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Archive for December, 2007

Well, my happy one-week break away from home and school and everything is ended, along with Christmas which I guess doesn’t affect me as much as it does some since I don’t actually celebrate it but regardless, it’s over, and I’m relieved.

As I’ve mentioned briefly in the past, I work at a small thrift store, and, as I’ve also mentioned, am often pelted with sub-par music at the hands of our variety-free local Christian radio station, but this last month has been kind of nice since the station has been playing Christmas music exclusively and I love Christmas music. Sure, the station managed to keep the long arm of variety out of its playlists as it played the same four songs over and over as reinterpreted by seven different artists, but dangit I like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, and I almost never get to hear them except at Christmas.

So it was good, right? And surely not even a nit-picky little Grinch like me could have the heartless nerve to break down a Christmas song, right? I liked the music, and I’m sad now that it’s gone back to regularly scheduled programing.

But one song of the holiday I definitely will not miss, ever, even if I never heard it again, is Christmas Shoes.

shoes.png
I look for “Christmas Shoes” and this is what I get. Oh well.

The premise? A man goes to the store and there’s a kid in front of him in the check-out line and he’s a totally normal boy.

Except wait! He’s poor looking.

And then he tries to buy these shoes and tells the cashier for some reason that they’re for his mom, because she’s sick, and she’s probably going to die soon, and the shoes will make her happy and also pretty for when she meets Jesus.

But oh noes! Kid has not enough money!

So the kid looks at the singer of the song and repeats the same exact story to him. And the man pays for the shoes. And the kid leaves. And the guy had some kind of Christmas epiphany or something. Lyrics:

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line
Tryin’ to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood
Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing ’round like little boys do
And in his hands he held a pair of shoes

His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn’t believe what I heard him say

[Chorus:]
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

He counted pennies for what seemed like years
Then the cashier said, “Son, there’s not enough here”
He searched his pockets frantically
Then he turned and he looked at me
He said Mama made Christmas good at our house Though most years she just did without
Tell me Sir, what am I going to do,
Somehow I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out
I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said
Mama’s gonna look so great

[chorus]

[Bridge:]
I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love
As he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent that little boy
To remind me just what Christmas is all about.

10.jpg

Wow. Okay. Three things.

1) This kid is one shallow little jerk. His mom’s dying for heaven’s sake, and all he can think about is “oh no what if she’s ugly and JESUS sees her?!” If I’d been the clerk at the counter I’d have smacked him for being so dumb: what was he, some kind of messianic ancient-Egyptian kid? You can’t wear your shoes to the afterlife. You just wasted some stranger’s money.

You know what I would want to do for my dying mom on Christmas (you know, if I had a dying mom and not a regular, healthy kind of mom)? My time and attention. Here this kid is traipsing around town begging for money so that his mom can be PRETTY, while she wastes away in some hospital somewhere. Poor priorities, shallow. No stars.

2) I think the man who payed got conned. I mean, here this kid makes a big deal to the cashier about the shoes, when the cashier didn’t even ask, as if the kid’s trying to draw attention to his purchase. Then, when he finds he has no money, he repeats the exact same story again, as if it were rehearsed. A little convenient…tooo convenient…

It’s a flawless plan, actually. For a psych project a group in my class did an experiment just like this…one tried to buy some fries at the cafeteria, pretended to have lost their money card, and asked the person behind them to pay, just to see how many strangers would honestly fork over cash for someone. Turns out, a lot did. A nice, big majority. And college kids aren’t even cute little boys.

Yeah, what happened in real life is the kid waited outside for the good Samaritan to leave, then returned the shoes for some nice, hard cash, which he then probably spend on drugs or something. Kids these days. A sucker born every minute.

3) This song is manipulative. Every time it played someone in the store would say, oh, this song always makes me cry. And that’s the point.

The point of this song is not to lift spirits or to inspire, or even tell a good story. It’s to make people cry. It’s an emotionally manipulative song, and I always feel toyed with when it’s over. I for one do not stand for emotional terrorism like this. I hate songs tailor made to make people cry…a song can be sad without being this kind of cold, calculating heartstring-pulling. It’s a special formula and I don’t approve.

