Monday, December 31, 2007

Part IV: Art Appreciation & Soft Core Pornography

Our Trip to Europe, Continued

Tuesday, our Day Thing was to go to the Musee d'Orsay.

So on the one hand, you have Ish, who loves the Musee d'Orsay best of all the museums in France. On the other hand, you have me, who didn't know one single thing about the musee before going, because -- as we demonstrated below -- my idea of being worldly is studying French for ten years so that, on the off-chance I someday end up there with the man who is potentially the love of my life, I can, at a highly critical juncture, utter the only French I will use on our whole trip: to ask our cab driver, "What is the name of your dog?"


One of the many guidebooks Ish had been relying on was written by a guy I'd never heard of named Rick Steves. Ish had received this book as a gift from his aunt and uncle, who'd insisted it was fantastic. Now maybe you're one of those people who's all like, Kristy, how do you not know who Rick Steves is? He has lots of books and a show on cable and a big old website and everything. But whatever, I didn't know, and nether did Ish.

So...when Rick mentions in his book that he actually has free podcasts available for download, we thought why not? Thus, in advance of our going to the d'Orsay, we downloaded his podcast of a museum walking tour.

More on this in a moment.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

I took a bunch of photos on our way to the museum, because even just the act of walking around in Paris is sort of one of the most beautiful things you can experience.

Cold, autumn morning outside the hotel.

Looking down a street next to Les Champs Elysees.

This is in the window of a fast-food restaurant called, I believe, Quickie.
I love very much that the fast-food burger features chevre.
I didn't try it, but I was tempted.

I actually need to make a note here about chevre/goat cheese, and how it ranks right up there as possibly my favorite food in the whole world.

Remember the first season of that show, Joe Millionaire? (No?) Oh, man. It was a horrible, horrible show and -- right -- I watched it religiously. It took place in a castle in France, and I remember all the awful plastic female contestants (vying for the love of handsome Joe, who they believed to be worth millions), who spent much of the various, elaborate meal times complaining about French food. They really just wanted potato chips and Diet Coke. At one point, they were offered something with chevre, and when they learned that "chevre" was "goat cheese" they freaked out and exclaimed how disgusting it was. I was embarrassed for them.

(Uh, of course, I'm not sure that I rank any higher on the social sophistication scale if I actually watched the show in th first place and then remembered it enough to write about it several years later. Ahem.)

A cafe for le petit dejeuner Parisian.

Apparently, all cafes serve the Parisian Breakfast, which has been developed (I'm pretty sure) for tourists. It consists of one hot drink, fresh orange juice, croissant, and one baguette. Plus butter and jam.

Coffee was interesting. Ish had spoken highly of drinking "cafe creme"s, but I almost never have any sort of milk product in my coffee and prefer it black. I assumed that ordering "cafe noir" would be a possibility, because why wouldn't it be?

Well, I'll tell you why.

Because "drip" coffee doesn't really exist in Europe. Or if it does, it's because an establishment bought a drip coffee maker to assuage stupid American tourists.

Eventually, I learned that what I actually wanted was a Cafe Americain: a double espresso with hot water. Known in the States as an Americano. Turns out, it's quite delicious -- richer and tastier than a plain drip. And what I now order these days, since my six days abroad have made me far more worldly. Thanks, France.

(Were you wondering why it takes me forever to write about this trip? Do you understand that it's because I feel compelled to talk about ordering coffee? I AM SO INTERESTING!)

Once we got our breakfast and cafes, we took the metro don't know. Somewhere near the Louvre. I probably could have figured it out if I'd had to, but Ish was navigating and so we got off at the stop where Ish said, "We get off here."

First we stopped to get more coffee, at this little stand near the Louvre and the big ferris wheel.

What could be more French than "hot-dog"?

Answer: "hot-dog" with "ket-chup"!

Ish orders something at the "hot-dog" and "ket-chup" stand.

