15 Recommended* Ways To Spend New Year’s Eve

This is something I wrote several years ago, but it’s become something of a tradition for me to share it each year.

15 Recommended* Ways To Spend New Year’s Eve

…And Have Fun Doing It Too!

  1. Sleep the day away: When you wake up, it will be a whole new year.
  2. Write poetry. “New Year” rhymes well: “Two deer,” “Who here,” “You hear?” “Boo! Cheer!” “Bluebeard.”
  3. Make resolution not to follow the crowd because “Hey, everyone else is making resolutions.”
  4. Wipe down a chalkboard: Start the new year with a clean slate.
  5. Prepare “First to do/be/say” list for tomorrow. Start following the list at Midnight to claim bragging rights; everyone else will love you for it.
  6. Brace for tomorrow’s “I remember last year as though it were yesterday” jokes. Be the first to say this at Midnight because the more times you hear/say it, the less funny it is. (You might as well try to be the funniest person.)
  7. Get a compass: Start the new year with some direction.
  8. Draw blueprints: Have a plan for next year.
  9. Stand on one foot until Midnight, then switch to the other. It is suggested to begin with the left, so you can start the new year on the right foot.
  10. Make list of things to put off until next year; #1: that list of things to put off.
  11. Scream at the top of your lungs at precisely 11:59:59 PM: End the year on a high note.
  12. Figure out some equations and later brag about having used your time to wisely solve some complex problems before the new year started.
  13. If attending a party, leave hosts shortly before Midnight saying, “I’ll see you next year.” Return shortly afterward.
  14. Complain about something that will take until next year to complete. Make it simple; everyone else will love you for it.
  15. Make others groan or laugh one final time for the year: show them this list.

*Not recommended if you don’t have a sense of humor or the desire to be annoying

Watch My Show

(To the tune of “Let It Snow”)

Oh, YouTube is rather frightening,
Watch people get hit by lightning,
Better upload my video
Watch my show! Watch my show! Watch my show!

There are people who do dumb things,
Even people who cannot sing.
If you want one that’s full of win
Think again! Think again! Think again!

There’s that video you can’t find.
Was that ninja just owned by a mime?
And if you’ve really lost your mind.
You’ll be here all of the time.

Brain cells are quickly fleeing
After all the stuff you’re seeing
If you’ve got nothing else to do,
Watch YouTube! Watch YouTube! Watch YouTube!

The Joy of Christmastime Baby Being

You know that feeling of excitement kids get when Christmas approaches? The gifts, the music, and so on. And the thoughts of so many people, “What am I going to get so-and-so for Christmas?” I know the feeling.

When kids’ birthdays approach, they probably get excited about that as well and even wonder, “What am I going to get for my birthday?” But for some, it’s more a question of “will anyone remember my birthday?” Do you know that feeling?

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” unless your birthday falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. People get so busy during this time, and what could be a special day for a kid might go by without acknowledgement. Or maybe it does get acknowledged with a combination birthday-Christmas gift, while everyone else around you also gets gifts independent of their birthdays. One might think you’d get twice as many gifts at one time, but how often does one clean up so well? Besides, it’s less special if everyone else is getting gifts too. And each year is about the same; your birthday can become a day that doesn’t stand out and nobody else remembers, even one’s own mother. (That happened to me, but it’s now just a memory of yesteryear.)

But you know what? You get older. You survive. And you celebrate in your own way. You eventually might even realize you’re not alone.

Today is my birthday, and having it so near Christmas used to be not so great, but it’s really not too bad now, even as I look back. Depending on a birthday’s proximity to Christmas, work/school could be a non-issue. Other kids aren’t so lucky; after all, birthdays don’t get most people out of work/school for a day. Now that I’m older, I’d rather be working on my birthday than be unemployed (though being off would be nice occasionally).

You know what else? I got to come home from the hospital for the first time in a stocking. One I still have. Now that’s pretty special.

image

I’m sure there are other reasons to enjoy today for what it is, my birthday being so close to Christmas. I may not even try to celebrate the way I used to as a kid anyway, but I still enjoy having my birthday, even if I don’t do much with it. Not to mention, there aren’t really any material possessions I want so badly, and I find it more fun to give gifts than receive them.

So if your birthday is close to Christmas, I know how you feel (unless your birthday is on Christmas, which I don’t). It stinks as a kid to be so overshadowed by such a monumental holiday, but it will be okay. Just hang in there.

Star Wars: The Force Remakens

Or “A New Hype”

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

The Force

Spoilers!

Han Solo

Spoilers!

This is a line

Spoilers!

I’m a doctor, not a spoiler

Spoilers

Did I mention spoilers?

I’ve seen some of the Star Wars movies, but I’m not exactly a big fan of the franchise. I recently had the chance to view the latest movie in the series with someone else who is a fan, yet the question I’m wondering is which movie did I actually see? People have been so excited with this latest installment in the franchise. People are so enamored with it, some willing to shell out money for multiple viewings, but I have to ask if anyone else realizes it’s not really that new. We’ve seen these plot points before in other Star Wars movies. If I, a non-fan, can see these glaring similarities, surely someone else who isn’t too awestruck by nostalgia can catch them too.

