2015-12-25-bestWe hope you had fun.

As ever, still my favorite Christmas song.  Thank you, John Lennon.

We are not roasting chestnuts on an open fire, because 1 – I don’t particularly like that song, 2 – we don’t have a fireplace, 3 – I don’t like nuts, and most importantly, 4 – because it’s too friggin hot!  It was 70° yesterday!  70!  On Christmas Eve!

For once, all the presents haven’t been opened yet, which is causing Veronica much consternation.  We combine various Christmas traditions – there’s no way she’d go for my family’s old tradition of actually spreading things over 12 days but this is the first time in years I’ve managed to keep some of the presents until after lunch.

So, a Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it.  Happy late (C)Hanukkah to others.  If your thing is not one of those two, we hope you enjoy that as well.

We got Christmas Eve on Sesame Street watched last night.  We watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol (which we gave to Thomas this year so we wouldn’t have to keep checking Disney every year to find out when it will air).  I’ll be cueing up A Charlie Brown Christmas after I post this.  We also headed to the theaters to watch The Good Dinosaur, a fun movie but one of Pixar’s weakest. (more…)

Yes, we went somewhere over the weekend.

Yes, we went somewhere over the weekend.

We managed to hit the first night of Zoolights at the National Zoo.

We managed to hit the first night of Zoolights at the National Zoo.

More astute readers may have noticed that it’s been a while since the last post.  Things keep getting in the way of finishing the Nighthawk Awards for 1956.  One of those things was that we decided to get out of our nightmare of an apartment for a few days and headed down south on I-95, braving all the snow (there really wasn’t much) and traffic (not too bad either). (more…)

wakefield-benchAs you know if you are friends with Veronica on Facebook, we are enjoying some time in San Diego at the moment.  I’m hoping to have a little bit of movie stuff later in the week, after I get a chance to make a trip and finish up some stuff, but I don’t want to say what yet.

While that is on hold, I wanted to put up something.  And through some nice serendipity, I had the perfect shirt on when we went to Coronado, and after playing at the beach, took a walk over to my grandfather’s bench.  So, here are Thomas and I at the bench.  And thanks to my knuckleballer, Timmy, for playing for the Sox for all those years and providing a shirt for me to buy and wear.  It was total chance that I had the shirt on and that we managed to find a parking spot and that this picture, which was completely unplanned, worked so well.

The illustrated version of The Hobbit that I have been reading to Thomas.

The illustrated version of The Hobbit that I have been reading to Thomas.

I’m trying to work on a few different posts at the same time.  One is a For Love of Film, one is the next batch of Oscar-nominated directors.  Another is a look at Adapted Screenplays from 1912-1926.  And there are a couple of For Love of Books posts that I’m trying to work on.

Three great characters.  And one not so great.

Three great characters. And one not so great.

That, and I have been reading to Thomas from The Hobbit every night.  We just finished last night, after having started back in December.  Now we’re moving on to The Wind in the Willows.

Oh, and Veronica and I have been watching our way through “Doctor Who”.  After finishing all of the current run (Eccleston, Tenant, Smith), we also went back and started at the beginning.  The very beginning: “An Unearthly Child”, which aired originally on 23 November 1963.  Well, after watching a bunch of Hartnell (most of which were “meh” but definitely get “The Chase”) and every available serial with Troughton (who was awesome), we have been watching our way through the 3rd Doctor – Jon Pertwee, with some mixed results (Veronica really doesn’t like a particular companion who happens to not be Liz or Sarah Jane).  We’ve been trying to finish before the second half of Series 7 begins on 30 March.  We won’t quite make it, but it will be close.

All of this means the next post might be ready for tomorrow or it might not.  But there will be some coming soon.  And after finishing three different series which ran for over three years each (Year in Film ran from 30 Oct 2009 to 3 March 2013, The History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture ran from 9 March 2010 to 17 March 2013 and The Top 100 Novels ran from 10 January 2010 to 24 February 2013) I am a bit exhausted.  So more soon.  But now I’m off to watch more Pertwee (only six more serials until Sarah Jane!).

