Friday, November 30, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 25 ...

     
     Ah, sweet nostalgia ... and the old-fashioned office holiday party! That time of year where you have enforced joy and cheer, some poor schlub has FAR too much to drink and make a total a-hole of himself (and hears about it for the rest of the next year) and my personal favorite ... the awkward moments under the mistletoe!

     I bring this up because my favorite tabloid in the UK, The Sun, just ran an article all about this very subject - all about people getting randy at these parties and regretting it (or not) ... the most interesting factoid from all this? What day is the one when most people score (and no, it's NOT Christmas Day)? Take a look, see for yourself ... and GO EASY on the spiked eggnog this year!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4655255/One-in-three-get-frisky-at-office-Christmas-parties.html

     Along those lines, if you need to bring something to this year's party,  nothing says "holiday" (or "pink slip", depending on just how much of this you consume) like Santa's Butt! It's just one of the "Six Worst Sounding Alcoholic Drinks of All Time" - the link below also will show you such tasty delights as Viking Blood, Pig's Ass Porter and one that I KNOW will be a "must-have" for certain friends of mine, Polygamy Porter! And a special tip of the cap to the copywriter who came up with the tag line for this beer, "Why Have Just One?" HA! You can find the whole list here (so you can plan what to bring now) ...

http://thedailyedge.thejournal.ie/the-worst-alcohol-names-ever-649658-Oct2012/

     No, no ... don't thank me - it's all part of the service we provide here at the K.A.C. Now go get 'em, tiger! Then join us tomorrow for more!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 26 ...

     Me writing the latest entry of the K.A.C. or Salvador Dali in 1947 ... you decide! 

     Regardless of who you think it is, it illustrates our theme for the day - Christmas cards!

     Let's start with a link to an article that some of you might find quite fun (especially with the announcement of new Star Wars films on the way) - 30 Years of LucasFilm Christmas Cards! 

http://www.slashfilm.com/cool-stuff-30-years-of-lucasfilm-christmas-cards/ 

     If Yoda and the boys don't do it for you, there's plenty more to choose from. I rather like these short and sweet cards as seen on right ... just the thing for us older folks who will be paying the price from all the upcoming holiday parties!

     Of course, if you REALLY hate this time of year but still have the family obligation of getting cards out, then I have the perfect solution for you ... depressing Christmas cards! Already a hit since their inception in 2009, you can read more about them here and follow the link to some truly tacky treats!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3972465/Depressing-cards-are-Xmas-hit.html 

     
      Finally, here's MY kind of Christmas card! Click on the link to see the video of Terry Gilliam's 1968 animated Christmas card! Enjoy!

http://io9.com/5870031/santa-claus-robs-children-in-terry-gilliams-1968-animated-christmas-card


     What, are you still here? Move away from that computer and get those cards sent already! More tomorrow!
          

    

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 27 ...

     27 Days to Go! Time's a - wastin' ... Speaking of time, after yesterday's entry of Christmas Gifts from 1975, we turn our attention back to modern times and this year's version of what the 1% will be buying - yes, it's our annual visit to the Neiman-Marcus Fantasy Gifts 2012! Now I know what you're thinking, "Watches? That's all they could come up with? Is the economy really that bad?" 

     Would you believe watches with a price tag of over ONE MILLION DOLLARS ??? The gift also includes a trip to Paris and Geneva, to see where the watches were made - you know what? Just get out your credit card and go here: 

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/christmasbook/fantasy.jsp?cid=CBF12_O5407&r=cat44770736&rdesc=The%20Fantasy%20Gifts&pageName=HIS%20&%20HERS%202012&icid=CBF12_05407 

     Not a world traveler? More of a stay-at-home work-the-land type of person? Maybe you just want to have a few crops, raise some chickens ... that's all right, Neiman-Marcus has you covered, as well. How? With their $100,000 chicken coop! Oh, my bad ... for that kind of money, let's call it by its proper name: the Heritage Hen Mini Farm. Because when you get right down to it, what chicken DOESN'T want a split-level hen house, complete with living room, library and a chandelier? Read it and weep:

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/christmasbook/fantasy.jsp?cid=CBF12_O5415&cidShots=m,a,b,c,z&r=cat44770736&rdesc=The%20Fantasy%20Gifts&pageName=Beau%20Coop&
icid=CBF12_O5415
 


     There's plenty more to choose from, including your own jet pack, a walk-on role in ANNIE (in case your little Princess isn't already spoiled enough!), your own posh car, tailgate trailer and the ultimate video arcade.

