Christmas thread, 2008

Polls, funny pictures, jokes, must-see websites, personal announcements, you name it...

Postby Slade » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:47 pm

Sladists,

I long ago gave up on the commercial Christmas thing. The best present I ever got was the Aurora plastic model of Dracula ($1.49, $1.56 with tax) in the early 60s. Why? Because - as a model maker - that would have been the perfect gift, and I didn't know it existed! The hobby store I hung out at had called my mom, and she'd had them airship in the first model available from Seattle.

I love you, Mom. The warmth of Christmas comes from knowing she's up on the summit of Mount Slesse with my dad, where the dazzling snowfall doesn't get any closer to heaven.

So what did I get for Xmas this year?

In the buildup, I got to have dinner with Al Feldstein, the creative power and artist behind all the EC Comics and MAD magazine. Boiled down to basics, he created Slade.

My favorite horror story is JEKYLL & HYDE, and I discovered that Fredric March did the definitive version in 1932, and because of Hayes censors, I didn't know it existed.

And finally, I'm a huge fan of devil-may-care, let's-get-up-and-dance, what-do-you-think-of-this-for-human-harmony Doo Wop. Only because of this Board did I discover the Marcels' Christmas gem, which I'd never heard before.

At the end of CITIZEN KANE, the commercial titan who had wasted his life on all things economic whispers, "Rosebud." Rosebud was the sled he used to ride down snow slopes as a kid.

Remember doing that? Well, let's do it again. With the Marcels and the Drifters singing, I need nothing more for Christmas than this. Let's go, Rosebud! Yee-ha!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk8VWKpQ ... re=related

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Postby Mbwun » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:46 pm

Well, we're in for more snow starting tonight, tomorrow, and Christmas Day, and there's already the odd snowflake coming down right now here in Langley.

How about there in Vancouver, Slade?

And how about there in Victoria, steely?

Slade,

Do you still get together with family and/or friends to have a Christmas feast, or do you forego that as well?

I have to say, I'd like to have the experience of going to someone else's house for the Christmas dinner thing, instead of it always being held at the home where I'm living. I get a little tired of being one of the ones cleaning up all the leftovers for days afterwards. Turkey has ceased to be any kind of real treat for me. Three or four days after Christmas, I get to feeling really icky from all the rich food.
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Postby Slade » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:21 am

Mbwun,

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not a bah-humbug Grinch grumbling, "A curse on all your houses at Christmas time." I LOVE Christmas, and squeeze every drop of enjoyment out of it. Decorating the living room takes days. The ornaments on the tree cover a Timeline of sixty years. The mantel has boughs of cedar and Noma bubble lights. Cords of wood feed a cheery blaze on the hearth every night. The rest of the room looks like a scene out of Dickensian Victorian London. Here is where we celebrate.

What I meant by "I long ago gave up on the commercial Christmas thing" is that friends and family - not going insane at the malls stressed out with buy, buy, buy frenzy - is Christmas. My gift to friends is "Come on in, sit down, sip some good booze, and let's have a laugh recalling why we're friends." After they've gone, I bask in the glow and remember how lucky I am.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day are family. Becky will have the same stocking she's had since her first Christmas, stuffed with all her favorites. If it snows, we'll go out and have a snowball fight, then take Rosebud - her childhood sleigh - down to the creek. "Faster, Daddy, faster!" she used to shriek as poor old dad played pony.

It wasn't always this way. I used to spend lots of money. Then my best friend from childhood died of brain cancer at forty, and all the money in the world can't invite him in.

That was my epiphany. Scrooge had to learn the meaning of Christmas, and so did George Bailey. And so did Slade.

Now everything we do will harken back to tradition. And the one thing I know is, The less it costs to capture the Christmas spirit, the richer that spirit will be.

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Postby steelclaw32 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:31 am

No snow as yet Mbwun, but I wouldn't be surprised if more did, as it is, it's slowly melting. I hate snow.