And we’ll let you all know how Thomas’ science fair project goes.  We’re investigating if crushing Mentos before you put them in Diet Coke effects how much they explode.  Let the messiness begin!

Thomas and I on a snow pile.  Veronica took the picture and stayed far from the pile.

Thomas and I on a snow pile. Veronica took the picture and stayed far from the pile.

Well, for once the weathermen in Boston were right.  We got a blizzard.  The picture on the left is partial proof.  This powerpoint (BlizzardFeb13) is more proof.  We got closer to three feet of snow rather than two.  But, with the drifts, as you can see when you get to the first picture of the car, it went closer to five feet.  Also, our upstairs neighbors did a timelapse video which you can see here.  But, two days in a row home with Thomas and Veronica – can’t remember the last time that happened.  I love the snow.

I hope you all enjoyed 2012.  We actually spent the whole year in one place, a place we like living in, so that alone was good for us.  And Thomas is having a much better time now at the end of the year than he was having during the start.

So, if you come to the blog to read about Thomas and to follow what he’s doing, we’ll try to keep updating it in 2013 as much as we can.  Meanwhile, now that Veronica and I both have iPhones, we’ll be trying to put more videos of him up on YouTube.  If you keep watching after the first video, it will keep playing them.  Or you can find them all here.

But, if you are here for the posts about film and literature and other random things that I feel like writing about, keep reading after the jump. (more…)

IMG_1493Well, it’s Christmas.  I suspect you might have already known that.

That pile under the tree has now pretty much been devoured.  We have eaten our eggs, coffee cake and sausage and we have our croque monsieurs and chicken cacciatore to come.  We are watching Pixar Shorts Vol II (though last night we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street and we watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol while opening presents), which Thomas got for Christmas.  And tonight it will be all about the new companion on the Christmas episode of Doctor Who.  Though before that, we’ll go out in the snow (yes – we actually have received the gift of a white christmas – at least it’s a gift to Erik).

Thanks to everyone who sent Thomas things – except for the pile in the back, everything under the tree was pretty much for him.  And he has been enjoying it all this morning.


Veronica and Thomas next to the famous Bronx Zoo cobra. It's actually really small.

Well, the reason for the big gap between the Year in Film and Best Picture for 1984 was that we went down to New York and Philadelphia on Thursday and Friday.

Bert, Veronica, Thomas and Ernie

All started out well on Thursday morning.  We zipped down to the Bronx in 3 1/2 hours (including stopping for breakfast) and we got to the north corner of the Bronx Zoo (Fordham Rd and Southern) by 10:08, just after the zoo opened.  All we had to do then was drive the four blocks down Southern and make a left into the zoo entrance.

It took 72 minutes.  On the worst paved major road I have ever been on.  Maybe next time instead of spending $150 million to run for a third term, Bloomberg should just spend his money on paving the damn road next to one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city.  And put a cop at the intersection who won’t tell me “go down to the next light and make a left” when the next light is a one-way street running the wrong way.

Luckily, the rest of the trip was much better.  The zoo was nice (it was sunny and nice, although windy).  We saw a lot of things (although the Asia monorail didn’t open until the following Saturday) and Thomas had a nice time.  In fact, Thomas did great at both locations on the trip and the drive (but he did have a hard time calming down at night in the hotel because he was so excited). (more…)

Thomas among the rocks at Purgatory Chasm

With a weekend visit from my dad and my total inability, it would seem, to get anything typed, there has been a big lag on the blog lately.  We took a trip out to Purgatory Chasm while he was here, which is where the pictures are from.  So, here is a bit of a family update to keep everything going while I try to finish my piece on the next book (Midnight’s Children), the next film year (1983) and the next For Love of Books (Disney).  It would appear that we haven’t done a family update since Christmas so this is long overdue.



We will be seeing these people (V's mom and grandparents)

At best, I hope to get the Best Picture 1971 sometime in the next week, but that will be the only film / literature post in the next week.  We are off to Wisconsin before the crack of dawn in order to be there before midnight.  We’ll be back on Sunday.  Hopefully.

and this person (V's sister), though she will probably not feed any giraffes while we are there.

and this person (V's dad)