Picking Favorites

Good lord, she's hot.  And no, there's no particular reason for her picture here.

First off, RIP Bill LaJoie. Thanks for 1984.

After that…wow. Could this off-season be any more boring right now? Nothing much going on with the team. The Freep hasn’t written anything horrible for me to make fun of. Gerald Laird isn’t around anymore to get into fights at basketball games.

So, for my last post of 2010, I’m going to go through the Tigers current 40 Man Roster and rank them in my order of preference. I haven’t done this since May 21st, so it might be interesting to see what kind of changes have been made to the team and my bandwagoning of certain players.

Or not. But eat me, I’m out of ideas again until the New Year. So here you go. Your Detroit Tigers listed in order of my preference and where they ranked last time. “NR” stands for “not ranked” if you weren’t able to figure that out on your own. Dummy.

So, click for further brilliant insight, okay?

1.  (1) Magglio Ordonez
It could come out that Maggs was behind the 9/11 attacks and he’d still be on my Mount Rushmore of Tiger favorites. So happy he’s back for another year.

2.  (2) Justin Verlander
Still the best stare in baseball. It haunts my dreams.

3.  (3) Miguel Cabrera
Seriously, kids. Appreciate him while he’s in his prime. Quit drooling over Inge and Rhymes and realize you have a once in a lifetime talent on your baseball team.

4.  (4) Austin Jackson
Curtis Granderson blows goats.

5.  (15) Max Scherzer
At first, he was fun because of his crazy eyes. Now he’s fun because he’s an awesome pitcher. And he has CRAZY EYES!

6.  (13) Phil Coke
Who knew how entertaining this dude was going to be after the Grandy deal? My gawd, he should have his own TV show on FSN.

7.  (7) Rick Porcello
I still like Kid Rick. I think this is going to be his breakthrough year. That or he becomes Bondo, Version 2.0.

8. (8) Ryan Perry
Seriously…how can we have this guy with the best tattoos in baseball on the same team with Inge, who has the worst tattoos in baseball?

9.  (9) Jose Valverde
Fat people dancing will always be entertaining. Plus he’s the best closer we’ve had since Willie Hernandez in ’84.

10.  (6) Joel Zumaya
You’re falling down my list, Joel. 2011 is going to determine the rest of Zoom’s life, methinks.

11.  (NR) Victor Martinez
If he hits like he did in Cleveland and Boston, I’m pretty sure V-Mart might be near the top of this list later in the year.

12.  (11) Ryan Raburn
Remember to take a drink every time you see him with his tongue hanging out during a game. You’ll pass out by the 6th inning.

13.  (NR) Jhonny Peralta
Play average defense for us, Jhon. That’s all I ask. Oh, and .265, 20, 75. That isn’t too much to ask, is it?

14.  (10) Ramon Santiago
Ahh, Little Ramon. He still looks like he’s 19. I love that.

15.  (12) Brennan Boesch
I dunno about this kid. Is he that good or that bad? We’ll see.

16.  (23) Jacob Turner
He’s the future, I guess. Gotta support him and hope he lives up to the hype.

17.  (24) Brandon Inge
Special Little Guy makes the list seven spots higher than last time. I must really hate this team.

18.  (NR) Joaquin Benoit
Will move up quickly if he pitches like he did in Tampa. Will start heading down quickly if he pitches like he did in Texas.

19.  (16) Carlos Guillen
I feel sad putting Carlos this low on the list. But dude…stay healthy or retire. His contract is the last remaining albatross of the bad Dombrowski deals. (not counting Sheff’s remaining cash)

20.  (25) Daniel Schlereth
Love his fastball. Hate his dad.

21.  (32) Casper Wells
Kid can hit…but he looks like a date rapist. I’m not going to be buying his jersey any time soon.

22.  (27) Scott Sizemore
I hope he lives up to his 2010 hype this year. Kid has pop in his bat…and a hole in his glove.

