Sunday, December 15, 2013

So Far Christmas is in the Blog-o-Sphere... Just not here.

Dear readers, I have been feeling a bit ragged around the edges lately. My plans to rev up the engine on this blog the week I was off from work after Thanksgiving never really took root. I think part of my problem is that I am knee-deep in the Christmas season here... and I am not feeling very festive this year. Not really one little bit. So far this season:

- We've dug the Christmas books out of the attic, and have been reading one every night to my boys.

- We've got the tree up and decorated.

- For the first time since being in our new house, we hung lights, holly trimmings, and a big ol' wreath outside to decorate.

- My daughter has had her Christmas concert at school (she sung beautifully by the way...)

- The Christmas parade in town went marching by on a particularly cold December morning last weekend.

- I've attended not just ONE but TWO work Christmas parties... one AT work, for everyone to attend, and one OUTSIDE of work for just the people I work directly with. Both were fun and festive.

- We have watched a handful of Holiday specials, not the least of which happened to be the Garfield Christmas special, which has been scientifically proven to be one of the very best Christmas specials ever made.

- My wife and I hosted a Polar Express read-aloud at our local small-town library. Fun and hot chocolate were had by all.

- Our Christmas shopping has almost been completely... completed.

- Two birthday parties were celebrated! Not Christmas-y I know... but work with me.

Based on all of this, you would THINK that I would be BURSTING with effing Holiday cheer and GOLL-DURN Christmas spirit. But... Hmm. I'm certainly not feeling Grinch-y or Scrooge-y... but I am not feeling warm and aglow as I feel I should.

WELL. I will NOT poop on this season! Right now, I am going to share with you some of my favorite Christmas-y... or just fun holiday themed posts from around the blog-o-sphere. I may not be "feeling it" just yet, but some of these folks on my blog feed certainly are! Here we go in almost no particular order:

1. The Trash Man

The Trash Man over at Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture shares a handful of images from his bootleg VHS of the He-Man She-Ra Christmas special. But not only does he share these... he also shares the shameless tale of how he acquired the particular copy in his collection. Trash Man is ALL about the old VHS and the nostalgic... nostalgia. And Christmas. I just really like this post. 

2. Mason

I like to mix my Christmas with my creepy from time to time, but I've never been a big blogging supporter of Creepmas. I have no problem with it, and in fact, I really enjoy following some of the blogs that partake. Mason over at D.I. Treasures has jumped in whole hog this year, and was counting down the 13 days of Creepmas with gusto (which just ended on Friday the 13th! How cool is that!) I think my absolute favorite entry of his out of his entire countdown was this one about candy canes. Who doesn't have a childhood memory of whittling a make-shift shiv with their own saliva and a peppermint stick? 

3. Michael (Miss M)

Michael, (or Miss M as I still affectionately think of her) has a toy persona who's fictional history is as long and convoluted as any daytime soap-opera, Joss Whedon-verse show, or 80's anime import series combined. This particular episode of the Diary of a Dorkette finds the Dorkette having visions of a deeply troubling alternate world, shopping for used opera books for anthropomorphic rats, and over-coming her own obsessions in order to make Christmas better for some unknown but lucky (and presumably sentient toy) child. If you get nothing else from Miss M's blog, it's this: Here is a woman who unashamedly PLAYS with her toys in a cathartic, and creative way. I genuinely love that. 

4. Matt


Matt over at Dinosaur Dracula is just a complete slave to the holidays. He extensively covers all things Halloween from about September 1st until October 31st and then almost immediately switches gears to Christmas. His entire blog just oozes sticky, old, smelly Christmas memories to the point where I have a hard time selecting just one... but his recent review of Cranberry Sprite has me completely ga-ga for cranberry flavored ANYTHING now. I need it like I need air. See Matt has that way of stirring up the CRAVINGS for all things HOLIDAY themed. Since reading this post I have had four 20 oz. bottles of Sierra Mist Cranberry, finished off a 2-liter bottle of Cranberry Canada Dry ginger-ale, and a jug of that Ocean Spray Cran-apple (both of those last two I had help from my family with. I didn't just sit swigging on those until they were empty all by myself). I have not yet tried a Cranberry Canada Sprite Mist... but since it is the holiday drink equivalent of the McGangBang I feel our destinies are inevitably intertwined.

5. Erik

Erik Johnson, illustrator of Erik Johnson Illustrator has finally revealed his 2013 Christmas Card artwork to the general public. And I absolutely ADORE it. Erik is a brilliant artist, and one who is very good at explaining the behind-the-scenes process behind his techniques in laymans terms that are actually interesting to non-artists. AND he doesn't stop there. He actually answers the one question most artists seem to find unforgivably horrible: Where do you get your ideas? Which I have to admit I really do find fascinating. His post walks you through the entire trickle-down of inspiration, and its a great experience reading about where the nutty little guy pictured above came from. 

