Friday, December 30, 2005

What's One More List?

Alright, folks. Christmas is over and with it goes the Murky Words Yuletide Pep Rally. I know, I know - got just a teensy bit carried away there with all the Christmas cheer. No, I won't offer some lame-ass excuse like "''Tis the Season! *jingle jingle*" to explain my behavior... I just like Christmas, that's all, and had a very good one this year. Here's hoping you did as well.

Now it's New Years Time, and I must confess, I don't like this holiday nearly as much. For one, the Charlie Brown New Years Special is awful. It was released in 1986 when Charlie was - let's face it - well past his prime. He was an old man trying to relive the glory days of his youth - and failing miserably. The voices were terrible, the songs were bad. The plot? Nonexistent. Sad to watch. There WAS a Rudolph special, which I believe was called Rudolph's Shiny New Year, in which he had to search high and low to find the Father Time baby who had been kidnapped (at least I think that's how the story goes.) This was good, but it also smacked of irreverence. Rudolph belongs in Christmastown with Herbie and Yukon Cornelius... not searching the globe looking for a baby with an afro and a top hat. Plus, it was soooo 1970's too, so we have to dock points for that.

But Rudolph & Charlie aside, I find New Years to be a decidedly more mundane holiday than anything else. I guess it's important in the sense that it's something to mark off and refer back to. I often fondly reminisce about the years '96-'99 for instance, but in terms of celebration? Bah. I can do without the crowds, those God-awful horns, and the packed bars/clubs that charge a $30 cover just so you can stand inside and pay more money to drink there. Besides, as a good friend of mine says, New Years Eve is amateur hour out there. Best stay away. Hear Hear. Last year, I hung out in my apartment with some friends and watched movies. As midnight neared, we listened to the people in the apartment building across the street countdown in Spanish and then, as we were absent champagne or other fine beverages of that nature, toasted with tea. Good times and not a toy horn to be heard.

So, do I actually like anything about New Years? Yes indeed. The top 10 lists. I liked them even more before the turn of the millennium when E! Channel and VH1 decided that would be a good time to devote the rest of their programming to nothing but Top 10's. Now, seemingly every media outlet has followed suit. The damn lists are everywhere. History Channel has Top 10 Incan Artifacts that began with the letter 'Q.' Discovery Channel lists the Top 12 disciples that were down with Jesus, featuring never before seen interviews with family and friends. MTV shows the Top 10 greatest albums by Tupac and Biggie recorded and released after their deaths. Oh... sorry... my mistake. There was no such list because they all sucked. You get the point. There's a lot of garbage out there. But do a little sifting, and you can find some good stuff too.

So obviously, with that lead-in, you're expecting me to post a "Top 10 ____ of 2005" list. Pffft. That would take too much effort on my part. I'll meet you half-way though. How about a "Best Of..." list? Better yet, how about a "Best Of..." list which doesn't offer deliberately obscure winners so I can feel like I have some "indie cred?" Good? Good. Here we go.

Best Movie of 2005: Slim Pickin's on this front. Not because there wasn't a lot of good films, but because I barely saw any of 'em. This award was going to go to Heat until I realized that it came out in 1995. Still, the one movie that truly impressed me with its special effects, plot, character development, blah, blah, blah was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It also happens to be the last movie I saw in the theatre and thus, one of the few I can remember. Be forewarned - if you haven't either read some of the books or seen some of the films prior to this, you may feel a little clueless as to what's going on, but if you're familiar with the story? Watch out. Lots and lots of fun from start to finish. The special effects were truly magnificent - as they have been in all four films - but unlike the other three, you didn't have to struggle to feel entertained by this one. I could give a plot synopsis here, but I don't really feel like it. Just go and see it if you're a Harry Potter fan.

Best Book of 2005: Do people still read books? God. What's wrong with us? Sorry - just a bit of projection there. Again, I'm kind of in the same boat as the movie. I read a decent amount... just not a whole lot from this year. Hell, I haven't even read the new Harry Potter yet, although I already know what happens thanks to some jackass who posted the spoiler in a computer technical forum. But yeah - most of my books were paperbacks from previous years, and technical/financial study ups for dummies, etc. So, with that in mind, I'm giving this award to the dictionary. Seriously. No specific brand or publication. Just the dictionary. Use it. It works.

