Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas List 2008

Dear Santa,

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know--I'm making out my Xmas List at the last possible minute, but hey! You're a miracle worker and I have absolute faith in your ability to feed my greed even with such short notice.

First, as I do every year, let me remind you of how incredibly good I've been (relatively speaking):

I've fixed no elections, fomented no revolutions, nor have I overthrown any governments this year, despite almost overwhelming temptation to do so. I haven't engaged in mass murder, no serial killings, no random acts of violence, no choke sex (hell, no sex at all!), no waylaying of strangers to harvest their body parts, and only minor, completely excusable corruptions of youth. I've refrained from kidnapping any heiresses, selling any government secrets, or even holding the planet for ransom. I haven't tampered with things man was not meant to know (much) and that annoying human sacrifice thing is now in the dim, dark, distant past. I've limited my stalking activities to the online realm and I haven't propositioned any of my female associates to do that...thing...with the Waring blender and the Shetland pony in quite a while.

We'll conveniently ignore the fact that my being good wasn't entirely by choice; after all, at my age and income level the opportunities to be truly bad are few and far between. Still, we must judge people by their actions and not their thoughts, mustn't we?

Well, whatever.

Books, CDs, and DVDs are always appreciated and I just happen to have an Wishlist set up for your convenience. Keep in mind that the more items you bring, the more I'm distracted from plotting World Domination--a bored G. W. is a dangerous G. W.--and besides, I'm well-armed and I know where you live.

Neighborhood Domination is another matter altogether and I'm figuring that some Catapult, Trebuchet, and Ballista kits would keep me busy, help me protect my backyard from pesky random insurgents and drunken college students, and increase my Coolness Factor by, oh, a lot. Throw in a Rip Saw UGV tank with suitable armament and I'll guarantee you everyone on my street will be good!

Speaking of transportation and the Coolness Factor, there's not much of it when cruising around Richmond in my 2000 Mitsubishi Galant, so I was thinking what I really need is a car that makes a statement, something like the Aston Martin DB9 for tooling around the countryside pretending I'm James Bond or the classic 1955 Lincoln Futura for tooling around town oozing Geeky Goodness, or maybe the greatest of all mechanized memes, Carthedral: "a 1971 Cadillac hearse modified with 1959 Cadillac tailfins. Welded on top is a VW beetle and metal armatures with fiber glass. Carthedral is a rolling Gothic Cathedral complete with flying buttresses, stained glass pointed windows, and gargoyles."

We all recognize the value of Gothic street cred, right?

And speaking of Gothic cred, the apartment could always use a few decorative accents and I'm thinking a nice, comfy electric chair would look great in the corner, especially if there was a Count Dracula casket beside it as a coffee table. May as well throw in a Coffin Clock so I'll know how much time I've wasted perusing Alan Moore's Lost Girls which, uh, I'll be needing a copy of as well.

Well, that's about it for this year. As usual, I'll be leaving a little something for your efforts, only instead of milk, cookies, and Fentanyl I figured you might like a change of pace--you'll be finding a couple of bottles of genuine (and now fully legal in the US!) absinthe on top of the television set: Kubler for you and Lucid for Mrs. Claus, so put on your best Bohemian garb, grab a sugar cube or two, drink up, get nekkid, and see the Green Fairy! Leave the cat alone; he's new and wouldn't understand.

Have a Merry Xmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just Some Random Christmas Stuff

We start with the classic-but-mostly-forgotten Allan Sherman* version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas":

Which, of course, brings to mind "The Twelve Pains of Christmas" by the Bob Rivers Comedy Group. There're a slew of YouTube versions available, but I particularly like the World of Warcraft variant:

And then there's the Futurama episode, "A Tale of Two Santas":

And should you be a follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, well, here's how to make your own Xmasified/Winter Solstice version (see a big one here).

But as my late father would often say, it's just not Xmas without "Deck us all with Boston Charlie, Walla Walla, Washington and Kalamazoo..."


*Incidently, Sherman's complete works are available in a set called My Son, The Box. I really should do a post about my adolescent obsession with Allan Sherman songs someday, but for the time being let's just say it was all my friend Steve's fault. Well, him, and his two wonky brothers. And his four attractive sisters. And his flirty mom with her near-chef-like kitchen abilities.

Some of my non-seasonal Allan Sherman favorites:
"The Ballad of Harry Lewis"
"Eight Foot Two"
"Shake Hands With Your Uncle Max"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

RIP, Forrest J Ackerman

I knew it was coming (see my FJA birthday post) and had been coming for some time, but I just got word yesterday (via Boing Boing, io9, and MetaFilter, wherein lie comments and links galore) that Forrest J Ackerman, "pioneering science fiction fan, editor and writer who coined the term 'sci-fi,' " Prime Mover behind Famous Monsters of Filmland, and a seminal part of my childhood, died on December 4th at age 92.

I told my one Forry story here; I'm afraid I don't have any others.

He had a good run and is fondly remembered by many, many people as being a kind and generous man, quick to share his passions (or obsessions, your choice) with others and always, always willing to take the time to talk with a fan.

As someone said recently, "Klaatu barada nice dude."

Friday, December 5, 2008

'Tis The Season (Alternative Xmas)

Two years ago my friend Sarah commented on my (seldom-used MySpace) entry "For Your Christmas Reading Pleasure,"

"yes! i know it's officially christmas when you post "the junky's christmas".

"now all i've got to do is find the cd of the alternative rock christmas songs, listen to it on repeat, spend time listening to my senile mother (and cassie) talk to my dog about the christmas tree, and get a "it's a wonderful life" speech from everyone who's known me for over five years and thinks i'm suicidal because i didn't go to college. then it'll really feel like christmas..."

Well, Sarah; it's officially Christmas!

The Junky's Christmas by William S. "Uncle Bill" Burroughs

Note that this year I'm linking to a more legible version instead of that godawful, semi-psychedelic, seizure-inducing webpage to which I normally direct you. Hell, I'll even make it easy on you and embed the YouTube video versions:

Part 1

Part 2

Additional readings:

As Harlan Ellison pointed out ever-so-long-ago (see "The Deadly Nackles Affair" in Slippage), Santa Claus implies Anti-Claus: "Nackles" by Donald E. Westlake

And lest I be thought of as a Scrooge, one of my favorite stories of all time is "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote (also available here in one continuous scroll).

Get alternatively festive, people!