23.  (26) Ryan Strieby
Might be the DH of the future…or trade bait. Or Mike Hessman. I dunno.

24.  (19) Alex Avila
I still think he sucks.

25.  (NR) Andy Oliver
The other “untouchable” prospect with Turner was crappy in the D last year. Hopefully another year in the minors will help him impove.

26.  (NR) Robbie Weinhardt
Was a decent surprise in the pen last year. That’s not saying much, though.

27.  (NR) Will Rhymes
Twenty-seven is also how many inches above the floor that Will’s belt buckle is when he’s standing.

28.  (35) Danny Worth
Worthless at the plate.

29.  (29) Armando Galarraga
Proof that nice guys don’t finish last. They finish 29th.

30.  (NR) Charlie Furbush
A 6’5 lefty named Charlie. I can get behind that.

31.  (34) Brad Thomas
Stupid kangaroo f-cker. Get him off my team.

32.  (NR) Cale Iorg
Remember when DD called this kid the shortstop of the future? Chris Pittaro anyone?

33.  (NR) Al Alburquerque
Fun name. Will probably never see the majors.

34.  (38) Clete Thomas
Always looks like he’s taking a dump.  Hits like sh-t, too.

35.  (36) Audy Ciriaco
Will probably be playing in Toledo all year. Guess I’ll finally get an opinion on him now.

36.  (NR) Jose Ortega
Never heard of him.

37.  (NR) Duane Below
Him, either.

38.  (NR) Brayan Villarreal
I just spelled his name wrong three times typing it. I hope I never hear of him again.

39.  (NR) Lester Oliveros
Guys named “Lester” are creepy. And I hated Omar Oliveres…too similar.

40.  (40) Don Kelly

By my count, that makes 13 guys that were on the 40 Man Roster in May that are gone now.  Quickly, name them!  Sigh...okay, I will.

5.  Johnny Damon:  Currently a free agent.
14.  Fu-Te Ni:  Sucked, was sent to the minors.
17.  Adam Everett:  Was released shortly after the last list.  Signed with Cleveland.
18.  Jeremy Bonderman:  Currently a free agent.
20.  Bobby Seay:  May be dead.
21.  Dontrelle Willis:  Many wish he was dead.
22.  Eddie Bonine:  Signed with Philadelphia as a free agent.  Phew.  Good.
28.  Zach Miner:  Missed 2010 season after Tommy John season.
30.  Gerald Laird:  He's the Cardinals' problem now.
31.  Wilkin Ramirez:  Was traded to Atlanta for a player to be named later.  Did we ever get one?
33.  Jay Sborz:  Also in the Braves system somewhere.
37.  Brent Dlugach:  In the Red Sox minor league system.
39.  Alfredo Figaro:  Was so bad, he was sold to Japan.

Things can change quickly, no?

Happy New Year, kids.  Don't get arrested.

Peace and Goodwill ...

Hi There and Merry Christmas !

A good news story - for a change awwwwww......

and this is the wee video which started it all off ......

Poem for Peace ...

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the garden to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled there in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest time.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Grandfather died in France , on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gran always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the snows of Ardennes

And now it is my turn to stand with the men.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... a Union flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a trench with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbour no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Merry Christmas and Love to All - Kate xxx.

THE TEAM: The Christmas Album

(Fade in to a cheesy set where you see two men in ugly holiday sweaters. One is hanging stockings in front of a fireplace while the other is putting ornaments onto a Christmas tree. The first man turns to the camera.)
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Oh, hello there. I didn’t see you come in. Let me be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas this fine holiday season! I’m David Dombrowski, President, CEO, and General Manager of the Detroit Tigers. And I think you all know my co-host here.
BRANDON INGE: Hey there, everybody! Brandon Inge, one-time All-Star third baseman here! Gosh, it’s wonderful to see you. And boy, do we have a swell treat for everyone today. Right Mister D?

