Thursday, December 20, 2007

Worst Christmas Songs

Now that I got the best songs out of the way, it is now my turn for a list of the worst. A quick google search reveals a bunch of songs I don't know by John Denver, Destiny's Child, and Cindi Lauper. Also, I am apparently one of the few people who likes Dominick the Donkey. (I did see one list with TSO on it, which is asinine. I will never speak with that blogger again.) Here is a brief list of the songs that I hate and will turn when they come on the radio.

Honorable Mention - apparently Jesus Takes the Wheel is a Christmas song, but I don't think so. Also, Bruce Springsteen - I don't hate it, although the laughing is annoying. Plus, any version of the 12 Days of Christmas - much more fun to sing than to listen to. It is the Christmas version of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. There are tons of Christmas songs that I turn off when they come on, but there are very few that I actually hate.

12) John (Cougar?) Mellencamp, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - I just don't like it. The end is cheesy, and the way he skips a beat between "kissing" and "Santa" annoys me. There, I said it.
11) The Little Drummer Boy - Really, any version of this song sucks. The one exception is the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version. Then again, it doesn't count because Bowie's people added the good part to show off his voice. As for the normal song, it just rubs me the wrong way.
10) That country version of that one Christmas song. Wait - I mean, any country version of any Christmas song. I am sure there are exceptions, but good God I hate country music. If country music were a sport, it would be NASCAR - not really a sport. In the same way that country music isn't really music.
9) Gene Autry, Santy Claus is Coming to Town - Blasphemy, I am sure, since it is in Vacation. But, it is combining the secular and religious aspects of the holiday in a wrong way. "Hang your stockings and say your prayers" is annoying, but the worst part is "Santa knows we're all God's children, that makes everything right. So let's give thanks to the Lord above that Santy Claus comes tonight." I don't know - I like my Christmas songs to be about Jesus OR Santa, not both.
8) The entirety of the new Josh Groban album - You know, one day I might meet Josh Groban and he turns out to be good people. Until then, I will continue to physically hate him. He sings that Popera crap that people who aren't good enough to make it in opera actually go into. His album is getting tons of airplay, and my eyes hurt from rolling every time he comes on the radio. Ugh.
7) Johnny Mathis, We Need a Little Christmas - good God this version is terrible! I mean, the song is cheesy and all, and Johnny Mathis is cheesy and all, but ne'er the twain should meet! He is over the top bad on this one - I didn't even know this version existed until a couple of weeks ago. Just some terrible stuff - it makes me like his Sleigh Bell less, it is so bad!
6) Dean Martin, Rudy the Red Nosed Reindeer - I know, it is wrong to put Dean Martin on a list of bad things, but it is like he is trying to hard to "hep" up this song or something. Rudy? Really? First of all, every time I get in the car now, I hear a version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I do like the song, but it is overplayed at this point. But the use of "Rudy" just makes it bad. "Rudy" is something that should be associated with asshole colleges and terrible actors, not Christmas.
5) Paul McCartney, Wonderful Christmastime - every list has this song on it. I actually don't hate it, I just don't want all the other bloggers to dislike me. OK, the electronic noises or whatever are just silly. For good noises like that, go to the Elton John song I put in my favorites.
4) Mannheim Steamroller - really, anything by them. They are like the 80s version of TSO, only it didn't work and wasn't cool. It has zero emotion and is just tacky - something that Patrick Bateman would dig.
3) Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, sung by some guy - This piece of crap reminds me of every "comedian" who goes on morning radio and sings a song that is supposed to be funny, but is really 3 minutes of one joke set to music. The punchline is usually delivered the first time the chorus comes around, and it can be slightly amusing, but the rest of the "song" is just a rehash of the joke that was already made. Then, you have to listen to the annoying morning show hosts over-laughing to the song, while all the while you are thinking, "I guess this is funny, but not THAT funny." Plus, what is funny about the death of a grandparent at Christmastime? Or ever, I guess. This song is terrible.
2) A Soldier's Silent Night - this is bound to be controversial, but if you can't tell, I am all about the controversy. Here is the thing - I support the troops, I really do. But this is just schlock. It is some old ass guy reading a "poem" set against some overly cheesy version of Silent Night. The lyrics basically involve Santa entering the tent of a soldier in the middle East. Here is my first problem - not that Santa wouldn't visit the troops (who are totally deserving and who I totally support, btw), but that he wouldn't know where he was. Like, he thinks he is in some normal house in America or something, and is surprised to find out that he is Afghanistan. Me, I like to think Santa has planned things out a little better than that. Then, the lyrics go on to basically say that the soldier is totally awesome (which he is, btw). The song doesn't support the troops as much as deify them. Yes, they are totally deserving of all our thanks, but writing a poem about Santa freakin' crying when he meets a soldier? I don't know - it is all too "Proud to be an American" for my tastes. Like, it was written to call me unpatriotic because I am against the war and speak out against it. Not that I am saying that if you cry when you hear the song that there is something wrong with you or anything. It is just that the song that was written to force us to remember the troops at Christmastime is in itself very manipulative and self important. I will support the troops my own way, which does not involve listening to some old ass man get choked up talking about some scenario involving Santa and a soldier that he just made up. Sorry - I just really hate the "song". Luckily, about 5 people read this blog or I would get beaten up for thinking this. (I also hate Proud to be an American - not a good song. Toby Keith can suck it.)

