Chaos Attraction

Shopping and A Christmas Story

2022-12-11, 6:53 p.m.

Actual Sunday: I didn't sleep well last night--woke up every few hours--and finally my body thought it was going to work and stopped even trying at 7:30. I was still exhausted and not really functional for the next few hours either. I had signed up online to do some Zoom workshop and by 10 a.m. I was NOT in the mood to do this or chat or do writing exercises. Also it was somewhat selling their self-publishing business and god knows I ain't in the same decade as "I'm going to publish!" so I noped out after awhile.

Ashley went to Saturday night karaoke (I haven't been in awhile since I went alone and had a slight incident, don't really want to go alone, don't really have anyone to go with at the moment since Ashley isn't) while I was at the theater, she wore a mask, and said she didn't like people asking her to take it off because they couldn't hear her and now she's afraid. She kept going all year off and on without a mask on...and then got it...and now feels weird . She doesn't really want to go back for awhile and said she's seeing things differently since she got it for the third time. I hate that it took her *three times* of getting covid to finally have it sink in that she should be masking up in places.

After all of that, I went shopping in Vacaville with Loretta and hit NINE stores. It was mostly nice weather until about 3:30 when it started raining and started pouring, of course, when it was dark and I was driving home (and thinking, "Yeah, I need groceries but I am not doing this after shopping like I thought I would). Spent a lot of time and money at Hallmark (the staff are lovely) and then bought small items here and there otherwise.

Stuff bought:

For others:
* Two gift bags
* Stuffed cocoa-and-fruitcake toys for the gift exchange game tomorrow
* Christmas stickers to put on cards, should I get around to actually making them

For group crafting projects: everyone got two quilling paper projects apiece that are whoppingly on sale--I got a pointsettia and a tree, Loretta got herself and Dawn some other ones. We need to set up a crafting day once I'm on vacation.

For Dawn:
* Gilmore Girls cookbook
* Dachshund towels saying "Eight days of treats? Tell me more!"

For Mom, mostly at the Hallmark store:
* "Pardon the mess, I've been watching the Hallmark Channel" tea towel
* Hallmark Channel shirt
* Two Hallmark Channel Christmas bingo cards
* A hooded button-on Hallmark Channel watching blanket, which hopefully goes well with broken shoulder.
* Ball of ombre hot pink yarn if I actually get around to trying to copy that scarf. I'm not even going to try to finish that before Christmas though, would NOT finish...maybe I'll use it for my mindless knitting in public/during meetings or something.

For me:
* Baby Yoda slippers. Did I need that? No. Were they super cute? Yes.
* Flavored strawberry-and-dark-chocolate KitKats (delicious, I must say)
* Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer ornament--features a sweater with a reindeer driving on it, LOL
* Headband, which I was about to put back but the saleslady said, "Oh, I have one of those" and verified it does stay on the head.
* A hooded button-on Hallmark Channel watching blanket, got myself one (so did Loretta)
* A cheap green sweatshirt to use if I ever get around to ironing on the Scrooge logo I designed for my cards awhile back. $8, people.

I hear you on the long lines. Both Target and Walmart had long lines and the line for self-checkout was the longest one at them, so I was all "I'll just wait on a person, thanks." I wasn't especially in a rush and neither was Loretta, so that was fine for what we were doing. The shortest were at Hallmark, Home Goods and Michael's, the latter of which now has self-checkouts and I managed to figure them out and get Loretta to get them to work too. And happily, most of what I got was on sale or cheap one way or the other. The cookbook and the blankets were probably the most. I think at this point I'm done buying my mom and Dawn stuff after all of that. (I don't think Loretta particularly wants anything/stuff in general, so won't worry there unless I find something particular.)

A good time was had by all. I think I'm going to wind up this entry and post yesterday's show review and then call it an entry day.

Saturday night: Mom has now booked some Hilton live-in suites with a kitchen and couch for December 22-29 in the old hometowne. This should be interesting. Hope they have Hallmark Channel.

The rain was off and on by the time I had to leave the house, but it wasn't too bad/horrendous. I met up with Steve/Jan/Shorthaired Sarah/Dannette/Jared/Alisa/Jillian and the rarely-seen brother Evan ("welcome to the group!" I said, so far he hasn't done theater) for dinner at Applebee's and it was delicious and the waitress handled nine people very well. Sarah got margaritas and I was all "want me to drive you over to the theater?" and she said yes, so that was fun.

