Archive for Christmas

I Aspire To Be More In Two Thousand One Four

Posted in Holiday, Nonsense with tags , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by Bob

That really is a blanket statement isn’t it? Of course we all want to be better. For ourselves, for our families, for our cult leaders … we all want to improve. Most people wait until AFTER the New Near to make their resolutions. Since I know that I am not going to keep any of them, I figure that now is as good a time as any. If nothing else it gives me something to do until Christmas Eve dinner.

I would love to say that I have grand plans for things in the coming year. I don’t. I pretty much want to stay employed and out of jail, preferably in that order. However, since it is “the thing” to do at the end of the year, here are some goals for next year. These are in no particular order of importance, just as I came up with them.

  1. Lose another 20 pounds – I think I can do this. It will require me to do a little more than the grip things from yesterday’s post, but it will be worth it. I will once again be in shape to participate in the RHPS. Break out those fish nets.
  2. Blog more often – This one is tough. I seem to have a lot of people reading this blog … well, they are subscribed to it. I would actually like to give them something to read once in a while. I also would like that content to be entertaining in some way. Write AND be entertaining. Asking a lot of myself.
  3. Remember which cookie recipes worked this year for next year – Every year I seem to pick the ones I didn’t like or forget what I did right. Next year … will be different.
  4. Start using my Muppet more – I am going to let you just stew on that one.
  5. Update my blog – This isn’t something that has to be a major overhaul. I just need to update old links, remove dead links and just make it look like I actually look at the site once in a while.
  6. Read a book, or 2 – I have some books at home. I have some books on my wife’s Kindle. I am lazy. Yes, I have become too lazy to read.
  7. Find my kids jobs – I am only half joking on this. They want to go to day care, then they need to start earning their way.
  8. Take a “me” weekend and have a movie marathon – Not sure if I want to go good movies or bad. I am thinking do an actor themed set but then what actor do I pick? Segal? Hopkins? Flynn? Jay-Z? The choices are endless.
  9. Clean the basement – Not a real lofty goal but something that needs to be done. The kids will very soon need a larger area for a play room and I will be damned if I am going to pay for “open gym” and put up with awkward play dates.
  10. Paint the house – Or rather, have it painted. We have lived there almost 7 years now. The outside needs to be painted and the inside needs it bad. Maybe I can turn each room one by one into a playroom and have the kids paint them for me.

 

Have a great Christmas everyone. If you don’t celebrate Christmas … then don’t have a great Christmas.

 

The Worst Of The Best Of The Worst Lists Of … Oh Whatever

Posted in Holiday, Nonsense, TV/Movies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 12, 2013 by Bob

Once again the geniuses at VIMB have decided to be totally innovative and do absolutely nothing different from anyone else. In fact, we may even be duplicating things we have done in the past. We are really just too lazy to go back and look. (and we wonder why we won’t get hired by Cracked.com.)

While I was at work watching Christmas Vacation today, I began to think of all of the Christmas specials that have been made. I also thought about the ones that should not have been made in that list. I then thought that perhaps I should be working instead of all this thinking. In any case, I thought it would be fun to go back and do some more tribute to Letterman and some top 10 listage for the holidays. So, from the home office in Shitterton, Dorset, England:

The top 10 worst ideas I could think of for Christmas specials at 10 o’clock at night

10. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas: Starring Megyn Kelly and George Zimmerman

9. The Tea Party Saves Santa

8. Justin Bieber and the Brazilian National Choir Sing Mannheim Steamroller’s Greatest Hits

7. Kanye’s Holiday Salute To The Troops

6. Santa’s Celebrity Sober House: Starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Charlie Sheen and Lamar Odom. With special guest Chris Brown as “the enforcer”.