DOMBROWSKI: That’s right, Brandon. Today, we’re here to tell everyone about the release of our own Christmas album, “A Very Tiger Christmas”, where you will hear all of your favorite Christmas carols sung by your favorite Detroit Tiger players!

INGE: That’s amazing, Mister D!

DOMBROWSKI: Oh, I know. What Tiger fan wouldn’t burst with joy when they find this wonderful collection in their stocking Christmas morning?

INGE: I know I would!

DOMBROWSKI: Me, too, Brandon.

/both laugh for 30 seconds

(contunued after the jump)

DOMBROWSKI: But what kind of stuff will you find on this CD, you ask? Well, we’re here to just tell you about a few of them. First up, a bit of international flair. Did you know they have Christmas in Venezuela, Brandon?

INGE: Golly, no. I didn’t even realize they had electricity there, Mister D!

DOMBROWSKI: Ha ha. Well, they do. And leading off for us today singing “Feliz Navidad” are Venezuela’s own favorite sons, Magglio Ordonez and his good friend, second baseman, Carlos Guillen!
ORDONEZ and GUILLEN: Feliz navidad! Feliz navidad! Feliz navidad, prospero ano y felicidad.

/Guillen begins shaking maracas

ORDONEZ and GUILLEN: Feliz navidad! Feliz navidad! Feliz navidad, prospero ano y felicad. I wan wish eww Merry Kishmas. Wan wish eww Merry Kishmas from bot of mah hurt…

/share confused looks

/Guillen’s knee snaps in half

(back to Dave and Brandon)

DOMBROWSKI: Well it started out nice, at least. But that’s just the beginning, folks. Right Branderoo?

INGE: Yeppers, boss. Next, we go to a guy who’s been around in the D almost as long as I have! Can you believe that?

DOMBROWSKI: Almost impossible to believe, Brandon.

INGE: Yep. It’s starting pitcher, Jeremy Bonderman, with “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”!

/makes sad Bondo face


/storms off set

(back to Dave and Brandon)

INGE: Hahaha…he’s not going to be back next year, is he, Dave?


INGE: Swell. Hey, it’s getting cold in here.

DOMBROWSKI: Ho ho…no problem.

/shovels $500,000 of Mike Ilitch’s money onto fire

INGE: Wow! That feels great!

DOMBROWSKI: Indeed, and there’s plenty more where that came from.

/both laugh for 30 seconds

DOMBROWSKI: Say, Brandon. Which Tiger do you think rivals you for most unexplained popularity?

INGE: You gotta be talking about everyone’s little buddy, second baseman Will Rhymes!

DOMBROWSKI: That I am, my friend. And Will is joined by fellow hard-nosed gamers, Dustin Pedroia and David Eckstein, for their rendition of “The Chipmunk Song”. Bench Coach Gene Lamont makes an appearance, as well. Take it away, guys!

LAMONT: All right, you guys. Ready to sing your song?
RHYMES: I’ll say we are!


ECKSTEIN: Let’s sing it now!

LAMONT: Okay, Dustin?


LAMONT: Okay, David?


LAMONT: Okay, William? William? WILLIAM?


ALL: Christmas, Christmas time is near. Time for joy and time for cheer. We’ve been good, but we can’t last. Hurry Christmas, hurry fast. Want a plane that loops the loop.

RHYMES: Me, I want a hula hoop!

ALL: We can hardly stand the wait, please Christmas don’t be late…

(back to Dave and Brandon)

INGE: That was so scrappy!

DOMBROWSKI: Agreed. Time for some more international flair. Up next, we have Taiwanese sensation, Fu-Te Ni with “Deck the Halls”!

INGE: Oh, no…
NI: Deck harrs with boughs of hahrry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra. Tis season to be jorry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra. Don now oul gay appalerr, fa ra ra, ra ra ra, ra ra ra! Tlorr ancient Yure tide calorr, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra…

(back to Dave and Brandon)

INGE: Wowzers.

