The Wide Angle: Wrapping up the season

Published 7:01 am Sunday, December 25, 2016

I once bragged — and sportswriter Rocky Hulne can back this up — that I could pick some killer music for the Austin Packer Dance Team.

In fact, I might have even made this charge to former APDT member, Austin Daily Herald intern three years running and super woman Alex Smith and then may or may not have gotten swept up in the moment and claimed I could be a coach.

Alex, bless her heart, may have smiled and then turned so as not to let me see what she thought of such an idea.

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And she’s right. I could no more coach a dance team, especially an immensely talented one that has enjoyed a string of success like the APDT. And to even suggest I take part in the planning is to lower that high bar even lower.

I suppose I could make it a promotion. Con the team into letting me design a routine and then show off said routine at halftime of a basketball game, all the while planning on running a feature in the paper. However, it’s more likely I end up being chased from Packer Gym. It’s 50/50 really.

At best — and that’s a slim best — coach Kayla Sellers might even listen to some of my ideas for music, laugh at me and then tell me to go away, though she is super nice so probably she would just contain it to laughing.

*pssst* APDT. Look into Hidden Citizens on Youtube. You’re welcome.

What all of this has been though, is a rather long and awkward lead-in to wrapping presents in that I should never do either of these things.

Over my break a couple weeks ago, while Janeen worked, I went through my annual effort of Sisyphus, pushing the boulder up-hill only to watch it roll back down the hill in a mess of tape, wrapping paper, tissue paper and ill-devised artistic crafty bows that I attempted to make on my own.

It’s a travesty of the Christmas spirit is what it is, made even more difficult by a certain four-legged, fury assistant who cares less about helping me wrap and more about tearing the paper to pieces before I could get them around any gift.

It’s a trial, but I have a certain amount of stubborn pride that won’t let get anybody else do it.

So Tuesday or Wednesday, I gathered up our meager assortment of paper and bows from the basement and headed to the living room where Buster immediately set about turning what little order I had achieved into a mess of crumpled paper, mixed in with a few swipes at the tape that I attempted to affix to the paper.

None of this was helped by my simple lack of wrapping talent.

I’m not entirely sure why I still stink at it after all these years, but it continues to be my thorn.

Really, Buster is the least of my issues and maybe if I didn’t watch TV while I did it, it wouldn’t be so bad. Kind of goes back to that distraction issue I wrote about a few weeks back. Either way, nothing has changed.

So, yeah, should I ever decided that I want to approach Kayla and say, “hey, let me plan some of your team’s routine,” all she has to do is send me a box, wrapping paper and tape to which the answer will always be … “You’re right, I would be a horrible coach.”

Christmas traditions

Listen, by the time you read this, you will have precious little time to watch anymore Christmas movies.

So I’m here to help with what movies make my Christmas.

First of all, you are probably watching “A Christmas Story,” right now. Don’t lie.

There is always 24 hours of the movie running on TNT and TBS, so you will give in eventually.

But there are two others you need to watch and both are “A Christmas Carol.”

There are countless versions of the film, but these two are by far the best.

First, watch the 1984 version starting George C. Scott as Scrooge. There is none better. Scott growls his way through the role of Ebeanzer Scrooge, grinding lines like, “Another sound from you … and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation,” and of course, “Bah, humbug.”

Not to be underappreciated is Frank Finlay who plays an ever-so mournful Jacob Marley.

The second version is the 1999 version starring Patrick Stewart playing a particularily angry Scrooge. Richard E. Grant delivers a fantastic version of Bob Cratchit opposite Stewart.

There you have it. Last minute holiday movie advice you will need to complete your Christmas.

Well why are you still reading this. Start watching … before you dot another ‘I!’