Best Album of 2005: Dammit, I KNEW you were going to ask me this. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. Now I'm on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I've gone from knowing too little about a particular medium to a complete immersion. I listened to TONS of new music this year, and as a result I find myself unable to choose one single album. Well, alright then, seeing as this is my list and I make the rules, you get a bunch of albums... I'll try not to pick two from the same "genre" but I make no guarantees. These were my faves this year:
  • Gorillaz - Demon Days: Big up to the animated band. A fantastic follow up to an excellent debut. In fact, I like this album better than their debut. Lays the funk down, has ridiculous lyrics, track titles, and guest performers (Neneh Cherry, Dennis Hopper and De La Soul anyone?) Always manages to grab you with its simplistic hooks, too. If you missed the multiple tracks I made available for download this year - poo on you.
  • The Clientele - Strange Geometry: I found this album quite by accident. I was browsing through Yahoo Music, or some such thing, looking at New Releases and recommendations (which are usually so far off its laughable) and this popped up. I'm still not sure what to make of it. It sounds like some sort of retro late 60's Brit pop mixed with Oasis mixed with hippie dippie folk music. I can't stop listening to it and I'm not sure why. It's rather unlike me actually. Slow, languid even, yet catchy at the same time. I know - I'm bordering on obscure here. I apologize. But this is good enough. Trust me.
  • Garbage - Bleed Like Me: Good, solid album with three or four excellent tracks. Plus, it features Shirley Manson on lead vocals. I would worship fresh cow dung if it had her name on it.
  • Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Feel The Illinoise!: I'll be honest. I was so ready to hate on this album. It features a man with a pretentious and hard to pronounce first name on an album that's so college radio "nu folk" and adored by twenty-something’s with all weather-scarves and horn-rimmed glasses. First listen? OK - I can stop hating him. Second listen? Holy Shit. How many instruments are playing right now? Third listen? WOW!!!!
  • My Morning Jacket - Z: Not much to say here. I've been skeptical of any band or album with the word "jacket" in the title ever since the mid-80's when Phil Collins unleashed upon us his ludicrous 'No Jacket Required' which features, among others, the big hit Sususususususususususususususussudio. I liked this album though. Quite a bit. I think you will too.
So, there are five. Four of these you will see on virtually every other "Best of..." list out there, but make no mistake. If it doesn't have the Murky Words label, it's not the real thing.

Best Television Show of 2005: Boston Red Sox Baseball on NESN. It was the only thing I watched. Really. I'm sure there are other more deserving. In fact, I KNOW there are. But, I couldn't list them and then lie about having seen them. I just couldn't. Things haven't been the same since they took Northern Exposure off the air... What?!? Oh... screw you. Leave me alone.

Best Blog of 2005: With apologies to Sean, Tim, Korte, Marty, Chris and myself (all of whom receive high honorable mention) the best blog I've seen is none other than Goofus Musings, written by the prolific, yet elusive Jesseanna of New Orleans, LA, Charlottesville, VA, Murf-sumthin, TN, and Honesdale, PA. No one's quite sure where she is writing from with each new post, hence the elusiveness. In fact, I'm not really sure who she is. Back when I started this blog, a friend of mine sent me a link to Goofus Musings with a note that said, "Here - check out my friend's blog. She and I went to college together." I clicked the link expecting boredom. What I saw was some of the finest writing you can get with an Internet connection. Crazy funny (I laugh out loud regularly - which is saying something), superbly written, and always entertaining. Do yourself a favor. Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out. Then go spread the word and make her famous.

So, at this point, I'm struggling to think of categories for this list. Yeah, I could go with 'Best Car' or 'Best Song' or 'Best Friend', but once you start getting into that much minutiae the list starts to lose a little something....

Oh, O.K. - I'm tired of writing. Fine. But before I go, join me in bidding riddance to 2005 and welcoming 2006 in with a chest bump. I hope your celebrations, wherever they are, are fun-filled and the year to come is prosperous and meaningful. If you're in Boston, let me know and I'll make sure to save some tea for you. Happy New Year, all. Catch ya in the oh six.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pleased To Meet You. Hope You Guess My Name

First things first. This posts marks the 100th on this here blog. You can thank me for ruining your productivity and enriching your life in the comments. Now then....

I was bored at work yesterday so I decided to actually read a few emails some friends had sent me, only to find that one of them linked to an online personality test. Now, I'm not normally one for these types of things. They tend to provide little in the way of insight and lots in the way of popups and irritating advertisements, but this particular test promised to tell me what breed of dog I was. Well that was certainly different. Dogs are cool and they have very distinct personalities. This would probably tell me quite a bit about myself, actually. Hooray for dog tests. None of this Myers-Briggs bullshit.

I flew through the test (only about 15 questions or so once you finish saying "No, thanks" to all the ads) and got the following result:

No bones about it, you're a dedicated, trustworthy St. Bernard. Loyal and good-hearted, you're as reliable as they come. Your naturally protective personality is reflected in the way you treat people close to you. Sheltering your nearest and dearest from harm (or bad news, for that matter) is high on your priority list. That attitude earns you lots of gold stars, not to mention respect. People admire your strong morals — and how well you stick to them! Focused, steadfast, and determined, you always aim to please. It's a breed like yours that makes the world a better place.

Cool. I could live with that. Yeah, I'm fat slobbering thing with a whiskey barrel around my neck that leaves puddles of drool everywhere, but damn, a St. Bernard is a kick-ass dog. I mean, when you consider I could have been a chihuahua? Great result.

Taking that test got me hooked. I started looking for others to take and thus tell me what an outstanding person I am. Next up? Which tarot card are you? Admittedly, this is an oddball type test, but so is the dog one and I figure tarot cards can be a lot more specific. After all, there are like 80 of them in a deck or something. Imagine the possibilities!

What I didn't imagine was getting this result. It made me gasp:

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

Whoa. Well that sucks. Sugar coat that description all you want boys and girls, but that is one scary looking card. Dionysus my ass. I'll make sure to try and live up to that persona when I'm playing around with my two nieces, ages 2 & 4, on Christmas Day. (Oh, and sorry for not linking to the site. I would have, but it proved so popular that the guy took it down because he was exceeding his bandwidth usage.)

By this time, I had forwarded both tests to two friends to see what kind of results they got (Bermese Mountain Dogs - the pair of them. Never heard of the breed, but apparently they're pretty cool and laid back - although they tend to fart a lot. As for the tarot cards, one friend ended up being the Guardian Angel card called the Hierophant, and the other was the mature, inspirational card called The Lovers. Neither one of them got any sort of result suggesting they should spend the rest of eternity in hell.) When they saw my result, I think they felt bad for me so they sent me a link to yet another test - this one from some risque dating site called OK Cupid. This test was supposed to tell me what type of "mate" I'd be. Both of them had taken it and gotten great results, brimming with optimism and enthusiasm, which is kind of what you'd expect. I mean, the test came from a dating service. They're trying to get you to subscribe. They're not going to tell you you're hopeless. Unless, of course, you're me:

Kind, yearning, playful, you are The Boy Next Door. You're looking for real Love, a lot like girls do. It might not be manly, but it's sweet.

We think the next three years will be very exciting and fruitful ones for you. Your spontaneous, creative side makes you a charming date, and we think you have a horny side just waiting to shine. You enter new relationships unusually hopeful, and the first moments are especially glorious. If you've had some things not work out before, so what.

On paper, most girls would name the Boy Next Door as their ideal mate. In the real world, however, you're often passed over for more dangerous or masculine men. You're the typical "nice guy:" without just a touch of cockiness, you're doomed with girls.

More than any other type, Boys Next Door evolve as they get older. As we said, many find true love, but some fail miserably in the search. These tarnished few grow up to be The Men Next Door, who are creepy as hell, offering backrubs to kids and what not.

Huh. Well, that'll get them knocking down my door, wouldn't you say? I even had to edit that description to make it suitable for the average reader. So, for those of you keeping track, I am a fatass, slobbering hell spawn with goat antlers who, while being enslaved with temptation and addiction, is somehow not masculine enough. Oh, and there's a good chance I'll have a predilection towards criminal sexual dysfunction in the not too distant future. Sounds fantastic!

