Merry Christmas, Ho Ho Ho. Crazy.

I am enjoying this holiday season thoroughly, even though I'm pretty sure the entire world has gone completely crazy.

Or maybe it's not that the world has gone crazy so much as it is that I'm noticing all sorts of holiday ridiculousness this year. Not bad stuff, just stuff that makes me alternately laugh and wonder "Huh? Seriously?"

It's possible that all this crazy stuff was going on last year and I was just too busy (or dis-spirited) to notice it. But this year, it's everywhere. And I kind of love it.

* * * * *

"Christmas in San Francisco" is just one example. Because did you see? I was wrong about the lyrics and they're even worse than I thought. It's not "lychee nuts and barbecued pork," it's actually "...barbecued BOAR."




[Your other suggestions for worst Christmas song ever in the post below are fantastic, btw. For the record, I also LOATHE the "War is over" song, too, with its on-and-on grating whiny children bludgeoning you with a message of peace. "We'll Be Having A Wonderful Christmastime" is another one I hate so much that I once left a restaurant while it was playing. I waited outside in the cold just to avoid hearing it.

But then, I always hated those.

It really wasn't until I started listening to KOIT that I learned what sort of laugh-out-loud Christmas songs were really out there. I mean, I didn't know.]

I agree that Stevie Nicks singing "Silent Night" is so dreadfully ill-conceived and wretched that I went from wincing to shaking my head to giggling to outright laughter. Ooh, and if that isn't the definition of Holiday Crazy Person, I don't know what is -- me, alone in my car in bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic, laughing hysterically at the song "Silent Night."


I DO actually know the definition of Holiday Crazy Person...

* * * * *

Yesterday, Ish and I were walking from my apartment to his. Nothing odd about it, just walking. And a man was walking in the opposite direction towards us. He had white hair and was nicely attired in normal looking pants and coat. He had a scarf wrapped around his neck and tucked into his jacket. He was also wearing a Panama hat and sunglasses, and was carrying a closed umbrella. (It was not raining, but carrying an umbrella is far from abnormal.) His sunglasses were very dark, though, and the glasses plus long, closed umbrella made him reminiscent of a blind man, even though he clearly wasn't. Still, nothing about him was so out of place or odd that we would have taken notice.

Except that as we passed him, without losing stride, he turned his head slightly and said to us, "MERRY CHRISTMAS, HO HO HO."

He said it loudly but not angrily. But not exactly with humor, either. Just like, "This is the thing I must say to you."

Ish and I were silent for a few steps before Ish asked, "What do you even DO with that?"

Beats me. San Francisco.

* * * *

My drive home from work leads me right through a rather unsavory part of town, and I drive past the New Century Theater. Which, right, is a strip club. Now, if I had had a camera on me at the time, I would have taken a picture of the sign outside of this club, but you can go ahead and look at their website and read the first line right below the very classy photo (safe for work, btw):

Right. The New Century Theater is having a toy drive. Like, for real. And not only that, but they have joined other strip clubs in San Francisco in a concerted effort to help the San Francisco Fire Fighters collect toys for needy children.

I mean, just because you spend time at a seedy strip club doesn't make the unfortunate children any less fortunate. Doesn't mean you can't be a strip club patron AND a giving person.

And that? That right there? I mean, I thought it couldn't get any better than the strippers unionizing, but the strip club in the Tenderloin hosting a toy drive? THAT is why I live here.

I heart you, SF.

* * * * *

"If you're planning to give beer this year..."

I was struck by this opening line to a commercial last night.


Have I been having a very different Christmas-gift experience than other people? Do other people give beer? I mean, wine is one thing. Even booze. But beer?

And let me clarify. This wasn't a commercial for some fancy-pants import. This was a commercial for Miller Lite.

So I am left to conclude that Miller has done its market research and has concluded that people really do give beer, and do so enough that an entire commercial is devoted to trying to capture that market.

Honey, were we planning on giving beer this year?

It's just -- how do you even go about giving Miller Lite as a Christmas present?

Dear Martha,

I am planning on giving beer this year, but I have many questions about proper beer-giving techniques. For example, I hear that Miller Lite is an appropriate choice; is this accurate? Also, how does one properly wrap a six pack? Would you recommend a different approach if I wanted to splurge on a whole case? Are ponies acceptable? And what about the whole can versus bottle issue? Miller Lite's website does not offer much in the way of guidance!


* * * * *

I got an early start on my holiday shopping this year(!!!), 90%+ of which I do online. (Since I spend my Christmases back east, I find it easiest to purchase items online and ship them directly to my sister's house.)

Now, to aid me in through the wild jungle that is online shopping, I tend to go through the mail-order catalogs first to get an idea of what I want (so I'm not logging on blindly and wandering aimlessly through Amazon's 80 billion pages...).

