Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013 Everyone!

Happy New Year! 

More Rider Chronicle posts to come in 2013.  Be safe and enjoy!

Your friends from the Rider Chronicles,  

Liz and Jamie

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

7 Days until Christmas

by Liz

Whoa, only one week until Christmas!  That is crazy cool!  I’m more excited than Frosty after a blizzard.  Sharing the joys of Christmas Spirit all around is just one of the many things I love about this Magical time of year.  Others include, caroling, presents (giving and receiving, yo!), Christmas music, gatherings with loved ones (even if by Skype), and the movies… I love Christmas movies.  The classics and the made for T.V. guilty pleasures that invade the small screen each year.

So, before I list out my top ten Christmas movies, I’ll tie in a little ‘Rider’ Christmas tale.  In 1985 Chris Van Allsburg wrote a Christmas story for young children that was made into a movie in 2004, The Polar Express.  I feel the main reason that I’m drawn to this book/movie is that the Author sets the beginning of the book in his home town of Grand Rapids, MI.  That just happens to be my home town too! Like most grand adventures that happen in books, the character makes a questionable call.  In the Polar Express, a young boy decides to board a strange train that happens to stop outside his house on Christmas Eve.  Northward bound on the way to the North Pole, where a few other children in their PJ’s get to see Santa and thousand of Elves as they prepare for the busy night ahead.    The journey/ride is a magical one where kids who are in the realm of questioning the belief in Santa get a chance to see and truly believe.  How brilliant would that be to get to go on that adventure?

However, even though The Polar Express is dear to me, it does not make my top ten Christmas movie list.   It’s hard to pick an all time favorite.  Each of these ten mean so much to me in different ways. So, in no particular order here they are with their year of release and a bit of why I love them.

1.     White Christmas,  1954: Bing Crosby singing White Christmas gets me every time.  This classic is a Morris family favorite and one that I’ve seen a million times over and love more and more each time.  Snow, Snow, Snow… Sisters… great songs as well.  Who does not love Danny Kaye’s comedic overtone, Rosemary Clooney’s lovely voice and Vera-Ellen’s dance moves.  Magical.
2.     It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946: Not only is Frank Capra’s film a classic American Standard, the story is known around the world and still rings true as one of the most watched Christmas movies of all time.  It’s a win win for me, the movie features my all time favorite actor James (Jimmy Stewart) and his character of George Baily shows an amazing depth on the human emotion.  Of course the scene where Jimmy and Donna Reed’s character Mary are dancing over the gym floor that is opening over the pool is classic!
3.    Love Actually, 2003: This modern classic is amazing and I love every bit of it.  The stories that collide in and out for the many characters in London around Christmas.  Not only does this one make my top ten Christmas movies, it makes my top ten all time favorite movies.  Love + Christmas + Colin Firth + Liam Neeson = Perfect!
4.    The Christmas Shoes, 2002: a movie based on a New Song song, that has been made into series of books and movies.  This one gets on the list because it’s a special one for me and my Mom.  We love this movie and series and cry our eyes out every time we see it.
5.    Little Women, 1994: Again, not exactly a Christmas movie, but one I love watching at Christmas time.  The classic story of four sisters during the Civil War era and their journey of family and love is a memorable one for me. 
6.    The Family Stone, 2005: If you’ve ever heard me spout out ‘Hold the phone!’ you can thank this movie for giving me that one.  This family tale is a guilty pleasure that is a must see for me every year!
7.     The Christmas Card, 2006: This made for TV movie made my list because of it’s gentle soul and lovely story.  It’s not a big production and as most of my family and friends know I’m a sucker for the Hallmark movies, so it’s not that big of a surprise. 
8.     Meet Me in St. Louis,  1944: Not an all around Christmas Movie per say, this Judy Garland gem touches on all four seasons for the Smith Family living in St. Louis leading up to the 1904 World’s Fair.  This great movie is where we first get the Christmas classic song Have Yourself a Merry Christmas. 
9.   A Very Brady Christmas, 1988: Words cannot describe how awesome this movie is.  It gains more and more awesomeness with dipping into the Holiday Spirits, if you get my drift.  A family reunion of sorts from the popular sitcom brings the Brady family together for Christmas.  Mr. and Mrs. Brady enjoy a Gift of the Magi moment in the first half and family love that will have you keep on keep on keep on dancing all through the night.
10. Home Alone, 1990:  How could I not love this movie, eight year old Kevin gets left home alone at Christmas whilst his family is in Paris.  Every kid’s dream/nightmare.  Reason enough for me to have a connection with this film is that I too was eight years old when it came out and remember going to Studio 28 to watch this with the family.  Granted I think I was the only one that really loved it. 

