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Just when I'm convinced the candy corn glow makes Hallowe'en the best season ever, Christmastime sprinkles me with cinnamon and nutmeg fairy dust and it's off to races I go! No more Pumpkin Spice lattes, no, Siree! Now, 'tis time for Gingerbread and Egg Nog lattes! ~insert Homer Simpson-style drool here~ Yes, what could be more glorious than Christmastime? If you know Moi, you know the only answer to that could be ... Disneyland at Christmastime!

I'm oft queried, usually accompanied by a snide, wrinkled nose, "How times can you go to Disneyland? Isn't it all the same, all the time?" In two words, respectively, "Googolplex" and "No". If I may  ...

Especially at Christmastime, Disney is aglow and alive with new designs, décor and discovery. California Adventure Park, par example, is sporting an all new, first-time ever, holiday overlay on Buena Vista Street, including the luxuriously Art Deco-inspired department store Elias & Co. If the mall is just a tad too modern for you, if it lacks the creativity some of us need, and if the likes of Target, Wal-Mart and Kohl's are just not our scene (hands up high!), a Buena Vista Christmas just might be A Christmas Story overload your contemporary senses crave right now: 50ft., old-fashioned Christmas tree, vintage toys, model trains and kiddie pics with old St. Nick.

Do yourself a huge favour. Get at least one day of holiday shopping in with Walt. Not close to a Disney park? Maybe you do live or vacation nearby, but don't want to pay the hefty entrance fee or commit to an annual pass? (You should, but that's a personal matter.) No worries, pals. Downtown Disney shopping and dining districts can feed your holiday needs, in both the Golden and Sunshine States. Tokyo and Paris each have a park and, if all else fails, a visit to your local mall's Disney Store can provide a travel-size portion of Mickey cheer. Not even a mall nearby? Wow. Well, gimme a minute. Ah! A little shopping at DisneyStore.com whilst watching Mickey's Christmas Carol will do the job nicely!

Disney merch isn't all Mickey ears, giant pencils and pinwheel suckers. Some of you would be happily surprised at the selections hidden amidst the back streets and castle crevices. Star Traders in Tomorrowland, at the egress of Star Tours, proffers an impressive inventory of Star Wars figures, apparel and collectibles for the sci-fi geek on your list. My geek faves? Muppets-as-Star Wars figures and the Obi Wan bathrobe.

New Orleans Square offers moderately priced, casually pretty pirate tees and other, pricier, Disney Couture gear. No hip-top kind of gals on your list? Mlle. Antoinette's Parfumerie boasts sleek shelves and shiny glass cases full of dear-but-worth-it designer scents: Christian Dior, Shalimar and more.

Main Street, Fantasyland and Frontierland have enough shops to keep you busy sifting through racks and shelves of crystal, porcelain, jewelry, fine leather goods, fine art, Disneyana, Pendleton, Dooney & Bourke, Tarina Tarantino and just about anything funky, wonky, pretty, sparkly, wacky, wild and weird to conquer that Christmas or Hanukkah list. As mentioned above, don't forget about Downtown Disney: no admission fee and plenty of Disney joy! My fave spot? Disney Vault 28, of course ... or, as I like to call it, Vault Disney. Get it? Ha ha. (As of late though, I do have to admit the unique selection here has thinned and the quality, especially where the Tarina Tarantino baubles are concerned, is, as the French would say with a shrug and a so-so wiggle of the hand, comme-ci comme-ca. Meh.)

Remember, Christmas shopping is not just about the buying; it's about the perusing, the strolling, the atmosphere and the hot cocoa, spiced cider and egg nog cappuccinos. IMHO, going into New Year's debt over gifts is just stupid. It really is the thought that counts. True, Disney may not be the least expensive brand; but there are enough goodies under $30 with a unique and personal factor that outweighs even Auntie Wilma's high-end Neiman-Marcus gifties. (Of course, that does not mean we don't still want Auntie Wilma's Neimans boxes!!)

Whether it's precious alone-time (Underestimate not the joy of Disney meandering by oneself.) or with a pal, whether with a lovey-dovey or a little loved one, Disney provides everything modern senses require for the perfect Christmas Story-Christmas: fireworks, festive drinks (adult and non-alkie), treaty-sweeties, parades,  characters in holiday haberdashery and loads of photo-ops everywhere you turn. Disneyland is for fun, friends and family ... especially friends! Who knows what next Christmas may bring? You owe it to yourself. Be happy! Go to Disneyland!

