Monday, December 7

Monday, Monday ...

What is it with me these last few days? I've actually been giving myself a break and procrastinating and putting stuff off ... and not giving myself a hard time about it! Is this a trend? I got quite a bit of reading and TV watching and hanging-out-with-family time in so now I'm ready to blog a little.

I found a blog called Word Trix and learned about the Christmas Challenge on The True Book Addict. I love book challenges--especially Christmas ones! This particular challenge is easy--read 1 to 4 Christmas books. I thought of one I could do, up to 5 if there was no Obesity Help Rants & Raves Book Club choice for December.

Today, I finished the first book I picked: A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor. I've completed the challenge and yet I can go further if I want! I chose this book because it's new and I love Garrison Keillor. He writes funny stuff, very down to earth and true to life. Well...usually.

As I started to read the book, I wondered if this would be yet another variation of the bah-humbug-find-the-meaning-of-Christmas types. They're good but enough already, you know? Anyway, James Sparrow is a 42 year old successful self made man (by a lucky meeting with a down-in-his-luck chemist). Sparrow has it all--tons of money, a lovely loving wife, a successful business...but there's just one thing. He has this "thing" about cold weather, Christmas and iron water pumps.

He really wants to go to his home in Hawaii with his wife to celebrate Christmas. She's one of those people, though, that loves the traditional holiday and weather and helping people. She gets the flu. On top of that, he gets a call from his cousin. Apparently his favorite uncle is dying and so he has to fly to North Dakota.

He's only planning to go for a few hours but stuff happens, you know. Like ... a blizzard. Up until this point, the story was coherent and kind of funny in places. I started to get lost, though, when Sparrow was on his way through the snow to the uncle's but ended up back at the airport somehow. The plane is snowed in and no one's going anywhere so he decides to go stay in a fishing shack.

At that point, I felt like I entered Wonderland. I kept wondering if James was having some kind of drug trip or blizzard hallucination but some of the strange things that happened actually were real. Other things...well, were they real or were they like the scenes with Clarence the angel in It's A Wonderful Life?

I won't give away the ending but I will say I wasn't especially crazy about the story. Oh well. Better luck next time.

Grace in Simple Things #25

1. Is this a serendipity? Kristin wanted to go to the library and on impulse, I decided to go in with her. Maybe the book I'd requested for December's OH Rants & Raves' book club selection had come in. As it turned out--yes, the book had come in that very afternoon! How 'bout that?

2. Not only had that book come in, so had a book I'd requested way back in June--Push, by Sapphire. But I only have two weeks to read it. And as it happens, I finished A Christmas Blizzard today and so I could start right on it! It's not a big book. I can read it and at least one more Christmas book I'm sure!

3. I have until next year to read Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, the book club choice. Doesn't that just have a neat sound to it? It just means the due date's in January--but it's a whole new year!

4. I'm done decorating the Christmas tree and the living room! I decided that it's enough for this year, no need to go nuts over it. I read Lightening Online's blog about simplifying Christmas. It made a lot of sense to me!

5. I made a really delicious meatloaf. I love meatloaf. It's such an easy thing to make and you never have to make it the same way twice. It's so filling too.

Today we're kickin' it old school. Classic. Vintage. Black & White films. Digital special effects and vibrant rainbows of colors are terrific. But the simplicity and clarity of B&W movies creates an entirely different effect. And one that we love to experience every now and again for old time's sake. Here are some of our favorites. Share on your blog those color-free flicks that stop you in your tracks and link back here at The Bumbles.

I love the old black and white films! Sometimes I'd rather watch those than the new movies!

Okay the ones that I'll watch over and over because they've stopped me in my tracks:

Harvey: James Stewart as the gentle and totally delusional (or is he?) Elwood P. Dowd is a riot and gets you roaring with laughter at his antics and those of his 6 foot rabbit/pookah pal, Harvey...but what he says is just so full of wisdom!

Psycho: Scariest. Movie. Ever.

Casablanca: A true classic in every sense of the word!

The Incredible Shrinking Man: That giant spider was sooo scary! Poor guy, shrinking away to nothing!

Some Like It Hot: This one had me rolling on the floor laughing so hard I could barely breathe sometimes!

Angels With Dirty Faces: Love those Bowery Boys! This was totally a terrific picture of the two best friends, one good and one bad ... and the other one putting on an act at the end to save the souls of the gang that admired him as a "tough guy"

Other favorites I already saw mentioned elsewhere: Arsenic & Old Lace, It's A Wonderful Life, To Kill A Mockingbird and 12 Angry Men

The Music Memoirs

10 songs that were on your weekend playlist and one photo that relates back

1. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Chipmunk Christmas
4. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
5. Silver Bells
6. White Christmas
7. Believe
8. Happy Christmas/War Is Over
9. Christmas Time Is Here
10. Joy to the World


Heather said...

Glad you found the Christmas Reading Challenge appealing. I'm currently on book 5 of my personal goal of 10. I was wondering how the Keillor book was, as I have heard mixed reviews on it. I generally like his writing, but find his weekly columns are sometimes hit or miss.

Also must say you have some good choices in B&W movies. We share a few faves, though as much as I like Hitchcock, Psycho is definitely NOT on my list.

The Bumbles said...

Oh I haven't thought about Harvey in forever! Thanks for the memory - that was a great film.

I enjoyed your X-Mas tree photo too - very pretty.

Grace In Small Things

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