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WTF Friday: Episode 7 --- A Christmas Photo Contest!

Oh Snap!  There's a Contest at The Monkey House!! 

Because it's the holiday season, and all the blogosphere is hyped up about Christmas, I thought it would be fun to do a little photo contest.  That's right, I am hoping enough of you will go out of your way to make me feel good by taking a moment to add a photo of your favorite Christmas tree ever.  There are two categories: Prettiest Tree and Runner-up (which may be the ugliest tree, or may be the second prettiest tree, or may just be the tree with the most ornaments).  Bottom
line: two prizes will be given.   I ask that the trees actually be ones you took part in decorating or at least drove by and saw with your own eyes (i.e. don't just find something hideous on the interwebs).

The two winning photo submitters will receive a prize valued at roughly $100,000,000,000 (a set of 4 handpainted Martini Glasses and free advertising on my blog for a month - a 150 x 150 size... and I'll help you design your ad if you need a little graphic help).  The handpainted martini glasses will be worth a ton of money when I go loco like Van Gogh.  Or Picasso.  Or Cezanne.  Whatevs... they will be priceless 'cause I made 'em.

So add your photo to a blogpost, webpage, your flickr account, or whatever and submit the URL to the linky below.  Let's be honest, most of us do not have Martha Stewart trees since we have kids.  Handmade popcorn garland, the playdoh ornaments, or in my case, heirloom sticks from the Depression handed down from my grandma (no lie) would not likely grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.  But I think even my stick-covered tree is pretty.  So, anyone can win!  

Here are a couple examples:
Ugly Tree - This could win a prize!! 

Beautiful Tree
Um, yeah.  If this is your house, you get both prizes.

The contest is open until December 20th at 9am, at which point judging will begin.  The winners will be notified by email and will be featured in December 21st's WTF Friday post.

If you have any questions, you are taking this way too seriously.  But feel free to email them to me anyway.  I love emails.  Especially when they aren't trying to sell me Cialis or anabolic steroids. Neither of which I have any use for.  Bourbon and Zanax... that's another story.


Disco Balls and Cabbage... My Kind Of Christmas

Non-Traditional Holiday Traditions, Martini-Style

So, the three cents I will get in ad revenue will not make up for the $14 it cost me to create this post.  That is how important Christmas is to me.  I Freaking LOVE Christmas!  And I'm old, so it's not even because I get presents.  I love the tradition of it, even though no one would disagree that my "traditions" are a bit, um, non-traditional. 
Take Christmas Dinner. When I was growing up, everyone would pile into the car on Christmas Eve and go to grandmas house in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Kenosha, if ya don't know, is a little enclave of ethnic diversity, dominated by Italians, but with lots of Eastern Europeans sprinkled in for good measure.  My family would be one of those Eastern European sprinkles.  And apparently, in Eastern Europe, sausage (pronounced Saaaaaaa-sage) is a big deal.  So unlike most families who have baked ham or a beautiful roast turkey, we would have kielbasa and sauerkraut. 

kielbasa and sauerkraut
I went to Grandmas every Christmas Eve for over 20 years before trying this delicacy purely because it looks like something that was barfed up by a cat, and the smell could gag a maggot.
Turns out it is actually quite yummy. I finally got the balls to try it the last Christmas I trekked back to Kenosha, when I was like 26.  There was plenty of alcohol involved...mostly so I could make it through the evening with my family.  To set the scene a little, my aunts and uncles think beer can wind chimes are holiday d├ęcor, and someone always winds up falling into the tree, which until 2005 was decorated with real candles.   
Well, Grandma has passed, and now that I have kids I insist on doing Christmas at my house.  So now, my family has to pile in the car to come to Indianapolis every Christmas Eve, and guess what's on the table?  Yep.  Kielbasa and Sauerkraut.  Every. Christmas. 
Another non-traditional "tradition" that screams Christmas to me, but would likely leave most people thinking they're at a roller rink in the 80's, is Disco.  Macho Man by The Village People and It's Raining Men recorded by The Weather Girls in particular.  So, I guess it's your traditional Gay Disco Christmas...
Every year I would come home a couple days before Christmas and help "decorate" my parents house.  Decorating really only consisted of putting a silver bell on top of the TV and frocking whatever raggedy Christmas tree reject was left in the parking lot of the bar down the street.  Sorry dad, your trees were kinda... um, scraggly.
Scraggly Christmas Tree
And since my folks aren't really Christmas Crazies, we always had lame ass non-Christmas-Christmas music.  Those Darned Accordions was my mom's favorite.  And since my brother and I patently agree that accordion music SUCKS, and would rather suck on the broken tree lights than listen to it, we instituted Gay Disco Christmas.  We'd put on one of those compilation albums, like Disco Favorites Number 87, and skid around on the floor in our socks trying not to knock down the tree as we launched glass balls from varying distances toward said tree.  At the end, one of us would hoist the other one up just high enough so they could grab the pathetic top branch to attach the crowning hula Santa.  You know, those hula dolls you put on your dashboard?  Yeah, our tree topper was one of those. But Santa in a grass skirt.  
All the while, belting out lines like "I'm gonna go out, and let myself get, absolutely soaking wetttttt!"  And "Dinggggg, Dinggggg, Dinggggg,.... You can ring my be-e-e-el, ring my bell. Ding Dong Ding, Ringalingaling". 
See.  Gay Disco Christmas.  Who wouldn't love that tradition?  
So, here is where my $14.00 investment comes in.  I thought I would create a little video to get you, my kind reader, into the Gay Disco Christmas spirit.  Enjoy!


You Can Go Ahead and Buy My Book...

So I'm a published author!


Actually, I was already a published author.  Little known fact: I used to be an academic and, well, I wrote about stuff with authoritay.  Mostly about pirates (the Arrgh kind, not the Chinese kind who make fake DVD's) and about voting behavior and ideology, media and... oh, you're yawning?  Awesome.  Glad a decade of my life's hard work bores you.  Well, it bored the crap out of me too, quite frankly. But, out of all those years of binge drinking and dorkitude at the university, I got at least one article published in a somewhat respected journal.  Well, it was respected until they let me in.  It was a pretty cool study that compared the substance of political information (i.e. what you and I call "news") reported by The Daily Show vs. network news during the '04 election.  Turns out, funny news is also more substantive and is better retained in the memory.  You can check out the study here
And, well, duh.  I blog all the time because I think what I have to say is read-worthy. Am I a delusional published author?  Probably.  But it turns out at least a couple other people agree enough to have slapped some of my crazy in an ebook (along with some other crazy from some other hilarious moms).  You can check out the collection of funny from Life Well Blogged here.  It's an e-book for Kindle.  I don't have a Kindle.  But I think it's just about time for me to get one ;)  And all the proceeds of the book (not my new Kindle) go to Hurricane Sandy relief (so I don't get a goddamn dime.  Boo!!!). 
 But, Yay!! Charity!!  
I am flattered and honored that these gals thought I'd be a good fit for their collection.  And I hope you all run out and download it ASAP!  I can't wait to read it myself on my new Kindle (Oh, Amazon... how I love thee ;)  And just so you know, I will be writing this purchase off as a business deduction.  I mean, I am a published author.  That's kind of my job now.
Yay me!  New Job! 

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