Written : 01/27/04

It's taken me over a month to finally get down to business, but finally, I can proudly present to you the second annual Cristmas article. Maybe in the future I'll have some more Cristmas-themed things to write about, but that's a little ambitious for me. So yes, it's taken me quite a while, and I would like to take the time to explain myself. If you don't want to read the article lengthening banter that is my explaination, just skip right past the next paragraph. If you do want to see what paper-thin excuses I've come up with, continue on, my friend.

I had originally wanted to do something different for christmas this year, but as you'll see, it didn't fly. I was planning to do complete reviews on each major item that I received, and then wrap up all the smaller ones into a separate article. But that idea never got off the ground, as it required me to do far too much writing in too little a time frame (I'm really bad for productivity. To date, I still haven't finished the Disney World logs.). So now you get one big one. Then as if technology itself were trying to thrawrt me, I had uploaded about half the pictures you'll see in this article onto the family PC, where I used to do most of my site work. it promoptly crashed a day or so afterward. The files were on a separate backup drive, and it wasn't until just recently that I got around to putting it into my PC. So as you can plainly see, the lateness of this article is due to my extreme laziness. Oops.

But I digress, it's about time I talked about the Christmasy stuff. Oh, did you notice I put images in the title banner? I think it's a nice touch, though slightly overbearing. I'd also like to voice my opinions on the parts of Christmas which are not gifts, but if you really want to know about that, you can go read the intro to last year's Christmas article. It's got all the deets, yo.

As I did last year and will for many years to come, I shall start with the stocking. But why the stocking? Ah, that has got some lore behind it. So gather 'round while I tell ye the tale. Every year on christmas morn, us chill'ens get up anywheres between three to one hours before the folks do. Rules denote that no present is to be unwrapped while not under the watchful eye of the parents, so we must wait in agony for them to wake. But back in nineteen-odd-something, we struck a deal allowing us to dig into the stocking stuffers so that we might have something to do whilst we waited. And to this day, the stocking is always the first priority when dealing with Christmas-related affairs. Other big words, blah blah. Let's move on.

I can't say I was overly pleased with this year's run. while there are a few treasures, I have to express that there wasn't nearly enough candy. I'm a man who likes his candy. And it was lacking. Less than half the good pictured are practical. i guess it's just a part of getting older (Hell, I should be glad I'm even getting a stocking), but these useful things just aren't what I look for in a stocking. I'll have to make note of it for next year.

Anyway, if you can't tell from the picture, here's what's there. And in fancy list form, no less.

  • Halleluja! A Mastercraft utility knife!
  • Two blue pens. I always liked black better.
  • Orange Tic-Tacs. I hate orange.
  • A small chocolate Santa. Uneventful.
  • Mmm... Chocolate snowballs. Great for snacking.
  • Strawberry Bubblicious Bursts. A burst of flavour, then nothing. Crap.
  • LifeSavers book. Only six rolls? It used to be eight, dammit!
  • A foreign chocolate R. Hooray R!
  • Listerene Pocket Paks. Apparently good for dental hygiene.
  • A box of razor cartidges. My dad had better not use them all this time.
  • Cheap batteries. But, batteries is batteries.
  • Mitchum brand deodorant. God dammit! I like Brut!
  • Gilette shave gel. Again with the hoping dad doesn't use it all.

Ye Gods! Wrong colour pens. Wrong flavour Tic-Tacs. Wrong brand deodorant. Kinda make me wonder if my paren- err, Santa, knows me at all. But all in all, not a bad bunch of stuff, but like I said before, the candy. But the one thing that really impressed me...

The utility knife. I don't know if you've ever owned one of these bad boys, but they're one of the most amazing things in the world. Able to slice through any annoying and normally impenetrable plastic packaging with the greatest of ease, the utility knife is not a tool that any well-equipped person should be without. I'd always waned one of these babies, and now the power to best even the most durable of materials is mine. Mine! But honestly, it's one of the best tools to have around, and one of the most likely to become useful to boot. Sure, a multitool is handy in a pinch, but this baby's got a blade like a... something real sharp. But you probably have good knowledge of the utility knife, as most normal people would, so I'll just be moseying on along now.

The most intriguing thing I found in this year's stocking is this mysterious chocolate R. I can't remember for sure, but I'm pretty certain that the box was entirely in not-English. It was labelled as "melkchocolade" or something to that effect. I'd check, but the box is long gone by now. Another reason why it would have been beneficial to have done this sooner. Now, I know that foreign chocolate is good stuff, but the only thing I was curious about is where exactly this was found. I guess I'll have to look around the local confection stores, should I seek the solution to this conundrum. So yeah, shaped like an R.

