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Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Observations

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas music, Christmas lights, and Christmas movies; I love thinking about how God himself literally became flesh to live among his people.

It's not a perfect season though, and I've noticed a lot of strange things lately. Some examples:

When advertising for the Rose Parade, why do TV stations have to say coverage "begins at 7:00?"  Isn't it presumed that the coverage begins at the time you mention? Is there anyone who says to themselves, "The commercials said coverage is at 7:00. That must mean it ends at 7:00; let me see, it's a 3 hour show, so I better get up at 4:00 so I don't miss it."

If TV stations reran tape of the 2006 Rose Parade, but included new commentary, and kept calling it the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade, only two percent of the population would know the difference.

I'm not sure I want to go to the Christmas party featured in the song The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The two main components of the Christmas party are "scary ghost stories" and explanations of how Christmas sucks now compared to how it was before any of us were alive ("tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago"). I think I'll stay home.

The Hallelujah Chorus is perfect. Please don't speed it up. Handel is a better composer and arranger than you.

When you rewatch Miracle on 34th Street, pay attention to the line, "Get me the Brooks Memorial Home; it's a home for old people." Cracks me up every time. Also, I just realized, he's not really Santa. He really is just a nice old man that manipulated Fred Gailey into buying a house for his new girlfriend, Doris. The miracle? You don't realize he isn't Santa until you've watched it for the 34th time.

Just because a song mentions a present or a gift, it doesn't make it a Christmas Song. My Favorite Things is not, I repeat NOT, a Christmas song. Yes, it mentions brown paper packages tied up with strings, but look at the context in the movie. It's sung to calm children down during a summer thunderstorm. 

And how about that George Michael? Last Christmas he gave away his heart, to someone apparently not special, and because they weren't special they regifted his heart to someone else. I wonder how that exchange went. I don't think George Michael is even remotely familiar with the way romance or gift giving works. I'm happy to see he has a plan, though. THIS YEAR he will simply give his heart away to someone special. George, I think you're missing something. Maybe what matters isn't the specialness of the gift recipient so much as the embarrassment of knowing such a terrible singer/songwriter (the gift giver) is in love with you.

I'm going to put it out there. A Christmas Story is the most overrated Christmas movie of all time. A lamp in the shape of a woman's leg, a mother telling her son that a weapon is dangerous and will forever harm his visual acuity, and a little boy with too large a jacket: if these bits of movie magic sound hilarious, then this is the movie for you. I think when you watch it for the first time as an adult, without the emotional connection of having seen it as a child, it adds almost nothing of value to your Christmas season.

For having written some of the greatest lyrics in the 20th Century, Paul McCartney really took a nose dive with his Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time. Really, Paul? The choir of children practiced "all year long" to sing "Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Dong?" What kind of children are these, exactly? They had to practice an entire year to learn a song with 2 words? So when you're with family this year, and one of them plays this Paul McCartney gem on his tape player, don't be afraid to point out that maybe it wasn't The Beatle's best work.

Christmas is the greatest time of year. Not only because God came near, but also because there's a lot of fodder out there for the so-inclined to mock. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Enough Already with the Baking Shows!

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in an episode of the Twilight Zone, where everyone is crazy but me. I like to eat fudge, cake, and cupcakes as much as the next guy. But I, apparently alone, refuse to watch the incessant baking of desserts on television. I can't even get my wife to agree that the sheer number of these shows is absurd, so I don't presume any readers of this blog agree with my disdain for all things sweet on TV. 

Ace of Cakes - Food Network
Amazing Wedding Cakes - WE tv
Cake Boss - TLC
Cupcake Wars - Food Network
DC Cupcakes -TLC
Fabulous Cakes - TLC
Have Cake Will Travel - Food Network
Top Chef: Just Desserts - Bravo
Next Great Baker - TLC
Staten Island Cakes - WE tv

Sweet Genius - Food Network
The Cupcake Girls - WE tv
Ultimate Cake Off -TLC
Wedding Cake Masters - WE tv
Wedding Cake Wars - WE tv

It appears there is a shortage of humans - humans with any imagination or ideas - working at two different television networks. I want to be in on the next pitch for a baking show at TLC or WE tv. They have (or have recently aired) 10 different baking shows between the two channels.

Pitch Man: You know what this channel needs? In fact, what television in general needs, is a show about baking!
Executive: We've already got 5 of these, you know.
Pitch Man: I know. But do you have any shows that portray bakers creating large cakes that don't look like cakes at all!?
Executive: That's all we have.
Pitch Man: But, is there some sort of TIME limit that makes it really interesting. You know if they don't finish in time, then the cake is just sort of, you know, not finished?
Executive: Right. Yeah, we do.
Pitch Man: What about a BIG RED countdown clock?
Executive: All of our shows prominently feature a big red countdown clock.
Pitch Man: But do any of your shows make them put weird ingredients in the baked goods?
Executive: Yes.
Pitch Man: Well, my idea is about a baking show, where bakers make cakes or cupcakes, and they look like art, man, they're amazing, plus there's a countdown clock, and if the baker doesn't finish, it's like, "Dude they didn't finish the cake!"
Executive: Didn't we just go over this?
Pitch Man: But the bakers get really nervous and don't know if they're going to finish in time, or if their cakes will totally be the BEST!
Executive: (Yawns)
Pitch Man: And they do all of the baking with gluten free ingredients!
Executive: That's the greatest idea I've ever heard. And it's so different from everything else we do. We look forward to making a show together.

