pee break. When did this happen? And I've usually gone before I left too. For the first 30 something years of my life, I rarely went to a public restroom unless it was a bar to puke or at work. To puke. For other reasons. But now I'm very aware of every restroom and have been to some pretty sleazy ones. I'm positive I'll get some crazy disease soon. Because I'm old.

2. I blurt unnecessary comments to perfect strangers. I was at the checkout today and paid with cash. For some reason I had a lot of dollars (sadly not because I'm a stripper..I'm old) and as she was counting out the money I said, "I use my card so much now that I almost forget how to count." Great, said the voice in my head. You just said you couldn't count. Good thing this wasn't a job interview! Which just makes me worry about my next job interview.

3. Duran Duran's song, Hungry Like a Wolf is now a Yoplait yogurt commercial. Never thought I'd live to see that day. Sacrilege!

4. The 90's have become retro. I'm pretty sure that's impossible since they were only a couple years ago. And they were awesome! I think. I was in the bathroom a lot. Oh and I had a baby son. There was a lot of Barney!

5. I was watching Ghostbusters the other day (and quoting some of it out loud) when my son walked in and said, "What are you watching?" I almost broke down in tears. Where did I go wrong? Who are you going to call, son. WHO ARE YOU GOING TO CALL???

6. When I get home from anywhere all I want to do is pull on some comfy pants and thick socks. And my fingers hurt when it gets cold. I feel snow. My fingers are aching. Get me a blanket, dear! Turn up the heat!

7. I think about moving to Florida on a daily basis. It's like a siren song. It's calling me home. And it's not to party at a beach. It's to retire. I want to be Jerry's parents. I think my six cats would enjoy it too.

8. I eat earlier and earlier every day. Around 4, I'm feeding the animals and wonder if it's too early for me to cook. I mean, by the time it's ready, it should be close to dinner time. Right? RIGHT? It's not an early bird special. It's not!

9. I was trying to look at small print today and kept thinking I needed to take my glasses off (I'm near-sighted) and realize my glasses are already off. Soon I won't be able to see close or far! I will need bifocals. On a chain. Around my neck!

10. I have an inexplicable urge to make crafts. I went to two different craft stores today. I'm thinking of cross stitching something, which will require glasses. On a chain. Around my neck!

Yes, I am turning 40. And I know I'm lucky to be turning 40. Some aren't so lucky. But it doesn't mean I can't complain! It's what older people do. Get off my lawn you kids!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I have high hopes for this year. Now it's time to go to bed. It's 9:00. Oh crap. It's New Years Eve. I will stay up to 10!

Happy 2014! Let's hope it's a better one!

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Story of Goldie

One morning I got up really early and started surfing vintage Christmas decorations on Ebay. It was one of those days when I needed cheering up and I thought finding a memento from my childhood online might do it. Plus some of the vintage decorations you find are just ridiculous. They have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas--or any holiday thought up by humans for that matter--and just make you say, WTF?

That's what happened to me. I was scrolling down the listings when something caught my eye... It was a caterpillar, but it wasn't any caterpillar known to man. It had a blonde face with a big ass smile painted on and was doing Jazz hands like it didn't notice it had no lower body. Who thought this up? Someone had to design it and then have it made. Who knows... Maybe there are more out there! But I doubt it. I'm pretty sure Goldie is one off a kind.

I had to have it.

The Ebay auction described her as a: Vintage Decorative Collectible Christmas Caterpillar Ornament.

Offered is a vintage caterpillar ornament.  It is 3 3/4" in height and 3 1/2" in width.  It is missing the ornament hoop and has some small spots of paint loss on the head.  Thank you very much for looking!

If you describe something as an ornament and it doesn't have its hoop, I'm pretty sure it's not an ornament. There's not even a place to add a hoop if you wanted to! Unless you gave her a noose. She does have some bald spots, but I think the ribbon in her Pebble Flintstone's hairdo makes up for that.

I quickly bid on it. I was one of only three people who bid. I can't believe only three people bid on this masterpiece! She would be mine!

Of course I won because I'm awesome (and might've paid too much for a defective ornament that isn't even an ornament). I paid immediately and then waited impatiently for it to arrived. I even texted my Ebay addicted friend Suz telling her I had won a major award but wouldn't tell her what it was. I wasn't even really sure.

