Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Trans-Siberian update

I'm sipping on my second cup of hot chocolate of the evening, listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Anytime I hear someone say how nothing good came from of the fall of the Soviet empire, I remind them of TSO.

Sometimes I get really into the music and start pretending I'm conducting the orchestra with a series of emphatic arm movements. I don't know if I'm conducting correctly. But according to Wikipedia, "There are no absolute rules on how to conduct correctly, and a wide variety of different conducting styles exist." So I would venture to say that I'm pretty close.

Occasionally, it gets so intense that I go straight from conducting to playing air guitar behind my head, then I transition seamlessly into air piano. It's a sight to behold. It's like Slash meets "Flight of the Bumblebee" meets Billy Joel.

As you may have heard by now (or read in the comments to my last post), my beloved Crimson Tide are the SEC Champions in football following a 32-13 victory over the Florida Gators. We also had the first Heisman Trophy winner in school history. 'Tis a good year to be a Bama fan.

I'm trying to enjoy this incredible run of success, I really am. Things are going so well. Maybe a little too well? It's making me nervous. I don't like to be the favorite, the talk of the town, the cat's meow, the bee's knees. I'd rather be the cat's hack, or the bee's thorax. I'm much more comfortable being the underdog. That's probably why one of my favorite cartoon characters was Underdog. Also, I like Eric Cartman, Handy Smurf and Rocky (of ...and Bullwinkle fame).

Now it is on to Pasadena to play for the national championship. Bama's last national championship came in the 1992 season. Then, I was nineteen -- full of hope, dreams, and theoretically, a future. Now, I'm thirty-six -- a solitary man with a messy apartment who sits online playing Scrabble, swapping pictures with friends of nieces and nephews, and mostly avoiding interaction with the other humans. Football is all I have. OK, so it's always been all I have, but it wasn't so obvious back then.

Between now and then, it looks like Bone's 5th Annual Festivus For The Rest Of Us will take place. This, despite my perpetual indecision and general disdain for committing to things more than three days out. The past couple of years, I've been thinking maybe this is the year I won't do it. Then invariably, people start asking about it. First, it's one person. Then two. Then -- well, two's pretty much all it takes. By that time, I've begun printing out the lyrics to Silver Pole and reminiscing about Festivi past.

And so, in the immortal words of Frank Costanza, "Festivus is back! I'll get the pole out of the crawlspace."

"There'll be meatloaf, maybe pizza, at the Festivus meal. After grievances aired, hearts are heavy. Then it's time for feats of strength, it's Frank Costanza's big scene. Festivus won't be o'er till someone's pinned..."


  1. Get out the little cocktail napkins! hehehe

    Sounds like fun and I, for one, cant wait to see the youtube! =]

  2. merry christmas to all things nick saban related.. :)

  3. So that explains the light turnout to my brother's wedding that Saturday.

  4. There's an actual Festivus song?

    I grew up on "Music by the Red Army Marching Band." My father just liked it. So I can understand the excitement

    Love your description of yourself. Know your apartment can't be messy :) Too much

    Glad you're having the party. What if somebody has no grievances?

  5. Merry Christmas~

    Used to love Underdog too. Like minds...

  6. We love TSO here too. Darly & I play a mean air piano while blasting it out in the car! LOL!

    I can't wait for Festivus! That I'm ready for...but not for Christmas. sigh

  7. Helene - Do they make cocktail napkins with Seinfeld quotes? Those would be perfect for Festivus.

    Yeah, maybe you can give me a 5-star rating this year, get my average up a little bit :)

    Shelby - We love the good St. Nick around these parts :)

    Unseen Rajasthan - Merry Christmas to you, too!

    Ed - That's probably closer to the truth than you think.

    Pia - Was there really a Music By The Red Army Marching Band album? Hmm, wonder if that's on iTunes.

    Oh, there'll be grievances. It's the cornerstone of Festivus. It's very freeing. Well, once everyone gets over their hurt feelings, that is :)

    Michelle Johnson - Merry Christmas, MJ. Those were the days when cartoons were good.

    Renee - Oh man, we should get together. I could conduct while you gals played. Of course, you would need to refer to me as Maestro :)

    That's one of the underrated things about Festivus, I think: very little preparation.

  8. What's festivus? Or am I being dense...?

  9. Please post video of you orchestrating for TSO. :)

    I can't believe you even consider NOT having Festivus. It's a tradition. It must be continued.