5. Thamsanqa Jantjie: A Sign Language Holiday Sing-A-Long

4. My Favorite Holiday Cakes With David Mazzie

3. 101 Ways To Kill A Shelf Elf

2. Reindeer Dynasty

And the #1 worst idea I could think of for a Christmas special at 10 o’clock at night …

1. Star Wars Holiday Special

Santa Clause Came To The Mall

Posted in Holiday, Nonsense, Tori with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2013 by Bob

Actually, I think his name was Phil. Tori had her picture taken with Santa last week at school. She smiled and it was one of the best pictures she ever took. It was a rushed affair though, so she was sad that she wasn’t able to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas. Because of this, and because I needed a bribe earlier in the week while Jackie was out of town, I told Tori that we could go see Santa this weekend at the mall.

There were other reasons we needed to go to the mall. Since I have lost so much weight lately, I needed to get my wedding ring re-sized before going to Vegas in January. We also needed to go see Santa so that Dude could get his picture taken since he wasn’t at school that day. Anyhoo … if you haven’t heard, or don’t live around here, it was snowing today. Now, I am in the NW burbs of Chicago. It isn’t like we don’t get snow. However, whenever the first significant snow falls, the only people on the road seem to be recent transplants from any state that never has snow. If you don’t know how to drive in snow, I don’t think les of you … JUST DON’T DRIVE IN THE DAMN SNOW!

The up side of the unexpected levels of snow is that the mall wasn’t that crowded and the line for the big man wasn’t that long. Granted, the mall we were at I don’t think is EVER really that crowded but it IS Christmas time. You couldn’t tell that the line for Santa wasn’t long though. We got there while he was on break so there were upwards of 15-20 people in line. That is including kids. So, 10 adults maybe? This required 3 mall security personnel. They all looked very serious. I am not sure what they thought was going to happen. A riot maybe? The guy on the Segway got out of there after they controlled the line.

The line went pretty quickly. Tori was so excited when it was our turn that she barely waited for mommy to talk to the lady doing the pictures that we were going to do our own pictures and just using Santa for our free backdrop. Tori ran up to Santa and as she was climbing up onto the bench, said “Santa … I want a … a … a … art easel for Christmas!” There was no way she was going to miss out on it this time. Especially after putting up with that damn elf every day.

Alex cried. And cried. And reached for mommy. And cried. The picture was kinda cute though that they took. Tori was the Nero of the Santa pics. She smiled and laughed as Dude man cried. It really is kind of a great picture.

After the pictures were done, Tori got down off of the bench as me and Mrs. Voices when tot look at the pictures on the screen. What we didn’t see was Tori going over to the stack of oversized prop presents and picking them up and shaking them. She was just about to start unwrapping one when I finally saw her and stopped her. She thought she was in trouble and started crying. Dude started crying again because his big sister was crying. I told her she could ride the mall train. It cost me $12 to get her to stop crying.

While we were waiting for the train to get done dealing with a birthday party, Tori decided to take in the sights of the mall. She was fascinated … with everything. She thought it was the best thing ever. Like the last time she was at a mall. If I ever take this kid to someplace like Mall of America, she may overload and her head might explode. I would include a picture of the cute picture … but it is in my car. It is 10:30. I don’t want to go back out in the cold to get.

 

The Elf On The Shelf: A Creepy Christmas Pain In The Ass

Posted in Holiday, Nonsense with tags , , , , , , on December 7, 2013 by Bob

Normally, I don’t cave in to following what everyone else is doing. I especially wasn’t going to do this silly elf thing when I saw that it cost $30 for a 10 inch doll. I know that Tori would think is was a super fun thing so I started looking for a generic elf. I figured I don’t need an “official” elf. I really with I could have found a Hermey the dentist elf that was big enough, but to no avail.

My sister found that they had an “Elf on the Shelf” at Costco for only $12. Turns out is doesn’t have a plastic face (it is a full plush doll), and comes with an ‘activity book’ instead of the story of the elf on the shelf. On the plus side, the elf we have isn’t quite as creepy as the normal one. It was also only $12 instead of $30. On the minus side, the only thing I know of the story is what I have picked up on the street, and the streets I tend to hang out on, may not be supplying me with the proper information on this phenomenon.

