Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas Eve. How's that stress going? Family driving you nuts yet? Soon, soon. At my house, it's almost time for the 2008 In-law Christmas Blowout. I've set nearly all the charges and detonators, I just need a few more and the timer...
Actually, yesterday I distracted myself with what is possibly the most socially beneficial part of the holidays: better than toys-instead-of-food/shelter/education-for-tots, better than giving a quarter to the Salvation Army (no bull@#$%, the suburban zombie ringing the bell by the red bucket today was wearing a fur coat. On which planet does that make sense?). I wrote Christmas cards. Or maybe I mean "Holiday cards." I never did find out who won the War on Christmas, and it definitely appears to be over, based on the lack of news coverage this time around. Anyway, the part of the Solstice Season that does the most for humanity (no, not carols, they get irritating within 2 weeks of Thanksgiving. No, not the cookies, either, they make people get all moody starting on January 2nd) is the cards. In addition to getting rid of aging stamps and using all the return address labels that get sent to you by organizations that have come up with creative ways to (mis)spell your name, you get to reach out to everyone you know at least this once every year, without needing a specific reason, just to connect. That has to be good for the collective spirit. I know I get a kick out of it, myself.
Of course, there is always a set of "troublesome" cards at the end- people whose addresses you've lost, people who have new spouses and/or children whose names you can't remember for the life of you, people who send you cards who weren't on your list, etc- to whom you end up writing and sending cards at the last minute, usually to arrive around December 29th. This was the set of cards I banged out today, after a night of work, stressed, delirious, and overcaffeinated. Here is a typical result:
Dear Jeremy, Melissa, and Alex,
Happy Holidays from back East. Do you have any snow out there? If you miss it, we could send you a couple of boxes, and I'd throw in the coal and carrot free of charge, and all you'd need is the hat. Unless you wanted to go sledding, that is, and then you'd need a hat and a sled, and you could eat the carrot. Don't eat the coal, though, it would give you the runs, and a huge carbon footprint. So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Later in the day, I was sent a link to Mil Millington's Christmas Card, which makes mine seem quite bland and thoughtless, which is here
. I hope you enjoy it. I also hope you survive the holidays with your sanity no less intact than it was before.
Your Humblest and Most Devoted Servant,
My sister and I are having a slow but heated e-mail debate about some non-celebrity non-news from earlier in the week. I first read about it here, and sent the news along to her and my Dad because they have been NY Rangers fans forever, even though they haven't seen their team win the Stanley Cup since 1994, etc. You know, fans. Interestingly, even though the link is NSFW, I sent it to one of them at work, and didn't add a warning until after the link. Oops. Come to think of it, I didn't warn you until after the link either. Sorry, don't sue! Where was I going? Ah, yes. The big news item that broke was that Sean Avery of the Dallas Stars (not the person in the picture) was trash-talking Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames (also not the person in the picture) for dating his ex-girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert (no, it isn't her, either. I would be totally flagged for showing her topless, after all. It's the rules.) Avery's exact words:
"I just wanted to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about. Enjoy the game tonight."
Wow. Not sure what that means, but I hope it's not as gross as it sounds. So Mr. Avery was suspended by the NHL, and may get additional penalties from the Commissioner of the NHL and/or his team, but he got onto TMZ.com and officially entered the sphere of Celebrity Fake News, though it was primarily due to his connection with Elisha Cuthbert, whoever she is, and everyone and their dog in the NHL has been quoted condemning him for saying mean things about his ex. I thought it was ok to say nasty things about your ex. I thought that was what those people were for. My sister's response: "omg, this is PC madness. WHO CARES?" This response surprised me. Not the who cares part, given the teams and celebrities involved, and not the omg nonsense from a woman over 30, because she's done that before. What surprised me was that she thought the big uproar over the comment was a PC thing. I think living in San Francisco for 2 weeks has made her a little touchy. It just can't be. The NHL doesn't have an ounce of PC in it. If anyone cared about offensiveness, they wouldn't have named a team the Flames, which is offensive to homosexuals, or the Red Wings, which is offensive to Native Americans, or the Maple Leafs, which is offensive to grammarians, or the Flyers, which is offensive to newsletters, or the Blues, which is offensive to Oxygen-Deficient Americans, or the Wild, which is offensive to the Differently Sane, and I'm not even going to touch names like Canucks, Black Hawks, Predators, and Devils. Just putting the Ducks and Sharks in the same division makes PETA cry. So the NHL doesn't care what people think. That explains, and came from, keeping a straight face all those years when half of all games were allowed to end in a 1-1 tie.
My theory for the outcry was that Elisha Cuthbert doesn't just sleep with NHL players, she sleeps with management, too, who now want to get back into her good graces, or her pants, or both. My sister's reply was that it's a tough pro-censorship world out there, and "hockey mom" is a semi-serious term, and the Minivan Brigade is an inch away from making the whole country go peanut-free (more on that to come) this very second. I had to agree with that. It isn't hard to see them rising up against an athlete who calls the women with whom he has had loveless sexual relationships "used." You know, after he used them. I also had to agree with the WHO CARES part. It's a couple of Canadians on obscure teams, for heaven's sake. Just to show them how it's done, and rub their noses in their relative obscurity, the NFL immediately generated some REAL fake news with Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg, for heaven's sake. Important player, team that won the Super Bowl last year, New York City - nobody's mentioned Sean Avery since, poor guy. Poor NHL. Poor Canada. As for Elisha Cuthbert, she can date whoever she wants, I don't mind. The pretty ones can always do whatever they want. It's a law of thermodynamics or something.
But have no fear, NHL, I, in my usual helpful fashion, have an elegant solution! It's time for someone to introduce Sean Avery, and the NHL in general, to Amy Winehouse. Think about it- she's single now, she's not above guys with no teeth, she likes snow (don't tell her it's not the same snow), she's got enough psycho-ex-girlfriend in her for the whole league with plenty left over, and we'd all get to watch the YouTube video of her snorting a line of coke that goes all the way from one end of a hockey stick to the other in one inhalation. Awesome.
Your Humblest and Most Devoted Servant,