It came in a padded envelope that was marked, "Fragile," which meant it was Italian of course. It was also wrapped up very well. I'm talking bullet proof.
Here it is with Scooter photo bombing as usual. I'm pretty sure he thought it was some well wrapped food, which is why he's licking his lips.

The caterpillar ornament came in a cocoon!  For being Fra-gi-le, this thing was indestructible! I had to grab a pair of scissors and just start stabbing through all the bubble wrap hoping I didn't puncture poor Goldie's plastic heart.

Once I got through the first wall, there were two smaller packages. One contained Goldie:

I'm almost positive Goldie wrote that herself.

She also came with accessories:

They are two painted glass candies. These weren't even included in the auction. It's like her mother sent her off into the world with candy for the ride. They were wrapped in their own bubble wrapped cocoon. I hope the seller didn't think I needed more incentive to keep Goldie because she sold herself with all her awesomeness!

I had so many plans for Goldie. She was going to be my own Elf on a Shelf! I was going to move her every day, but other than the three blog posts I did get up, I didn't do much else. Like tie her to a fishing pole and make it look like she was bait. Sadly holiday plans got in the way and I was only able to focus one thing at a time and that was my movie countdown. But that didn't mean I forgot about Goldie. She came with me to Trader Joe's when I met my aunt and she went with me to my friend Katie's house. She brought me chocolate once:

She cheered up this chick when she needed some cheering. How can anyone be sad when this caterpillar with no legs is so optimistic?

I know you probably thought I went around the bend when a Christmas decoration started talking to me, but thank you for not saying anything. Or have me committed. Goldie is magic and Christmas and bedazzled goodness.  

She is quite simply fabulous!

(She also has a little hole on the bottom... Is that her vag? They really did make ornaments look realistic!)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Favorite Holiday Movie: Christmas Vacation

Merry Christmas everyone!! I had to make sure to come here and blog about my favorite holiday movie, which is Christmas Vacation.

What can I say about this movie? If you've never seen it, I don't know you and I'm not sure I want to be friends with you. Every thing about this movie is perfect! From the moment Clark gets stuck under the log truck you find yourself on a bumpy ride of laughter which only gets better. It's great from the very start, but only gets better when cousin Eddie joins.

I have to admit having problems writing this review because I shared an entire bottle of wine today and I'm feeling a bit sleepy. Mostly all that keeps running through my mind is, "Shitter's full!" Or: "Squirrel!"

It's funny because you think this movie is a bit crude and slap-schticky, but then suddenly you have Clark sitting in the attic watching home movies of his Christmas as a kid and it reminds you of your Christmas as a child and you get a little teary-eyed. That's when you know exactly what he's really trying to do. What we all try to do. Bring back that Christmas magic from your childhood. Whether it's with an Elf on a Shelf or with a Santa or a blonde glittery caterpillar.

We all know that exhaustion and relief Clark feels at the end when he says, "I did it."

Oh and I'm pretty sure one day me and my husband will be Aunt Bethany and Uncle Lewis with me breaking wind and wrapping up my cats. It's inevitable...

Merry Christmas from me and Goldie and all the employees on this blog (read: me). Thanks for sticking with me during this countdown! Until next time....

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2nd Holiday Movie: It's a Wonderful Life

Did you think I forgot my countdown? Were you sitting around constantly refreshing this blog, holding your breath, hoping I would finally update it? What is the rest of her list??? Yes, I know you were. I'm sorry it's taken me so long. Christmas cheer and whatnot got in my way. But I'm back with number 2 (heh). It's a Wonderful Life!  

I didn't have time to sit down and really watch this movie, but I did turn it on yesterday while doing other things. My DVD copy offers two version: Black and White and Color. Now why in the world would you want to watch It's a Wonderful Life in color? That's blasphemy! I have never watched the color version DVD. And I probably never will.

I know this is a love it or hate it movie. The darkness of the movie doesn't make it the most upbeat of the Christmas movies. George Bailey gets pretty low before he comes back up, ready to give up his life in order to make everyone else's life better.

I think this is a movie most people can relate to. So many of us give up or put aside our dreams for our families and "do the right thing." George gives up his dreams of traveling to stay and marry Mary (the scene when he realizes he can't let go her makes my heart beat fast every time) and save his father's dream instead... The old building and loan.

