Friday, December 6, 2013

Last Post of 2013

I watched The Sound of Music live broadcast on NBC last night. It was really neat that they did a live production of it like that. It was good, but not as good as I thought it would be. Perhaps my expectations were too high. The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies and I've had the words of every song memorized since childhood, and no one will ever top Julie Andrews in the role of Maria. Carrie Underwood is not a very good actress, but she sang well. I don't want to criticize it too much because I really am glad they did it and it's not like they were trying to outdo the original. (Although having said that I think the Mother Superior and Leisl were even better than the originals!) I need to watch the real Sound of Music again soon (it's been a few years) and introduce my kids to it!


Practically perfect in every way:

Speaking of Julie Andrews and "practically perfect in every way," another classic movie that I love (and know all of the song lyrics to) is Mary Poppins. So I'm excited to see the movie Saving Mr. Banks this month because of that. Peter and I went to the Mary Poppins Broadway musical in Des Moines three years ago, and it motivated me to read the book by P.L. Travers. (You can read my review here.) I was surprised by how dark and joyless the book was, which lead me to do some googling of Travers, and what I found made me lose a lot of respect for her. According to the things that I read, she wasn't a very nice person. She apparently hated what Disney did to Mary Poppins (they made it much, MUCH better than the book, and she disapproved). So I'm eager to see how this is all portrayed in the movie. I bet Tom Hanks will make a good Walt Disney, and Emma Thompson (who will be playing grumpy P.L.) is one of my favorite actresses. Maybe she'll help me to understand Travers a little better.

You're going to think that I spend most of my time watching TV and movies (I really don't!). But last weekend I watched the five-hour BBC/A&E's production of Pride and Prejudice because this year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. If I were really good I would have re-read it, which I wanted to do, but it's nearing the end of the year and I figured the long version of the movie was going to have to suffice. And boy, does it! Colin Firth is the best Darcy ever! Jennifer Ehle is perfect as Elizabeth Bennet too.

I found the Christmas sweater that I wanted that was sold out on The brick-and-mortar Target had it! I'm not exactly sure why I like this sweater so much but I do. I think it's funny!

There was this funny cat lady Christmas sweater there too that was tempting. Maybe next year! 
I really must be getting older to find these things so funny. But at the same time, these sweaters were in the Juniors section. So maybe I'm just immature.

If you watch only one funny YouTube holiday video this season, let it be this one of Captain Picard singing "Let it Snow" (although those words aren't ever actually'll see). Even if you're not a Star Trek fan, you'll like it. Watch until 1:10 (after that it's an ad). Very funny!

I think I want an iPad Air. Not because it's the hot new thing, but because my iPad is a few years old and is starting to feel like a big heavy clunker, and it's kind of slow. The iPad Air is getting great reviews. I trust Walter Mossberg from The Wall Street Journal and his technology reviews. I could give the kids my old one (it's pretty much theirs now anyway) and keep the Air just for me. Peter, are you reading this? :-)

During the month of November I did a Get Buttoned Up "holiday boot camp" in which I had to do a task each day to prepare for the holidays so that December would be more peaceful and stress-free. It was very effective and I think I'll do it again next year. By the end of November, I had accomplished the following: I made both a gift list and even created a budget (which I've been pretty good about sticking to); about 75% of my Christmas shopping was done, including stocking stuffers and wrapping the presents; I bought all of the materials for the homemade goodies I'm making for teachers and others before there was a run on the stores for them; I got our Christmas cards designed and ordered before Thanksgiving, which was a record for me (now if only they'd address and send themselves!); and we made all of our holiday travel reservations. So I'm feeling pretty good about the "business/busy-ness" side of the holidays right now. I believe in anything that helps lead to a more peaceful holiday season, because that's what Christmas is all about! (Well, that and Jesus. Kind of the same thing!)

I was finally going to do a post about our house on Cape Cod this week, including many pictures which friends have been asking to see, but I decided to do the Christmas decorations post yesterday instead, so I'll post about the Cape house sometime in January when I start blogging again. In order to simplify and feel the peace of the season (and watch more TV and movies, ha ha, just kidding) I'm taking the rest of the month off.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Cheers to a very good 2013 and here's to an even better 2014!