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Thursday, December 23, 2004

The HMO Christmas Song List 2004

Seeing as its almost Christmas (and hence, they'll stop the damn music that they were playing since November 1), I think that I've heard almost every single version of every Christmas song EVER. Here's a list of the ones I can tolerate most. Some you may have heard of, and vice versa:

  • "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. One of those "huh?" duets, with a beautiful underlying musical score. Ironically, this song is almost devoid of a drum.
  • "Merry Christmas from the Family," two versions exist, but I've only heard the Montgomery Gentry one. For those of you sick of those sappy Christmas cards where everyone's happy with their jobs and their marriages and their kids and crap, this song is your antidote.
  • "Frosty the Snowman." It reminds me that this is the only time of year they ever show Rankin/Bass stuff. That stuff is messed up big time, especially the stop-motion ones. It's not so much the critters, it's those kids. They look like future Children of the Corn with those eyes and mouths. Frosty the cartoon rocks, probably because I can do a semidecent Jimmy Durante impersonation.
  • "Merry F***ing Christmas" from South Park. Mr. Garrison travels around the world spreading peace and goodwill to pretty much everybody, even if they don't celebrate it. Runnerup goes to the Mr. Hankey theme song. Howdy-ho!!
  • "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney. Very addictive stuff. IMO the best Christmas song by a Beatle. Yes, even more than John Lennon's "Merry X-Mas (War is Over." (I do enjoy the song despite being a moderate conservative, but it's YOKO that drags it down.)
  • Back to Rankin/Bass fun, Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas" is next. The single deviates slightly from the one he did on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but either way, it's good stuff. Dingle dongle! All hail Hermey!
  • They don't play "O Come All Ye Faithful" enough. Fun memory; a long time ago, during the OLS Christmas program, I barfed at the end of this song. Yeah, I wasn't feeling good, but they make attendance mandatory. (Bastards.) Some people probably still have a VHS copy of this; I was the sheperd straight out of Exorcist, front row. Yeehaw! Speaking of the program, they usually had this on a Sunday afternoon, which pissed off lots of people, especially if the Packers or Vikings were on. If the game happened to be Packers/Vikings, the church took pity, and after the program the kindergarten room was opened for those who needed a football fix (I think most of the time the Packers ended up losing. Bastards.) Anyhoo, back to our list.
  • More religious goodness: "Joy to the World." AKA The Song They Play at the End of Christmas Eve Mass Here Every Single Year. You don't even need a hymnal to sing it. This is probably the song I associate most with Christmas as a Christian.
  • "Deck the Halls." Remember A Christmas Story? (Why the hell did I ask that? I think everybody's seen this at least five times) The scene where the family's at the Chinese restaurant? Yeah. All together now: "Deck the Harrs with Boughs of Horry, Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra, Ra Ra Ra Ra!"
  • "Let It Snow/The Last Christmas Medley You'll Ever Need to Hear," by Monty Python meets Bonanza group Riders in the Sky. For those who are about to shoot their damn radio, this little ditty takes care of pretty much every song short of "Joy to the World." And "Deck the Halls." And "Merry Christmas from the Family." Clever musical shite.
  • "Rusty Chevrolet," Da Yoopers. Whenceforth all the Cheeseheads, Vikings, and Michiganders howled at the mere mention of this. Sung along to "Jingle Bells" (or "Jingre Berrs" if you're the Chinese cooks from A Christmas Story), hear the sad tale of some schmuck driving what seems to be my old car. "Rust and snow, the heater's broke, the door just blew away/I light a match and see the dash, and then I start to pray-hey! The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio it's OK (until I hear another Christmas song, at which point I pray to God I have access to the previous song on my list)/Oh what fun it is to drive this Rusty Chevrolet."
  • "12 Days of Christmas," Bob and Doug McKenzie. These two hosers have the best version. Listen to it with a beer and some back bacon, eh? Coo loo coo coo coo coo coo coo coo!
  • "Santa and His Old Lady," Cheech and Chong. Yes, I switch whenever "Blue Christmas" or "Jingle Bell Rock" come on, but the moment I hear Cheech plonking on his piano, telling Chong about Santa and his magic dust, I'm entranced. Far out man!
  • "Carol of the Bells." It really doesn't matter what version it is, but if it comes down to one, it's Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Metallica meets your typical orchestra).
  • "Deck the Halls," Mannheim Steamroller. I've always been somewhat fond of this group with their interpretations of a great deal of holiday standards.
  • Finally, it ain't exactly a Christmas song, but "Auld Lang Syne." The New Years Song, which we'll be hearing not too long from now. (Note to self: buy Boone's Farm, Cheetos andTylenol.)

Anyways, bizarre as it is, this is my definitive Christmas mix. But Hannah, some of you are no doubt saying, you're missing stuff! I know, and that's why I invite comments.

Finally, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy 2005.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Twelve Days of Hell Before Christmas, Part One

I don't know about the rest of you, but if you're up to losing your mind, December is the time to do it. For me, it's especially hectic, and can be broken down into three stages:

1) Birthday time, from the 1st to the 9th
2) Shopping for Christmas gifts, from the 10th to hopefully the 18th
3) Christmas through New Years.

Phase one is usually the easiest. I can dwell back on what my past year brought me and look forward to what the following year can bring. I don't really expect a birthday present, seeing as its close to Christmas, but most of the time I get some nice holiday wear. The phase ends with ham and cake. Yaaay!!

Phase two...That was yesterday. Seeing as there's absolutely no place to shop where I live, there's the option of either a half-hour drive to Rice Lake or the hour trip to Eau Claire. I chose the latter. The drive down isn't so bad; it's once you hit Hastings Way that it becomes a beeyatch.

I think Eau Claire is a wonderful city, but I think the fact that most of the major shopping attractions are too close to each other. Oakwood Mall for awhile was the biggest spot out by Golf Road, but once Wal-Mart, Target, and Menards all relocated to that area, traffic hell erupted. And then people had to complain about plans for a Krispy Kreme not too far from there. C'mon, it's KRISPY KREME! How can you complain about that? Thank goodness for Holiday, though. JMO

Either way, the first point was Oakwood Mall..heh. I was able to get my sister her gift. After that, we hit Borders and Best Buy, where one of my nephews and my mom were taken care of. Next, Target (motto: "Here in Northwest Wisconsin, this is as upscale as it gets"). Bada blank, the other nephew. Escaping the hell of Golf Road, we hit Clairemont Avenue (which promptly yelled "Hey!") and Shopko. Guess what? The rest of my list was taken care of.

Right now, I have no freaking desire to start wrapping anything. The Packers/Lions game took a lot of energy out of me, and Survivor is on.

That concludes Part One....look in January for Part Two. In between then, look for more random ramblings from me.

My first entry, aka Welcome!

This marks my first foray into the wild and wacky world of blogging. When I decided to start this blog, I figured the best entries would be, and my wacky everyday exploits. What I like to do, who I do it with, most of it will be posted here whenever I have the chance. Most of the GSN Forum may have seen my recaps of TV shows of varying genre, and that may be the bulk of my entries.

For now, this is the Blank Diva signing off.