Re: Also you should go buy a bunch of crap, so we're not all screwed

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Last night's movie:Some documentary made by a sister about Danny Williams, part of Warhol's Factory in it's heyday. Danny died of drugs and probably suicide at 28 or something. Warhol was an evil genius, a cult leader with an interesting technique.

Tonight was My Own Country, with Naveen Andrews as an aids doctor in Johnson County Tennessee in the late 80s. 82 patients with very little support it broke him and he had to leave.

Both were ok, but not good enough to recommend to anyone not interested in the subjects.

Christmas is nothing much to me. Family is mostly dead, and we share and give to each other all the time. I'll listen to John Fahey and watch the Pope for the architecture.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:30 AM
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Enya does a Gaelic Silent Night that works for me.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:02 AM
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My elder girls can do Silent Night in sign language, which is nice to watch. I only heard Silver Bells for the first time in Canada last year - it's not common over here.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:38 AM
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Enya.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:41 AM
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Silent Night always strikes me as a little sanctimonious, for some reason.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:09 AM
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Christ, Ulster Irish is fucking impossible to understand.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:17 AM
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I'm nowhere near as bah humbug about the holiday this year. Agreeing with all and sundry to dispense with gift giving helped. (Except Rory, who will be spoiled rottener and rottener.) Bought a turkey, took a RugDoctor to two rooms, cleaned the kitchen three times already, and am off to the liquor store this morning to stock up on holiday cheer. Should Sifu wish to post his egg nog recipe again (or anyone else who had a good one), I would not be ungrateful.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:27 AM
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Glad to help.

You'll not in that thread that the desired peak stiffness is eventually agreed upon to be "somewhat stiff".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:31 AM
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re: 6

How easy is Scots Gaelic to understand, for an irish speaker? [I know they diverged 1500 years ago]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:32 AM
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We made eggnog last night. I worry it was too smooth, and will thus mellow into something very dangerous. Damned tasty, though. Substituting Armagnac'll do that, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:32 AM
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Thank you! Amazing looking back at that thread. I'd forgotten how crappy that Christmas was, remembering nothing but the egg nog. Rich, creamy elixir of comfort and healing!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:38 AM
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How easy is Scots Gaelic to understand, for an irish speaker? [I know they diverged 1500 years ago]

I think a somewhat competent Irish speaker such as my 17 year old self would be able to follow along OK, maybe with some effort. An incompetent speaker, such as my present self, can see that (written) elementary vocabulary, etc, is very similar. But when you add the accent to the mix it'd get more confusing -- that's the problem with Ulster Irish: they have a bunch of different constructions and vocab, but they also pronounce the shared stuff quite differently, which makes it hard to follow in real time.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:46 AM
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I'm a bit bah-humbuggy this year, although I try to cheer myself by imagining how much worse I would be feeling if McCain/Palin had prevailed. Bah-humbuggy enough to link to this abuse of the Christmas bell trope by the Royal Guardsman with their 3rd "hit" based on a idea that should have died aborning. But countering it with a nice little sampler of carols by The Roches.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 7:05 AM
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I've been sticking mostly to the very old-fashioned Christmas songs this year. "Veni Emmanuel" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" appear to be this season's hits. Everyone on my Christmas list is getting one of my paintings, whether they requested one or not. Not hearing endless reiterations of Bing Crosby singing the treacly 1950s and 60s carols in the stores has helped me enjoy Christmas music much more.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 7:19 AM
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CA, my very own former choirboy (with hilarious bowl haircuts on album covers to prove it), makes me listen to Lessons and Carols at this time of year.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 7:43 AM
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Anyone know how long I would have to boil the milk/liquor mixture for a second batch of nog before it would be safe to serve the youngsters?

And then I promise to stop eggnogblegging.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:02 AM
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The egg is dangerous. The youngsters should just get rum and coke.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:03 AM
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John Emerson wants to destroy your child's precious teeth, Di. Sugar-free jello shots are the way to go.

Even though I abandoned Christianity in favor of a different religion 15 years ago I love Christmas music. I would happily swap office buildings with apo. On the other hand, Bad Santa is my favorite Christmas movie.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:12 AM
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On the other hand, Bad Santa is my favorite Christmas movie.

Agreed.

The scene in the car, "f me Santa," may be the high point for movies in the last 15 years.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:17 AM
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Bad Santa is an excellent Xmas movie.
As is The Ref.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:20 AM
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Come to think of it, The Ref should totally be Will's favorite Christmas movie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:21 AM
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Ive never heard of the Ref.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:27 AM
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Even though I abandoned Christianity in favor of a different religion 15 years ago....

I'm not defending Christianity, Robusto, but I still think that Manichaeanism was a poor choice.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:28 AM
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John, I can't help it that my family's tradition of Zoroastrianism was annexed. I'm just a go-with-the-flow kind of guy.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:48 AM
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I'm not sure if this is a SPOILER or not, but I've decided to go and see "Grand Torino" based on the information that Clint Eastwood tells a Hmong gang to "get off my lawn".


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:52 AM
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when i was a kid we had a yule tree not before 28th, for the New Year, never even heard about Christmas until maybe my student times or a little earlier, from the books
in Japan it was young couples dating night, the Christmas eve
so its image is a very nice holiday, for me, i don't get all this hating
but i can relate i guess, during our old New year usually young females stay home and cook for the guests, while kin people visit each other, it's sometimes like a month long affair, my grandma was the oldest relative, so everybody had to visit her and i stayed in the kitchen all my teens and the early 20ies i guess


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:01 AM
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As I remember, in Taiwan non-Christian Chinese would celebrate Christmas by playing mah-jongg and dancing, both of which were illegal in 1984 when Taiwan was theoretically still under martial law. Chinese culture is very open to foreign customs, which they adapt until they're unrecognizable.