I need something to get me back on my feet again. I think I'm going to create my own personality test. Mine will ask your age, gender, birthdate, and what your favorite food is. Those not named Eric will be told that they suck. Those fortunate enough to have that sexy-as-hell moniker will find that vast amounts of riches and beautiful women await them both in this life and in heaven. Further, mine will be the definitive test used in psychology programs across the country. I can see it now. I'm going to get started right away. But first, I have to go banish some souls. Woof.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Deck The Links

Posting three days in a row? Well, stranger things have happened, I guess. Anyway, I got a late start on this post so let's just jump right in, shall we? As promised - Friday Links. I know it's Christmas Season, but I'm feeling a little retro today so many of today's links will feature the proverbial "walk down memory lane." Often times these are my memories - not yours - so I'll try not to bore you too much.

Yesbutnobutyes: Where Are They Now? - Yeah, I know VH1 or some other monstrosity of a "music channel" has a 'Where Are They Now?" themed show, but the people they focus on are often people you wanted to forget anyway. Do I really want to know what happened to the lead singer of Winger? (Flipping burgers) No, not really. Anyway, yesbutnobutyes has their own "Where Are They Now" post and it features some gems. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl? The Cast from Friday the 13th? The White Shadow? It's all there, baby.

So, Unafraid, He Faced The Setting Sun - Newspaper ads from the 1920's and 30's, before there were things like market research and purchase analysis. Kinda cheesy, kinda fun.

AA/Al-Anon Comic Strips - Dear God. As the description on the site says, "A very obscure and complete set of the 1968 - 1974 Alcoholics Anonymous comic strips." These are a hoot. I'm not quite sure which fine publication picked up these beauties, but I can only hope those who needed to hear their message did - even if I'm not quite sure what the message is. And if they didn't... well, nevermind... I'm too busy chuckling to type anything more on this one. Just know that #26 of 95 is priceless. Let's move on.

Allston Rock City - Now this is something special. I spent many days of my formative years idling the time away in the beloved Allston section of Boston. I hung out with my friends there. I developed my keen musical tastes there. I learned how to be a snarling cynic there. In short, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Yeah, it's a slimy dump. Yeah, there are too many pain-in-the-ass drunken college students. But, next to the Back Bay, there is not an area of the city with more class, culture, and attitude all rolled into one. I miss going to the all age metal shows at Bunratty's and buying my cigarettes illegally at the Chinese Food Store on Harvard Ave. Now Bill T. Miller, who deserves a Pulitzer, has put together this photo essay of sorts which I have immediately bookmarked. Also check out the Mr. Butch page for info and a video clip on a true Boston institution. He's cut his dreds since I knew him, but he's definitely still the same old Mr. Butch.

1949 NWCA Candy Salesman Book - More ads. This from a 1940's candy catlalog, like the link says. No particular reason for posting this other than it seemed to fit.

The Smudge Of Ashen Fluff: High School Reunion - Quick! Quick! Quick! Go to this page now if you want this link description to make any sense. The Smudge of Ashen Fluff is, from what I can gather, a music based blog with some fantastic tunes available for download. On yesterday's post he made available an entire collection of songs from 1980's high school movies like Pretty In Pink and Sixteen Candles and called the compilation High School Reunion Uncovered for reasons.. well, you'll see why - too much for me to explain. In the post he mentions that he'll be taking the tracks down tomorrow (Friday, December 16th) but as I write this post they are still up and available for download. I was fortunate to grab 'em all. Hopefully you will be too. There's some gems in there. Special thanks to Chris S. for pointing this one out.

Cute Overload - A blog that does nothing but "scour the web for the finest in cute imagery." Many of the images involve baby animals, because they are, or course, cute. It's hard not to be won over by this site. I think you'd have to be Satan's Little Helper... or have hung out in Allston. Great site for those with kids, or for anyone who's a "kid at..." Nope, I'm not going to say it. Just ignore that. LEAVE IT ALONE. Go to the site and enjoy. Definitely good for a few smiles.

Crazy Christmas Lights - Alright, I had to get ONE Christmas themed link in here. This Electrical Engineer in Ohio has timed his Christmas display to Christmas music from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and then had the music broadcast on a low-wattage FM transmitter so that people driving by could watch and listen without disturbing the neighbors. Just phenomenal. Unfortunately it became so popular that the traffic backed up for miles and the neighbors WERE disturbed, resulting in the guy taking the display down. Still - we have this video clip to remind us. The clip I provided was from the 2004 display. The 2005 display (the one that got taken down) was even more impressive, and can be found at along with much more information about the project.