The scene that gets me the most is always the scene when a young George Bailey realizes Mr. Gower, the druggist, is about to poison a customer because he's drunk and grieving and poor George doesn't know what to do, but knows he can't let it happen. Even when he knows Mr. Gower will be angry with him. And he is, smacking George repeatedly in the ear. The violence of this scene is always shocking, but makes that moment when Mr. Gower realizes his mistake that much more poignant. I cry every time. I actually have tears in my eyes right now thinking about it and I watched it not that long ago. It's that powerful of a scene.

But of course this movie is filled with these moments. I hate the scenes when he finds out what the world would be like without him. But I love when he comes back. I thought it was about time other people sacrificed themselves for George instead of him making all the sacrifices. But that's the beauty of George Bailey... He would never think of asking them.

The darkness of this movie is what puts it in number 2 on my list. There are not a lot of Christmas carol's to fill you with the spirit of Christmas, but it does fill you with the spirit of life and a deeper appreciation of our roles in this world and how we affect other's. I'm glad to have you, my readers and friends. Especially a bunch of my former coworkers who sent me a care package/holiday present that just made my day..my life. You guys know who you are! You rock! And you gave me wine. Wine helps all!

I guess I will post my favorite movie on Christmas. Fitting! If you know me, you've probably guessed it, but I'll still not say until tomorrow. Happy Christmas Eve all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

3rd Holiday Movie: A Christmas Story

I actually left the house yesterday so I wasn't able to watch and post about my 3rd favorite movie. As you've guessed from the title it's A Christmas Story.

I sat down to take notes but honestly I didn't have that many comments about this one. I pretty much have no criticism's of this movie. It's the movie I can watch on repeat on TBS every Christmas Eve while wrapping presents and never get tired of it.

It's also the movie that makes me feel close to my dad. As a family we watched this movie a lot. My parents even went as far as to reenact the Red Rider moment with my brother including a real Red Rider BB gun (with a compass and scope). I've recreated that moment with my son a few times as well. Just with other presents.

Even today watching it, my eyes welled up when I saw Ralphie's dreams come true and his father's childish excitement as well. That's the true magic of Christmas. Making dreams come true.

Even if you might shot your eye out...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

4th Holiday Movie: Love Actually

Love Actually turned 10 this year, which is why you might've heard a lot about it recently. Maybe too much! After Googling it for this post, I found that this is either a much loved or much hated movie. I love it! But from what I read people take it way too seriously. In my opinion, it's a lovely British romantic comedy that warms your heart and makes you cry.

Even though I did sit down and watch this today, it was also on cable, so I watched it twice and at the same time. One in the bedroom and one in the living room. One with commercial and one without. Yes, this is the way crazy people watch movies.

My DVD copy is old so the previews mention you can buy the movies in DVD or VHS. How long has it been since you heard that? 2003 when this movie was made? 

Oh and I finally got English subtitles! I'd hope so for a very English movie!

It's hard for me to summarize this movie since there were so many plots and it would be impossible to sum them all up here. So I'll just write out my notes (they are in italics):

Do they really need stunt doubles in porn? The version on the television had cut out the porn couple plot, but my DVD didn't. It was nice to see the guy from the British version of The Office though.

Does her wedding dress have wings? I swore Juliet's (Kiera Knightly) wedding dress had wings. But I think it's just because of the feathers. 

This guy is not as cute as Colin Firth. Jamie's brother was butt ugly compared to him (Colin Firth). I didn't see why'd she cheat on him with that dude.

Why did Snape want to cheat on his wife with Mia? Mia came on so strong to Harry, I'm surprised she even bothered wearing clothes to the office. Harry being Alan Rickman of course, who plays Snape on Harry Potter. I'm so ashamed of you Snape! What about Lily?

Billy Bob Thornton as the president: Apocalypse Do we remember when he used to wear Angelina Jolie's blood around his neck? Gross. He's the creepy uncle you try to avoid at the family reunions.

Prime Minster doesn't take a stand until president hits on his crush. Just shows what all men think with. Their heart of course. What else would I say?

You let your young daughters answer the door to strange men? This is during the scene when the prime minister is going door to door looking for Natalie and these three girls answer the door and make Hugh Grant sing. It's funny, but I couldn't help but wonder where the parents were...

Of course Mia answers the door half naked. During the same scene. 

I would like to think most American girls would know Colin was gross--even with an accent. Sex-crazed Colin keeps striking out in Britain so he goes to Wisconsin because the knows he'll get lucky there. Although this is funny, because Americans really do love a British accent, Colin was gross. I'm ashamed to be an American woman watching that plot.

