Chaos Attraction

Do These Flight Times Work?

2022-12-25, 2:16 p.m.

I did actually sleep last night--sadly missing the end of "The Search for Secret Santa" and I missed them figuring out who Abigail was. Apparently a ballerina that missed out being given a cursed nutcracker? Darn it, that plot was interesting and I fell asleep at the end.

Heard from Robert this morning--said he did ask other people about going but nobody could go on the same day, said he was sorry it was hard getting together with (Redhead) Sarah. I essentially said yeah, what are you going to do, sometimes you just have to let people go. I have heard from some other folks today, which is nice. Not sure what to say to Merry about visiting in Portland, which I'd like to do BUT there's plays to schedule in, plus me freaking out on actually going to the place these days...sigh.

Had another breakfast in the hotel-eggy dish, yogurt, some kind of mystery meat sandwich that tasted well enough but I have no idea what was in it, hah. I found Gru/minions movies on TV--sometime I really should watch the first two all the way through without interruptions or turning them on at random so I know what is going on :P (I note that I could have watched Minions uninterrupted, but then Mom interrupted because it was boring and wanted to change the channel.)

Eventually, per Adult Christmas, we got to the gifts. I'm not sure how into most of her gifts Mom was--the Hawaii calendar seemed to stand out most. Jackie got me some adorable Baby Yoda/Lego/nerdy gifts and a Hallmark Channel sweater I haven't seen before, yay. Mom got me a fancy jewelry holder and yarn bowl for bigger yarn, some clothes. I checked for covid and am still negative, thank goodness. I got a gift certificate to Mary Maxim that I used to buy a kit and pattern that I've been eyeing, yay.

I did hear from Scott. He said "Merry Christmas!" I said, "You too!" I ashamedly admit I waited around all afternoon for that and wrote back eagerly. Sheesh, Jennifer. I wonder if he noticed the lack of gift or not. Not that he'd say....I need to leave this alone because I'm going to nitpick the lack of emojis in it that he usually does... Oh, for fuck's sake, girl, leave it alone.

And now I'm going to wind up this entry, post a few Hallmark Channel reviews, and then leave pretty soon.

In Merry Measure:
Darcy is a pop star who seems politely-but-teeth-grittingly tired of her hit, "Sugar Rush," and she's not getting anywhere in her career. So she goes to the olde hometowne to hang out with her niece and her teenage niece, Megan. Megan auditioned for the award-winning school choir, the Herald Angels, and didn't get in, and cried, and said the teacher wouldn't even let her finish. Darcy gets in a huff and stomps in to bitch out the teacher, who turns out to be her nerdy-hot old choir rival, Adam. They snipe at each other, he says the niece didn't have confidence enough. Darcy is all "I'm going to start a rival choir with the rejects and turn them into something special!" This, of course, requires a sing-off.

Darcy's reject squad is...pretty weak-ish? but she'll try anyway. She manages to get them (or her niece, at least) confident enough to be good singers. Adam says, "In one week, you made those kids sound great and made it look effortless." I say this after taking singing lessons for a few months: LOL AIN'T THAT EASY. You probably wouldn't be able to get me into show choir after all my work :P But it's a movie.

I also like how the kids in both choirs decide (without input of the adults) that they want to merge choirs, and then they do it. And their version of Herald Angels is a snappy a cappella delight.

I really like the actors in this one and the couple is cute as the dickens, but Brendan Perry as the choir director does a great job of going from jealous rivalry and a cranky prissy nerd to being really sweet. (Also, he's quite hot.) He's warm beneath his squareness and they are adorable together and I love it. He's not even really bothered when the inevitable "you have to sing in NYC RIGHT NOW" (no Zoom? no recordings?) that will supposedly will prevent her from seeing the show. She flies out there, sees the gift he left her, and then apparently she told the record company she needed to go and they were all "cool, signing you anyway."

(Note: I watched "Deck the Hallmark" on this and they cited an hour and fifty minutes for the flight and that she could make it to both. Sing in NYC at noon, home before five, one of the hosts says.)

Anyway, four stars, really liked it.

Christmas at the Golden Dragon:

I like this one, it's kind of a mix/soap opera of the various people of Wichita (and Vermont?!) probably around a month up to Christmas Day.

