Happy New Year, everyone.
I had the best of intentions of posting one more entry before 2017 slipped away, but…well, let’s just say that between families, day-jobs, and insane end-of-year rushes, that just didn’t pan out. So here we are, in 2018, exploring a brand-new year.
We had a great holiday, despite the unprecedented busy-ness (we’ve been busy before, but holy cow, this one…). One of my favorite holiday traditions is the annual Christmas movie night with my old college roomie and her family. We started this several years ago with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (a holiday classic–who among us does not have a Cousin Eddie?). As her children have grown up and finally gotten old enough to stay up (and kind of sit still) for movie nights, we’ve tweaked the formula a bit in an attempt to avoid small souls parroting salty language in front of grandparents, and awkward conversations about Clark Griswold’s swimming pool fantasy with the shop girl. This year’s double feature included Home Alone for the kids–the first, original, and best-executed of the series (in my humble opinion). We managed to keep young ears from the worst of the language (although we missed the curse words that flew in the frenetic opening scenes where McAllister family tensions run high). And there was also a brief explanation as to why you shouldn’t tell your little brother to “keep the change, you filthy animal,” no matter how funny it sounds. The most entertaining part, of course, was watching the kids watch the movie. There’s something amusing about watching a seven-year-old (who begged for the movie selection) hide behind the sofa because he’s nervous that the eight-year-old on the TV screen is about to get into trouble. And then spend twenty minutes rolling on the floor laughing during Kevin McAllister’s triumphant home security segment. While his little brother sat, transfixed, apparently unconcerned.
And then after the kids went to bed, we had Christmas Vacation, complete with eggnog in Marty Moose mugs (available on Amazon) and the most amazing fleece blanket ever. When I was still in professional school, I sometimes had trouble falling asleep because my mind would race and I would get upset thinking about everything that hadn’t gotten done that day, and everything that needed to be done tomorrow, and ohmyGOSH how could I have forgotten to pay that bill??? So Jamie, in her infinite wisdom, turned me on to ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response, according to Wikipedia). Basically, ASMR is sounds that feel good–soft sounds that are soothing. There are videos on YouTube featuring people brushing their hair, whispering, rolling rain sticks, running their fingers across upholstery, using scissors, any number of soft noises. (If you think that sounds weird, you can check out YouTube for ASMR–some of these videos of people whispering have millions of views!) For some people, it has become a form of meditation and relaxation. And it can be kind of hypnotic. We started watching Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting after noticing that clips of his show came up in some searches for ASMR. If you’ve never watched it, Bob Ross is the master of chill (to the extent that Netflix has some of his episodes available in the “Chill With Bob Ross” collection. I kid you not). And we’ve had an inside joke about Bob Ross and his super soothing soft-spokenness ever since. So, when I discovered that THIS existed, you know that it had to happen.
And happen, it did. All hail Captain Bob, who shows us that there are no mistakes–just “happy accidents.”
Speaking of chill, it’s downright frigid out there. The local school systems here were on a two-hour delay just because of the cold, there are reports of school buses refusing to start this morning, and some of the county schools had trouble with their heating systems today. And according to the meteorologists, we’re in for several more days of this bitter cold. I hope you have plenty of cozy blankets, with or without Bob Ross. Please stay safe and warm out there, friends!