the rewards of Christmas

For me Christmas was never really about gifts for me. okay that's a lie I've already established that as a child I loved gifts for me. However the older I got the less I liked them. Maybe it was because I couldn't afford to give them to my friends and those that I hold dear to me. Now that I have a solid job (Go Mariners!) I can actually afford to give gifts and feel like I am doing good. I would cite last year as a good year in terms of being able to give gifts but here's the thing - last year I made CD's for my closest friends and I have it on good accounts that at least 2 of those friends have yet to even listen to them once. This is why homemade gifts suck. I put way more thought and effort into those gifts than I would any store bought gift and yet I'm sure if I had just went out and bought them some cheap hunk of crap they would have appreciated it more. Conclusion I am never giving homemade gifts ever again.

Anyway this year I had a plan in motion since some time in October. I had been looking for birthday presents for my best friend Dean on Amazon when I found her absolute favorite TV show Red Dwarf for an insanely great deal. I then start a dialog with her that says something to the effect of I'm sorry I can't get you this for your birthday but since I am saving my money now I might be able to get it for you for Christmas. which because she is an amazing friend she of course told me that was okay and that I shouldn't get it for her since I need to save my money and while it would make her happy to get it, it would make her happier if I was responsible and saved my money. Her birthday went smoothly and I bookmarked that Amazon page.

I won't go into the detail of me watching and hoping for the price to drop. Why you might be asking? Because that was boring and no one wants to read about how I was watching a website for 2 months. So let's get to the action shall we? Dean and I got lunch about 2 weeks before Christmas and a little before the annoying snowstorm hit. I had just gotten my new phone and I was showing her the Hippo I was going to get for her sister Tess to see if she thought she would like it which reminded me - I need to order Red Dwarf for her. I had budgeted perfectly and had more than enough money for it. So while we are eating dinner I ordered her gift and told her exactly what I was doing. Well of course I was met with a chorus of "What did you get me?" as if I would actually tell her. This is when I activate plan throw her off my scent.
"I can't tell you
but I can tell you that unfortunately I wasn't able to get you Red Dwarf. It was just too much. But I hope you like what I got you."
"Oh Allen it's okay I know it's a lot I will get it some day it'll be okay."
"Yeah but I feel bad because I know you really want it."
"No really it's okay I would be happy even if you didn't get me anything"
"Okay I just hope that you like it."

And like that the plan was set. Over the next two weeks whenever she mentioned red Dwarf (and she mentioned it A LOT) I knew I had done the right thing despite lying to my best friend. Then it was Christmas and of course she was snowed in so we couldn't exchange gifts on Christmas or Christmas Eve. The snow finally thawed and we made plans to meet on Monday before I went to work to exchange gifts and get Jamba Juice at my mall. This is getting even better for me by the second - now we're gonna be in public and I am about 50% sure she is going to freak out.

Once we get together I first give her the gift she knew what it was, Lovespell from Victoria's Secret because she had mentioned she was out of it. Then I gave her sister Tess her gifts of a Hippo and an Otter. Then just to drag it out even more I gave her her sister Raven's gift so she could give it to her. then I pulled out the box with Red Dwarf in it. "Oh I think this one might belong to you too." As I handed to her what she would later describe as the single greatest gift she has gotten ever. What I was greeted with when she opened it was this -

Okay maybe it wasn't quite that. But she did scream in the middle of the mall. Anyway that look on her face down there was well worth every single penny and then some. This is why I love Christmas being able to make people forget their sorrows even just for a little bit and be truly happy with the joy of a child.


My New Year's Resolution

Well it's that time again and I've decided to give myself an actual resolution that I can in fact achieve. I am going to watch all of the movies that I own in alphabetical order by the end of 2009. Now I know this sounds very much like a stupid goal especially considering I already watch enough movies but the bottom line is I realized I own a lot of movies that I have never ever seen. Shoot some of them I have never even had the desire to watch them, and yet I own them. I don't know why I own them, most likely they were cheap and I lack self control. I added the alphabetical order thing to make it slightly more difficult but still obtainable. Now I own 117 movies and I will most likely wind up adding more movies throughout the year so I have devised a some rules that I must follow in order to achieve this goal.

