Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Puerto Rico: Totally Inappropriate

For Christmas, one of my friends received a board game called Puerto Rico, which we broke out last night. It's one of those resource-gathering games, not unlike Settlers of Catan, another game to which I was recently introduced.

The game itself is pretty entertaining once you get into it, but I have just one major qualm.

Basically, the game involves settling "Puerto Rico" by building "plantations" and then bringing "colonists" (represented by little brown discs) over from the "Old World" on the "colonist ship" to work your plantations.

Totally inappropriate?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Holiday, everybody!

Well, the presents have been opened, the massive amounts of food eaten, and the eggnog... drunken? Yes, perhaps. Christmas seemed to come and go so fast. I was frantically working on getting things ready up until the moment it happened, and then it was all over and all that's left is the clean-up.

But to continue in the spirit of the holidays, I present to you a Christmas post, just a bit late.

First, to explain today's politically correct title, here is a transcription of one of my favorite SNL Christmas sketches. I wanted to present you with a video, but it is not to be found on the internet. Not by me, anyway. If anyone can find a copy (preferably non-virused), I would be much obliged. But here's that transcription, and I hope that while reading it, you will imbue it with all the comedy of the original.
Tree Re-Lighting Special
Al Roker.....Kenan Thompson
Megan Mullally.....Kristin Wiig
Harry Connick, Jr.....Jason Sudeikis
Donald Trump.....Darrell Hammond
Singers.....rest of cast

(open on Al Roker, Megan Mullally and Harry Connick, Jr. standing in front of a Rockefeller Center backdrop)

Al Roker: Welcome back! It’s a great night out here in Rockefeller Center again. Isn’t it, Harry?

Harry Connick, Jr.: Sure is, Al. And it was great out here last Wednesday, when we lit the tree for the first time.

Megan Mullally: Ya know, tonight, just for fun, we’re gonna turn it off. And then we’re gonna light that sucker right back up again! Hahahaha! It’s either this or four “Earls” in a row.

Harry Connick, Jr.: I tell you, this is my favorite place to be at Christmas time.

Al Roker: You mean “Holiday-Time,” don’t you Harry?

Harry Connick, Jr.: Oops. That’s right. Merry Holiday everybody! Ya know, some people enjoy Christmas songs, Hanukah songs, or even Kwanzaa songs. But everyone can enjoy a holiday song.

Al Roker: So in the spirit of diversity and fear, please welcome the NBC Peacock Singers with and all-inclusive Holiday medley for everyone.

(To SINGERS. Lyrics appear at the bottom of the screen)

Singers: (To the tune of “Silent Night”)
"Silent night,
Regular night
All is calm,
All is bright.
Round the fire
Mother and child
Random infant
Religiously neutral
Sleep in comfortable beds
Sleep in comfortable beds."

Horatio Sanz: (To the tune of “Away in a Manger”)
"Away in a barn box
No bib for their lunch
The donkey and camel
On straw they will munch."

Will Forte: (falsetto)
"The stars in the sky
Shine down ‘cuz it’s night
The lamb and that donkey just got in a fight."

Megan Mullally: (To the tune of “O Holy Night”)
"Oh, Tuesday night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night
To watch TV and play cards."

Harry Connick, Jr.:
"Fall on your knees
And do a jigsaw puzzle
Just stay inside
Just stay inside
It’s half-past nine."

Megan Mullally:
"Just stay inside."

Harry Connick, Jr. & Megan Mullally:

Megan Mullally: Fine, yeah. Now to narrate the story of the birth of the Holiday, please welcome Mr. Donald Trump.

(To TRUMP in front of Rockefeller Center backdrop)

Donald Trump: Thank you Will and Grace. This place is really snazzed up. I gotta say, of the non-Trump buildings in New York, this property has a whole lotta flash, and it really screams out “Merry Christmas.” (Looking offstage) What? I can‘t say Christmas? Who made that rule? Well what about Chanukaha? (Pronounces it “Cha-nook-a-huh”) I can’t say that? What about Kwanzoo? That’s just great. Alright, Let’s crank this thing out. There were shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. Then a civil representative of the town came up to them and said “Here’s the thing-a baby had been born to a lady of undeterminate ethnicity and/or religious affiliation. You’ll find he or she is wrapped in clothes, looking really classy, and lying in a barn box.” What the hell is a barn box? Y’know what? The end. Fa-la-fa-la. Fa-la-la-la. The Apprentice (Grins)


Al Roker, Megan Mullally, Harry Connick, Jr.: Happy Holiday everybody!

All: (To the tune of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus")
"How ya doin?
How ya doin?
How ya doin?
I’m doin just fine!"

(spoken) "Live from New York it’s Saturday Night!"
My favorite part is the music. I sing those carols every Christmas. And no one has any idea what I'm talking about.