What I do know, is that the elf is supposed to move to a different location every night. At first I thought it was because he just went out partying after everyone was asleep and he was so drunk when he got home that he forgot where he was supposed to be. I was corrected on that point. I thought the reporting back to Santa angle was clever and would help me get Tori to behave more. She just cries when I tell her the elf is going to rat her out to the big guy.

I also didn’t know until a couple of days after we started this craziness that we were supposed to name it. I told Tori this and she did give him a pretty kick ass name. The Blackhawks were playing that night and so she named it after 2 of “Her Blackwawks”. It’s name is now officially Toews the candy Kaner elf.

I did a little research to find out what other people have done with this thing. I found out there are websites, complete blogs, Pintrest pages and who knows what else out there on this. Really? People buy clothes for the damn things? IT’S A DOLL! Sorry, I digress. I didn’t think I was going to have to be THAT creative. I just thought I would have to move it a few inches every night to psych out the kids and make them think that he it was really leaving every night.

I did find one site of pictures that has it doing al kinds of raunchy things but, I don’t need to pay for child therapy quite yet. They are going to need it soon enough with me as a father so … don’t need to push it.

What is the point of all this you ask? As always, I have no point. I just need to get it out there and silence the voices. I have less than 20 more places to find for this thing to go.  I am hoping Tori will forget all the places and I will be able to duplicate some. I doubt it. Mostly, I am realizing what a pain this thing will be. Maybe I cam talk Mrs. Voices into being the keeper of the creep.

Might as well show him doing … whatever a … shelf … elf … does?

Bigger than a Bumble

Bigger than a Bumble

Hang ‘Em High

Posted in Holiday, Nonsense, TV/Movies with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2012 by Bob

The Christmas lights that is. I have no clue why I put that title but I did. More so, I had the title and then I decided to write about Christmas lights. Yeah, I don’t know either. I basically just needed a place to come and complain about what I saw the other day. I was driving through a more expensive neighborhood near me and I say a “Pool & Spa Services” truck parked on the road. I figured someone was having their hot tub serviced or was just late winterizing their pool. As I drove closer, I saw about 8 individuals with ladders and boxes hanging lights on this particular house. Someone had paid someone else, to hang lights for Christmas.

Granted, there are probably plenty of reasons for this. The first that came to mind, was that the home owners are old and can’t get up on a ladder and have no family in the area that could come and help them do it. If that is the case, with no family or friends, why decorate for a lonely holiday.  Another reason is that perhaps … yeah … can’t think of another one other than they have more money than they apparently know what to do with.

To me, although I hate doing it myself in the cold, hanging the lights is part of Christmas. The untangling, the swearing, the multiple trips to buy new lights … If I had the time and money. I would Griswold my house in a heartbeat. It is what brings a family together during the holidays. Well, the trips to the ER after falling off a ladder does that too but still.

ChristmasVacation

Anyway, that is all I wanted to rant about today. I am trying to ramp up to the new year to be more rant-ee and more annoying next year so, have fun waiting on that one.

 

 

On a side note

For the very first time in my life I am saying that I like the Old Navy commercials. I hate the fact that Chevy sold out to Old Navy, because I really don’t like them as a whole, they just annoy me … however, I love the spoofs of the Vacation movies. Even having the old Rustys and Audreys show up with the new ones. They are fun.

 

Everybody Leaving In The Chreaster Parade

Posted in Holiday, Nonsense with tags , , , , , , , on April 8, 2012 by Bob

I will admit that I am not the most rigorous Catholic. I may have mentioned before that I was brought up Catholic, was married Catholic will raise my kids Catholic, I don’t however go to church regularly and I don’t fully agree with a lot of the precepts of the church. On the other hand, since I went to Catholic grade school and junior high, I still have a certain amount of the dogma stuck in my head. Some of the things that still make me twinge are wearing jeans to church, calling priests by their first name, etc. Some other things that get me are the new words. I know I have touched on this before but, some of them don’t even make sense. For example, there is a part where the priest says “Peace be with you” old response “and also with you” new response “and with your spirit”. So, YOU can’t be at peace but your spirit can. There are a number of other things changed as well but that is not the reason of my post. This is about being a Chreaster.