6. Chris


Chris Tupa is another shamefully talented artist who puts a ton of his content online. To celebrate this season he put out his own version of the old Sears Wish Book, including a bunch of old toys he either wanted as a kid, or found out about as an adult but WOULD have wanted as a kid. It's an awesome walk down memory lane, and it really does evoke those Christmas morning memories where each and every wrapped up present had the potential to be THAT toy... the one that you'd been begging for ever since seeing the commercial for it at the beginning of the holiday season. 

7. Laura

Laura Huey has a great blog over at Boo Bobby you guys. I know I've gushed about it on here before, and I go over to her blog and leave gushing comments where I tell her how great it is... but there's a reason for it. And this post just high-lights (ha!) it so well. Laura takes simple pleasure in just about everything she encounters. This post is all about her enjoying Christmas lights in her neighborhood and on her own house. She makes me WANT to feel Christmas-y so BAD right now. And... I'm getting there. But it's a process I guess. 

Anyway, check these guys out and they're Ho-ho-holiday spirit! I'll be back (semi-)soon with some Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting! 


  1. - I hear you about wanting to get things going during the holiday downtime, but ended up just taking a prolonged break from everything.

    - If you're looking for a new Christmas book to read with the boys, I just bought the graphic novel, "Santa Vs. Dracula" on Amazon.

    Its B-Movie title really lowers your defenses thinking you're going to get over the top gore or cheese when really its a fun tongue-in-cheek romp that has some witty contrasts between characters of the commercial Halloween and Christmas mythology and some old school comic book style brawling. I think it'd be right up your alley.

    - I'm right there with you. I haven't to a Christmas party in a long time (thats the problem of working from home I suppose) but then I got two invites. One this past Saturday the other on Wednesday. The one on Wednesday ought to be interesting as its a Secret Santa exchange with people that I don't really know all that well. You'd think a White Elephant exchange would be preferable since that way everything is kind of hokey and cheap, but I wisely decided to bite my tongue on this issue on account that I what these people to like me. Hopefully the gift's uniqueness will cover up for its cheapness.

    - I am so far behind on Christmas Specials. I know I have to at least watch Charlie Brown or else lose my soul.

    - Wow a Christmas concert and a live reading of Polar Express? Your family is made of born performers I tell you!

    - This picture is actually kind of eerie because I have that exact same sweater, and shirt, and Santa hat. Even our glasses are similar! It would not surprise me at all if you just came out and said "I'm you from the future!"

    - I don't know what it is about seasonal indifference, big holidays like Christmas always catch me off guard. Probably because I'm not out and about all that much and am often otherwise preoccupied with something or other.

    I really dig on this idea sharing what other bloggers are up to. Season of giving indeed!

    - I've only just begun to dip my toes into Miss M's universe. I am never at a loss for something to say.

    - Wow. You heaped on the praise from me like the snow we've been getting here in Michigan! I was worried the posts about inspiration and process would just be dead weight that would turn people off, so I'm overjoyed to hear that they have been so well received!

    This afternoon I was writing a post for New Year's about all the stuff that I've done this past year and talked briefly about encouraging comments. Clearly I'm going to need to elaborate on just how awesome it is to be send stuff by such supportive people!

    I've but bookmarks on Chris, Boo and Trash's pages. I'm not too familiar with their material, but I see potential entertainment here. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Merry Christmas! Hope you got the card I sent you in the mail.

    1. I did get your card! I almost mentioned it on here... but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to broadcast it. LOVED it. Part of the reason why I liked reading the post telling of its genesis so much.

    2. Excellent! I've got no problem with you talking about it. I sent cards to other bloggers as well like Miss M and Kal at Cave of Cool on account of being my most frequent viewers.

      I just couldn't be sure they arrived. I sent out fifty cards and have only a few confirmed receivings so I was just a little concerned is all. People can be so busy around this time I guess.

  2. Might be time for a blog break Derek like what am doing right now just to help recharge and refocus for the up coming year it really does wonders.

  3. Awww!! Geek!
    I just stood in line at the post office for 40 minutes while Gabriel ran amok. But for a totally worthy family! ;)
    I hear your lack of holiday cheer and I have sent the proper medicines.....
    I'm gonna go check out Matt and Chris's blogs and thanks for talkin me up again. I have to be honest, I was wondering why I had a new follower this morning. A guy by the name of WickED who specializes in all things frightening. Shoulda known he came by through the Geek path!
    Thanks, Erik for sayin I had "potential entertainment" value. Yu sure know how to make a gal blush ;)

  4. Thanks so much for the shout out Geek! I really appreciate i!

    Also I like your Christmas tree and I total dig the Legend of Zelda Sun Switch on the wall! I was gonna leave the Creepmas tree up, but by golly this has me longing for a more traditional Christmas tree, so I think we'll put Creepmas away for the year. It was fun while it lasted and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!


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