Only the Christians celebrated Halloween in Taiwan. The Chinese also have their own ghost day, which the older and more rural people take very seriously as a day when bad things will happen if you don't properly buy off the ghosts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:09 AM
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so its image is a very nice holiday, for me, i don't get all this hating.

I think for most people the hating comes from a combination of impossible expectations and excess marketing. So you really need to be immersed in it for a bunch of years and/or have a family that does dysfunctional holidays to get the full effect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:09 AM
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re; 12

I don't know why I am a bit surprised that Ulster Gaelic and southern Gaelic are different. I suppose I always assumed that 'gaelic' culture was roughly pan-Irish [with regional variation] and the really start discontinuity was 'gaelic' versus 'scots'. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given the pretty huge variation within Scotland [and Scots].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:10 AM
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stark discontinuity, I mean


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:11 AM
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so its image is a very nice holiday, for me, i don't get all this hating. +28:

I didn't leave Christmas, Christmas left me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:13 AM
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the reason i never heard about Christmas during my childhood was of course the political system, even our traditional New year was underground then, i remember though maybe it was the last times of that practice, when during its celebration people had to work or go to the subbotniks and it was called the holiday for the agriculture workers (negdelchdiin bayar)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:14 AM
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29: Yup. Canada still has a small number of Gaelic speakers, mostly very old now (at least the native ones). As I understand it the language didn't so much diverge there as freeze 300ish years ago.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:20 AM
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I may get banned for this, but I'm entirely pro-Christmas, despite having lost any faith almost 15 years ago. Now, it helps that I never go to the mall; the year that I was field measuring empty stores in a series of malls in central PA a week before Xmas did some serious damage to my spirit.

But I love getting and decorating the tree, I love playing the music at home (we have Bing, but also Sufjan and Louis and Handel), I love driving around to look at lights. I don't even mind the rounds of parties (10 this year!). Last night Iris and I saw It's a Wonderful Life at a movie theater for the second year in a row. I always put off taking down the tree one extra week.

It's the legacy of a happy, functional family. My only grinchinees is usually reserved for butter spritz cookies - so delicious, but so frustrating (they don't form right, they stick to the pan, they break apart; I forget this lesson every year).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:23 AM
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re: 33

There's a fairly healthy cultural exchange between the Canadian 'gaels' -- from Cape Breton and other places -- and Scotland. The Canadians preserved a lot of older fiddle and pipe traditions that have been getting imported back into Scotland (where a lot of the traditional techniques, melodies and so on have either evolved considerably or been lost altogether).



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:23 AM
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Jack Kerouac's ancestors were Breton rather than French. Kerouac's father published a French-language newspaper in Massachusetts, and Kerouac was a native speaker of Quebec French. Or maybe Acadian French.

Of course, the source is Kerouac himself, so YMMV on the Breton part.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:24 AM
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35: yeah, i've read about that exchange of old pile and fiddle music, some of it lost in the rise of regimental style music in Scotland.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:30 AM
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*old style. that was a weird not-typo.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:31 AM
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re: 37

I think with fiddle stuff it's just divergence over time rather than anything regimental [I can see the regimental thing being involved with pipes though].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:35 AM
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With the advent of Preparation H, the old piles music more or less disappeared.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:37 AM
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39: oh, yeah, I should have specified -- that claim was specific to pipe music.

I wonder how much east coast fiddle music mixed with acadian players, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:38 AM
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not Scotland music or Christmas song,
but the other day i found the Greensleeves, an English folk song composed by the King and thought, his life purpose was to create this song and it was maybe enough
i don't know what else he accomplished during his lifetime, won't look it up
i heard it many times before, never knew its title or who composed it, it was interesting that it was English 'folk' song
i would love to listen to the Scottish folk songs


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:41 AM
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16, 17: by the by, anybody worried about the food-safety-ness of delicious, liquorful Sifu eggnog (and thinking of doing something insane like cooking the eggs) should watch this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:42 AM
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the old piles music

Tuning those things was a real pain in the ass.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:42 AM
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I've heard that if you eat raw egg you get parasites that crawl out of your eyeballs. Just not worth the risk.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:47 AM
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worried about the food-safety-ness of delicious, liquorful Sifu eggnog

If last year's UnfoggeDCon2 eggnog is anything like a typical sample, anyone worried about its food-safety-ness hasn't tried it. That stuff could be used as a disinfectant on an open wound.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:52 AM
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I say this with love, of course.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:53 AM
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It actually gets a lot smoother the next day, RMMP, but of course there was no next day for that batch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:54 AM
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I'd believe it gets smoother and, for all my protests, I did finish the cup.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:57 AM
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re: 42


read, this is Julie Fowlis [singing in gaelic]:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ez1O5swf1IM


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:03 AM
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Lyrics and translation in English:

http://www.leabharmor.net/leabharmor/Bothan%20Airigh%20am%20Br%C3%A0igh%20Raithneach.aspx


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:04 AM
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Anyone know how long I would have to boil the milk/liquor mixture for a second batch of nog before it would be safe to serve the youngsters?

If you mean, 'how long until the [pure] alcohol is gone from the mix?' the answer is 'a long goddamn time'. Boiling/simmering/whatever, it turns out, doesn't get rid of the alcohol content instantly, instead it never gets rid of it entirely. So for non-alcoholic eggnog, you need to start out with no alcohol.

max
['And if that wasn't what you were referring to, then never mind.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:06 AM
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"Smoother the next day"? Coming back out, you mean?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:08 AM
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A little bourbon never hurt anybody. It's christmas; the rugrats deserve to get drunk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:13 AM
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50 thanks
can't listen to the song at work, i'll listen to it in the evening, nice lyrics


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:17 AM
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A little bourbon never hurt anybody.