And I hate seeing people suckered into feeling bad for some shallow, imaginary, con-artist kid when it’s supposed to be such a light happy time of year.

And…point four, I guess: Bob Carlisle. He wrote it. Bob Carlisle of the ridiculous to spell last name and the song Butterfly Kisses, another song tailor-made to jerk tears. This guy seems faaaar too eager to sell his listener’s heartstrings in for a few bucks.

I think it’s about time these kind of sappy songs were retired. Next year, the first time I hear that song, I’m going to…to…make myself a tray of cookies.

Hot dang I win.

Will I Dream, Viewers?

I know you guys hate me for turning this into a video blog.

I know.

But it’s winter break and my time one minute is eaten all up and the next is…eaten all up by something different. I have, however, STUFF in store that is not video and is instead good content. Until then (and forgive me), do please amuse yourselves with this:

I love the commentary.

Hope you all had a good holiday.

It’s astounding how these trends form and how much work goes into them. Seems like ever since the first video came out, everyone’s been setting their Christmas Lights to music (or sound). Here are my top five favorites:

5) THX Sound FX:4) Carol of the Bells:

3) Toy Sack, BABY!

Wow, this one. I think I like it so much because of the Dancing Santa.

2) Nutcracker:

1) The amazing, the original, Wizards of Winter:

That last one amazes me every time. I sifted through a ton of these videos, with so many people trying to pull off the same thing (even with the same song, and almost always the same band), and not one really stood up to it.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Cheerful Kwanzaa to you all. Many presents and happy feelings your way.

-Karen.

Merry Christmas, Moscow

This Christmas night, the children in Moscow had better jump in bed and cover their heads and hope that nobody’s awake and out of doors, because

THE WOLF-BOY MAY ATTACK.

what?
This came up in a search for “wolf boy.” I’m not really sure either.

Apparently some rescuers found a boy out in the woods, freezing, hungry, and alone. He cannot speak, he does not respond to calls. He apparently was literally raised by wolves, exhibiting wolf-like behavior and snapping and biting at health care workers.

A sad story, by the looks of it. But I detect something sinister. I mean…wild children do turn up…but what kind of crazy smart, ninja-ly undetectable creature can escape from a health care facility without even being able to pretend to be human (they say the boy walked hunched over and did not respond to any language or calls)? Perhaps this is more than a boy raised by wolves. This might be a real WOLF MAN DEMON!!

“The boy looks about ten – but after tests conducted by Moscow medics, they believe he maybe much older.” How about hundreds of years older, Moscow medics?

And now he’s spirited himself out of the hospital and begins his terrible blood-soaked reign over the children of Moscow. What have we unleashed?!

“”He’s clearly dangerous to other people,” the article says some guy said. “…It’s quite possible he is a [danger] with psychological problems but also a source of viruses and infections.”

Viruses and infections? Or SOUL STEALING AND MURDER?!

I’m thinking of a dark Christmas for Russia.

Wiiiiiiiiiiii–*crash*

You know, I have a couple friends and family members working at different retail stores and they all have stories about people calling in at exactly opening time and asking for Wii’s. Wii’s!!

Me personally? I think it’s a fad. Yeah, woo, no dumb unaccessible game controller, a everyone-friendly remot–forgive me–wiimote to waggle around. Which i guess is cool.

But then they bring in all the Wiimote controllers like, the guitar and the nun chucks and…apparently, for some ill-inspired, completely bogus reason…a bat:

And that’s why the Wii won’t last. Not every mother is as easygoing as the one in that video (I’m shocked by her, actually).

Think twice before scrambling for that Wii Christmas present, people.

A tie! Congratulations, CheeseDuck and lila: you two, should a fight break out, could take out 31 attacking 5-year-olds each. Good for you! Or, you know, shame on you.

In second place (also a tie): Matty J and Dan (E. – there were two Dans I think). You both could take out 30 each. My own twelve pales in comparison…yet I feel I am the real winner.

And in third place, taking home the bronze of child-kickery: Vexworth with 29. Rest assured, there are at least four people worse than you.

And thank you all for playing! You can keep posting your scores, but the contest is closed.

