Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pa Rum Pum Pum Blech.

Well, it’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, by which I’m not referring to my complaining that I have to switch the fuse on again, the lights (uh, in my room, alone) having once more blown out half the house, but to the fact that, when you walk around the mall, it’s all “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and you’re like, am I supposed to be skipping around with a box of garland streaming behind me, right now, because part of me suddenly feels guilty for walking regular. And how, when you turn on the radio, you have a 75% better chance of hearing either Hanson or ‘N Sync than you do any other time of the year – that you’re not in a room with me. (I’m just kidding! I hate ‘N Sync!) Yep, kind of like how summer sometimes feels like reason enough to not not listen to Sugar Ray, people seem to take Christmas as a very good excuse to play some Very Bad Music.

I’m not saying all Christmas music is bad, or even a majority of it. And I’m not going to knock, like, Frosty or Rudolph, because if you ask me, people don’t sing enough about snowmen or…reindeer that double as headlights, these days. It’s just, with Christmas songs, they tend to stick half-a-year’s worth of play time into a two-month period, and they’re all sung by at least seven different artists, a fourth of which haven’t done anything since 1995, so it’s a very high concentration of bad. See, just because it’s December doesn’t mean that “Last Christmas” is suddenly a good song, or that you should put Wham! back into rotation at all, and the same goes for Savage Garden covering Wham! and, wait, is that Hilary Duff? It’s not a good song, you guys! Stop singing it! Play that Mariah Carey one, instead! Even the Grinch loves that song, and the Grinch hated Christmas, the whole Christmas season!

And the 12 Days of Christmas – unless you’re Relient K, I do not want to hear about ‘em. Once that starts up, you know you’re gonna be there for a while, and they just keep going down that list, and, twelve verses later, you’re still trying to figure out what half of these things are and why the French hens and turtle doves from days prior wouldn’t pretty much cancel out your need for one calling bird, let alone four of them. And your “true love gave to you," really? I bet he caught half those gifts in his backyard. Lords-a-leaping included. And if the 12 Days of Christmas isn’t bad enough, there’s the 1200 Song-Parodies Of The 12 Days Of Christmas – the first thing of Christmas that’s such a pain to me? Is your stupid song.

Or “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which, actually, isn’t a bad song (aside from the title). Until you think about it, that is, and realize that there’s all manner of shady behavior going on, over there. Just face it, Anonymous Guy, the girl obviously doesn’t want to stay, and it’s real cute how you keep interrupting each other’s lines, like that, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re trying to pressure her into something that she totally doesn’t want to do. All things considered, it’s mostly creepy, especially when she gets to, “Say, what’s in this drink?” and you realize: this just isn’t going to end well. That’s not a Christmas song, that’s like one of those filmstrips they show you in middle school health class, where That ‘70s Dad offers to drive That ‘70s Babysitter home, and suddenly, he starts hitting on her in the car, and it’s disgusting, and we all learn to…walk home alone in the dark, instead of getting a ride, or something.

I could go on – there’s “Wonderful Christmas Time” (Did you ever notice how many lyrics that song has? Like, hardly any. And the ones it does have? Suck.) and “Holly Jolly Christmas” (oh, by golly…) and have you heard the other verses to “Jingle Bells?” But let’s cut to the worst Christmas song of them all. From the ‘80s, of course, when I guess it was a trend to write songs about Stuff That Mattered and then pile as many artists as you could into one room so they could sing with their eyes closed while wearing those giant headphones…ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” I hate “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Let’s let the song explain for itself, shall we? Sample lyrics: “At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun; There's a world outside your window, and it's a world of dread and fear…and the Christmas bells that ring there, are the clanging chimes of doom; Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you!” Just...come ON! First of all, Edgar-Allen-Poe, much? And secondly, I understand things aren’t the best, outside my window, and that kids in Africa would enjoy my leftovers, and I’m all for “feeding the world,” but…I just don’t think Christmas songs are supposed to sound so much like the news. And, by the way, just because you’re singing about Christmas and world hunger at the same time doesn’t mean you get to write whatever-the-heck you want, and we’ll just grab our (now guilt-laden) hot cocoa and sing along, okay? So stop that, pop stars of the eighties.

Then least the Pound Puppies aren’t barking it. Which: Yikes.

P.S. I Googled 'NSync, just to make sure I was putting the apostrophe in the right place and...not that I didn't notice it years ago, but my gosh, what a stupid name for a band.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Say "Tofurky!"

