I love Christmas.

Christmas is finally almost here. And we can finally start decorating the house, bake some cookies, visit with family and friends and spread good cheer to all.

My appreciation for Christmas has been a roller coaster ride.

Growing up, Christmas meant presents, stocking, toys, and a big Turkey dinner. It meant bikes, batteries, putting toys together and blinky lights.

We usually found our presents before hand, so the surprise was usually a lesson in Academy-Award-winning acting.

Hell, my brother is the absolute WORST secret keeper. So when he learned Santa wasn’t real at age 7 (I was 5), guess what the first words out of his mouth were Christmas morning as my foot hit the last step and I hadn’t even seen the Christmas tree or presents yet?

“Santa’s not real.”


I was so emotionally distraught. I was 10 parts excited and 100 parts destroyed by the idea my parents, friends and family lied to me for five years of my life.

I remember lying in bed — before learning that dreadful news — on Christmas eve staring at the ceiling waiting for hoofs to prance across our roof. I stared out the window at the moon hoping for Santa to silhouette against the moon.

Perhaps this early awakening to the truth of parents teaching kids about fictional characters planted the seed that helped me drop religion.

Christmas for us was about the presents. And as much as we wanted to think it was about Jesus, our saviors’ birth, it was about the loot and the bragging rights when we got back to school from the Winter break.

I went through a “I hate Christmas” phase in my 20s and early 30s. I’m still not a huge fan. I find it to be an egregiously non-religious religious holiday. You know, it’s the way of the church. There’s unconditional love with conditions. There is all-knowing savior who still needs us to let him know what’s up with prayers, requests and adulation.

Time at home with family meant large levels of stress. It’s still stressful, but I work through that stress with an unhealthily healthy amount of alcohol and repetitions of affirmations.

But I like Christmas again. I like it because it means the days are going to start getting longer. I like it, because it’s time to get some needed respite from an otherwise busy schedule.

I wish there wasn’t a “War on Christmas.” I wish people took accountability for their own attitudes for the holiday. And if someone says “Happy Holidays,” wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This morning, I read a piece from Dan Savage about his response to Sarah Palin’s book, Good Tidings and Great JoyProtecting the Heart of Christmas. 

And while I loved the writing and how he logically throws down on stupid-ass Sarah Palin, it perpetuates an ugliness. I mean, regardless of how convoluted Sarah Palin’s views are on the mythological “war on Christmas,” we can’t go around expecting it to get better if we keep bashing the hell out of her.

Can we?

I liked this part in particular:

1. Who holds Christmas in contempt? Who? Where are these people? I’m a secular humanist—there’s an award from the Freedom from Religion Foundation on my mantel just inches from my Christmas tree—and here I am, at home on a Saturday morning, baking Christmas cookies for my family. Not holiday cookies. Christmas cookies. I’ll be taking some across the street to share with my Jewish neighbors later today. They love Christmas. And no one is trying to “save” Christmas from its heritage. We have a crèche for the baby Jesus and strings of lights for the Roman god Saturn. We honor Christmas’s religious heritage—the Christian and non-Christian bits.

But maybe Palin is asking for the ridicule and directed attacks. If we’re to believe that she begins the book talking about how she bought a gun for Todd in the wake of the anti-gun crazy that happened, well, let me let Savage write it:

Page 5: Here I learn something I didn’t know and, if I were Sarah Palin, something I wouldn’t want anyone to know. But Sarah hustles this fact to the front of the book because she sure as hell wants us to know it: Sarah surprised Todd with a “nice, needed, powerful gun” for Christmas in 2012. It was a “small act of civil disobedience,” Palin writes, prompted by “the anti-gun chatter coming from Washington.”

What was inspiring that anti-gun chatter in Washington in December of 2012? Oh, right: Twenty children and six teachers were shot dead in their classrooms by a deranged asshole with a “powerful gun.” And before the grieving mothers and fathers of Newtown, Connecticut, could put their dead children in the ground, Sarah Palin ran out gun shopping. Buying Todd a gun in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was “fun,” Palin writes—and, again, an act of “civil disobedience.” Because gun nuts are a persecuted minority.

Crazier thing: my family LOVES Palin.

Sarah Palin, that deranged, megalomaniac with absolutely no fucking clue as to what this country is all about, diversity, freedom of speech, freedom of life, love and happiness.