So! Continuing on with the sort of horrible guilt-inducing fact generator, here’s something that will tell you what people died on the day you were born. As for me:

144,307 People

Find Sonography schools near you

Dag. It also gives you a list of natural disasters that occurred that day (I thought I was the only one!)

* 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake
* Edmonton Tornado
* Great Storm of 1987 (how awesome is this name?)
* Whittier Narrows earthquake

Whoo! So, what about you guys?

Also, Merry Christmas! (I’ll try to get cheerier closer to the day…this season gets me morbid).

I think I ought to be more outraged that someone would make a site like this than I actually am.

I want to see who can take out the most. Answer honestly. Me?

I could take out 12.

I don’t think that’s too bad for someone of my stature. Comment your number, and I’ll mention the person who can take out the highest number of kindergarteners in my next post on Friday.

Go at it!*

*don’t actually take out any 5-year-olds.

The Most Annoying Toy

When Christmas shopping for the young people in your life, here are some things to consider before springing for some cool toy to stuff their stocking with.

1) Don’t buy it if it has several small, sharp parts. Test appropriateness by spilling parts on the floor and stepping on them without socks. Now imagine that feeling in the dead of night while you (or your relatives) stumble out of bed for a glass of water.

2) Don’t buy it if it dissolves in the child’s digestive tract into a date rape drug.

3) For the love of peace, don’t buy it if it’s this:

WHAT IS THAT? WHY WOULD SOMEONE MAKE THAT??

And, more importantly, where can I get one?

So this news entry is twice ridiculous.

Apparently some guy and his wife are going through a divorce, and he wanted to talk to her. Now, I don’t know whether or not he was just trying to be a reasonable guy and she was being stubbornly unreceptive…maybe he’d been trying to contact her for a while…maybe her phone was broken. Maybe his message was really important.

Or, maybe he’d been badgering her and she had had enough. Either way, he wanted to talk, and she wanted to stay shut up in her house.

So he knocks on the window.

Now, I put this forward, readers: when someone you wish to talk to ignores your knocks on the window, what is the next logical step for you?

Try the door?
Call her?
Stick your boot in the door?
Give up and go home?

This man had a different idea: he decided the only reasonable thing to do would be to douse the area around the house in gasoline and light it on fire. Because naturally, her house being on fire would force her out so that they could talk! It’s all about the talk, people!

Well, the fire burned out without doing enough damage to force her out. It did do enough, however, to get the attention of the authorities. Needless to say, the fellow is under arrest for arson.

The second punchline? Look at that article!

“But the fire burned itself out, causing only minor damage to the area around the home. And Pippin fled the scene.

The woman later told police she was going through a divorce. And Pippin was arrest on arson charges.”

It’s almost like some kind of poetry. Terrible, terrible poetry. The woman later told the police she was going through the divorce.

And Pippin was arrest on arson charges.

They couldn’t put that more gracefully? I mean…somebody got paid for writing that!

Stay in school kids. Or not. Doesn’t seem to matter.

Finals: They’re over now.

Well, it’s done now. I’m all done with finals for another semester.

No more English department. I’ve decided to drop my minor because I’ve figured out that, while Communications might be seen by some as a slacker’s major, at least it isn’t English. I’ve never seen such a useless crock. So, goodbye, explication and scholarly opinion forming. I’m through with you.

And goodbye Intro to Acting: I know I only took you because you were an interpersonal communication credit that wasn’t public speaking, but I think I came to appreciate you as one of the must frustratingly pointless classes that ever might have been fun.

So, in the spirit of Finals being over, I’d like to impart to some of you some excellent advice to ignore. So: here’s how to survive finals with grace and patience.

1) Don’t wait til last minute.
2) Don’t assume your resources will be easy to find.
3) Never have anything to do with the English department.
4) Seriously, English? You might as well major in factory working.
5) But at least factory workers get paid a lot.
6) And it’s not like the work is too bad anyway.
7) I worked at one all summer, its worth the work.
8 ) This stopped being a list a long time ago.
9) For real: don’t put things off til last minute.
10) Don’t be me.

And with that said, I am looking forward to a nice break from school in which I will return to regularly updating good content.

Here is another cat video, by the way, because I like them, and I like you, and I like combining things I like.

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