As for Christmas Day, I'll on my own with my books and magazines and CBs, think I'll be going to my brother's on Boxing day. Some might say it's not same, well I don't mind at all, was there one year on Christmas Day and spent some of the time house sitting (6/7 hours) Thank God I'd brought my book along.! :roll: :lol: :lol:

Anyway I've my books and out harms way and happy enough. Thanks for asking. :wink:
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Postby Mbwun » Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:27 am

Slade,

Your type of Christmas sounds a lot like the kind of Christmas I'd go for ... with the exception of the booze part. I'm allergic to alcohol - I wouldn't have a very pleasant next few days if I had a drink. Might even wind up dead.

We don't go for buying much in the way of presents in my family either. We get a cheque in a card from mom and dad, and we each just get them something small. I buy mom flowers, and dad some chocolates - they really don't want anything else. Us kids don't exchange presents at all any more. And I don't have a husband or children to buy for.

Christmas hasn't really been the same since my oldest sister passed away though. It still doesn't feel all that right to be celebrating when she isn't around to participate. So I guess I can identify with your feelings about your friend's absence from your celebrations.

And this year it seems a bit strange, as we haven't got a tree. Mom bought new furniture for her family room, and there just isn't room for a tree. No room in the living room either. If it hadn't been for this bout with Shingles, I may have been moved into my basement suite by now, and have my own tree downstairs.

It's been a bit strange for the past few years anyway, as we've been using an artificial tree for them. I used to enjoy hiking around one of the tree farms out here looking for just the right tree - it was a real Christmas tradition - but dad eventually turned into a total humbug about looking for a tree. And I haven't got anyone else to tree hunt with. I don't think it would be that fun tree hunting alone.

Artificial trees just can't compare to the real thing - I really miss the aromatic quality of a real Christmas Tree.

steelclaw32,

How is your leg holding out with this nasty weather? It's so bitterly cold here, I keep thinking how the cold must be bothering it something terrible.

Glad you've got your books to keep you company on Christmas Day. Hope you have a fireplace to curl up next to and keep warm - and maybe something to warm your gizzard. And I also hope the weather doesn't get in the way of spending Boxing Day with your brother and his family.

Looks as though I'm going to have an appointment with a snow shovel tomorrow.
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Postby steelclaw32 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:49 am

Well, I'm takin' pain killers every four hours or so, and your right this snow's givin' me jip something rotten.! Sadly I don't have a fire but one those heater stuck to the skirting board or whatever you call skirting boards here. I'm warm and cosy that's the main thing until I go out and my leg flares up on me, :roll: no rest for the wicked eh.?


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Postby Slade » Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:10 am

I'll check the Board on Christmas Day to make sure no one's lonely. As Christmas is a state of mind, steelclaw could do a lot worse than settling in with good reading material. Eh, steely?

The more people drink, Mbwun, the cheaper the rotgut they buy. A $100 bottle of Scotch tastes like a $100 bottle of Scotch. No one deserves to taste it if they don't respect it, and that means you sip, not slug, it. Such a bottle lasts a couple of years...so life's too short not to drink $100 bottles of Scotch.

That's Slade's law of drinking buddies.
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Postby steelclaw32 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:27 am

Slade wrote:I'll check the Board on Christmas Day to make sure no one's lonely. As Christmas is a state of mind, steelclaw could do a lot worse than settling in with good reading material. Eh, steely?
Spot on Slade as long as I have my books and reasonably good health nothing could be better.! Oh maybe a can of beer or three, like, you know, to help with the ehhh, digitisation like.!! (And that's as far as I go with the most godawfull stereotype Irish as I go.) :lol: :lol:



A $100 bottle of Scotch! Bloody hell that's lot of lolly for a bottle of scotch,
though I have acquainted my throat with such a drop or two..takes an acquired taste methinks. But I'd never stop a man whatever his tipple, because there's so little in life to enjoy (apart from books that truly is satisfying) without some killjoy kickin' up a rumpus, what.? :wink:

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Postby Slade » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:28 am

Steely,

The guy who buys a coffee a day at Starbucks blows through $100 every month. Scotch comes a lot cheaper, but since I'm not buying mall gifts for my friends, I figure a sip of the real good stuff - "So this is how the other half lives, eh, pal?" - is a treat to repay them for the quality of what we've been through for decades.

