Dahl, Wonka and Gobstoppers…a Threesome

I was tooling around the internet last month looking for topics for September and I came upon something cool. Yesterday was Roald Dahl Day and today is Gobstopper Day…coincidence? I think not and it’s a perfect topic for today.

I LOVE the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It has kids in it, it has a weird, magical man and it has chocolate. What more could a kid want in a story? I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I can tell you I definitely saw “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” first.

Just like “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Sound of Music”, it was a movie we watched every year when it came on television. Back before the days of streaming and DVD’s, even before the VCR, we had to wait for its yearly showing on network TV. It was always a big production with popcorn and my mom would watch with us.

I couldn’t believe how bad the kids were and their parents let them get away with it. All it took was one look of death from my mother to know I better knock it off or I was going to get it. Every time a kid was sent away for being bad, I was glad. They deserved it. I thought Wonka was right in how he handled those brats.

I loved Willie Wonka himself. Gene Wilder was a genius. Everything from his timing to the looks on his face was priceless. As a kid, I just liked his wild hair, purple coat and top hat. As an adult…I love the sarcasm and humor. The way he interacts with the adults is hysterical, which is why my mother watched it with us.

I laughed out loud in a college English class when the professor quoted Ogden Nash’s “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” line. She asked me what was so funny, and I just said, “Wonka”. It took a minute, but she finally got what I meant, the rest of the class burst into laughter too. The movie came out in 1971, so it kinda belongs to my generation, LOL, but we will share it with others.

Roald Dahl was not thrilled with the movie at all, because it strayed from the story. He totally disowned the movie. As an adult, I tend to think the same thing about books and their movie adaptations, but as far as Wonka goes…I will pick the movie every time.

I know they made another movie in 2005 with Johnny Depp and it is based on the book and more to Dahl’s vision, but I have not seen it. As much as I love Johnny Depp, and I have ever since 21 Jump Street, I can’t bring myself to watch it. He just looks too creepy to me, even by Tim Burton standards. To me, Gene Wilder is the one and only Willie Wonka.

So, how will I celebrate these two “holidays”? I will sit down and watch “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, of course. Before I do, I have to go to the store and pick up some gobstoppers and other Nestle candy. (Nestle Candy Shop was originally known as The Willie Wonka Candy Shop.)

Then I will come home, turn on the television and be in a world of pure imagination…

***Question for the comments…Do you like “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”? Do you have a favorite Roald Dahl book? Have you seen “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”?

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Jellybeans & Jesus Movies

It’s Easter Week my friends. As a Christian, this is the week I celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. I don’t know what spiritual beliefs you have, and I am certainly not here to shove my beliefs down your throat, but this is a huge part of my life, and I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about it.

I have been a Christian for a long time. Do I always act like a follower of Jesus? Unfortunately, not. I get caught up in the daily nonsense of life and act like an idiot. Here is the thing though, I do not need to be perfect, I just need to follow Him. Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. And I try to do that daily.

But, like I said, I am not here to get up on my soapbox and preach at you. I am here to talk about one of my favorite things to do during this week…eat jellybeans and watch Jesus movies. If you read any of my posts around Christmas then you know I am all about holiday movies. I can watch them all day long…and I do.

You might be sitting here thinking…jellybeans, really? I know they are not as popular as other Easter candy; they are in league with candy corn, I know, but I love me some candy corn too, so there you go. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the chocolate, but I will talk about Easter candy in a later post this week.

Growing up we would sit around the living room and watch “Jesus of Nazareth” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” as a family. That is where my love of Jesus movies comes from, my mother. There is a funny family story about me…there are several, of course, but this one is appropriate to the subject at hand. My mother had the original soundtrack to “Jesus Christ Superstar” and used to play it all the time. My parents divorced when I was a baby, and my father came over to the house for something. The story goes that in front of everybody, little 3-year-old Tracie says “Jesus Christ”. Everyone is stunned and upset, my father is looking at my mother like what the heck is she teaching me. And then all of a sudden, I sing “superstar” and finish the line from the song. I guess I had to pause for dramatic effect, LOL.