Yes. There's only one day until Thanksgiving, which means that, on a scale of one-to-excited, I'm dressed up as a turkey right now. Because the great thing about Thanksgiving is that, like most holidays, it's all about eating (the exception being Christmas, which – in order – is all about Jesus, presents and matching pajamas. Wait, what?), but unlike most holidays, Thanksgiving doesn’t really pretend to be about anything else (like, who do you think you’re fooling, “Independence” Day, you’re just another excuse to eat hamburgers – not that we should need one). Sure, there’s the business of “giving thanks,” but, c’mon, what are we mostly being thankful for? That’s right: Stuffing.

Then again, Thanksgiving is about some other things. I mean, not to get all Tevye on you, but there is the matter of tradition. Like, tomorrow, I’ll continue the once-a-year tradition of waking up early expressly to watch a Roker-hosted event, followed by the traditions of wondering when they’re ever going to pull the “Ask Jeeves” balloon out of rotation, breaking out the Christmas music (which has a way of getting some pretty suspect artists onto the iPod, every year), saying, “Okay, this is the last thing I’m eating until dinner,” about once every half-hour, sitting at the “kids” table and loving it, trying both cranberry sauce and asparagus – again – deciding that I still don’t like cranberry sauce or asparagus – again – avoiding tomato juice altogether (Because that? Is just gross.), and being in the presence of more kinds-of-pie in one room than I knew was possible outside of a Smith-family reunion.

And I guess Thanksgiving is also about pilgrims, though weirdly, you kind of stop hearing about that after grade school. And, last but certainly not least, it’s also a great excuse to break out Pieces of April (an awesome Thanksgiving movie, even if Katie Holmes has kind of ruined Katie Holmes for me) and, even better, the OC: Season One DVDs, to watch what is one of the best episodes ever. Hey, you celebrate your way, I’ll celebrate…with the Cohens.

Oh, and in a preemptive strike against what I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot of, tomorrow morning: Shut up, commercials for Rent. I mean, nothing against Rent, which I’ve never seen nor heard nor know anything about outside of that one song with all the counting that reminds me of Thanksgiving, but those commercials are just a little…too much, what with all the fireworks and the twirling in the streets and the “Baby we’re the lucky ones.” It’s like, I know you’re in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love, AIDS, and the impacts they have on America, but could you be a little less exhausting about it?

Then again, you're probably wondering why I don't just Tivo through those, but...let's forget about that bit of continuity for the sake of the plotline, okay? Good plan.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What's a spork?


Now, don’t you wish you didn’t?

While real-life examples are pretty slim (until now – UGH), as a slow-motion replay of my reaction to certain scenes of Buffy and Kill Bill will tell you, I hate eyeball violence. I mean, if we’re talking fiction here, I can deal with on-screen injections, amputations (otherwise I wouldn’t have made it through four seasons of 24 – “There’s another terrorist attack!” “Did you try cutting your arm off?” “Good plan! Quick, where are the lefty scissors?!”) and anything Se7en wants to throw at me, without looking away. But let’s say Marshall just accidentally killed the guy who was supposed to get him to some very important files, and those files are blocked by a retinal scan, and now Marshall’s gotta think quick and improvise, because they can still use this guy’s eyes if only our hero can find some tool or something. Now read the quote I used to title this post and try to guess what Marshall did, in what was probably the funniest yet most disgusting episode of Alias, ever. Yes – there was prying.

It’s that “ugh, imagine what that would feel like – NO DON’T – BUT I ALREADY AM!” kind of gross.

And another thing: Why do these types of stories get filed under the “Peculiar Postings” section of the news, all the time? Because there’s a difference between “peculiar” and “horrific,” and I just think that headlines like “Seal bites off woman’s nose” or “Suicide victim mistaken for Halloween decoration” look kind of weird lodged in-between “Woman stuffs bra with stolen parrot” and, ya know, “Now there’s salmon-flavored soda.”

Which, actually, might have eyeball violence beat in the “yuck” department. On second thought, no, because: She stepped on it! It made a squish sound!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Not That I Don't Love Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Aardvark...

But this makes me happier than your birthday.

Now kids in Tokyo can know learn how much I suck at Rainbow Road.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Daniel and Rupert, Let's Be Friends!

I love New York (I’ve got the t-shirt to prove it) – really, I’ll jump at any excuse to go (It’s a weekend – let’s go to the city! It’s Lincoln’s birthday – let’s go to the city! I saw a tree – let’s go to the city!). So, the new Harry Potter movie was having its big-US-premiere-thing, over the weekend (yeah, that’s where this is heading), and, well, we weren’t not curious about what that kind of thing looked like (if by “that kind of thing” you mean Hermione-in-person, because omg!1!!11!!! KIDDING.) And so, we decided on a Saturday in the city (“we” meaning “me and those-who-I-won't-drag-into-this-since-they-didn’t-sign-the-papers”). And what did that kind of thing look like? (I love parentheses.)

