Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not Such Deep Thoughts; Special Decking The Halls Edition

The last couple of weeks I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my free time either decking the halls, or aimlessly wandering through malls. Neither activity ranks very highly on the old berry funometer, but it has given me a lot of time to think (uh-oh…), and now it’s time to share those thoughts with you, if only to exorcise them from my brain. So, without further ado, I bring you a Special Decking The Halls Edition of Not Such Deep Thoughts:

Come on Randy, you better watch out. Santa knows that you’ve been dogging it, and pouting, and if things keep going like they’ve been going, I see a lump of coal in your future. On the other hand, were you to start hustling and playing through to the whistle, you just might be spending this holiday season with visions of a shiny new ring dancing in your head. From here on in, try thinking of each catch as a layaway payment towards the big bling.

Every time I go up in the attic, I smash my head on something. Get the tree, smash my head. Look for ornaments, smash my head. Bloody gashes on my dome are not a good look for me.

The Sox have given us an early present with the acquisition of Lackey and Cameron. Adrian Gonzalez would be the capper Theo, but please don’t go giving up Ellsbury to make it happen. Dump Buchholz if you want, but not Ellsbury.

Why on God’s green earth are the plugs on the pre-strung lights that are attached to our tree labeled C8, C12, C26 and G2, and why are the labels on 3 of the 4 marked with different colored dots? There are only 2 outlets on the main cord, and neither one is labeled or colored. I really wish I could find those directions…

I usually like Target’s holiday commercials. In previous years they’ve always been fast paced, colorful and set to infectious music. This year’s campaign is just depressing. I know they’re trying to pound home the “good deals in a bad economy” theme, but they just feel uncomfortable. I can’t help thinking that the families are going to erupt into a knock down drag out domestic dispute at any moment. “You bought a flat panel TV? I thought we discussed overspending” and “You spent too much, I’m really not that into you” are not the stuff of holiday memories, they're just creepy and depressing. Is it how Christmas plays out in a lot of families? Yes, but who wants to be reminded of that.

And speaking of bad holiday commercials, how about that strange one for the Kindle? You know the one; it has a woman who morphs from a mustachioed magician to Daniel Boone firing a musket, and its set to a sickly sweet song called “Fly me away”. The woman in the commercial is actually an Amazon contest winner who wrote the jingle herself, and as impressive as that is, it just doesn’t seem to fit the product to me. I get the whole “Kindle can bring you a gazillion different books and fly your mind away to wherever you want to go” thing, very artsy-fartsy, but the first few times I saw it I honestly thought it was going to be an ad for Southwest or Jet Blue. Besides, the Kindle is a sexy device; you need to show it off. You see it for about 2 seconds at the beginning of the commercial, then nothing but unrelated fluff for the rest of the spot. The money would have been better spent on a close up of the device as it changed screens between countless newspapers, magazines and books. Simple and to the point.

The best Christmas album ever made is Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. It’s a must have for your collection. Don’t just dismiss it as a silly cartoon soundtrack, the man was a genius. The album is comprised of full versions of those all too familiar snippets from the cartoon, and his piano work floats and soars through each track against a backdrop of incredible jazz bass and percussion. The recording quality is fantastic, to boot. When I listen to it, it feels as if each note reaches in and gently massages the stress centers of my brain.

Malls suck during the holidays. They’re hot and crowded, the parking lots are like a demolition derby, and the food courts are like a middle school mixer.

I’m off now until the start of the New Year, and there’s nothing like it. It allows me to slow the pace down and actually enjoy the holidays. I’d been slogging my way towards this break like a Foreign Legionnaire slowly making his way towards an oasis, sand sucking at my feet with every step, a prayer on my lips that it was not a mirage I was seeing on the horizon. This past year has not been a memorable one on a lot of fronts, and now that I’ve finally made it to the finish, it feels like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. As a great man, and one of my role models growing up, once said; “Nothin to do but eat and sleep… and live off the fat of the land. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.”

If you’re listening Santa, all I want for Christmas this year is some quality family time and rest. Lots and lots of rest.

That is all.

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