Sam looks five years old to me. Especially compared to Joanna. Cry worthy every time. The Daniel and Sam plot is possibly my favorite. When Joanna kisses Sam and then Sam hugs Daniel, it brings tears to my eyes every time. I love how Daniel takes everything Sam says seriously and treats him like an adult. 

There's so much more I could say about this movie. I didn't even touch on every point like Sarah and her poor brother and how she can't seem to get lucky with hot Karl. And that annoying ringtone of hers that all cell phones used to come with. 

Anyway, love it or hate it, I think Love Actually has become a classic holiday movie. It will always be a must-watch movie for me this time of year (and sometimes during the year), which is why it's 4th on my list.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Listen to the Voices

Today I was watching the third season of Parenthood and minding my own business. By the way, if you binge-watch a show, don't pick Parenthood unless you want to cry like a baby all day. I was watching Lauren Graham's eyes well up in tears for the hundredth time (drink!) when I heard a voice. "Why, this is fabulous! Did you buy me a present?"

I looked over. "Uh... Yeah. No. That's just a fake present ornament. There's nothing in it."

She made a tsking sound. "You can't fool me! I know there's something fabulous in here!"

"If I say yes, will you take your present and go back to the SyFy movie special you came from?"

Goldie was too busy looking at her reflection in the package to hear me so I went back to my show. Crosby was saying something funny, and I'm pretty sure the family was about to start dancing again.

A couple hours and half a bag of pistachio's later (Don't tell Smoke...they are his!) and it was time to feed the cats. I went outside and... "For the love of God..."

"This is fabulous!" she exclaimed. "These cats love me!"

Mama Kitty looked up and asked, "Don't I share my food with enough animals? What's with the glitter bug?" I felt bad. And a bit freaked out that my cats were starting to talk to me. Unemployment really was getting to me! I was putting the crazy in crazy cat lady.

"Goldie, please come in and leave the cats alone. I have another present for you..."

She turned around. "Really? Fabulous!"

"Yes, I have a whole tree of them. They came in a package of 10 from the Dollar Store."

She inched along. "I can't wait to blog about this!"

"Great. I'll meet you about an hour when you finally get in the door."

That would give me enough time to see what Braverman family member was in trouble this time and figure out a way to seal all the cracks in the house to avoid any other magical creatures from entering. Then I was going to look for jobs because now that my cat's are talking to me... Damn. It might be time.

Scooter agrees.

5th Holiday Movie: The Bishop's Wife

My fifth movie is all about Cary Grant with a really good story mixed in. Thanks to my friend Jeannie, I have the DVD for the first time this year, although it was always fun to try to find a time it was on that wasn't three in the morning. Thanks TCM for not letting me sleep!

If you aren't familiar with this movie made in the 40's, then you might be familiar with it's remake The Preacher's Wife. I never watched it, but I do know that it had Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington into it. Denzel alone might make it worth it. Plus it's still hard to believe Whitney has left us so young.

But I digress. This is about The Bishop's Wife, which stars the handsome and debonair Cary Grant. Let me tell you if I was ever granted a guardian angel that wasn't a glittery gold caterpillar, Cary Grant would be who I'd want.

Like with Elf, I watched this today and took notes. The movie is about a Bishop named Henry Brougham who is so worried about getting a grand cathedral built that he's lost sight of what's important to him like his wife Julia and daughter Debbie. He's also has an older rich lady dragging him around by his jingle bells who is calling the shots on the cathedral.

An angel named Dudley (Cary Grant) is sent down to help him with his problems. Henry thinks it's his cathedral but we know better.

This movie is about Dudley interfering in a way that lets us know that Henry is insecure in his relationship with his wife. His wife on the other hand is ecstatic to find someone who pays attention to her and spends more and more time with Dudley. It's apparent right away that she still loves Henry (although you can't help but wonder why) but Henry doesn't know that.

We also know that even though Dudley is an angel, he's not a perfect one. He starts having his own feelings for Julia, and leaves not a minute too soon. One of my favorite lines to Julia when they are discussing him leaving is, "There are very few people who know the secret to making heaven on earth. You are one of those rare people."

Very sigh-worthy.

Now let's look at my notes...

Apparently the subtitles on this DVD were only available in French and Spanish. So only French and Spanish deaf people could watch this. Shame.

Cary Grant overcoat: hot

I miss elaborate window displays at Christmas.