And so the sun sets on another edition of Friday Night Links. Hope you managed to kill some boredom, and perhaps even enjoy a few of them. I may update over the weekend, or I may wait until next week. So for now, I'll just say, "See you when I see you." Have a great weekend, amigos.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Marley Was Dead

So begins one of the better pieces of classic literature out there. I'm certain there are a few of you reading this that are "Book on Tape" (i.e. audiobook) aficionado's. I'd like to be, and have in the past made a concerted effort to become one. Unfortunately however, I have the attention span of a two year old, so as soon as Jimmy Masshole cuts me off in traffic, Msrs. Sedaris & Lehane get thrown into the back seat and Mr. Mid L. Finger takes center stage. I find I keep having to hit the rewind button so that I can forget to pay attention to that last sentence a second time.

Practice makes perfect, however, and I'm willing to give it another go - especially as it's free this time. On their 'Penguin Podcast' website, Penguin Books is making available the Dickens' classic 'A Christmas Carol' in it's entirety (that's the one with Bob Cratchett, the Ghosts of Christmas' Past, Present & Future, "God Bless Us, Everyone" and all that hoo-ha. No, it is NOT called Scrooge, you heathen.)

Although a quick read, it's still lengthy enough to warrant releasing in five installments, the first of which was made available today and can be found here. You can download the installments directly or through the iTunes 'podcast' feature ('podcast' for those unfamiliar with that rather ridiculous term, is a fancy way of saying 'very big MP3 file.' Usually it contains news/spoken word broadcasts, as opposed to music, and most people elect to play them from their iPod or other MP3 player, hence the name. None of that is necessary however. All you really need is a computer and a pair of speakers.)

No word on how long one has to wait between installments, but I'm hoping for one a day. Whatever the case, the MP3's will only be available until January 3rd, so make sure you download 'em and listen up. Personally, I plan to burn them to a CD and will attempt to, yet again, listen in the car. Should someone cut me off, I'll simply turn the volume up and let Ebenezer do the rest.

"Bah! Humbug! Pick a lane, you f***!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shuffle dem iPods.

Hola folks.

Just checking in. Decided that would be humanitarian thing to do and all.... No, there are no Christmas specials coming up - at least none that I'm aware of - but I don't like going an entire week without posting something, so this is what you get.

Not too long ago, I was having a discussion with one of them writer type friends o' mine about the craft and he quoted some noted author (whose name escapes me) that once said, "Writing is easy. All you have to do is tap the vein."

How prolific. How overly melodramatic. How elite East Village author-esque! I like it. And you'll be delighted to know I haven't tapped any veins lately - although that should be obvious due to the complete lack of track marks on this page. No - the veins remain fresh, unharmed, and ripe for the piercing. Did you know that if you poke a hole in your jugular it squirts eighteen feet? Anyway, where was I? Lack of posts... er.. veins.... tapped veins... Whatever. I'm tired of writing posts apologizing for there being a lack of posts, quite frankly, so I'm not going to do that today. Instead, I'll do what I do when I don't have time to say a lot, and that's link.

I've been doing some writing on my own... you know, like the real stuff that you hope to sell someday if only the editor inside would stop shredding the shit to pieces... and I find that I suck at grammar and punctuation, despite having read The Elements of Style twice already (once in Freshman year of high school, another time in a drunken stupor about five years ago.) You knew this already. But, this is troubling not-so news. I mean, it's one thing to have bad grammar here... on a BLOG for Christ's sake. It's another thing to split infinitives on a potential publication.

This is fixable, however. I'll simply study some more. After all, there are rules for this sort of thing. Strictly defined rules. Just got to memorize them.... er.. yeah.... anyhoo, I'm not the only one with this problem. While poking around the thoroughly enjoyable, I found a link to Engadget, where they tried to determine whether the plural of iPod shuffle is iPod shuffles or iPods shuffle. They even went so far as to call Apple PR to find out.

Personally, I would have said the latter. Lots of people spend time using their plurals that way. Carls Jr.... The Brothers Grimm.... The Brothers Gibb, for that matter.... the list goes on and on. The Engadget post doesn't really provide much of an answer, but both it and the reader comments are funny as hell.