If you don’t know what a Chreaster is, it is someone who only goes to church on Christmas and Easter. These people, and I include myself as one of them, fill the churches to beyond capacity twice a year. I know that today the church was filled mostly with the Chreasters because for the first time in the last few times I have been to church (mostly for weddings and baptisms) the majority of the congregation was saying the old words and not the new ones. This means that a) they haven’t been to church enough since they changed to learn them (like me) or b) they haven’t been to church in so long that they don’t even know they changed.

With all of the extra people, a thought came to mind. Do churches get written up for violating fire codes? I KNOW that there were more people in there than was safe. Churches burn a lot of things during their services. I always thought I would go out in a plane crash or trampled at a concert. I don’t want my obit to read that I died in an over crowded church. I don’t really even see myself being in a church on December 21 this year. Of course, just wait until after communion and then there is no problem with overcrowding. Come on people, I am one of the worst at going to church but I at least stay until the end. If you only go once or twice a year, you can sacrifice the extra 15 min to stay until the end of mass.

At least Tori behaved and so did Alex. Alex slept and Tori watched Abby In Wonderland on the iPod. Yeah, I brought an iPod into church. Well, off to devil some eggs. Have a great Easter everyone!

And To All A Good Night

Posted in Holiday, Nonsense with tags , , , on December 25, 2011 by Bob

Wow, what an excellent Christmas. It wasn’t Tori’s first Christmas, but it was the first where she sort of had a clue what was going on. She even left her Santa hat on until we got to grandma’s and everyone got to see her cuteness.

Believe it or not, we actually got this picture at home.

Anyhoo, Tori had a great Christmas. We all had a great Christmas and I got a Muppet! That was the biggest surprise. I had no idea! He will be debuting here soon!

Just want to wish everyone a happy and merry Festihanuchristmakwanzadan! Me and the missus are going to relax a little, enjoy the Grizwalds and then settle in for a long winter’s nap.

Until next time, remember … “If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now.”

It’s A Christmas Eve Miracle!

Posted in Herman IQ 074, Holiday, Nonsense, Wacky News with tags , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2011 by Bob

So, this morning I decided that I had to do some laundry in order to have clean clothes to wear to my in-law’s and my parent’s for Christmas eve. It is traditional Christmas Eve lasagne at my mom’s so I just had to wash some jeans. Since it was jeans I was washing, I decided to wash my jacket as well. I don’t think I washed it since we got back from Vegas, but I could be wrong. In either case, I did the standard emptying of pockets in the jeans and my jacket, turning all the pockets inside out so as to make sure nothing got into the wash. I went down stairs to start my gift wrapping odyssey. After the wash cycle was complete, Jackie was going to put the little voice down for her nap and asked if I ever put the clothes in the dryer. I told her no and she said she would do it. All of a sudden from up in the laundry room there came such a clatter … of laughter and “oh my god you are not going to believe what i just found in the wash!” I told her to tell me, but she said she had to show me. She came down and stood on the stairs and held out over the railing what she had found so I could see it.

I could NOT believe what I was seeing. I had emptied my pockets umpteen times. Searched through them over and over. I had been wearing my jacket for 2 weeks … HOW on earth could I have missed this?

Zombie Herman?

 

YES! It is Herman who we thought was lost in the wilds of Freemont Street! How he made it home I have no clue. He is still in quarantine to determine if indeed he is a zombie or not. I kid you not people, this was NOT planned or expected. I also did not clone Herman and replace him. Jackie laughed a little when she showed me because I was almost as excited as Lindsey Lohan when she found out she could drink again.

Yeah, I am a little bit of a geek for being this excited. It really is kind of cool though, and a little creepy. I really have been wearing the coat since we got back from Vegas and I have been in and out of the pockets. I have no clue what happened. Jackie was more practical. She said “I really am impressed at how well the pain stayed on his uniform after going through the wash.” I love my wife.