She just reserved a Christmas tree for Christmas Eve. Can you imagine just going to Lowes and be like, "I want that one. And send it on Christmas Eve!" And they didn't even charge her! The professor she's talking to at the time is offered a tiny Charlie Brown looking tree for $1.85 and then bargains the guy down! Crazy. It was a Christmas tree store.

The daughter Debbie is already in bed by dinner time. Nice! Not to mention there's two servants in the house. One is the cook and one cleans and watches the child. Nice. I want to be a bishop!

I wrote: "Loretta Young is beautiful. I can see why Dudley wanted to give up his angelhood for her."

Snowball fights are only fun in movies. In real life they are cold and hurt.

The kids have been playing in the snow for awhile but they aren't wet.

Cary Grant is speaking in French: hot

There's a really bad ice skating scene where it's obviously not the actor's skating. It's always filmed from far away and the dude doesn't even look like Cary Grant. When they aren't filmed from far away, you only see them from the back. Smoke has watched this movie with me a few times and we always make fun of it. It's just bad. Filmmaking has come so far!

There's also a scene involving Dudley playing a harp and it's so obviously not his hands. Sometimes his head is out of proportion with the scene so it's obvious it was cut in.

Henry is talking to the professor and just walks out of the apartment without saying goodbye. People only do this in film and television. Who can just leave somewhere without a word?

Dudley to Henry before he leaves: "Kiss her for me, you lucky Henry."

The last thing I wrote is: I miss hats.

Who doesn't miss hats?

(I'm just walking out of this blog post).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Goldie's Glittery Good Time

Today I walked out in the living room and saw this:

"What the??" I walked over to the couch. "What are you doing now?"

"This is fabulous!" Goldie said, stroking the red felt or whatever stockings were made of. "It's spectacular like me!"

"Uh.. That's my stocking from my childhood." I looked up at the wall. "Wait a minute. Wasn't that hanging above my window? How in the world did you get that down?"

She ignored me, continuing to stroke the stocking. "This reminds me of me," she said, her voice awed. "Sparkly and fabulous."

"Yes, it does have glitter like you. It seems to be the top choice for Christmas decorations. I think the wise men probably brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and glitter." I shook my head. "Honestly, I'm surprised my name has stayed on there all this time. Apparently they made glue that lasted back in the 70's. Probably used real horse."

Before I could blink something jumped on the couch. "Scooter!"

"Mmmph," said Goldie.

"Scooter. Get down! Just because I take a lot of pictures of you doesn't mean you have to start photobombing all my pictures. Apparently I've created a monster. Aww... but you're so cute." I scratched his head. "I bet I can make something on Zazzle with this! Maybe a shirt?"

When I finally got Scooter off the couch, I couldn't find the Cater-blonde. "Goldie. Where are you?" I looked under the cushions and found pens, money, and a bill I hadn't paid, but no strange bug person.

"This is fabulous!" I heard from nearby.

I did a double take. "Wait, how did you get a computer?" She was typing and didn't respond.
She finally looked up. "That dog is fabulous! I just blogged about it."

I squinted my eyes. "Wait, you are blogging about me now?"

"Yes. It's called Goldie's Glittery Good Time."

"Uhh... Ok." I sighed and rubbed my head. "I have a headache now. This is like some kind of worm hole." I paused. "Caterpillar hole."

"We are going to have so much fun together!" She rub her two hands together and fell on the floor. I thought about just leaving her there and hope someone stepped on her, but I couldn't do it. I picked her back up.

"I'm going back to bed." I told her. "Please don't come in and start staring at me or something equally as creepy."

She just continued to type. "Fabulous," I mumbled. God knows what I'll find tomorrow...

6th Holiday Movie: Elf

I feel like Elf should be closer to the top of my list, but there are so many awesome holiday movies that it was hard to really place them all. I just went with my gut instincts and this is how they landed.

In order for me to write this blog entry today, I went ahead and watched the movie again. I even took notes! Just so I could remember the best parts.

This movie is about Buddy the Elf, who is from the North Pole and works with Santa Claus. He thinks he's an elf, but he's really not. The movie is about his adventures to New York to meet his father. His father is a cynical book publisher, who of course has a problem with this son who not only thinks he's an elf, but is always happy. "I just like to smile. Smiling is my favorite."

This movie stars Will Ferrell, who is awesome, as he is in every movie he stars in. He just embraces this role and brings to it a child-like innocence that works. I'm not sure who else could've pulled this off without looking really creepy.