Recent studies have shown this to be true. Another myth shot down by science.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:17 AM
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46-49 All three eggnogs were fucking delicious.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:21 AM
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A little bourbon never hurt anybody.

Would Louis XIV count as little?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:26 AM
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I'm with JRoth on the pro-Christmas front.

The best modern version of a traditional carol: none other than the Police version of Gabriel's Message.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:30 AM
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57. Asilon, thank you.

I still have to buy some gifts and make a Princess Cake for our version of the Julbord. Despite all the last-minute rushing around I love Christmas.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:42 AM
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Ms. Fowlis is comely.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:45 AM
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pay attention to meeeeeeeeeeeee! somebody pay attention to meeeeeee! i'm so lonely.


Posted by: ToS | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:07 AM
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Silent Night is a lovely melody, and a true song too...surely there have been many silent nights featuring tender, mild mother/infant interactions.

But this song can't be beat as an authentically American Christmas carol.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:11 AM
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I'm very pro-Christmas too. We're not ever going to have a tree, but I hope to be part of some lucky local goyim's celebrations. And I loves me some Christmas music. (There's a really good 45-minute mix you can download at Daptone -- strongly recommended.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:13 AM
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OK. I love Christmas, but I'm not in love with Christmas. Good music, family, yes, yes, yes, all good.

However, an aspect of "consumer X-mas" that I do find interesting is that the there is probably nothing that more neatly illustrates to children the utter inability of material things to bring comfort to the soul than the post-Christmas letdown. American consumerism at its transcendental materialistic best and it still can't bring off any fundamental change to their lives. We should just let it rip full stop, give the little fuckers an unfiltered glimpse into the nihilistic void that fuels the Wal*Martization of Christmas, and they'll come out the other side clamoring for some form of spiritual succor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:18 AM
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I love Handel's Messiah*, the whole damn thing. On period instruments, with a smallish choir.

*Yes, it's an Easter oratorio, but nobody cares anymore.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:18 AM
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I like Christmas too. Jesus is one of my favorite Jews (although Paul definitely isn't),and unlike the Christian religion the holiday itself hasn't really been associated with a lot of bloodletting historically.

Hey, Wrongshore, do you have time to give a few thoughts on a question I have via email, or are you caught up in a honeymoon-type whirl?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:19 AM
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The best Christmas carols are Wham's Last Christmas and the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version of Little Drummer Boy, both songs I was shocked to hear that W-lfs-n had never heard and that Carrie Brownstein helpfully linked from her blog.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:36 AM
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Things to love about Christmas:

- When you use up all of your old holiday lights outdoors and by the time you go to buy new ones for the indoor tree, the price is down to $2.

- Having small people in your life who can not only wear candy-striped pajamas, but look adorable in them.

- Being able to afford to pay your gas and electric bills.

- Walking home through neighborhoods all decorated with lights.

- Chocolate!

- Time to read!

- People you love having time off over the holidays and the inclination to spend it with you.

- Being of the generation that gets to write the elf notes instead of receive them.

Pretty much the only tradition I've missed this year is listening to the radio version of Miracle on 34th Street, because I don't have a cassette player right now. Other than that, pretty perfect.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:39 AM
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We have bought almost no Christmas presents this year. We'll have some little stuff in the stockings and dole out cash to various nieces and nephews who are now of an age to greatly prefer that, but we've mostly skipped the Christmas shopping thing, and good fucking riddance.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:40 AM
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The best Christmas carols are

The best incurable STD is...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:40 AM
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Little Drummer Boy

Which I discovered this year is available in book form with illustrations by Ezra Jack Keats! The board book version has gone to the two newest babies in my life.

(Sorry about the Amazon link; Powells doesn't seem to carry it.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:42 AM
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"Christmas in Hollis" is the best Christmas carol. I'm getting MJ an Adidas tracksuit for Christmas! We are going to dress up like Run DMC and dance around.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:53 AM
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Oh, the best Christmas carol is "Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen," or "Lo, how a Rose" depending!
I think Das Blumelein should sing it for us.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:56 AM
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I just realized how kinda creepy "Do They Know It's Christmas" is (from the Brownstein link). The lyrics halfway sound like the solution is invading Africa and teaching them about Jesus, not sending them food.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:03 PM
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74: Or per a recent thread here "LOL, how a Rose".

But actually I agree, having just heard it sung by this lovely and talented lady in concert with these fine folk.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:09 PM
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71: Oh, Oh! I know pick me! Herpes!

What did I win?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:10 PM
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A number of quality Christmas song options are listed here. Thanks RFTS.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:12 PM
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Is that link expired? If so, RFTS - any way you can re-upload that? (or someone else who has a copy?)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:16 PM
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Witt and Carrie Brownstein like The Little Drummer Boy? Two icons smashed at once. A sad day indeed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:18 PM
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I also like The Little Drummer Boy. But I guess I'm no one's icon.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:22 PM
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You're more of an index, or maybe a trope or some kind of metonymy, I'd say.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:27 PM
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You can be my icon, ben. Come live on my desktop and I will click you to make my computer go to sleep.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:27 PM
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Jews don't do icons anyway. They're the wrong kind of Orthodox.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:28 PM
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83 is obscurely hot.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:29 PM
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Also, Christina Rossetti's "A Christmas Carol" ("In the Bleak Midwinter").

80: It's okay, John. Maybe they're thinking of the Dandy Warhols cover.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:31 PM
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But this song can't be beat as an authentically American Christmas carol.

not exactly a strong field, that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:32 PM
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4 to 77.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:33 PM
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I also like The Little Drummer Boy.

