41 days of Celebration: Days 23-36

Day 23: Friday, December 14: WHO Friday
I know, I know, not as good of a ring as “WHO Wednesday” but I realized I had forgotten an Christmas episode when I looked at how many there were vs how many Wednesdays there were during this season of celebration. I always forget this episode exists because it falls in that grey area of after a season but before the specials so it really is just a trick. Anyway instead of watching a movie Friday night I watched The Next Doctor episode. Only it was a lie! He wasn’t the next doctor (hence no Matt Smith) but 10’s hair was once again fabulous. Seriously, sign me up for that job.

Day 24: Saturday, December 15: War Horse/Tree Decorating
IMG_2910 Nothing says Christmas like carnage right? That’s what I found when I went to War Horse. That play is phenomenal. Who ever developed that deserves a gold star. I was shocked at how they were able to portray even a slight degree of the genuine terribleness (bad word, sorry) of war. *Spoiler* There was this scene where the horses were going into battle. There were the two main horses at the front of the stage and then a handful of others lined up next/behind them (they were standing parallel to the front of the stage charging the other side). As they are charging machine fire starts and bombs start to fly. All of a sudden you see the torso of a man fly off one of the horses. Very blunt, it put things in sharp focus and it was only a puppet. Only during intermission was my mind able to process that the back horses had never had actors on them, but it was too late. The die had been cast and the impression made. Spoiler over. Anyway, I really enjoyed the play although I don’t know if I could go through that emotional rollar coster again. It was quite tasking in that way, I cried twice, so exhausting.

IMG_2908Afterwards, once we returned home my sister and I set about decorating the Christmas tree. This was the first year we got a blue spruce (usually go with a fir of some sort) and it was fun getting something new. Although we did have to wear gloves to decorate it, the needles were pretty spiky, but the end result was quite lovely and new.

Day 25: Sunday, December 16: Cooking/Classic (Little Women)
IMG_3126It was a fabulous day of cooking, although I should have read the instructions more clearly. Then I would have known I was making five dozen sugar cookies. Ah well, the more the merrier, right? I also made Ninja bread men and bark. Two kinds of bark, one would have done, but peppermint and M&M were made and enjoyed. Later that day, after the cookies had been rolled and cooled I popped in Little Women which is always bittersweet. I enjoy the movie so much, but it is so very sad, bits of it anyway. This viewing of it was just the same in that regards.

Day 26: Monday, December 17: Mail out Christmas Cards
Christmas LettersI finally met my goal of getting my cards out on Monday!! Yes, later than I expected, but done…and before Christmas to boot. So that was a good ‘Christmas’ task done. The picture is a bit rough, decided to use the digital file for showing the inside and the lighting in my apartment is special so that’s why they don’t quite match up – color wise.

Day 27: Tuesday, December 18: Wrap family presents
PresentsLast year we tried to implement everyone wrapping with a different color, why I can’t recall. Since we all live apart that was pretty easy to do. I have been on a green kick (if the Christmas cards weren’t a clue) so I continued that onto the wrapping I did for my family. (Which worked out because only one other family member did green and she chose dark green.) I even decided to print out some special cards at work. I figured eventually my nephew will be in charge or handing out so I designed the tags to have both faces and names (since he wont really be able to read at first). Now if I can only remember where the files are next year…

Day 28: Wednesday, December 19: WHO Wednesday
Ah, one of the saddest Christmas Specials to date, A Christmas Carol. Well, both of Eleven’s are pretty sad (or make me cry at least). I really quite enjoy this one, it may be my favorite. Actually, I’m pretty sure it is, and I quite enjoy how it parallels The Christmas Carol (hence it being titled the same) but has it’s own twists (Like Amy Pond/Williams being the ghost of Christmas present). Anyway, continuing with the WHO Wednesday was the first of Matt Smith’s Christmas specials and he does it justice, of course.

Day 29: Thursday, December 20: Finish presents for my pals
IMG_3130I decided to get my gal pals gifts that could only be gotten (bad grammar I know, but not sure which other word to use, acquired?) in Story City. Oh what fun that was. I had already picked out little figurines for them but made them notepads at work to go with them as well. Finally finished the notepads and was able to wrap them too (it was a bit of a shoty job though, it’s hard to wrap hippos and pigs, and don’t get me started on eagles).