Freedom that we all get to enjoy, including her, Dan Savage, you and me.

We all get to love or hate Christmas. We don’t all have to have the same views of every fucking idea that you hold sacred.

If you’re racist, I can have the view that you suck. If you think women’s rights to vote are what’s wrong in America, I get to have the view that you’re an asshole. If you love guns and shout it from the rooftops, I get to respond. And vice versa.

Freedom of speech includes my freedom to respond.

Freedom to celebrate Christmas is another person’s freedom to not celebrate.

Me? I love Christmas. I’m all for keeping the “Christ” in Christmas. And I hope you do, too. He’s not my savior. He’s not my idea of a cool guy. But if he’s yours, get on it. Love it. Own it. And when you get criticized, bask in the glory that you win in heaven.


Meowy Christmas and Happy Howlidays!

Every year, we take aim at executing a creative, electronic holiday card.

This year was a particular challenge, because our hearts were set on creating a cinemagram created from a composite image. We bought a gingerbread house, decorated it, and shot it in the snow. Then we recreated the lighting and shot ourselves doing much more movement.

Then when it came to assembling a composite image, we learned that Photoshop didn’t treat our background like a green screen enough.

So we executed plan B, which you’ll find below (last image). We kept it simpler, used a candle and the lights on the trees outside our condo as the only movement.

After we made that card, I lost a lot of sleep wondering if I could make the above card work enough to at least share it. You’ll notice it’s not “perfect”, but it’s fun. Talulah and I are obviously moving, but Tina is blinking and Zoe’s head is moving slightly.

All in all, it was a great learning experience for generating successful cinemagrams that we plan on creating much more of in 2014.

Click on any of the images to enlarge, namely the cinemagrams.

Let us know what you think!







People are dying left and right, because of this war … on Christmas


Some of FOX News’ and Bill O’Reilly’s war on Christmas is raging again this year, as you’ll clearly see in the above video.

Let me say this, if your Christmas is ruined because some atheist asshole organization doesn’t want to call the public tree a “Christmas” tree, you should check to see if you’re not the asshole who doesn’t know how to have fun.

If your day is ruined because the lady jingling bells raising money for all kinds of religious people over the holiday season, perhaps you’re the one with the inabillity to celebrate correctly.

Maybe your brain is handicapped and your ability to have fun is crippled.

Because the rest of us are going to celebrate … hopefully without your stank-face clogging up our celebration muscles.

Here’s more.






Packing dildos ain’t what it’s cracked up to be

Regular-reader Paul sent me an article about the real price of “free shipping” in America. I’ve been trying to parse the information to come up with a post on my own, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it might be best to let the article speak for itself.

The article is called, “I was a Warehouse Wage Slave” by Mac McClelland. The subtitle is:

My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine.

Read it here.

Related, in a followup to Apple’s use of Chinese factories, they now feature this page on their web site called Supplier Responsibility.

Thanks, Paul!


Sarah “Slay Bells” Palin criticizes Obama’s White House Christmas Card

I purposefully wrote “slay” bells. So don’t get your undies all waded up.

If the president doesn’t have “traditional” Christmas icons on his Christmas card, it sets off alarms. FOX sends out the big dogs, like Palin.

But if FOX News and FOX Business News don’t have “traditional” Christmas cards, they just yawn and pass over it.

Pass over.


Remember when the deity loved the Egyptians and killed their first borns. That was fun.

Anyway, check this video out so you can chuckle, too.

Via Cynical C

While you’re at Cynical C, check out Robert G. Ingersoll’s What I Want for Christmas.

This FedEx guy is probably in Santa’s toy delivery video

Tina and I were talking the other day about how ridiculous the Santa story is and how you’d have to be a child to believe that shit. Because, I mean seriously, Santa travels the entire earth passing out presents in a single night.

Have you seen a photo of New York City? FedEx needs a fleet of men and women to deliver truckfulls of boxes.

Wait, we weren’t talking about Santa. We were talking about Jesus and the virgin birth.

I get those two mixed up.

Video via TDW. Thoughts via my asshole self.

Meowy Christmas and Happy Howlidays

So you guys are my guinea pigs. Tina and I have been working on our annual motion picture holiday card, and think we’re finally ready to send it out.