Now that that is off my chest, it is obvious what number 1 is. How to attack it, that is a more difficult issue.

1) Christmas Shoes - Really, the lowest moment in the history of this nation was not only the writing of this POS, but the fact that it makes old women get all weepy. First of all, it is manipulative - some story that some dude wrote in order to get old women to cry. It is also a parody of itself. I refuse to believe that this is a band that sings other songs - I think it is Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
The thing that bothers me the most about the song is that the guy says that the situation of a child's mom dying at Christmastime gives him the opportunity to do a good deed and feel good about himself for doing it. This is not a situation that should result in any joy. A child is losing his mother on Christmas Eve, and nothing good can come of that. You shouldn't feel good because of it. It is, in actuality, something which should not put you in the Christmas mood. To be selfish enough to think that "God had sent that little boy tooooooo remind me what Christmas is all about" takes selfishness to a level that would make Meredith Grey blush. (Then again, I watched one last night where a paramedic dies while his wife looks on, and somehow she makes that situation about her. Incredible.)
Not only is he losing one parent, but his dad let the kid leave the house to go buy shoes for her with money that the family doesn't have, and probably can't afford to spend on something like shoes that will be worn once. Now, if my wife was dying, I would probably want the kids there. I mean, if our boy was like, "I want her to look good when she dies, so let's dress her up and go buy her some good shoes", I would be like, "that is a sweet gesture son, but we are poor to the point where you haven't showered in a few days. Why don't we spend your mother's last night here with her, and use that money to pay the water bill, or for food, or for some clothes that we can wear after she dies?" I wouldn't be like, "great idea - go buy her some shoes that she can wear when we bury her. Hurry up - she is about to die at any moment. If she doesn't get those shoes in time, then it is your fault that Jesus won't think she is pretty!" That is a lot to put on a child, and I worry about his home life after she dies, because the father is clueless.
Then, the singing of the kid at the end - dude, that is just cheesiness at a level rarely achieved in today's society. Ugh. It is like, "hey old women - if you aren't crying yet, then here is the kid singing the refrain! Cry, bitches, cry!"
The most amazing part of the song is that people like it and request it! They made a book, a movie, and sequels for both! Rob Lowe left the West Wing to star in the movie!

So there it is - I really don't hate the troops, I hate the people who do empty gestures such as writing songs or putting a magnet on their cars. But I do hate the Christmas Shoes with every fiber of my being. And I hate you for requesting it.

Xmas Songs I forgot to list...

When Carrie and I got engaged 3 years ago at Christmastime, we walked back to the car and said that we would always remember the first song we heard on the radio. So help me, that song was "We Need a Little Christmas" from the musical Mame or whatever. I thought it was like Lawrence Welk or something - it was the song that always cracked us up because it is so Broadway-ey. But, we will always have a special place for this song because of it. So, let us retroactively place it at 2.5 on my list below.

Also, I have to address the Elvis issue. Now, I love me some Elvis - when Websense was down at work, I would play CC Rider when I left the office just for fun. Plus, when you move away from Memphis and tell people that you are from Memphis, it is the first thing they think of to mention back to you. This has happened more times than you can imagine:
Other person: "Shannon, where are you from?"
Me: "Memphis, TN, actually."
Other person: "Ah. Elvis!"
So, I left Blue Christmas off the list only because of the "oo oo oo oo" that never ends during the song. I have his Christmas album and love it. In hindsight, I should have put it on the list in the name of civic pride. That being said, I do love the version by the band Low. I think they used it in a Gap commercial.