Incidentally, do you know where "rotgut" comes from? It's not because it rots your gut. Back when bodysnatchers shipped illegal cadavers up the East Coast to med schools in the North, they were preserved in kegs of brandy. After the corpse was removed, the brandy was served to those who drank in bars.

Rotgut? Get it?

"Gee, Slade, this bottle of brandy sure is good."

"Nothing's too good for my Christmas friends. Would you believe it's a couple of hundred years old? Sip it, don't slug it, to let the mature quality roll around on your tongue."

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Postby steelclaw32 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:16 am

Good Lord.! Now that something I didn't know. Rotgut eh? damn, I love to hear/read the origins of thing's and you've just add another one, many thanks Slade. At least now I know why zombies are are in a drunken state, it's not the booze per se, but summat not far from it .! :lol:
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Postby dreab trawets » Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:47 am

Out of rough interest did you or your daughter call the sled Rosebud, back in the day. And was it because of the citizen kane film, or because she liked the name when she was a wee nipper.

In IT, the film and the book, the guy uses his chilhood bike, hi ho silver, to bring his wife out of her catatonic state. It has such a strong memory of childhood for him, that he goes back to basics.

Amazing what we remember, and it doesn't need money.
I remember climbing up a steep hill, and seeing for the first time a section of woods I had never seen before. I had passed it with friends but never stopped to really look. We built a den there, I broke my arm there, we scared each other, it was our woods. I was 8, and life was good.
My girls still remember me taking them to a park, in the middle of some woods, feeding the ducks, and me being a kid, like them, again. This was 3 years ago.
I say to everybody, once in a while, if you have young kids, neices, etc, go down to their height, see what they see, normally knees, and be daft like them. So liberating to just forget all the adult stuff, swing on swings, jump in muddy puddles, cycle down a hill very fast. Keeps me young at my old age of 36.....
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Postby WaywardSoul » Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:11 pm

Slade wrote: And the one thing I know is, The less it costs to capture the Christmas spirit, the richer that spirit will be.

Slade


"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."
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"Remember, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over." - Frank Zappa
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Postby Slade » Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:05 pm

d.t.,

Rosebud was named for the movie.

WS,

Great quote. I see the heart of Christmas as being the Christmas tree. That's why so much effort goes into decorating it, and why my collection of ornaments reflects my entire life. There are few joys to equal sitting in a darkened room with just the fire, bubble lights, and the tree, gazing at the sparkles with a snifter of heated brandy in hand, with a soundtrack of my favorite music back through the years.

Outside, this year, we have more than a foot of snow, and it's still falling, so it's going to be that wonder of wonders: a pure as the driven snow genuine White Christmas.

Most people think I'm crazy, but when life comes together like this, winter is my favorite season:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwu0MQrk_ec

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Postby Mbwun » Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:33 pm

Well, I've just come in from shovelling between 6 and 8 inches of Global Warming off the driveway - and now I'm sitting down and eating my breakfast. There's already over an inch of snow in the area where I first started shovelling, and apparently a lot more to come, today, and in the next couple of days.

If I ever meet up with David Suzuki, I'm going to tell him to take his Global Warming, and stick it where the sun don't shine.

Speaking of Christmas trees, it's time to post this one again for the male contingent here.

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Postby steelclaw32 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:48 pm

Holy Batwomen Batman! it's Poison Ivy.!!! ROBIN! take your eyes off her...!
:
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Last edited by steelclaw32 on Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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