I like you, too, ben.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:38 PM
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Dwight Yoakum's Xmas album is pretty good.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:47 PM
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I love Dwight Yoakum very much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:48 PM
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I've been very good and not complained even once about the Christmas music in my house this year (which Roberta starts playing in October, much to my dismay). Not entering a mall at all has helped. However, the only Christmas album of which I approve is this one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:55 PM
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I am also a Christmas lover, despite having come from a fucked-up dysfunctional family. Probably b/c we always spent Xmas at Grandma's, where the dysfunctionality was hidden from me due to 1950s-style repression combined with my being at a generational remove.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:04 PM
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The above-mentioned Wham! song is my favorite Christmas song, but a close second is Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You." I love that it is disastrously difficult to sing along with, and yet who can help doing so while drunk in public? The effect is quite thrillingly festive, and, for my money, it's Carey's best song ever.

That Paul McCartney one, "Wonderful Christmastime," makes me want to stab everyone in the face. It is a horrible, horrible song.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:12 PM
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The Little Drummer Boy is my worst earworm of all. It comes in a medley with "Do you hear what I hear", by Bing Crosby or Perry Como. I try to merge both of them into Gunga Din or some other piece where the drummer boy dies tragically, but that doesn't stop the earworm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:18 PM
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I like the Wham! and Mariah Carey songs, (but I like a lot of Mariah Carey. "You'll always be a part of me. I'm part of you indefinitely..." Oooh! and her duet with Bone Thugs...) but for my money, the best Christmas song is Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas From The Family".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:18 PM
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AWB! I have a bleg for you. A long time ago you wrote out a cauliflower soup recipe you had invented. I can't remember if it was here or on your own blog, back in the days when your blog had more words on it than it does now. Anyway I can't find it and I would like to make it. If it is not too much trouble can you repost it, either here or there or in the pbwiki? Many thanks!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:19 PM
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I forgot to mention the song "Just Like Christmas" by Low, which I have just included on a holiday mix CD. It's got that wintry effect that you get simply by adding sleigh bells.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:22 PM
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That Paul McCartney one, "Wonderful Christmastime," makes me want to stab everyone in the face. It is a horrible, horrible song.

This is in my head now. Thanks, AWB.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:23 PM
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I like this album.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:28 PM
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It isn't Christmas until this one gets played. Be sure to stick around for the climax.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:30 PM
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101: Jesus. Who is this??


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:35 PM
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Sure, jms. What I'd do is basically what's in the "winter soup primer" on the wiki:

1. Make a good vegetable broth by boiling four cups of water with half an onion, the stalk of the cauliflower, a few garlic cloves, herb stems, and whatever else you have lying around with salt for 30 minutes or so. Strain it. (You could also use chicken bones if it's not vegetarian.)

2. Melt 4 T. butter in a large pot. Add half a minced onion and a minced clove of garlic and sauté until tender. Chop up one head of cauliflower and add it, cooking over low-medium heat until it caramelizes, about 20 minutes.

3. Sprinkle the caramelized cauliflower with 4 T. flour and stir well over low heat. Allow it to cook for a few minutes, until the flour begins to stick to the bottom of the pot.

4. Add four cups of whole milk in dribbles to the cauliflower, stirring really well after each addition and allowing the flour to absorb the milk. This should take a long time, as you're trying to gradually loosen the flour into the milk without creating clumps.

5. Once all the milk is added, allow it to come just to a simmer and let it cook until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

6. Add about two cups of grated meltable cheese (cheddar, asiago, or gruyere would be lovely). Stir until it melts.

7. Stir in the broth (which should be about 3 cups now) in small increments, as you don't want the soup to "break." It should just loosen it up and add a lot of flavor. Let it come back up to a low simmer for a few minutes.

8. Taste and adjust the salt. Add white pepper and herbs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:37 PM
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PK is yelling at me to turn it off, Apo. I hope you're happy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:37 PM
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It's all Bing Crosby's fault. One people figured out he was getting a 6 figure check every year for white christmas, we were doomed to a never ending supply of bad xmas songs, topped up yearly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:37 PM
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104: Oh, I am. You should wake him up with it on Christmas morning.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:38 PM
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106: No freaking way. I have a kid that sleeps in on Xmas morning, and I intend to keep it that way.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:39 PM
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I did totally download it though, and will add it to the Xmas playlist.

Now I'm singing it (badly) myself and he's yelling STOOOOOP!! I AM REALLY STARTING TO GET MAD!!

Hehehehehe.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:40 PM
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Thanks AWB!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:40 PM
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Korean Christmas rap


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:42 PM
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this is funny iirc
coz can't check it


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:55 PM
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Interesting Christmastime music development for everyone's favorite Canadian Jew.

Cowell, the music impresario known here for his snide comments on the British equivalent of American Idol, called The X Factor, selected Cohen's classic ballad "Hallelujah" as the first single for recording by this year's winner.
The song immediately captured Britain's most coveted musical accolade: it is, as of yesterday evening, the official "Christmas Number One" or "CNO."
The good news doesn't end there. A 1994 version of the song by the late Jeff Buckley, championed by music fans who rebelled against the rendition by X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, is No. 2 on the chart.
And that's not all. Cohen's own version came in at No. 36.
"Chart placings at 1, 2 and 36 are remarkable for a 25-year-old song which has never previously reached the top 40," said Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company.

Burke's version here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:01 PM
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112: everyone's* favorite Canadian Jew.

*Excuse me. Everyone except Sifu Tweety.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:05 PM
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I will try to post another Christmas mix in time, probably tonight. I'm really into Eels' "Everything's gonna be good this christmas" right now.

I also have a nice remix of the McCartney number that gets most of the face-stabbing out.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:05 PM
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I'm doing a four-hour christmas special on the radio tomorrow. Post about it to come when the playlist is closer to being finalized.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:10 PM
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110: I'm at work so I can't listen to this now, but I am very much looking forward to hearing this when I get home. I wonder who it's by? There's no name on the cover, only the English title rendered into hangul, viz., "heppy repping kurisumasu."


