Saturday Night at the Movies


On the weekend I watched “Rise of the Guardians” with my grandchildren, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I think they did too. The popcorn at any rate was a big hit.

When I was a child I believed in Jack Frost.  I had a teacher who told me if I didn’t stop pouting Jack Frost would come along and freeze my “mad” face and I’d never be able to smile again.  You better believe I took that guy seriously.  So I was a little surprised to be watching a movie in which children didn’t believe in him, even though evidence of his existence was everywhere in the magic of their winter fun.

What a great cast of characters!  All apparently chosen by the Man in the Moon.

Nicholas St. North, Guardian of Wonder (aka Santa Claus) has a very strong Russian accent, and Yetis working for him.

E. Aster Bunnymund, Guardian of Hope (aka Easter Bunny) is six feet tall and has an Australian accent.

The Tooth Fairy, Guardian of Memories, collects children’s teeth, which hold their most precious memories.

Sandy, Guardian of Dreams (aka the Sandman) doesn’t speak, but communicates with sand images above his head.

Pitch Black, the Nightmare King (aka the Boogeyman) the essence of fear –  because every story needs at least one villain.

Jack Frost, eventually to become Guardian of Fun, if he can just get somebody to believe in him.

It’s a simple story with a lot of tense situations caused by the Boogeyman, who wants to stop children from believing in anything except him and his nightmares.  It was especially sad when it looked like he destroyed the Sandman, but don’t worry, he came back.  Hope that doesn’t ruin the suspense for you.

And of course there’s a lovely happy ending, with the Boogeyman banished back under the bed.  Kids can still believe in him, but if they don’t fear him, he has no power over them.  And if they believe in the Guardians, they will always be there to protect them.  How totally awesome is that.

At the end we all picked our favourite guardian – Omayja loved the tooth fairy, Corey liked Jack Frost, Madison thought Santa was the best even though he was kind of mean. (Or maybe because he was mean, I’m not sure.)   Kale might have said the big rabbit, because he’s eleven and was playing computer games the whole movie and pretending not to listen and therefore declined to comment so I’ve made that assumption for him.  And I liked the Sandman because he was so lovely and quiet.

So there you go, it’s a movie with something in it for everyone.

Here Comes Santa Claus

Or maybe he’s not on his way, if you’ve been naughty all year.  I’ve been talking to my sister and she filled me in on the McArthur Christmas – naughty, nice, the elf on the shelf, tickle monsters, Chase and Alexis, jello that wouldn’t set and a turkey to die for.  I think the chef in the family (Andy) should spread himself around a little better for the holidays, or at least give us all crash courses in how to cook the perfect bird.

My brother starts his treatments the week after next.  Two trips to London, and then the rest of the five months (five months!) he can have them done in Owen Sound, so at least the travelling won’t be as grueling.  Ann says he’s in very good spirits, or if he’s not he’s putting up an excellent front.  His take on it is that everyone dies sometime, some sooner than others, and at least he’s been given a heads up.  I love my brother.  He’s more like our parents than he knows.

Our turkey is thawing, the stuffing is ready to go, the kitchen is a mess, and I’m on my second rum of the evenning.  Christmas Eve is good for something,  in this case an excellent excuse to drink.  Work dragged itself by today and there was only one insane purchaser of eyewear.  Mostly I watched the carts of little old ladies for them while they went to the washroom.  Then I took the damned Christmas tree down, and what was left of the decorations because no one will be back working in the Vision Centre until the 27th.  If there’s one thing that bugs me about this holiday season it’s how we prolong it.  There will be nothing even remotely christmas-y in my house long before the New Year.  Bah humbug, I suppose.  I am eternally thankful that I don’t have to work on Boxing Day when everyone returns or exchanges every gift they got.

Tonight we had some friends drop in for a drink, so that’s what got me started on the rum.  They were on their way home from helping out with Christmas dinner for the homeless.  Or just the unfortunate at a downtown church.  W worked at the car wash all day and then decided to walk home.  He sent me a text at about 4:20 and finally showed up at home some time after six o’clock.  With a tree branch in his hand.  So obviously he’d been into the Christmas cheer all afternoon.  Yep, I’m rolling my eyes.  I’m glad he didn’t drive home, but I could have gone and picked him up.  Of course then we wouldn’t have the pine bough that he snapped off of somebody’s front yard tree. He wants to put it on top of a heat register so that the scent of pine will fill the house.  Between that and my gazillion lit candles the place is smelling down right festive.