It also stars Mary Steenburgen, who I just love. As I was watching this movie, it reminded me of another movie she starred in that we watched a lot as a kid. It's called One Magic Christmas and according to IMDB, it came out in 1985: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089731/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_77 It was one of those movies where really bad things happen (and I mean REALLY bad), but in the end they find their Christmas spirit and magical things happen. Hence the title One Magic Christmas. It's an old movie, but if you ever get a chance to watch it, do it! I might find a copy for my holiday collection next year.

In my notes I wrote that my DVD copy did not have the option to use subtitles. Apparently deaf people aren't allowed to watch Elf. It also made it hard for me to spell Cotton-head Ninny-Muggins. I'm still not sure that's right. Does that make me a Cotton-head Ninny-Muggins?

I do have to say that when Buddy is offered a chance to work in the mailroom of his father's company, I was very jealous! Seriously! Even if it was "sucky." I would love to put mail up those pipes! My notes say: "The mailroom looks awesome! Sucky!"

In the end, it was an enjoyable way to get me into the Christmas spirit right before I decorated our tree. Even if the thought of spaghetti with maple syrup on it made me slightly nauseous.

In conclusion, just remember:

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear..."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Goldie Arrives

Something happened to me today that was so disturbing I had to write about it...

Earlier I was walking by my bookshelf and thinking about dusting it despite the fact I did it last month when something caught my eye in the nativity scene.

"Holy shit!" This is what I saw:

"Why helloooo!" it said, in a voice that was way too bright considering she was hanging out in my dusty shelf and had no legs. "This is fabulous!"

"What is?" I asked. "The fact that you just scared the shit out of me? What are you?" It had blonde hair and a body that looked strangely like a caterpillar's body.

"My name is Goldie! I am here to watch you and report back to Santa if you've been good or not!"

"Wait. Like Elf on a Shelf?"

She waved one small arm and the motion made her fall forward. "Who is this Elf?" Her voice was muffled and it looked like she was doing something obscene to the donkey. I lifted her up and propped her up against Joseph.

"You're not supposed to touch me! That takes away the magic!"

"Believe me. I'm not getting anything magical out of any of this." I sighed. "The Elf on a Shelf is an slightly evil looking elf that sits on the shelf and watches children and reports to Santa. It's a big deal and has gone viral."

"What's viral?" Her smile got bigger. If that was possible. "So have you been a good girl this year?"

I looked around, wondering who she was talking to. "You do know I'm almost 40, right?"

She looked as sheepish as a bedazzled half blonde/half caterpillar could. "It has taken me awhile to get here. I left in 1980."

"Wait, you've been on the way for 33 years?"

She smiled. Well, actually she hadn't stopped smiling. It was more than a little creepy. "I don't have legs. It takes awhile."

I nodded. "Well, if you don't mind I'm going to walk away slowly and hope that this was all some kind of weird hallucination."

"Fabulous!" She exclaimed. "I will report back to Santa and come back tomorrow!"


Has anyone else had this problem? Is there some kind of extermination service I can call? I'm not going back out there...

7th Holiday Movie: Last Holiday

The 7th movie on my list is Last Holiday. It stars Queen Latifah, Gerald Depardieu and LL Cool J. Did I say LL Cool J? Any movie with a little LL is a good thing. For that reason alone this movie would be good. But it's actually a great movie on its own.

Queen Latifah plays an underappreciated sales clerk at a department store who finds out she has less than a month to live. She decides to quit her job right away and use her savings to take a trip to Europe. She has lived pretty modestly so she has a lot of savings.

She ends up at an expensive resort living like every day is her last. (Thankfully this was pre-YOLO). The movie is wonderful. Queen Latifah's character Georgia Byrd is someone you'd want to hang out with and money doesn't change that. Plus she has LL Cool J literally moving mountains to get to her. What more can a woman want?

As much as I love LL Cool J, I have to say the standup character was Gerald Depardieu's Chef Didier. His joy in finding someone who truly appreciates his cooking with no substitutions is awesome. Then the way he comes to care for Georgia after finding out about her condition is sweet for an ornery French chef.

The only unrealistic part is believing that Queen Latifah would ever be a doormat. But if you are able to put that aside, I know you'll enjoy it. It's sweet and it makes you feel good.

Did I mention LL Cool J? LL Cool J, LL Cool J, LL Cool J. I can't say it too many times!