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:14 PM
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112: A nice side effect of this is that it should take care of his recent money worries.

It's a bit of a shame that Burke's gloss on Buckley's version gets the kind of recognition Buckley never saw for it, but still it's nice for Cohen. It's a better song than the reception it's had in the past.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:15 PM
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117: I hadn't been aware of any money worries, but there's something very something about: The Montreal-born poet alleges his former manager bled his personal savings and investment accounts dry during the time he spent living in a Buddhist monastery, the Mount Baldy Zen Center in Los Angeles. Dude has certainly laid down an interesting life.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:23 PM
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Haven't we revived "Hallelujah" enough? Buckley, Wainwright, and now The X Factor?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:23 PM
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Do the new versions of "Hallelujah" contain jingle bells or something? Is that why they're considered "Christmas music"?

Someone in the industry should gussy up "All These Things That I've Done" or "Monkey Gone to Heaven" or "Girls L.G.B.N.A.F." with wintertime musical signifiers and see if it can get into the Xmas rotation.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:23 PM
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And it was in Shrek or something, right? And a very special episode of Grey's Anatomy. That song's been received, man.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:24 PM
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Does remembering that it was on the West Wing date me? Probably.

And why am I so sleepy? I'm sitting here at my desk considering curling up on the rug and taking a nap.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:26 PM
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Rufus Wainwright, Tit Man, performed it on the Shrek soundtrack.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:28 PM
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John Cale also sings it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:29 PM
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It was probably on one out of two hour-long dramas that could afford it in the last ten years.

If you have your own office, LB, you should definitely take a nap.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:29 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:29 PM
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One people figured out he was getting a 6 figure check every year for white christmas, we were doomed to a never ending supply of bad xmas songs, topped up yearly.

Can we also blame him for Christmas-themed genre novels that come out at Christmas time? Those are below even scantily clad Native-American romance lit on my do-not-read list.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:30 PM
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121:Also the OC, and I think I just overheard it on a House episode as well. I guess now it's being received by the *masses* in the UK.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:31 PM
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Wainwright's version was ubiquitous for a year or so. I generally like his covers of songs, but that one seemed a rather half-hearted dumbing-down of Buckley's rather than an interesting new take on Cohen's. I think he knew it, too. I attended a Cohen tribute concert where Wainwright kicked seven kinds of ass on "Everybody Knows" and then did a sad, bored version of "Hallelujah" that sounded like a fuck you to anyone who thought it was cool.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:31 PM
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^every


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:31 PM
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John Cale also sings it.

That's the version I've heard by far the most. Because my mother is the only person in the world whose favorite album for several years was the soundtrack to Basquiat.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:32 PM
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122: I'm sitting here at my desk considering whether I can complete one final task that is so mind-numbingly boring that I'd rather post on Unfogged stick needles in my eyes. Gawd!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:35 PM
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Oh, the song's doing all right these days. Cale's version is interesting. Most of the covers are crap, as is true with most songs, I expect.

I worded that awkwardly though, I meant that Buckley didn't live long enough to see the effect his version had. Oh, and that Burke's current success with it owes an awful lot to him


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:36 PM
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"Hallelujah" makes my skin crawl, but I like Wainwright's "Spotlight on Christmas" okay.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:36 PM
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129: Yes, Wainwright's is one of the (many) mediocre ones.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:38 PM
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127: I don't think we can quite go that far, really.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:38 PM
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Those are below even scantily clad Native-American romance lit on my do-not-read list.

Which is saying something.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:42 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:43 PM
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A girl's got to have some standards!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:44 PM
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139: Even if, judging by the pathetically weak sauce being spilled around here these days, a troll doesn't.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:46 PM
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129: I love that version of Everybody Knows.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:50 PM
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"Everybody Knows" as a cha cha. Who knew? Everybody but me, obvs.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:51 PM
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Oh, the best Christmas carol is "Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen," or "Lo, how a Rose" depending! I think Das Blumelein should sing it for us.

I love that one! Also, "The Holly and the Ivy". When I was teaching in Hamburg we also sang a bunch of Christmas songs in minor keys in Plattdeutsch, none of which I can find anything about now.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:06 PM
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I'm sad that Wainwright has so often denounced his eponymous album. Some of his later self-parody is OK, but that one was really subtle and beautiful. He hated that it was self-indulgently intellectual, musically, and not theatrical enough, saying it was good music to vacuum to.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:08 PM
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I like Mordecai Richler.

And Ari, too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:13 PM
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118: Being ripped off by a financial adviser doesn't seem very Jewish to me.

I guess I'm just a Nazi.

Probably we should stay away from the Billy Joel question. (For the oldtimers).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:15 PM
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This xmas show is gonna be a blast, guys.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:16 PM
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147: This xmas show is gonna be a blast, guys.

Woohoo! Billy Joel!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:20 PM
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No one has mentioned "Fairytale of New York" or "2000 miles" yet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:20 PM
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But this song can't be beat as an authentically American Christmas carol.

not exactly a strong field, that.

Oh, I beg to differ.

What've you Canucks ever done for Christmas?

P.S. And that's without even counting the contributions of The Chipmunks.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:21 PM
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the British equivalent of American Idol

Ever notice how often "equivalent" is used when they mean "original version"? This seems particularly true of the many UK sourced TV shows in the US. Obviously, not just US media does this.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:22 PM
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Does "equivalent" imply to you that the thing being described is inferior to the thing which it is an equivalent of?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:23 PM
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Or "Another Lonely Christmas."


