Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey Day 26

from our house to yours...

Happy Thanksgiving, everybuddy

Marvel Floats in the Thanksgiving Day Parade from Back in the 1980's

From 1987

From 1989

The kids will never understand that this felt like gigantic exposure for these characters at the time.

How's your Thanksgiving Prep going?

Jingle Watch: Jingle All the Way (1996)

Well, you can tell Doug is in town, because somehow we found ourselves watching the 1996 Christmas catastrophe Jingle All The Way starring Arnie and Sinbad.

This is the movie most famous for ending the cinematic career of stand-up comedian Sinbad (your mileage will vary on Sinbad.  Doug = not a fan) and the debut of Jake Lloyd in a part that in no way should have inspired confidence that he could carry a Star Wars movie.

It's an odd movie, and I have my theories about it.  It's set as this family friendly comedy, but it's not really fun for kids to see "Dad" getting tortured for an hour, I'd think.  A movie in '96 was a little early for what we'd get with Bad Santa (a movie I finally watched a couple years ago and firmly recommend) or other more adult-oriented holiday comedies.

And, Arnie is a businessman first, actor second.  If he was going to be in a movie, he was going to sell as many tickets as possible.  In fact, I have a firm memory of Arnie talking about the movie upon its release.  I was in film school at the time and was supposed to be making ART, but I also was a dedicated Arnie fan and saw almost all of his movies in the theater.  And here he was pitching the movie not as a story or entertainment, but as a holiday product everyone could enjoy (bring Grandma!).  It informed a lot of how I think of the movie business today, Arnie's relationship to said business, and profitability.

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Secret Shame: I Watch a Whole Lotta Hallmark Christmas Movies

About ten years ago I was up late doing who knows what, and I stumbled across a Christmas movie about a limo driver who has to haul Howard Hesseman around as he hands out money while seeking the daughter he lost track of long ago.  The movie was called Crazy for Christmas (2005), and it was just astonishingly bad.

Shot on a TV budget on the sunny streets of Los Angeles during a season that seemed to not at all be the Christmas season, I found the movie oddly compelling.  A razor thin plot, name actor kinda slumming it, a completely un-buyable situation with main characters moving about with the logic of NPCs in a Sims game thanks to the the incredibly piss-poor writing, all with a cheap-ass score cueing you for the wacky scenes versus the heartfelt moments of weepy joy?

Man.  It was like Christmas Crack.

And I was hooked.  Everything I loved about talking over a bad movie I could find here with the added bonus of the sheer, brutal formula-driven weirdly non-religious-specific Christmas magic of each of these movies.

Now, very specifically, I consider myself a connoisseur of the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Network.  I don't quite have down the nuance of the movies on the Lifetime network, Up! Network (yes.  Up!), or the smattering of movies that have already made their way onto ABC Family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Inexplicable BudK Catalog

I have no @#$%ing idea

So, this showed up in the mail.  That's right, it's a Christmas Knife!  These people aren't making the same mistake as those heathens at Starbucks!  And, with their product, you could kill a man.

I have no idea who this company is, but they had my name and mailing address.

Oh, yeah.  That's a lousy picture.  Here you go.  From their website:

Pretty exciting!  And something that you will totally not throw in a sock drawer and forget about.  

But, like the page says:  You may also like...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Halloween Watch: Trick 'r Treat (2007)

Well, this was a nice surprise.  I think a few of you had suggested this one to me over the years, but I'd always look at the poster and think "eh, this is one of those movies with a 'scary' antagonist that's more visually interesting than actually all that scary".

I watched the movie with pal SimonUK, and as the WB logo went up, he said "You know, I think this is going to be one of those movies people wind up watching every Halloween."   Which, about 2/3rds of the way into the movie, I paused the movie and said "yes, I can see why you'd say that, and I think you're right on the money."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's a nice pic from the holidays of Jamie, my mom - The KareBear, and my sister-in-law AmyD - a newly minted mom as of a few weeks back.