Next on the chopping block is the bag of stuff from my grandparent (father's side). As long as I can remember, they've given bags of stuff. Of course, my memory's about five years at max, so that's not saying much. Anyhow, this one, as it is an actual gift, contains more substantial stuffings than the stocking. The rectangular object on the top is, as you might have guessed by the silhoutette, is a gift certificate for a round of golf. If only I didn't have to wait through this horrid winter. the next, and more immediately accessible item is a gift card for Famous Players. I need companions for that one, though. You can't just go to a movie alone. Or so I hear. And in the top right- Old Spice! My second-preferred deodorant! Hooray for my grandparents!

Among the more obvious items is a tube of toothpaste, good old Crest style. Crest is awesome. Aquafresh wishes it were as good as Crest. And then there's the Juicy Fruit. When in stick form, it's good stuff. But the peices are just worthless. The sticks have a good run of flavour. Heck, I've been chewing one all night and it's still got some left. The pieces, though, they go for like 20 seconds and then it's over. Kinda like your mom. Oh! Burn! ...Did that make sense? I think that kind of joke only works against men... Maybe next year. What you don't see in the picture is a scarf and a cheque for 50 smackers. Booyah. I love money.

Like the utility knife, I've wanted one of these for years now, but never goteen around to actually getting one. Until now, that is! If you don't know what it is, I can't help you, because I have no idea what it's called. I can, however, tell you what it does. If you're stuck with a TV that has only one set of A/V plugs like my own, and have many A/V using things around, this is just what the doctor ordered. You can just plug all your doodads into this box here, and switch them with a press of a button. It helps eliminate that annoying need to switch out the A/V cables all the time, and is really a pain saver if the jacks are on the back of the TV. Before I got his, I was too lazy to switch the plugs all the time, so if I wanted to play a Playstation game after a round of GameCube, I'd probably just consider it too much trouble and find something to do that required less effort. But now I switch in a matter of seconds, with no effort at all! Now I just need a power bar so I don't have to switch out the power plugs all the time.

Off to the right side, you'll also note a roll of duct tape just barely in the picture. I got that for Christmas as well, but had forgotten up until I saw it in the picture. And that's why it doesn't have it's own picture. Funny story. My mom was totally stupified when I said I wanted duct tape for Christmas. She thought it was weird to ask for, but got it for me anyway. OK, maybe it wasn't that funny after all.

Oh, and while I'm on the topic of things that didn't get their own pictures (mostly just so that I don't forget to mention them later), I also got a couple other "strange" goods for the big X to the Mas. for one, I got a pie from my youngest brother. It was an apple pie. I was hoping for pumpkin or cherry, but he bought me a freaking pie, so I was totally impressed. Also, my grandma got me some cheesecake. Both of these items were actually on my list (I wasn't gonna make one orignally, but my mom requested it), and my brother and grandma are cool, so they totally came through for me. It was truly the tastiest Christmas ever.

Hey, lookit that! Certainly something I never would have expected. My mom had been hounding me that I needed a new jacket, and I guess that suede deal I bought wasn't exactly winter-worthy. I should have seen it coming. Mommy hates when I own a piece of outside clothing for more than three years. Of course, I'm one of those people who get really attached to their stuff, and don't like to get new things. She did it with my poor boots too. My new ones are totally inferior, as they're falling apart after about half a year, and the old ones lasted four years with minimal damage. But back to the jacket. As much as I love my old "black Michelin Man" jacket, this one is without a doubt superior in every way. Not only is it warmer, it's also less of an eyesore, and it's got like 600 pockets. I like it, and I think this one will be staying for quite a few years to come.

With the appearance of the jacket, it only makes sense to take a look at any other clothing items, right? Best not to strew this stuff too far apart. This Christmas was very good to me clothes-wise. I got very few, and what I did get was exactly what I wanted. Most notably, and visible, is the new pair of pajama pants. I've been wearing jeans exclusively for so many years that I'm usually uncomfortable in anything else, but I love pajama pants. It's like they were forged with the spirit of laziness. You can't help but be a little lazy while wearing them. Maybe it's that particular feature that has driven many schools to ban them. That stuff about them being too "unprofessional"? Bull. Authority likes to destroy morale (as far as my experience goes), and boy do pajama pants boost that trait. Oh yes, I actually received two pairs of these holy pants. The other pair is black. On top of that were a couple pairs of boxers. I won't take a picture of me in my skivvies this year though. Don't get me wrong, though. I'd love to, but then I'd have to get out of my chair and remove my pants, which is way more effort than I'm willing to put forth.

As I'm working on a PC with no program that can indicate the number of words in a document, I have no idea how far along I am word-wise, but I do think that this would be an appropriate time to go onto the next page of stuff. Going by paragraphs, this is about how far I got last year when I went onto the second page, and this two-pager deal should be tradition. It's good for making me look like I write a lot more than I actually do. Crap. I've run out of ways to extend this paragraph. Oh woe is me! I have no ideas for filler! Oh well, to the next page!

Click for page 2!

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2002 - 2008 Ryan Tuominen