     For the REST of us working stiffs, we'll be back to Earth with more foolishness tomorrow!
    

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 28 ...


     Ever wonder where George Lucas got the idea for Princess Leia's hairbuns in STAR WARS? A good guess might be at our left. There's just SO much action goin' on here, I'm not sure where to start ... from the corduroy "porn-'stache" dude rocking it in front to the classy couple in back (and by the way, dude - her hairbuns are further up ... ahem ...).

     Now aside from the obvious hilarity of it all, what does this have to do with Christmas? Well, this (and the following pages) all came from the 1975 Sears "Wish List" Book. This is going to take some explaining for you young pups, who have always lived with computers in the Internet Age, so let me give it a shot.

      BEFORE the Internet and online shopping, the major way you would learn about new material goods to buy were through the catalogs sent out by the major retailers (which for most people back then were Sears, J.C. Penney and (a distant third) Montgomery Ward). Sears had their competition beat hollow, as they had been in the catalog retail business since the early 1900s. Many children (myself included) eagerly awaited every year the arrival of the Sears "Wish List" Book, which was their Christmas catalog for the whole family - all the latest toys, fashions, etc., could be found in the book. Among the funnier pages from the 1975 book are the blatant misrepresentations of leftover Halloween costumes as "Christmas pajamas"! Let's see, for the boys we have Superman, check - Batman, check. Satan ... ??? The girls had a much more limited option, it would seem: a bunny or a serial killer clown! 
The tiger is just anyone's guess at this point. Personally I would have LOVED to have seen the family trying to explain their holiday photos with the Devil and the Clown beside their tree on Christmas morning! :)

      But what about the TOYS, you ask? Surely even if the clothes were nightmare fuel back in the '70s, at least the TOYS rocked, right? Take a look to your left ... no, it's fine, I'll wait ... THAT is what passed for "must-have" toys back then. Now unless you were Jeff Dunham, this is most children's idea of a Very Creepy Christmas! I remember seeing most of these dummies (as well as the ventriloquist dolls!) at Sears during the holidays on display in the toy area ... they were even WORSE in person! Hugo ... the Man of a Thousand Faces rather intrigues me, however - he's like the prototype for Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies ... hmmm.  

     To see the rest of this Nostalgic Nightmare and other 'must-have' items, including the Evel Knieval Stunt Kit, guns, guns and MORE guns and John Holmes (or a very reasonable facsimile) in a kimono (read: what MOM wanted for Christmas!), go here:


 http://www.vintag.es/2011/12/what-people-wanted-for-christmas-in.html


     Come back tomorrow for more!

Monday, November 26, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 29 ...

    
It's Strange Christmas Customs Day here at the K.A.C. - after the constant drubbing our buddy Krampus got last year, I thought I would give him a year off for good behavior. The problem arose, however, of who would take up his slack? Hmmm ... 

     Not to worry! Enter the  Jólakötturinn, the Iceland Christmas Cat! Good kitty, NICE kitty ... everybody loves kitties, right? Consider your answer carefully, especially if you are a lazybones - 'cause this precocious puss has no problem at all with EATING YOU UP if you don't have new clothes on! WHAT ??? It's true! Go read about him and more (including my personal favorite, the Gävle Goat) here (and make sure you click on the link to read the horrifying Christmas Cat poem)!  

http://www.worldsstrangest.com/mental-floss/7-strange-christmas-traditions/  

      
           "Kitties - pshaw! I'm not scared of any CAT!" OK, then try THIS on for size! This big bad boy to your right is one of a pre-Christian race of Basque giants known a jentillak, a "mythological race of Basque giants living in the Pyrenees. Legend has it that they observed a glowing cloud in the sky one day. None of them could look at this bright cloud except for a very old, nearly blind man. When asked to examine it, he confirmed their fears and told them that it was a sign that Jesus will be born soon. According to some stories, the old man asked the giants to throw him off a cliff to avoid having to live through Christianisation. Having obliged him, the giants tripped on the way down and died themselves except Olentzero.
Other versions have the jentillak simply leaving, with only Olentzero remaining behind to embrace Christianity".
      
