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Monday, December 26, 2005


Oh, what a time of year!

Christmas came so quickly this year, and it left even quicker. It doesn't really mean as much to me anymore. Not because I can buy my own things now, and don't need to rely on the 25th of December to complete my Justice League action figure collection.* But because it becomes more and more clear every year that Christmas isn't about any type of togetherness. Maybe it is on an individual family basis. But on the whole -- and I know this is always said, and it's cliche at this point -- it's about giving and getting more stuff.

Today at Andrea's, it was Hell. Yes, I understand that this is when every store has major sales, but could we maybe pretend that we're human beings, and not simply buyers of stuff. It got so bad, a customer killed another customer over a tiny Santa ornament. And they did it WITH a tiny Santa ornament!

Sure, I was impressed for a second. Killing someone with an ornament is not easy, believe you me. But is that what Christmas has come to? Or, rather, if this is how it has always been, can we finally admit that and stop pretending it's about togetherness?

Maybe one of the best parts of Christmas for me is when some network decides to show the film A Christmas Story for 24 straight hours. This is fantastic, and, this year, my hat** goes off to TBS. Not many channels have the guts to show one movie nonstop for a full day. I respect that.

If you've never seen A Christmas Story, then I'm not sure I can quite consider you a whole person. It, in my mind, is the greatest Christmas movie ever made. Hands down. You always get those who want to say It's A Wonderful Life. I don't trust those people. That film is a bit sappy for my taste. See it once, then move on to something better. Like, for example, A Christmas Story. The greatest Christmas movie ever made. By humans.***

I have a number of favorite quotes and scenes in A Christmas Story, obviously, as you would expect from the greatest Christmas movie ever made. Here are a few.

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"Aunt Clara had for years not only perpetually labored under the delusion that I was 4 years old, but also a girl."

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"Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window."

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"My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master."

Truly, the greatest Christmas movie ever made. The reason is fairly simple. This IS the reality of Christmas in America. Especially in the midwest. Even though it is set a few years back, it's as relevent as ever. The look, the feel, the people; everything in this movie screams Christmas. REAL Christmas.

Besides that, it's just a damn entertaining movie. Maybe one of a few that you could actually watch for 24 straight hours and not end up hating.

If you haven't, see this movie. If you have, see it again. If you've already seen it again, gather together costumes and props and recreate the film in your basement. Like I did.

*Which I don't own and am not trying to collect...
**Were I wearing a hat.
***Humans, for the most part, will continue to dominate filmmaking for some time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Apparently, Continuity And Structural Integrity Mean Nothing To The Producers Of Friends

I've become a fan of the show Friends. It’s taken me a lot of years to muster up the courage to say that. But every time I watch it, I seem to crack up. A girl I work with is a bigger fan of it than I am, and she owns most of the seasons on DVD. I borrowed them and burned them. But not before copying them. No, no, no. I kid. When I say “burn,” I really mean “copy.” It’s how the young people talk these days.

I didn’t just mooch off of her though. No, I believe in a fair trade. So I burned a few movies for her in return. The Best of Will Ferrell I & II. Swingers. Office Space. Anyway...

Recently, while watching episodes here and there, picking and choosing from one season or another, I made a startling discovery. Carefully examine these screenshots I took straight from the DVD’s. This is season 1, episode 2 (after the Pilot), The One With The Sonogram At The End.

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Everything seems to be in order. Now, let’s skip ahead to season 3, episode 1, The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy. Here is a screenshot from that episode.

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Notice anything? Anything missing? That’s right, the support beam.

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Now, judging from the perspective, the angle, the depth, I've determined the approximate location of the support beam in question had it still existed during Season 3.

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Now, heh-heh, are we to believe that the structural integrity of the apartment was such that support beams could be taken away willy-nilly without consequence?

Do you remember that episode called The One Where The Apartment Ceiling Collapsed? Yeah, me neither. Hmm, funny.

