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Pull Up a Chair

7:55 am in Uncategorized by Margaret

Good morning pups of fire and welcome to Thanksmas, or is it Christmasgiving? Either way, it’s officially that month or so between Thanksgiving and Christmas where people really don’t want to be at work, while the poor retail workers absolutely dread being at work, and where there are an average of 7,532,816 things that we need to get done between the beginning and the end of the holiday season. There are gifts to buy and wrap, cards to send, meals to prepare, trees to decorate… At this time of year, children look ever forward with anticipation to all the loot they are going to receive from tired parents and doting grandparents, none of whom get any credit for their efforts, thanking a fictional old man in a red suit instead.

Santa Claus Vector Image

Image via vectorportal.com

It is also the time of year when the holiday movies appear on television and in theaters. Some of them are traditional holiday movies, about the holidays, while there is also a somewhat more recent holiday tradition of releasing big budget films in December. For example I’m going to see The Hobbit and though I’m dreading what Peter Jackson has done to that story, that’s a subject for another post. In this case, I want to focus on the more holiday oriented ones.

There are the seemingly endless iterations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that I quite enjoy. I guess the classicalist of them is the Reginald Owen version from 1938. Though there is some license taken, it’s an enjoyable film that stays fairly true to the story. My favorite though has to be the 1984 film starring George C Scott as Scrooge. What a convincing miser he makes! I also very much enjoy the 1999 movie with Patrick Stewart, though can you believe I’ve never seen it all the way through? I always come in after it’s started! Of the more contemporary takes, I like Bill Murray’s Scrooged the best I think, mainly for Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Then there are the traditionally drawn cartoons like A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the myriad of stop motion animations like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and my favorite, The Year Without a Santa Claus, featuring Heat Miser and Cold Miser.

There are also the live action comedies like A Christmas Story with Peter Billingsly and Melinda Dillon, a movie which, though it came out in 1983, I didn’t see until fully twenty years later. A tidbit I find interesting about that one is that Darrin McGavin’s character was listed in the credits as “The Old Man”, which seems appropriate as he was fully 17 years older than his screen wife, Melinda Dillon. I also quite enjoy While You Were Sleeping with the always wonderful Sandra Bullock. Normally I’m not much into chick flicks, and this one definitely fits that category, but this is one of the few exceptions I make. Apart from Bullock, Peter Boyle is in it, who I have liked since Young Frankenstein. I guess the real reason I enjoy that movie so much is that they remind me strongly of my own family of Midwestern Catholics. I can watch that movie and put myself into that situation and the responses would be identical. There are a few non-traditional movies I like, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, for example, isn’t exactly a Christmas movie, but how can we be immersed in this season without at least one…less than reverent…take on the person it’s dedicated to? A lot of people find that one objectionable but if my own deeply religious mother enjoyed it, then they need to grow a sense of humor. Besides, it’s educational.

I like watching them all. Some I have on DVD, like the last two that I mentioned, but only pull them out during Thanksmas, and some I wait to see on television during this time of year; and though I know the stories, I never really get sick of them. They make me laugh and cry and generally put me in a spirit which doesn’t come easily for me.

What about you? Which movies or television programs do you enjoy this time of year? Do you put on holiday music, walk around singing carols, or do you just plug you ears, put your head down, and wait for it all to go away. This is PUAC and there are no wrong answers, so jump right in!

Pull Up a Chair and Have a Laugh

7:55 am in Uncategorized by Margaret

Good morning pups-o-fire! Pull up a chair this morning and let’s share a laugh. It’s established science that laughter has the ability to help heal physical wounds and ailments; but beyond that, it’s also wonderful at healing rifts between people. Everybody can remember getting over a huge altercation with somebody in their lives that was quickly forgiven over a shared belly laugh. I, myself, have ended arguments with a laugh over how silly the argument was.

What is funny is entirely subjective though. I won’t laugh at everything you find funny and you will perhaps just groan and roll your eyes at some things I find uproarious. Today I’d like to discuss what each of us finds funny and to share a few laughs. I can’t think of many better ways to start any day than to share some fun with people in my life. In that spirit, I’ll start us off. Below are a few videos I really like:

Here we have scenes from The Original Star Trek series set to some very silly music indeed:

(The sad thing is that I can assign a title and describe the context of each and every scene in that entire montage…)

Now we see what happens when you mix a classic sci-fi/horror creature with a nursery rhyme:

(This is just so wrong on so many levels. I mean, “Their souls make his tummy happy”? That just had me falling out of the chair I’d pulled up!)

Next up was a tough choice. I mean, what to choose in the funny song category? It’s such a rich field that making one choice is almost torturous but I chose to go waaaay out in left field and share with you something that I still can’t explain:

(“Yatta” is Japanese for “Done” and that’s about as enlightening to me in the context of this video as it would be to somebody who doesn’t speak any of the language. But you hafta love those stupid outfits!)

Finally, I’ll end with a joke that almost never fails to get a laugh:

There was a man who went out for a night on the town. After trying several places, (all on a bus route of course), he found a bar that had a live band playing with no cover charge, inexpensive, high quality drinks and a friendly staff and wonderful food. Overall it was a great night club and he got very inebriated.

The next day, he was telling his friend about it and after being regaled for the third time about what a great place it was, the friend expressed a desire to go and check it out for himself.

“What was the name of the place”? his friend inquired.

“I don’t know”, said the man, all I remember about it was that it had a blue door and a gold commode”.

“Where was it then?”, his friend persisted.

“I really don’t know. Just that it is on the bus route”, said the first man.

“Well”, his friend mused, “there can’t be too many places on the bus route with a blue door and a gold commode. Let’s drive around until we find it”.

Liking the idea, the first man agreed and off they went. But after looking into every bar, club and restaurant with a blue front door that they could find, they decided to admit defeat and head home. Turning around, they got a couple of blocks off the bus route and suddenly the first man sat up straight and pointed excitedly.

“There it is!”, he exclaimed, “I think that’s the place”!

So they get out of the car, walk into the bar and go up to the bartender.

“Was I in here last night?”, asked the man.

“I really don’t know sir, I was off last night.” said the bartender.

“Well can you tell me this”, asked the first man persistently, “do you have a gold commode”?

“Wait right here!”, the barman barked and then turned around and shouted into the back, “Hey Phil! Here’s the bastard that crapped in your Tuba last night”!

Now, won’t you please share a rare joke with us or maybe another funny video? Come on. Among all of the doom and gloom, let’s just laugh with each other this morning and talk about what makes us feel good.