As I have gotten older and more movies about Jesus have come out, I have come up with my own list of movies to watch. I love “Godspell” and watch it every year. My sister always laughs and calls me a hippy, because let’s face it, it is a little out there. But ever since I first saw it, I was hooked. Another one is, of course, “Jesus Christ Superstar”. I watch the older 1973 version and the remake that was done in 2000. The 2000 one was made in London and in my opinion is far superior. I did not watch the latest remake with John Legend.

On Good Friday, I sit down and watch “The Passion of the Christ”. This movie kills me every time. It is so brutally well made. I do not normally cry during movies, but if I were to ever start, it would be watching this movie. A new tradition is to watch “Risen” on Easter Sunday. It shows what might have happened after Jesus is no longer in the tomb. Another favorite show about Jesus is “The Chosen”. It is a multi-season show about the life of Jesus. They have only released 2 seasons with the third on the way. Jesus’ death and resurrection won’t hit until a later season, but it is so good. If you think movies about Jesus are old fashioned and a little dull in acting and action, I totally get it, but check out the free “The Chosen” app, it might change your mind.

My church does not have a Holy Thursday or Good Friday service, but we do have an Easter Sunrise Service on the beach in Waikiki every year. I will spend the rest of the week preparing myself for that day with my jellybeans and Jesus movies. Happy Easter everybody!!!!

***Question for the comments…Do you watch Easter movies? Do you have a favorite one?

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Candy and Flowers and Cards…Oh My

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is that holiday where you show someone you love them. You go out and shop for cards, pick up some flowers maybe, chocolate is always a good idea, but you should tell the people you care for that you love them more than just once a year…just saying.

I remember being in elementary school and buying the boxes of small valentine’s cards that you gave out to your classmates. You remember them, they had Snoopy on them or Strawberry Shortcake. (I know, I know, my age is showing, LOL) I would sit home the night before and write them out. I always made sure I gave one to everyone in the class. Back then it wasn’t a requirement like it is now, but I was a friendly kid and never wanted anyone to feel left out. I do remember writing thanks for being a friend on some, you know, so the icky boys wouldn’t think I actually liked liked them. I would go to school and pass them around. Some mom would bring in cupcakes which we loved, but the nuns hated because we would be jacked on sugar all day.

As I got older and began having boyfriends (not real boyfriends, but the kind you just hang out with in middle school), Valentine’s Day became stressful. Do you give them a card? Will they give you something? What if they think it’s stupid? Middle School is awkward enough without throwing cupid into the mix. When High School rolled around my gang of girls would take off to the mall to shop, looking for the “perfect” gift at Spencer’s. It was the 80’s, so Spencer’s was the place to be. If you knew the boy’s favorite rock band, then you could buy him a pin to go on his backpack or maybe a Velcro wallet. We would agonize over the decision and hope we made the right choice.

As adults, Valentine’s Day usually means going out to dinner. As a former server, let me give you a piece of advice…don’t do it. Valentine’s day in the industry is known as amateur night. If you normally go out to eat this does not apply to you, because you know how to act. But everyone who never wants to go out picks this one day and they descend on the restaurants not knowing what they are doing, and it gets really stressful. They try to show off and act like they know, but they don’t. So instead of getting great service from a place you always go to, you may end up with a server who is going stir crazy because people are yelling at them because their well-done steak isn’t on the table 10 minutes after they ordered. I am having flash backs just talking about it. If you do go out to eat, take a look around and you will see what I am talking about. It is entertaining, just not at the moment it is happening. But, like I said, if you eat out a lot, the word amateur does not apply to you.

Neil and I really don’t do the whole Valentine’s thing. We have exchanged cards and picked up some candy, but I really don’t need this holiday to know how he feels. We do things for each other all year long. Having said that…I still want some chocolate. I told him this morning that he better bring me at least a candy bar, LOL.

Anyway, however you choose to celebrate this day, remember to tell people how you feel all year long and take the time to show them in little ways. That’s where the magic of love comes in…the small everyday acts, not just a big grand gesture once a year.

***Question for the comments…do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Is it big or small? What is your favorite kind of Valentine’s Day treat?

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