Sorry, Producers of Friends, but I’m just not able to suspend disbelief to such an extent.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Things I Thought About Today

I think about a lot of things over the course of a single day. Sometimes, in the middle of a thought, I stop and say, "How on Earth did I get here? To this particular thought?" I then backtrack in thought, retrace my steps, if you will, to discover where I started.

For instance, this morning I was thinking about a chocolate chip cookie I was eating, and how I like them chewy and not rock solid. I wondered if eating lots of chocolate chip cookie dough and other unhealthy foods would someday lead me to become stricken with diabetes. That made me think of B.B. King, who has diabetes, and does commercials all about how he tests his blood sugar a few times a day. That made me think that there are probably some people out there who would be too lazy to even check their blood sugar regularly. And then they'd probably die from the lack of responsibility. Then I figured that that might not be such a bad thing. There would be a few less lazy people around.

Finally, I had a reason to shoot a group of people off to the moon, which I had wanted to fit into my thought process for some time. I didn't want to shoot people with diabetes off to the moon. Just lazy people. Some of whom just might happened to have diabetes. It made me think what it would be like on the moon. And if I was an astronaut, what kinds of jokes would I play on Mission Control back in Houston.

"Oh my god. Mission Control, you're not going to believe this. But... I think I see something... ALIVE up here. This is unbelievable. This could change science as we know it. It appears to be moving. It's a lengthy creature. Where is it, you ask? Why...'s right here in my pants! HAHA! Wow, you should have seen the look on your stupid faces! You guys were all totally ready to change science as we know it with my boner! Nerds! Hilarious! Come on, Buzz, let's go get some moon rocks."

And then I backtrack, saying, "What was I thinking about again? BACKTRACK. Oh yeah, this chocolate chip cookie is chewy! And alliterated, as well."

There were two main things I thought about today.

1. The Congo.
I was listening to the radio. Did you know that about half of The Congo is completely lawless and cut off from the outside world? That means that anything could happen there. You could DO anything there. And anyone could do anything to you! I don't think we can quite grasp the idea, since we are so used to rules and order.

I feel like any and all fights that take place in a lawless region probably turn out to be sissy fights. There are no rules, so everyone would inevitably just fight dirty, pulling hair and scratching. Since there would be no honor code and whatnot.

However, this leads me to believe that no one actually lives in this part of The Congo. No one ever goes there because they all heard from that one guy down the street that it's Hell on Earth. But that guy down the street heard it from another guy, who heard it from another guy. Etcetera. This leads me to my next thought.

The lawless portion of The Congo is probably filled with mythical beasts. If you were a unicorn (or rather the unicorn), would you hide in the US? Hell no, you'd go straight for The Congo, where humans don't dare travel, because it's so "scary." I'll tell you what you'd see. Unicorns, dwarves, goblins, dragons. They all live in the lawless region of The Congo. It makes sense.

2. Our Founding Fathers

There are so many people I've heard criticize the status of our society, largely for moral reasons. Moral decay, I believe is the phrase they would use. I hear them on radio stations all the time saying things to this end.

Can you imagine if the founding fathers
came back and saw what's happened to the
country?? They would literally re-die!

Okay, caller, but what about the
issue of today's show? Should we
allow school breakfast programs?

oh, well... I'd say I'm cool with it.
Go Packers!

Yeah, they would be slightly shocked by the vast amounts of easily accessible pornography. They'd be in absolute awe and amazement of inventions like the television. And hot pockets. Then, they would sit down in front of the television, eat hot pockets, and watch loads of pornography. Wait, "loads" is a bad word to use there. So, why do I continue typing, rather than going back and deleting? I don't know.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I Wonder If They Shovel Snow In Those Tiny, Decorative Christmas Villages

I was just outside shoveling some snow. Living in Wisconsin, you can count on doing some shoveling now and then. Snow in the winter, and if you're anything like me, human heads in the summer. Those heads just pile up if you don't do something with them!

Christmas Villages, by their very definition, exist during Christmas, when it's cold and icy and snowy. Sure, they do have Christmas in the southern hemisphere where the month of December is warm and sunny. But, let's be honest, when has the southern hemisphere ever counted for anything? Heh-heh, think back. It never has. I checked.

