Chaos Attraction

Another Day of Yarn and Movies

2020-12-21, 7:56 p.m.

Vacation Day 3:

Hours of sleep: 6, because I woke up around 5 a.m., spent until 8:45 trying to go back to sleep. Bleah. I hate waking up early on a day when I don't have to.
Exercise: same as yesterday, good for me.

Patchwork sweater: Did four more squares, used leftover yarn to work on making a pocket. I have finished blocking all of the pieces for the fronts of the cardigan, pinned them together to see that they approximately work, more or less. I am blocking the squares for the sleeves and am almost done with those--about one more day of knitting for that to go, then on to the rest of the squares for the back.. I am mostly down to the dregs of handspun at this point, I've got a few squares to go of rainbow, and then I've got a fairly large ball of black/red/orange/yellow I'm a bit reluctant to use (it's left over from one of my holiday sweaters) because it doesn't really go with the color tones of the rest of the yarn. I want to put whatever's left over from the butterfly sweater into it, but that might not work out because....

Unfinished Object #1: Butterflies sweater: I attempted to finish the butterfly I had in progress, ended up frogging it because the pattern kind of sucked in execution, found another pattern and made two more midsize butterflies and four smaller ones. I think I may need to make at least four more smaller-ish butterflies to fill out the sides. This took me all afternoon, I didn't get to much else. I'm not sure how quickly I'm going to get that done.

Writing: fuck it, I'm not in the mood. All I wanna do is have some yarn.

Activities: None, because I signed up for a solstice party online and they never sent me the entrance information and it appears to have never happened, wtf? But yet a few hours later, I got some email from that person inviting me to join Yet Another Hippie Program, which I guess presumably I heard about through attending this event that I literally could not attend. WTF? Your business sucks, lady. I like the book of yours I have, but your online presence has some problems. Unsubscribe!

Stuff I Watched: Guess what....more Hallmark, at least 4 hours of it.

Cross Country Christmas:
It's Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, again, a time honored plot for many movies, especially Hallmark.

Meet Lina: "I'm a solutions specialist." Lina and Max, both from the same hometown, get utterly stranded in Ohio. NO planes, trains, or automobiles can be rented or gotten tickets for. Lina hits up an upset elf who has a car for a ride. "Like Thelma and Louse." "Did you see the end of that movie?" Good lord, Lina is quite the manipulator.

Later, they pick Max up. "Where did you meet?" "Kindergarten." "We may have shared a Lunchable."

They make it to Indiana. Then she offers to help a guy deliver his Christmas trees in exchange for a ride to the train station. Max books the train tickets. They go have lunch and miss the train. Oops. By which I mean, they get on a CARGO train. Even more oops. "This isn't what it looks like." "It looks like you hitched a ride with my cow." "Then that's exactly what it looks like."

NOW THEY'RE IN MISSOURI. AND MAX GOT GIFTED A LLAMA SWEATER I LOVE IT SO. (She has one with a bear and stars.) And Lina is all, sure, we can be in the nativity play! "What did you sign us up for?" "I'm not sure, but if animals can do it, I'm sure we'll be fine." (They are Mary and Joseph, and she flaps her arms around like she's flying. Then a goat roams. Lina picks up a dog and says, "Behold our precious baby."

"We should capture this moment." "I don't think they had cell phones at the birth of baby Jesus--" "Just go with it." "Say frankincense and myrrh!"

Lina gets a hold of a dog grooming truck after the busses are sold out. "He sold me this for a steal! It handles like a racecar!" (How?) Hey, did you notice it's rattling....? This same thing happened to one of my exes the one time he bought a car (figured for his life). She stomps off in a huff when he thinks she's criticizing his driving, he later catches up with her on a tractor. I wasn't expecting a tractor in this movie, but here we are. "Did you steal this tractor? It makes a terrible getaway car." Amusingly, he rented it on the farm app he designed (yes, that's a plot point) and they pull up at his cousin's.