1. The movies must be watched in Alphabetical order. (for this purpose it's A-#'s)
2. If I watch a movie out of order I have to watch it again when it comes up in it's order.
3. Once I have watched the movie in order I CAN NOT WATCH IT AGAIN until finished.
4. The exception for #3 is if it is part of a group viewing where I have no control over the movie being played.
5. If a movie is added later in the year when I have already passed it's place in order it is added to the end of the list in alphabetical order.

I still haven't decided if I have to watch the TV shows that I have on DVD as well simply because of the HUGE amount of time I would have to dedicate to watching those episodes. I mean I own 13 box sets of seasons of TV shows. That would add 8,687 minutes or 144.78 hours to my already huge number of hours tied up in watching my movies that I am afraid I would run out of time to watch everything else. Still I am leaving it up to you, my faithful blog readers to decide if I should add the TV shows to my goal. Whatever you decide I will go along with. So all I am asking you to do is comment on this entry if you think I should or shouldn't with a brief explanation why. By January 1st I will close the ballots and post a new entry about my resolution.

The power is in your hands people!

*voting is closed for an update on my resolution please read this*


It's officially Christmas

And I gotta say it would appear I have reached a time in my life where Christmas is just another paid day off. I mean yesterday on Christmas Eve I had dinner with my dad and step mom which was fun. I never really seem to see them despite living so close. Some would call that a crime I would instead call that simply how I have lived my life up until I moved here and to suddenly transition to seeing them all the time just seems weird so I choose to stay away. I received a wonderful Christmas present from them, a Pork Chop from Thundering Hooves. Don't feel bad for me though since they did buy me a new phone for Christmas 2 weeks ago so I did in fact get something awesome from them besides the pork chop. We stayed up until about 11 talking, or rather me listening to my dad and my step Mom's cousin Dan talking. Dinner wasn't anything big, or elaborate and fancy. Nope just turkey, roasted vegetables and green beans, with cider to drink. But it was enough and I enjoyed myself.

Then this morning, as has become a tradition when my step mom goes to have a fun Christmas brunch with her daughters and their families my dad and I go off in search of a restaurant that is open on Christmas so we too can get breakfast. For the second year in a row we have had to settle for IHOP, or as my dad calls it "the international house of cream and sugar". The roads were horrible but we survived our trip there. I had some weird creation of theirs combining coffee cake and pancakes simply because I wanted the large breakfast platter of eggs, hash browns, sausage and bacon that came with it. I forget what dad got. We chatted for a bit, then in search for something to do while we waited for Catherine (the step mom) we went back to dad's and watched an interesting photoshop tutorial DVD that I'm pretty sure only he and I could find interesting. After she was finally done we headed out and picked her up while listening to KEXP's interesting take on Christmas music. Never in my life have I heard such annoying songs in my life. But then again KEXP is the local hipster radio station and in order to be hip in Seattle you have to pretty much drown in irony and sarcasm.

So yeah that's my Christmas. No huge parties. No tons of presents. No children sleeping under the tree. And yet, I kinda like it this way. I mean sure I want all those things, but part of me thinks that the less stressful and busy Christmases help you appreciate the highly stressful ones you have later in life. I know I already appreciate all the ones from my youth that much more that is for sure.

Anyway I just wanted to take this time to wish all of my faithful readers a Merry Christmas and I hope you had one that you will remember for a very long time.


'Tis the Season for Christmas Movies!

Alright so there's a week and a half before Christmas and there is no way to avoid them - Christmas movies. Most of them are HORRIBLE, however I will now be sharing with you my top 10 favorite (in no real order for I love them all the same) Christmas movies of all time. You can argue with me all you want, in fact I enjoy it most of the time, if you think I left one off or included one that shouldn't be there (and based entirely on the events of my Christmas Movie festival a couple days ago people will disagree with at least one of them). Anyway on to the list.

10. Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas
Alright I will be the first to admit that my love of this stems mostly from my love of Jim Henson. Growing up I spent the first 6 years of my life on a steady television diet of Muppets and Fraggle Rock. To me this man is a god and could do no wrong. When presented with the gift of the Maggi as told through Otter puppets I just couldn't get enough. Sure their voices are a bit unnerving when they sing but they're puppets, you can't expect them to suddenly sound like amazing singers. And yes for the most part this has very little to do with Christmas other than being about buying presents for Christmas and taking place on Christmas Eve for the most part, but it has long been a tradition of mine that I simply can't get enough of. Unfortunately my friends didn't think the same when I shared it with them recently, but I guess without a childhood connection maybe I wouldn't have been so easily entertained myself. Still I love it!