Day 30: Friday, December 21: CLEAN / photo booth props
I was hosting a holiday party so I needed to get things cleaned up. I had the food done (since I’ve been baking sweets all month) but did need to get the apartment ready. I also quickly cut out some photo props, although they pretty much went on used except one photo (below) since I had them out of sight behind the photo curtain, out of sight out of mind and unused. Brilliant Jamie, just brilliant.

Day 31: Saturday, December 22: Holiday PHoliday Propsarty
As stated above I had a party. My mom commented that she wasn’t sure where my oldest sister and I got these ideas about having Christmas party, but to me it comes to no surprise. My mom is the great instigator of bringing family together, especially around the holidays (hence we usually have 20+ grown adults at our house for a long Thanksgiving weekend. People on top of people for three days, but it’s family so you let it pass). And since friends are the family we choose why wouldn’t I want to bring them together. Okay stepping off my box now, I had a mini reunion with all of my friends (many from high school) and it was nice to be together and catch up for the evening. Shenanigans were had and memories were made, the best byproducts of any gathering, right?

Day 32: Sunday, December 23: Finish presents / ‘Cooking’ but no classic
Some how I still had last minute presents. It’s not like Christmas was a surprise or anything but I spent most of the day inefficiently finishing the design on some personalized planners for my mom and dad. Dad asked for a calendar, I did one further and decided to do a weekly calendar. Then I decided if I had all the work done it wouldn’t be that hard to then replace all the photos for my mom to have her own version. Took forever, granted I had the television on in the background which I’m sure ups my time by 50% or so..so there’s that. But it was worth it in the end because they loved them (I think, they certainly seemed to).

Bath CrayonsOh, I also realized that I had a TON of goodies. I guess I didn’t really keep count of just how many tupperwares I was filling while I’ve been baking over the last month. However that didn’t keep me out of the kitchen, oh no, I just didn’t make the Bon-bons and other miscellaneous things I was going to try. Instead I tried making home made bath crayons for my nephew. I HATE melting stuff in the microwave but it felt weird to put soap on the stove to melt so I tried it. I’m pretty sure these will crumble as soon as they hit the water but hopefully he can get one use out of them.

Day 33: Monday, December 24: Last minute wrapping / journey to my parents
I worked a half day and then headed home. It was a bit of a surprise that my eldest sister’s family wouldn’t get there until right before bed but that was no big deal, the rest of us had a mini-cribbage tournament. I did fairly well for never playing before, I got second (out of four) so that was fun. I didn’t do as well the following day in our six-person tournament. But that’s fine, I’m now a bit addicted to playing cribbage though, whoops.

Day 34: Tuesday, December 25: CHRISTMAS DAY IS FINALLY HERE!!!!
Typical Christmas:

  • Wake up semi-early (this year to a screaming/excited two year old)
  • Marathon unwrapping of presents
    (complete with the enjoyment that comes from surprising others)
  • Enjoy gifts
  • Take naps
  • Enjoy fabulous Christmas Dinner
  • Family movie (we watched Star Wars Episode 4 this year, that’s why my family is awesome)
  • Cribbage tournament

Day 35: Wednesday, December 26: WHO Wednesday
Although there was a new WHO episode premiered on Christmas Day (I believe) I didn’t watch that one, nope. I finished up with the old ones. (Not entirely sure if the new one is available in the states or not.) This week it was the The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe. Par for Doctor Who it was magical, simple (yet epic), dangerous and done in time for Christmas.

Day 36: Thursday, December 27: Christmas Vacation
Compliments of my sister, I know have a handful of Holiday movies. I decided I couldn’t wait until next year and cracked open Christmas Vacation. I haven’t seen this movie in forever and it certainly made me laugh. Good grief Griswolds, nothing ever goes right.

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LOEB Assignment: Summer’s over, it’s time to go back to school!

This week the league has cooked up an open ended prompt: Summer’s over, it’s time to go back to school!

What does this mean? Oh so much. In the past it would be the time when I’d go shopping for new supplies (always composition notebooks and pens. I still have a soft spot for those notebooks but have over a dozen blank ones on my shelf right now). Also new clothes. I remember back in elementary school laying out my clothes for the first day. Some years I went so far as to have the first week’s outfits all folded and sorted by day. I was such a nerd. Then there was the first day itself. Getting up a pinch earlier so we could go out on the deck with our stuffed to the gils backpacks and take first day of school pictures. Those days are long gone for me. What does the end of summer mean for others? Well, if you are still doing education (highschool, college, continuing education what have you) obviously you are going to school. That includes (usually) having to do homework. If you have a family you may have various practices to schedule.

