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Meg's Blog

It’s Halloween—so Happy Holidays!

Happy Halloween! I hope you are all getting more treats than tricks. I had a fantastic Halloween weekend, thanks to VAMPIRE BATS, the made for TV disaster movie about–well, vampire bats—starring Lucy Lawless. Awesome stuff.

Except that while I was watching, I saw an ad for made-for-TV disaster movie that could be even better, and that will be on NEXT Sunday night: the television movie event of the year—yes, that is what they are calling it–CATEGORY 7, starring Randy Quaid.

YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. RANDY QUAID, of “Up yours” fame from one of the most celebrated disaster movies of all time, INDEPENDENCE DAY (“Welcome to Earth—POW!”).

This truly WILL be the movie event of the year. Seriously, I am AQUIVER with excitement for CAT 7—even though He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog said, “Didn't they just show a made-for-TV disaster movie called Category 6 on some other channel?” To which I replied, “FIE! THERE CAN NEVER BE ENOUGH DISATER MOVIES!”

Especially if they star Dennis Quaid. For those of you who live in Europe and may not be able to watch, I will try to recap it for you.

In other news, although Key West officials postponed Fantasyfest (Key West's version of Mardi Gras, traditionally celebrated the week of Halloween), locals threw an impromptu parade anyway, marching through the streets, ignoring the glares of bewildered motorists. Of course I had to go. I was a Bollywood film star, a costume I got thanks to one of my editors, Abby, who went all the way to India just to bring me back a pink sari (well, not really…but when she went to India earlier this year, I begged her to bring me back a pink sari, and she couldn't take the nagging anymore, so she did).

I'd post a photo of me in my Bollywood costume, but that will have to wait, because I STILL don't have Internet access or cable at home, thanks to Wilma (but I DO have satellite, which is how I got to watch VAMPIRE BATS). I have been haunting cafes with wi-fi in order to answer my emails, attend my online chats, and post these missives to you.

But my not having cable or Internet pales in comparison to the fact that some of my friends don't even houses anymore, thanks to Wilma! THAT'S scary—scarier than vampire bats, if you ask me.

But there is a bright spot in my otherwise piteous life of revisions and no Internet access (piteous until CAT 7 comes on, anyway): I have a new book out. That's right—a new book, out TODAY!!!

Better yet, it's here just in time for the holidays–and don't the holidays begin the day after Halloween?

Well, okay, maybe not—but I'm so excited about this book, I can't keep it to myself! Check out HOLIDAY PRINCESS, your royal guide to the holidays, in bookstores now!

Holiday Princess is jam packed with all the holiday information all the aspiring princesses in training in YOUR life need to know. This includes Tina Hakim Baba's not-to-be-missed guide to gift-buying for guys (SO COMPLICATED), Ling Su's guide to Chinese New Year, Hank Thermopolis's guide to Christmas in Indiana, and Michael M's guide to Hanukkah…not to mention Grandmere's sage advice concerning greeting cards, Kenny Showalter's analysis on the possible scientific explanations for the Star of Bethlehem, and Helen Themopolis's guide to making a Dead Celebrity tree of your very own.

Here, for your entertainment and edification, is a sneak peek at a section of HOLIDAY PRINCESS (illustrated by Chesley McClaren):

Christmas in Hollywood
Lilly and Mia's Guide to the Top Ten Holiday Movies
By Lilly Moscovitz and Mia Thermopolis

Okay, okay, so the holidays are SUPPOSED to be about spending time with family, and not about watching movies.

Well, we discovered a long time ago that a great way to spend time with your family is to spend it WATCHING MOVIES. Yes! That way, there is no fighting—except maybe over which movie to watch.

That's why we've composed this helpful list, so in the future, you won't have to fight—you can just pull out the list, and use it to persuade others of the superiority of your film choice over theirs.

Here goes:

10. Groundhog Day
Although technically this a movie that takes place on February 2, or Groundhog Day, it still has a very holidayish feel to it, since it's very funny and uplifting, and is all about living life it to its fullest, and helping others, which is really what the holidays are all about. Plus, Bill Murray is just hilarious.

9. The Ref
Denis Leary plays a thief who gets trapped in a house on Christmas Eve with what is perhaps the most dysfunctional family ever documented on film. As you might expect, this chain-smoking, foul-mouthed criminal knows more about the Christmas spirit than the horrible, supposedly loving family he is trapped with, and ends up teaching them a thing or two about love and family loyalty. Plus, it contains the immortal quote: “Kid. Gag your grandma.”