I suddenly realize that I'm standing next to a giant, beautiful structure
and am taking pictures of signs that say "hot-dog" and "ket-chup." Oops.
Thus, the obligatory, "Isn't this so gorgeous" shot of the scenery, too.

More scenery, with too much foreground.
I have obviously not edited these photos in any way.
If you look really carefully, you will see that there is a big building in the background, between the two big trees with leaves on them. That's the Louvre.

OOH! More "vin chaud!" Kinda like hot apple cider, except instead of apples it's grapes.
And ever-so-slightly more fermented.

See all those structures that look like a hotel and a train station and a museum?
Yeah, that's all the Louvre. I had no idea it was so big.

More pictures of just how enormous the Louvre is.

The Musee d'Orsay is actually just around the corner from the Louvre (in case you were wondering why I was suddenly at the Louvre taking pictures of it).

Just walking along in Paris. Being stunned by its historic beauty at every turn.

Now we enter the (nearly non-existent) line for the d'Orsay.

The Part About Pornography

I don't go to a lot of museums, but I believe it's becoming more and more common for them to offer headsets with pre-recorded information. In case you're unfamiliar, the way it works is that you pay some fee (say, 10 Euro, which -- if I'm doing the math correctly -- equals approximately $2,983 US), to rent a headset that's attached to a number pad thing. Then, when you want to hear about a certain piece in the museum, you type in its number and the headset springs to life and tells you about the painting/sculpture/etc. It's pretty cool.

However, when Ish and I entered the museum, we opted NOT to rent a $2983 US. Because, if you recall, we had been industrious! And innovative! And planned ahead! And believed that Rick Steves was someone we should be listening to!

And so, like the from-San-Francisco, hip-tech-folks we are (shutup), we synchronized our iPods and began listening to Rick tell us about the rich, soul-shifting experience that would be our tour through the d'Orsay.

About three seconds in, Ish and I exchanged pained glances, wherein we were able to express silently to each other that, Oh my God, we're listening to Ned Flanders tell us about art-diddly-art!"

It was painful. Rick sounded like a really nice guy, but his uber-down-home accent was really distracting there in a museum in Paris. It would be weird to have Ned Flanders guiding you through a Parisian museum, wouldn't it?

Well, we continued to listen. First, he told us to wander around all the gleaming white sculptures on the main floor. We obliged, assuming he would, you know, start describing them. Instead, Rick/Ned went off on some tangent about the century the sculptures were made in. For five minutes, he went on and on about Abe Lincoln and Ty Cobb, Karl Marx and something or other about automotives and horse-drawn carriages.

It was weird. And not a single sculpture or sculptor was discussed. Not one.

But Ish and I carried on, willing to give Rick/Ned the benefit of the doubt. Mmm.

One of the first specific paintings Ned wanted us to view was by Alexander Cabanel -- "The Birth of Venus." Except it wasn't there because it had been loaned out by the museum.

Here's a version of it for reference, though, thanks to Google images.

We didn't realize this right away, though, so Ish and I were frantically searching for the famous painting while listening to a man who sounds like your friendly, neighborhood grandfather provide the following, harrowing description:

"Cabanel lays Ingre's The Source on her back. This goddess is a perfect fantasy -- an orgasm of beauty."

From opposite ends of the room, Ish and I exchanged horrified looks at the word "orgasm" coming from a man who sounded like he might have pronounced it "orgasmarino." Plus, we weren't actually seeing the thing he was referring to.

He went on:

"The love goddess stretches back seductively, recently birthed from the ephemeral foam of a wave. This is art of a pre-Freudian society, when sex was dirty, and mysterious, and it had to be exalted into a more pure and divine form. The sex drive was channeled into an acute sense of beauty. French folk would literally swoon in ecstasy before these works of art...

...Go ahead, swoon. If it feels good, enjoy it."

Coming from Rick/Ned, I couldn't help but feel creeped out. And then he added:

"Now, take a mental cold shower."

