Announcing My Official Engagement to Prince William

Are you guys sure Prince William is engaged to Kate Middleton because it sure looks like I have the ring.

Just kidding. This mega-gem is from Avon circa…I was probably in Kindergarten. My grandmother’s neighbor was an Avon Lady and I coveted her sample knock-off Princess Diana engagement ring so much that she gave it to me. Obviously you can see that I had “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” from a VERY young age.

Forget About Friday the 13th

Saturday The 14thHappy Friday the 13th! CK and I will spend tonight enjoying some messy BBQ from Red Bones and perhaps finally catching up on the large number of Sons of Anarchy episodes collecting dust on the TiVo. Friday the 13th is nice and all, but growing up I was obsessed with a little ridiculous movie called Saturday the 14th. Have you heard of it? I loved this movie. I watched it over and over again along with Dirty Dancing, Once Bitten, and Annie — what can I say…I was a weird kid…

It’s essentially a horror movie spoof of some of the more popular scary films pre-1980, but that was way over my head then. I just thought it was funny when a woman got eaten by a “fur coat” and a shark fin appeared in the bathtub.  At that time in my life I was convinced that there were monsters in the lake where our camp resided and that things would eat me if I didn’t close the closet door so you can probably see why I’d find a movie like this so near and dear to my heart.

If you can dig up an old VHS copy from someone’s basement or happen upon one in a really funky video store you should absolutely gobble it up and watch it immediately. Sure, it’s bizarre and very dated at this point but seeing Jeffrey Tambor vamp it up is absolutely fantastic and totally worth it.

Anne With an E on DVD

Anne DVD

At Costco today I found the Anne of Green Gables DVD collection on sale for $49.99 and into the cart it went. Once upon a time I used to own the VHS tapes but gave them away when we retired our VCR. I absolutely adore these movies. When they used to only come on during PBS pledge drives I fondly remember being glued to the television each time Anne made her annual appearance. To this day I still have a crush on the actor who played Gilbert Blythe. Jonathan Crombie: be still my heart.

Before Green Gables

Before Green GablesWhen I first heard that a prequel to Anne of Green Gables was being published I was absolutely disgusted. It seemed that nothing was sacred anymore. Big business appeared primed to dictate the ruin of one of my most cherished childhood literary memories. I couldn’t comprehend how anyone would possibly think that they should infringe upon such a perfectly crafted story. Not to mention, did I really want to know in-depth details about the downtrodden and tragic days of Anne’s life before she came to Green Gables?

But believe it or not I was wrong and I’m terribly shocked about the whole thing. Before Green Gables is simply excellent. The writing is phenomenal. The story timeline has been meticulously researched, and the characters are well rounded. Each and every new person that comes across Anne’s path fits seamlessly into the tale just as though Lucy Maud Montgomery might have imagined it herself.

I loved learning how Anne developed her quirky vocabulary, including the inception of the phrase “depths of despair” and how she determined that it was her most ardent desire in life to have a “bosom friend.” The portrait of Anne’s kind parents at the beginning of the book is simply heartbreaking, but is balanced well by the few well-meaning souls who recognize in Anne a “kindred spirit” and thankfully take an interest in her education and upbringing.

Anne’s life prior to moving to Prince Edward Island does unfortunately resemble a 10 year indentured servitude to the Gosselin family. She’s constantly cutting vegetables, carrying dozens of buckets of water, and looking after an unbelievable number of very young children, but somehow she continuously maintains a bright and cheerful attitude.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the story is Budge Wilson’s ability to humanize both the Thomas family as well as the Hammond’s. Most of my poor opinion of the Hammond’s is drawn from the 90 seconds that we view their out of control household in the film version, but just like in real life there are always extenuating circumstances that make people behave the way they do. Wilson explores the nuances of each of these struggling families and makes it impossible to simply brand them as villains. Because of this even drunken and abusive Mr. Thomas comes off as being a redeemable character.

Anne Shirley is a charming child who has bewitched readers for years, and this well grounded tale of her past truly only serves to enhance the Green Gables experience. I encourage you to pick it up and reminisce. Personally, I hope to revisit the entire Anne series this year.

The Canterville Ghost

I ran out of Mad Men episodes On Demand this weekend and had to begrudgingly find a substitute for my semi-regular, yet still fruitless, elliptical jaunts “up the mountain” setting. While flipping through the free movie section I found the 1996 version of The Canterville Ghost starring Neve Campbell and Patrick Stewart. Needless to say, I freaked out and pressed play immediately.

I totally remember watching this when it originally aired on TV. I was 16 at the time and it was the height of the whole Party of Five hype. I was all about Charlie, Claudia, Bailey, Owen, and of course Julia. Surprisingly enough, this family friendly film holds up fairly well for being a made for TV movie. In addition, the presence of the venerable Captain Picard as the resident ghost, dressed in period garb and shaking his chains with all his might, gives it quite a bit of added credibility.

If you have Comcast you should definitely check out The Canterville Ghost, even if only to remember how bad that whole plaid flannel shirt, overalls look really was. It’s available until November 9th. By the way, whatever happened to Neve Campbell? She was on a few episodes of Medium last year but that’s about it. I miss her. Someone should hire her for another sitcom so that she can pout prettily and roll her eyes for an audience again.

Triple Word Score

CK and I played our first Scrabble game together last night while watching the Red Sox game. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Mostly because I resoundingly trounced my boyfriend 339 points to his 193, but also because I simply love boardgames. It’s been much too long since I’ve played a game. I can’t even remember the last time I played Monopoly or Life.

Life is definitely my favorite classic board game. Whenever I used to play with my family, my mom would inevitably end up with so many children that the little pegs wouldn’t fit in her game piece car and she’d have to stack them up. Then they’d fall out all over the board every time she had to move. My ten-year-old self found those incidents absolutely hysterical. No doubt, I probably choked on my Jax and snorted Mountain Dew out of my nose. Good times! Last night I managed to behave myself a little better, although I did make a gagging face after I tried the Berry Weiss Leinenkugal beer CK picked up by mistake. Note to self: don’t buy the pink labeled bottles. When it comes to Leinenkugal the blue label is best.