Another thing I neglected - anything related to the Peanuts Christmas. I also forgot to mention that there are several other songs on Nat King Cole's album that should have been there. Maybe the whole thing. And in hindsight, I should have put Dave Matthews on the list - it is just a great song.

I think that covers the songs I forgot. Well, maybe the Hawaiian song featured in Christmas Vacation - I don't want to look up how to spell it. And when I was young, I really liked the song from the end of Scrooged, but if I listened to it now it might seem too cheesy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

8 Years Ago today (our version)

In August of 1999, I moved away from home. It only took (almost) 23 years, and since Steph had moved out so early, I one-upped her by moving 700 miles away. The first semester at grad school was legendary - I completely came into my own and became who I am today. I had a lot of fun, but the whole time, I was looking forward to Steph's wedding because I really had hit it off with Carrie before I moved. I didn't know what I was thinking - I mean, I wasn't just looking forward to hooking up at a wedding or anything. It was different - I just saw myself dating this girl.

Day of Steph's wedding - I am waiting to walk down the aisle with Steph to give her away. Very emotional and proud moment in my life. Well, the front door was right there, and in comes Carrie, running late. I was popped right out of my "this is a real emotional moment in my life" state of mind into "oh crap, there is that girl I really like!" So, I hugged her. She hasn't seen me in 4 months, and I just hug her when she comes in late for a wedding. So what do you think? She totally didn't reciprocate the hug! Right at that moment, I said, "I blew that one. OK - back to the emotional moment in my life." And I gave up, just that easily. Prematurely, as it turns out.

After the ceremony, I find out that Carrie has caught the bouquet. For some reason, I go rushing to catch the garter, even though it just came from a part of my sister that I get embarrassed to accidentally brush when I am sitting next to her on the couch. I catch it, after possibly elbowing Brandon, someone takes a photo of me and Carrie together for the first time, and history is made. We talked the rest of the night, and I even went out of my way to get Dionte and play with him in front of Carrie, because, well, chicks dig kids, right? After the wedding, we went to the Bayou, had a great time, went to some club on Beale with Jane, Cullen, and Lena, etc. Great time.

The next day, I leave Tiffany's place and go over to Steph's, where I find Cullen and Jane asleep in the same bed. This is still one of my favorite things that has ever happened. But, whatever - that is beside the point. Carrie and I started dating, and years later we are still together and happy.

I know that Steph and Chip had some issues with the photographer at their wedding. However, quite possibly 2 of my favorite photos ever come from that night. One is of me and Carrie with the garter and the bouquet, and the other is of the two of us at the Bayou. I think those pictures would be the things I grabbed if the house was on fire. Well, other than the Babe Ruth card and the 76 Chateau d'Yquem. Sorry that I have more cherished photos from that night than the actual bride and groom!

Monday, December 17, 2007

My first blog list

I wanted to make a list of my favorite versions of Christmas songs, since I hear them all the time on at least 3 different stations. I am going to make it top 20 - that's right, I wanted to make up for not posting for a week. So, I will probably end up forgetting a couple, and feel free to call me on it. OK - correction - it is a top 21 because I did forget one and just changed it. Here goes:

Honorable Mentions - This is because there are several that aren't making the list a clean 25 because I don't hear them on the radio, or they aren't traditional, or what. First is Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC, a song I have not heard in 10 years. Next, Harry Connick's version of Winter Wonderland off the When Harry Met Sally CD. Also, The Christmas Song by Dave Matthews - this is a fantastic song, but I have never actually heard it on the radio. Any one of these 3 could be top 10, but they just don't count. (I also have this CD called Merry Axemas, which is all my favorite guitar players playing XMas songs - bad ass.) Also, I heard some version of Disturbed's Down With the Sickness today, only with the lyrics changed to Down With the Christmas, and it was stellar. Like, I called people after it was over.