What it means for me? Books, theater, and TV shows that I wont really watch now anyway. Back to school means my waiting for the new Rick Riordan book, The Mark of Athena, is that much closer to being over (comes out in October).

If you’re into sports, football madness is in full swing and will be all semester.

If you like TV the prime time shows will be returning shortly (if they haven’t already). I like TV but it’s too hard to keep up with them ‘live’. More than likely I save them up and just watch them once they’re out on disc (or on netflix). Here’s a rundown of what I’d watch if that wouldn’t mean me living on the couch every night:

Sunday – Once Upon a Time or The Mentalist.
Monday – Bones
Tuesday – NCIS, NCIS:LA or New Girl
Thursday –  Big Bang Theory, Elementary or Parks & Rec
Friday – Community, Grimm, Fringe or Haven

Other things I look forward too for back to school? The beginning of the new Performing Arts series at the various places I frequent. I’m looking forward to seeing Les Miserables, War Horse, Jekyll & Hyde and Million Dollar Quartet at the civic center. Other things I may see are Pride & Prejudice, Shrek, Biloxi Blues, Blue Man Group, Noises Off, Alice in Wonderland, The Three Musketeers or A Streetcar Named Desire. So yeah, I love the start of school. It means the waiting of summer is over (even though summer fun in the sun is an excellent way to pass the time).

Curious how other members interpreted this week’s assignment? Go to the League’s main page for a list of everyone or you can check out some of these:
Monster Cafe
hung out in New York
Memories of Toymorrow always had birthday blues
Good Will Hunting 4 Geeks puts together his educating team
while Under Scoop Fire assembles a different kind of team
and Jannghi discusses new supplies

That’s it I suppose (below is just filler about the TV lineups and why I like certain shows) until next time ~ Q

Once Upon a Time: I really enjoyed this show and did actually watch it (although that usually meant missing several weeks and then having a hulu marathon). I’ve yet to watch the last two episodes, but now that the season will start soon maybe I can. I hate how shows always end with cliff hangers and then you have to wait months for it to be resolved. So to avoid this I just didn’t watch it.

The Mentalist: Not a show I’ve ever watched live but I like the premise. When I do see the odd episode I always enjoy it.

Bones: I have a love hate releationship with Bones. I loved where the show was going and then a couple seasons ago it was they decided that Bones might be getting too normal and BAM they made her back into a person that didn’t get normal people. If they would have made it gradual I might have been okay with it but it was so all of a sudden. I did have to take a break from the show for awhile, but I just love the sciency bits so much that it keeps calling me back.

NCIS & NCIS:LA: I love both of these. Part of the appeal is that they are both something our entire family enjoys wo when we get together and USA has one of their marathons it’s easy enough to agree what we should watch. The characters are interesting and loveable. There has to be something good going on if a spinoff series not only does well but then, in turn, gets its own spinoff. Excellent. Just excellent. I also like how you don’t have to see every episode to keep up with it, not the case for some shows (like Fringe).

New Girl: Zooey Deschanel is brilliant and I love this ensemble. Although like the trend in comedy nowadays sometimes the bits cross over into the territory of being so painfully awkward. I’m hoping they don’t prolong the Jess & Nick thing for much longer, that too is painfully obvious.

The Big Bang Theory: Another one the family enjoys.

Elementary: Going in the same vein that I love all things Sherlokian I’ll at least look into this new show. I’ve heard mixed reviews of this, so we’ll see. I have hopes, making Watson a woman is intriguing at the very least. I also very much enjoy Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about this one.

Parks & Rec: Amy Poehler, enough said.

Community: I don’t follow this the most but ts always good for a laugh though. It’s a fun premise. Almost like a highschool drama, only you get a more amusing mix since you have the random old person (Pierce).

Grimm: I’m always confused when two different studios put out seemingly similar shows. When I heard both Grimm and Once Upon a Time were premiering last year I wasn’t sure if they’d be the same thing or not. I’m glad that despite both involving fairytales they are very different shows and enjoyable for very different reasons.

Fringe: Although it’s kind of getting trippy I can’t wait to see how it ends. This year marks it’s last year and will have a half season to finish the story line.

Haven: I love this show. If I watch anything ‘live’ this will be the one. I’m seriously in love with everything about this show. Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour have amazing chemistry as Audrey Parker, Nathan Wuornos and Duke Crocker. My friend once described it as the love child of Fringe and Once Upon a Time, interesting thought.