"I am procuring a delicious feast from a gas station in Nebraska." Max sets up a "reindeer sighting" in which he gets a headband and a blinky nose.

An hour and 30 minutes into the movie, we finally clarify that Max's dad is dead this year and "dad's lunch" his mom keeps talking about is more of a memorial lunch. "But sometimes they do need to know someone's got their back. Right now I've got yours." Awww. I honestly don't get sexy vibe from these two, but she's really nice and plucky in this one. She finally drops him off at home, just in time.

Lina awkwardly-yet-clearly does not want to be fixed up with this Greg guy Max was razzing her about (the other godparent).. She tells him no, he says "I'm just here for your mom's cooking." Lina gets a call from Joe the tree farm guy, as he found her phone. Meanwhile, Max is having a sad tiny family dinner when....the luggage arrives. But he got hers instead of his, so he brings it over...Along with some photos of their time together. He's not good at expressing himself, but he's gonna put it out there! Her life in NY would be so much better with him in it...Oh, that's a good kiss there, Hallmark! They combine the families for dinner.

That was cute. I dunno on the sexual chemistry there-- they seem to have nice friend chemistry but not that many romantic moments in the script.

Swept Up By Christmas: I like Lindy Booth, but the plot of this sounds boring AF. Let's see how it comes out.

Something about appraising and staging...and oh goody, it's a veterans movie. Most of which (other than Unlocking Christmas) end up being really dull. "You know me, Mike, I love a station vacation." She's appraising/staging/auctioning off stuff in a fancy house, his business cleans it.
"Grumpy Santa is a deal breaker."

OHHHHHHHH STAGING LADY HATES THE CLEANING GUY. He's Mr. Rigid, she's "I take on too much." Whee. I will note that the cleaning company is "Dirt Force One." Har.
We have a beta romance going between her friend the caterer and his business partner.

Okay, I haven't been taking notes through this because I'm following knitting instructions off the Internet, but suffice it to say that: (a) the military guy and the semi-scatty girl start getting along, but of course he's gonna move to San Diego, (b) she wants to buy her boss's business, and he doesn't sell it to her, (c) she's supposed to sell a fancy tree topper and decides she can't bear to and hands it back to the owner in case he changes his mind, because (d) the owner's estranged from his only child. He sends her the tree topper and she comes running.

They throw one last party at the house with the entire cast. 'And then we find out that the owner outbid the competition for the boss' s business, but he's handing it over to her.

I like her saying that she thinks he's really great and she's sad he's leaving and well, suffice it to say her impression has changed. "I'm still going to take that as a compliment. I think you're pretty great too." He's not going to move, his business partner is. Home is here with her and all that. D'awwww.

She's cute, he's cute if a bit stoic, and they have moments. But other than that, fairly dull plot? But still has a little more plot than "Christmas Town," I guess. They can't all be scavenger hunts, I guess.

Okay, I'm gonna switch from Hallmark to Netflix, since my plans to get through all of the Netflix derailed for a few weeks:

Jingle Jangle:
"Helloooo, magical toy just came to life! Focus!"

So Jeronicus Jangle is the world's best inventor, who unfortunately seems too distracted to pay attention to his apprentice, Gustafson. (Though Gustafson hasn't actually done what the boss told him to do either.) Anyway, somehow Jeronicus creates a magical Don Juan toy that comes to life, and the toy does NOT like (a) being ignored, and (b) hearing that millions of him are going to be made. To that end, he recruits the neglected Gustafson to his ends. Next thing you know, toy, plans, and apprentice begone. This somehow caused a genius dude to lose his mojo and Gustafson to make a lot of money with his old boss's stuff. His wife dies, he gives up inventing, and his daughter takes off.