Friday, December 13, 2013

'Tis the Season for Lists

After a trip to Target and to my storage unit, my Christmas movie collection for this year is complete! My collection has swelled from about four core movies to eight. Since this is the season of holiday movies, I thought I'd share my favorites from least to best. We will do this one movie at a time until I'm done. Or I get bored and leave you hanging. Ha! No, I promise to finish.

8. Scrooged. This is a new addition to my collection this year, although I've always loved it. This movie is truly Bill Murray's show and we are just there for the ride. This is him in his zany Ghostbusters/Stripes glory. But the supporting cast is excellent too. Especially Carol Kane as the ghost of Christmas present.

It's basically a remake of the The Christmas Carol while they are putting together a remake of The Christmas Carol. Bill Murray's character, Frank Cross, is a cynical television executive who has to be shown the true meaning of Christmas. Even if it's a toaster to the head!

I love this movie, but I just have a hard time believing that everyone would be watching a live edition of Scrooge on Christmas Eve. I didn't watch the live edition of Sound of Music and I doubt I would've watched this either. But it's a Christmas movie. If we're supposed to buy Bobcat Goldthwait as a television executive, we can believe anything...

If you have somehow missed seeing this movie, watch it now! I can guarantee it will make you feel good.

Tomorrow: Number 7. Also a visitor is expected at my house soon. Stay tuned to see who it is!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nothing is Free

    I feel like I need to apologize to you, my readers. When I got laid off, it was easy for me to say I would keep my same routine and sit here and blog, but when days turned to weeks and then months and I found myself still here without any sign of that changing, I lost a little of my focus. It's all I can do to sit here everyday and look for jobs. Jobs, Facebook and my email. That's about all I can do. Oh and maybe Amazon or Ebay... You know. For the important tools of unemployment. Cheap books and DVD's.

At the beginning of November, I posted in here determined again to start blogging and writing a book. Then we got sick. A week or so before Thanksgiving, Smoke came home saying his vision was starting to blur and he felt like crap, like he had a flu. Then we all got a stomach bug that tore through my family and beyond. Then for the most part we all got over it. Except for Smoke.

He continued to feel like crap and his symptoms were so inconsistent that it was hard to determine the cause. WebMD was all over the place with it. But when I noticed he was peeing a lot and still puking, not to mention the vision problems, I had a feeling I knew what it was. But I still hoped for something else.

Since we have no insurance we put off seeing a doctor until finally he just couldn't function and we went to the ER. My fears were answered. He was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Oh and he had pneumonia, which was why his symptoms were all over the chart. When they tested his blood sugar it was in the 600's. Normal blood sugar is in the 100's or less.

I knew this wasn't the worse thing that could happen, but it was still going to be a change for us. They gave him two bags of saline, a first dose of antibiotics and a prescription for diabetes medicine when his blood sugar leveled out in the 400's. We were told to call the free clinic the next day for his glucometer and to fill his prescription for antibiotics.
Before I continue, I want to say how thankful I am for the free clinic. Without them he would not have been treated right away and our holidays would be so much harder. I appreciate all the doctor's who volunteer their time and the county for providing this service.

That being said, going to a free clinic is an experience in itself. First they tell us we have to call around 12:30 the next day to get in around five that evening. We don't get an actual appointment. This is just to get on the "list". Like for an exclusive club.

The day after the ER visit, Smoke calls at 12:30 and it's busy. He calls again. Busy. He hands me the phone and I start calling. It's like the 80's again and I'm trying to get tickets to see Duran Duran from the radio station. I'd forgotten what a busy signal sounds like! Finally someone answers and it freaks me out so much I throw the phone at Smoke. I'd truly given up on ever winning tickets! You are caller number 24 for the free clinic!

He gets on the list and we get there early. We are there ten minutes to five and their are people already lined up at the door. It really is like a club! But without cool techno music.

Finally, they start opening the doors and we have our name check off the list by the bouncer-uh, free clinic person. The waiting room fills up pretty quick but we find seats. Almost immediately we are called back to meet with the finance person and you are lured into believing it will all go that fast.

Ha. We go back out and sit on the couch and wait. First he will be called in so a nurse to get his vitals and then when the doctor's get done at their own practices they will come to the clinic. There isn't even a doctor there yet!

When Smoke gets called back to the nurse, I tell him to just go by himself and regret that immediately. I'm texting Katie and she tells me I'm cracking her up and I should blog about this.