It's hard to articulate the extent to which this sounded weird and out of place. Rick/Ned's full-blown Midwestern accent, discussing orgasms and cold showers, there in the Orsay, was just utterly bizarre.

But -- and I'm almost embarrassed to tell you this -- we still didn't give up! We continued to listen...right up to the point where Rick lowered his voice and explained how a series of nudes were, in their era, basically soft core pornography.

Yikes. Creep-diddly-eepy.

In case you wanted to hear it for yourself, I've embedded a 43 second spiel.

Wouldn't you rather hear this man talking about apple pie?

Anyway, the rest of the trip through the museum was amazing. Because how could it not be?

"The Decadent Romans" by Thomas Couture.
"Blurry head of passing man" by me.

I took a photo of this painting because -- if I may get a little political here -- times, they haven't really changed so much. Here is a painting of a Roman orgy. The statues behind the group and the two men on the bottom right represent solemn disapproval. The point of this painting was to condemn the wicked ways of the sinful Romans. Thomas Couture was apparently so incensed by those sexy Romans that he spent THREE YEARS of his life painting them in action. To me, it's a lot like the uber-Conservatives who spend all their time obsessing over what the gays are doing. You know?

One of my favorite, local, up-and-coming comedians put it best. Impersonating an anti-gay Southern Conservative: "I hate the gays! Why? Because they're always comin' into my dreams and tryin' to have sex with me!"

To me this sign says, "Turn right and run into the white box!"

Remember how I told you that my parents once dressed me up as Whistler's Mother for Halloween when I was about 3 years old?

So okay, one more thing. I didn't know ANYTHING about the Musee d'Orsay before we went. I hadn't really heard or read about it, so I assumed I wouldn't really know any of the artwork there. And then I was like, "Oh, THIS is here?" And then, "THIS TOO?"

And then I was just pretty quiet and amazed.

What up, Sistah Friends!!

On our way back to our hotel, this cool band was playing in the metro station.

Just another street in Paris. Nothing remarkable about it.
Except, you know, everything.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Where By "Live-Blogging" I Mean "Blogging Eventually Sometimes"

Travel plans were changed this year. Usually I get to my sister's a couple days before Christmas and stay at least a week. This year, however, I'm juggling plans with me and Ish, so we took a red-eye


and got into Boston at the (feel like I've been smoking) crack of dawn on the 21st. In theory, this was going to give me more prep-time to wrap all the stuff I sent from online, grocery shop, cook, and "hang out." Oh yes, there was going to be PLENTY of time to "hang out" and do stuff like blog and a little work and who knows what else.

Except suddenly, without any warning at all, it's December 26 and I am in the Charlotte, North Carolina airport awaiting a connection to Phoenix. Ish is with me and we are traveling to visit his family tonight, effectively beginning the Christmas arrive-at-family, wrap-gifts, buy-groceries rush all over again. Wheee!

So right. Not so much with the live-blogging.

Although I should point out that I'm writing this LIVE from the Stock Car Cafe where I've a platter of fried foods sitting atop a table that has been laminated with car racing images. I find this festive.

More soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Skin Is Blue

I'm working from home today which has allowed me the luxury of watching the morning news on television.

Now, normally my news is obtained through the radio and by reading articles "online." This means I miss out on the version of the news as colored by the major networks trying to be "accessible."

This morning they were talking about the Forbes Web Celeb list and honestly, the interviewer may as well have asked the interviewee to remind viewers what "The" "Internet" is again. (A "web...log?" What is this crazy futuristic writing machine of which you speak?!)

Then later, they highlighted this news bit that was just so hard-hitting, I had to take a picture of my television to show you.

Ha! Take that, NPR.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Good News And Bad News

I don't know why this happens every year.

I think, Oh hey, my workload seems totally manageable this year! I'll bet I can actually enjoy this holiday season!

And then my holiday spirit is slowly crushed under the weight of endless to-dos I never saw coming. Which results in things like crying over a festive Chex Mix gone awry.


