πŸ“ΊπŸΏπŸŽ„ Watched The Naughty Nine.

This is a heist movie about kids on the naughty list breaking into Santa’s workshop. It honors all the heist tropes and is super fun. Watch with a kid if you can.

πŸ“ΊπŸΏπŸŽ„ Watched Reporting for Christmas.

I really like this one. A hard-hitting Chicago reporter heads to a small town in Iowa to cover the 40th anniversary of the local toy company’s most popular product. Life changes ensue.

Super cute, winning cast.

πŸ“ΊπŸΏπŸŽ„ Watched A Biltmore Christmas.

Mostly for Jonathan Frakes & Robert Picardo πŸ––πŸ» but I ended up really liking it. There’s a lot of 40s Hollywood glamor. Also, I love Biltmore. I’ve been there only twice but I still love it.

πŸ“ΊπŸΏπŸŽ„ In the movie A Timeless Christmas, I can suspend my disbelief enough to accept that a man time-traveled from 1903 to 2020, but asking me to accept that his love interest is a shoe-in for a history faculty job simply by virtue of having a PhD is a bridge too far.

πŸΏπŸ“ΊπŸŽ„ Watched A Christmas Frequency. A radio producer sets her show’s host up on on-air blind dates to save the show from the slump it’s in because the host is no fun after separating from her husband. It’s not a solid movie but I liked it because the cast is adorable.

πŸ“ΊπŸΏπŸŽ„ By the way, time travel is a whole subgenre of holiday made-for-TV movie. See:

πŸ“ΊπŸΏπŸŽ„ I was watching Hulu’s A Christmas Frequency and everything was going great but then it shattered my suspension of disbelief by having one guy give another guy an expense report, printed on paper.

I often find myself watching movies in 22-minute chunks, partly because of being a parent and partly because of having a short attention span lately. I do TV shows with act breaks, so 3 or 4 breaks as I watch where commercials would be. It’s been liberating to realize I can do this. πŸ“ΊπŸΏ

πŸ“ΊπŸ‘±β€β™€οΈ Buffy’s experience in the episode “I, Robot… You, Jane” is super relatable. I had two friends with online boyfriends around 1997 and I wasn’t sure about them (though I became friends with these boyfriends). Fortunately, they weren’t digitized demons. Just teen boys.

πŸ”–πŸ“Ί Read How The Haunting of Hill House conveys the horror of family.

In the world of Hill House, devotion to family is a tender kind of madness that exists just on the other side of mourning, a ghostly insistence that the love that binds us is also the thing that keeps us chained.

I’ve been watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9 for the first time since I watched it as a kid when it originally aired. I remembered liking Quark and that Dax seemed like a good cosplay option for me. But this time around, I find myself really locked in on and adoring Kira. πŸ––πŸ»πŸ“Ί

πŸ“ΊπŸ––πŸ» Finished my rewatch of Star Trek: The Next Generation today. It felt much less intense watching “All Good Things…” now than when it originally aired, probably because I can visit my Enterprise-D friends whenever I want.

πŸ“šπŸ“Ί The trailer for The Power dropped. I loved this book so much. The show has an amazing cast. I’m looking forward to watching it.

πŸ“ΊπŸ‘±β€β™€οΈπŸ–– Glen Weldon’s rewrite of song titles from “Once More, with Feeling” to include Star Trek stuff is precisely calculated to delight me, specifically.

πŸ“Ί Watched The Baby-sitters Club S02E07, Claudia and the Sad Goodbye. πŸ’”πŸ˜­

If you know, you know.

Does anybody else know why all I feel like doing is lying in bed and watching Netflix Originals? πŸ“Ί

πŸ“Ί The Babysitters Club S02E03, “Stacey’s Emergency,” brilliantly depicts what it’s like living with chronic illness.

I’m only now catching up on the second season of The Babysitters Club and having Mary Ann as a triple virgo is brilliant. πŸ“Ί

πŸ“Ί Me, watching Bridgerton: How can anyone tell these Bridgerton brothers apart? They all have the same coloration. I guess two of them are a little taller? But I’m not sure.

πŸ“Ί Watched Velma. The two primary criticisms - that it relies too heavily on meta-humor and that the characters are selfish & don’t grow - are spot on, and yet I still found it compelling enough to watch all 10 episodes.

πŸ“Ί Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures is exactly the Star Wars show I would have written as a kid:

  • Kai Brightstar
  • Nash Durango
  • The Crimson Firehawk

Brilliant targeting for its audience.

Starting Season 7 in my rewatch of Star Trek: The Next Generation, finding myself very glad there’s so much other Trek media including TNG tie-ins so I basically never have to say goodbye to my Enterprise D friends. πŸ––πŸ»πŸ“Ί

Response to Charlie Jane Anders's "What the Universal Translator Tells Us About Exploring Other Cultures"

πŸ”–πŸ“πŸ“šπŸ“ΊπŸΏ Read What the Universal Translator Tells Us About Exploring Other Cultures by Charlie Jane Anders (Happy Dancing newsletter).

Anders talks about the way a universal translator gives us shortcuts to understanding other cultures that don’t really show how hard it is to actually understand another culture.

She offers a lot of examples of this and asks,

How is it that Han Solo understands Chewbacca, but doesn’t speak Wookiee himself? And vice versa?

It’s been a long time since I was getting my Master of Arts in teaching and had to take a course on how Language Acquisition happens (almost 20 years), but I recall that we tend to understand much more of a language than we can speak, and I’ve certainly found that to be true recently.

For W’s Fulbright, we spent two months in the Netherlands, and had learned some very basic Dutch using Duolingo before heading over there. I often didn’t understand what people were saying, but I always understood more of what they were saying than I could ever speak myself.

Our first week there, some young people overheard my son saying his favorite Dutch word, “kat,” on the bus. They asked us about our being Americans and then one of them wanted to know if we were full of “kattenkwaad.” We didn’t know this word, and the person who asked didn’t know English well enough to explain it, but his friend tried.

I asked if it meant behaving like a cat, and he indicated not exactly. He tried to explain by example: pushing the stop button on the bus, then not getting off when the bus stopped.

“Oh, like, pranks!” I said.

“Yes, like pranks.”

“Mischievous,” my sister suggested. He wasn’t sure about that one.

Weeks later, I found this book in the shop a short walk from our house:

Dutch book: Eerste Hulp Bij Kattenkwaad - First Aid for Mischief

Google translates this title as “First Aid for Mischief: The Survival Guide for Cat Parents.”

I don’t think it captures the sense entirely, based on our bus conversation, but it’s hard to be sure.

πŸ––πŸ»πŸ“Ί

Data: *has a personal problem* *does extensive research* Captain Picard, I have done all the research but I do not have the answer to my problem.

Picard: What do you think about the problem, though?

Data: *blinks*

Just another reason I identify with Data.

Full-on happy misty-eyed over this week’s Picard. πŸ––πŸ»πŸ“Ί