Chaos Attraction

Christmas Contest and A Castle For Christmas

2021-12-02, 9:45 a.m.

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Cast list as of November 2019

I'm going to be writing these entries late on the day they happen and then updating them a day late, most likely, because the Holidailies clock continues to be off from CA time and I'm going to be getting back past 10 p.m. most nights.

Work was quiet. I had to pick out what work days I'm going to be doing in office all winter, sigh. It's not a great system but still beats "in office every damn day."

I have off from rehearsal tonight, as it's a leads-only night. So it's TV and crafting for me on Wednesday (written up Thursday).

I was trying to cram in watching "The Christmas Contest" before it expired (see below) and was debating: try to watch part of it during lunch or go pick up the library book that came in while it's actually warm and light outside? Good thing I didn't bother to try to spend the whole hour watching the movie because Mom called and was bugging me multiple times. She wants to schedule a Discovery Bay (sigh) on December 27. That's probably doable, but I keep saying I can't make any guarantees or promises about anything right now. Also, ugh, a lot of driving and the road to Discovery Bay sucketh on high to boot, but she won't let up. Also she demanded I put her on speaker while walking down the street and I was all "hell no" to this, and also a lot of noisy cars were driving by. And she was all "are you okay with Scott?" and the answer is no, I'm not okay. I have to fake okay, but I am not okay. Didn't answer that, though, 'cause traffic.

My online friend Kelly (the playwright) is going into the hospital indefinitely--MS + type 1 diabetes = numb leg and steroids and badness :( I hope she's okay. Or will be better, anyway. My impression is that she hasn't been getting treatment for like a month for reasons, so... :(

As for today's TV watching and crafting: I finished up Dawn's long duster vest, we'll see how she likes it or if she wants me to do anything else on it.

I have to say, I'm loving the Hawkeye show so far? Trick arrows! Deaf/hard of hearing characters! Kate trying to talk Hawkeye into getting a public makeover and wearing a purple suit and Hawkeye being all "My wife would divorce me if I did that!" Comments about Kate nearly shooting her mom's fiance in the face!

Today's Hallmark, The Christmas Contest: starts out with a beef jerky commercial that is to die for, with Our Hero, Ben Winters, former professional jock, making snarky comments and "should I really be saying this?" comments about all the jerky jokes. Love it. On a related note, Lara the COO is being told to enter a contest and she gets all Perky!Snarky about it, like "I'm going to quit my job and run a Christmas tree farm!"

Anyway, it' anonymous essay contest with handles, or something? For charity? Handles include "Winters Wonderland," "Rebel Without A Clause" and "Special Snowflake" and "Santa's Little Hell" and "Slay the Competition" (that's Lara). Next up, trivia! Ben is ridiculously excited to win. Lara is...not happy to see him. Also, Lara and Ben are just...fucking rabid at trivia. Clearly the host of that is finding them irritating. Fun trivia fact: they "used to date" (Lara) and "were together for four years" (Ben).

Okay, seriously, this guy playing Ben is a fucking goofy delight and I love him.

"I bake in heels all the time," Lara claims. "Are you going to bake for 4 hours in stillettos?" her mother says. Her friend calls Lara and Ben TWIN FLAMES, which I was not expecting in a Hallmark movie.

Ben enlists kids on his baking team, Lara has her mother and her elderly(?) friends. And she's got "pumps, not stilettos." Lara also recruits Ben's GRANDMOTHER to her team. Meanwhile, the boys eat things and Lara slips on a gumdrop in her pumps and splats into her gingerbread house. "This is the most embarrassing moment of my life!" she says. "It's the most embarrassing moment of your life, SO FAR," says Ben. Um...clearly Lara's came out so bad that she should have lost, but it's "Special Snowflake" who made an excellent giant gingerbread man who gets thrown out. RIGGED, I TELL YOU, RIGGED!!!

Then they end up kissing in front of Santa and she freaks out, he's happy about it.
Ben and his kids do a terribly bad dance to "Deck the Halls," which Lara totally loses her shit about because THAT WAS MY SONG!!!! It's because he's forcing you to do another song, her mother says. So duh, they do a terrible dance to "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," but in amazing gold sequined bling jackets from hell. Like I love 'em but they are bad. And with matching glasses.

I would like to note that if this is a competition, forcing the last two contestants (guess who and who) to throw a party TOGETHER doesn't seem like that would work as a competition....Anyway, they both have the same idea of "Elfapalooza," so....

Time for gift suggestions for grandma! "Massage gun." "I got her that last year. She used it as a plunger." Me: MASSAGE GUN?!?!?

Lara's mother compares Ben to "a great white buffalo, the one who got away."

"Let's burn some bridges and let the flames LICK AWAY!!!!!" -Ben, hitting up Lara to quit her job and uh, do a sports camp for kids with him or something? Lara's all "yeah, you're just gonna lone wolf me again, aren't you?" BUT THEN SHE LITERALLY QUITS HER JOB IN THE NEXT SCENE, THE HECK? Without telling him first, and then when she does, it doesn't go well, realizing they can never be a team. "I'm not going to beg you to be with me, I'm freaking amazing!" Lara says, before getting into how Ben could TRY to be a better person already. Go, girl.