Well, you know those videos they always show of Beatles fans way-back-when, with the screaming and the trembling and then some girl always faints, who’s probably wearing glasses, and must be at least a little bit embarrassed that it was caught on film, these days? (“I just…didn’t eat breakfast that morning! I was screaming ‘Ringo Starr-vation.’ It’s a disease – here, have a wristband!”) Yeah, it looked kind of like that, except with less cardigan sweaters. An entire block, packed. People brought chairs. There were signs. It was weird. And awesome. Except for the news cameras, which were less awesome, because we’re not like them, I swear! We just went because it was there! We were there in the third-person! I haven’t worn my Gryffindor scarf in weeks, at least!

Oh, and then – being in the minority, gender-wise and also clearly incapable of doing whatever it is normal people do on a Saturday (not that I’m complaning – mine are way better) – I saw the inside of The American Girl Store, which, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a place full of little girls who are all carrying smaller, more-lifeless little girls, the soulless eyes of which bob up and down at you while you slowly realize that the men’s-room-to-ladies’-room ratio in that building is seriously out-of-whack, but…well, I don’t like judging things that clearly aren’t made for me in the first place, but yeah.

Also: The big tree is almost up, the skating rink is already packed and slippery and slapsticky as ever, and I got proposed to on a street corner – NO – I got proposed next to on a street corner. I have got to stop forgetting the most important words in things. And then typing another sentence instead of just backspacing, which would seem like the most logical way to correct that kind of mistake…

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I'd Rather Stick Anchovies In My Ears.

And…I have a blog. I have a blog? See, I didn’t want one, exactly, but then I do enjoy the writing, and every book I read about the writing (which I hate doing, by the way, because how much how-to can you take before you’re just putting off doing the thing, yourself?) tells me to keep a journal, and, well, I hate journals. (No offense to Doug Funnie. Or Anne Frank. You both rock in your own extremely dissimilar ways.) Because, here’s the thing with journals - you sit there with your big, blank marble notebook, or one of those – ugh – leather-bound deals with the ribbon-for-a-bookmark thing, and suddenly, it’s like you have to put something Important down, which leads to all kinds of over-thinking, which leads to uncalled-for self-pity, which leads to overly-dramatic accounts of, like, your trip to the supermarket the other day (“They had these new honey-barbeque potato chips. And I felt so…alone.”) And none of it sounds like you at all, and you end up finding it in a box in five years, wondering, “Who is this unhappy boy and why is he using so many Thesaurus words?”

So anyway, I was like, fine, Books, I’ll sit here and start a kind-of-journal as long as you promise to shut up about “the canvas of my mind” or whatever. Which they didn’t. So I burned them. And then I gave in and made a blog, just like all the cool kids are doing these days (at least, that’s what some old guy on the news told me, about six months ago – “short for ‘web-log,’ blog fever is sweeping the nation - just like custodians, but trendier!”)

And besides, not doing something just because everyone else is doing it almost as bad as doing something because everyone else is doing it (unless that thing is, like, drugs – because, if I remember my Saturday morning public-service-announcements correctly, drugs make you mean to everybody, like a monster!) (And, great, three paragraphs in and I’m already making less sense than a typical episode of Supernatural. Which makes. No. Sense.) And besides besides, I know you were looking for something else to pretend to care about. And besides all that, even - at least it’s not a podcast (“Welcome to this week’s installment of Omigosh, Do I Really Sound Like That??”).

Right, so, we’ll see how this goes. Maybe I'll always write this much. Maybe sometimes I'll write less, and you could actually move on with your day. Maybe I’ll become a world-wide-phenomenon, with people flocking from all over to see what I ate for dinner last night or how I feel about that stupid Wal-Mart commercial where the woman is decorating her place for Christmas, and then we zoom out to see she’s in a mobile home that’s going around what looks like a bit of a sharp turn, and I’m like, lady, you just lit candles in there, that doesn’t seem too smart! And then you'll comment, like, "Nobody knows what's happening when you talk, Matt."

All I know is, if I ever start up with that “I hate my life, now sit back as I express my pain through this Dashboard Confessional lyric and a haiku about my cat” business, I grant you full permission to come to my house and kick me. Hard.