The “Christmas Spirit”

Christmas was yesterday. I’ve had an odd relationship with the holiday season over the years. For starters, I hate Christmas music, I know more about being Jewish than I do about being Christian when compared to the average person, and the Stortz family hasn’t had a Christmas tree in more years than I can remember. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas, I just don’t buy in to all the baggage that goes along with it.

It started as a little kid. Christmas was the best day ever. Spirits were high and toys were plentiful. The allure of Santa was real, and the gifts were real-er. More than anything, the anticipation of gifts was everything. Just to show how selfish I was, one year Jeff got me a fake lottery ticket, and in the end, I won $10,000, and the first words out of my mouth were something like “But I could have won $40,000

But aside from the gifts, the “tradition” of things didn’t really stick with me. Sure we got a tree and saw family & friends, but we didn’t make special foods, sing special songs, or watch special movies. We all just came together, enjoyed each others company, and that was that.

So when Christmas comes around and people constantly talk about things like A Christmas Story (never seen it) or caroling (there’s not one song I know all the words to), I just can’t identify with them. I didn’t know who Kris Kringle was until I was 20 years old, and I spelled that Chris Cringle the first time until I googled it just now. Here’s my list of the 8 (8?) Reindeer.

  • Dasher
  • Vixen
  • Blitzen
  • Rudolf
  • Prancer (?)
  • Donner
  • Eggnog
  • Santa

People say this makes me a scrooge (I learned who Scrooge was the same night I learned who Kris Kringle was), and I guess you can identify me as one, but the real “joy” of Christmas is (cliche) spending time with your loved ones. One night a year, my whole family will sleep at the house we grew up in, and that’s Christmas. We drink, we watch a movie, we play games, and we talk to each other. I am thankful for that, and look forward to Christmas for that. But just because I know next to nothing about Christmas culture doesn’t mean I’m not in the Christmas spirit.

Good Luck Movin Up Cause I’m…. Eating Out

I’ve eaten out for every single meal since Friday Night. How crazy is that?

Friday

Dinner – Turkey Burger from Brew Pub

Saturday

Breakfast – Baby Baconator from Lisa’s Kitchen

Dinner – Cheesesteak from Chubby’s

Sunday

Brunch – Salmon BLT wrap from Kildare’s

Dinner – Margarita pizza from Tuscany Pizza Kitchen at KOP

Monday

Lunch – Shrimp burrito at Mad Mex

Dinner – Everything and their mother at Blue Bell Inn

Tuesday

Lunch – Shrimp and bacon club from Cheesecake Factory

Dinner – Same thing as above

Conclusion!?

There is none really. I just haven’t posted in like a week (it was like three days) and this was the absolute first thing that came to mind when I thought about blog material.

Things I Don’t Like That Other People Do

Gourlay wrote two blogs this week about things I don’t like and he does like, which inspired me to form a list of things I don’t like that are generally liked.

  • Christmas Music – Dear sweet baby Jesus stop the music. Gourlay says it reminds him of the holidays, and that’s why he likes it. It reminds me of nothing. Even aside from the fact that it’s stupid music, they play this shit non-stop for a freakin’ month. There’s like 20 songs that are just covered by 100 different people and you hear them over and over. It’s enough to make me want to an hero.
  • Snow I hate the snow. I have poor circulation to my phalanges. I’d take a day in hell compared to a day out in the snow. Oddly enough, I really enjoy shoveling snow (not being sarcastic). I could shovel snow for days, but anything else snow related is awful. I’ll say it’s gorgeous to look at for 12 hours, then it just looks like shit, literally shit, on the side of the road until it’s gone.
  • Pool Related Activities – I don’t like water unless it’s hydrating me or cleaning me. Chlorine smells bad, I’m a bad swimmer, I didn’t learn how to dive until high school, and my weiner shrinks to an even smaller size than it already is. What part of that sounds fun?
  • Infants, Toddlers, Children – I don’t know what to do with little kids. One time at a holiday party a ~5 year old stole my shoes. Do I chase him? Beat him up? Steal his shoes? I had no clue, I just sat there until he lost interest and put them down, then I went and retrieved my shoes. Wow that was fun. Anything under ~12 years old is out of my league.
  • Anything Spicy or Sour – Buffalo is about as spicy as I can get, and even then the spice takes away from my enjoyment of the meal. Hot sauce / peppers are an automatic no. Lemon in my water is a dud. Sour Patch kids are great until you eat more than one. I was born with extraordinarily sensitive taste buds, and now I’m punished because everyone else has poor taste buds.
  • Birthdays Hey, you’re some arbitrary number of days past the date you shot out of your mom’s cooter! Let’s celebrate! I don’t need an excuse to celebrate. I do the same thing every weekend regardless of whether it’s my birthday. It’s nice to hang out with friends, but spare the presents and congratulations.

Mike Tyson Live TV Freak Out

I’m surprised I hadn’t seen this before, but I was grinning the whole time, and burst out laughing at the very end.

Mike Tyson is kind of the man. Do not get on his bad side.

Hozier is Good

To reinforce my new found love for Spotify, here are two songs I found on there that I never would have found otherwise.