Welcome Home Herman!!!!!! (once we find out if you are a zombie or not that is)

What Not To Buy … A Gifting Guide

Posted in Holiday, How To, Nonsense with tags , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2011 by Bob

So, the other day the team here at Voicesinmybrain gave our directions on how to shop last minute. We have received literally hundreds of comments on that post. Granted, they were mostly spam, but we still had a big enough response that the editorial staff got together and read through the one email we got from Melvin R. in Susquehanna, PA. This email had a simple request: “You told us how to shop and gave a few suggestions, but, what should I avoid buying for my girlfriend?” Excellent question Melvin. Since the editorial staff only has 2 women, and one of them can’t speak, there was limited input from the female perspective. We did do our best however to come up with our top 10 list of gifts NOT to get your girlfriend for Christmas (or any other holiday for that matter). In no particular order, here they are.

1. A stripper pole – No matter how sexy you think she is, and no matter how sexy SHE thinks she is, you should never suggest she dance for you like that. For this to truly be a gift, she should buy it for YOU.

2. Anything that vibrates – Do you really want to encourage her to replace you?

3. Edible Clothing – Again, this is really a gift for you. If you think it isn’t, consider the fact that she is going to be all sticky and gross after you are done slobbering all over her.

4. Cooking lessons – If she doesn’t already know how to cook, then that means she doesn’t want to. Trying a not so subtle hint as this is a possible relationship ender.  Take her to dinner somewhere nice instead.

5. Anything to do with cleaning – See #4 … same concept.

6. Gym Membership – Again, see #4 … Do you see the pattern here?

7. Clothes – So many things can go wrong with this … Wrong size which can get you in trouble, wrong style which could show her how bad your fashion sense is (I learned that one the hard way) and god forbid you buy sexy lingerie.

8. A romantic weekend – This actually depends on how long you have been together. Too soon and you will scare her away. Don’t wait too long in the relationship though or she will expect a ring during the weekend.

9. A pet – This is like saying, “I want a pet but I don’t want to take care of it so I am giving it to you as a gift so I can play with it but you have to take care of it.”

10. A poem or original song – No matter how “romantic” you think this idea might be, unless you are Dr. Seuss or Dave Grohl, all you will be saying is “I am soooo cheap!”

Remember, we worked for minutes and did a modicum of research in order to bring you this helpful information. Please do not embarrass yourself this gift giving season. Heed our advice and you will find you will be the best gifter on your side of the bed.

How To Last Minute Christmas Shop

Posted in Holiday, How To, Nonsense with tags , , , , , on December 20, 2011 by Bob

Yes my friends, with Christmas fast approaching, the staff here at Voicesinmybrain thought we would lend a hand to the weary shopper who has procrastinated until time has almost run out. We have gathered our combined years of extensive experience and compiled the best things to do when you are last minute shopping. Ok, so it is just me and what I seem to do every year. Take my advice to heart, or discard it like last year’s fruitcake. Either way, I hope you glean some sort of helpful information from another VIMB ‘How To’ moment.

  1. Look at the calendar every day starting the 1st of Dec and tell yourself “I have plenty of time!”
  2. Ignore #1 until Dec 20th and then when you get to work and realize the date say “Oh Crap!” loud enough for co-workers to hear.
  3. Forgo lunch the next 3 days as you run from store to store trying to find that perfect gift that everyone is sold out of by now.
  4. Try shopping online but realize shipping will be 3 times as much as the gift in order to get it in time.
  5. With 2 days left, check the “Seasonal” isles at Walgreens, CVS, Jewel etc. Find no gift but get enough candy for stocking stuffers
  6. With 1 day s left, go into panic mode, run to each store you previously went to before. Buy sizes that don’t fit, and damaged items with hopes they will be back in stock when it is time for returns and exchanges.
  7. On Christmas Eve, realize that your gifts suck, stop at a gas station and buy everyone a bottle of booze and some scratch off lottery tickets.
  8. On Christmas morning, realize it is not about the gifts and it is about family and togetherness and all that sappy stuff and enjoy the day. (Sorry, had to end it on a high note. It’s Christmas after all!)
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