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:25 PM
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152: No, I didn't mean it that way. I meant it's an interesting (to me) choice. Maybe it's just selection bias. it's not like I read much of this sort of thing.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:27 PM
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Re: the title of the OP, an enjoyable piece of fluff from Roy Blount, Jr.:

Let's put the holly back in shopaholic, let's get jingle-bullish.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:29 PM
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I am reminded of the Calvin & Hobbes in which Calvin urges his patent attorney father to do what's right by the country in these troubled times and purchase many big-ticket items for Calvin, following which the beleaguered paterfamilias opines that he should stop leaving the Wall St. Journal lying about.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:32 PM
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149: or "2000 miles" yet.

I meant to give that one a NE Ohio shoutout. Nice little song.

And I ran across The Chipmunks looking up the Snoopy/Red Baron song. They actually sound like demented low-fidelity robots.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:40 PM
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156: ben's knack for sucking the fun out of absolutely anything is really quite remarkable.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:41 PM
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158: Now all we have to do is figure out how to monetize it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:42 PM
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157: I still have my Snoopy and the Red Baron 45!!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:42 PM
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Calvin really does use the phrase "big ticket". I'd quote the dialogue in full but the complete C&H doesn't come with an index.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:46 PM
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157: Which? Not the X-mas bell one I hope ('cuz I kind of sucked the fun out of that one up in comment #13).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:47 PM
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pay attention to meeeeeeee! somebody please pay attention to meeeeee!

i'm so lonely.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:50 PM
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162: 160 not 157. Sheesh.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:53 PM
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Kraab, have you seen the new TNT show Leverage yet? It's a researcher's fantasy. Do not pass Go, etc., watch immediately.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:55 PM
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165: No, I haven't. I don't have cable, but I'll check it out on hulu. Thanks for the tip.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:58 PM
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165: plus the blogger blah blah internet unite etc. etc.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:01 PM
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162: No, I didn't even know there was a Christmas one. I'm sure I would have loved it when I was 8, though, and still be attached. Your bah humbuggery is no match for sentimental Kraabiness.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:13 PM
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151: But wasn't the original called "Pop Idol"? Isn't "The X Factor" another thing altogether?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:20 PM
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Indeed. It's sort of upsetting to see Sifu's feeble bah-humbuggists being slaughtered by Kraab's wave upon wave of sentimental shock troops.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:20 PM
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169: huh, wait a minute, what's this petard doing here?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:24 PM
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pay attention to meeeeeeee! somebody please pay attention to meeeeee!

i'm so lonely.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:35 PM
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"All I want for xmas is a less lame troll"

yeah, guess it's not really melodic. apologies all around for feeding a moron.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:39 PM
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"All I want for xmas is a less lame troll"

yeah, guess it's not really melodic. apologies all around for feeding a moron, I'll stop.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:40 PM
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I've pretty much had it with the radio program "Marketplace." A quiet, oh-so-earnest, story about the difficult financial straits of a UMC couple. The distaff member of the couple has received a trust distribution of $12k per year since birth...


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:41 PM
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If only we knew what UMC stood for, we'd know whether we can sympathize with these people!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:42 PM
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170: We may be being slaughtered, but at least we're unhappier.

Eye-gouging task #1 complete, but I cannot, Cannot! CANNOT!! face a dozen or so performance feedback forms. I'm thinking everybody gets: "Cy Twombly has been a high-performing, value-adding member of the team this year. Really, really, really indispensable. Only a fucking fuckhead would even think about laying them off next year."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:43 PM
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175: wtf?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:43 PM
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I'll save you the trouble: no.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:43 PM
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Is there a phrase "soft-focus radio?"


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:45 PM
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Uruguayan Marine Corps?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:46 PM
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Ulster Militant Crew


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:48 PM
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unfogged mass choir?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 4:48 PM
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re: 61

Yes, she is. Rather lovely, in fact.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:05 PM
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Ultimate Masochism Championship?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:07 PM
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Upper middle class.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:10 PM
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Under-mercuried cod.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:11 PM
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165-167: I've been biting my tongue on various blogs for the reasons alluded to in 167, but I strongly disagree with the recommended course of action in 165.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:13 PM
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Don't be silly, di.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:14 PM
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The worst part of the coming Obama Era of Sincerity is that no one will get jokes about monetizing things.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:14 PM
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How come, w/d? What's the stooooory?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:16 PM
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Fortunately there's a million ways to monetize sincerity, quickly.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:17 PM
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Under-mercuried cod.

rare breed that. I bet we could sell them for a huge markup at the swipple-mart. just saying.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:21 PM
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"Do you hear what I hear", by Bing Crosby or Perry Como. I try to merge both of them into Gunga Din or some other piece where the drummer boy dies tragically

Did you know that "Do You Hear What I Hear" is about the Cuban Missile Crisis? It's true!
http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/1559/106/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:25 PM
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189: ok


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:27 PM
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under-mentored comic?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:29 PM
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Yes, yes I'm being faux-reticent and therefore should be baited. Ooh, look, you can watch Leverage on TNT.com. The second episode ("The Homecoming Job") is illuminating.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:29 PM
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192: I think that only works consistently for false sincerity.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:31 PM
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197: Do they pull The Ogged?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:34 PM
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University Mellon Carnegie


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:34 PM
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i was searching for fugu pictures last 30 min


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:38 PM
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192: I think that only works consistently for false sincerity.

Are you kidding? The sincere and their money are soon parted, I think the saying goes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:45 PM
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188: It's a TNT show, not supposed to be the new Mad Men. Think of it as Magnum PI with scams and lefty populism. It's funny, hokey in parts, and I think it will find a good groove.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:46 PM
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194: Jeez, now I have to like that motherfucker. Damn.

