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by David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, December 16, 2015

 

Exterior Illumination.

Just like Rusty, my father taught me everything I know about exterior illumination, which is absolutely nothing. My father is not a handy man and I inherited this lack of skill. We never had lights on the outside of our house, or in the trees, or any of that happy horseshit, and I for the most part, never did at my house either. I’ve toyed with the idea over the years, but it seems like a lot of work, for not a lot of reward, and then you have take them down. While my father did not believe in hanging exterior lights, I think he enjoyed the concept, because we would all be loaded into the station wagon and driven around housing developments, looking at other people’s lights. Maybe he was just giggling to himself that at least he didn’t have to take them down. Maybe he really liked them. Maybe he was just killing time. I’m not really sure. I’ll have to ask him.

For the most part, the decorated house runs in three categories: Sad, Tasteful and Excessive.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, December 15, 2015

 

Christmas Music Is Awesome.

There are a lot of things I hate. There is a lot of music I hate. But I love Christmas Music.

Sometimes, when I’m in my car alone, even in the middle of the summer, my iPhone will kick out a Christmas jam, and I just let it go. You know why? Because I love Christmas music.

My wife will tolerate certain types of Christmas music only. And I’m not allowed to start before Thanksgiving and I rarely make it past Christmas Day. I don’t even get until New Year’s Day. There have been years when the decorations are in the attic and tree is at the curb by New Year’s Day. If you don’t want to find yourself out there on the curb, lonely with the disheveled Christmas Tree, you learn to turn off the music.

But in my car, all alone, I start in October. I’m not usually the instigator. There is a local radio station near my home that I swear has started on October 15, the past two years in a row.

Normally, I’d probably wait until after Halloween, but I hate Halloween and there are absolutely zero good Halloween songs. So why not a Christmas Carol or two?

Christmas Carols can be divided into three categories: Classics, Novelty, and Modern.

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by David Todd McCarty | Monday, December 14, 2015

I fucking love Christmas. I do. I love everything about it. The carols, the decorations, the weather, the movies and tv shows, giving gifts, the food, hell—sometimes—even the Church service. But I’m a traditionalist. And by that I mean, I like Christmas the way it was when I was a kid. I like an old fashioned Christmas with all the trimmings. Let me explain.

There are rules, so let me start with rule number one.

 

The Christmas Tree.

A fake Christmas tree has about as much likelihood of making you happy as that fake fireplace on your TV has of keeping you warm. You might as well be that uppity couple who live next door to the Griswolds, Todd and Margot, who live in an antiseptic, plastic existence and who appreciate nothing about the spirit of Christmas.

And I don’t want to hear that you’re allergic. Get behind me Grinch!

There’s a lot that goes into a Christmas Tree. For starters it is so much more than its shape. It’s the smell, the way your hands are sticky after putting it up, and even the mess. You have to water them, even though it doesn’t seem to do much good and your pets think it’s their personal water bowl for the season no matter how much you yell at them. They shed like a nervous Chow and when you’re done with them they all look like a plucked chicken. But that’s not the point.

The effort is half the experience when it comes to a Christmas Tree, so first, you have to go buy your tree.

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Episode 13.0. Had a grandson christening on Sunday. Work and hungover on Monday. Sick on Tuesday (non-related). So, just got to Bill Horin. On top of which, I originally and incorrectly, pitched this as Episode 12, which it’s not, because I already did Episode 12. Bill Horin is actually Episode 13. Lucky 13. Bill and I talk about his inauspicious start as a photographer for the Army, getting drafted, early work in journalism, and WAY too much time talking about gear. In the end, despite being drafted, and originally being trained as an interrogator, by the time they’d finished training him, the war was over and they made him a photographer. If that’s not lucky, I don’t know what is.