9. Scrooged
There are approximately 9 million retellings of A Christmas Carol. i could have gone with a more traditional telling of the story or the ever so popular Muppet version, but I am anything but traditional and I already talked about my love of Muppets so I couldn't bring myself to do so twice on the same blog. No I need my Ghost of Christmas present to be sweet and innocent and then punch someone in the face for no real reason. I need my Ghost of Christmas Future to make me wet myself at the sight of him. Drunken taxi driver as the Ghost of Christmas past? Yes please, I'll take 2. Bill Murray before he got all serious and Indie with his movies, is a Christmas present I will cherish forever. Throw in a wonderfully clever acting job by Bobcat Goithwait and you'll be wanting to staple antlers to mice and be left wondering if that is a nipple or a shadow.

8. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
I LOVE the vacation movies. All of them. I even sat through that Vegas movie that shouldn't have been made. Chevy is a comedic genius when he wants to be and this one just proves that point. The end all be all of horrible Christmas dinners is an absolute blast. And who hasn't wished for some super strength lube to make your sled go even faster down the hill? Throw in the ever classic Christmas blow up and subsequent happy ending and you have the grounds for an instant holiday favorite that is required viewing some time from Thanksgiving to New Year.

7. A Christmas Story
They don't play this thing for 24 hours on Christmas day on TBS for no reason. This thing is a classic. Everyone has had their own variant of a Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time in their past and this is the perfect reminder of Christmases gone by. If you read my last insanely long blog you would know what mine was so I won't go into it again but every single year I love to watch this and remember more innocent times. Where a double dog dare was as good as a signed contract, and you actually cared about the toy in the box of cereal. Someone buy me that leg lamp.

6. Die Hard
Now I know what all of you are thinking, I've gone off my rocker in including this obvious guy film on my list of Christmas movies I love but no I tell you this is a Christmas movie. Sure it isn't traditional, but the story is all about a man visiting his estranged wife in LA at a Christmas party for her work and wanting to get back to his kids alive. You even hear the classic Christmas song "Christmas in Hollis" and other Christmas tunes. Now tell me that isn't a Christmas Classic. Yep just like I thought can't do it.

Just wait until I do a valentines movie list and try and explain why I think Terminator is a love story.

5. The Santa Claus
Okay back to the classics. Commonly referred to the last good thing Tim Allen has ever done Not counting Galaxy Quest. the idea of a normal man becoming Santa is a new and interesting take on the theme of Adults not getting Christmas and needing a child to remind them of it's wonders and the joys of the holiday. Tim is the perfect cranky adult who is bitter and neglectful to his child. That's the problem that the other films in this series didn't get, that's what makes this movie a success - not Tim Allen as an actor but the bitter and angry person evolving into the epitome of Christmas and Childhood joy. Once you lose that, there really is no reason to watch. Which is why I say just like I say with every movie series not a part of the big three (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the Godfather) skip the sequels.

4. Love, Actually
If there was ever a movie that epitomized what most everyone I know truly wants for Christmas it would be Love, Actually. The Holiday season is kinda rough without someone to love, and to share the season with and the older you get the less you want that person to be your parents. I mean I love my family more than almost anything but really I've reached that point in my life where I'd like to start traditions of my own and have someone to spend it with that I love who isn't a relative. This movie makes me think it's still possible and that some day I will have what they have. And that it could be anywhere I just have to keep my eye out for it.

3. Elf
The ONLY Will Ferrell movie as an adult that thinks and acts like a child movie I like. I'm just glad they haven't tried to destroy the pleasure I find in this one by making a sequel. I couldn't see anyone else in this role either, I just wish I didn't have to see him in this role while playing other characters in every single movie he makes not named Stranger Than Fiction. This one once again fits into the same position as the Santa Clause, kid(like adult) changes bitter old man for the better. James Caan is always a great idea if you need someone to be angry and look like they will kill you if you look at them wrong, and honestly if felt kinda weird to see him cheerful and happy by the end of the movie. Though I guess that is a good thing for the character since he became someone new and different by the end.

2. Serendipity
If you thought Die Hard was a stretch this one is as elastic as Stretch Armstrong in a sweat lodge. Honestly the connection to Christmas is as simple as the first 20 minutes and the last 2, but I don't care, I love this movie. Cusack and Beckensale have chemistry to spare and I felt for them not being together through the entire movie. Any chance I have to talk about this under appreciated RomCom i will take it. Now go rent it!

