Category Archives: crush

Sit-Com Stars in Hallmark Movie

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On another post, we had just been talking about 1989, when a few

of our favorite funny situation comedies originated. I could not

believe my ‘luck’ when I turned on the Hallmark Channel to find a

movie with a catchy title, “The Christmas Con.” There is an ensemble

cast of six famous actors from more than six situation comedies.

They show their talent and  versatility in this meaningful Hallmark

movie.

 

I will sketch the plot in, along with giving you the ‘who’s who’ of t.v.

series actors. If you are a fan of television trivia games, you may be

able to ‘keep up with me,’ in this essay about performers who have

been around television for years: one since 1982. Although the title

isn’t very pretty nor the story as simple as some Hallmark Christmas

movies are, it tells a meaningful story of hope and forgiveness.

 

There is a collection of outstanding, amusing actors who played

character parts in this story of ‘redemption.’ The movie has two

characters, an ex-convict who needs to change his way of dealing

with people, passing through his life ‘taking’ and never ‘giving.’ The

second character must face his addiction, he has to fall flat on his

face, embarrass himself, go to jail and then, find his way home.

 

The actor who plays the character of an alcoholic man, came from a

caring family, dramatic show, “Party of Five.”  My two daughters loved

the whole cast of this show. They would know this man who later left

this show to play an irascible red-headed doctor.  Although, you may

or may not,  have known the popular teenaged-cast of “Party of Five,”

he was, “Will Mc Corkle.” Then you may have seen him as the red haired

“pain in the butt” doctor from the serious show, “E.R.”  This character

was the head of the “E.R.” as, Dr. Archie Morris. “Archie” was disliked by

most everyone, (nurses and the E.R. hospital staff) which showed quite

a range of talent in this role played by Scott Grimes. It was nice to have

known him as a likable man in the first show, then respect his portrayal

of a ‘by the books’ doctor who sometimes went ‘head to head’ with John

Stamos, who played another type of character on “E.R.” Scott Grimes

went from “E.R.” to act in a few television movies, along with another

series, “Band of Brothers.”

Interestingly enough, Scott Richard Grimes made a ‘soft rock and roll’

album, (also described as  ‘popular rock’) called, “Sunset Boulevard.” He

wrote all of the songs and sang them, too. I have not checked this out

but it was favorably reviewed, in its genre.

 

Then there was the character of the  endearing ex-convict with a ‘heart

of gold,’ who plays Santa Claus, making a promise he nearly is unable to

keep for the son of the red-headed man. Scott Grime’s plays a father/

ex-husband who is unfortunately battling alcoholism. His son asks Santa

Claus to bring his mother and father back together again for Christmas.

 

Santa promises to bring this estranged father back ‘into the fold,’ becoming

part of the trio the boy considers his ‘family.’ The ex-con is played by Barry

Watson, who both my daughters had major ‘crushes’ on, while he was the

oldest son in a family of seven members being raised by a minister, known

as, “Seventh Heaven.” Barry Watson left “Seventh Heaven,” to battle in his

own personal ‘real life drama,’ Hodgkins Disease. My family, son included,

had Barry in our prayers for a few years. His attractive long-haired look in

the family show changed to a gaunt, bald look when he was interviewed

during this period of time. The producers allowed him to ‘spread his wings,’

by being behind the camera, in his writing plots and helping set up scenes.

 

There is a memorable scene, in The Christmas Con,” which paints a fairly

accurate picture of an A.A. meeting, where Scott Grimes’ meets Santa Claus,

out of costume. I feel capable of analyzing this subject, due to my own personal

experience of being married to an alcoholic, having attended one year of A.A.,

two years of Alanon, and taking my three children to Children of Alcoholics

meetings.

 

The man who is Santa/Barry’s best friend is played by, Jaleel White, who

portrayed the dorky, inept character named, “Steve Urkel,” in “Family

Matters.” His character has mended his ways of conniving and trying to

trick others, while also being a good and supportive friend to Barry’s

character. He gets to also romance Barry’s ‘sister,’ in the movie, using his

charming demeanor. He looks ‘nothing’ like Steve Urkel, has grown into

a handsome man.

 

John Ratzenberger’s in the cast of this Hallmark movie, playing a Grandpa,

and you know where he came from?  “Cheers,” where he was “Cliff Clavin,”

the mailman, the one who sometimes kept the bar stool warm for hours.