There is a particular type of Christmas Village called Snow Village. It has SNOW right in the name. It also has NO, and SO, and NOW, and WON, and SON, and SOW. What does this mean? I think it's pretty clear. But I won't reveal it here. Too dangerous.

Anyway, so, obviously the Christmas Villages have snow. But who shovels? And is the snow Christmas Village size, or is it real world size? That would be really painful, I imagine. Giant snowflakes. They'd be like blocks of ice (beautiful blocks of ice, carved by God) falling on the village. The tiny, decorative village. The citizens of Tiny Decorative Village are likely suffering from chronic back problems. It's probably an epidemic. This is why they live in villages. Everyone is so snowed in, you can't drive anywhere. Every establishment needs to be within walking distance.

They've got to shovel. Are there tiny village doctors, though? And where did they get their medical degrees? I've never seen a Medical School piece sold in the collections at Andrea's. The credentials of these doctors is highly suspect. My god, it could be voodoo for all the villagers know. Tiny, tiny voodoo.

What they need in the Snow Village is a Medical Malpractice Board piece. That's what they need. Within walking distance, of course. I mean, it would do them no good if they had to drive three villages over to file a complaint with the Medical Malpractice Board. Not after all that snow. They'd clear it out, and then they'd wreck their backs, and then they'd go to the doctors who would only perform some twisted voodoo magic on them. Thus leading them to the Medical Malpractice Board collectible piece, three villages over.

I'll look into it. Rest easy. Andy's on the case.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Buying Something For Yourself?

During the Christmas season at Andrea's, shipping is obviously a big part of the job. Customers always need things (they've purchased in the store) shipped to their friends and relatives across the country. It's nice that they're thinking of other people. So, in their packages, I write...

Happy Holidays from all your friends at Andrea's!

Still, there are some who continue to buy things for themselves. I'm not sure what their deal is, but it seems a little egocentric. Almost like they're Satan. I can hear them laughing in a deep, twisted, demonic voice as they order over the phone. MWA-HA-HA. It's creepy.

In the packages of these people, the ones who seem to think only of themselves, I write...

Continued selfishness this holiday season!

I wonder how uncomfortable they feel when it arrives and they read the note? Does Satan blush? How would you know?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Planted Iraqi Newspaper Stories

Not sure if you've heard this. But apparently, the U.S. military has been writing articles which tout the positive aspects of the rebuilding effort in Iraq, and then paying Iraqi newspapers to run said articles. Through my sources in the goverment, I've been able to get a hold of a number of the headlines run in these Iraqi newspapers, and even an excerpt from one of the stories themselves.

Examples of Planted Iraqi Newspaper Stories
  • "Iraqi High Schoolers Vote America Most Likely To Succeed, Insurgents Least Likely"
  • "Local Man Thinks Freedom Is 'Pretty Awesome'"
  • "Most Iraqis View Insurgency As 'Lame'"
  • "'Smart Western Doctors: Propaganda Necessary For Healthy Diet"
  • "Occupiers Not So Bad Once You Get To Know Them"

Like I said, I also acquired an excerpt from one of the stories run.

A local Iraqi, when asked his thoughts on the American forces performing their God-given duty said, "I am happy that the U.S. is here. My house is not a pile of rubble, and my neighborhood is not a warzone. Our country has a bright future. Our peaceful regional history all but guarantees an Iraq composed of people of different ideologies working together in harmony, with no death at all."

The man then lept into the arms of a nearby G.I., giving him kiss after kiss. The two held hands and swung around while onlookers laughed joyously and applauded. The American flag licking the sky in the background, the crowd broke into 'America The Beautiful.' They then turned to face the terrorists who were loitering, up to no good, and smoking across the street, and began singing the Scorpions' timeless "Rock You Like A Hurricane."

I don't know. I mean, it's a little amateurish. But still, they got the terrorists right. They're always loitering. Smoking. Across some street. Punks.