Christmas in a bi-national home is pretty standard. Many of the traditions from either side of the Atlantic cross over with very little difference. There are few little touches that don’t make the transition (like specific TV Christmas special episodes) but the baubles, food and events are the same. There is only one major difference.
It involves crossdressing, same-sex couples and furries and seems pretty unique to this island (with some seepage to the fair flung corners of the Commenwealth)
That’s right, it’s Christmas and that can mean only one thing…Panto!
Me and Mrs G have just finished watching one of the classic Christmas standards, A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, and it got me thinking about some of the glaring issues the story raises. Other than the glaring problems with anthropomorphic animals and Michael Caine singing, what becomes of Scrooge?
I should admit that the version we watched was found on my hard drive and had hard coded Swedish subtitles so the opening number was a lot more fun to sing.
My real issue is not with the furry puppets but with the original source material. Thanks to some spirited intervention Ebenezer is a reformed character and turns into Mr Christmas (awesome wrestler name – finisher the Christmas Angel headlock). I know that he no longer has to worry about children chortling with glee at his demise and he has all the turkey he can eat but he built a successful business based on his *ahem* Scrooge-like tendencies and now he has decided to turn his life around.
Returning home from the end of the last Hobbit movie Me and Mrs G had “that argument” again. Mrs G and me rarely argue, I would like to put this down to the fact we are very similar in beliefs and temperament so we have some kind of harmonious relationship, or it may just be that I’m right all the time.
Religion, politics, we are fine with even when we have polar opposite views. We accept that the other person has reasons why they would take the position they do. There is only one thing we can’t ever seem to see eye to eye over and that is whether Frodo Baggins is a hero.
Before I give considered reasonings I should do this in a scientific manner by presenting my hypothesis, so here we go.
Frodo Baggins is not a hero because he fails in the heroes quest, the task he is assigned he fails and then does not make a large enough sacrifice to redeem himself.
Doing a review of a recently released movie is fraught with peril. The chances are that not many people will have seen it yet so the likelihood of inadvertently divulging a spoiler is high. So I’m going to start of this review of the final part of The Hobbit saga with a huge big one.
If you see this movie it will spoil the whole of the Lord of the Rings.
There we go, that’s out of the way. I’m not talking about the shocking revelations that Sauron is back, or that Arathorn’s soon could become something special, but the fact that “The Battle of the Five Armies” is close to ruining the original trilogy and all the goodwill that they created. Thankfully is is the briefest of all visits to Middle Earth (which may be due to the fact is it based upon an A5 pamphlet).
Date night at Casa la Geek and we’re off to see the final part of the sliver of a novel, The Hobbit. Due to my concentrated size, large hairy feet, inability to grow facial hair and fondness for Lord of the Rings is it not really much of a surprise that I am called a hobbit. I even have a replica of the Ring of Power, although Mrs G would suggest I am more likely to be Isildur than any halfling – or possibly even Sauron.
Being described as a Hobbit (which is preferable to Oompa Lumpa or Mucnchkin) often leads me to also being called Frodo. Which I find quite weird as I am nothing like him. If anything I am more like a Pippin or Bilbo (especially when it is concerning social engagements).
It’s my fourth anniversary, or so my notifications tell me. Not my wedding or first date quadcentennial, but for the years that I have been registered as Geek Ergo Sum. Considering how I’ve been neglecting this site it is a little bit embarrassing to be reminded of this.
The anniversary is important because this site was one of the first ways Mrs G got to know me, it is not as evident now after the Red Posting but there was a lot of sad and angry posts in the beginning. Now there is not so much of anything, a newcomer would think that I’ve only been doing this since the autumn.
The arrival of Baby G altered my evening priorities and commuting to work in a car took away 60 minutes of down time. I just didn’t have the time, or mental capacity, to write. Look at that abortive effort at NaNoWriMo. One chapter, a few hundred measly words before I have up. That took me a few days to find the time to type.
So in part I’ve given up.
In the beginning we were sleeping in separate beds because, as Mrs G says, I’m a Stradivarius of sleep. I must have everything “just so” otherwise I can’t relax. Pillows and sheets have to be in a particular way, light minimised and sound below a whisper. Anything else and I drive myself mad and prevent the ability to drop off. So when Baby G was waking in the middle of the night it meant I had to start all over again.
Having a two month old baby was like having a broken alarm that was ready to go off at any point, with a 90% chance it being around 5am. In those first few weeks it was hard but every day started to get much, much, better than it was. Yet I was still at the limit of rest.
The first time Baby G slept the night was one of my proudest moments. She went down at midnight and was then up at 7.30am, even if I was awake at 5 waiting for her to stir. It seems that she wanted to do something special to celebrate eight weeks out in the wild and this was better than a card.
Shortly after that she started smiling, and started the path to becoming a proper little person. For the first seven weeks she was just a mass of crying, eating, pooping and occasional sleep so the firstnight of lengthy sleep heralded the moment that she started growing up.
This reminded me of a conversation I had with Mrs G, that while I enjoy the infant we have today I am really looking forward to the child we will get.
There have been few occasions recently where I can say “I agree with someone in Government” but expert promise-breaker Nick Clegg actually came out with something worth listening to. There are plans afoot to allow fathers to spend more time with their new arrivals rather than just the fleeting two weeks of screaming and sleep deprivation before being thrust back into the world of work.
After three weeks of Baby G’s arrival I still didn’t feel ready enough to return to work, I didn’t want to abandon Mrs G and I would have liked to spend some more time with Baby G. It is like being forced to step aside as a parent and turn into the person who provides the family income.
As I continue the countdown to the 1st Anniversary of Baby G’s emergence I’ve found a copy of the playlist I created to motivate Mrs G during the big push. What I needed was some music to inspire and encourage her and although I would have loved to add music I like on there I’m not sure Fight Like Apes is exactly soothing birthing music.
Instead I aimed for some kind of theme to it, I know that on Mrs G’s iPod she has tried the same thing but all I could see was Coldplay and snippets of Les Mis. I suppose for all the occasions when I have forced musical taste on her eardrums it is only fair she gets to listen to what she wants during labour.