The prompt for today is to name the best holiday gift I ever received.  Without a doubt that’s my Kindle from my brilliant daughter-in-law, truly the gift that keeps on giving.  And if you’re talking about non-material things, that would be our incredible families, close and extended, here, there, and everywhere.  Going to be tucked up in my bedroom reading my Kindle very shortly, and fast asleep before you know it.  Visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.  Spiced rum does that to me.

The Questions and the Answers

It’s still snowing!  Here and for real outside!  Don’t worry Patrecia, I’m not going to jail anytime soon.  Unless they make ‘death by pie’ a felony.

I know this is a big cop-out but I simply don’t have the time or the energy to answer these prompts properly;  still I can’t help feeling that it’s rude to just ignore them.  So here are the questions!  And here are my lame answers!  It’s a BLOG!  Nobody cares.  HAHAHA!  Yes, perhaps they ARE coming to take me away.

Name your favourite old movie.   I kind of liked “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”  starring Jane Fonda.  When I saw that one I thought she was brilliant.  And the story was excellent, but I gave the ending away to somebody and she’s probably never forgiven me for that – it completely ruins the movie if you know what’s going to happen.  So I’m not telling you anything else.

Do you enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding?  Well I used to like to ski, and I think it’s a wonderful family sport, but it got crazily expensive and my bones got progressively more brittle and the kids grew up and W. got all wimpy about his back so we gave it up.  Snowboarding looks like fun.  Too bad there are so many idiots out there trying to injure themselves doing it.

When was the last time you saw a parade in person?  Apparently when I was very young, less than six but perhaps older than three….which would be a very wordy way of saying four or five…..I was at the Santa Claus Parade in downtown Toronto.  I remember absolutely nothing about it.  What I do remember is that my aunt was a dietician and she lived in the big city and she made us a really great meal.  She had red hair.  That’s about it.  Santa was totally wasted on me that trip.

Do you like children?  I used to be one of those.  I had two of my own.  They are a necessary evil I guess.

Who brings out the best in you?  Well now there’s a person I’d like to meet.  But I think he was killed in a bus accident shortly after I was born, so if you never see me at my best I suppose that could be why.

What are your most and least favourite things about the holiday season?  Least favourite is the shopping mania.  Although I’ve certainly been a part of that, trying to get the absolute best thing ever for everybody on my list.  You’d think by now I would have realized that it’s not even remotely possible to do that, and it’s time to give it up and get over it and just wrap something up and be done with it.  Let somebody else give the best present ever.  It does NOT have to be me.

Favourite part of the holiday season is getting together with family and friends and eating and drinking until I feel positively ill and then going off to take a nap somewhere quiet.  Although that’s not always possible.

If you could be involved in making a movie, would you rather act or direct?  I’d like to be the screen writer.  Then I could be all mad about how the actors aren’t right for their parts and the direction is pathetic.

What advice do you wish you had received earlier in life?  Do not ever aspire to become a screenwriter.  It will just piss you off in the long run.

List 10 things that you know to be absolutely certain. 

1.  There are 21 shopping days ’til Christmas.  If I continue to breathe I will still be shopping 21 days from now.

2.  Family is the absolute most important thing there is.  And the further you can extend your family, the better.  Like clear across the world and back is a good start.

3.  W is taking for flaming EVER to eat that damned apple pie.  Maybe he suspects something.

4.  Baby it’s cold outside.

5. People believe what they want to believe.  Otherwise they wouldn’t believe it.

6. It’s really hard to come up with ten things you’re absolutely certain about.  Because what if tomorrow everything changes?  Nobody wants to feel stupid.

7.  I have been blessed in this life.  I’m certain I should be WAY more appreciative of that fact.

8.  Tomorrow is the 4th of December and in one year and 17 days the world will end.  Okay, I’m not really certain about that personally, but there are people out there who are.  I certainly hope they’re absolutely wrong.

9. I am absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain.  Especially number nine.  Skepticism and doubt abound.

10.  I’m tired, my back hurts, it’s late, I have to work tomorrow and I’m going to bed.  Any one of those things could be a blatant lie, so you’ll just have to trust me on this because if I had to think up an eleventh certain thing I’d certainly be up all night. Goodnight, sweet dreams.  Oh and somebody gets shot in the end. Watch the movie. Quick, before I tell you everything.