He was the stocky man’s (“Norm’s”) best friend, “where everyone knew

their names.” This series lasted from 1982 -1993. No wonder we felt these

actors were part of our family! John R. went on to make a few different

television movies, played guest character roles on shows and my ‘grandies’

love him in such familiar children’s animated films as the “Toy Story” series,

“Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars,” where he plays (‘voices’) a rusted-out truck.

 

Another familiar character, where you may wonder, “Where have I seen

this attractive black woman before?” She has a unique character part,

as a female preacher in a church.  By the end of the story, you realize this

does not exist. It is a boarded up church, having been condemned. The

recognizable woman, who you don’t immediately ‘place’ or figure out

where she came from, is  talk show hostess, Wendy Williams. She ends

up being a fantastic singer, when she is caroling with church folks in a

neighborhood. I felt she was the Guardian Angel for Barry’s ex-convict

character.

 

The last famous displaced series player, is the actress, Melissa Joan Hart.

You got to know her as a teenaged witch in “Sabrina the Teen Age Witch,”

if you had children in the 90’s. (This ran seven years, 1996-2003.) Along

with Melissa’s more current role on  the show, “Melissa and Joey.” In the

Family Channel show, she is a town councilwoman and Joey (Lawrence)

is playing her ‘stay at home’ Nanny/Housekeeper. Can you believe Joey

was on The Johnny Carson Show, singing at age 5 years old? He is NOT

in this Hallmark movie, but was in one with Melissa Joan Hart, a few

Christmases ago.

(Yes, the plot for “Melissa and Joey,” resembles the one of “Who’s the

Boss?”)

 

Melissa’s character believes in her brother, the man who has just been

released from prison. You don’t feel he was a dangerous criminal and

are sympathetic to his character. (He had been a ‘grifter’ or ‘con artist,’

hence the name of the movie…)

Melissa and Barry make a believably good sister and brother team.

Melissa Joan Hart debuted as the director of this movie, which is a

new position for her to be in.

 

When Jameel’s character meets Melissa, he shows his debonair side,

which eventually they become close and they make a ‘cute couple.’

Their characters go about playing the ‘normal’ fantasy of carrying out

Christmas routines, as they decorate Melissa’s house, listen to Santa/

Barry’s quandary. Both Jaleel’s buddy character and Melissa’s sister

character cheer for the miracle of fixing the nearly irreparable marriage

and family together again.

 

Yes, I told you part of the ending.

The journey makes it worth watching.

The cast of recognizable people who have become part of our ongoing

landscape of television. Those people who come into our living room,

visit and stay awhile. They become more familiar than big screen

actors.

There are a few ‘surprises’ and twisting turns leading you to the

expected and satisfying ending. I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t

know since almost all of these movies come out ‘safe and sound.’

 

Hopefully, instead you will want to watch this more. Since it is the

way they handle the simplistic story, how they fulfill their duties as

characters which will help you admire Scott Grimes, Jaleel White,

Barry Watson, Melissa Joan Hart, John Ratzenberger and Wendy

Williams. In my mind, this is an ‘All Star Cast’ of television experts.

 

This is a treat to see, savor and remember. It shows me Christmas is

a time for all possibilities imaginable to come true.

 

The meaning behind kisses

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My coworker and friend’s words stopped me in my tracks yesterday.

Amy said, “Roy doesn’t kiss me.”

I turned to look at her, my beautiful and lively horse-backing friend,

owner of Spirit and Lokie.

I have worried about her, since the beginning of the year, when her

divorce was finalized. She has been a single woman trying her ‘wings’

lately, with a man named Tom and another named Roy.

Her grown children have been more on the side of her ex, even despite

the fact that he is the one who has notably, in over 25 years of marriage,

had affairs.

Twelve years ago, he had children with another woman, for Pete’s sake!

Amy allowed the twins to visit at her home, living proof of his rampant

unfaithfulness. She would have tolerated this forever. She was a believer

in marriage and its lasting forever, ‘for better or worse!’

This last time, her husband had chosen a woman who was a neighbor,

who had been a so-called ‘friend.’ This would have been my ‘last straw!’

Only after this ‘other’ woman ‘made’ him get a divorce to marry her, was

Amy released from a private ‘hell’ that she had been in, for so long. It is

hard for her to know what to do with her new freedom.

Men have been coming ‘out of the woodwork’ to ask her out on dates.

She has been enjoying all the attention. I have been happy for her, listening

to her different stories.