Fave Disneyland Holiday Attractions!

Haunted Mansion Holiday: New Orleans Square and The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay! If you're a regular reader of mine, you know full-well my love for Jack and Sally ... and Zero!

Buena Vista Street's Very First Christmas: California Adventure Park's 1920s, small town Christmas and department store, Elias & Co. ... get yourself some Midwest-America nostalgia.

Jingle Jangle Jamboree: Frontierland's "West Pole" f/ country tuneage by Billy Hill and the Holiday Hillbillies, Mrs. Claus' Christmas cookies, Holiday Corral and Santa's reindeer, plus a holiday crafting station!

A Christmas Fantasy Parade: The classic! Rollerskating snowflakes, minueting Princes and Princesses, wooden soldiers, prancing reindeer and all your fave characters in the gayest holiday gear!

 

All slideshow photos by Loren Javier

 
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For we whom are robbed of a snowy holiday season in California, aliens landed last night and planted lei-bedecked Christmas rock-trees to proffer us a tropical holiday ... or, to distract us and divert our attention while they commence colonization.


 

Photos: JSDevore (SoCal)

Merry Merry to All!

 
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They Mostly Come at Night. Mostly.

by Jennifer Susannah Devore

 

Holiday elves and gnomes, turning Christmas Eve so ghostly

Scampering hither and thither, skittering creepily through the house

They mostly come at night, mostly

 

Crafting chaos, making mischief so grossly

Frightened back to their beds, all the family pets: the cats, the pup and even the mouse

Holiday elves and gnomes, turning Christmas Eve so ghostly

 

 

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In this season of family, good friends and, of course, the annual roasting of a grand feast, whatever that may be (Tofurkey is always nice!), I thought I might proffer a wee excerpt from the upcoming Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington, Wisdom and The West, Virginia 1754. Though originally written as a springtime campfire song, Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight makes for a great family sing-along, no matter what the occasion! One might hear it 'round an 18thC. Appalachian campfire, or 'round your own Thanksgiving table, anywhere across this great country. Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington, Wisdom and The West, Virginia 1754

Dante turned his attention to Jeremiah, whom was tuning his cittern: a small, medieval-era, stringed instrument. It was similar to a mandolin, but with a longer neck and a flatter back. Usually played with a quill or a plectrum, Jeremiah needed neither. His claws were the perfect, natural plectrums. Cincinnatus was sitting up straight, lengthening his diaphragm as he prepared to sing. Both Mason boys had removed their trail hats, leather tricorns, and replaced them with what they called their 'ficial sing-songin' hats, which looked very similar to Robin Hood hats. They were green wool and sported an interesting and plentiful collection of feathers: one feather collected from each adventure they shared. This adventure had yet to provide the perfect find.

 

Jeremiah and Cincinnatus had an affinity for medieval music and their feathered hats helped them get into that spirit. In between them, staring dumbly into the campfire they'd built outside their tent, sat Sparky. He did not possess a 'ficial sing-songin' hat, but was always eager to join whatever the scene was. So, he had taken one of his neckerchiefs, one which happened to be of a thick, olive-green linen, and tied it around his head. He pulled it backwards into a point, so it approximated a Robin Hood hat, and sported it proudly as he awaited the music. When he tore his gaze away from the flame, he realized Dante was in-camp and yelled out to him, a little too loudly.

 

"Dante! Dante! Over here! Come sit with us! We's playin' music! We's having ourselves a mee-dee-vull sing-song!" he patted the empty space on the log next to him.

 

Dante happily obliged. In a contest of editing versus singing, singing always won. He settled onto the log and crossed a boot over his other leg, the way Washington had done. It turned out that the earlier argument between the mink brothers had been about a song. More precisely, it had been about the title of a song. In the end, Jeremiah had ceded to Cincinnatus' choice: Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight.

 

Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight

lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

 

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary,

Why is your heart so black tonight?

The sky is so clear, the stars so bright.

Why is your heart so black tonight?

Summer of 1553 began your Terrific Reign of Might.