21) Mariah Carey, All I Want For Christmas is You - on the list solely because it is her best song. How many artists can say that?...
20) Burl Ives, Holly Jolly Christmas - there you go. In fact, name anything else he did other than narrate Frosty.
19) Feliz Navidad, Jose Feliciano - Yeah, I can't explain it either. I know all the words at least.
18) Elton John, Step Into Christmas - Only on the list because I giggle like a schoolgirl when the laser noises happen. I love it.
17) O Holy Night, Home Alone Soundtrack - Best version of this song that is out there, especially since the only versions I ever hear are by douchebags such as CELINE DION and Josh Grobin. (God I hate that guy.) Both of them hold the note longer than they should at the end, and it makes the song about them instead of about Jesus or God or whatever. But, the version on Home Alone is a bunch of kids, and it is awesome. Not the only song from that soundtrack on this list.
16) The Carpenters, Merry Christmas Darling - I would say that it is because of their stunning use of correct grammar with "I wish I were with you", but really it is because I am inexplicably defensive about Karen Carpenter. Really - the jokes aren't funny, and you are just jealous of the most awesome voice ever. I get it - she was skinny. YOU WISH YOU COULD SING AS WELL AS SHE COULD!!! SHE HAD A DISEASE AND DIED, HA HA!! VERY FUNNY - NOW STFU AND GBTW!!
15) Andy Williams, Happy Holiday - OK, this song makes no sense, and the lyrics are goofy. Plus, does Santa actually come down the chimney down (sic) at exactly 12 o'clock? The reason it is here is because I have my own naughty lyrics I sing, plus you can actually here him smiling somewhere in Branson, MO, while he is singing. I mean, seriously - you can hear him smiling.
14) Stryper, Winter Wonderland - This song is just gold. Seriously - listen to it if you can, it is cheesy as hell and even has the guys talking to each other. "Oh Yes - that's the way I like it!" Yellow and Black attack! Their wikipedia page has a 4 paragraph section devoted to their "Decline". Seriously good stuff.
13) Aretha Franklin, Winter Wonderland - Second Winter Wonderland in a row here. We love it for the "groove by the fire" part, but mostly for that first "sleigh bells ring" part. Good stuff.
12) Dominick the Donkey - Just goofy and fun, we get a kick out of it every time. Someone should do a light show for it. (Oh - well, there you go.)
11) Last Christmas, Wham! - I know that everyone is doing this song now, so whatever. But it has already inspired me to post, so you know what I think. I just love that there is a gay Christmas song.
10) Wizard of Winter, TSO - Yeah, yeah, yeah, I am cheating here, as this isn't really traditional or anything, and is famous because of the synchronized light show. But, the song is awesome, and actually gets radio airplay, and I will stop talking to Carrie and turn it up when it comes on because it kicks ass. There, I said it.
9) The First Noel, Crash Test Dummies - This dude has like 7 testicles and hits these awesome low notes in some weird Canadian accent. Seriously - he is famous for humming in this Canadian accent. This song is the song that everyone stops to laugh at because it is a train wreck. Would be higher on the list if dude didn't take the middle verses off. Good times. (OMG - there is a video! And it is AWESOME! I want to hang out with these guys!!)
8) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Bare Naked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan - The second straight Canadian entry and the reason this is a top 21 (I can't believe I forgot it!). It is good entertaining stuff, highlighted by the end with Sarah angrily singing "God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing...", and it is over. Rumor is that there is another version, but truth be told I look forward to that part of the song.
7) Sleigh Ride, Johnny Mathis - Really, it is the song that let's us know that it is Christmas time. The best part is the "Yoo Hoo!", because he does it in some falsetto yell, then slowly transitions in the same syllable of "Hoo" back into his regular singing voice. Kills me. Also love the "of snow" part that he holds onto. Also, the giddyyyyyyup parts are awesome, then holding the note on "fairylannnnnnnnd". Just a larf to sing along with. (Is "larf" the word I want to use?) We enjoy it way more than we should.
6) That Spirit of Christmas, Ray Charles - Best known around these parts for Christmas Vacation, it is just very moving and all. Maybe the part of the movie that adds the most heart.

Time to stop before the top 5 to let you guys know that nothing from South Park is included. Every song on the Mr. Hankey album should be here, but it is too easy. Just to let you know, I didn't forget Mr Garrison's stirring Merry F***in' Christmas.