Next, what was the best thing you got for Christmas? Or alternatively, what was the best thing you gave? Because Christmas is all about giving, after all. Anything particularly clever, awesome, unique, etc. that was given or received. Tell me in the Comments section.

Finally, here is one of the best songs from my favorite Christmas movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, isn't Michael Caine adorable?

So Merry Holiday, everybody! I hope it was a great one!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Sexiest Song I Know

Maybe it's me, but some songs are just plain sexy. Whether it be the lyrics or a smooth bass line or something in the singer's voice, some songs would make the perfect accompaniment to a tastefully-shot movie love scene. For me, the epitome of this kind of song is OK Go's "Skyscrapers" from their latest album Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky. Listen to it and tell me it doesn't get you at least a little hot and bothered.

Or maybe I'm weird. Probably more likely.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cats need to be taken down a few pegs

If you have trouble reading this (I couldn't make it bigger), here is a panel-by-panel transcription:

Panel 1:
Oh my God Kitty, are you drawing?! That's amazing! Let me see!

Panel 2:
It's a hotdog smiling next to a hotdog bun. And one of them is holding a very tiny balloon.

Panel 3:
This drawing is very poor. I doubt you will ever be successful as an artist.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Burke and Hare's School for the Morally Bankrupt

Are you down on your luck? Need cash now? Tired of the grind of nightly grave-robbing? Do you own a boarding house?

If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, then Burke and Hare's School for the Morally Bankrupt may be right for you. At BHSFMB, you will learn valuable skills to catapult you into the career of your dreams. Skills like:

- Luring friendless travellers into your boarding house
- Plying visitors with an excess of alcohol
- Smothering your victims
- Hiding bodies from your other boarders
- Selling corpes to a doctor at Edinburgh University for anatomical research
- Agreeing to testify against your partner in crime
- Being publicly dissected after your execution

With a degree from BHSFMB, you can have the life you've always wanted. Call today! Or visit us on the web at http://www.edinburghserialkillers.edu/.

I suppose some of this bears explanation. Because I am a big nerd, I am signed up for Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day email. Yesterday the word was "burke," a verb meaning "to suppress quietly or indirectly." I could have left it at that, but it was such a non-word-sounding word that I decided to read the etymology of this little beauty, which is provided at the end of the email. I learned that the word "burke" originally meant "to smother" and came from the last name of William Burke, who, with accomplice William Hare, killed 16 or 17 people burgh in the early 1800s. You can read the full story by following the link above, but basically, a man died in Hare's boarding house and instead of buring the body, Hare and his buddy Burke got the great idea to sell the body to a doctor at Edinburgh University for educational dissecting. It worked so well that they decided to do it again. But people don't just drop dead every day, so these enterprising little scamps decided to make their own luck and started killing people. In the name of science! In the end, as always seems to happen, they got sloppy and killed someone that other people were actually interested in looking for. They were caught, and Hare, good friend that he was, agreed to testify against Burke, which led to Burke's execution by hanging. Then, in a beautiful example of poetic justice, Burke's body was publicly dissected at Edinburgh University. His skeleton, death mask, and stuff made out of his skin are on display in the museum there. Charming.

So thank you, Mirriam-Webster, for sending me a word of the day with such a disturbing origin.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

(On the Way to) Work Anecdote of the Day

This is a short one, but I feel like sharing, and I have not had many anecdotes to report of late, so I think you deserve a little something, noble reader.

I have begun walking to work. Not a huge feat as I only live 1.25 miles away, which translates into a brisk 15 to 20-minute walk, though my friends, co-workers, and family have all appeared awestruck when I informed them of my decision. You see, in Florida 40-degree mornings are not considered the ideal setting for a stroll, but I need the exercise, and I know that some of my compatriots in the frozen North are doing the same, so I will stand (err, walk) firm with them.

This morning, however, the wind was a bit brutal, and my nose was running to high heaven. (Should have been running to work, if you ask me.) I was not yet warmed up enough to enjoy my walk, and I had just passed into some dreaded shade, when I was obligated to cross the street in front of a garbage truck that was waiting to pull out into traffic. Out of W&L-bred politeness, I absently waved at the garbage man, and his reaction brightened my day. Huge smile on his face, he enthusiasticly waved back. Surprised by this show of exhuberance, I too smiled and reinvigorated a formerly lackluster greeting. That garbage man's smile put a spring in my step, and the rest of the way, I boldly met the wind that tried to push me back.

'Tis the Christmas season, indeed, my friends, and I love it. This afternoon, I think I will drink some egg nog to celebrate. After a cold walk home, of course.

Also, though I am happy today, I have been known to get pretty mad on occasion. But let me just ask you this question: