Saturday, December 22, 2007

On Alternative Traditions - Note: updated post

(after some comments, I've updated -- in GREEN

Most people are running around frantically now, trying to put the finishing touches on their family traditions. Around here, we have a different approach. Like many others for whom Christmas means December 25th, our tradition is a movie and Chinese food. Why? Because Chinese restaurants are among the few open on Christmas. True, we've broken tradition from time to time if we've found an open sushi place, and once we did Indian, but it's almost always Chinese.

In case anyone doesn't understand where I'm coming from, you can check this out:

The movie is the hard part. Finding something we could agree on became too hard, so we simply alternated after the kids moved out and it was only the two of us. No whining, take it or--take it. No staying home. But for the past several years, it's been more of "No, you pick." Nothing has appealed to either of us, and neither wanted to be blamed for a lousy afternoon. It's looking like that again. We've scanned the movie section, hoping something would inspire. "Romantic Comedy", one ad says. Immediate veto from my husband (although I could insist, but I won't -- that's why we have Netflix). Christmas movies are out. After all, the whole reason we're going to the movie in the first place is because Christmas isn't anything special. One radio announcer was talking about a 'must see for the arterial blood spatter' movie. Don't think that one will be on my list.

So -- here's a plea. What "theater" movie would you recommend? Husband doesn't like anything with a message. I don't like slapstick, bathroom humor comedy. Email me or leave a comment with suggestions. PLEASE!! And remember, we try to go OUT to a "REAL" movie -- first run, in the theater.

The rest of South Africa was working at the Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. Nope, I don't study the critters. I'm a hired consultant and I manage membership and provide corporate memory for the Society, so they paid me to be at the conference. Hence the trip. It was the easiest job in 10 years, because instead of dealing with conference logistics and registration as I usually do, the distance and different currency made long-distance planning nigh-onto impossible, so all I had to deal with was membership. A relative piece of cake.

That means it's now time to move into real time and catch up. I do have one more Africa entry planned, but it required more photo formatting. I'll let you know when I finish.


Jenyfer Matthews said...

So, what - you think *I* want to be responsible for your crummy afternoon?? don't make it easy with restrictions like the ones you've listed. So, I'll just throw out some titles of things that my hubby and I have watched together and enjoyed. Most are oldies, but I haven't actually been to a movie theatre to watch a "grown-up" movie in a LONG time!!

Master and Commander: Far Side of the World

Bridges of Madison County

Pirates of the Caribbean

Princess Bride

When Harry Met Sally

Out of Africa (couldn't resist!)

You could always try renting series too - like Deadwood or The Wire

HTH - have a great Tuesday!

Terry Odell said...

Good suggestions - but the challenge is we actually go OUT to a movie on Christmas Day. And so far, there's nothing playing around here that excites me. Or even gets me to a, "maybe that will be good," or even, "well, that one probably won't be too bad."

Edita A. Petrick said...

I'd have been interested in knowing what 'traditions' you do celebrate this time of the year - Hannukah...? If that's the case, then you're just coming out of it and should take time to relax, never mind "tradition'ing" with those who celebrate Christmas. Byzantine...which is a tad later...? Anyhow, you've just come back from South Africa where by the shots you've had a heck of a time and you live in Orlando, Florida...natch. Try shoveling snow, salting sidewalks and such 'traditional' pleasures.

Granted, much of regular businesses are closed on Dec 25th save Chinese - so this year, why not ORDER-IN, or take-out Chinese (since you insist calling it tradition), rent a few Jackie Chan movies as a complement to the Chinese food and have a looong, leisurely meal, watching generally heart-warming, silly and funny movies.

You've someone to argue with over movies and other things, someone who'll probably fall alseep on the couch, while you put away the dishes...consider yourself very traditionally lucky. Happy New Year 2008. Edita.

Jessica Odell said...

How about the new National Treasure movie?

My local Chinese is closed on Christmas Day, so I'll be getting take-out on Christmas Eve while Iain is at work. :)

Laura K said...

Why not what Jessica said or that movie "Juno". It's about that pregnant teenage girl who's all snarky about her condition.

Anonymous said...

"Enchanted" is a fun family movie & "Sweeney Todd" is a great movie for the adults! :) Happy Holidays!


Jenyfer Matthews said...

I vote for Chinese takeout and a DVD - I am so spoiled by "pause" for drink refills and bathroom breaks I don't really care for going out to theaters anymore!!

Terry Odell said...

Thanks for the suggestions. No family, since it's just the 2 of us. Sweeny Todd was the movie recommended for 'fantastic arterial blood flow' -- not my cup of tea. Flicks about pregnant teenagers are probably not going to float my husband's boat. Since we do 'movie night' around here once a week, staying in won't feel special, so I was really hoping to find something to go out and see.

That being said, I have grown to really dislike the theater experience. They've chopped them into tiny rooms so you have to get there early to get a seat, then suffer through actual commercials, then coming attractions. Plus people talking. I have to admit I've been known to take an e-book reader with it's backlit screen to read during all the preliminaries.

We shall scour the paper.

Also, a local restaurant is having a fancy dinner the 3 days after Christmas, and we just might do that instead.

But it won't be our tradition.

Kim Cox said...

Atonement looks like a pretty good movie. You can check it out at

Bro said...

You know,sis, that the multi-plex could be your friend. You see one movie, Dan another. It's a dark and quite (occasionally) room so who cares who you sit next to. Meet up for chocolate cake afterwards and simultaneously say, "Good thing you didn't see that one."