1. I don't watch much television other than a few shows - The Office, Glee - and a random sort of other competitive shows - Top Chef, The Apprentice. But typically they stay in my DVR until I have to watch them or delete them because, well, I just don't have the time or desire to sit and watch as much as I might record. But the singing competition on NBC, The Sing-Off, has won my heart! I love music, most any kind. And music sung in pure acapella with voices as the only instruments is heaven. Although I've been an American Idol fan, I feel their days are numbered. The Sing-Off is refreshing in oh so many ways. It simulates the real-life Glee, which could fill up another blog post on why that is exciting. The judges - Ben Folds, Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Whatshername, and Shawn Stockton from BoyzIIMen - are phenomenal. They actually make sense and don't say "pitchy" ever other word, or make no musical sense at all. There have been two episodes so far and the show has a short run each year so be sure to catch it on Mondays and Wednesdays for as long as it lasts - or online. Otherwise, you'll have to wait a year for that harmonizing goodness.
2. Last Friday, I went to see The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at a local high school with my soul sister, Amy, and her daughter Kaela. Once Kaela heard it was a "girls' night" she just had to come and let her brother and Daddy have their boys' night. After one girls' night at my house in her PJs watching Glee, she was hooked on the girls' night concept. Amy will attest that her holiday season can't begin until she sees this production, and this was the first time for Kaela. And you can't beat $5 for an easy way to get into the Christmas spirit. If you've never seen the play, nor read the book, please do so this holiday season. You'll understand the real meaning of Christmas and realize that Jesus came for the misfits, the square pegs, the outsiders. Jesus was born and Mary laid Him in a trough. He spent His Life and Ministry (and death) ministering to those of us who find ourselves in the troughs of life. He truly is the Reason for the Season. Amy and I shed a tear, just like we did when we saw it two years ago. Let Christmas commence!
3. Whilst receiving my DNA when I was created, I missed some of that shopping gene. I shop out of necessity. You won't find me going to a mall to stroll and browse. Partially because it's not my thing, but partially because when I see something I like, it's too tempting that I have a hard time not buying it. But there is one type of retail therapy I love - shopping at Walgreen's. The store has been around for more than 100 years, and it's obvious why. Last Saturday after a long day of household chores, laundry and grocery shopping, it was late...and snowing...and I was on a Benadryl hangover and out of medicine and cough drops. So, at 7pm on a snowy, dark Saturday night, I headed to Walgreen's. (People, I have got to get a life) I needed a few other things - makeup, scarves and gloves for our office Christmas tree - so the trip was well warranted. I even traveled to my favorite Walgreen's, which is about 15 minutes away. I found everything I needed, with much on sale, and a friendly staff who chatted with me as I shopped. I've been to CVS, Rite Aid and the whole drug store lot, but none can compare to Walgreen's. I heart Walgreen's.
4. I just finished a marvelous book - The 13th Hour. My book club opens up windows of books in various genres I would never read on my own. I adore that about being part of my book club. If you are looking for a fast read for the holidays that you just can't put down, I highly recommend this book. In short, it's a mystery about a man who has been accused of murdering his wife. He is given a timepiece that will allow him to go back in time - an hour at a time - for 12 hours to solve the crime and prevent the death of his wife. When you open the book, it starts at Chapter 12...because you are going backwards in time. That's just delicious! And speaking of delicious, the book for this month is The Love Goddess' Cooking School. No, it's not some R-rated book, but a light-hearted story of a woman who has lost a love and assumes the little Italian cooking school her grandmother ran before her death. If you like following a character who is recovering from lost love and talk of good Italian food, this book is for you. It's that time of year when the weather outside is frightful, but curling up with a book and a cup of java is so delightful.
5. When setting up my DVR to record the aforementioned show, The Sing-Off, I caught a listing for the showing of Singin' in the Rain. I've loved that movie for a long time. I noticed it was on TCM, Turner Classic Movie Channel. I heaved a sigh because that has always been a premium channel, untouched by us lowly basic cable users. The channel listing was 608 and I thought, "Hmm, let's just go there and see." Much to my surprise, I have TCM! I know this is quite geeky and classifies me as some sort of movie goober, but that surprise was absolutely wonderful. I heart old movies and much of my Blockbuster queue is filled with movies you can't get at Red Box. Now I have access to those old movies 24 hours a day. The old Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movie, "Babes on Broadway" was on last night. As I'm winding down for bed and need that "go to sleep" movie, nothing hits the mark like an old classic where men loved women and women adored men. Thank you Insight for finally doing something right.