Who the heck is this "Ms. Johnston?" A horny widow, I guess. She's giving me the wiggins. Keeps calling him "Jerry" (he does not like it), and she's opening his mail. Then she bursts out into (an admittedly awesome) song about bucking up and he's muttering "Are you crazy? Are you drunk? People can see you out in the street." Followed by "BACKGROUND DANCERS?!" She is "expressing my affection, in the most respectful way I know how." "Would you mind expressing it somewhere over there?"

Dad decides to send an invite to his daughter Jessica, and she sends her daughter Journey to visit. Jeronicus doesn't even seem like he's paid attention to what her name is ("Jupiter? Something with a J.") "Is it okay if I call you Grandpa Jeronicus?" "I'd rather not." "Grandpa J is so much better!" "Why won't anyone call me by my name?" he grumbles. Well, I can't speak for the crazy lady, but LITERALLY YOUR GRANDCHILD ASKED AND YOU SAID NO. THAT IS ON YOU, SIR.

Meanwhile, Gustafson has run out of stolen ideas after 30 years of profit. It seems pretty sad that after 30 years his whirligig still kind of flies around like it's drunk? Is that intended? It's cool, but I kind of wonder on the injury potential. "IT'S FRYING MY FACE!" Also, maybe you shouldn't have listened to the tiny magic toy that told you to burn its plans. Also, you literally let a tiny toy hit you in the face.

"Do you want to be my apprentice?" "Do you want to be mine?" -Journey meets Edison, "Professor Jangle's most trusted assistant."
"I don't want to die! I haven't even hit puberty!" -the kids find a cute little goggly robot that repeats what they say. "I've always worked. Just needed someone to believe." Buddy 3000, the robot, flies about as well as that whirligig though. Now everyone flies!

Gustafson approaches Journey, hinting that there should be something awesome in the shop. "It's just a pawn shop," she says.

Mrs. Johnston is hanging a mistletoe over her head and openly trying to fondle "Jerry." GOOD LORD, WHAT IS WITH THIS. Seriously like, she seems whackadoodle. Am I supposed to root for her and "Jerry" ("My name is Jeroncus!" "IT'S JERRY!") to get together, because if so, I DO NOT ON ANY LEVEL.

A snowball fight breaks out. Jeronicus accidentally hits a cop with one. Jeronicus sadly holds out his hands to be manacled.
"I almost only killed one person today. Progress!" -Ms. Johnston, sigh.

Gustafson comes by and steals Buddy. Edison is the worst apprentice ever.
Gustafson unveils Buddy, then can't get it to work. Sadly, Jeronicus asks Ms. Johnston for a ride. She continues to creep me out, and call him Jerry. Lady, if you can't deal with his name, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T DATE HIM, NOT THAT HE SEEMS TO WANT TO DATE YOU ANYWAY.

Hey Gustafson, there are kids in the factory stealing "your" invention. It's a failed invention, who CARES, says Gustafson. Don Juan the obnoxious toy reasonably points out they wouldn't be stealing it if it didn't work. I find it sad that the only character with brains in a show of genius inventors is the obnoxious magic toy. Look, this movie looks real cool and I like the songs, but the rival inventors and the stalker mail lady are getting on my nerves.

Now the kids are trying to get away from a fire and GO THROUGH BLADES, which Grandpa has to ... magically engineer formula something something. OH GOD, HERE COMES THE STAGE FIVE CLINGER.

OH WAIT SHE JUST CALLED HIM BY HIS NAME FOR A CHANGE. Good job. Oh lord, now HE just broke out the mistletoe. After he kisses her, she drives away and her backup dancers re-emerge. "They really are a group," Jeronicus notes.

Oh heeeeeeeeeey, Journey apparently forged letters between her mother and grandfather to wrangle a visit. Whaaaaaaaaat? How'd she fake it from him when she didn't even know him? Meanwhile, Jessica packs up to come visit. We find out that Jeronicus has a whole cabinet of unsent letters he never got the nerve up to send. AWWWWWWW.