The bad news is there won't be much blogging happening for the rest of the week because I'll be frantically rushing around trying to finish everything before Xanax and Ish and I leave for my sister's house in Massachusetts on Thursday night.

[On an unrelated note, my apartment is so cold and the heat so inefficient that I actually just felt wind here on my livingroom sofa. Oh the weather on your sofa is frightful...]

The good news is that I'm bringing my laptop and will actually be blogging throughout the holidays. Are you so excited?

Live! From Dysfunction! It's the Sammis Family Christmas!

Not that our family is really that dysfunctional anymore. With both my parents gone, not only is Christmas a bit more quiet and tender and sad, it's also far less dramatic. I do not think that anyone will be throwing a meat fork at anyone else while screaming obscenities, for example. But then, who's to say?

In the meantime, I leave you with this crazy tidbit: for pretty much no reason, I knitted myself a hat.

It started when my a cappella group decided that we'd do a Yankee Swap this year, with gifts we made ourselves. And I decided that I would have to haul out my knitting again, since it's the only thing I know I can actually make (as opposed to something like "baked goods" -- remember how I cried over the complexity of Chex mix?).

The scarf I ended up knitting was quite cute, if I do say so. Although I have to attribute that entirely to my selection of yarn. Because I learned early on that if the yarn is interesting enough, you can just do knit stitches and it seems like you did something really quite amazing.

Thus this evening, when I was faced with a full inbox, a crazy schedule, an upside-down apartment, and piles of dirty clothes that somehow have to be cleaned and packed, I decided that the single most pressing thing for me to do was to not let great yarn go unused.

I am maybe losing my mind.

But at least I'm gangsta.

Yes, I took this photo tonight. Also, no, I'm not so much making a gang sign as I am making a sideways peace sign because I have zero idea what a gang sign actually, like, is. Pretend I made a peace sign for Christmas or something. La la la.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Spam

And I don't even mean the kind you eat.

I don't really understand why I've been getting all sorts of spam in my inbox lately, but last night I received this email and it made me laugh aloud.

I mean, for one thing, the name "Hazel" is so traditional and old school, it seems utterly ridiculous to be linked to a porny spam message.

But of course what's more ridiculous is the usage of the term "hoo-hoos."

I thought that a "hoo-hoo" know...down there. Whereas "hooters" (or, as darling Stacy would say, "hoots") are boobies. So I'm wondering if mary actually likes to put "it" between her boobs, or if she's some sort of special gal, the kind who actually has two "down theres"?

Regardless, I have hoo-hoos in my inbox. Hahaha.

And do you think they selected "mary" especially for the holy Christmas season?

* * * *

I'm taking a break right now from "cooking." I am endeavoring to make this caramel-y Chex mix-ish thing for a shindig tonight, but you know? I'm not very hopeful about it. I bring it up only because I thought I'd paint the picture of me, sitting at my computer in cat-hair-covered leggings, too-big white wool socks, hot pink Crocs, a t-shirt under a big fleecy pullover, my hair up in a "whimsical" ultra-messy way, complete with headband AND silver ribbon tied around my head because I was wrapping earlier and got a LITTLE PUNCHY. My face is broken out, I'm sniffling and my left ring finger is very sticky.

It is the most wonderful time of the year, and I am the very picture of breezy holiday elegance.


* * * * * *

Ish just read this and said, "I can't believe you didn't make a Cindy Lou Hoo-Hoo joke! You know: All the hoo-hoos down in hoo-hooville liked mary a LOT!"

And then he questioned my true holiday spirit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Beg To Differ

Holiday madness and hilarity abound this Christmas season.

I don't know if you saw in the comments below, but "caligirl" mentioned she heard this song on KOIT that goes "It's Christmas once again in San Francisco" and wondered if I knew of it. And no, thankfully, I did not.