5) Carol of the Bells, Home Alone Soundtrack - My favorite Christmas Carol. Very Victorian England, Dickensian, chilling and haunting. Reminds me of the part of Christmas that needs to be in a minor key. I get chills on the word "Gaily", but not for the reasons you all are thinking. Of course, it is a joyful song, but it just seems eerie to me.
4) Harry Connick Jr.'s first Christmas album - Really, I should have made this a top 25 and put 4 songs on it, so let's just pretend - his Sleigh Ride kicks ass, When My Heart Finds Christmas is a song I will bust out when I am listening alone, It Must Have Been Old Santa Claus is a great time and makes me smile, especially when the guy says "one more 'gain" at the end and they don't do it, Let it Snow is the companion piece to Sleigh Ride for some reason, and Ave Maria (is that even a Christmas song?) is the most Latin I know and is very well done. I could have put those on here separately, but I can't choose. They are all great.
3) Do They Know It's Christmas, Band Aid - love to bust out the Bono part. The lyrics are a disaster, but I listen to this song every time. You can clearly make out Bananarama's part. Seriously though, the lyrics inspire a discussion every time - is it advocating Christianity in Africa? Should it snow in December in the Southern hemisphere?
2) The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole - should be number 1. Excludes Christmas wishes for all newborns and anyone ages 93 and older. But, just a perfect song for the season, and really the song I would most want to hear every Christmas for the rest of my life. Or at least until Christmas 2069, when it no longer applies to me.

After that glowing review, what is number 1? If you don't know, then we have never met.

1) Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, TSO - just the most awesome thing ever. Really, the kickassitude is unparalleled - I generally shy away from such heavy use of keyboards in a metal song, but whatever. It combines everything that is awesome about music - minor keys, power chords, fast guitars, strings, bravado - makes you say "all right!" when it is over. Well, it makes my mom say that. But, I just fell in love with it the first time I heard it, so I went and found the CD and let Mom listen to it, so every year we let the other know the first time we listen to the song around Christmas time. It marks the official beginning of the holiday season for both of us, and is something we share. It is like, some things you remember because of how awesome they are when you experience them for the first time, and you immediately want to share them with the ones you love the most, and that is what this song is for me. It is just a degree of awesome that is rarely attained in this world.

There it is. I could have done this better, but I just wanted to post. Please let me know what I forgot. However, for all you fans of terrible songs about shoes, I will soon post about the worst Christmas songs ever. If you need me, I will be watching the rest of the videos by the Crash Test Dummies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Da dum da da-Da dum da da

So, I went with my friend Hillary on Saturday to look for a wedding dress. (Thanks-Hillary-you are awesome!) We went to three places, and I tried on about fifteen wedding dresses. I tried on dresses that were way bigger than my personality/character could ever "pull off". There were tieras and beaded trains involved. Now, I want to look as wonderful as possible on my wedding day. However, I do not want to look like "Bizarro Carrie". So, finding this balance was proving to be a difficult task. I do believe that I did find one dress at each of the bridal boutiques that I visited. Each of these dresses seemed to have a simple/classic elegance. I was surprised that I liked them as much as I did because they are not the style that I was originally looking for. (They both also have a little bit of a train workin'.) Not being a "girlie-girl", I was surprised when I tried the two dresses on and couldn't stop smiling and giggling.

As a side note, the two boutiques were much more memorable and a much better experience than going to "David's Bridal". Some of my friends have found great deals there when they showcase the $99 wedding dresses. This sale was non-existent when I was there. All I experienced was an awkward wedding consultant ( she was never there when you needed her and would hover and stare otherwise), a store with spotlight lighting, dressing rooms with no mirrors (yes-you had to try on your dress and walk out in the crowded store to showcase your flaws for all to see), and prices that were comparable or more than the boutiques that I visited. I just wanted to leave the whole time that I was there. By the way, don't ask me what I am looking for-and make me feel odd because I have no clue. This may not be my last wedding-but it certainly is my first. (J/K Shan "the man" Miller)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

One of my guilty pleasures is the John Tesh radio program. I don't know, it is informative. Shut up. However, I hate his music. So, they had John Tesh's Carol of the Bells on the radio today. It is basically a Spanish style guitar playing the version of Carol of the Bells that I could come up with if I had to. It was just that bad. Forget my stylistic problem with the Spanish style - CotB is best as a song that is reminiscent of something Dickensian. But, it was just so, uh, uncomplicated musically that it bored me. I will still listen to Intelligence for Your Life - no hard feelings John?

