I even forgot to post my Xmas senryu

In sentences, even:

The only men I
know who wear as much velvet
as Santa are pimps.

All he needs to be
a Mack is a feathered hat.
So ho ho ho, ho.

You never see Santa Claus in church

I don't call it "Xmas" because I'm lazy; I don't worship Jesus, I worship Mammon, although Christmas is generally about greed and commerce, not love and spirituality. Calling it Xmas just feels more honest. As much as I love Santa Claus -- he's on my short list of favorite superheroes, even if no one draws the version we know as well as his original artist -- Santa is all about product endorsement and in-store appearances. The merchants wrapped their year-end clearance sales in pages of the Bible in the mid-19th century, but before that no one in this country gave a shit about Jesus' birthday. It was even illegal to celebrate Christmas in colonial Massachusetts; I'm no fan of the Puritans, but they were right to call bullshit on picking an arbitrary date [that just so happened to co-opt a popular pagan holiday] in the absence of any record of Mr. Christ's birth and then pretending it meant anything.

So, presents!

Best present: Is so not-work-safe; you click the link, you get what you get. The image would be enough more offensive if my beater of a scanner had a larger scanbed; Miss America's not wearing any pants, thus always to tyrants and all that. When is the COONSKIN DVD coming out, again?

Best surprise present: A cell-phone holder; it's a little wire-armature man with cartoony hands and feet made of clear-orange plastic. It's amusing and functional. If I had the gumption and enough mirrors, I'd take a picture of it holding my phone, with my phone.

Number of BN.com giftcards: Two, same as last year, except that I tapped this year's on Dec. 26 instead of putting them in my desk and forgetting about them until two and three days before their expiration dates. I really don't like Barnes & Noble. Anyway, I pissed the cards away on a small pile of absurdly cheap remaindered funnybooks, about half of them replacements for ones I lost in the flood. I hope the new version of Winsor McCay's DAYDREAMS & NIGHTMARES has better printing than the '80s edition.

Returns: An all-time low -- a pair of too-small slippers. Which is good, since brick & mortar stores are cutting off their noses to spite online stores' faces by charging a return fee this year. I will not be the only person I know who bought all his presents online next year.

2006 sucked

I noticed Dick was a little slow on the countdown, though. Also, he never stood up or moved his lower half during his part of the broadcast.

blogging with a burgeoning head cold

Instead of all of Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve, they ran a repeat of a local youth orchestra's Christmas program. It looks like it was filmed with a couple of parent camcorders, but it beats half-watching some bullshit pop act I've never heard of and don't care to remember. The affiliate just cut to the New Year's feed in the middle of an interview with Mayor Bloomberg -- which is fine by me, since I'm only watching to see and hear Clark a little to determine whether or not I need to adjust my wager on him in the celeb dead pool. Hmm, his voice is still betraying his age and he's shhhhlurrrring like a rear-wheel-drive car after an ice storm -- but damn, he's ruddy, excited and ahead of the teleprompter. He may actually be back next year.

I just realized I didn't post about my Xmas haul, and it's New Year's. Then again, the Xmas tree and outdoor lights are still up. I've been kind of busy lately.

The 922nd step on the last road home.

Nothing spells XMAS like OTR

Between this post and the forwards I've sent to friends and relatives of email listing holiday sale coupon codes, I must at least be in the running for Best Alcoholic Uncle-style Giftgiver 2006:

Merry Christmas, here is the most depressing episode of DRAGNET ever aired [no small feat, considering how grim that show was on regular days] "22 Caliber Rifle For Christmas," originally aired December 21, 1950.

To cleanse your brain's pallet: One of my favorite Xmas OTR shows is the "The Plot To Overthrow Christmas" broadcast from NORMAN CORWIN'S WORDS WITHOUT MUSIC; this is the 1942 airing.

These are Rapidshare links -- no, you don't have to subscribe or anything -- just click the FREE button, watch your Download Ticket count down, enter the letters/numbers you see in the box and click the "Download from ..." button. Rinse and repeat.

The 916th step on the last road home.

The 913th step on the last road home.