The new Star Wars movie started out so familiar, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to see something new as the film got going. Near the beginning of A New Hope The Force Awakens, Stormtroopers show up with Darth Vader Kylo Ren, shooting up the place, looking for some plans a map. We meet Princess Leia Poe Dameron, who puts said plans map into droid R2-D2 BB-8 with the intention of being viewed by Obi-Wan Kenobi the Resistance. R2-D2 BB-8 is sent off in another direction from the battle scene. Meanwhile, Leia Poe is taken as a prisoner aboard the enemy’s ship, but is soon freed by someone in a Stormtrooper uniform. Eventually Darth Kylo will go looking for BB-D2, who gets captured on a desert planet and is found by Luke Skywalker Rey Noname, whose parents aren’t introduced to us. (We’re just waiting for Luke to say, “I am your father.”)

Fast forward… Did you see that trench spaceship run to bring down the sphere of doom (the one that destroys planets) and those shield generators on the nearby planet? What about the old man being killed by the lead villain while the young Jedi looks on helplessly?  Oh, did you catch the nearly-dead bad guy being left for the behind-the-scenes villain to pick up? (That chasm was a mighty convenient way to keep our intrepid villain around for the sequel.)

Other predictability/convenience points: Millennium Falcon’s introduction (saw that coming the first time she said “garbage”), Finn was not dragged off by that creature, even though everyone else was quickly devoured (good job, Captain Heroesdonotdie).

Way to go, J.J. Lucas. You proved that rehashing old material and strapping the name “Star Wars” still sells millions.

“O Christmas Tree” Rewrite

This was one of my earliest rewrites; although, I didn’t actually write it down back then. Basically this is one of the earliest parody attempts I remember doing, but I still remember the words.

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree,
How ever brown your branches.

We bought you in the early fall.
We didn’t water you at all.

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree,
Why did you have to die?

‘Twas the Rewrite Before Christmas

Video: Po-Ed-ic Justice: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Original Poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
Except there was someone wrapping last-minute gifts
Trying to be silent but trying to be swift.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
They’d been on our feet and smelled really gross
First thing he’d notice is the smell of our toes.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
Am I sure about that? How do I know?
Since this is my story, it’s because I say so.

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
It’s called “hibernation.” That’s what we do there
Bet you didn’t know this poem’s about bears

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
I opened my laptop, went to Facebook
Posted “Someone outside, I’m gonna take a look.”

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
I had grabbed my shotgun from out of the den
If in for fight, that person wouldn’t win

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
To say the least, it was rather bright,
Even though it was the middle of the night.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
I recognized them at once, knew them by sight
But photos online hadn’t gotten them quite right

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
But what if a thief or a sleigh jacker
What if this person was a late night attacker?

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
The middle of the night, didn’t anyone tell him
There’s no need for all of that yellin’.

“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!
Shouting out names for the neighbors to hear
Waking them up seemed the least of his fears

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
But was he coming or going, I wasn’t quite sure.
Why say “away” when he really meant towards?

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
Those are some visuals for you to imagine
Now for no reason, just picture a dragon.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
All of that movement made the vehicle shake
If it fell from the sleigh, it would surely break.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
That better be Santa and not some thief
Thinking this thought gave me no relief.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
Being quite cautious, I still had my gun
I know how to use it to protect everyone.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
I still wasn’t sure. Was this Santa Claus?
No need to fire yet, so I stood with a pause.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
Was this stuff stolen or was it legit?
I wondered aloud, “Where did he get it?”

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
Was he feeling well? Was he contagious?
To become sick by Santa would be outrageous?

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
He smiled at me, gun still in my hand,
But he wasn’t afraid, I didn’t understand.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
Yes, Santa smokes. He’s still a role model.
He also had whiskey, drank straight from the bottle.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
Bet you didn’t know that jelly can laugh
A misplaced modifier can be quite a gaffe

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
I had given a chuckle, still somewhat nervous,
Had this fat man in a suit come here just to hurt us?

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
So I lowered my gun from its steady aim
Thankful it wasn’t his life I had claimed.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
It was probably the foot smell that made him react
Unless it was his smoke that caused him to hack.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
I’ll never know if it was our feet or his smoke
Which caused dear Santa to cough and to choke.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
He was really quite silent inside that room
But noisy as traffic when out under the moon.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
He had shouted to all, again without warning.
Then someone cursed and replied, “It’s still early morning!”

Twelve Days of Pragmatic Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me a burger with some french fries

On the second day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the third day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the fourth day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the fifth day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the sixth day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me six AA batteries
…five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the seventh day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me seven empty boxes
…six AA batteries
…five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the eighth day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me eight extension cords
…seven empty boxes
…six AA batteries
…five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the ninth day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me nine yards of duct tape
…eight extension cords
…seven empty boxes
…six AA batteries
…five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the tenth day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me ten paperclips stuck together
…nine yards of duct tape
…eight extension cords
…seven empty boxes
…six AA batteries
…five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the eleventh day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me eleven how-to manuals
…ten paperclips stuck together
…nine yards of duct tape
…eight extension cords
…seven empty boxes
…six AA batteries
…five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries

On the twelfth day of Christmas, a pragmatist brought to me receipts for reimbursement
…eleven how-to manuals
…ten paperclips stuck together
…nine yards of duct tape
…eight extension cords
…seven empty boxes
…six AA batteries
…five feet of rope
…four brand new tires
…three bars of soap
…two socks that go together
…and a burger with some french fries