Cheer Du Jour

A little cheer to forget your troubles, and better yet, to toast with a glass of bubbles!

80′s Bullies Reunited – It Doesn’t Get Better

Pull out your hankies – the poor, misguided bullies of the 80′s get together to share their remorse (well, mostly)….

via Yahoo! Screen

Classic bullies – Scut Farkus from “A Christmas Story,” John Kreese from “The Karate Kid,” Big John from “Can’t Buy Me Love,” Donkeylips from “Salute Your Shorts” and Freddy Krueger – remind us that it doesn’t get better for tormenters in this PSA honoring the It Gets Better campaign.

via 80s 4ever! | 1980’s Awesomeness Served Daily.

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Jan 25 – Opposite Day

Happy Opposite Day, or if you’re reading this on Jan 25th, Unhappy Opposite Day. Or would that be Unhappy Non-Opposite Night? The possibilities are endless, and possibly even parodoxical…the result of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe (Back to the Future quotes come in so handy!).

I couldn’t find the origin of the day, only the description of it as the day to do the opposite of what you usually do, and say the opposite of what you mean. The Altius Directory offers some ideas for family fun to celebrate the day, including eating breakfast for dinner and eating dessert first. Yes, this is an excellent time to practice Jacques Torres’ advice, that “Life is short, east dessert first!” During my search of Opposite Day’s history, I found a post that suggested moving your birthday to Opposite Day, so your age can be counted backwards each year. I wish I had that author’s name (my computer crashed, losing the link to this nugget of wisdom.

There are even a few videos you can get to watch to celebrate the day. My favorite (and actually the only one I have seen) is SpongeBob’s Opposite Day. “Big and Small” and “Casper’s Scare School” each has an Opposite Day episode, a short film entitled “Opposite Day” exists, and “Opposite Day” is a full-length movie (starring Pauly Shore, no less!).




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Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta – Christmas Crooning for Charity

Summer Nights (Grease song)

Summer Nights (Grease song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not even sure what to say about this, except it is the return of Grease super-duo Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, and sales of “This Christmas” benefit charities (the Olivia Cancer & Wellness Centre and the Jett Travolta Foundation). You can hear snippets of the songs on Amazon and watch the “I Think You Might Like It” video on YouTube. I suspect the latter is going to be another one of those darned ditties that sticks to your brain like tree sap on Clark Griswold. Maybe Sandy and Danny should have stuck with Summer Nights? Comments??

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John Taylor Trashes Hotel Room?

Cover of "Diva's Christmas Carol"

Cover of Diva’s Christmas Carol

No, that would never happen in the real world! …but as an actor, you can see JT in lush glory in A Diva’s Christmas Carol. Click here to see a clip of John as the ghost of Christmas Present on YouTube. This movie, in my humble (and completely unbiased Durannie) opinion, is a must-see for the holidays. Vanessa Williams is brilliant as the Scrooge Diva, and instead of the usual Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, the diva watches a foreboding episode of “Behind the Music” to glimpse her future. Plus, a glimpse of 80’s fashion with the Ghost of Christmas Past. A word of caution – “Heart Quake” will burrow itself into your brain, dooming you to sing the one or two lines you remember over and over again.

VH1 usually runs this movie throughout the holiday season, but since we cut our cable cord, I bought a copy from Amazon. It arrived today and I enjoyed watching it as much as I have for the past 12 years.

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When life gives you gumdrops…

Now that Thanksgiving has left us over-stuffed, and Black Friday has left us over-shopped, it’s time to concentrate on THE holiday. We celebrate the winter solstice (more on that in future posts), but the series of posts I propose to follow, to highlight inexpensive, handmade decorations and gifts, can be used by followers of any of the season’s holidays. I have seen gumdrop trees adding their colorful presence to several holiday magazine photos. This year, I decided to make one for myself. No instructions were readily found, but I figured it couldn’t be terribly difficult to stick gumdrops on a branch.

This will be no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I indeed ran into some difficulties. I am a bit of a craft clutz, though I harbor grand dreams. Many times I have admired Martha Stewart’s wizardry, only to be stymied at the first step (though to be fair, I’m not sure any mere mortal can perform her handmade miracles). To be honest, a nun (a cousin at that!) lost her temper while attempting to teach me to knit. So, you get the idea. Still, I persevered on my initial if-I-can-do-it-anyone-can project.

A few lessons I learned:

  • Assorted color spice drops are not so easy to find, though my local Dollar Tree came to the rescue.
  • Branches are not as sturdy now (at least not in the northern U.S.) as in the summer. Twigs snap easily, especially when weighted down by the seemingly lightweight gumdrop. “Gumdrops keep falling on my head” keeps playing in my mind.
  • Be sure to find a balanced branch with a long base. Once I finally found a sturdy branch with enough twigs to support a rainbow of gumdrops, I happily skewered the colored candies. Unfortunately, I only realized when I was done, that the twig was hopelessly unbalanced. even a weighted vase wouldn’t stay upright with my grand creation. Fortunately, improvisation struck, and I now have a lovely gumdrop wall decoration. Of course my husband is slightly less impressed when he has to manipulate the delicate (read precarious) branch when opening and closing the drapes. Still, it is a bit of festive fun that the kids and the kids-at-heart can enjoy making.
  • If you are looking for an outlet for your extra gumdrops (besides the joy of eating them), you can try the gumdrop fudge recipe at Taste of Home. I haven’t tried this yet (we gobbled down our leftover candies), but the recipe looks easy and delicious.

For my simple example, I just used a branch (free) and a half bag (including some for snacking – fifty cents). In trying to find the origin of the gumdrop tree, I stumbled upon Oregon Live, which includes steps to make a much more substantial gumdrop forest.

So, go forth – be crafty and thrifty!

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