Best R&R Hall of Fame moment since Mike Love's angry ramble about love and peace, man

So, I'm watching some semi-relevant rock dudes doing their mimetic best on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" -- Petty's doing his best Harrison imitation and the guitarist cloning Clapton's original solo is so generic he defies identification [Steve Winwood? Mike Campbell? Jesus, maybe even Mark Knopfler?] -- when Prince teleports onstage and fucking burns the last few minutes. Then he makes his guitar disappear and presumably teleports back to Minneapolis. I wish I could send this video back in time so younger me could shut up the cover-band cretins who said a Fender Telecaster isn't useful for anything other than country twang.

back and to the left, etc.

One my favorite junk-food movies -- the kind that you have no interest in actually owning, but will stop and leave on while channel-surfing or have on in the background while working or doing chores -- is Oliver Stone's JFK, even though it's riddled with errors, some more annoying than others. [Like, I often wonder if Stone and/or Jim Garrison intentionally placed the two court stand-ins [or ... sit-ins] for Kennedy & Connally in the wrong positions for their demonstration of the magic bullet's journey. Connally was in a jump seat, sitting lower and toward the side of the limo, not in a normal front car seat. The magic bullet's not that magic, even if the theory was presented by a consummate bullshit artist like Arlen Specter.] Anyway, here is a list of 100 Errors of Fact and Judgment from the film. I don't agree with many of their judgment judgments, and it's a bit unfair to use data and analysis unavailable to Garrison [assuming Stone stuck to what Garrison said in court] at the time, but it's an interesting read.

nice, even when not wrapped in an awesome Peter Poplaski cover

Hey kids, here's a sweet archive of SUPERMAN newspaper comics. The Sundays are especially lovely. What is it about Superman that keeps such a fire going in his fans' scanners?

When is the COONSKIN DVD coming out, anyway?

MP3 of the best opening song to a movie, ever. Crank your speakers up and stream the song at work to keep all of your coworkers at bay, at least until your now ex-boss sends in security to escort you out of the building. Shugado Shugado-doooo.

youtubing

Stardust vs the Mad Giant Experimenter -- if Fletcher Hanks really is dead, his ghost should start working on a response video to upload.

Here are two music-ish videos: Across 110th Street and Avogadro's Number; oh awkward girls everywhere, you the world go round.

more dials and switches than an F-14

Has there ever been a guitar that says "anal-retentive cool" more than the Harmony H76? No. There was no market for these things when I started out -- I've heard some people bought them for their Bigsby vibratos and DeArmond pickups and tossed the rest -- so you could get one cheap if you could find one. A few years ago, one of my old interns made good and sent me an Airline [same guitar, just a brand name for units made for Montgomery Ward] model as a thank-you gift. For some reason I've forgotten, we both thought it was a 1959-1960 vintage, not 1965-1972 -- although that collector's page implies that the model may have been built in other years. Those guitars are boss, regardless.

The 910th step on the last road home.

Do not think about Charlton Heston's penis

Considering how relatively easy it is to whip up a good PLANET OF THE APES ape/chimpanzee/orangutan costume -- they're almost always among the best turned-out cosplayers -- you would think that Planet of the Apes amateur pornography would be a lot more common. Star Wars, Star Trek, ibid.

I'm afraid to Google these things to find out if such things exist out there. I'm pretty sure that would put me and my IP number on more than a few surveillance lists.

The 905th step on the last road home.

Tip the waitstaff.

I recently saw a really compelling documentary about the Aaron Burr & Alexander Hamilton duel, hosted by Richard Dreyfuss -- the first time I have ever used "really compelling" in connection to Burr, Hamilton or Dreyfuss. Having watched it and not the books written by the historians interviewed in the program -- they are on my to-read list -- here's my theory about what ghastly, slanderous thing[s] Hamilton said in private about Burr that instigated the duel itself: it was the very first telling of the Aristocrats joke.

The 903rd step on the last road home.

My Gift Wish List, 2006

Same set-up as before

1. That Nejishiki toy [and box, which I'm sure is spiffily designed]

2. A Nippon-Ham Fighters baseball cap large enough to fit my enormous head.

3. A Kuretake natural-hair brush pen with a refillable adapter.

4. THE NATIONAL LAMPOON 1964 YEARBOOK in hardcover.

5. A van ride/plane ticket/Boom Tube/trebuchet launch to the West Coast for me and Little Man.

nightingale floorboard, a ninja's box of crickets, haiku nevermore

Don't we all want to know how to play "Sweet Georgia Brown" on Mandolin? I'd like to think that we do. Jay Buckey has a hell of a resource there.

The 902nd step on the last road home.