DOMBROWSKI:  That never gets old.  Also included in this limited time deal are Don Kelly singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, Clete Thomas’s haunting rendition of “Oh Holy Night”, and Danny Worth’s “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”. Sadly, no one cares about any of them. Thus we move on. You know what’s next, Brandon?

INGE: Yessir! It’s the skipper, isn’t it?

DOMBROWSKI: Don’t you know it! What Tiger Christmas collection would be complete without the manager himself, Mr. Jim Leyland. Now Jim can be grouchy sometimes, isn’t that right, Brandon?

INGE: Don’t I know it! Especially when he goes more than ten minutes without a smoke!

DOMBROWSKI: Uh huh. He could be described as a lot of things when in those moods. Including…a Grinch.
LEYLAND: (lights cigarette) You’reameanone…MisterGrinch. Youreallyareaheel. (HACK) You’reascuddlyasacactus (inhale) You’reascharmingasaneelMisterGrinnnnnnnch! (cough, cough) F-ckthishorsesh-t…

/storms off

(back to Dave and Brandon)

DOMBROWSKI: Thanks, Jim. Say, Brandon…

INGE: Yeah, boss?

DOMBROWSKI: Who’s the most intense guy on the team in your opinion?

INGE: Definitely, Justin Verlander, sir.

DOMBROWSKI: Agreed. And JV is just as intense about the holidays. And he’s included in this collection singing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”!

INGE: My favorite!
VERLANDER: (gives death stare)

VOICE OFF SCREEN: Justin…that’s your cue!

VERLANDER: (continues death stare)

VOICE OFF SCREEN: Justin! Justin!


/begins sharpening knives

VOICE OFF SCREEN: C’mon, Justin…


/continues sharpening knives

(back to Dave and Brandon)

/both look horrified

DOMBROWSKI: Okay. We’re almost out of time, but we’ve got time to tell you all about two more classics included on “A Very Tiger Christmas”. Right, buddy?

INGE: Yup. Next we have fireballing relief pitcher, Joel Zumaya, singing the swinging favorite, “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree!” Is that a guitar?

DOMBROWSKI: Sigh. It’s a fake one…

INGE: Oh. He has a whore with him, too. Lovely.
ZUMAYA: Rocking around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop.

/pretends to play fake guitar

ZUMAYA: Mistletoe hung where you can see ev’ry couple tries to stop. You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear…voices singing let’s be….OWWW! MY SHOULDER! F-CK I DID IT AGAIN!

/walks off crying

(back to Dave and Brandon)

INGE: Maybe this wasn’t a good idea, sir.

DOMBROWSKI: Eh. It was bound to happen either way, Brandon. Our final song in this infomercial is an old favorite of mine. Many of you may recall an unfortunate incident late last year between AL MVP runner-up Miguel Cabrera and his lovely wife, Rosangel.

INGE: I don’t.

DOMBROWSKI: It was past your bedtime, kiddo. Anyway, to show that all is fine between them, it’s the Cabreras with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”!
ROSANGEL: I really can’t stay…

MIGUEL: Baby, it cold outside.

ROSANGEL: I’ve got to go ‘way…

MIGUEL: Baby, it cold outside.

ROSANGEL: The evening has been…

MIGUEL: I hopin’ you’d drop in.

ROSANGEL: So very nice…

MIGUEL: I hold you’re hand, it like ice.

ROSANGEL: My mother will start to worry…

MIGUEL: Hey, beautiful, what your hurry?

ROSANGEL: And father will be pacing the floor…

MIGUEL: Listen to fireplace roar.

ROSANGEL: So really, I’d better scurry…

MIGUEL: Beautiful, please no hurry.

ROSANGEL: Well, maybe just half a drink more…

MIGUEL: Put music on while I pour.

ROSANGEL: The neighbors might think…

MIGUEL: Baby, it bad out there.

