25 December 2004

YES! and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!

"I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. "The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, Jacob; on my knees!"....

Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight, Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious. Glorious!

"What's to-day,?" cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.
"EH?" returned the boy, will all his might of wonder..."To-day! Why, CHRISTMAS DAY."

"It's Christmas Day!" said Scrooge to himself. "I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can."

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

In this spirit I wish everyone a merriest (happiest) of Christmases. If I've been out of sorts with you in the past, I beg of your forgiveness and your continued friendship and patience. You can do anything you like. Of course you can. Of course you can.

24 December 2004

My mother wrote the annual "Christmas letter" last night, and I didn't take the time to read it until today. It's funny. And really, really catty. Like most Christmas letters, she begins with a generic what-everyone-did-together this year (like starting the year off with a New Year's Day trip to the Outback Bowl in Tampa!--Go Hawkeyes). Then, also like most cheesy "This-is-easier-than-admitting-I-don't-want-to-talk-to-you" letters, she continues to tell what the year has been like for individuals in the family (like Brian went to Europe and spent seven weeks traveling--his favorite place was Berlin, but he really hated Italy). Eventually, she mentions my dad's year, and I quote, "Steve is still teaching government and econ at Hoover. He's trying to drive me crazy! He had all the cement, driveway and patio, replaced last summer. Some of my landscaping was destroyed so he had to pay a company to replace my work." Good lord, woman! Was that really necessary?

If my dad had written this note, this is what he could have written: "2004, another without being able to see my pool table for all the crap that woman has on top of it. Merry freaking Christmas!"

22 December 2004

Which Family Guy character are you?

Yes, in fact, I *am* Brian. Huh.

20 December 2004

Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol is sheer delight. For years, I've loved the retelling of this story through various media, but "Mickey's Christmas Carol" and "A Muppet Christmas Carol" frequently watched, gave me the impression that I truly knew the story of Ebenezor Scrooge. Not so, I discovered, after checking out the book from the Urbandale Library. Much to my surprise, the story in print is exceedingly better than the Mickeyized and Muppetized versions I love so much. The book reads more personally. I highly recommend reading the book. Doing that won't ruin the familiar adaptations in the slightest; it helped me regard the tale even more greatly.

I think I'm going to make some beer cheese soup tomorrow. More specifically, some Samuel Adams Winter Lager Cheese soup. Who wants some?

09 December 2004

I finally watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and I must say that, while I enjoyed it, the film didn't solicit the same reaction from me that it has from my contemporaries. It was certainly better than Adaptation, which I also liked a lot, but I think it ultimately suffered from Finding Nemoitis; that is, it was way too long and the novelty wore off. The idea was great, up until Joel and Clementine started hiding, at which point things started to get absurd. To put it mildly, the DVD didn't contain enough deleted scenes, as the latter third of the film started to slip away from the rest.

I rented Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Good Bye Lenin at Blockbuster, and I recommend both films, although I enjoyed Good Bye Lenin more. Check it out. It's the best German film I've ever seen, which means nothing more than I like it more that Run, Lola Run, which I loved.

04 December 2004

My current quarters are a very poor representation of who I am. The wall decor (applied by the parents in their conversion of this room into a computer room) is bright, colorful, Disney pictures. In fact, I can see EIGHT framed Disney pictures, a Disney University degree, and TEN Mickey Mouse plushes. Dear lord. I'm really a much darker person than this. I'm not morbid, of course, but I'm a little creeped out by the whole thing. If it weren't for the gems of my DVD Collection (Donnie Darko, Royal Tennenbaums, Igby Goes Down, Requiem for a Dream, Pi, and the newly-acquired Lost in Translation), the initial impression of this chamber would paint a very misleading picture of me. Tragedy.