8. Home for the Holidays
Jody Foster directed this hilarious and touching movie about a down-and-out single mom (Holly Hunter) who goes home to visit her parents for Thanksgiving, and ends up alienating her sister, while bonding closer with her gay brother, fabulously played by Robert Downey, Jr., (who seems to ad-lib most, if not all, of his lines). Even better? A pre-The Practice Dylan McDermot plays Holly Hunter's love interest.

7. Scrooged
Another Bill Murray movie, only this one really DOES take place over Christmas. A modern re-telling of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, in this version, Scrooge is a TV executive who sold his soul (practically) to be rich and famous. Debra Winger stars as the perky social worker he left behind. Carol Kane is hilarious as an abusive Ghost of Christmas Present.

6. Scrooge (musical)
This ANCIENT film starring Albert Finney features many songs that you will recognize, such as “Thank You Very Much” and “I Like Life.” Well, okay, maybe you won't recognize them, but by the end you'll be humming them. This is by far the best version of the A Christmas Carol that we know of, plus one of the few with DANCING in it, so that it makes it far superior to its non-dancing cousins. Plus it has the best line of any Christmas movie ever: “I want the dolly in the corner!” Say it a few times with an English accent. Go ahead. We DARE you.

5. It's a Wonderful Life
This is a fabulous movie about a man who wishes he had never existed and gets his wish (don't worry, it has a happy ending). It's a movie that begs many questions, such as, “Is it possible to watch this movie without crying at the end?” And “How does one spell ZuZu?” And “Why can't Donna Reed be MY mother?” The part when Jimmy Stewart grabs her and says he doesn't want plastics is actually way hot, for a Christmas movie.

4. The Santa Clause
We hate to admit it, but this movie is a bit of a guilty pleasure, enjoyable even if you AREN'T seven years old. Tim Allen plays a man who inherits the role of Santa—the REAL Santa—and is none too pleased about porking out and having to move to the North Pole…though his son couldn't be more delighted. This movie answers a lot of those questions that have bothered us, such as, “How does Santa get to every house in one night?” And “Does he really eat all those cookies?” Satisfying as Oreos and a glass of milk.

3. Die Hard
A lot of people forget this is a Christmas movie, but that's the whole reason Bruce Willis is visiting his wife in the first place. See, she moved to LA for a fancy new job, while her husband stayed in New York to be a cop. So he's coming home for the
holidays to patch things up, and—as usually happens—Eurotrash terrorists choose Christmas Eve to take everyone in his wife's office hostage. Bruce has to save the day…and not to give anything away, but he survives to make Die Hard 2.

2. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
This movie is the silly antidote to all the sappy Suzanne Somers made-for-TV holiday movies you've been watching (don't even try to deny it). Chevy Chase doesn't get the Christmas bonus he'd counted on receiving in order to build his family a pool, and he goes a little insane. But you can understand why after you meet his in-laws. Not to mention the squirrel in the Christmas tree.

And the number one Christmas movie of all time….

1. A Christmas Story
This movie is written by a guy from Indiana, and also set there, but the story of his main character Ralphie's obsession with owning a Daisy air rifle is familiar to us all, Hoosier or not (only for Mia it was Prom Dress Barbie. For Lilly, an electromagnetic microscope). Ralphie's endeavors to be good so he can earn his rifle—his fantasies about what he'll do when he gets his rifle—his painful trip to see Santa to ask for the rifle—and his adventures along the way—all speak to the heart of what Christmas is all about in the eyes of a child. Speaking of eyes, the best line in the whole movie? “Yellow eyes! He had yellow eyes!” Hasn't every kid in the world been menaced by a yellow-eyed bully? What's UP with that???

Hope this holiday season, you'll find some time to spend with MY favorite princess, and the new book featuring all her sage holiday tips and commentary.

In the meantime…Happy Halloween! And if you are in the house alone, and you hear a weird noise, don't go investigate it yourself, the way yours truly did the other night. CALL THE COPS RIGHT AWAY. They will not be mad at you if it turns out to be nothing. Because it might turn out to be something. Thanks, KWPD! YOU guys are the ones who rule!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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