That’s it… my top ten Christmas Movie List.   I’d love you to leave some comments below and share your favorites.  That or you can post on Facebook it is easier. 

Merry Christmas to All!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Smashed Finger, Boo!

by Liz

Riding has been more than eventful these past few weeks.  I’ve been having trouble riding the bus to work more than 2-3 days a week these days.  However, that will change soon enough, mostly because the early bird lot that I park in raised their rates yet again.  It’s only a $1 increase, but that is enough.  Last week I had two memorable rides that I will share with you. 

As you may gather from my post last week, I’m a wee bit Jolly about Christmas.  I love this time of year!  Thanks to my roommate Kelli, who scored sneak preview passes to Hyde Park on Hudson meant a change of route.  After work, I headed to the downtown core on one of the many buses outside work that heads that way.  As all buses seem to be these days, over crowded it was a treat to listen to two men loudly discuss their opinions on film.  Specifically how they both love and loathed Film Noir.   It was so exciting I cannot contain my elation!  Getting off at Pine and 3rd, I exited with almost the whole bus, as most were headed to Westlake to get onto another transit to continue their commute.

I however, enjoyed the walk a few blocks towards Pacific Place.  Walking through Downtown this time of year is wonderful.  All the window displays of winter wonderlands, the lights on every street corner, massive decorated Christmas Tree, street performers playing Christmas music, and SANTA!!!!  I love walking by Nordstroms this time of year, where you can watch through the window all the kiddies, excited or a wee bit scared get on Santa’s lap and ask for their Christmas wishes.  Also, I got to experience my first snow fall of the season.  Granted it was a indoor snow show that happens every day at 6pm inside Pacific Place.  Magical!

Snow falling at Pacific Place

The next night’s commute home was way less magical, but just as eventful.  After waiting for the Rapid Ride to arrive for 20 minutes mind you… Those things are supposed to come every 10 minutes.  Which I was waiting for because I missed the on time express bus that leaves right when I get off.  So if I don’t have my ‘stuff’ together then I’m out of luck and have to wait until the next one at 5:18 or try for the Rapid Ride D line.  It was a cold December night standing at the bus stop, consolation was that it was dry.  Anyhoo, the D line was coming and so was the express so I ran over to the other stop to get the express (it really is much faster if leaving at the same time).  

Stepping onto the full bus, I was greeted by a friendly lady driver.  It was nice to meet her smile.   Standing in the front part of the aisle, there was about a dozen people standing, but it was not as crowded as other bus rides have been lately.  The final stop had two more souls embark before the bus made it’s way along the bus lane on Elliot. 

Standing there as I streamed the Christmas channel from Pandora on my phone, I noticed that holding onto the top bar was more difficult with my gloves.  They were a little thick and made it hard to grip as well as my hands sliding around on the chrome bar.  However, with one hand up holding on, I managed to get my other hand up to brace myself as the bus slammed hard on it’s breaks.  I saw the two folks standing in front of me smash into each other and braced myself as the lady behind me crashed into me.  Thank you Mr. Car for pulling out in front of a bus going the speed limit in the bus lane.  I smashed my right pointer finger (boo) and was happy to report that was the only injury.  The bus driver was in good spirits about it and wished us all a safe evening as we disembarked. 

With the cold and dark December weather, I may find it hard to ride in as much as I had been.  Also, the need to run errands and enjoy festive happenings after work makes having a vehicle on hand easier.  However, if I manage to ride in two days a week I know that will save some money and energy.  I just might have to buy new gloves with traction to grip the handrails with more ease.  As a lover of winter scarfs, hats, and gloves that will be such a hard task for me to handle, but I'll manage.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Twelve days of Rider Christmas

By Liz

With only 21 days until Christmas, the most magical time of the year, I thought I would bring you a little song to get you in the spirit.  Okay, maybe it is not the most spirited rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas, but it is very Rider Chronicles-ish.  Try not to singing it as you read it too, I dare you! :O)  Yay Christmas!

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, King County Metro gave to me…
Twelve Riders Reading
Eleven People Standing
Ten Dudes-a-Coughing
Nine Ladies Laughing
Eight Drivers Honking
Seven Folks-a-Swearing
Six Babies Crying
Five Minutes Late
Four iPhones Ringing
Three Transfers Making
Two Toes Stepped On
And a One Bus Away App

Happy Christmas!