I did find out from Steve a few things, like they don't have a musical director for Pirates because Boris suddenly said he can't do it and the most recent possible recruit just said he can't either, that they're still waiting on licensing for two shows but otherwise have four down for next year, and that the theater that is going to do Avenue Q was going to do The Fantasticks and has canceled it. I said why and he said the guy playing El Gallo had too many conflicts. I was all "they didn't get anyone else?!" and he said no, they couldn't get anybody. Daaaaaaaaaang. I wonder if the place is so small they'll take anybody?!

Scott did not show up. I am relieved.

I wore my (simple, not made by me) Christmas tree dress, which was appreciated by all at the theater who are into that sort of thing (especially one usher with a light up tie/earrings that would have gone with my outfit). Alisa had a Christmas pug sweater on that I should have photographed (reminded me of Annie's pug) and one guy had an alien for Christmas on his shirt, which I also wish I could have photographed. I note that after the show I briefly ran into Walmart to photograph terrible Christmas merch since it was right by the Applebee's.

A Christmas Story was supposedly "sold out" (which is to say I saw some upstairs seating being used, but it didn't appear to be 100% full), which translated into our tickets being strewn out around the theater and some of the seating being bad/on the edges. I ended up on the left hand side (Jan had a thing about her neck being at that angle and had to trade) for the first act, and yeah, "obstructed view" was legitimate, couldn't see the left end of the stage. Oh well, still got the gist of it. Everyone else got up and moved to empty seats in the middle at intermission, but I felt weird doing that in case the seat owner showed up, so I moved to the seat I had been in on the right. That had a somewhat better side view, anyway, other than the slide-Santa scene possibly being a bit cut off from that angle.

I don't know anyone in this show other than my friend who's assistant stage manager (didn't see her!), she had mentioned to me that the guy who did the walk-on parts like the Christmas tree seller got covid last weekend and they had to make the narrator put on some different clothes and play those parts. Well, he was clearly back tonight, so good for him. She had mentioned having to swap out one kid earlier--can't recall why--I'm wondering if it was the girl who ended up playing Scut Farkus (very well, I note).

Steve grumbled that he doesn't like this show/don't expect him to laugh much, but there was a kid from DMTC in it playing Ralphie. (I note that it's very sweet that he's going to a show he doesn't even like, to support one kid, when Steve isn't even super involved in DMTC other than being in the tech booth, as far as I know.) I haven't watched the movie in years, but I kinda got what he meant a bit, because while it's got a lot of stuff going on, the only overall plot is Ralphie wants a gun and otherwise it kinda goes from episode to episode and feels kinda long. It was a pretty faithful rendition of the movie as far as I recall and they manage to stage everything except the Chinese restaurant on one set of the house and then all the outside/school scenes are just at the front of the stage. A staircase/slide was brought in for the Santa scene and Santa is presumably offstage (couldn't tell from my angle).

I do not remember a girl in Ralphie's class (named "Esther Jane," which a good chunk of the audience afterwards and me thought was "Estrogen") liking him and spending a bunch of money on a card for him. Ralphie draws her name in Secret Santa and he gives her a fake tarantula, which she proudly wears as a pin afterwards. I confirmed with Sarah afterwards that no, that was added in, but it worked.

I gotta give props to the physical comedy at times. Randy rolling on the floor was pretty dang good (I note he didn't have an orange snowsuit though--looking puffy and brown was just not the same), as was the fight scene, any time the parents were hammily overacting on the floor.

Mostly I note that Ralph the adult narrator was almost constantly talking at high manic excited levels throughout the entire show. Like he'd get a few minutes where he wasn't talking here and there, but otherwise that man's mouth was RUNNING WITH MONOLOGUE. I cannot imagine managing to memorize ALL. OF. THAT. The man has to be exhausted afterwards, like DAAAAAAAAAAMN. Like I would just not want to talk AT ALL after ALL OF THAT.

I also note that during the tongue scene, after Ralph rattles off all the offstage drama about how to get Flick separated from the pole, Dannette muttered, "You just get water." LOL.

So, it's a good and faithful production, albeit it did feel rather long.

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