    By the way, the bees knees? Funny stuff :)

  10. That's the spirit! Lots to celebrate this Crimson Holiday! I decorated my tree in red and white! Annual Festivus- meatloaf- pizza, airing of grievences, and feats of strength who wouldn't want to miss that! Are you having the traditional feats of strength where you -the host has to be pinned to the floor in a wrestling match? - I watch too much MMA these days, but I think I could take you!
    Merry Christmas and Happy Festivus!

  11. Reading the second and third paragraphs just made me laugh. And I needed that.

  12. J Adamthwaite - No, you're not dense :) It's a holiday that was made (semi-)famous on the TV show Seinfeld.

    Here, don't say I never gave you anything ;-) Festivus 101

    TC - Do you realize if I YouTube'd this, it would likely become more popular than Chocolate Rain? No, I'm not ready for that kind of publicity.


    Daily Panic - Haha. No, we don't usually have the traditional feats. One year, we played poker. Maybe this year, we'll play Scene It! Seinfeld.

    We have "Blue Christmas" and "White Christmas." Someone needs to write a "Crimson Christmas" song.

    Terra - Thank you. It always makes me happy to know someone found something I wrote funny :)

  13. About the conducting it reminds me a lot of my late Father doing air organ. ( I know that sounds wrong- just bear with me). Air organ is pretty much air guitar or air piano... but on the organ. The song he was famous for air playing was The Happy Organ by Baby Cortez... picture a very drunk or stoned middle aged hippie playing air organ to that song and you have my Dad. He used to bust out doing that in the middle of really intense poker games... I think he did it to distract us or cheat.

    Anyway- Merry Christmas and thanks for dropping by.

  14. I just arrived to ask if You cared for a cup of tea, but I see You prefer hot chocolate, ok I can't win them all ;-)

  15. You wouldn't be solitary if you ditched the boxers. Just sayin'. ;-)

    FYI...not needy. You amuse me, my little court jester. The Queen (in this case, that would be me) needs you around more often for her entertainment.

  16. Someone needs to write a "Crimson Christmas" song.

    I nominate Bone.

  17. glad you decided to go ahead with Festivi... Congratulations to 'Bama, but Down East in North Carolina, we never celebrated a Crimson (Red) Tide as it meant the closing of shellfish season. And be sure to introduce us to your new hiking friend!

  18. I just turned some TSO on while reading your post.

    I thought of you when I read about the Heisman trophy winner. I sat there proudly thinking "I know someone from Alabama".

  19. HA! Funny post.
    "Sometimes I get really into the music and start pretending I'm conducting the orchestra with a series of emphatic arm movements."
    I do that too!!!! We're both weird. :)
    PS- Ramblings for you, on my blog. Merry Christmas.

  20. I agree with TC you should write the 'crimson Christmas'.

    Wonderful post and I can so picture you conducting the orchestra. Both of sons do that as well. I'm sure you would be just fine as long as they can follow your count.

    Merry Christmas.

  21. Michelle Gartner - Sounds like he would have fit well in my air orchestra. Merry Christmas!

    ANNA-LYS - I can do tea, but it's gotta be sweet. Thanks for stopping by.

    Murf - I refuse to be that guy that walks around the house in briefs. That's my main problem with them, aside from the obvious reproductive repercussions.

    TC - Bone's been busy working on "Mama Cried." It's a take-off on the Merle Haggard classic "Mama Tried" with a Bama theme, of course.

    Sage - Oh, I know you Tar Heels are probably fully into basketball season already. I'm taking sort of a we've-got-tonight approach to football season. Let's make it last. Let's find a way.

    Cooper - I would also hope you'd think of me anytime you hear news about Seinfeld or General Hospital :)

    I just found out TSO are gonna be in Birmingham in January! I'm gonna have to consider this.

    OK Chick - It's fun, isn't it? Though it can be a bit problematic when driving.

    That was a good ramblings. Merry Christmas!

    J Adamthwaite - I was a little obsessed with that show at one point in my life.

    Penny Candy - What's a count? :)

  22. Swapping pictures of nieces and nephews? And that's a solitary lonely thing?

  23. Happy Festivus, who won the feats of strength?

    C'grats on a Tide victory.

  24. It was extremely interesting for me to read that article. Thank author for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

  25. 1. TSO is ...amazing. I listen to their music (all year) at Christmas. I wanted to go to one of their concerts this year but they didn't come anywhere close to Athens.

    2. It was not a good year to be a Bulldog fan. That being said, I hate Florida more than I hate losing. I was so glad you guys beat them.

    3. They now make festivus cakes: http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2009/12/happy-festivus.html

    4. Merry Christmas!