Also, we heard Enya's We Wish You a Merry Christmas. We stopped laughing hours later. It was like a parody of itself. Again - Enya is a big guilty pleasure for me. But it was just terrible - it basically went something like this: take the music of any typical Enya song, now sing a Christmas song over it in a very slow, Enya-like "peaceful and soothing yet cheesy and lame" voice, and in a slightly minor key, and that was what it was. I don't know, it touched a funny bone.

Wedding Stress

Because we are now less than 6 months away from the wedding, the stress is slowly starting to sink in. Well, slowly for me - Carrie is having waitmares about it already. I wish I were exaggerating. I hear her already trying to accept moving the wedding to the backup location indoors if it is rainy. And although getting a dress right before Christmas may cause a strain on finances (more stress), I can't complain because it is something major we will have out of the way. And by out of the way, I mean that we can start stressing about how much it will cost to have it altered.

Carrie is stressing about things that I am looking forward to the most - deciding on the menu at the reception, and registering. I don't know if it is stress or just anxiety that it is something we have to do by a particular time, and there is always some degree of error involved, I guess. I just have this piece of mind that everything logistically will work out, even if that piece of mind is probably horribly misguided. I am actually hoping for some sort of drama the day of, just to make me feel alive. But good drama, like we lose Mom and find her across the street dancing at the Aut Bar. Not bad drama, like Jessica Alba showing up to object to the wedding (Carrie can never know about us).

I happen to have my own unique fear about the wedding. We have put off the wedding for so long because we want to bring everyone together in one place and have this huge shindig. I worry that no one is going to show up. This is probably a fear that everyone has, right before twice as many people show up than were invited. But, already the list of people who can't make it includes a bunch of people from work. Turns out that the weekend of the 17th coincides with RIA's special getaway for the top reps. And for some reason, 2 of my friends already have other weddings to go to that weekend. Then, last night Carrie gets an email from Casey that she graduates on the 16th and might not make it. It is just - if this were Deal or No Deal, it feels like we are losing a lot from the second column early in the game.

Now, we have plenty of other friends who will definitely be there, and I am sure the total will go far above the 100 people that we are planning for. I mean, Kevin from RP Tracks will inevitably show up, right? But, when you make a list of 140 people to ask, in the hopes that just 100 of them will show up, you just plan it out in your mind that all 140 are going to be there.

Still - a wedding in front of 25 people is my biggest cause of stress. So far. Updates will follow.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Give it to someone special

I just realized that these posts are really long. So here is a brief one.

I was listening to Last Christmas by Wham! on the radio today, so I started thinking about the lyrics. First of all, I really do love that song. That's right. I said it. But, the lyrics make it so that it is strange to think that the radio station follows it up with Here Comes Santy Claus.

Basically, George Michael (the real one, not Arrested Development) fell for this guy around this time last year, hooked up with him, and the they guy blew him off (and not in the good way). And a year later, GM still isn't over this guy and admittedly would fall for him again! GM is even totally a rebound for this guy - "I guess I was a shoulder to cry on". So, he is like, this year I am going to give my heart to someone "special". Dude, I would hate to be that new guy, and not just because I'm not gay. I mean, imagine this - you meet a guy, start dating, but he is so hung up on a fling from a year ago that he is telling you he loves you just to get back at the guy who doesn't even remember him!

The guy he is dating this year - he probably doesn't really even have feelings for him, but has rushed into the "I love you" part of it just so that if on the off chance he sees his fling from a year ago at a Christmas party, he can be like, "oh I already have this new guy that I am in love with. So take that! I guess you missed your chance. You aren't "special" like he is! *sob*" Dude - I feel bad for the new guy - you are dating teh crayzay!!!!!!

That being said, who here doesn't bust out the "tore me apart" near the end? Good times.

The Nine

So, I am going to start posting here and there, and eventually this blog will gain an identity. Last night, we had several bottles of wine. First off, we had the Roederer Estate Brut, because Carrie likes to have some bubbly. Well, a bit of history - Roederer used to be my favorite, but then I started to get heartburn each time, and I eventually went on Prilosec because of it. Since then, we have moved on to other Sparkling wines/Champagnes that I have liked better, so it was interesting to return to it. Well, even though I take Prilosec every day, the same old reaction happened. My face turned pretty red - I looked like Landry. Carrie even had to take a Zantac. So, we stopped and I just cooked with the rest.