But then this morning's commute turned that around. There I was, bopping along down 280, enjoying a full hour of uninterrupted Christmas music when, lo, it started.

Apparently the song is actually called, "It's Christmas Once Again in San Francisco," and it is sung by a man named Barry De Vorzon (yeah, and I'm every bit as surprised as you are that he has a Wikipedia entry), who is obsessed with proving just how Christmassy it is in San Francisco even though there's no snow here.

In fact, the longer the song goes on the more it becomes very clear that Barry has quite a chip on his shoulder about the whole SF/no-snow situation. As though the whole world (ESPECIALLY Christmas cards, those mofos) has been giving him a really hard time about it (Neener neener, there's no snow in San Francisco! Hahahaha! San Francisco sucks at having Christmas!) and he's sick and tired of it and going to fight for San Francisco's holiday reputation the only way he knows how: by writing a song with passive aggressive lyrics.

(Of course, I couldn't find those lyrics online, but I did find a delightful sample of the song, which you can hear right here.)

And if you choose not to listen to the sample (pussy) then I will tell you, the chorus goes:

It's Christmas once again in San Francisco
And there is not a snowflake to be found
No sleigh rides,
No snowmen

Like you see on the Christmas cards
Oh, but we got a lot of Christmas in our hearts

Sure, Barry later points out, there's snow "back East," but WE? WE have Christmas IN OUR HEARTS, SUCKAHS!

Oh, oh! And if THAT isn't enough? And you're still all like, But it's not CHRISTMAS without SNOW, Barry goes on to remind us THERE WASN'T SNOW IN BETHLEHEM TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO, biotch!


(Plus see how "ago" rhymes with "snow"?)

Anyway, Barry makes some good points I guess, but I'm still not sure where his attitude comes from.

This is Barry. Barry claims he's totally over snow,
but I don't think he's really being honest with himself.

I'm no expert, of course, but if I had to guess I'd say that Barry's definitely a snomosexual.

I love Christmastime!

Today I saw this ad online:

Which has got to be up there as maybe the worst Christmas ad of all time.

For starters, let's discuss the copy. I don't know why this company decided to use the word "Holiday" instead of "Christmas" because I think all semblance of PC-ness went out the window when they selected the inexplicably GIANT Christmas ornament for the background image.

But more importantly, let's consider the underlying message here:
Hey, you know how you were going to buy your kids a Wii for Christmas this year? Yeah, well WHAT IF YOU DIE?


And then I like to think of the flip side of this. Say you, as a horribly misguided parent, DO decide to get your kids the "greatest holiday gift of all" [sic]. How would THAT Christmas morning go?


The kids would wake up and rush to the tree, excited to see what Santa had brought. And they'd stop, paralyzed with non-comprehension at the nothingness staring back at them. But then, the parent who'd secretly gotten the "greatest holiday gift of all" would swoop in to the rescue.

"Kids, it's not what it looks like!" the parent would say.

And the children would stare with their imploring, wet eyes at the parent, hoping for some explanation that would make it all better.

"This year, instead of 'presents' I got you both the 'greatest holiday gift of all'!"

The children would continue to stare in silence.

"I have prepared us for the possibility that mommy or daddy could, at any time and without warning, die!!!

And then the children would begin openly weeping.


end scene


In a less darkly humorous vein, I happened upon this next image. I can't tell you now how I got to this site, or what this site even is. (I do a lot of Google-shopping-searches -- -- and get some seriously wild results, believe me.)

But I saved this image so that we could play a game. Okay?

I'll post the picture, cropped, and you fill in the blank.

Here is the image:

Now, right above this image are the words _____ Clothes.

What do you think that blank is?





Go ahead! Guess!

Got it?

Okay. So tell me what it is!


Yeah. You are WRONG.

Ready for the real answer?


Could not make this up if I tried!

I love Christmastime!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

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.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lite Rock, Less Talk

The local Lite Rock station here, K-O-I-T, has that universal lite-rock station slogan ("lite rock, less talk") which is wholly amusing to me because I'm not sure that KOIT does any "rocking" whatsoever.