It’s not my best work, but it’s a lot of fun. Said and done, I think I have to release it and let it be what it is. There’s no more snow in the forecast for now, and I usually want my card to be snowy.

By the time the snow fell, it was already melting away. It was like snow in North Carolina.

Damn you, Global Warming.

Admittedly, it makes us out to be those pet people … those crazy ones. You know what I’m talking about.

But the music was a total find. It’s from a stock music site that sells great options. And if it weren’t for the music, some of this video wouldn’t work.

Drop below the fold and watch the vid. Please give feedback as this thing is going to friends and family tomorrow or Wednesdog.

Continue reading “Meowy Christmas and Happy Howlidays”

Let’s cut the cheese and wish my love a Happy Birthday

Today, December 19, is Tina’s birthday.

She’s 40.

Them there’s the facts.

For her birthday, I am giving Tina a trip to Bali, Indonesia. This is a landmark birthday, and I believe she deserves a good spoiling just after 40 spankings.

And one to grow on. 

Sometimes people get a little clandestine with their birthdays after a certain age. Tina doesn’t always admit her age in public, but I’ve been proud when she openly tells people that this one’s a biggie.

I’ve been deliberating over what to write here and on her Facebook wall. When it comes to writing original content to loved ones, the thought pains are excruciating for me.

I don’t want to write, “Happy Birthday to my beloved wife, best friend and blah blah blah.” Or some variation of that statement. While it may be true, it’s not fun or clever.

But, goddamnit, Tina is my best friend. We spend countless hours together.

Our lives consists of a blurry line between vacation and work. My life is my work. It’s what I love to do. And while Tina spent her entire life thinking the two should be kept separate, she now realizes how much fun it is to combine the two.

Our aim is to make every day celebratory. Life is too short to spend it working every second. At quitting time, our kitchen becomes a land of music and aromas from cooking. Our evenings are lounging around with animals and back scratching.

That’s not to say we don’t have longer work hours stick us in the butt. But we try to balance.

One of our often-used catchphrases is “Sometimes, I have to pinch myself.”

We live in a dream. Instead of a life revolving carving out time to spend together, we spend all our time together. We have to remember to make time for ourselves. And half the time, we’re so attached at the hip, it’s like ripping off adhesive to get us apart.

If we were velcro, she’s definitely the soft side.

She’s the cuddly, loving and giving side. She’s the side that calms the nerves and soothes the stress.

Perhaps I wouldn’t be me without her. I’d like to think that’s true. I like to think we’re pretty good at keeping our identities our own, too, merging only certain parts of our shared vocabulary and pronunciations. Otherwise, we’re two different people with similar goals and interests who work hard at marriage and friendship.

Getting old together

I want to get old with Tina. I want to go into a retirement home with her and see who wins the, “Okay I’ll wipe your butt and change your diaper first” prize.

That’s what marriage means to me. It’s the person that you mold and change perspectives with. Gosh, when you’re 18, your view of love and marriage is all sex. But once I realized that’s not what it’s all about, that it’s about taking care of each other, I knew how much I wanted to get married.

And I haven’t looked back.

So raise your glasses to Tina Serafini everyone. And toast with me to the woman I love, the friend I cherish the most, and the person who will likely lose the contest and be wiping my ass long before I have to wipe hers.

Hear, hear!


I need your help

Tina and I are working on our annual Christmas Video Card.

This year it’s going to be embarrassingly and painfully obviously that we love our pets.

We’re going to be those people.

But it’s going to be great. And despite the fact that we’re not sending actual cards to our loved ones, the expense of these things is at the range of Titanic, the movie. At least the first ever silent version.


Anyway, we’re having trouble finding fun, clever and embarrassing ways to say, “Happy Holidays.”

You know, like “Meowy Christmas.”

What’s a good one for dogs?

Ideas are welcome and appreciated.

Screaming on Santa’s lap

More often than not, the pictures my parent friends are posting on Facebook of their kids with Santa includes their child crying on Santa’s lap.

Unless the parents are in the photo with the toddlers, the kids’ faces have a look frightened.

Which made me think, what if parents were to introduce their children other mythical figures, like Buddha, Muhammed or Jesus. I bet these kids would run from these icons of religious thought.

And rightly so.