Chaos Attraction

Same Time Next Christmas

2019-12-25, 1:09 p.m.

Note: this covers the events of 12/23. Happy Festivus!

I went to Kaiser this morning for a pointless errand. A few years ago the dentist put me on some prescription mouthwash I’m supposed to use once a week. But for some crackassed reason they put the prescription under the name of another dentist at the practice, who I saw once EVER and has since moved on from said practice. I objected multiple times in the office about this because I knew it would cause Issues once the prescription ran out and they were all “No, it’s fine!” and would not do anything. I went to the periodontist a few weeks ago (since I have to alternate them now and I only see the dentist every 8 months) and asked and they theoretically said they’d do something about it. Well, sure ‘nuff, that time is here and I am out of refills and I doubt anyone did anything, and I decided since this was going to be a pain in the ass, I’d use my day off from work to deal with it.

So I went in there, and the pharmacy lady was all, “No, that is not fine,” and I’m all “TOLD YOU, and everyone,” and the periodontist didn’t do anything either. I waited around for most of an hour while the pharmacy put in a call to my actual dentist, and then wasn’t called on, and then when I told the lady I had to leave, she was all “Nobody told you?” Apparently they’ve now decided I don’t need it any more and won’t refill the prescription. Um, what? I guess that’s....fine? This seems out of the blue? I expect the next time I go back to the dentist they will be all, “wait, what? No, we want you back on it,” and then we’ll have more dumb drama again. Whatever.

After that, I went to hang out with Melinda, who I hadn’t seen since summer, since she’s been doing culinary school. It’s been a relatively rough year for her, between kid drama and her best friendship kind of going to hell this last year. I don’t think they are 100% done yet, but they might be circling the drain, sigh. Oh well, what can you do. But at least her online international relationship is still happy, even if he’s been out of Internet range for a month and she’s waiting for him to get Internet again today.

I told her about my latest cooking fail and after she said, “Try figuring out halal food!” said to contact her next time this came up and she’d figure out something for me cookingwise.

It continues to crack me up that Melinda and I, of all people in the world, are now having conversations about guys. Like seriously, you never would have guessed that she’d get involved again at all, much less with a younger international dude, but there they are being all cute and happy and things working out so far, though we’ll see whenever his tourist visa comes in. She had some good advice for me that boiled down to “enjoy it for what it is, don’t rush anything, obviously he’s not ready yet but is considering it,” don’t throw all the eggs in one basket/expect anything, he’d better put you first sometime, etc. I think she’d rather I find someone else under the circumstances, but if things change, then maybe... She said that she’d told her boyfriend right off the bat she wasn’t interested in getting involved and then she can’t explain how she got over that, so...things might happen.

She also said that she sees rings everywhere, like I have been doing lately. That made me feel less insane about that one. Would make more sense with her than with me since she may have to green card marry again at some point, though.

After that, I went home and packed. I just want to say once again that I haaaaaaaate having to pack for potentially being gone for 2 weeks in the cold (and yes, I’m a California wuss, but also a wuss with no heat indoors), which means I have to pack 3 layers per top and bottom per day, which means I cannot pack “light” and instead I have my giant luggage, which I cannot take on the bus to Santa Cruz for shit because there is no room. I really do think I am going to have to take my car even if the weather is horrible.

In other news, the directors of the play festival emailed to say that everyone is limited to playing only two roles in the festival and if you’re offered more than one, to please decline the other roles. So I guess Cameron can’t be cast in all the plays after all, then? At this point they say to wait for the directors to contact you. Of course I have not heard anything after that. I’m just not that good or that fitting of any roles. Too bad there’s not a lot of female nerd roles in theater, other than in Waitress (sigh).

I had to go to Joann’s for the third time in four days or the fourth time in three days or something....I’ve lost track... but Mom wanted buttons for a vest, so there I went again. On the way over I saw one car with a license plate of “SUUUURE” and another that said “NKDSMRF” and a sticker saying “Ride Naked: It puts color in your cheeks.” While I was in there, I saw poop headbands. Why does this exist? I photographed this and sent it to Scott, saying “could have been worse...” which he seemed amused by, and then later I was all “seriously, why would anyone buy this and thus proclaim themselves to be a literal shithead?” That was also a good point, he said.

Eventually I got to Mom’s and ended up watching Same Time Next Christmas, which was the anti-Hallmark Channel movie in many ways:

(a) Takes place almost entirely in Hawaii and there isn’t very much whining about a lack of snow (even though there is a random inexplicable “oh look, it’s snowing!” scene at the end with no explanation. Why yes, it does snow in Hawaii, but you gotta go up a mountain for that....) and it is all beautiful and reminds me of when I spent Christmas in Hawaii.
(b) Interracial romances aplenty!
(c) Look, there’s an interracial gay couple in this that met at NASCAR!
(d) There’s even a surprise half Jew in there!