1. Charlie Brown Christmas
I wanted to end on a high note, and what better high note than Charles Schultz's holiday classic that combines the qualities I love about almost all of the other movies on this list and throws them into one event that goes above and beyond the gifts and the glitter and gets to the bottom of teaching everyone a lesson and showing them what Christmas is truly about the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And so I will leave you with this. Merry Christmas all of you, I hope you get everything on your list, and a few things you didn't even know you needed.


It would appear to be kinda like Christmas

1. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I'm not a HUGE fan of the old standards, I mean they are great I'm not debating that. I'm just saying give me an updated version on the classic and I'm gonna be greatly pleased. I'd have to say my favorite would be either "Christmas All Over Again" by Tom Petty or "the Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth" By David Bowie and Bing Crosby

2. When was your most memorable Christmas?
I'm not gonna lie growing up I was very spoiled. I was one of the first kids with a Nintendo. I once asked for an entire collection of toys from my favorite cartoon growing up, M.A.S.K. and I actually got it thanks to my father's diligence and patience. However my mos memorable Christmas was the one where I learned all of that didn't matter. I was 4 and we were having a big family gathering at my Grandparent's place in Chowchilla, CA. Literally everyone was there. Unfortunately on the trip there my parents UPSed my presents so that they would get there. there was a big snow storm and in the confusion my presents were delayed and it very much looked like they weren't going to make it to my Grandparents in time for Christmas. My parents sat me down and explained this to me, and of course I pouted for a bit but I understood that I still got my presents that my grandparents got me, and that eventually they would show up. The day after Christmas my presents arrive and as I had mentioned there were a lot of them. After plowing through all of them in record time I looked up at my parents and asked one question that would drive everyone watching into fits of insanity - "Is that it? Isn't there more?" My parents tried to tell me I had enough, I kindly reminded them that no that couldn't be all of them. My grandpa was amazed at my gumption, and low and behold my Grandma was the one to almost start beating me for being such a spoiled brat the likes of which is reserved for that very special holiday Blossom where the kids learn all about Christmas by feeding the homeless. To this day I contend I only asked because the day before it seemed like opening presents took a lot longer and thus everyone got more. turns out when you're the only one opening them it really doesn't take that long to unwrap 79 hot wheels cars.

3. What is your favorite Christmas treat?
As a family tradition my grandparents send off to each one of their children a pound of Pistachios. And while I am not a fan of them I still look forward to seeing them come because it meant it was Christmas time. Now as for treats I actually eat, Danish butter cookies are AMAZING, I could drink a gallon of Egg Nog every single day, and of course everyone needs to eat 1 sectionalized festively designed tin of popcorn during the holidays.

4. What do you dislike most about the Christmas season?
Honestly, there isn't a whole lot about the holidays I don't like. I mean sure I could say working retail has caused me to hate malls and all things not online shopping related but it pays my bills and allows me to buy gifts for all my friends so I love it. If I had to pick something I don't like though I'd have to go with the length. I mean I know it's stereotypical and obvious to complain about how it seems holidays start earlier and earlier every year but it's just frustrating to have to set your holiday decorations at work before the Pilgrims are even off the boat.

5. What do you like best about the Christmas season?
Call me crazy but I absolutely LOVE Christmas movies. So much so that I have been found to watch Scrogged in July. After the movies comes just the general feeling of the season. Now no one with any sense will compare Seattle to other big cities like say New York when it comes to hospitality, but still 10 months out of the year I'm convinced everyone around me who I don't know on a personal basis are the scum of the earth and deserve nothing but sweet sweet death. Then suddenly it's the Christmas season and I smile more, I talk to strangers without the slightest hint of disdain. Sure I'm still sarcastic and snide but I'm still happy about it.

6. Who is the hardest person to shop for on your Christmas list?
Honestly I don't have a hard time shopping for anyone. I find that this time of year is where my observational skills really come into effect in finding that perfect gift. take last year for example and my step mother, a notoriously hard gift to place. I had recently moved out and I knew they make a lot of salads to go with their meals and I was working at Pottery Barn Kids at the time and so I got a discount at William Sinoma as well and so I went there and got her a new salad washer from OXO. It was a bit bigger than the one she used that was breaking but it was also sturdier and quite easy on her hands. Well when I gave it to her of course she acted like she liked it just fine, but she really liked the one she had. My dad had even tried to get her the same one awhile back only leading to it being returned. She promised to try it out though and 2 weeks later she was in love with the new one and thanked me oh so greatly for the gift. Sure I still ask people what they want but generally that is and always will be greeted with the sentence "Oh you don't have to get me anything", but as I've learned people like presents and it's always nice to show your appreciation to them when you're usually mean to them.

