Saturday, December 20, 2008 Coal in Your Stocking

Very quick post this time out, as I am so busy with Christmas activities that I can't stop and tell you what an awesome time I had at the sold-out Cinematic Titanic show at the Lakeshore Theater Thursday night. I do have time to share yet another batch of holiday goodies because I love you, my non-existent readers.

This collection ranges from the cute to the annoying, with a downright awesome Louis Armstrong classic thrown in for good measure. Ethnic stereotype "humor" is well-represented, and we not only have a Jerry Lewis impressionist but the man himself, duking it out in a cataclysmic battle to see who can set your teeth furthest on edge.
Abboud, Mona - The Pretty Little Dolly
Armstrong, Louis - 'Zat You, Santa Claus
Blanc, Mel - The Hat I Got for Christmas is Too Beeg
Carney, Art - Santa and the Doodle-Li-Boop
Chipmunks, the - The Chipmunk Song
Colonna, Jerry - He's Too Fat for the Chimney
Count Floyd - Reggae Christmas Eve in Transylvania
Droids - Bells Bells Bells
Enchanters, the - Mambo Santa Mambo
Freberg, Stan - Nuttin' for Christmas
Grandaddy - Alan Parsons in a Winter Wonderland
King Sisters, the - Chree-see-mus
Lewis, Jerry - I've Had a Very Merry Christmas
Monte, Lou - Dominick the Donkey
Peevey, Gayla - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Rose Marie - Santa Send A Fella
Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy's Christmas
Shawn, Dick - Snow Miser
South Park Kids - O Holy Night
Spike Jones & His City Slickers - All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
Stevens, Ray - Santa Claus Is Watching You
Yorgesson, Yogi - I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas
I can't think of any better way to spend the holiday than by playing these songs for people you don't particularly care for.

Click on this link to download the collection via Rapidshare.

Monday, December 15, 2008 Preterite's Xmas Playlist!

Jeebus, is it that time of year already?

I love Christmas, but really hate the fact that people start celebrating it a few days before freaking Halloween. I can understand stores doing it - not approve, mind you, but understand - but when I see halfwits putting up their lawn decorations in late October, I want to start a firebombing campaign.

From 2004-2006, I was "lucky" enough to miss the Yule overload. I spent most of those holiday seasons in India on business, flying out the day after Thanksgiving and coming back a week or so before December 25th. Two weeks - dare I say twelve days? - of Christmas is just about right in my book.

I'm not getting the overload this year, despite being Stateside. Maybe it's because I'm doing most of my shopping over the internet. Maybe I've just been too busy to notice. Or maybe I've just become really, really good at tuning the cheer out. I hope I can tune it back in again when I want it.

Time to bust out the seasonal playlist. Here, in one handy* RAR file, are my favorites from that ginourmous hard drive folder marked "Xmas". I make no claims to originality - the usual suspects are well-represented here - but let's face, this season is all about traditions. So screw your indie cred!
Belle & Sebastian - Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto
Brian Setzer Orchestra - Jingle Bells
Brown, Charles - Merry Christmas Baby
Carter, Clarence - Back Door Santa
Cocteau Twins - Winter Wonderland
Cole, Nat King - The Christmas Song
Crosby, Bing - I'll Be Home For Christmas
Crystals, the - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Drifters, the - White Christmas
Eels - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
El Vez - Feliz Navi-Nada
Fatboy Bing - Here Comes Santa Claus
Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
John & Yoko - Happy Xmas (War is Over)
Low - Just Like Christmas
Martin, Dean - Baby, It's Cold Outside
Matt Pond PA - Holiday Road
Mogwai - Christmas Song
Ramones, the - Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight)
Run DMC - Christmas in Hollis
Saint Etienne - Driving Home for Christmas
Springsteen, Bruce - Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Stevens, Sufjan - Get Behind Me, Santa!
U2 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Vince Guaraldi Trio, the - Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
Williams, Victoria - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Youngsters, the - Christmas In Jail
The Dean Martin track is a duet with Martina McBride from 2006's Christmas with Dino. It's a hell of a lot of fun.