Happy Mother's Day to you, Ma!  You're tops in my book.  No other Mom was so hellbent on making sure their kids saw seemingly every puppet show and museum in town as you.  And, hey, you sat patiently in the car while I roamed Austin Books way back when.  No one could ever doubt you were there to support us at our sporting attempts and to offer advice from the stands.  Let's just be glad you did not continue vocal queues when I went into drama in high school.

And now you're getting to help out with a whole new generation of troublesome Steans boys!

And to AmyD... I don't know what to tell you.  If he's one of us, he's going to take some prodding and coaching.  But, hey, welcome to motherhood!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I am lousy at April Fool's Day pranks, so...

Don't come here expecting any April Fool's Day pranks.

I wish I could think of something so I could actively participate, but everything seems like it would be more effort than it would be worth or, at best, get me a "oh...  ha.  Well, happy April Fool's, I guess."  And that's a best-case scenario.

Rick Astley, patron saint of April Fool's Day

I'm afraid past attempts at April Fool's Day pranks online or in person have caused just simple confusion, which isn't necessarily hilarious.  It's just confusion.

But I LIKE a good April Fool's Day, and every year The Superman Homepage has a few good ones, so skip on over there.

Believe me, I wish there were some big twist, but I got nothin'.  Let's just be skeptical of everything for the next 24 hours, shall we?

Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day! Look Out, 'cause Here Comes Garfield

President Garfield is putting your beard game on notice, hipsters

A while back I read the book Destiny of the Republic (I think at Picky Girl's recommendation), by the really terrific Candice Millard.  The book traces the destinies of three people - our 20th President. James A. Garfield, his assassin Charles Guiteau (spoiler), and Alexander Graham Bell - our representative of the wild innovation occurring during the industrial age.

James A. Garfield was a proud son of Ohio, serving as an officer in the Civil War, including early leadership at Shiloh and enough success across campaigns that he was promoted to Major General.   However, mid-war, Garfield was asked to run for congress.  He was already a staunch abolitionist, and while that horse was already out of the barn, what with the Civil War, he immediately became a popular and successful representative due to his ability to build bridges and mend fences during such a volatile period of reintegration of the Reconstruction-era Southern states.

Monday, January 19, 2015


This fall, Jamie and I took a trip to Washington DC.  Not too far from the FDR and other memorials is the MLK memorial, facing the Jefferson Memorial across the water.

This depiction of MLK above is only part of the complex.

This is how you approach the memorial.

The entire complex is very large and impressive with relief sculpture along the walls.  I very much recommend making time for it when you're doing your DC tour.  It's really very close to the Lincoln Memorial.  And speaking of...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

The clock has struck midnight here in Central Time.  That border has been crossed and the new trek begins into the field of the unknown.  2014, whatever it was, can now recede into memory.  In time, only so many things that occurred this year will we stamp with the number.  With any luck, we will have learned something from it all, and we'll be better from both what the year gave and took.

May the coming year bring you new reasons to laugh, people with whom you can share, and new endeavors to accomplish.   May the changes to come be faced with courage.  May the gifts to come be received with grace.

Here, in the earliest of the next 8766 hours or so ahead or us before we do this again, let's enjoy the newly minted year and another chance to do it well.

I'll raise a glass to the days we won't get back from the year left behind, and drink to what the coming days can bring.

Here's to hope.  Here's to a New Year.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Taxman - not a superhero

Jamie does our taxes.  I have no idea how any of that works.  I suspect, however, if something goes wrong it shall be me and not she that winds up in the clink.  All the more reason to be nice to the wife.

In this day and age, I don't really know anyone who doesn't (a) file online (b) as soon as they have their paperwork together.  Maybe growing up with stories on the local and national news every April 15th of people sitting in line at the post office to get their taxes in taught my generation a lesson.

Still, it is that magical day here in the US, so if you haven't filed, it's probably time.