So, what was this about kissing?!

I thought every man who dated a woman, would eventually kiss them!

Roy has been in her life for about 5 months, the brother of the stable

owner.

Roy is a past rodeo cowboy and his photograph shows a sturdy, thin

attractive Clint Eastwood type. Amy likes him a lot more than the Tom

guy.

I have been listening to her ‘soap opera,’ for many months, while most

of the other order fillers have begun to ‘tune her out.’

Or worse, make fun of her, behind her back!

I have ‘been there, done that,’ as far as my dating history and failed

relationships.

So I understand the need to validate behaviors along with needing a

‘listening and sympathetic ear.’

“Amy!”

I used my stern voice to exclaim,

“What in the world are you talking about? You have had multiple dates

with Roy! You go to Indian Lake and stay in a cabin with him!”

She looked at the ground, saying,

“I was afraid you would lecture me about this! He never kisses me.”

I answered in an upset tone,

“Well, I think about Julia Roberts’s prostitute role, explaining to Richard

Gere’s character, how people aren’t allowed to kiss on the mouth, no

matter how much they pay their prostitute.”

(“Pretty Woman,” movie reference.)

I added hastily,

“You are not one, of course!”

Amy looked sheepishly at me,

“I was really hoping you were going to give me an example of someone

who did this, who was intimate with you but still preferred not to kiss!”

I could feel my brow creasing, my furrow between my eyes deepening

with my concern and caring for her. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or

make a hasty judgment about Roy, but. . .

“No, haven’t experienced this one before, Amy! I honestly have had only

one man who didn’t like to open mouth kiss, but that didn’t last long.

Sorry, as time went on, it got annoying kissing someone like I did my Dad

and brothers!”

And I knew this would not be what she wanted to hear but I had to add this:

“Amy, you need to back away from Roy. There is something seriously wrong

that you two have slept together and never kissed!”

Amy came to Roy’s defense,

“But Robin, he gives great foot and back massages!”

I told her that once my ex-husband and I broke up, I dreamed about being

kissed. I wanted those lingering, sweet trembling moments that would make

my knees quiver and shake!

I even had daydreamed and pictured special kisses, where my soul would

glide into another’s soul, finally knowing what the concept of “Being One”

would mean!

I also wondered aloud,

“Don’t you want the silky, sexy kisses which turn into passionate, arousing

ones?”

My brothers are very different in their hugging modes, one is a sideways,

pat on the back or shoulder kind of guy, while the other gives great, warm

bear hugs. Both love me and are my best guy friends in the world! I did not

want to go into past men in my life or details. It is best to keep the

past in the past.

I told her my personal thoughts about ‘romance.’

“I feel slow dancing and passionate kisses are foreplay!”

I saw her shoulders drop and she turned to what she had been doing,

since her job is to count products in the bins, (Cycle Count department.)

I passed her with my long hampers, filling them with cords, wipers and

other longer items. The line was going the other way, away from Amy.

When it came time for break, she was happy again, telling me that Roy

had her to do something with him later that night. She felt that he was

going to do something special.

She thought, maybe they would talk about the lack of kissing.

“Maybe he is a ‘germaphobe?'” she wondered.

I nodded my head and told her the most validating thing I could think

of at the time,

“Whatever floats your boat, Amy. Remember to always be true to

yourself!”

 

Have you ever been in a relationship where one of you didn’t like to kiss?

Was there any psychological or meaningful reason for this?

I could give Amy some explanation, if I were better prepared!

Or is it like I fear? That this is a way to put distance between them, like

a wall between them? Is Roy doing this so that Amy isn’t bound to him?

I worry about her being ‘used’ by someone who is not appreciating her

the way she deserves to be.

Feburary Means “Love, love, love”

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Thomas Kinkade paints romantic and beautiful pictures,

which fill me with a deep sense of ‘home’ and ‘comfort.’

I get a true sense of Serenity, when I study his cottages

in quaint settings. One of his ‘artistic signatures’ is

to include warm, golden lights shining out of windows,

like ‘beacons’ leading us home.

In Thomas Kinkade’s autobiography and through personal

interviews, he shares his memories. While other children

were heading home from school in the winter, he would be

trudging home to a dark, empty house. He would look into

windows, along his walk home, to behold ones which held

such warmth and light. He remembers he would have moments

of envy and longing.