    (Description courtesy of Wikipedia)

     What's all this have to do with Christmas? Over time, Olentzero evolved from that strapping dolmen-sitter into this cherubic equivalent of Santa Claus at left. Jolly fat man, right? Aside from not fitting down ANYBODY'S chimney, what's not to love? Wait for it ...
 "In Basque communities, Olentzero comes to town on Christmas Eve to deliver children’s holiday gifts. Although Olentzero—an overweight man who wears a beret, smokes a pipe, and dresses like a Basque farmer—is now a beloved character who comes bearing gifts, he used to have some violent enforcer-type aspects to his personality; children heard that if they didn’t go to sleep, Olentzero would hurl a sickle down the chimney. The message was clear: go to sleep or Olentzero will come cut your throat."  =:O !!! Thanks to the Mental Floss blog for that bit of Christmas Cheer!


    

     

        
  We'll wrap up our carnival of December Diabolicalness with a return to Iceland and my vote for Best Worst character of them all ... the Gryla. How bad is she? Take it away, Mental Floss! "Naughty children in Iceland have to fear being caught by Gryla, an ogress who lives in a mountain cave but comes out each year to plague bad kids during Christmas. During the 18th century, Gryla was such a terrifying figure—her mythology at the time included eating the bad children, not just scaring them—that a public decree banned the use of Gryla to strike terror in the hearts of the poorly behaved."

     To read all about them and more, go here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/43013 

     At this point, I'm rethinking the whole "I want presents this year" thing ... even Krampus is scared!  Back with more tomorrow!




 



Sunday, November 25, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 30 ...

     Continuing for a moment on our theme of trees, I guess I shouldn't complain ... I could be stuck having to put the lights on this 90-FOOT tree that's on display this year in the UK! Read all about just what it took to get this Tinseltown Terror up!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4638705/Christmas-tree-Ellesmere-Port-is-90ft-tall-with-thousands-of-baubles-and-nine-km-of-lights.html 

          Something that large is going to need a LOT of ornaments! Take a look back at my November 15th, 2011 post for our favorites from last year. My early faves this year ... the Glittery Dino Ornaments! I'm not sure what I like more ... the snazzy Yuletide Wreaths they're all sporting or the innocent happy expressions on their faces - as they wait to be obliterated from the planet. Yeah, I think that's it! :)
Gotta have 'em on your own tree? Then head on over to ModCloth and pick up a passel of this Triassic Trio!

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/decorative-accessories/the-rex-is-yet-to-come-ornament

     Last but not least, what tree would be complete without presents? We'll get into the more bizarre items found under the tree as we get closer to the Big Day, but for now here's a nice video (courtesy of Ripley's Believe It or Not!) about some Christmas Eve passengers who got their own red-eye presents from Santa ... enjoy!

http://www.ripleys.com/blog/airline-gives-passengers-christmas-presents/

     We're officially at the one-month mark - come back tomorrow for more!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 31 ...

     Welcome back! If you're a regular reader of the K.A.C., you've heard me go on (and on) about my never-ending battle with my wife about the annual Christmas tree (i.e., real vs. artificial). Every year it's the same argument ... and every year I lose it and head out to get a real Christmas tree. 