ACDC's You Shook Me is rock. Barbara Streisand's My Grown Up Christmas List is so NOT rock, not even of the "lite" variety, I don't even know where to begin.

But you know, that's okay. Because throughout the month of December, KOIT plays Christmas music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I cannot help but love it. Not the songs themselves -- most of them are seriously dreadful -- but that there is a radio station doing such a thing. It helps when I've had a REALLY NOT GOOD FEW DAYS to turn on the radio and hear nothing but jingling schmaltz emanating from my dashboard.

I have several more posts coming, but for now, hurrah! The Holiday Season is here!

And in the meantime...

I'm taking a poll:

It can be a specific song, specific rendition, specific album, or even artist.

There are just so many to pick from HOW WILL YOU CHOOSE???

Personally, I was going to say that Jessica Simpson's rendition of "Let it Snow" made my ears bleed and Dear God Why did such a trashy thing have to happen to such a fine Christmas Standard, but I got sidetracked by what is, actually, the WORST Christmas song I have ever heard.

And it isn't the muzack version of Feliz Navidad. Or some screechy pious children's choir.


It is what started off sounding classic? But --

how could I have never heard this song before?

Right there on my commute home this song that sounded all Dean Martin-esque and swingy began, and I wondered what it could be. And then I learned it was a song called "Christmas in San Francisco"!

Where have you been all my life!!??!! I exclaimed in my jubilant, caroling heart as the first verse began.

And perhaps you, too, at your computer are wondering why it is you've never heard this splendid song.

Well, I will give you two words why not: barbecued pork.

I do not know who in their right mind could ever, EVER include the words "barbecued pork" in a CHRISTMAS CAROL, but someone did.

Oh yes they did.

Go ahead and download the godawful thing on iTunes if you dare, but honestly -- the song goes from charming and quaint to downright unmelodic and HORRIFYINGLY BAD in about 28 seconds.

Which is why it gets my vote for worst Christmas song ever recorded.

Your turn!

Christmas In San Francisco Lyrics*

(*I could not find these online anywhere, so I hope you appreciate that I went and downloaded some lameass RE-RECORDED version of it, and transcribed it below. I note that Russ (the re-recorder(!?!?!?) in question) has updated the barbecued pork bit. The song still sucks, though, as follows.)

Christmas in San Francisco
What a lovely place to be
Seeing the hills being all lit up
Like a diamond Christmas tree

(Ed note: This makes no sense. The hills are full of trees that are being "lit up" because they ARE Christmas trees. Thus, translated, this is saying that Christmas trees are being lit up like Christmas trees.)

Hearing children singing carols
People come from everywhere
To sing along with the children
Standing all around Union Square

(Ed note: this is painfully bad writing.)

Christmas in San Francisco
Looking like some wonderland
People with gifts in the crispy air
Giving Old Saint Nick a hand

Let's get some tea in Chinatown
Take in some jazz on Fillmore

(Ed. note: WHOA. There was NO jazz on Fillmore in the version I heard on KOIT. No. It was something about Chinatown with its LYCHEE NUTS AND BARBECUED PORK. I could not make that up if I tried.)

What can you say about the Golden Gate
That hasn't been said before?

(Ed. note: Lazy.)

Christmas in San Francisco
There is no place quite so dear
It's the closest thing to heaven
How I wish that you were here

(Ed. note: Huh? So this is a love song? Who is "you"? And still, if this is a love song, why is there PORK? WTF is going ON???)

What can you say about the Golden Gate
That hasn't been said before?

(Ed. note: Really? So you don't bother to write lyrics about the Golden Gate because they've been written before, but you have no problem asking the same question, even though you asked it before like, 9 seconds ago?)

Christmas in San Francisco
There is no place quite so dear
It's the closest thing to heaven
How I wish that you were here

(Ed. note: Oh, good grief.)