I have a dim memory of a childhood kindergarten class just before winter break, in which a classmate planned to ring in the new year by saying “[sad face] Goodbye, 1975. [cheery face] Hello, 1976!”
Personally, I wound down the old year by doing the only halfway competent thing I can: making a commemorative mix CD. Tonight, we are doing our usual staying inside with junk food plus an old movie — and perhaps if I’m still awake at midnight, I’ll say “Goodbye, 2005. Hello, 2006!” With appropriate facial expressions, of course.
Via Drawn!, an autobiographical Peter Bagge comic of a disastrous Amtrak train trip. I always wanted to ride the rails across the U.S. Correction: I’d like to go back to 1957 and ride ride the rails across the U.S. While we’re at it, look at what Time magazine chose as the best comix of 2005.
How was the holiday for you? Ours was nice, but kind of chaotic and eventful. I’m used to having a restful and worry-free Xmas. What happened?
Dead parakeet. Our beloved pet parakeet, Toby, died on Christmas Eve. The following morning, we buried her in the backyard underneath a favored feeder for the neighborhood birds. She was swaddled in the sheet that served as her cage cover and her favorite bell was next to her body. We had her for a good five years, with many memories. I’ll miss her chirping. One time, we got her this blue rope toy (pictured at right), which turned her into a crazed, humping, horny little bird. That toy didn’t last long!
Tangelos out the wazoo. We have a young tangelo tree, planted as a sapling about five years ago. It tentatively produced a few seedy, tasteless fruits last year, but as Fall came it became apparent that this was the tree’s breakthrough year. So now we have joined the ranks of Arizonans who have lots and lots of citrus in December. Want some?
Waffles and conversation. We did our usual Christmas day tradition of being over at my parents’ house with the family. It was nice, with lots of good talk over a waffle, egg, ham, and orange juice brunch. My older brother and his longtime girlfriend made an appearance for the first time. This was great, but also somewhat awkward (since I didn’t get them any gifts this year).
Too much stuff.As usual we got many gifts from the family: a food dehydrator, a train trip in Northern Arizona, a pepper grinder, coffee, hand-embroidered tea towels from my grandmother. I gave Christopher the fourth season of I Love Lucy, since he’s always been a fan of the Hollywood trip episodes. He gave me a trio of vintage items: a Flair magazine from 1950, a Joyce Compton autographed letter from her loopy “born again Christian” period, and a Disneyland souvenir floaty pen very similar to one I cherished as a child. I also received a beach scene DVD, the King Kong special edition, and The Polar Express (which looks overly sentimental and creepy as hell, but I’ll give it a shot). Given all that, we’ll have plenty of entertainment for our New Years custom of settling in with a movie and lots of sparkling apple cider.
Scrubbles is taking a short break over the holiday weekend. Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to all and to all a good night.
From the CBC: a curmudgeon’s guide to the worst Christmas singles. Make sure to download the Mae West song, which is not so much bad as bizarre (Mae warbling arthritic come-ons over a Byrdsish dirge).
You know I love it when Turner Classic Movies devotes its daytime programming to some obscure actor or director. This Friday, December 23, they’ll be playing ten films from Warner Brothers journeyman director Ray Enright (with one non-Enright film, Side Show, snuck in). Since he never directed anything that was even close to being “classic”, Enright is kind of an odd subject for a daylong movie fest. Still, the Warner pre-Codes have a certain jazzy verve, and even when they’re awful the short running times ensure minimal pain. Here’s what they’ll have (all times EST):
6:00 AM — Dancing Sweeties (1930) A hot-shot dancer marries in haste and repents in waltz time. How can anyone resist something called Dancing Sweeties? Besides, it’s only 63 minutes long.
7:15 AM — Golden Dawn (1930) An adventurer falls for a woman destined to be the virgin priestess for an African tribe. A notorious flop in its day; this non-p.c. early musical might be worth a watch out of morbid curiosity’s sake.
8:45 AM — Scarlet Pages (1930) A female attorney makes a startling discovery about the woman she’s defending from murder charges. Courtroom drama with no-name cast. I’ll skip.
10:00 AM — Side Show (1931) A carnival dancer fills in for the show’s high diver. Starring the brassy and forgotten Winnie Lightner as a circus performer. I am so there.
11:15 AM — Play Girl (1932) A young innocent falls for a compulsive gambler. Lightner again, with a young Loretta Young. I’ll catch this when it repeats next month.
12:30 PM — The Silk Express (1933) A young silk importer fights off threats to his cargo during a perilous train ride. Warners got a lot of mileage out of that “workingmen under siege” motif. The busy Guy Kibbee lends support.
1:45 PM — Miss Pacific Fleet (1935) Two stranded showgirls enter a beauty contest to win the fare back home. The only film that I’ve already seen, a breezy comedy starring Glenda Farrell and Joan Blondell. Don’t remember anything about it, but Glenda and Joan are always fun.
3:00 PM — The Traveling Saleslady (1935) A toothpaste tycoon’s daughter joins his rival to teach him a lesson. More Glenda and Joan.
4:15 PM — We’re In The Money (1935) Gold-digging process servers set their sights on a breach of promise defendant. Still more Glenda and Joan.
5:30 PM — While The Patient Slept (1935) A nurse investigates murder at a mysterious mansion. This one got some good reviews at the IMDB, plus it stars Warners’ stalwart comedienne Aline MacMahon.
6:45 PM — Man Alive (1946) A man thought dead returns as a ghost to scare off his wife’s suitors. A later effort starring the improbable trio of Pat O’Brien, Adolph Menjou and Rudy Vallee. I’ll pass.
Don’t forget Christmas Eve as well — Christmas In Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck and Joyce Compton is on at 10 PM EST!