Oh, why is your heart so black tonight?

Your hair gleams like a raven, your smile faint like a ghost.

'Tis a beauteous evening for a campfire,

But not for a Protestant roast.

 

 

Note: As with previous songs, in previous titles, Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight is inspired by the author's many musical friends. Thank you, pals!

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Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington, Wisdom and The West, Virginia 1754, Book IV of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books, by Jennifer Susannah Devore. All rights reserved. Property of KIMedia, LLC. Excerpt may be shared digitally for entertainment,  non-commercial purposes only and may not be reprinted in analog format or sold in any format, digital, analog or otherwise.

 

 
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As author Jennifer Susannah Devore works diligently, her wee fingertips tattered to the bone, editing Book IV of her Savannah of Williamsburg series of historical-fiction, she finds herself currently obsessed with AMC's resplendent, American Revolutionary War drama, TURN: Washington's Spies.

Well, of course she is, you roll your eyes. She's JennyPop. Anyone who knows her even moderately well knows of her love affair with the 18thC.: art, architecture, fashion, history, literature and so on. To boot, the series is shot on-location in Virginia, including her fave American hamlet, her former home of Colonial Williamsburg. I wonder if the cast hangs out at The Green Leafe? JennyPop wonders. Oh, wait., she recalls. It's closed for renovations. Maybe they go to Blue Talon Bistro? she adjusts her curiosity.

In between long bouts of editing, she has, of late, been curating her own TURN soundtrack. Odd, you might think. Yes, one could agree. What a glorious waste of time, you amend. Again, yes, one could agree.

Regardless of your opinion, she has gloriously wasted her time for you, the TURN devotee. As you await the fourth, and, sadly, final season on AMC, fret not. If you find yourself mourning the loss of Major John André, fretting over the emotional well-being of Miss Peggy Shippen-Arnold, terrified of Captain Simcoe's next psychotic demonstration, curious if Mary Woodhull will take to attempted murder again and hoping against hope that Anna and Captain Hewlett find true love together, you can always watch and re-watch the series on Netflix and Amazon Instant, buy the Blu-Rays and, if you so choose, peruse JennyPop's TURN soundtrack and perchance create your own playlist.

Aside: One of JennyPop's dear friends, Lance Pedigo, former Head of Music for Colonial Williamsburg and former head of the CW Fife and Drum Corps, leads the sad, drum procession to Major John André's hanging at the end of S3e10: "Trial and Execution".

 

JennyPop's TURN Soundtrack

 

"Don't Cry" (Major André's and Peggy's lament) by Guns N' Roses

"Centuries" by Fall Out Boy

"Regular Army O" by Mick Moloney

"Sucker For Pain" on Suicide Squad soundtrack

"Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots

"Renegades" by X Ambassadors

"Strip" by Adam Ant

"Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen or Panic at the Disco!

"Fake It" by Seether

"Stand and Deliver" by Adam Ant

"God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash

"How I Could Just Kill A Man" (Simcoe's theme) by Rage Against the Machine

 

 

What would you add? Curate your own and share @JennyPopNet! Feel free to share mine!

 

#TURN #MyTURNSoundtrack #TURNAMC

 

 

 

 

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JennyPopcorn: Netflix New Releases

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    The sequel drops us into the zombie-infested quarantined zone of East Mission City. Investigative reporter Chase Carter must stop a secret government conspiracy which is aimed at ending the country's zombie epidemic but will also kill millions of innocent civilians.
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    A former US Federal Agent must abandon the witness protection program and come out of hiding when his London home is invaded in error due to a wrong address. When the event ends with multiple homicides, the news triggers those hunting him to send Europe's most dangerous...
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    In this rousing sequel, warrior turned pacifist Kenshin Himura reluctantly takes on Makoto Shishio, an embittered assassin scheming to topple the Meiji government with help from a gang of hired killers.
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins

    Spirited and rebellious, 12-year-old Gilly Hopkins has been in and out of a long string of foster homes. When she's sent to live with the unorthodox Maime Trotter, Gilly doesn't intend to stay long, but Maime isn't about to quit on her young charge.

Theme from Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates (Book II)

Blackbeard's Chanty:"Me Cup is Broke!"Music by PBIII, lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!