Hozier is very good, and isn’t going away. Take Me to Church is great, but dark. His other songs are much less depressing. Here are two very good ones by him that keep the same sound from Take Me to Church, but have a much different tone. Both are very good, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they become popular soon.

 

It’s Almost 2015, and I’m Just Beginning to Use Spotify

I was resistant to Spotify for a long time. Honestly, the main reason why is this – pride. I was proud of the music library that I had amassed started in middle school using Ares. It wasn’t massive, a little under 4000 songs, but I hand picked nearly every single one. I had an intimate relationship with that library.

Spotify was a threat to my music library, and I didn’t want to change. Instead, I was forced to change.

My broken laptop prevented me from having music. So with my new smartphone, I gave in and got Spotify. Now I use it all the time, at work, at home, on weekends, etc. It’s convenient as can be, and I hate to say it, but it just may replace the music library that I know and love.

Tom always gave me shit for not using Spotify, and I understand why. I always knew I’d probably use it eventually. But now I’m converted.

If you don’t use Spotify, you’re probably an idiot. Get a brain and start using it.

Weekend ≠ Blogging

My last post – Five days ago

Tom’s last post – Three days ago

Gourlay’s last post – Three days ago

What does this mean?

It means we don’t give a shit about our blogs on the weekend because we have actual fun things to do, whereas during the week, we blog because we don’t want to work.

I don’t have a computer either. So unless I’m going to write a post on my phone (which I’ll never do), this blog will not be updated on the weekend.

Joel The Lump of Coal – The Killers

I despise Christmas music. But I heard this song on my drive to work and became insta-hooked. In my opinion, you’ll want to listen to all of it after 30 seconds.

A beautiful story of a special lump of coal, and how poorly Santa treats people and lumps of coal.

The Killers are geniuses by the way. The idea of doing one Christmas song a year that will eventually become an entire album of Christmas songs is smart. They’ve made one each year since 2006, so they have nine songs already. I’m a big fan of Joel.

ESPN Sports Shows – My Analysis

Mike & Mike

I listen to Mike and Mike every morning. Both guys are likable, and Golic being an ex-NFL player, but not a “star”, is a big plus. They’re natural speakers and entertainers and do a good job running the show.

I like when they talk about sports, but not so much when they talk about the politics of sports. I understand Ray Rice, APete, Roger Goodell, etc. are important events, but frankly I don’t care enough to listen about them for more than a few minutes. Other than that, the show is good with quality guest appearances, and a good amount of humor.

Personalities – ★★★★
Quality of Discussion – ★★★★
Topics – ★★

Total: 10/15

His & Hers (formerly Numbers Never Lie)

This show is always on during my lunch break, so I watch it frequently. Michael Smith and Jemele Hill are the usual hosts, and I’ll start with why I dislike the show – they intentionally disagree too often. They take the opposite side just to play devil’s advocate, when in most cases they don’t actually think that.

I think Michael and Jemele both know a decent amount, and I find Michael funny, but they seem too in-character. A plus is that they don’t stick on things too long, and occasionally have good guests on the show.

Personalities – ★★
Quality of Discussion – ★★
Topics – ★★★

Total: 7 / 15

First Take

Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless are great together in my opinion. They always speak their mind and they’re willing to make bold predictions, so when someone is proven right or wrong, hell breaks loose. They’re both knowledgeable and always want to one-up the other.

My main problem with the show is that they take far too long on each topic. The topics are generally good, but we don’t need 15 minutes on Geno Smith and Michael Vick, or anything related to the NFC South.

Personalities – ★★★★
Quality of Discussion – ★★★★★
Topics – ★★

Total: 11 / 15

Around the Horn

Tony Reali does a good job as the young, smug, and jovial host of this show. The panelists vary, and most are likable and smart, (my favorite is Woody Paige), but the competition aspect adds a layer of fun and humor. Similar to PTI, the topics are relevant.

HOWEVER, since there are four panelists, and you have to get insight from all of them in a short period of time, they can’t go too far into their answers. You’re taking longer on topics, for less information. This show stretches wide but doesn’t go deep.

Personalities – ★★★★
Quality of Discussion – ★★★
Topics – ★★★★

Total: 11 / 15

Pardon the Interruption 

In my opinion, this is the most well rounded show, and my favorite. Kornheiser and Wilbon are hilarious together, but balance humor with insight because they’ve both been around for so long and  know a lot about everything. The topics are relevant, and two minutes is just long enough for both of them to give a quality response.

They also mix it up with a few games so it’s not always bland discussion. Their “Five Good Minutes” segment always has a big name guest and you can tell they interview well and are liked by the interviewee. It doesn’t get much better than this in my opinion.

Personalities – ★★★★★
Quality of Discussion – ★★★★
Topics – ★★★★★

Total: 14/15

Sports Nation

BeadleI know going into Sports Nation that I’m not going to be wowed by the intelligent conversation. The little sports talk they do have is generally regurgitated things we’ve heard already, and the hosts are average.

However, the content / material they show is almost always entertaining and funny. It’s the stuff that’s not worth actually talking about, but funny to watch, or things you don’t see every day. It doesn’t hurt that Michelle Beadle is an absolute babe, even at age 39.

Personalities – ★★★
Quality of Discussion – ★
Topics – ★★★★

Total: 8 / 15