"Dominique", however, is about the massacre of the Albigensians. Fortunately, it has pretty much disappeared.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:24 PM
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massacre of the Albigensians

Don't bring Dan Brown into this.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:31 PM
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194: Now I'm going to get the chills every time I hear that. Truth, the CMC was one hell of a scary time.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 6:49 PM
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157: I still have my Snoopy and the Red Baron 45!!

Impressive. I know I played the hell out of mine back in the day....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 7:24 PM
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207: Bah Humbug! Curses, foiled again!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 7:28 PM
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So, back to Christmas sentimentality: we are almost certain to have a white Christmas here for the first time in recent memory. My own memory, at any rate. We've been able to drive the car once in the last ten days, so I skied again to the store this afternoon. Since I was buying for the next three days, the trip home, with a approximately 50-lb. backpack, made me feel as though I was training for the Norwegian army. Tomorrow I will feel sore yet righteous; I'm not sure if that's the right state of mind for listening to w-lfs-n's radio show, but it must be close.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 7:41 PM
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I'm not sure if that's the right state of mind for listening to w-lfs-n's radio show, but it must be close.

Well, time-shifted, probably.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:05 PM
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209: Yes, it looks like snow levels will be at the 200-300 foot level. And here are stats on prior Christmas snows/snow on ground (quite rare to have anything of significance, although apparently a trace fell last year).

DOWNTOWN PORTLAND (PERIOD OF RECORD 1884 TO 2007)

RECORDS SHOW 13 YEARS WITH AT LEAST A TRACE OF SNOW ON CHRISTMAS DAY
1.3 INCHES 1937
0.9 INCH 1884
0.7 INCH 1891
0.2 INCH 1909
TRACE IN 2007..1990..1954..1952..1930..1916..1914..1913..1904

SNOW WAS ON THE GROUND ON CHRISTMAS MORNING...EITHER FROM SNOW THAT
FELL CHRISTMAS DAY (LISTED ABOVE) OR FROM SNOW THAT FELL ON DAYS
PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS...
1.0 INCH 1937..1990
TRACE 1983..1884..1891


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:27 PM
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205: The Templars are still in Bornholm, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:32 PM
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A whole goddamn inch of snow. I never heard such a thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:34 PM
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Weather chauvinists are the most boring chauvinists of all.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:42 PM
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Not only can my snowstorm whip your snowstorm. I can also bore you to death.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:47 PM
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Besides, current official snow depth in at Portland is 8 inches, not far behind the 8-14 inches across central Minnesota at the moment. ... you want boring...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:49 PM
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Sure, but it was -17 here and I have mildly frostbitten toes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 8:59 PM
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209: what kept you from driving?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 9:39 PM
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211: I remember snow on the ground Christmas morning in SW Washington once in the early 70s. Not many clear recollections other than that one.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:22 PM
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Map showing odds of at least 1" of snow on ground at Christmas.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:41 PM
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I'll be goddamned happy if that much snow manages to melt in Boston by Thursday.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:44 PM
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Our Christmas forecast includes a high in the 60's and a chance of showers, bitches.

I kind of want snow, actually.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:51 PM
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221: Sorry, should have mentioned 30-year average, not this year. Current snowpack (interactive, select a rectangle to zoom in). Liable to stay that way over next 2 days other than some potentially rapid meltage in Southern Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic due to rain.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:57 PM
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Christ I'll be glad to get back to California weather.

Hooray for no snow in Sonoma!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 10:59 PM
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Yeah, we are having one of those very deceptive freezing rain events right now. Temperature at ~34 to 35, but ground has been very cold. So it is reverse of usual, not freezing on railings and fences, but roads are absolutely glazed with a thin skim of water on top. Fortunately the parents at the party Stormcrow Life Noob #3 (with Stormcrow Automobile #2) was attending agreed to everyone staying until morning.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:08 PM
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God the roads were so fucking awful today. Washboard ice everywhere, 3 or 4 foot narrower than usual, and eight million people on the road doing all the shopping they blew off on Sunday when it was sleeting.

O Boston, Glittering Hub Of The Crappy Weather Universe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:10 PM
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225: One more reason to preach to the choir. Fuck the Suburbs! Stay in your urban hellholes, works out better in the end.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:10 PM
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O Boston, Glittering Hub Of The Crappy Weather Universe.

OTOH, at least they have snowplows.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:16 PM
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OTOH, at least they have snowplows.

Although not, it should be noted with sadness, snowplows that can clear that ever-so-key last quarter inch of snow off the road before it half-melts and refreezes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:18 PM
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That's why you need an SUV. Preferably a big one.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:20 PM
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230: so I can forget that my brakes aren't actually any better than anybody else's? Fuck it, why don't I just walk into the middle of the intersection and fend off all comers with a manhole cover?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:23 PM
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You should at least take a trident as well.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:27 PM
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Worse, probably, but you're able to steer and stop out of sheer manliness or something. Also, the operable rear window is very useful for getting out after you bury the thing in a snowdrift on your way to the ski area.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:27 PM
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232: fuckin' A then this would be a real city.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:29 PM
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||

You know what's my favorite Rankin and Bass special? Nestor the Long-Donged Christmas Earwig.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:30 PM
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228 makes sense coming from a PNW (and, of course, Hawaiian) frame of reference. What are we supposed to do, buy a bunch of plows all of a sudden? Chill out, the rain will wash off the snow eventually (and create, this year, an enormous sodden mess).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:34 PM
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235: There is a Longdong Stream Salamander as well as a Christmas Island Earwig.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:41 PM
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Christ I'll be glad to get back to California weather.

Hooray for no snow in Sonoma!

Ahahahahahahaha... *ahem*

3 or 4 years ago, my family decided it'd be fun to rent a house on the Russian River for the week between Christmas and New Year's. A week which turned out to have the biggest rainstorm and flood in 25 years.