"White Winter Hymnal" by the Fleet Foxes is new to the playlist this year. Let's see if I'm completely sick of it by this time next year.

The "Fatboy Bing" track is a Bing Crosby/Fatboy Slim mash-up done for a JC Penney commercial a couple of years back. It's never been officially released, but you can find the mp3 out there in the world wide web if you look around a bit. At just over 30 seconds, it makes a nifty seasonal ringtone.

It's kind of a mellow collection. But let's face it, you need to unwind right about now.

Preterite's Xmas Playlist via Rapidshare

*Unless you don't know how to deal with RAR files, in which case it's in one pain-in-the-ass file.

Saturday, December 13, 2008 Burglar Caught by "Supernatural Figure"

From the Associated Press, via MSNBC:

Malaysia burglar stuck for 3 days in haunted house

updated 10:35 p.m. CT, Fri., Dec. 12, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A news report says a burglar who broke into a house claims he was held captive by a "supernatural figure" for three days without food and water.

Police official Abdul Marlik Hakim Johar told The Star newspaper the house's owners found the 36-year-old man fatigued and dehydrated when they returned from vacation Thursday.

He says they called an ambulance to take him to a hospital.

The man told police that every time he tried to escape, a "supernatural figure" shoved him to the ground.

Abdul Marlik could not immediately be reached and other police officials declined to comment.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 $200, a Chicken, and a Bottle of Brandy

From today's South African Herald:
Chaos as pupils buy ‘powers to become invincible‘

SEVERAL township schools in Nelson Mandela Bay say they have been hit by a storm of unruly and violent pupils who believe they are invincible after paying sangomas to contaminate them with “evil powers”.

The acting principal of one of the Bay‘s biggest high schools said parents had been approached in an effort to get them to control their children, but to no avail.

Dumalisile Makhamba, of Newell High School, said evil spirits commonly known as Amakhosi, had been “transferred” into pupils, causing them to wreak havoc at the New Brighton school. The problem had started at the beginning of the year and grown steadily worse.

Some people believed Amakhosi were transferred into pupils by sangomas, who charged R200, a chicken and a bottle of brandy for the procedure.

Makhamba said school children wanted Amakhosi because they believed they made them invincible. “The pupils assault one another because they want to test the strength of the Amakhosi.”

As a result, there had been an increase in fighting and in one incident a pupil ripped off a classroom door. “They fight a lot and it becomes difficult to get them under control.”

Makhamba said teaching had become impossible because of Amakhosi. Parents‘ meetings had been called, and teachers and principals had also spoken to the pupils to encourage them to get a sangoma to recall the Amakhosi, but without success.

Icamagu Institute director Dr Nokuzola Mndende said it was in fact herbalists and not sangomas who were responsible for transferring Amakhosi. A lecturer at the University of South Africa (Unisa), Mndende founded the institute, which aims to revive African traditional religion.

“Sangomas are called by ancestors and are not allowed to administer medicine without the knowledge of family members. However, herbalists learn how to use medicine to do evil things and are not called by the ancestors.”

Mndende said Amakhosi were a new problem. “In the old days people suffered from demons and today they are bringing back demons in the form of Amakhosi.”

Recently police intervened when six schools were believed to be affected. They were Ndyebo, Masiphathisane, Soqhayisa and Kwazakhele secondary schools and Henry Nginza and Bongweni primary schools, said Inspector Hazel Mqala.

At the time, a special police task force was mobilised to pray for the schools.

Mqala said prayer was the only solution, as transferring Amakhosi was not a criminal offence because no violent force was involved.

What's the first thing these kids do once they get superpowers? They fight each other! Who says comics aren't realistic?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some livestock to purchase and a flight to book.