How to explain the free clinic waiting room to you... Do you know how you go to a doctor's office and everyone is sitting in the waiting room with you and you kind of wonder what they have, but people are quiet and not sharing? Well, at the free clinic, it's more of a round robin conversation, where everyone is telling you about their problems and competing about who has it worse.

One man explained to us how he was in the hospital for about two years after having cancer and having everything was taken out of his throat except for his main artery and how, while in the hospital, he would leave in his gown and walk down to the local bar to get a beer. Another man in a hoody said he was still going through chemo himself right then.

Not to be outdone, there was the man who was sitting next to Smoke and was an old pro at free clinics. He would complain how he was melting and would walk out of the waiting room to smoke a cigarette every 15 minutes. Right in front of the no smoking sign they have posted in front of the doors. Did I mention all the smoking made him breath heavy? It was like a crank phone call without the phone. When Smoke left me in the waiting room the only time I let him, all I did was hear him breathing. When he wasn't smoking. He had at least five different surgeries at the hospital and was discussing ways to get on disability with the beer man from above. Apparently he was at the free clinic at noon that day to get on the waiting list. That was kind of strange since we got in and were done while he was still there. Smoking a cigarette out front. Maybe that's why they kept him waiting.

Oh and we had the weird couple who did nothing but play videos on their iPhone and at one point, the man went out and got them some dinner at Wawa and brought it back.

There was a lady playing on her phone with the volume on her phone as loud as it could be and she didn't care. Nobody cared about anything here. It was anything goes. One guy fell asleep and had to be waken up when they called his name.

There was another lady who would periodically get on her phone to complain about waiting at a free clinic. This was obviously her first rodeo! She also started freaking out a little when someone's kid started screaming and wouldn't stop. She kept telling Smoke how "children acting up got her upset." I didn't know what that meant or what could be done. I fully expected her to go over and start yelling at the kid and was almost disappointed when the dad finally took the child outside to hang out with Smoking Man.

Oh and apparently they were trying to get rid of stuff in the waiting room so people were just taking toys from the toy area. Smoke and I were not used to being able to take stuff from waiting rooms and walking out, so we doubted this was true, but who knows. Maybe it was? But it was interesting watching grown people picking out toys they wanted. They said they were for grandchildren, but I had my doubts.

Those who weren't sharing all had shields from the rest of the room. For some it was crocheting or a book or their phone. I had my phone until the battery died while I texted Katie furiously and then it was an old Entertainment Weekly from the summer. The cover was the cast of Fast and the Furious. How topical. And depressing

We finally get back to see the doctor, who was pretty nice. She gives him a prescription for antibiotics, his glucometer and two prescriptions for diabetes.

Then we went to Walmart to pick up the meds and start buying food. Buying food for diabetes is not easy. It's not just about avoiding sugar. You have to look at carbs too. I downloaded a book to my Kindle about the best foods for diabetics. The other night I made salmon with spinach and tomatoes and black beans. He had one of his lowest blood sugars that night!

We have a book and I track his numbers. I'm happy to say his blood sugar continues to go down. I know it frustrates him when suddenly it will go back up again, but I told him it's normal until
we figure it out. We even got into the 100's yesterday!

He's doing awesome and is losing weight. He had quit smoking when he got sick and hasn't started again, which is excellent! I'm truly proud of him.

Today was the first day he left the house without me and I made him a lunch and made sure he had his prescription. That's all I can do.

It's been such a crazy year. I want my groove back. Having a job meant I had a distraction from all the crazy stuff that would happen at home. In a way it's good that I'm home to help get Smoke on track and keep his spirits up as we get used to this new change in our lives.

I need to get back to my writing again, but I still don't have focus. When I was working and going to college, there was a bit of tunnel vision there. It wasn't hard to add writing to that. Not only do I lack vision, but my imagination is a bit stagnant being home. When I try to sleep at night, there's nothing there. No new story to write or adventure to go on in my mind. Just worries. And a little bit of Jimmy Fallon. But I'm pretty sure everyone sees him when they try to fall asleep.

But this is not forever. One day it will be a blip in my life. And it's the holidays. A time for goodness and hope! I have hope. I always have hope. And optimism.

If that doesn't work, I will pay another visit to the free clinic. (If I get on the list) Maybe Heavy Breathing Smoking Guy will have the answers. He knew everything else!