25 December 2008

"On the First Day of Christmas..."

We celebrated by sleeping in! Well, when you're an adult, this is a gift. :-)

Then we proceeded to the gifts! I had House season three, a book on identifying leaves, a Classics Illustrated version of Black Beauty (I'd told James how I loved these in the past), a Great Smoky Mountain calendar by Ken Jenkins, and a print of one of his photographs (the cutest chickadee you've ever seen). I also received a 1940s "Remember When" booklet and a little budgie from Jen, Rodney sent a book and a CD, and my cousin Debbie sent me two Rhode Island tree ornaments, a reproduction of the old Rocky Point amusement park gates and a chef doughboy with his hat labeled "Iggy's" (from Oakland Beach).

I gave James an 8GB SD card, a book about tornado chasers, Rescuing Sprite (this "from" Willow), a book about two of the "band of brothers," and the DVD set When We Left Earth.

We had biscuits with clotted cream for breakfast and I finished a Christmas project. We bought a friend an old book, but it came without a cover. Rodney collects these books and sent us a scan of the cover we needed. It was a bit battered and between James and I we "photoshopped" (actually PaintShopPro'd it...LOL) into better appearance. I tried to color print it on photo paper, but the black didn't adhere well to the glossy paper and chipped. It wouldn't have bent well anyway. So I just printed it in color on regular paper.

Now we are watching Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. This is my favorite version of the story, although several of the movies are good. Despite editing of sequences for time and the Ghost of Christmas Present comes first in the queue, this is remarkably faithful to the novel. Whole passages are repeated verbatim, and the characters sound natural reading the lines. Despite the occasional cartoon "gag," everything is played straight. Even the sequence where the Ghost jokes about Scrooge being too cheap to buy spectacles doesn't apply to nearsighted Magoo, but comes directly from the novel. There are no made-up scenes (in the dramatic sequences, anyway; the musical numbers have more latitude), like Scrooge's father appearing in the George C. Scott version and Marley being Scrooge's fellow apprentice and helping him buy out Fezziwig in the Alistair Sim version.

And I do love the musical sequences. I thought it was cool that they used the framing sequence of Mr. Magoo playing in A Christmas Carol on Broadway...I adore the Broadway song, and "Winter Was Warm" always makes me cry. When I was young and lonesome and felt left out I always sang "All Alone in the World" to myself. The music was written by Broadway veterans Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, who did Funny Girl.

Nope, it isn't all shiny and new, doesn't feature farting and peeing jokes, and isn't in 3D CGI. In fact, it's in UPA's limited animation. But it tells the story, and with joy and fun. That's worth all the computer graphics in creation.

Off to have lunch!

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