That's it for now folks. Might be back tomorrow, and look for a links post on Friday. Toodles.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas Time Is Here

I hadn't planned on posting anything today, but thanks to a startling discovery made only five minutes ago, I decided to reconsider - and since I've been posting about holiday classics anyway......

While it seems borderline sacrilege to air A Charlie Brown Christmas less than two weeks after showing its Thanksgiving counterpart, this is indeed what is being done. The special will air tonight at 8:00 on your local ABC affiliate. Unlike the Thanksgiving edition, this Charlie Brown episode kicks some mighty ass, for reasons I can't really explain. Maybe it's because it's the oldest and most classically trendy. Maybe..... it's because...... all the kids... talk.... like this.... Charlie Brown. Maybe it's the simplicity of the whole thing. Maybe it's the fantastic soundtrack. Maybe it's all of these things combined. In any case, it's one of the all time great Christmas specials, and it's on tonight.

As usual, we... er.. I, here at Murky Words will do my part to prepare you for the upcoming hour of television bliss by linking to some related material:

You can find all sorts of interesting and heretofore unknown facts about the show here. Don't forget to take the accompanying quiz as well (which I scored 90% on. Yeah, that's right. I rule the school.) And of course we have more music from the Vince Guaraldi Trio - this time with a bunch of young'uns who can definitely hit the high notes. Enjoy everyone.

Download: Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells.......

It's official. Christmas time is back (and in full effect, yo.) Before I go any further, a big thank you to all those who stepped up to the plate and went to Gift It Up. The event went down without a hitch, raised a ton of cash for some great non-profits that definitely needed the support, and everyone who participated was able to have a good time while feeling nifty about themselves. Big up to the organizers who made it all flow seamlessly. By the way, if you missed the event but would still like to contribute, you may do so at their website. Head on over there and click on the Participate Now link, won't you? Gracias.

Today at work, one of the bus drivers I share an office with threw the door open and said, "You know, I wish we could fast forward to the 26th and get this holiday shit over with." When I asked him how come he said, "Because they're such a damn pain in the ass."

Now, given that I'm no stranger to surliness and general bad temperament, you might have expected me to agree with him. I am, after all, the same guy who received a Grumpy dwarf t-shirt and accompanying keychain as a gift one year, both of which I display proudly. I've always had a soft spot for the Grinch too - before his heart grew two sizes of course (the Dr. Seuss version - not the Jim Carey abomination that hit movie screens several years ago.) But no, for whatever reason, I've been hit with the terrible affliction known as Christmas cheer this year. Please keep this quiet. I don't want word to get out.

It may just be a temporary thing. By the time Christmas rolls around, I could be a right old bastard again, cursing at the neighborhood kids in broken Spanish, but for now at least, I've caught the bug. I think, really, it was simple overindulgence in all things Christmasy this weekend that did it. There was, of course, the gift fair that I just mentioned. There's the copy of It's A Wonderful Life that I received in the mail from Netflix Saturday - a film my sister and I watch religiously every year - even the years when we don't see each other for Christmas due to distance, pregnancy (hers - not mine), or whatever else. There's the fact that my mother, unbeknownst to me, happened to buy a "few extra gifts" and ended up doing most of my Christmas shopping for me - like she wonderfully does every year. There's the Christmas tree my father and I put up when I went over to my parents for Sunday dinner, and the tinsel that adorns said tree - put on one strand at a time. There's the accursed snow and ice on the ground - typical of a Boston Christmas season. And there are, of course, the bunnies.

I've linked to the bunnies on this site before, as part of a Friday links post, but they warrant more linkage if only because they have two fabulous renditions of some Christmas classics - one old, one new. For those who are unfamiliar or named Forgetful Jones, the premise is this: classic movies shrunk down to 30 seconds and reenacted by bunnies. The first film is the previously mentioned It's A Wonderful Life. Make sure, at the clips conclusion, you click on the three bunny silhouettes on the bottom left for a few Easter eggs (no pun intended.) The second film is the newly remade classic, A Christmas Story. If you haven't seen either film, what can I tell you? You were a deprived child. Watch, enjoy, and Merry Friggin' Christmas.

Oh, and the bus driver? He continued running his mouth and talking holiday smack. When he asked me my thoughts I simply smirked and said, "I wouldn't touch this with a........ thirty nine and a half foot poooooooole!!!"