This is the Christmas movie I never knew I could have, y’all.

Anyway, Lea Michele is Olivia Henderson, an architect who grew up going to a Hawaiian resort for Christmas every year with the family. The Hendersons of SoCal (note: the parents are horny hippies in love and Nia Vardalos is the mom) made friends with the Williams family of Boston and see each other every year, and young Olivia and young Jeff become friends, make sandmen, and eventually kiss..... and then a few weeks before Christmas the next year, the Williams mom dies, Jeff doesn’t return phone calls, and the family stops going to the resort for like 15 years.

Eventually the remaining Williamses return again (call it “Year One,”), and Jeff and Olivia are happy to see each other again and by that I mean, “making out a half hour in.” But in the meantime he’s in the process of getting a divorce and has a daughter, and his estranged wife calls up saying she wants to get back together, so he leaves out of obligation to his kid. Olivia is sad.

In Year Two, Olivia now has a local to her boyfriend, Greg, but Jeff has gone through with his divorce and brought his young cute moppet daughter along. Everyone’s having a good time until Greg surprise shows up. I’ll be fair to Greg: overall he seems decent, gives nice gifts, participates in the “reindeer games” triathlon despite being 20+ years older than the kids in it*, he’s just a wee bit obsessed with business. Now Jeff is sad. Basically it’s the plot of There’s No Way.

* Note: the triathlon is (a) building gingerbread houses, (b) doing a crab walk, (c) riding tiny decorated bikes. When Greg fumbles the icing and her mom is all, “does he not know how to build a gingerbread house?” Olivia explains that “he’s half Jewish.” Whaaaat?

Meanwhile, Jeff’s dad Alec (who is obsessed with sports and sports references) quietly bonds with Mariel the hotel manager. Alec also gets super drunk at one point and toasts to Olivia and Jeff instead of Olivia and Greg.

Anyway, Greg proposes, Olivia goes along with it, and next thing you know we’re in Year Three and the wedding’s in a few days, except Olivia comes to her senses after her dad gives a speech about soulmates and breaks it off on December 23. Jeff is about to leave early, but his dad heads him off, and they get together, and there’s fake snow. In Year Four, they get married and jump off a cliff in their wedding outfits.

Overall I enjoyed it and it was pretty and pleasant enough. The parents are entertaining (the siblings were not very interesting though), the relationship between Alec and Mariel is cute, the scenery is beautiful, and I like Lea Michele. I also like that the disposable fiance isn’t obviously awful and overall seems like a good egg, if a little too really into business. On the other hand, I felt like there was less ridiculous lines and setups to snark at like I am used to in Hallmark, and as my mom pointed out, mostly this is just Jeff gazing at Olivia a whole lot after awhile.

Here’s what I wrote down for quotes:

“I’ve got a helicopter child...She’s sucking the fun out of my life.” -Alec
“You can’t climb a letter with your hands in your pants.” -Alec
“You don’t really win the silver, you lose the gold.” -Alec
“I don’t take vacation from my goals.” -Greg
(Note: Greg also had a line about how he hates sand that sounds very much like the terrible lines out of Anakin about sand in Star Wars.)
“We are going to be the king and queen of the Ohio Valley real estate!” -Greg to Olivia
“He’s a rookie. You’re a pro.” -Alec to Jeff
“I love you enough to get sand in my toes.” -Greg
“I just love a good surprise ending,” -Olivia’s dad (no clue on his name)

After Jeff tries to encourage Alec to get with Mariel:
“Is this what I sound like?”
“That’s terrible.” -Alec and Jeff.

After Olivia suggests that the hotel can pack them a picnic to take hiking, Greg holds up two granola bars and says, “We have these.” I am unimpressed.

“Drew found love at a NASCAR race.” -Olivia’s dad
“I got rid of all my business cards!” -Greg, who follows this up by saying he fixed up one of her relatives and one of his and now they are following each other on social media.
“Can’t close every deal, right?” -Greg’s reaction to being dumped.

“He’s just not my soulmate.” -Olivia
“I knew I should never have given that speech.” -Olivia’s dad.

“This is my Hail Mary.” -Olivia
“Let’s take it to the end zone.” -Alec

Overall, I was fairly well entertained and I liked the non-Hallmark tropes in this one, and HAWAII, so I was good with this.

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