Categories
Fun People

Sing

Of all the things that technology makes possible, one of my favorites is that people who are miles apart – sometimes, even countries apart – are still able to sing together.

There are lots of virtual choirs out there delivering professionally-produced performances, everything from show tunes to traditional hymns. Nothing can truly replace a live choir experience, but the virtual versions are a good substitute.

A fun new trend, an informal approach to this remote communal singing action, involves sea shanties. Not long ago, a person in Scotland, Nathan Evans, posted his a capella version of The Wellerman on TikTok. Soon after, people all over the world were adding their voices, creating several variations on the first version. Since then, Mr. Evans has added more shanties, and more variations have been created, and now there’s a whole new awareness of and appreciation for the music.

I, too, want to sing and dance when I hear these shanties; they’re a good way to get the day started. Part of the fun is knowing that, somewhere out there, other people are also humming along and living the experience. I’ll never meet them, but we are each part of a larger virtual community.

Here’s to technology and the gift of being able to sing together, regardless of the distance between us.


Categories
Fun Nature

Snow

Well, it actually happened. We got some real, bonafide snow.

The Big Event was yesterday. It started around lunchtime and lasted a few hours. Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes, the kind you see in movies, coming down pretty heavily for a while. It was delightful. It all melted quickly, however. No accumulation at my house, although areas not far from here saw some real Winter Wonderland action.

I suppose it’s silly to get so excited about it, especially considering that snow tends to create inconveniences. Because it’s so rare for this area, there’s a bit of a freak out when it happens. Roads get shut down, traffic is a nightmare, schools close, grocery stores become crowded as people stock up on staples like milk and bread.

Thunderstorms, tornadoes, heat advisories – we’re experts at that stuff. It’s expected and normal; we’ve got systems and steps and lots of practice. Frozen precipitation? Not so much.

But it’s the rarity that also makes it fun, makes it worth celebrating. Snow is a big deal because it doesn’t happen very often. When it does, it feels a little magical.

So, I’m glad that this time, the snow happened on a weekend and that it didn’t stick around for long. It was the best kind of snowfall; not enough to create many complications. Just enough to enjoy.

Categories
Fun Life

Snowman

The weather forecasters have been talking about a very small (itty-bitty, teeny-tiny) smidge of a chance of snow around here in the next few days.

So of course, I woke up this morning with an earworm of “Do You Want to Build A Snowman?” from the movie Frozen.

Odds are that all we’ll end up with is a lot of cold rain. We don’t get much snow in this area, especially this early in winter. Mother Nature likes to play jokes on us when we think we’re smarter than she is, however, so either way, snow or no snow, I won’t be surprised.

Still, I’m hopeful. It would be nice to be able to give this year the chilly send-off it deserves while welcoming the new year with fluffy frozen flakes of fun.


Categories
Fun Holidays

Nutcracker

Yesterday, I came across a documentary series called On Pointe. It’s available on DisneyPlus, and it follows students through one season at the School of American Ballet. Much of the series is devoted to behind-the-scenes views of preparations for the annual performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker ballet.

I’m only a few episodes in, but so far, it’s been delightful. The young dancers are talented and sweetly watchable. The action feels sincere; there’s no reality-TV scripting of dramatic moments, as far as I can tell.

As a child, I took a few ballet lessons, but I never participated in a performance of The Nutcracker, never danced across a stage while Tchaikovsky’s music told the magical tale of a Sugar Plum Fairy and children and wooden toys come to life. My parents did, however, take me to see a live performance (not a Balanchine performance, but it was a full-fledged professional production here in our city). I have memories of the music hall and the stage, and of hearing the symphony and watching costumed dancers spin and leap and glide. It only takes a few musical notes to be back in those moments; to remember that experience.

The Disney docuseries was filmed before the pandemic, and there is no live New York City Ballet performance this year. There is, however, a streaming purchase option of the 2019 performance, which includes students featured in the series. https://www.marquee.tv/videos/nycb-nutcracker-2020. A quick internet search reveals that there are also many other performances, produced by other ballet companies, that can be found via streaming platforms and carefully-managed live performances. The show will go on.

Today’s cuppa celebrates holiday memories and the magical world of dancing and music. These days, it seems that sadness is never far away. The world can feel cold and bleak. Perhaps a little bit of cheerful holiday storytelling, a traditional performance of imaginary fun and delight, can help to keep us warm.


Categories
Fun Holidays Pets

Sweater

Today is National Ugly Sweater Day here in the U.S.

The real fun of wearing an ugly holiday sweater is sharing the experience with others, laughing at the ridiculousness and figuring out who has the silliest, most creative and hilarious attire.

I’m regretfully remembering that I got rid of my Ugly Holiday Sweater in one of my cleaning and organizing frenzies earlier this year. It won’t be possible for me to participate in National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day this holiday season.

But…Mollie and Charlie have sweaters. There’s no reason that dogs can’t participate in National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day.

Let the festive frivolity commence!

Categories
Fun People Pets

Funny

Will Ferrell is making another funny movie!

This one’s called Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and will be available on Netflix in June. Rachel McAdams will also star.

Will and Rachel play Icelandic musicians. Their song is Volcano Man, and it appears to be exactly the wacky, hilarious stuff you’d expect from Will Ferrell. Here’s a link with more details, including a video clip of the song: https://nerdist.com/article/netflixs-eurovision-parody-trailer/

To accompany this news, I got out the Viking cuppa. As you can see, my choice is Mollie-approved. She’s a Viking at heart, especially when she’s protecting us from the squirrels.

Categories
Family Fun

Viking

Each time I use this cuppa cup (given to me by my sister in honor of our Norwegian heritage), my internal dialogue goes something like this:

Thorvald the Viking!

Lutefisk – ugh.
Reminds me of fish paste. Also ugh.

Who would make Cream of Lutefisk? Is that really a thing? No, of course not. It’s a joke. But maybe not?

I might have had a hard time being a Viking, not liking the dried and salted and preserved fish options. However, I like Lefse. So, I’d be the Viking eating the Lefse while all the other Vikings ate the fish options. That would work.

Except Lefse is best with butter (lots of butter, mmmm butter). As long as I had Lefse and butter, I’d have been an awesome Viking.

Except I wouldn’t call myself Thorvald. I’d be Solveig. Such a pretty name but still fitting for a Viking.

By then, I’ve finished pouring my coffee, and my internal dialogue shifts to something else, such as how much coffee creamer to use and whether to sit at the table or on the couch while I drink my cuppa.

I usually come back to thinking about Lefse, however. Mmmm, butter.