Friday evening it became clear that we were going to have to evacuate sometime on Saturday. My family decided to wake up early to see what the flood level was doing; Magpie and I said "as long as we know we're evacuating, might as well do it now and get to sleep in our own bed". What should have been an hour's drive home took us more than 3.5 hours, including one four-lane highway closed due to flooding and a drive through water more than halfway up the wheels of my car.

I don't go to Sonoma in winter anymore.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:42 PM
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Once every winter or two is festive. Once or twice a week gets old fast.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:42 PM
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239 to 236.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:44 PM
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I don't go to Sonoma in winter anymore.

Anyhoo, I'm sure it'll be fun. All the rivers are far away from us, and we can just stay good and drunk. And it'll be great. And that'll show you, won't it?

||

I like this Christmas music.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:46 PM
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In Sonoma river come to you.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:49 PM
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And that'll show you, won't it?

You'll probably also be sleeping in your own bedroom, in a real bed, and access to your own bathroom, as opposed to on a craptastic sofabed in the living room of the house with an incontinent dog wandering around. So yes, that will show me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:54 PM
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In Sonoma river come to you.

See the last clause of the first sentence of 243.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:55 PM
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You'll probably also be sleeping in your own bedroom, in a real bed, and access to your own bathroom a spa, masseurs, a geothermally heated pool, and, quite probably, slaves.

That's what I'm sayin'.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:58 PM
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I thought you had to go to Napa for slaves.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:00 AM
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Sonoma Mission Inn? You're right, you won't have to worry about flooding... just landslides.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:01 AM
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247: mudslides, baby! Hot rock massage-slides!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:02 AM
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Through the simple expedient of firing up Pandora's Rockin' Christmas station, I can say the "Little Drummer Boy" by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band is the most egregious of rocker Christmas song renditions. Here with bonus synchronized Xmas lights.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:03 AM
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The spa offers the opportunity to soak in Calistoga's famed mineral waters or, as my wife and I did, indulge in a signature couples Mudslide. An hour-long variation on the area's historic mud bath treatments, our personal mud chef mixed a potion of hot mud and healing oils for us, then closed us off in a heated room to smear the concoction over each other's bodies. This was followed by a soak in a mineral bath and 20 minutes in a gravity free chair designed by NASA. I came out feeling smooth and relaxed all over ... and all kinds of Northern California hip.

Oh. Oh, wow. And here I was joking.

Good to know, Josh!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:03 AM
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all kinds of Northern California hip

Fucking Boomers.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:07 AM
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Oh man. From the Fairmont's website:

Health Insurance The United States has a very high quality of medical care. However, it is a private system and, as such, is very expensive by any standard. You should consider the purchase of your own health insurance a necessity. Even if you are covered by your home country's national health insurance system, your country will probably not pay all costs associated with health care in the U.S., so additional coverage is necessary.

Um, yeah.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:09 AM
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I'm trying to imagine the different kinds of Northern California hips that you would feel in a Sonoma mineral bath. Pale, bony, fleshy? I don't get why that would be an attraction.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:17 AM
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Semi-seriously, my favourite Christmas song - IMHO the most beautiful tune ever written, shame about the context.

Fortunately, we've been invited out tomorrow. Fortunately because in the last 3 weeks the washing machine packed in, the freezer packed in, the oven packed in and the boiler is on the blink.

Io Saturnalia!


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 5:48 AM
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That's a litany of disasters.

Our fridge is playing up -- thermostat is keeping the temperature 4 degrees above the supposed safe food temperature. However, I suspect it's been doing it for a while, so, if we've not had food poisoning yet, we are probably safe for a few days.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 6:00 AM
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255. To judge from the forecast, you might as well just put all your food outside the back door then. Should do at least until you can get the fridge fixed.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 6:40 AM
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The fridge is about 9 degrees (C). Outside is the same according to the weather. I think we may just be forced to gorge ourselves.

Rabbit tonight, venison for dinner tomorrow.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 7:43 AM
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Who's up for leftover egg salad sandwiches at the nattarGcMs?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 8:00 AM
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257. Such hardship!

I'm off now. I'll probably be a bit low profile for a bit, I nearly got dooced the other day.

Merry Winterval, everybody.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 8:09 AM
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209: what kept you from driving?

Thread's dead, but in the interest of leaving no question unanswered:

1: The streets, having been driven on but neither cleared nor salted, have become very slick.

2. We can't put our chains on because the one time I went out driving to do Christmas shopping, I got a flat, so we have the little spare on the car.

3. The bamboo in the parking strip is all flopped over and blocking the driveway because it has a quarter-inch of ice on it.

Hence, skiing. And more skiing today, as it's snowing heavily again.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 11:34 AM
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260: I just wanted to make you all defensive about not driving in the snow. I'm totally telling Vermont.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 11:38 AM
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But I skied, Vermont! And you have plows!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 11:44 AM
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My rabbit is currently jointed and coated in olive oil and mustard and is roasting with potatoes in a hot oven. White wine and cream awaits ...

I defy you refrigerator ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:45 PM
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My brother's place on Stark is OPEN, motherfuckers! But Jesus probably can't get there. His report:

Well we got the snow here. The most snow, for the longest period of time, I have ever seen in portland. For us that means that our store is very busy. And it means picking employees up and taking them to work, and then taking them home after work. I have chains on my truck and know how to drive in the snow. I kind of enjoy it. I especially enjoy complaining about the other drivers. Hardly any one knows how to drive in snow here. And the number of people who try to get around, without chains is amazing. Little sports car stuck, or spinning there wheels on some slight incline litter every road. They don't plow the roads here, at all. So I drive, and curse at the world and feel very good about myself. I also never close our store, so we are one of the few places who are open. Every body from the neighborhood walks, skis, or snow shoes to our store. It is actually a fun place to be. Very communal.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 5:15 PM
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