ROSANGEL: Say, what’s in this drink?

MIGUEL: No cabs to…

ROSANGEL: NO! I’m serious! What is this? Miguel, you promised!

MIGUEL: Uh oh. But it Christmas?

ROSANGEL: You sonofabitch!

/starts cursing in Spanish and punching Miguel in the face

/cut to black

(back to Dave and Brandon)

DOMBROWSKI: I hate this team.

INGE: Even me, boss?

DOMBROWSKI: Sigh. Well, folks, we’re just about out of time. But be sure to head over to the official Tiger shop online and pick up your copy of “A Very Tiger Christmas”. Now how much would you expect to pay for something like this, Brandon?

INGE: I don’t know. $19.99? $14.99?

DOMBROWSKI: Ha. Obviously you haven’t been to the online Tiger shop in a while. Yes, you can all own “A Very Tiger Christmas” for only $79.99! What a deal!

INGE: Wow.

DOMBROWSKI: Well, folks, thanks for watching. Get your copy before they sell out. From our families to yours, we wish you all a Merry Christmas!

INGE: Goodbye, everyone! Happy Holidays! God bless us, every one!  Especially the sick kids!

DOMBROWSKI: You’re a saint, Brandon. You really are…

(Fade out.)

Hiyahhhh !!

Got caught again by lom's friend ' the blogthing ' ... arrrghhhh !

You Are An Elf

You are highly creative and artistic. You are good at working hard. While you love to work, you also love to play. You have a naughty side to you!

You love pulling pranks and teasing people. You always seem to be getting into some sort of trouble.

People can rely on you to be industrious and responsible... but you're going to have fun while you're getting stuff done.

Your 2010 Detroit Tigers Holiday Shopping Guide

You are all mindless little cash registers to the Detroit Tigers.

Well, realistically, Major League Baseball, but I have to put some blame on our beloved Tiger franchise.  Don’t believe me? Spend some time on in the official online Tigers shop. Good lord, there’s a lot of overpriced, useless crap on there. I would love to meet some of the people that buy this stuff and beat them to death with a bag full of nickels.

Here’s a few things that made me chuckle in this year’s DNR Holiday Shopping Guide. I’ve included the items, the Tiger Shop price, and what they should reasonably be priced at, in my opinion. As always, keep in mind that I’m an idiot.

Game Used Second Base
Tiger Shop Price: $199.99
Reasonable Price: $99.99

There is no shortage of game used merchandise on the site available for you to buy. From grossly overpriced baseballs to supposedly used batting gloves, the Tigers have cleaned out the dumpster of Comerica Park to pry your hard earned money from you to help pay the remaining years of Gary Sheffield’s deferred payments. I chose this piece because you are all in love with Will Rhymes and you might be lucky enough to find his tiny, elf-sized footprint on the base you purchase. Good luck!

Youth Personalized Will Rhymes T-Shirt
Tiger Shop Price: $31.99
Reasonable Price: $9.99

While I’m picking on Tinkerbell, here’s a youth small sized Rhymes jersey t-shirt. Believe it or not, youth small is Will’s actual size. He outgrew toddler clothing when he was playing in Erie. They grow up so fast…

Many more after the jump.

Wool Champions Leather Jacket
Tiger Shop Price: $249.99
Reasonable Price: $79.99

That is one ugly looking jacket. But check out the douchebag they have modeling it! Holy Fabio! Ladies, never say Your Party Host doesn’t bring the occasional eye candy out for you! Moving along…

Logo Bandz
Tiger Shop Price: $9.99
Reasonable Price: $1.99

These are the stupidest things on the planet. My six year old loves them for some reason, though, and it took everything in me to not crush his little skull with a hammer when he started whining that he wanted these exact same “bandz” when we came across them at the local grocery store. See?
Lucky for me, they were three packs for $10 bucks there. The Tiger Shop people have no souls.

