Monthly Archives: December 2015

2016 Dumb Idea #1

Soda-free-zoneThe end of one year and the beginning of the new. Clean slate. Fresh start. Blah, blah, blah. Since I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, I started a month ago to subtract something detrimental from my life and add something positive. I figured if I could hold a commitment to these new habits through the holidays, then I would be more likely to continue them through tsunamis, famine, the Super Bowl, and the first few days of the Zombie Apocalypse. Wow, was this ever a dumb idea.

So I gave up drinking diet sodas. Actually, I gave up drinking all sodas, and it wasn’t pretty. Imagine a rabid dingo with a crack habit suddenly cut off cold turkey. Then multiply that by 2.8 million and add a headache. That was about where I was those first few days. And it was cold turkey. It’s not as if I could just hook a main artery to the Mr. Coffee Machine and feel better. I don’t drink coffee. Never, ever have, so why start now?

For two solid weeks, I would drive a mile and a half out of my way to avoid Sonic during Happy Hour, afraid that my will power would shatter and I’d be banging on the drive-thru window screaming that if I got a Route 44 vanilla diet Dr. Pepper the hostages would be spared. Two hours later, they’d find me with my face stuck under the drink fountain at Buc-cee’s, dead broke, with a bag of Doritos in my hand and a crazed look in my eyes. Better to just avoid that temptation all together.

Now that I’ve started marking my success in weeks rather than 15-minute blocks of time, I can honestly say that, while I am no longer feeling carbonated, I am probably not a better person for this. I’m pretty sure that my kidneys, my dentist, my checkbook, my bone density and all the nice people at the Lipton Tea Corporation probably would beg to differ on that, but it’s still kind of a touchy subject with me, so I don’t care what they think. The truth is, though, now I’m actually afraid to drink a diet soda, afraid that it won’t be the same and all my wonderful memories will be tarnished. So I trudge on alone, soda-free.

Oh, the good thing I added? I floss regularly. Whoop-dee-do.

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Christmas Music of Mass Destruction

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I love Christmas – the lights, the excitement and anticipation, the cookies, the idea that for at least a couple of days we still believe in the concept of Peace on Earth. But then there’s Christmas music. When did the sound of the season go from a festive celebration of the holidays to a Chinese water torture? Once again we’ve missed that “Everything in Moderation” lesson and charged unharnessed into a two month “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” bender. It’s an ugly thing to witness.

While I could probably set Josh Groban singing “O Holy Night” on auto replay for the rest of my life, there are a number of others that make me want to jam a rusty meat fork into my neck. If ISIS recorded Christmas music with the intent to overtake the West by making us all blithering unresponsive idiots, this would be the Top Five Christmas Songs of Mass Destruction (in no particular order):

“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a song about a bunch of drunk rednecks and the senseless hit-and-run death of the family matriarch. The only question more disturbing than “Who writes this stuff?” is “Who agreed to record and play this stuff?”

“Christmas Shoes!” The first time, and maybe the second time, you hear this song, it’s touching and sentimental. After that, no amount of shrieking can drown it out before you can change the radio station. I’ll gladly and generously chip in on a pair of Jimmy Choo’s if we can just never play that song again ever.

“The Little Drummer Boy.” The pa-rum-pum-pum-pum is guaranteed to throb in my head like the precursor to a nightmare migraine well into February. The cure is the same for both: stick my head in the oven until I pass out.

“Blue Christmas.” I love Elvis. It’s almost a requirement to get your baby boomer membership card, but I think I’d rather overdose on peanut butter and mayo sandwiches than hear that one again. Nothing will give me a blue, blue, blue Christmas more than this song.

“Feliz Navidad.” I can’t hear this one that I don’t sing, “Fleas on my dog.” That right there is enough to put it on the list. Admit it, you’re singing “Fleas on my dog” in your head right now. I avoid the all-Christmas-music-all-the-time stations because of this song.

I understand that there are so many others that deserved to make this list (Chipmunks and hippopotamuses GACK!), so please feel free to compile your own list. Otherwise, Come All Ye Faithful and Deck the Halls because it’ll be a Holly Jolly Christmas. From my family to yours: Merry Christmas!

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