Next was the Willamette Valley Pinot Gris. It got like an 88 from WS, and we always like it. Last night, we had put it outside instead of the fridge to get it cold, and accidentally got it too cold. After it warmed up and opened up, it was as solid as always. It went well with the cheese we had, which was some sort of Camembert knockoff from Georgia - we got it at Zingermans. But yeah, if you see it, try a bottle - it isn't as good as the MacMurray Pinot Gris, but still a good time.

Then, so help me, we had our first bottle of the 9. Marquis Phillips. 2003. WS 92. We found it on sale for $29 a couple of weeks back (!), so we figured we would drink it soon since we have had an '03 9 on the rack since Carrie's B-Day last year. Also, half our rack is Australian reds because they are easier to find and cheaper and they get good scores. Fact is, we slowed up on Australian reds because they all have the same story - the first drink makes you say "Wow!" because it is so huge. It pairs great with a steak. It has plenty of fruit, especially plum. Maybe even a hint of chocolate or coffee. And the 9 was no exception (it even paired well with the cheese we get from Whole Foods that is dusted with chocolate.) To have Australian reds with steak all the time is like watching nothing but Spielberg films. They are really entertaining, hit the spot, and are very friendly for the masses. In fact, Australian reds are a great place to start getting into the rest of the wine world, assuming you are starting with California. However, we are just in a place where we are intrigued by the different terroirs of the world. Drinking the 9 was like, hey - this is good crowd pleasing stuff. Plenty of surprises and in-your-face action. But we just think that having a Pauillac with the steak that has had some time in the bottle is more rewarding. Or, pairing braised short ribs with a Spanish Garnacha, or lamb with a French Bandol, that is where we are headed in our wine drinking at this point.

Now, that is not to say that there is anything wrong with big Australian reds. All in all, we really enjoyed the 9, and can't wait to drink our other bottle in 2013 after we send the kids off to Mom's house. It is just, we have had French and California wines from today as well as the seventies and eighties, and finally are getting to a point where we can have some of the bottles we have cellared. We understand the change that happens in the bottle for those wines, and what it means to have a 1987 or a 1997 cab, versus a 2007 cab. With the Australians, we haven't had a red that has been in the bottle for 15 years to say, hey, I really get the Australian terroir and how this developed over time. So we have decided to just let them sit on the rack for a couple of years - let them get that time in the bottle, see what happens. We are excited about it. But, when we cracked open that 9 last night, it reminded us why we are gonna leave the finer Australians alone for now and revisit them in a few years.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The blog

So, I have no idea what we are going to do with this. It won't be as well written as Steph and Chip's of course, because I don't have any talent (I do have a Ben Vereen quality). Hopefully it will make you laugh and maybe even be informative or something. We will probably post about wines we drink with foods we eat, places we go, music we like, life in Ann Arbor, FNL, etc. For instance, we had the controversial Yellow Tail Reserve Shiraz that somehow made the WS Top 100. To us, it was like going clothes shopping at K-Mart and finding something you would wear. I mean, you will wear it, it is comfortable, but you feel some degree of shame by just having it on, and you will definitely be embarrassed if someone recognizes the brand name and all, because come on - those are K-Mart clothes you are wearing. Let's not fool ourselves here. If I were to make a joke about it, it would involve fat girls and mopeds.

Also, we watched Knocked Up tonight. We went in not sold on Seth Rogan, and of course Katherine Heigl is kinda whatever at this point for us. It was actually enjoyable and all, but still. It would be interesting to see some of those people in movies apart from one another. Carrie loves her some Paul Rudd though.

So, this is mainly for close friends and family and all, but anyone else should feel free to call me names on the comments and all. I mean, we will probably only do this for a couple of months, then drop off to one post every other month, then drop off completely. But hopefully it will lend a brief insight to our lives so far away from everyone, and you will take away from it a better understanding of the "repertoire". You know, there are so many things that I would like to say to everyone in the course of a day that I am just not able to, because none of them warrant a phone call, email, or instant message by themselves. But that is what blog posts are made for. Once I figure out how to post pictures on this bad boy, well, uh, then I will post pictures.

Coming up - Carrie's wedding dress adventure, our new used car adventure (can we get under 10% on the financing?), probably a bunch of posts about the awesomeness of Band of Horses, and I have this need to start posting about Christmas songs since we have 3 radio stations here in a full time Christmas music format. I will post soon!