Hello and Happy Monday. Five days until Hanukkah begins, 15 until Christmas Day. Not that I’m keeping track or anything. Or stressing about getting everything done in time. Or sitting here, chewing a thumbnail, racking my brain for gifts for people I hardly know but need to buy for anyway. Oh, no. Never.

So I watched The Big Lebowski this weekend, finally. And I….didn’t get it. I mean, I thought it was funny, and Jeff Daniels was great as always, and it was certainly quirky, but it just wasn’t The Greatest Ever, which was what I expected because SO many people I know feel that way about it. Total confession: I didn’t even last until the end. I know, I know! This is the problem when a movie has been talked up so much, though. You can only be disappointed. It’s the reason I don’t want to watch Sling Blade, which I’ve also never seen, because EVERYONE loves it and I am afraid I won’t and then what. Well, then I’ll write about it here, I guess. But still. You get my point.

Something that has been pleasantly surprising me lately? The O.C. I know, a lot of people have kind of moved on from this show. Last season was a bit over the top, even before the whole Marissa dying thing. And the first episode of this season, with Ryan cage fighting? Ummm….well. BUT. In the last couple of episodes, something has changed. That snarky, fun element that’s been missing is creeping back. The dialog is better, the characters are suddenly showing more personality and, yes, quirkiness, which is what I loved about the show when it started. Part of this is the totally whacked out pairing of Ryan and Taylor, a couple which should JUST NOT WORK and yet somehow does. There is so much they can do with these characters. I swear, it’s such a good concept—brooding bad boy, entirely too cheerful almost psychotic perfectionist girl—that I wish I’d thought of it. Damn you, Josh Schwartz! Still, I am impressed.

And it is nice to have a show that’s still showing new episodes, as well, since EVERYTHING seems to be in reruns right now. You’re pretty much stuck with Christmas specials, which, other than Charlie Brown, are just not my thing. I did honor one of my new holiday traditions on Saturday night, though: the first viewing of Love, Actually. This isn’t a movie that is just about Christmas and the holidays, but it’s become a holiday movie to me, and I only watch it when I’m really in the need of some holiday sap. Yes, it’s not perfect (Hugh Grant as prime minister?) and sometimes seems to juggle too many characters at once (but I can relate) but I LOVE this movie, in all its oozy, fun, entirely too sentimental glory. So I figure I have about 16 days left when I can keep watching without my husband going ballistic. Better make the most of it. In fact, maybe I’ll start now….

have a great day, everyone!
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