So, yesterday was T-day two, wherein Miss R got a mild concussion, chin contusion, and tongue laceration to go with the puking incident from T-day one.
Sucky T-day for her this year. Sucky for ep, too, as he got to be full circle - caught puke on the first go, and was the source of the concussion on the second go (okay, so she really shouldn't have been RIGHT behind him on the stairs, where his heel could clip her chin really hard as he went up the stairs...).
Poor ep. Poor Miss R.
But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln... Well, other than that, it was a fabulous thanksgiving. One of the best in years, from most of the opinions I gathered.
We had initially expected 25 people, but four ended up not coming. S'okay, we managed. It just gave us more room to put the food.
We'd put in all 20 leaves in the table (yes, that is 20 leaves, the table seats 26 comfortably, or more somewhat on the tight side). Set out the good silver from both sides of the family. Set out the Waterford for the adults, and the 'training crystal' for the kids (pressed glass, but good heavy stuff, and if they break it, nobody will be heartbroken). The kids decorated the table with garlands and 'scatter leaves' (silk leaves with no stems). The nice holiday china was out, and the damask gold and cream tablecloths under it all, with forest green napkins both to match and contrast.
Lovely also getting up at 6:something AM to get over there after staying up to midnight the night before making pies. Getting to my mom's at 7:30, drinking coffee and starting the rice for rice stuffing and chatting with my sister and her wife. Having my SIL do a latte run for me, and then on to peeling garlic for garlic mashed potatoes (one head of garlic per serving!). Rice stuffing (wild rice, jasmine rice, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, fresh herbs) in the bird, and bird in the oven, and then a short break. Mmmm, coffee.
Then a little chatting and hanging out with my sister and SIL and mom, and some discussion about the charity decisions for the year - my mom's charitable fund covers three moderate donations (or does at this point), and so we had to pick out three things that covered the ground we wanted. Still have to talk to one sister, but otherwise, we're good to donate to our selected causes.
Kids arrived with ep, and set to work - Mr G settling in to polish the silver (including the set my aunt found somewhere, mostly plate but a couple of decent ones in there), Mr B heading off to prep table setting (anything not already done), the girls (M and R) who knows where. My brother showed up briefly to drop a few items and head back off. Ep discussed his projects for the day (not cooking), and headed back out as well, shortly after dropping the kids.
Then more cooking - finishing up the potatoes, starting to cycle the other dishes into the warming process. Whoa, suddenly it was 1 PM, and AHHH, my skirt still needs to be hemmed (I caught it with my heel the last time I wore it, pulled it right out), and I'm not dressed and have zero makeup on, and people will be arriving soon!
I got dressed, ep arrived, found my socks (ack, where are my socks!), my SIL threaded a needle for me (I ended up not even getting the hem put back up, but I don't know that anyone either noticed or cared but me), I managed to be sufficiently put-together that I got a yowza look from ep, and a whoa-nelly look from my friend N (wife of my friend A), in the 'hello, I have never seen you look like that before!' way. Good, I hope. I was showing much more skin than usual, and I was wearing the 'tall boots' (I'm 6' 2" in those boots, plus they're knee-high). So, uh, anyway, hopefully a good impression... just not my usual covered up somewhat conservative librarian-with-an-attitude look.
And more hectic dance through the kitchen while everything got assembled and put together and we waited on three arrivals (who turned out to not be coming but hadn't said, sigh, NOT like them)... but then, dinner started, and we carried on, passed the vegan and vegetarian and non-veg food, and despite the potential for grousing that shows up with food differences, there was ease and comfort and enough for every dietary restriction to have gracious plenty and good stuff.
The list, though, I bet you're wondering where that comes in...
Well, my friends A and N are Indian (I've mentioned them before). We got to talking about movies that would be good cultural reference points for new staff coming over from India to get a sense of context, and give them any chance of catching half the referential jokes that are so common to US business. What is a cowboy, and why do people in reference to boring meetings say 'Bueller... Bueller...' ?
So we started the list, aiming for a top 10. Wait, can't leave that one off, so, 12. No, 17. 25. 32. Dessert was done and coffee was dregs as we got up to nearly 40. Laughing, we teased A and N that there would be a quiz next Thanksgiving. We compared notes on this vs that movie, Breakfast Club or 16 Candles? Tried to trim out the 'just a good movie' ones, leaving 'understand our issues' ones instead. A and N finally headed out around 8:30 or 9 with a photocopy of the list, but then we had more conversation and the list extended again... I finally left with it at 57 movies. Even if they had time to do one a week, that's more than a year's worth.
I'm going to put up a page for the list, later, but for now, here's the raw tally (some titles may be inexact): (My and my sister's combined top-ten are in bold)
- Dr. Strangelove
- That's Entertainment
- John Wayne movie (any, or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence)
- Manchurian Candidate
- Mr Smith Goes to Washington
- It's a Wonderful Life
- The General (Buster Keaton)
- Forrest Gump
- Citizen Kane
- The Road to ... (any) (Bob Hope and Bing Crosby)
- Some Like it Hot
- Apocalypse Now
- Viva Las Vegas
- Oceans 11 (original, with Frank Sinatra)
- The Godfather II
- North by Northwest
- Dirty Harry
- The Pink Panther (not for the Americana, but because of the vast number of references that ended up in the culture)
- Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles (both)
- Robin Hood (Errol Flynn, not Kevin Costner)
- Tarzan (Johnny Weismuller)
- King Kong (the original b/w)
- The Keystone Kops (any)
- Take the Money and Run
- The Blues Brothers
- Terminator (just the first one)
- Office Space
- 12 Angry Men
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
- All the Presidents Men (original)
- Gran Torino
- Driving Miss Daisy
- The Wizard of Oz
- Star Wars (A New Hope, the first one)
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- The Breakfast Club
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
- Superman (Christopher Reeves, just the first one)
- The Natural
- O Brother Where Art Thou?
- A League of Their Own
- The Shining
- Easy Rider
- 7 Brides for 7 Brothers
- The Music Man
- Oh, God! (George Burns)
- Groundhog Day
- Guess Who's Coming for Dinner
- The Desperate Ones
PHEW! In return, A and N thought they might have four or five Bollywood flicks I needed to see... the rest, eh, not so much.
Feel free to dispute some of our picks, or add your own. The only rules are 'they are cultural touch-points (not just good movies)' and 'source of recognizable cultural references used in popular US culture'. No TV shows, no literature, only movies. And not the uber-challenging ones (we nixed things like The Color Purple on the grounds that that was more of an advanced course in US culture, rather than an introductory overview).If you know some Bollywood (or 'Parallel' - the alternative indie type) movies I need to see, feel free to comment there, too.