And you know, the mail-order people have figured this out. I'm not sure who told them, but somewhere along the way they all got together and were like, "Send her everything you've got!" which is why I now receive something like 529 catalogs a week. Roughly.

And some of the catalogs are nice. I enjoy leafing through Red Envelope and Uncommon Goods, for example. But I also get a lot of catalogs from the other end of the spectrum. And I don't mean the nice end. I mean, like, the OTHER end. The Carol Wright end.

(Anyone get the Carol Wright catalog? Yeah, well, guess who used to work there. Uh huh.)

Which is how I came upon this little item. It was clearly intended to be sweet and sincere and meaningful, but instead, I took one look at it and wine shot out of my nose.

"Name," we loved you very much.


  1. when i read that the strip club was doing a toy drive, i thought immediately that they wanted sex toys for unfortunate strippers. and really, are any strippers exceptionally fortunate? wait. shhh. ugggh. i'll shut up on that topic now. whew.

    i give beer. the fancy expensive belgium beers. or a few of the awesome german brews. i live around the corner from a beer emporium and you wouldn't believe how pricey some of them get. almost as bad as wine! 6 or 12 in a cute little basket with maybe a t-shirt or coasters or specialty glassware or fancy opener and such. beer baskets can actually be terrific presents. so long as there is no miller in there!

    merry christmas shopping...

  2. Heinekin was running a commercial a while ago for the "Heinekin Holiday Five Pack" -The gist of it was that the guy wrapped up a 6 pack of Heinekin, then got thirsty, ripped the paper, took out one beer, and stuck a bow to the ripped paper for camouflauge. I remember thinking it was intensely stupid, but apparently there are plain-ol-beer-gifting people out there(I've given one of those froufrou sampler packs before, but that was for my roommate's brother's girlfriend, who's a big beer fan and who I don't know well at all.)
    Also(on an unrelated note), I've started doing roller derby, and at practice yesterday, I was skating along when I looked down and realized I had a previously-unnoticed red wine stain on my white t-shirt, right between my boobs. It made me think of you and breezy elegance, which I'm sure makes you proud.

  3. Did you send the picture to Bethany? You really ought! I'm thinking she'd appreciate it!

  4. Ok, as for the giving of beer as a gift. This is the truth...we received a case of (granted, rather expensive)lambic as a wedding gift. I shit you not.

  5. oh "name" we miss you soooo! Remember when Stevie Nick's version of silent night played at "Name's" moving...

  6. I laughed out loud at every section of this post. You're such a good writer. :)
    Have you ever gotten the What on Earth catalog? I've actually gotten some good joke gifts for people, but now I just like reading the catalog for entertainment.

  7. I get all those catalogs, too, even Carol Wright and some other totally random ones, I presume because I once ordered something on the internet. I love them. Just sitting at home, paging through them, and thinking, "Good Heavens, someone out there actually buys this stuff?" is one of my favorite pastimes. Yeah, I know, I'm lame. :)

  8. I give beer sometimes too. It's all my grandpa ever seems to want. Also, I give Beers from Around the World to my father... but I also give him nice wines too! ... and other things... not just booze!

    Out of curiousity... what is your favorite christmas song?

  9. I think "Name" needs a "beer".

  10. omigod. i want that plaque for "myself."

  11. I have given beer, but usually it has a special meaning for the person. My husband and his sibs spent their childhoods living in Europe (rough, rough life they had) and certain beers bring back good memories for them. Plus I found a Monty Python beer one year - you have to give that to Python fans!

    The best catalog is Harriet Carter. They have stuff I never knew I needed. I think Carol Wright and Harriet are sisters and it's all a great conspiracy to foist off the junk on the rest of us.

  12. Okay, I´m from Germany, the heartland of beer (and some other more unfortunate things) and I can asure you: Beer would be a rather odd choice for a christmas gift even over here. But that name stone seems rather fascinating...imagine giving it to some terrible colleague. Make sure you include a nice handwritten card though.

  13. I've given beer before. Usually to friends or co-workers of the sort that you wouldn't spend a lot of money on, but want something in the under-$10 range (So yeah, it might have been "the champagne of beers," so what? If you know they'll like it, why not?). I just put a bow and tag on it (no wrapping necessary), and say Merry Christmas.

    I like giving food, wine or beer (OK, sometimes Scotch, Whiskey, Bailey's, Tequila... Christmas shopping at the liquor store is fun, because they have lots of gift packs, complete with special glasses). With food (or wine, beer, liquor) you don't have to worry about it being the right size, color, or style (OK, maybe with beer--but I think if you choose to give beer, then you know the recipient's taste in beer), having to store it, or whether--like a book or DVD--they already have it. Because, hey! Just because I already have one steak, doesn't mean I wouldn't like another! (I ordered lots of Omaha Steaks for out-of-state relatives this year).

    I'm not a Google/blogger, but don't need to be anonymous (what happened to the other alternative?), I'm


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