Coasters With Comerica Park Dirt Inside
Tiger Shop Price: $39.99
Reasonable Price: $9.99

Come on, people. Forty bucks for dirt? If this interests you, go inside your closet and hang yourself with a belt.

“Not on the coffee table, Jethro! Put your Busch Light on this coaster…I think Don Kelly spit on this dirt once. Yep.”

Unused Justin Verlander No-Hitter Game Ticket
Tiger Shop Price: $49.99
Reasonable Price: Nothing

Do you know any assholes that claim to be at events that they weren’t really at? Oh, I want to run these people through a wood chipper while whistling “Oh Holy Night” to myself. This is catered to those people and it annoys me to no end. Also, Nate Robertson is pictured on the ticket. That immediately should lower the value of any object by two thousand dollars, so asking $50 for a worthless ticket is mind boggling to me.

Woman’s Personalized Brandon Inge Replica Jersey, Size XXL
Tiger Shop Price: $89.99
Reasonable Price: Shoot Yourself

Sadly, XXL is the biggest female sized Inge jersey available. Judging by the “Inge girls” I saw at Comerica this year, that’s going to be cutting it close.

Tiger Stadium Box Seat
Tiger Shop Price: $399.99
Reasonable Price: I dunno…$20?

Save your “it’s a piece of history” nonsense. It’s a crappy, uncomfortable chair from a crappy, uncomfortable old ballpark. Imagine the number of beer farts this thing captured over the years from Detroit’s finest. Look. I admit to having a soft spot in my black, little heart for Tiger Stadium, but I wouldn’t want this if someone gave it to me for free.

My boss is a Bulls fan and proudly shows off a brick he has from the old Chicago Stadium that he paid something like $20 for. I just want to beat him to death with it whenever he pulls that thing out…and I’m a Bulls fan! Place is gone, man…move on with your life.

Detroit Tigers Scrabble
Tiger Shop Price: $34.99
Reasonable Price: $9.99

Take a board game, put an Old English D on it, and triple the price. Eat me, Tigers. BTW, if you’re looking for a gift for Jen Cosey to thank her for her tireless(?) work, get her this. Lady is obsessed with Scrabble. So annoying. I am kind of curious how many points you get for a triple word score with "Walewander", though…

Autographed Zach Miner Rookie Card
Tiger Shop Price: $49.99
Reasonable Price: $1.00

Kiss my ass. Zach Miner? Good lord…if I was a kid and my parents gave me this for Christmas, I would call a lawyer and immediately file a motion to be emancipated from them. Then I would burn the house down while they were sleeping. Zach Miner? At least attempt to try, people.

Glass Tiger Baseball
Tiger Shop Price: $699.99
Reasonable Price: No clue…it’s stupid.

Hey! Let’s make a baseball out of glass!

/hits crack pipe

Yeah, that’s a great idea! I bet people would pay $700 for one of those!

/eats ten vicodins

Now let’s trade for Jarrod Washburn! Woo hoo…

Ugly Tiger Hats
Tiger Shop Price (in order): $22.99, $24.99, $19.97 (on sale!)
Reasonable Price: Ugh…five bucks each?

I hate ugly hats. These are the worst ones I could find in this year’s selection. If you wear these, you are telling people that you are either a drug dealer or a date rapist. Perhaps both. Just avoid them at all costs.

Please, folks. Care enough about your friends and family to not give them any of this junk for the holidays this year. The would is ugly enough, don’t you think?

Have a happy and safe holiday from all of us me at DesigNate Robertson. See you soon.

The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas

The year I learned that Christmas did not, in fact, originate as a celebration of my amazing ability to temporarily transform into a "good" child for a few weeks was the year my grandparents took me to see their church's nativity play.  My dad's parents were heavily involved in their church and felt that, at six years old, it was time that I start appreciating the miracle of Jesus instead of using Christmas as an excuse to whore out my integrity for presents.  Even though my parents weren't religious, they let me go to the play because it was important to my grandparents.