I'm going to be really ticked off next year when Sugar Free Treats becomes a huge hit on TLC. Oh well, maybe I'll tune in to old episodes of the Twilight Zone instead. At least I can relate to that show.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Apple:10 New iPads to Help Ignore Your Friends!

Los Gatos, CA - On Thursday, just in time for the holidays, Apple, Inc. announced 10 different sized iPads of varying costs.

The iPad Enormous is the largest, coming in at just over 26 pounds with a 39" screen. "We realize the Enormous will only be suitable for a select few individuals, but Apple wants to put an iPad in everyone's hands, not just those who wear average-sized gloves," said Apple spokesman Todd Sellers.

When pressed that the Enormous is too big for any humans, Sellers replied, "Then people can use it as a table, I guess." At $3,600, it's the most expensive Apple product with almost no viable use.

The smallest announced Thursday was the iPad Invisible. "It's so small, we can't even see it!" Sellers gleefully tweeted. At a cost of only $4.95, it's the cheapest product Apple has ever put on the market. Customer Amy Miller exclaimed, "It kinda feels like you're walking out of the store with just an empty bag! I love it!"

One device, the iPad Fone is exactly the same size as the iPhone 5. The differences between the iPhone 5 and the iPad Fone are "legion" according to Chief Technology Coordinator, Victor Schleman. "In addition to not having any telephonic functioning, it also has no 3G capability, so completely ignoring your friends in public is much more difficult than with the iPhone 5. It makes a perfect gift for men with girlfriends who have a need to be 'talked to.'" When asked about the major differences between the iPad Fone and iPod Touch, Schleman pretended to get a call on his iPad Fone, and blew us off.

So no matter how large or small your budget or your fingers, there's something available for everyone on your list with whom you desire an ever-deteriorating relationship. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

With the Right Olympic Committee, I Could Be an Olympian!

It must be incredibly exciting for children to meet an Olympic gold medalist! Then just as disappointing to learn it was earned playing badminton.

There are far too many Olympic Events. The Original Olympic Games, you know the one where the dudes just ran and ran and ran until they died, I mean, that was awesome!

If they can shrink down tennis into table tennis and make it into an Olympic sport, then why not shrink down soccer and make fooseball an Olympic sport? I'd be the fattest Olympian in history, that's why.

I say they put a tuna in the pool next to Michael Phelps. You're fast for a human, but you suck as a fish.

Really, what do the animals think of the Olympics? I mean, we're smart and stuff, but compared to the animals, our skills are quite pathetic.

Speaking of animals, how did Equestrians become Olympic athletes? I propose a rule: If any creature is more tired than you are immediately after you win your gold medal, it shouldn't count. Just look at the name: Equestrian means one who rides a horse. RIDES a horse. Am I the only one offended by this? This is one step up from one who rides in their friend's car.

The horse that just won you that Gold medal, what does he get? An extra alfalfa pellet? Nice.

Handball is now an Olympic sport; do they allow rainbows, typewriters, and watermelons? If so, I now have two chances to win an event, assuming riding-in-your-friend's-car is slated for 2016.

Beach Volleyball. Really? If there was ever a valid slippery slope argument, it should begin with "If we allow Beach Volleyball then we'll have to allow..."  I know it's been around awhile, so we're used to it being an actual sport, but please...we're changing the ground, taking away their clothes, and now it's totally different. No, no,'s not volleyball, it's Beach Volleyball. Totally different. There's saaaaand.

Why are there so many events that are the same, with just one tiny change? Take swimming, for example, 50 meter breast stroke and 50 meter butterfly stroke. The Swimming Lobbyists really pulled one over the Committee's eyes 50 years ago, and never looked back. No, see, he's only got his head out of the water 6 inches, not 4.5 inches. We need another medal for this! In comparison, Running Lobbyists are really quite bad.  If runners hired the Swimming Lobbyists, we'd have all types of running. The Single Shoe Marathon, The Tiptoe Sprint, Backwards Running Using a Mirror. Running on Your Hands!

The more Olympics coverage I see, the more I realize, I'm just like these guys. They're super good at one thing, just like me. The only difference is, the Olympic Committee hasn't made Making-Songs-from-Fart-Noises-with-Your-Hands an Olympic event yet. But when they do, I will proudly wear that gold! At least until the kids start asking about it...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Try Harder, Pansy

I am a terrible runner. I wheeze, I pant, I struggle, my body hurts like crazy, my heart feels like it's going to explode, and my lungs are close to catching on fire. People in the Army, the Runners, look at me and say, "Hey Jody, try harder." Okay. But before you cast that stone at me, take off those glasses, Four Eyes.

What's that? No correlation between running and poor eyesight? I beg to differ.

I understand what worsening vision means. In high school my vision was 20-10, then a few years ago it dropped to 20-15. This year my eyes were worse than ever before, 20-20.

Now I have to look at myself in the mirror in the morning, every morning, knowing that I only have 20-20 vision. It is no longer better than perfect. My eagle-eye vision is gone; I will never see things multiplied like I used to. I am like everyone else (after corrective lenses). How pathetic is my life? I know.

You people who wear glasses are simply not trying hard enough. If I was lazy like you, my vision would be blurry. You see, it takes effort to see things clearly. The muscles contract in about 1/100th of a second. If I didn't do that, I would see as badly as you do. But you see, I actually try to see things clearly.

I don't want to rely on some "doctor" to see every day. That's why I make a concerted effort to see.

So, if you have perfect vision, go ahead and criticize my running. Otherwise, you would do well to remember the famous phrase, "People who wear glasses shouldn't throw stones."