05 October 2006

The War On Christmas Part I: Full Metal Teepee

If you can't take the day off to celebrate Indigenous People's Day,
(Monday, October 9th), at least find some time to pray in the
direction of Sherman Alexie.


I'm pissed.

I fuckin' walked into fuckin' Lowe's fuckin' Home and fuckin' Garden fuckin' Center (fuckers), and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a quarter-acre CHRISTMAS DISPLAY. They got plastic Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, lights, and those horrendous inflatable 6-foot-high snow globes with a blower in 'em that makes it look like Santa is in the eye of a Tony Montana-sized coke-storm. So what's wrong with that? It was SEPTEMBER FUCKIN' TWENTY-FOURTH! Last time I checked the calendar, we had a whole three months before I had to sit up all night with a shotgun waiting for the fat man. Fawk!

Look, do not for a second think that I'm siding with that toothless, gum-bumping douchebag-with-a-microphone who says there's some kind of ACLU-endorsed "war on Christmas", but goddamnit - I'm about to start one! Are you with me? Then rally the damn troops.

So like any war (with the possible exception of the invasion of Iraq), this war has a plan. I already brewed one up. I knew push was gonna come to shove, so here's how we're gonna shove Dasher, Dancer, and Jesus all the way back to December 24th where they belong.

1. Celebrate the shit out of every holiday between now and December 24th, starting with Indigenous People's Day on Monday, October 9th. (Thought Monday was Columbus' Day? Think again.) As an added bonus, Canadian Thanksgiving Day (or Thanksgiving I: Maple Leaf Rag, as I like to call it) is celebrated the same day. If you're not going to throw down a feast, at least go into Lowe's and ask them where the Indigenous People's Day decorations are. When they shrug and gape at your requrest, stage a sit-in until they give you donuts and beer.

2. Buy Halloween decorations. As a matter of fact, buy all the Halloween schwag you can, including those crazy little ghost candles and stuff. When retailers start seeing a "Halloween bump" in sales, they'll start painting their faces and worshipping Satan faster than you can say "revenue stream".

3. Celebrate Thanksgiving II: The Kreusening (November 23rd). I've given it this title to differentiate it from Thanksgiving I, and to underscore the fact that you should get =/~ drunk as a lord in celebration; that is to say, become "fully kreusened" by internalizing the final stage of the brewing process (or as my wife used to say, become "ale battered"). Honestly, it's the only decent and noble way to honor the brave Native American soldiers who vanquished the white teetotalers at Roanoke Island in 1590. It's either that or take a stone hatchet to a Puritan. Your call.

4. Celebrate Christmas. Yeah, I know, you're all "what the hell!" But hear me out. Just hold out on celebrating until December 24th, and then keep that party goin' 'til Twelfth Night on January 6th. Do not let up. Ya don't stop the punk rock, especially when it comes to the biggest feast of the year. And as a matter of fact, walk right the hell out of work on December 24th and don't come back until January 6th. If they try to fire you, tell 'em to go suck a yule log. Sue them for impinging on your religious freedoms. What're they gonna do, condemn you for celebrating a Christian holiday? Not in George Dubya Bush's America! Nosiree!

Here's my last thought: I'm thinking about creating a foam Baby Jesus In The Manger hat, kinda like those Cheesehead deals you see people wearing at Green Bay Packers games. I mean what screams "Christmas" louder than wearing a manger-nested Christ Child on your head?



02 October 2006

This Is Your Brain On Yelp

Michelle B. at feeding time. Warm-blooded, good-natured and
exclusively frugivorous, Michelle is the person who is solely re-
sponsible for getting me hooked on Yelp.


Look, don't expect much of me today. I'm tired and my brain power is at an all-time low. In fact, I'm experiencing what some might call "rolling blackouts" of the mental variety. I keep drifting off the subject and then not remembering what I was talking about. Might not be so bad except that people keep pointing it out to me.

The upside is that I write crapmail for a living, which means that I know how to write a mean bullet-point list. Bullet-point lists are what you write when you're not smart enough to construct a meaningful conversation, and would just rather lob shit at people than talk to them. This is all fine by me, since most of my conversations nowadays seem to go like this:

ME: Hey, did you hear about the 'Hawks game?
YOU: No, what happened?
ME: What?
YOU: Huh?
ME: What was I talking about?
YOU: (Capitalizing on the opportunity) How you only owe me thirty bucks.
ME: You're goddamn right! And not a penny more. (Shells out $30.)

But check this out. What I'm going to write next is a modified bullet list that will talk at you about the several and diverse topics currently circulating in my world. The modified bullet list will allow you to see in a single glance the salient points of my utterly flavorless existence - with very little writing effort on my part! Hell, I could mash a monkey's face into my keyboard right now and it would probably result in the same quality and clarity of prose. Such is the beauty of the modified bullet list. So here goes:

My Latest Conspiracy Theory - A few years back, Bob Woodward cranked out a 400-page handjob-to-the-administration titled Bush At War. Then just yesterday he grunted out a six-and-a-half-pound hatchet-job on the same administration titled State Of Denial. If he wrote the former so that he could butter up the keyholes at the White House to get unprecedented access to write the latter, he is my new hero. God bless you, Mr. Woodward, you are a one-man Trojan horse.

Seahawks - Got shellacked (37-6) Sunday night by the Chicago Bears and are now 3 and 1. Oh look, you're already asleep.

The HellClimber 3000 - Each and every morning, I've been flaming off 1,000 calories on the HC3K (if I am to believe anything that LED readouts on exercise machines tell me). Then I go lift. I'm doing this so that I'll be ready for next hiking season. Why the intense preparation, you ask? Because next year on my hikes I intend to carry no bear spray, and eat whatever'n'th'fuck I want wherever'n'th'fuck I wanna eat it. That also means I'm probably going to have to wrestle some bears for my peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I also intend to wear a salmon suit and slather myself with dingleberry jam. Wish me luck.

Modern Drunkard Magazine - Puking is probably not really as much fun as I remember it being, but reading the brilliantly unapologetic Modern Drunkard Magazine makes me wish it were. In typically alcoholic fashion, I can't remember how I came across this little gem-at-the-bottom-of-a-shot-of-rye, but I'm very glad I did. Such unabashed praise of drunkenarianism is more than enough to send most former drunks like myself scuttling off to an AA meeting with flagellum in hand. But part of what I had to do in order to stop the guilt cycle that kept me drinking was to realize that I had some really good times being drunk. In a very satisfying and practical way, MDM lets me relive those giddy Bacchanalian days without the money-spendy-blacky-outy-auto-wrecky stuff.

Yelp - My latest addiction is a website that combines the personalization of MySpace with...oh I don't know...some other site where they review stores and restaurants and shit. Michelle - somebody who used to work here (meaning RealNetworks) got a gig over there (meaning Yelp dot com) turned me and a bunch of other folks around here on to it. I haven't been able to leave it alone. I've reviewed a ton of stuff and often turn to it for inspiration when I'm not even inspired enough to write a bullet list. It's fun as hell and will most likely cost me my job. Go sign up or I'll review you.

See ya on Yelp.