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Archive for January, 2020

Hallmark Christmas Movies

 

If you have cable or satellite TV, you probably get the Hallmark channel.  And like all the specialty channels that abound these days, Hallmark specializes in G rated light-weight romance movies.  Their Christmas movies have a huge audience, mostly women who prefer non-violent schmaltz with happy endings over the more edgier stuff on Amazon Prime, HBO, Netflicks and all the other subscriber channels ya gotta pay extra for.

They are all basically the same:  A young attractive woman who has a high paying dream-job in the big city that affords her the opportunity to frequent coffee bars, enjoy long leisurely lunches in nice restaurants (always with a glass of wine), and whose boss is always kind, supportive and allows her much time off (did I mention that these are fantasies) to travel to her small home-town because Daddies Christmas tree farm is in danger of being bought-out by a greedy corporation who wants to turn the place into condos.  What’s a girl to do?  Matters get worse when the corporate rep, a good-looking single guy who just loves her cute young son/daughter, shows up in town at the same time.  The tension between the two , who are always smiling (as is everyone else) builds.  But somehow despite all odds, love is in the air, along with a lot of hot chocolate and snowball fights, and Mister Wrong turns out to be Mister Right.  He softens up and they fall in love.  The Christmas tree farm is saved, Daddy is put in an Alzheimer’s home, and they seal the deal with a kiss (always closed mouth and never any  tongue).  Oh yeah, it turns out that he was actually a Prince in disguise.

These are really low budget movies that only take three weeks to shoot.  Most of the cast are straight out of community theater, and if they do have a ‘star’, they are usually well past their prime.  All the hot actresses of the 80’s and 90’s are now playing not so hot grandmas.  You kinda know them when ya see ’em, the challenge is: what sit-com where they on thirty years ago?

The locations are always snow covered small mountain towns with thriving cup-cake bakeries, candle shops and antique stores.  Main street is over decorated with all manner of Holiday paraphernalia.  And every interior shot filled floor to ceiling with holly, ribbon and multiple Christmas trees.

Wow Hansi!  How come you know so much about Hallmark movies?  Well…The Wife loves ’em, and we start recording them as soon as they come out in early September.  Every night until Christmas is a Hallmark movie in our house; we’re now staring to record “Winter” movies and are gearing up for Valentines (another biggie) shows.

I actually don’t mind these movies that much.  After an early evening of medication, listening to 60’s music on earphones and dreaming up blog stuff, it’s nice to settle in on the couch with a case of the munchies and watch something that isn’t too demanding.  The good part is I can fall asleep and not wonder how it ended.  They all end the same…Happily Ever-after.

If it wasn’t for Robo calls, I wouldn’t have no calls at all.

My apologies to Albert King for butchering the lyrics to his song Born Under A Bad Sign wherein he laments that “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all”.  How true!  The Wife went out of town with a girl friend (not like in a gay girl-friend, just one of her female friends; of course if ya watch enough Project Runway you’ll find that term can easily apply to both men and women).  So, I was left home alone for three days, and because all her friends knew she was going somewhere, We didn’t get a bunch of phone calls that weekend.  Except…for Robo calls (guess they didn’t know).  I did get one actual call, from a telemarketer.  Who I asked, “Are you a Robo call?”  When she replied, “Do I sound like a Robo call?”, I said “Yeah”, whereupon she hung up.

Being home alone when you’re 72 isn’t like “It’s party time!”   And it’s definitely not like the movie about the kid who’s parents forgot about him and left him behind alone to fend off burglars (although if too much herbal medication is consumed paranoia can creep in and make ya wonder if every strange noise ya hear is a home invasion and all I’m stuck with to fight them off is my measly cane).  I do get to play my music as loud as I want, and watch watch whatever ‘evil’ (meaning not a Hallmark Christmas movie) television show that I want.  Big problem is, after two nights all the left-overs are gone and the carton of ice cream was nearly empty.  That means cooking, and with cooking comes dish washing, and I like to keep my dish washing down to one utensil, a coffee cup, and maybe a bowl if I can’t microwave the container of leftovers.

Being home alone is okay once in a while, but I wouldn’t wanna do it all the time.  It could get lonely.  But at least I’d have Robo calls.

 

Cancelling PRIME

I cancelled Amazon Prime the other day.  Had to Google how to do it first cause there wasn’t a big red button on their website to click on and put ya outta your misery.  Nope, ain’t that easy.   There was hoops to jump through first: “Your Prime membership”, then “Accounts and Lists”, which produced a drop-down menu were “End Membership” was hidden among a host of other crap.  But it didn’t end there.  I had to wade through four different pop-up windows questioning my intentions if that’s what I really wanted to do; offering me another eight days for only $1.99 – such a deal.  It was kinda like the dope peddler, who after offering you the first fix for free, keeps tempting you to give in and give it just one more shot.  “You know ya like it, come-on just give it one more try”.  What really fried me was after going through this whole rig-a-ma-roll, I got an email giving just one more chance.  They don’t give up!

All this to cancel my free 30 day trial before it rolled over to a twelve buck monthly charge – don’t want that.  Don’t get me wrong.  Amazon Prime is great… if ya wanna buy stuff.   I didn’t have to get of my ass, get dressed, go to a store and fight crowds this Christmas season, just sit back, select what I wanted, read the reviews, compare prices and then watch free Prime videos until my package arrived in two days.  Then I did have to get off my ass, cause I got an email with a picture of my delivery at my front door. [ For some reason they always left it on the side of my screen-door which made it near impossible to open  outwards; could you image what would happen if I’d ordered food from Whole Foods – One could starve to death inside their house with a pile of rotting food just outside their front door.]

Prime also relieves ya from having to endure any human contact whatsoever.  The Wife and I can hunker down with our doors locked, drapes closed and watch MSNBC all day.  It’s a scary world out their filled with terrorists, criminals, illegal aliens ( and I’m not talking about the ones from Mars passing themselves off as earthlings), armed evangelicals and Trump supporters.  Can’t be too careful these days.

I can see how folks might get hooked on Prime.  Sure makes life easier.  I just don’t wanna become addicted.

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