Jessica and Jeronicus work on fixing Buddy. NUMBER, BUDDY ALIVE!!!! (Seriously, very "Baby Number 5" here.) Then Gustafson shows up with the cops to arrest Jeronicus for theft of Buddy. Journey proves that her grandfather signs off on his designs in invisible ink--or at least Journey did. (Kid's a forger.) "Jeronicus, save me!" the irritating magical toy whines. What an ass kisser. Jeronicus disables Don Juan (thank gawd) and says he'll reprogram him. The cops haul Gustafson away, but Geronicus gives him a gyroscopic stabilizer before he goes. The bank guy comes by and sees Buddy. The business is saved! People float around in the sky.

I forgot to mention that the framing story of this is Phylicia Rashad reading the story to the grandchildren. Yes, she's adult Journey. Jeronicus is their four times great-grandfather or something. Buddy flies in. Happy ending.

Visuals: great. Songs: very nice! Kids: cute, not totally dumb (esp. Journey). Adults: questionable.

Christmas Catch:

So this girl is on some kind of police sting operation at a Christmas tree farm and gets told to "flirt with" the suspect. Except dear lord, she's painfully obvious about it, he catches on. "How bad was the flirting?" "Pretty bad, ma'am, a man's arm was broken."

"My dog Bunchy has more dates than you." "Moooooom..." "I don't care if I'm your mother, in this office it's Captain!" I feel like we've got Deliberate Christmas Turd here, y'all! Our Heroine literally works for her mommy and there is what, no ethical anything about this? This is the kind of movie we have, y'all.

Mack wants to meet someone serendipitously, with a meet cute story, not at a singles event with a reindeer guy.... She walks out and promptly meets cute outside with Carson. He even SAYS serendipity! A lot!

Oh, wait, he might be a criminal. "Holly Christmas Pound Cake!" Specifically, his ex-wife stole a diamond-encrusted reindeer and they wonder if he was involved or not. "Diamond encrusted reindeer! That sounds beautiful!" The FBI is looking for assistance. They literally have a stakeout across the street from his apartment. "Too bad your dream guy is a suspect." Meanwhile, Carson the hottie/suspect gets her digits. "Detective, I am ordering you to go on a date with this man. Immediately," says the FBI agent.

Okay, you know what? I think I have figured this movie out. IT'S ALL A SCHEME. IT'S A FIXUP. Everybody involved, including the "FBI agent," who is probably fake, is trying to fix her up with this dude. They want her to constantly spy on him. They literally make her go on dates, tell her what to say via bug in her ear, and encourage her to go up to his bedroom. THIS IS ALL A SCHEME, I'M TELLING YOU. I'm calling this a half hour in.

"Did you just quote Ferris Bueller to me?" Yes, yes he did. "Good Christmas, they're meant for each other. I can't wait to tell Bunchy."

I could not EVEN keep up with taking notes of every ridiculous/bad/obvious/cheesy line in this. Literally every line is like this. Just every line is excruciating, but in a funny way. I should have taken more notes, but I was dealing with dinner and texting a friend and just kinda didn't. I'd love to have a copy of this script though. This dude has to play the literal perfect boyfriend who literally ignores all red flags such as, "An astronaut is a believable cover, Mack."

Eventually Carson finds out because his ex-wife calls to tattle that Mack is a cop. She confesses it all. "It's Christmas Eve, and I almost got fired." Her mommy put her on paid administrative leave. FOR ONCE, THERE'S NO CHRISTMAS FIRING.

OH DAMN THE FBI AGENT WAS THE EX-WIFE ALL ALONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I'm only here for my diamond reindeer." "You've had it all along, darling, you just didn't know it." She...hid it in the reindeer Christmas ball he made for his mommy before she died. She drops it on the floor. HOW THE HELL DID YOU HIDE A DIAMOND REINDEER IN AN OLD BALL? THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
Then her mom comes to save the day.
What a movie. If you want a total Christmas turd for the laughs and lulz, I recommend! Totally obviously ridiculous!

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