Sunday, December 13, 2009

Watching, Listening, Reading: (Mostly) Holiday Edition

I got this meme from Idzie, and it's called "F.A.B. share" for Film, Audio, and Book share. I guess you're supposed to share what movie or show you're watching, what album you're listening to and what book you're reading, in case someone might like to pick them up on their next trip to B&N. However, in my situation - being a geek and having limited funds for entertainment - all of those pretty much boil down to "what internet are you internetting on the internet?" So this won't entirely conform to the meme's original purpose. But hey, I've never been much of a conformist ;)


Yesterday, someone linked me to BetaMaxMas, a site that simulates watching TV at Christmastime in the early 80s. It features things such as Christmas episodes of Who's the Boss and Perfect Strangers, the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special, old Christmas commercials, and even Ronald Reagan's Christmas address. (I've never liked Reagan's politics, but the man knew how to give a speech.) It's mostly just for fun 80s-kid nostalgia, but I love the idea of using the internet to simulate living in different time periods. Why aren't more people doing that?

Also, tonight I'm going to make my pathetic goy attempt at making something resembling latkes, which will not end well. While I am eating the inevitably charred results, I'll watch Eight Crazy Nights.

Now, this movie has kind of stupid humor, but I love it for a few reasons. For one, it's full of songs, and they're great. The main storyline is also surprisingly sweet - it even has a few tearjerker moments. But mostly I like it because when I was 18 or so, I went through a phase where I was fascinated by Judaism, and decided to have a little makeshift Chanukah celebration, complete with a "menorah" made from candles I found around the house. It was very peaceful, quietly observing a holiday by myself. And it was then that I watched this movie for the first time, so it brings back a nice memory that I might have forgotten otherwise.


Lately I've been listening to a Pandora station I made out of my favorite Christmas music: slow, melancholic, quiet songs, especially ones with a medieval or Renaissance feel. Currently I have a playlist of these songs on my sidebar, but for archival purposes I'll go ahead and embed it here, too:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I love all kinds of Christmas music, but I think the reason I love the quieter stuff the most is that in my mind, the holidays and winter in general should be a time to rest and turn inward. If the year was a day, winter would be the night: you've done your work, you've done your playing, and as the sun fades you surround yourself with warmth and family, light and nourishment. As far as I'm concerned that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.


I tend to do all my reading online these days, and of course, I'm mostly drawn to blogs. Lately I've been going through the archives over at By Sun and Candlelight. Now, some of you may be curious what is drawing me to a Catholic, school-at-home family's blog. I actually discovered this blog when I first stepped into the world of homeschooling blogs, before I learned the word unschooling and connected it to what I'd been doing. What I love about this blog is that it has so many ideas for how to live in tune with the changes in the seasons. Part of the reason I always get depressed in January is that I no longer feel the sense of ritual and being in touch with nature that I get when I'm celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I've been seeking ways to bring that same feeling to the rest of the seasons, and Dawn's blog has been an immensely helpful resource as I plan ways to do that in the coming year.


Well, when I started this meme I didn't realize what a holiday-themed post it would turn out to be! I may redo this meme occasionally. I think it makes for a nice snapshot in time.

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