The most wonderful day of the year, Christmas Eve, and the weather outside was rainy, which is the best you can do in these parts. Matthew, Mutti and I went to Nation’s to have a quick bite before going off to buy bread at Acme. Acme was not an option, however, given the line of 50 people and rain nipping down smartly by that point. We decided to buy slightly lame bread at Safeway, but even that was a drag given the traffic and lack of visibility. Well, good sourdough bread is not something one can buy in advance, so what can you do but brave the obstacles? Matt and Mutti came out of Safeway with an armful of Semifreddi’s baguettes, thank goodness, though we were hemmed into our parking spot for a good 15 minutes after being buckled in. Once back home, we nested and tuned in to the yule log while waiting for Steven to come home from work so we could all watch Scrooge, the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol, starring Alastair Sim, the finest movie version of the book, as far as I’m concerned, with most of the dialogue having been exported to the screenplay verbatim.
After the movie it was time to tuck into all the German goodies from Karl Ehmer and the various cheeses, like Delice de Bourgogne and Cambozola. Finally – presents! Steve scored The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion, by Martin Grams Jr. & Patrik Wikstrom, which really got a rise out of him. He also got The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic, also by Grams (he obviously needs to get a life – like the rest of us obsessed with these shows). Matt was happy with The Celluloid Closet DVD and the other gay-themed items he received. My take included two books by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, the Istrian who started out working in Christopher Walken’s parents’ bakery in Astoria, Queens, before founding her cooking empire, and a mini-box set of Stax recordings. Berry had a good night until I dressed him up as the Christmas dog. For some reason this really pissed him off this year and he was so nasty I was forced to take off his bells. I like the demonic look in his eyes in the photo above, so I didn’t do any correction.