7. If you could receive one gift without money being an issue, what would it be?
the price of the gifts has never really been an issue for me throughout my life to be completely honest. I mean sure I ask for expensive things (just click on my Amazon wishlist to the right for confirmation on that) but at the same time the things I really want never really have a price tag. In fact right now I think the greatest gift anyone could possibly give me would be a cure for MS so that my mom could be healthy enough to loose weight on her own instead of thinking surgery was the answer. I want nothing more than for her to live the life her mind thinks she can instead of the one her body won't allow. Though if you can't do that I'd take a Lego Millennium Falcon.

8. What is your idea of a perfect Christmas Eve?
My perfect Christmas Eve probably doesn't really make sense to most people, but then again maybe it will. What it entails is a nice dinner with my wife and my 3year old child, who's all excited for their first Christmas where they actually "get it". I'll tuck them in extra early and then get to work on the little one's presents once they are fully asleep. Staying up extra late to put together their new bike or some other newfangled gadget that I will need to put together and get on display for them so they can play with it right away. Stuffing their stocking with peanuts and oranges and other little trinkets. Getting the finishing touches on everything just in time for the little one to wake up and run downstairs and play with their toys the next morning. The sense of joy on that child's face the only thanks I get for all the effort to make things perfect is all I need.

9. Which do you like best, eggnog, or hot chocolate?
Finally a question I can answer without running on like an idiot! The answer is simple - Egg Nog. It's not that I dislike hot chocolate, it's just you can have that any time of the year. If you want Egg Nog in June you have to make that stuff yourself!

10. Do you prefer a fancy Christmas tree, or one decorated by the kids?
Honestly I haven't had a fancy tree. growing up my tree was covered in cheesy plastic apples and red bows. In fact those decorations were still on my tree until I was at least 20. At some point we adopted some small ornaments my Grandmother who has sense passed painted, and some that I did in like the 4th grade. Sure once the apples and bows went away much to my great pleasure as I loathed those apples and bows, we got some shiny balls and such but we kept the hand painted ornaments too. And honestly I don't know what Christmas would be like without them.

11. What is your favorite family Christmas tradition?
The older I got the more and more Christmas just became another day to me and my family. The only tradition which has stayed since I was a kid was that I would wake my mom up extra early to open our presents and then I'd stay up while she went back to bed. I think towards the end of us living together it just got to the point we were both up at midnight, and then at 12:01 we opened our presents. And then of course there was the tradition of making a full Christmas dinner for just the 2 of us and having leftovers for the next 2 weeks. That was a good one too.

12. Do you like fruitcake?
I've honestly never had fruitcake. though I can say it doesn't look very appetizing.

13. Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?
Fat people don't ski or snowboard. It's just not right.

14. Are you dreaming of a White Christmas, or do you say “Bah Humbug” to snow?
If I don't have to go out in it or drive anywhere I love to sit and watch it snow. there is just something so peaceful about watching it glide it's way down from the sky with such ease that puts your heart at ease and eliminates all burdens in your life. However people in Seattle can't drive on the stuff so if you're on the road be prepared to be thoroughly annoyed and all those burdens are right there on the road with you.

15. What was your favorite gift from Santa when you were a child?
My loss in faith in the existence of Santa came ridiculously early and at the hands of culprits you would least expect, my Mother. I only tell this story because it ties to my favorite gift of all time. M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) was big when I was a kid though it didn't stick around for too long. It was an odd combination of GI Joe and Transformers where a team of good guys had masks with special powers and cars that turned into other vehicles that also had super powers. It was a cartoon that could only exist in the 80's. Of course with any good cartoon we were inundated with commercials for the toys so much so that I think collectively I saw more minutes of commercial than cartoon. That year for Christmas I was still asking big. I wanted the ENTIRE collection of MASK toys. I had maybe 2 of them before Christmas and it was at least an 30 piece collection. I woke up Christmas morning and low and behold they were all there. Every member of Venom, all the MASK team, even their mountain base which doubled as a storage container. I was in absolute heaven. 3 weeks later they were all broken and a mess on my floor but I loved those toys. To finish my story my mom discovered all my broken toys that my dad had put a lot of effort into collecting for me on my bedroom floor while I was at school. After picking me up at school she proceeded to berate me for breaking my toys and being so lackadaisical about it. "Santa gave me those toys" I reasoned. I mean once they were given to me clearly they were mine to do with as I deemed necessary. And if I broke them they were conjured up with magic by elves so really what's the loss on elvish magic? "WHO DO YOU THINK SANTA CLAUS IS?!?!?!?!" was my mother's reply through her teeth. I was grounded for the next month, but I think my real punishment was an early loss of Christmas spirit.

16. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Alright I've got a couple favorites so I think I will once again have a long rambling answer here. Growing up I would always watch "Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas" a movie I still love to this day. It was done by Jim Henson before I was born and it's kinda a retelling of the Gift of the Maggi with Otters. Really cute and great musical numbers. Of all the Christmas Carol type movies I would have to cite Scrooged as my favorite. It's a classic and Bill Murray has never been more perfectly suited for a role before or since. And then of course there is the reliable and classic National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story. Not a single Christmas can be complete without a viewing of both.

17. Have you ever eaten snow?
Absolutely! Though I do have a rule. Only fresh snow can be eaten and it must be high enough that you can't see grass. That way you know you won't get any dirt. And of course no yellow snow is an obvious comment that really shouldn't have to be said.

18. Who do you wish could be with you this Christmas?
I've never had a big family growing up so aside from that one Christmas when I was 4 at my grandparents I've never had a huge Christmas full of loved ones. I guess it's because of that that I wish I could just once have all my friends and loved ones together for Christmas in one place. I don't want anyone to feel excluded because I left out their name so I won't name specific names but you should know that if we've ever been close in my entire life, I want you there. Every extended family, every adopted family, all of my best friends throughout the years, I want you here for Christmas. we simply don't see enough of each other (except for you Kurt and Mark, I see you guys all the time) and you really do mean that I wish you were here.

19. When do you put up your Christmas lights and decorations?
Right now I'm waiting patiently for me to get some money so I can go out and buy a real tree for the first time in many years, however I have a Christmas party at my house on Sunday so I'll probably wind up busting out my tiny fake tree one more time this year and spend my post Christmas shopping buying decorations and a tree stand for my live tree next year.

20. Real or artificial Christmas tree?
I've always been a proponent for the artificial tree with the lights already built into the branches, but lately I have been really wanting a real tree, I'm not sure why. I haven't had a real tree in at least a dozen years but now I really want one.


The Soundtrack of My Life

Have you ever wondered what your life's soundtrack would be? In every movie there is music playing in the background that is supposed to fit the scene. In the scenes of life what music would be playing for you? For me I honestly am not sure. I mean would it be the music you listen to most? For me that would most definitely be hip hop, but honestly I'm a middle class white kid so why would songs about struggle and turmoil in slums and ghettos fit my life? It wouldn't so that couldn't be it.

Your favorite song at that moment perhaps? If you are anything like me your favorite song changes just about every couple of days. One day it's "Thug's Mansion" by Tupac, the next it's "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. Except if you look at a movie's soundtrack there is very little variety in the sound. It sticks to one genre and then hits different points within that. So clearly that theory is out.

So after a lot of thought and scouring my iTunes music I have come up with the soundtrack to my life, enjoy. Perhaps you'll see something you'll want to hear that you hadn't thought about before. Also included is a brief explanation as to why the song was included.

1. Dear Life - Anthony Hamilton. It's the sound of it that I absolutely love. That smooth jazzy music and Hamilton's bluesy vocals. The lyrics are simply genius as well.

2. In this Diary - The Ataris. Now I am already breaking the rules for what makes a soundtrack by picking a rock song after a R&B song, but honestly I couldn't think of a better song to capture my teenage years. Because after all, being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up.

3. Knocking on Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan. Sure this song has been covered by about a billion people ranging from Bon Jovi to Avril Lavigne but nothing can compare to Dylan. This is the song I want played at my funeral. How often have we felt like the pressure is too hard on us to continue and like our life is coming to an end only to overcome it and move on and learn from the lesson? For me it's far too many to think.

