Monday, December 19, 2011

Double Your Features

The last two weekends have been quite busy for me, as I am sure they have been for all of you too.  Add to the normal holiday hustle and bustle (I can't believe I just used that term) the fact that we were celebrating a child's birthday in our home and it makes for a shortage of time dedicated to anything other than hiding presents and then crawling into the extremely cramped space where the present was hidden to retrieve it, hoping to not have to call the fire department to then help and retrieve you.  Those firemen can be merciless with their ridicule.

My point, which I am ever so valiantly attempting to distract you from, is that I never updated the features last weekend.  In a feeble effort to make it up to you, I have decided to make this week's top 5 list a double shot.  No, not a top ten, but two top fives.  Behold Transformer Generation Dad's most awesome and most annoying Christmas songs:

The 5 most awesome are...

5. Baby, It's Cold Outside (Redbone/Deschanel) - The best songs have been redone... a lot.  While this particular tune has been overdone by a lot of different artists recently with varying degrees of success, the version done for the movie Elf by Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel is my favorite.  However, since no holiday is actually mentioned in the song, it only gets the five spot.

4. Christmas All Over Again (Tom Petty) - You need some sort of rock song in the mix, and this is the best.  Sad to say, but Springsteen's Santa Claus is Coming to Town gets old quick.

3. White Christmas (Bing Crosby) - If you can bring yourself to keep the suggestions of racial purity and ethnic cleansing out of it and accept the fact that it's about snow, old Bing delivers a low, slow, crooning classic.

2. Sleigh Ride (Johnny Mathis) - Deliciously cheesy.  Best line ever: " the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts pop.  Pop!  Pop!  Pop!"

1. The Christmas Song (Nat King Cole) - Or pretty much any Christmas song sung by Nat King Cole. The introductory line, "Chestnuts roasting on a open fire," sets the mood for all your holiday activities instantly.

The 5 most annoying are...

5. We Wish You a Merry Christmas - The reference to figgy pudding is mildly annoying.  The repetition adds to my frustration.  But what really gets to me in the demanding nature of the song.  You won't go until you get some?  Who the f--- do you think you are?  Get off my porch right now before I give you some, but it won't be figgy pudding, you pushy little bastards.

4. Any pop diva remake of a classic - Yes, this includes mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You.  Too high energy.  Too many added syllables just to show the range of their voices.  Sing it straight or don't sing it at all, dammit.

3. Last Christmas (Wham!) - I'm not a Wham! hater, which should be obvious from the respect I gave them by properly including the exclamation point both times I've written the bands name.  I tear up without fail every time I hear I'm Never Gonna Dance Again just like the next guy.  But this song goes against the whole point of Christmas.  Who wants to be depressed about love lost when listening to Christmas songs.

2. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - I love kids.  That said, I hate when kids do over the top, campy performances.  This song reminds me of something performed at a child beauty pageant, which is just wrong.  Whenever I hear it, I picture a young boy prancing around the stage, his baby teeth already yanked out and replaced with a perfect row of pearly white mini-dentures and doing his best Fred Schneider of B-52s fame impersonation.

1. Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney) - So lame.  So cheesy.  So destructive to my psyche in its complete disregard for the potential of the synthesizer and its ability to keep me from enjoying any Beatles' hits sung by Paul during this time of year.

This week's cool-ass thing you will never own is Santa's bag.  Flying this holiday season?  Bag fees and luggage size restrictions are not a problem when you have a magical sack like Santa.  He has presents for children all over the world in it and still fits it on his back.  Your three days worth of clothes and toiletries will be like packing a grain of sand in comparison.  So go ahead, throw that extra pair of shoes in there and while you're at it, save airfare by letting the kids jump in too!

This week's sign you are a nerd is that you will refuse to accept the Star Wars Blu-Ray set as a gift.  In fact, you won't even set it aside and hope there's a gift receipt included or re-gift it.  Just imagining Darth Vader exclaiming, "Nooooo!" prior to throwing the Emperor down the reactor shaft will cause you to hand it right back to the person who gave it to you and say, "Take this out of my sight and never speak to me again."

This week's nemesis is holiday sales emails.  I think I spend about ten percent of my time each day clearing out my inbox.  How are these things not being picked up as spam?  Then there's the inevitable important email that you get rid of because your thumb momentarily becomes a machine whose sole purpose is deletion and you end up having to wade through your trash folder to find the one meaningful email in all the rubbish.

This week's lesson learned is to keep a close eye on your kids when letting them use permanent markers to customize their Lego Star Wars Clone Trooper minifigures.  It's hard to get red permanent marker out of wood.  My suggestion would be to put some newspaper on your nice dining room table before letting the start.

This week's equation is:

You can determine the number of strings of lights you will need (n) on your tree by first calculating the surface area of the tree (the radius at its base, r, times the hypotenuse of the resulting right triangle, s, which will most likely require your employment of the Pythagorean Theorem, times pi) then multiplying that by the desired frequency of lights per square foot (f), which I suggest should be at least three to four, and then dividing that product by the number of lights contained on each set (l).

This week's Star Wars quote serves to remind you not to judge your presents until they are open.  "Size matters not."

Thank you for reading.  Hope you all survive the holidays.

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