From my grandparents' flowery explanation and frequent use of the word "miracle," I went in expecting to be blown away by the production. Unfortunately, the church moms and the pathetic excuses for actors that they called their offspring failed to bring the characters to life in the way I had hoped.  And the story just seemed to center around everyone being really impressed with Jesus and there wasn't much suspense and not a single battle scene.

I could see that the story had potential, but I was deeply disappointed by the whole experience.

By the time my grandparents dropped me off at home, I had convinced myself that I needed to take matters into my own hands and reinvent the birth of Christ so that it conformed to my expectations. My parents and I lived with my maternal grandmother and my aunt, so I would have more than enough talent to work with - all I had to do was create a compelling story line.

I walked through my front door with purpose and gathered my family members in the living room to tell them about my vision. I was going to rewrite the birth of Jesus Christ and I was going to make it POP.

My mom, always wanting to nurture my creative side, agreed on behalf of everyone that we should go forward with the production. I would be playing the part of Mary and my dad would be Joseph. My aunt and my grandma would play the wise men. My mom would be filming. The dogs were slated to play the animals in the manger, but they kept trying to chew the eyes off of the doll I'd chosen to play Jesus, so their parts were cut and they were relegated to the bedroom for the duration of the production.

Once I had assigned everyone their parts, we set about the task of gathering costumes and props. Joseph was outfitted in a brown bath robe and Mary wore a blue blanket over her head like a cloak. The wise men, who were heavily intoxicated at that point in the evening, decided to dress themselves like gypsies.

I felt that the struggles of my character, Mary, needed to be emphasized. The audience really needed to understand that she was suffering. I constructed my costume accordingly.

By the time I was done reinventing her, Mary carried a cane, walked with an exaggerated limp and was completely covered in BandAids.

She was also blind.

The first scene opened with Mary and Joseph walking across the desert in search of shelter. I took my dad's hand and slowly paraded around the house, making a big show of being horribly disabled.

I was slightly annoyed when my dad broke character to ask my mom if she put the leftovers in the refrigerator, but I tried to work around the interruption and carry on. I couldn't let myself be distracted by the incompetence of others.

I had never been more serious about anything in my little life.  I ad-libbed my lines with the greatest sincerity, pausing after each one to let the weight of my plight sink in.

Every now and then, I would pause my dramatic musings and make my dad knock on a door and ask "Is there room at the inn?" At which point, my mother's disembodied voice would say "I'm sorry. There is no room at the inn." And then I'd make my dad feign complete outrage at the detached voice.

Me: "Now yell at the innkeeper!"

My Dad: "Arrggghhhh!"

Me: "No, Dad! Actually yell words at him!"

My Dad: "You... innkeeper! You dirty innkeeper!"

Me: "Do it better than that."

My Dad: "Oh, I'll... I'll show you, you rascally innkeeper!"

Me: "NO! You aren't saying it mean enough."

My Dad: "How do I say it mean enough?"

Me: "Say 'I'll rip out your guts and feed them to a monster and then I'll kill you!'"

My Dad: "I'll rip out your guts and feed them to a monster and then I'll kill you."

Me: "Louder."


Working with my family was turning out to be more of a struggle than I had anticipated.  They seemed to be actually looking for opportunities to derail my theatrical masterpiece.

Once we had cycled through knocking on every door in the house in much the same fashion, I went back to the first door and started the process over. At some point in this endless litany of repetitive scenes, my mom interrupted to try to get things moving a little faster.

My mother didn't seem to understand how serious I was about my part.  Fortunately, I got bored with the scene well before I'd gotten around to reenacting it a million times.

It was finally time for Jesus to be born. Due to my incomplete understanding of childbirth, the scene involved Jesus being tossed across the room, as if in flight, and me running over to where he landed and acting really surprised to find him there.

