Chaos Attraction

Fair, Fireworks, and Christmas In July Again

2015-07-04, 10:40 p.m.

It's the Fourth of July weekend. I went to Mom's for it because I had three days off and didn't have to work the next day on the 4th. Woot! So we went to the county fair on Friday and it was lovely and full of things and I only bought two items (a pouch belt and a cheap book), so good for me. Mom, on the other hand, got more fancy jewelry and a hair doodad. She had a great time but was all "I have GOT to stop going to fair." She also hooked me up with her jeweler, who fixed a broken opal ring of mine for FREE* when Jostens would not. Jostens also told me opals shatter in sunlight, which the jeweler said was bullcrap. So there you go.

* er, Mom's a goooooood customer

Mom has also discovered that they sell Dole Whip--i.e. the famous substance you usually can only find at Disneyland--there. An employee of the booth said you can find the mix for them at the Meadowlark Dairy in Pleasanton. So if this works out for you to find it....We got the jeweler couple some and got two more for ourselves.

Weird fair food tried this year: pulled pork pizza. It was good.

As for today, it was kind of a slow day. We went to see Inside Out, went out to dinner and then to Target to attempt to find household crap for Angelica's birthday and then ended up getting a gift card because household crap is boring to shop for, saw the fireworks, and then bought Angelica cannolis. Okay, so we found something.

Mom and I had pretty much been "ehhhhh" on the idea of seeing Inside Out, but she changed her mind about it after Angelica said it was good. Turns out we were right. I thought it was interesting but wasn't all that into it--my final thought on this boiled down to "Joy is Fix-It Felix and Sadness is Wreck-It Ralph." Mom was all, "This is a kid's movie? It's hard to follow." She fell asleep several times and kept asking me what purple and green meant. So.... eh, I've liked other movies better.

It's another Christmas in July on the Hallmark Channel! Time to review what movies I didn't see back in the day! Which is to say I saw one new one.

Christmas at Cartwright's: Alicia Witt (as Nicky, har) has a daughter named Becky who has issues with spelling, and no job and a landlady looking for rent. Becky also wants to fix her mom up with a new dude and they have a conversation about how Nicky's not interested in someone with a dud name like Arthur. When Becky asks what an acceptable name would be, Nicky comes up with "Bill," i.e. Grandpa's name. Remember this for later, and not just because Becky digs up a few "Bill" candidates later.

After Becky finds some kind of angelic coin that she passes off to Mom, c goes to apply for a "holiday help" job at Cartwright's Department Store. While the snotty manager Fiona dislikes Nicky on sight--I can only presume because Nicky starts talking to a hot manager named Bill--and refuses to hire her, Nicky quickly ends up in a situation that she finds implausible. After she gets somehow locked in a room with a bunch of Santa suits, some guy outside the door (Wallace Shawn, who looks suspiciously like the dude on that coin Becky found) starts calling out at her to dress up as Santa for this very good job already. Nicky takes the hint and puts on the suit, and when she emerges, she finds Harry, "Christmas consultant," outside waiting for her and getting her into the job as Santa. Nicky discovers that somehow she Just Knows out of nowhere stuff about the kids sitting on her lap, like the girl asking for a sled is gonna really want a swimsuit because she's moving to California--something the kid's mom ONLY JUST FOUND OUT. So Santa being a psychic impresses the shit out of people. Nicky has no idea where this is coming from, but Harry tells her it's "Santa magic" and is conveniently lurking around behind the throne when Nicky picks up that a kid is pouting because his best friend moved, and stuff like that.

Nicky obviously has to keep her job secret, which is interesting when she tries to date Bill ("He asked you Santa?") and feels bad once she hears Bill say he doesn't like lying. Plus she gets to have the Clark Kent/Superman sort of experience hearing Bill talk about her/him in various guises around the office.

Then Becky goes to the store and figures out her mom is Santa.... Harry goes to help. Becky figures out Harry's the coin angel right off, which gets her calmed down enough to buy into the whole thing. (Also, y'know, Santa does have helpers.) Around this point in time, Harry gets a call from Upstairs to do something else, and he's all, "This is going so well, I'm sure I can step away for a second." Of course, this means that SOMEHOW that background report on "Nicky Taylor" Fiona wanted finally turns up instead of inexplicably disappearing, and next thing you know Nicky's out of a job. But five minutes later her best friend* gets the whole story on the news, and publicity happens, and Fiona gets fired for being a jerk and Nicky gets a new full time job at the store. But when she mentions Harry to the big boss, big boss Cartright has no idea who she's talking about. Naturally, things all work out for the best, with Bill and Nicky's coworkers eventually forgiving Nicky for the lie and Harry's pleased and Becky's finally learning how to spell and all is right with the world.

* I counted a whopping three black people in a Hallmark movie (the best friend, Becky's teacher and the reporter), which really impressed me until I thought, "When will Hallmark ever have a black heroine in the lead?" and then got depressed.

Anyhoo: the real heart of this movie is probably the question of whether or not a woman, or Alicia Witt in particular, can play Santa Claus believably. I'm...not sure how to answer this. On the one hand, it's quite reasonable to assume that under all the padding, big shoes,big hat, big beard, you could probably stick almost anyone able-bodied and of at least average size under that and have no bloody idea what's beneath. And ignoring the magic-based sudden future prediction/telepathy thing Nicky seems to have been gifted with by Harry (or at least, I'm inferring that's what he was doing while he hung about--that and making the background check disappear repeatedly. Which makes me wonder why he'd feel okay leaving Nicky behind without the psychic stuff....but I guess that wasn't under his control), sure, why wouldn't a mom be good at talking to kids. On the other hand...pulling off a dude voice when you're a lady is...awkward. You can't blame Fiona for being all "There's something funny about that Santa" because well, there is. So yeah, that's undeniably odd and you just kinda have to go with it. It's Hallmark.

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