LARA THREW THE COMPETITION by not decorating her tree or reading her essay. BEN DOES THE SAME, claiming he didn't mean his essay when he wrote it, but he does now! "Whatever the meaning of life, we don't find it alone." Oh, wait, he decorated his tree...WHICH IS AN UPSIDE DOWN ONE with pics of them on it. I still think he wins for some kind of effort, but also I'm laughing at the upside down. "Because you turn my world
upside down." "We're each other's great white buffalo."

"Despite both of them not following the rules," they both win in a tie. I'll say this: this dude, John Brotherton, makes this movie. May he do many more Hallmark movies. He's a hoot. They do both kind of make this "white buffalo" thing work, too.

Tonight's Netflix: A Castle For Christmas: Sophie Brown is a romance novelist who everyone hates now and she's about to go on The Drew Barrymore Show. Why are fans miserable? She killed off a character, because "we don't always get the happy ending." "He didn't deserve to fall down the stairs. You murdered a man that I was in love with," Drew says. Drew points out that Sophie got divorced this year and that might have influenced it. Sophie starts yelling at the camera about all the horrible deaths she COULD have done for the character instead. This is giving me deja vu to the Anita Blake books and the For Better or For Worse comic, both of which went off the rails once the authors got divorces.

Sophie decides to bug off to a castle in Scotland where nobody knows her and she can write Winston back to life. I love how the innkeeper lady is all "Why didn't you kill Winston off earlier? Never could stand that sod, he was too perfect." A knitting group hangs out in the lobby. Sophie tells them that her dad was a groundskeeper at the castle back in the day. Apparently Sophie is trying to buy the castle from Duke Myles of Dunbar (don't look at me, I'm not great on titles), who's quite cranky about the idea. "You can buy a ladyship online for 30 pounds." But within 2 minutes he agrees to sell, with escrow at Christmas and she has to move in now to prove that she can take care of the castle. Which, legit. "I'll make her life so miserable she'll never want to see a castle again," Niles says. He gives her the tour, which involves who died in what bed, all the leaks, no heat upstairs, "60 fireplaces HALF work." Oh yeah, and he claims the wi-fi is iffy but he can still watch Sophie's character homicide video. He locks the doors, but does pick up her book.

Maisie the innkeeper has A Thing with some guy at the castle. Hmmmm.

The knitters inform Sophie that Myles is in debt after the last duke, and he's trying to save the village's homes. Awwww. Sophie calls her daughter and finds out that her ex is marrying "what's-her-name" on Christmas. Barf. Myles's wife was a "title-climber" and left him. He takes her on a land tour and tells her a romantic story about a duchess of Dunbar finding her true love and being a warrior, awww. Obviously that's going to be her next book. After they hang out at the pub, he's all "It wasn't a date!" but they have quite an intimate near-kiss and definite hug. HMMMMMM.

Myles and the other guy (Thomas) hanging around the castle: "Here we are, standing around, looking at old paintings of people we hated." LOL.

Sophie's agent and Sophie: "You can't just run off to Scotland and hide in a castle!" "Why not?"

When Thomas brings a tour in on Sophie, she gets all excited and decides to give the tour. Thomas corrects her. Sophie's knit crew comes by and "she did everyone's hair!" Myles gets annoyed that Sophie's having a good time and she's all "Right, I did figure out how you're trying to drive me out, I can read a contract, I may never leave."

Sophie's dad wrote the first four letters of his name on a door as a kid before getting interrupted. Myles ... finishes out the name. Awwww.

"You become a duchess, and we can rebrand you! Close the deal!" says her agent.
They finally kiss, and they really get into it. Awwww. And then they say they shouldn't be doing this, and promptly go into the bedroom. Score! Then he gets all jerky when she says she wants him to stay and he's all "It's MY house" and she's all "FINE THEN I'M LEAVING, ENJOY YOUR 12 EMPTY BEDROOMS!" Sophie does pay the mortgages for all her friends, though. (Is she making JKR money?!) They give her a fancy pretty sweater. Love it. It's like a puzzle. Maisie has a pretty awesome scarf on herself.

However, the one car in town breaks down and she's forced to stay in town, where she tries to write Winston back to life (and kill off his "twin brother, Myles" instead). THEN HE COMES TO RESCUE HER IN A SCOTTISH SUIT/KILT WITH HORSES. In related news, Thomas asks Maisie for a dance. Everyone dances. "I met a lass who knocked me on my royal arse," is an actual line in this. Myles swears to throw parties for eternity. ONE GUY HAS BELLS SEWN INTO HIS BEARD. Sophie's daughter skips her father's wedding to come, and Sophie starts on "The Heart of a Warrior," by Sophie McGuinty.

And finally, Sophie's back on The Drew Barrymore Show again. "Since you were last here, it sounds like your life has become a total fairy tale." Also, um...what's going on five days a week? ;)

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