The wise men were in the kitchen making more cocktails while Jesus was being "born" and they missed their cue. My mom ran into the kitchen and yelled "Jesus is here!" to which the wise men responded "Oh! Right! Shit. Hang in there, Jesus! We're coming!! "

They stumbled into the living room, still clutching half-full glasses of vodka which they hadn't had time to pour orange juice into, and yelled, as if the baby Jesus were partially deaf or mentally challenged "HELLO JESUS. WE COME BEARING GIFTS."

Grandma: "Wait, where are the gifts?"

Aunt: "Didn't you bring them? We were supposed to bring gold, frankincense and that other one." 

Grandma: "I thought you were going to bring them."

Aunt: "I was busy keeping my eye on that star and trying not to get us lost. You were on gold, frankincense and whatever duty."

Grandma: "Well, I was brushing the camels."

Aunt: "You aren't supposed to brush camels." 

Grandma: "You don't know that. Have you ever owned a camel?"

Aunt: "Of course. I'm a wise man. I know all there is to know about camels."

Grandma: "Well, then you should know that camels need to be brushed. A lot."

Aunt: (skeptical silence).

Grandma: "Well, I guess we don't have any gifts after all. Sorry Jesus."

I was not happy. I ordered them to go find some gifts for Jesus.

They scavenged around the living room for a few minutes and then returned bearing a pack of cigarettes, the remote control and a Kenny Loggins tape.

Aunt: "We're back! And we have the gifts!"

Grandma: "They are specially imported from distant lands."

The gifts were most definitely not imported from distant lands. I had just seen my aunt and grandmother pick them up off of the floor, seemingly at random.  Their inattention to detail infuriated me. They weren't even trying to make the play seem realistic.  They were sabotaging my monumental production with their lazy, unrealistic props.

Me: "Jesus doesn't want those things."

Grandma: "Sure he does. Jesus loves Kenny Loggins."

Me: "No. He hates him."

My dire seriousness only served to fuel their desire to toy with me.

Aunt: "No, no, no. Jesus was a huge Kenny Loggins fan."

Grandma: "It's true. I saw it in the Bible once."

Me: "Grandma, Kenny Loggins wasn't even alive back then."

Grandma: "Oh yes he was.  Kenny Loggins is immortal."

They both burst into raucous laughter.  They thought they were being awfully clever.  Apparently my mom and dad thought so too, because they joined in.

At that point, they were all laughing too hard to clearly impart any further knowledge of Kenny Loggins.

I looked at them, strewn about the room; contorted with laughter over their own stupid jokes.

They were a disgrace.  They had somehow managed to take my moment in the spotlight and irreversibly derail it until it was entirely about Kenny Loggins. This was supposed to be MY moment, not Kenny Loggins' moment. It was so unfair. They were ruining my life.

I couldn't contain my fury any longer.

An unforeseen plot twist arose when, in a final attempt to jar my family into cooperation, I cast the baby Jesus to the ground and began to repeatedly bludgeon him with my cane.

Even though they weren't religious, the violent blasphemy unfolding before them made my family feel slightly uncomfortable.

My grandmother tried to intervene. 

For a moment, it seemed as though my outburst had succeeded in bringing my family back into a more serious mindset. But after a few moments of tense silence, my aunt quietly squeaked "Kenny Loggins wouldn't beat the baby Jesus..."

It was over.  Any hope I had ever had of getting my family members to act out their parts with integrity was shattered.  They laughed and laughed until I thought they were going to asphyxiate on their own wretched spittle.

My mom eventually realized that it was her maternal duty to step in and discipline me when I did things like strike the baby Jesus repeatedly with a blunt object, so she tried to pull herself together and send me to my room. 

I didn't want to spend any more time around these horrible, undignified people anyway, so I stomped away to my room where I could reenact the play with a more cooperative cast.

I still hold a small amount of resentment toward Kenny Loggins.