The Golden Dragon is going to close after Christmas Eve, as the parents have decided to retire to Flagstaff. They have two kids: Rick the college dropout (played endearingly by Osric Chau, i.e. Kevin Tran from Supernatural) who really just wants to cook, and Romy, who's moved to NYC. When Romy's boyfriend Blake invites her to his family in Vermont for the holidays, she thinks she can't do it because her parents need her to work (every year was a crazy work day), but her parents say "oh, go ahead" and don't mention the closing. Rick is all, "Romy would want to be here for the LAST YEAR" and tells her, but Romy inexplicably stays in Vermont for most of the movie even after she knows this information.

I note that Romy...basically wants to have a Hallmark Christmas instead of having to work and be stressed out every year, which is quite fair. She's like, got a list, I think? Caroling! And making a gingerbread house! And going out to a fancy non-Chinese dinner! Except Romy is the one lone Hallmark heroine, IN A HALLMARK MOVIE, who does not quite get this Christmas wish. She's upset that her boyfriend's room hasn't been kept as a memorial to the teen years, just like in the movies, but looks like a boring guest room. ("We're supposed to look at your yearbooks and make fun of the haircuts!" "You do that already!") She has the entire family get Dickensian outfits and go caroling, but people are like NOPE to this when they try it.* She interrupts "the game" to ask everyone to make a house, and while everyone super politely does it, I guess she's not the best gingerbread architect (then again, most of us are not). And she's a little bummed to be taken out for Chinese food, though she does politely tell the waiters making catty comments about fake Chinese food (in Cantonese, I presume) that they're trying to be nice for her and to stop that. I note that it takes her till Christmas Eve to realize she needs to go home to Wichita,** and his family is totally all "we'll get you a flight and earplugs and everything!" about it. Nice people.

* I note that I actually DID put on a Dickenisan outfit and went caroling this the daylight at the Farmers Market to drum up business for Christmas Carol. So I'm kind of amused... I'm also going to quote a scene from the movie when a lady with a baby answers the door: "We're here to sing carols." "Why?" "To spread holiday cheer." "Nope." (lady with baby slams door)

** As a person who is a West Coaster and doesn't fly much on holidays, can I ask if it's plausible (ditto the end of "In Merry Measure," too) to be able to fly from Vermont to Kansas very quickly? I sort of assume it would take hours and hours to sort out the plane flights, hope I can get a ticket, and then a few hours of flying? Is it plausible that she's there Christmas Day? Upon Googling: three hours, two minutes. I suspect this is a stretch unless you red-eye, which she probably did.

Other plotlines going on:

Rick reconnects with Freda, the Jewish prom date he ditched because his frat bros dissed the idea of him going to a prom. I'm surprised she didn't spit in his face for that one, but he's trying to make amends, she invites him to a church handout event (church?!) and then even though Rick does his best to not have to work during the event, his dad makes him anyway and he bails on her...again. Freda is reasonably mad AGAIN and Rick is sadly hearting all her insta posts. Then he dresses up cheesily and asks her to prom again, and they do a little Christmas Day prom night and it's adorable. I really love how a guy ADMITTED HE DID WRONG, ADMITTED HE WAS A JERK, AND THEN BOTH DID GRAND GESTURES AND SAID HE'D CHANGE HIS BEHAVIOR TO MAKE AMENDS. This is how you know it's a movie, because nobody does thin real life.
I note that Freda has her career plans all set and Rick bailed out of college and just wants to cook, so he decides to move to LA and try to work there.

There's also a widow lady whose husband was a football coach and she can't bear to throw their annual party any more, and her daughter who's now out of money to fund any more (failed) IVF attempts. I like how this movie emphases trying to find other meanings in life, even though they also vaguely imply that she might get together with the divorced single dad who's blowing things with his kids at Christmas. Daughter also hands out some kind of scholarship and she rejects Golden Dragon employee Miguel for saying he's too busy working to do extracurricular activities to benefit his community, and then she keeps running into people who say that Miguel keeps helping them out and fixing things (hence why he was late to their interview), which makes her reconsider and agree to interview him again.

In the end. Romy decides to open the restaurant on Christmas Day (even though all the employees got the day off), hit up the side characters to work in the restaurant even though most of them don't know diddly about cooking, calls up whoever came last year and tells them to come this year, and they throw a party/prom for the last year. Which is sweet. Overall I give this four stars.

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