4. If You Think You're Lonely Now - Bobby Womack. Quite honestly it never gets better than Bobby Womack. Only he could make a song about getting fed up with your woman and walking out on her sound like a wonderful love song.

5. Buddy Holly - Weezer. Quite simply Weezer is amazing. While I may not look like Buddy Holly, this is still the perfect courting song, and if anyone of you have read my blog for any length of time you would know I do love me some courting.

6. The Girl All the Bad Guys Want - Bowling For Soup. Let's be honest now here guys there will always be that one girl in our past that we tried too hard to impress to no avail because she was into bad boys. We do some stupid things and this song is the epitome of that era in our lives.

7. I Can't Make Me - Butterfly Boucher. At the same time there will also be that amazing girl who you know would do anything for you, and will love you unconditionally no matter how often you screw up that you just can't bring yourself to be interested in. She's your Duckie.

8. The Light - Common. This song helped me understand exactly what love is supposed to be and how to make a relationship work. It also contains my absolute favorite lyrics ever, here's just a sample - "If relationship is effort I will match your work/I wanna be the one to make you happiest, it hurts you the most/They say the end is near, its important that we close../.. to the most, high/Regardless of what happen on him lets rely."

9.Your Precious Love - D'Angelo & Eryka Badu. Another smooth R&B joint. It's a throw back to those classic Temptations and Supremes songs with a contemporary feel. I simply love this song.

10. Passenger Seat - Deathcab For Cutie. I don't know exactly why but every time I hear this song I think of my dad when I was growing up and trips up to my Grandparents home. We didn't spend a whole lot of time together then but when we did it is some of my favorite memories of growing up.

11. Father of Mine - Everclear. Like I said we didn't spend a whole lot of time together.

12. Land of Confusion - Genesis. Okay sure I am picking this mostly for the music video but honestly considering the political climate of most of my life, first with Regan and continuing all the way to Bush Jr. this song perfectly fits my feelings of how we have carried ourselves and how we need to fix it.

13. Cheeseburger in Paradise - Jimmy Buffett. Let's be honest here everyone loves a good burger. And this song is just fun.

14. Hey Mama - Kanye West. What playlist of mine would be complete without an ode to my mother. She's the most amazing woman I have ever met, and the model I use to decide if I a woman is worth my time. I would of went with Tupac's Dear Mama but this one is more positive and fits my mom better.

15. Love Me Or Hate Me - Lady Soverign. Honestly there isn't a better song to describe how people view me and my personality. Sure I am a lovable person but at the same time when you first meet me chances are you will hate me. Once you get past that first impression you will see just who I am and you will love me, but there is no middle ground.

16. Wanna Be Startin' Something - Michael Jackson. The final track on my soundtrack would have to be Michael. The man simply dominated my early childhood. I remember how absolutely horrible I felt when I accidentally left my Thriller LP out in the sun and destroyed it (that feeling only increases every time I think about how much that thing would be worth right now). The man could simply do no wrong at that point. I may not like the man now, but his music is undeniably perfection.

Well there you have it. I think I managed to follow the soundtrack rules, with a few exceptions but then again my life has always been full of exceptions so why should this be any different? So what's your soundtrack look like?


My Christmas Wishlist

I want...

a new phone.
books, lots and lots of books.
movies, lots and lots of movies.
toys to play with.
my computer to have sound again.
a new iPod that can actually hold all of my music on it.
to see my mom.
for my friends to know that I love them.
to know that my friends love me.
to make everyone smile a genuine smile.
to not have to be the man in charge.
to have the respect of the man in charge.
a kiss that means something.
to hear him say "I'm sorry".
to have an understanding of money and not run out.
to lose more weight.
to not get frustrated as easily.
to understand I am not the only one trying as hard as I can.
to help Mark find something else to say besides "that's what she said".
to cook for other people more.
to watch every movie I own that I haven't seen before.
to not be so judgmental of others and the trials they are going through.
to get more friends from Seattle to follow me on Twitter.
to remember what it was like to be a child.
to stay that way.
to be loved.


trapped in a box

You are trapped in a box. inside said box is everything you could need to lead a peaceful existance. However over a loud speaker you hear a voice. "There is one thing wrong with this box. Fix it and you will be able to leave and experience wonderful happiness unknown to you inside the box. You may not ask any questions as to what is wrong and I will not tell you. Punishment for asking is to be punched in the face repeatedly."

How do you get out of the box?