Thomas Kinkade wished to be living in those homes. His

mother was a single mom. The tables ‘were turned’ and

she would be the one coming home to a house where Thomas

had turned on all the lights to greet her. Here is a great

quotation for February from this sensitive, creative artist:

“To be romantic is to allow yourself to fall in love

with life. Experience it fully, openly, passionately

and purposefully.”

FEBRUARY

2/1/64- Fifty years ago today, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,”

(sung by the Beatles, or Fab Five) topped the charts!

On January 31st, 2014: the Chinese New Year was celebrated,

making this the Year of the Horse. February starts their

New Year! Happy Lunar New Year, China!

February 2-

Groundhog Day.

“Candlemas,” also called Feast Day.

This day commemorates the Presentation of Jesus Christ

at the Temple (or presentation of our Lord at the Temple.)

Celebrated by Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox and

Eastern Orthodox Catholic churches. It is the first

Feast of 12 Great Feasts.

As you know, whether you live in the U.S. or not, we have

had a rather ‘bitterly cold’ beginning to our year! We may

wish that the Groundhog would NOT see his shadow! Cloudy

days mean he would not run and hide. This folklore means

an Early Spring may come! “We love you, (Spring!) Yeah,

yeah, yeah!”

February 2nd is also Super Bowl Sunday!

Feb. 6-

Waitangi Day (New Zealand)-

This date commemorates a founding treaty that was

signed in 1840. It was called the Treaty of Waitangi.

Feb. 7-

Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russia.

The Winter Games run until February 23, 2014.

2/9/64- Fifty years ago today, Ed Sullivan Show’s first

appearance of the Beatles. When Ed Sullivan saw them in

Europe, he observed the audiences being huge. (Stockholm

had an amazing turnout for their concert!) Ed Sullivan

compared their popularity to Elvis. He arranged with the

Beatle’s manager, Brian Epstein, for three consecutive

Sunday performances. The arrangement also meant the group

would get Top Billing but ‘bottom dollar.’ They were paid

a very small amount for their performances on this show,

with over 73 million viewers’ watching!

The Beatles’ arrival to the United States on Feb. 7th,

was greeted with a group of (estimated) 4000 fans. This

number seems rather low; by today’s standards of famous

fans and crowds. I remember my adult babysitter, Mrs. Boos’

teenaged daughter, Diana wept when she attended the Beatles

concert and also, when she watched the Ed Sullivan Shows’

four consecutive weeks’ performances. (Mrs. Boos told my

brothers, ages 5 and 7, while I was 8 1/2. Later, when

Diana went to Kent State University, she took me as her

sister for “Siblings’ Weekend.” These few occurrences

were Big Time Events in my growing up years!)

Fifty years ago later, a ” Grammy’s Tribute to the Beatles”

will be aired on CBS network, (Channel 10 in Columbus, Ohio).

Julia Roberts made this special announcement at the Grammy’s.

February 11-

Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday.”

February 12-

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday

Ash Wednesday

The Lenten Season begins

February 14-

Valentine’s Day.

Full Snow Moon tonight.

Will this help kindle your romance or turn it wild?

A quotation suitable for Valentine’s Day from Thomas

Kinkade:

“Doing a small, loving thing with beautiful ‘panache’

can be as romantic as committing a heroic deed.”

Do you remember those days when you decorated a shoebox

with colored paper, folded hearts cut out so carefully

and adding doilies or heart stickers, too? Then, you may

have held your breath, when you came home from school,

opening and reading (sometimes) personal messages. Hoping

perhaps for a special hand written note, with ‘love’ in

its meaning…

Cherished thoughts of Valentine’s Days Past sent your way…

February 15-

National Flag Day of Canada.

Susan B. Anthony’s birthday.

February 17-

Presidents Day

(United States’ government holiday,

means no postal service, banks and

the public libraries are closed.)

February 22-

George Washington’s birthday.

“Heritage Day” which is the given name for

celebrating the Founder of the United States.

In folklore, both Abraham Lincoln and George

Washington became known for their honesty.

We have “Honest Abe.”

We have these famous coined words for George,

as a boy, “I cannot tell a lie, Father, I chopped

down the cherry tree!”

Soon, this short month will fly by and we will be

blessed with warmer climates here in the Mid West

U. S. and all those countries even with us on the

globe, who are shivering in the Winter months!

February 24-

Flag Day or “Dia de la Bandera,” is Mexico’s day of

celebrating their flag.