     This year, however, I think I may have finally found a happy medium. It's real AND artificial! Yep, a LIVE person can come and stand at our house with her Christmas-tree hairstyle! What do you think? I must be making this up, you say? Nope - it's real (well ...) and is just ONE of many eye-popping Holiday Hairstyles ... go and take a look. Who knows, there may be something here that inspires you for this year's office party! 

http://www.cutegirlshairstyles.com/mindy-mindless-ramblings/strange-christmas-hairstyles/ 

     

     Want the perfect accessory for that godawful hair? If you're a pet person, then drag poor Fido or the "so not amused" Bee Gee (as seen on our right) into the mix with Ugly Christmas Pet Sweaters! What used to be the proud (?) domain of the 'taste-challenged' segment of humanity has expanded its reach into all levels of the animal kingdom - here are 14 examples for your perusal!

http://www.peoplepets.com/people/pets/gallery/0,,20491532_21093788,00.html#21093788 

     

           Finally, we'll leave you with this very cute Christmas ad from the UK retailer John Lewis. Called 'The Journey', it's a touching tale about a snowman's love for his snow woman (snow lady?) and to what lengths he's willing to go to prove it to her. Enjoy!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4635979/John-Lewis-unveil-new-Christmas-advert-lovestuck-snowman.html 


     More tomorrow! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Welcome to the Kitschmas Advent Calendar 2012 ! T - 32 Days ... and Counting !!!




     You better watch out, You better not cry, Better not pout, I'm telling you why ...
  The K.A.C. is coming to town!!! 


     Hello again, boys and girls, and welcome to the 2012 edition of the K.A.C. !!! For those of you new to all this, see my Conjure Cinema entry from November 11th, 2011 (to see what you're about to get yourself into). For the rest of you, our annual Christmas Countdown begins today! After last year, I decided to delay the beginning of the countdown until a more appropriate time ... to that crassest of "holidays", Black Friday! That senseless, tasteless, classless exhortation to shop, shOP, SHOP !!! Oh, and how do you like the NEW spin on Black Friday this year? It used to be the greed-merchants proudly trumpeted "get to our stores on MIDNIGHT --- be the FIRST in line for our BIG DEALS!" Well, after the multiple tramplings and other exhibitions of near-savage human behavior (I'm looking at YOU, Mace-to-the-face-of-the-other-customers-Lady!) - and the accompanying lawsuits they invoked, Wal-mart, Target, et. al, decided to go with a more SANE approach ... what, you ask? By moving the shopping time up to THANKSGIVING NIGHT! 

     As I told my wife, "I can see certain people now turning THIS into their 'Thanksgiving with the family' tradition!" Bleah ... Well, we're all about wallowing in the trash here at the K.A.C., so with that in mind, let's take a nostalgic look at Christmas toys past - specifically, the most DANGEROUS toys. How dangerous? Would you believe RADIOACTIVE??? Oh yeah ... how I ever missed getting THIS beauty above under my tree is beyond me! So come along and take a look at "When Toys Attack: 5 Dangerous Toy Recalls".

http://www.wcvb.com/holidays/When-toys-attack-5-dangerous-toy-recalls/-/17013108/4690684/-/c8jigpz/-/index.html 

     I was rather surprised when reading this article that one of the most notorious toys of all time wasn't mentioned - the Klik Klaks! Also known as Klackers, Clackers, Klacker Balls, etc., these bad boys were a disaster waiting to happen from the word go! Take two pieces of cheap, round plastic, run a string between them and a place to hold the string in the middle ... then SWING them at an insanely high velocity so that they smash into each other on their top and bottom loops! Hours of fun! Look, Mom, I'm a Junior Hadron Collider! Kids would drive their parents nuts listening to them whacking these things together for hours on end (they were LOUD!) - and then the plastic would start to chip ... and disintegrate ... at high speed ... the old adage of, "You'll put an eye out!" had a new champion. While I can not say I knew anyone who DID put an eye out with these crazed Whirling Projectiles of Death, I did know a number of kids who got WHOPPING wrist injuries, mainly from losing control of them at high speed and one or both of the plastic balls cracking (klaking?) them on the wrists. After a number of these injuries, the Klik Klaks were banned from our school (and other schools nationwide).


     For me, there was the My Favorite Martian Chemistry Set which (according to family lore) I almost poisoned my mother with (and turned our bath tub black!) - it mysteriously went away after that ... :(

     ****************************************************************

     Join me tomorrow and the next 30 or so days as our Holly Hilarity continues!