Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Little Lights Aren't Twinkling

I’ve decided to devote the remaining post titles in December to one of my favorite dysfunctional holiday movies of all time: Christmas Vacation. It’s the third in a 4 part odyssey of the Griswold family. The first one, Vacation, was okay. The second one, European Vacation, was a disappointment. And the final one, Vegas Vacation, was an abomination. But tucked in the middle of this supremely forgettable series was a little gem of a Christmas movie. It’d be like if Harold and Kumar made Harold and Kumar Go To The Hurt Locker right in the middle of their other two crappy films.

Of course, one of the main reasons I like it is because it’s ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. And I’m pretty sure you’re ridiculous too.* Besides, like The Godfather, there are life lessons abound sprinkled through-out the film. You learn how to fix a newel post, how to quickly replace a damaged Christmas tree, and the dangers of a plastic plate – instead of a metal one - in your head.


Mrs. Nitmos and I (and now the kids) quote from it all year ‘round. If I start complaining about some minor detail of something or other – which I often do – either the kids or Mrs. Nitmos are apt to say “the little lights aren’t twinkling** which is our code for reminding me that everything is okay and stop focusing on the one little hair out of place.

This is a good lesson to apply to running as well. I often come home from my track 800 intervals annoyed because one of the six 800’s fell outside of my goal range. And by “outside” I mean by no more than 1-2 seconds. Never mind that I exceeded my goal on several of the other intervals…and that my overall pace was right on target…and that I looked extremely handsome accomplishing all this. The one damn 800 ruined the whole bunch (except the handsome part).

The little lights aren’t twinkling.

I’ve done the same in marathons. Twenty-five miles went pretty much to expectation but CURSE THAT WALKING BREAK IN MILE 23. ARGGGHHH!!!

The little lights aren’t twinkling.

I’ve seen it around on various blogs as well. It was my first marathon…I came up 5 minutes short of my goal. –or- I set a PR in the 15k but my bloody nipple ruined my favorite white shirt. – or- Angelina Jolie is pretty but she smells of orphan.***

The little lights aren’t twinkling.

This holiday season, let’s all take advice from the modern philosopher’s known as the Griswolds.

Forget about the 2 seconds you missed for your 800 interval. Never mind the rose blossom on your PR soaked shirt. So what if Angelina smells of orphan – they make perfume. And who cares if Cousin Eddie is bat shit crazy in real life? Look at the big picture.

The next time you notice some minor detail is out of place, one little mile of a training run is out of whack compared to an otherwise perfectly paced run, heck, even one whole run stunk amongst a training log of good ones, don’t let your Inner Art get you down.

Art: The little lights aren’t twinkling.
Clark: I know Art. And thanks for noticing.

Happy trails.

* Otherwise why would you continue to return here?
** After an exasperated Clark finally lights the outdoor Christmas lights, Clark’s father-in-law Art points out to him that some of the little lights aren’t twinkling as they should while ignoring the grandeur of the illuminated home.
*** I don’t just read running blogs you know.
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I’m sorry but there simply was not enough of a creative response about what kind of abuse you would like to heap onto a treadmill in the last post. Your punishment? No post about bears and farting. Hey, you called out the bull, take the horns…

29 comments:

Xenia said...

This is my favorite Christmas movie. And regardless of how many times I watch it, I still laugh when Clark repeatedly bashes himself in the face with the floor boards in the attic.

Thomas said...

I have no idea what that entry was about. I lost my concentration the moment you mentioned Angelina Jolie.

Viper said...

I think European Vacation was the first time I saw a boob. I agree Vacation and Vegas Vacation were shit. Cheers!

B.o.B. said...

Good point, Nitmos style.

And it seems very apropos of my current bah-hum-buggery.

Thanks.

Kirstie said...

Good tip and will keep that in mind especially this time of year. Keep twinkling! ;)

ELizabeth said...

Ok so I love ALL the Vacation movies...not sure what that makes me---ridiculous would be an understatement. And yes agree with you. Best to focus on the positive things and be thankful.

saucony running shoes said...

This is interesting...everything is okay and stop focusing on the one little hair out of place.
I absolutely agree on this;

chris mcpeake said...

I love this movie. Staying positive is always the way to go.

Anne said...

I think I saw a typo ;) Ah sorry, the big picture...right.
Great post Nitmos!

Being a psychologist, a big part of my job is helping people avoid focusing on the "little lights that aren't twinkling"...so I totally get this and I agree :)

Pam said...

Best Christmas movie ever. Screw It's a Wonderful Life. Give me the Griswolds anyday.

But are you seriously dissin' Harold and Kumar? Dude.

One Crazy Penguin said...

Great post. It has a good message *and* sarcasm. My kind of post!

And I tried looking up people throwing treadmills off cliffs on you tube for your last post, but I couldn't find any. I may have to remedy that....

Vava said...

You just made me realize that my kids have never seen this movie (The Little Lights Aren't Twinkling)! My Christmas Present (and the singular is definitely intentional) list is complete!!!

ihearteggs said...

Love love love this christmas movie!

aron said...

love this movie and love this post!!!

drea said...

also my favorite xmas movie and you said this brilliantly! i think the lights are twinkling! love it!

Morgan said...

I just shared this on my FB because I loved it so much... great post! Merry Holidays!

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Awesome!! Thank you!!

Robin said...

Says alot about our generation - that we pick a chrismas movie about a dysfunctional family gathering over the classics! My favorite part is Uncle Eddie shopping and buying dog food. Who am I kidding, I can't get enough of uncle Eddie (who is oddly enough crazy in real life, too)!

Razz said...

shitter's full

Anna said...

I love this post! We all need to focus more on the big picture, not just in running, but in every aspect of life. Also, this is my favorite Christmas movie of all time! I watch it with my parents when we get together every year, and we all still laugh until we cry, even though we know the lines by heart. My personal favorite is Cousin Eddie at the dinner table: "Are you serious, Clark?"

Jess said...

This is a fantastic post! Christmas Vacation is actually my second favorite Christmas movie after A Christmas Story, but still valuable in its life lessons. ;)

Amalfi Girl said...

Oh my goodness, just found your blog and love it. Immediately added you to my blogroll. You are hilarious! I am a brand new very non-athlete-type runner, so if you have any advice please stop by my blog and give it to me!!

XO,

Amalfi Girl
http://eatrunhavefun.blogspot.com/

Irene said...

The first time we saw Christmas Vacation was just after my husband didn't get his bonus, but received something similar to the jelly of the month club, you know, the gift that keeps giving all year long. Yeah. Now we make it a point to watch the movie every Christmas season.

"And the rockets red glare..."

Aka Alice said...

A Netflicks must see for my kids...thanks for the reminder.

BTW...I'm sorry I missed the treadmill post, but in all honesty, I don't mind the 'mill all that much. On the other hand, I'm not crazy enough to run 18 miles on the thing...geesh...

Nick said...

I seriously cannot believe you left out Bing Crosby and Danny K.

BTW...Where is the Tylenol?

Excellent post!

Ace said...

Burn some dust and eat my rubber.

Stacie said...

I'm a new follower!! Great post. Christmas Vacation is our favorite Christmas movie.

Adam said...

Holey comments!

I see your Xmas vacation quote contest and raise you a 'merry Christmas, shitter is full'

good post though, bit as long as you're not doing anything productive

Short Breaks in Europe said...

Wow! I so amaze on the Christmas were is the location of that place? is it in Spain or in London ?