Christmas, Frankenstein and Avatar

I started off my four day weekend in my usual style by getting vaccinated. No, not really a normal thing, but Safeway in Herndon had gotten supplies of both H1N1 vaccines, and I got the shot and finished my shopping. We had Indian for dinner, than Jill was off for bed and I stayed up reading. Christmas Eve day it was just me and Illa, and we took a long walk in the morning, then I read and watched TV. I made a turkey dinner with all the trimmings that night, and we watched some Christmas specials while we wrapped gifts (the new Phineas And Herb one is quite good).

Christmas wasn’t as rainy as thought at first, so we got over to my mom’s without any problem. We brought appetizers to add to hers and helped prepare them. It was us, Mom, Dad, Sharon, and Sharon’s friend Kathy (whom we’d met at Sharon’s move out party), and the appetizers were the bulk of the meal, though we sat down for scallops and salad. Everyone liked their gifts – my big one was the new Beatles box set. I got Mom’s computer up to date, next problem is figuring out to merge in the new TV we got her to her current setup.

Saturday Jill was working, so once again Illa and I spent the early part of the day together. I’d wanted to go see Avatar that morning, but it sold out before I bought tix, so I bought one for the next morning. Jill got off work on time to come home and change, then we headed out to meet my family at Marcel’s, a French restaurant. They have a very flexible three course meal, and that’s what we did. I started with the duck confit ravioli, then a main course of lamb tenderloins in phyllo dough, finishing with a roasted pear with cream cheese ice cream, all delicious. Jill had halibut with mashed potatoes, bison with a sauce made with the same merlot she was drinking, and a cheese course with an aged goat cheese and bread.

After dinner we headed over to the Kennedy Center to see Young Frankenstein. I was psyched as the touring cast includes two of the Broadway leads, and it was as hilarious as I was hoping. Be warned it is from the mind of Mel Brooks, so includes some risque humor, but even my mom seemed to survive unscathed.

Today I went to see Avatar first thing. Director James Cameron said it showed best in IMAX 3D, so I headed over to Alexandria and got one of the last seats in the middle. Many reviews have harped on the story being cliched, and while true, you don’t think of it until later. The movie itself is a quantum leap in effects, making it feel like it wasn’t done in front of a green screen. I think looking back it will be seen as much a challenge to other filmmakers as the first Matrix was in 1999. For dinner I grilled burgers and baked sweet potato fries while watching the new Doctor Who, then watched the Skins game after dinner (argh) and read the paper.