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This is actually kind of surprising because I tend to swear a lot on Twitter, yet I guess Santa only analyzed my last couple of dozen tweets which at the time happen to be relatively tame!

Mind y0u, we may have to have a little talk about language the next time I sit upon his knee because while I’ll give that the likes of fuck, bitch, shit, and asshole are definitely swear words, I would still contest that dildo, slut, and most of all WTF are certainly not!

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Do acronyms of swear words still count as swear words???

Also, when did I tweet about dildos in the last couple of days?!

Oh yeah – that’s right… 😛

In hindsight it’s something I wish we would’ve just done a year ago, but today we finally bit the bullet and opened Christopher’s college fund.

I think the delay was that the last time I researched all of this, I wanted to go with a plan from Vanguard but their 529 offering requires a $3,000 minimum deposit so we’ve been slowly saving towards that, however in reviewing some of my own retirement savings (through T. Rowe Price) I discovered that they don’t have a minimum at all and it only takes a $50/month recurring contribution to eliminate the nominal $10 annual fee, so I guess I finally just figured why not?!

It’s kind of scary to think of what college might cost 17 years from now when you consider that it’s literally gone up over 1,000% over the last 30 years … I’d like to hope that numerous things will happen between now and then to help get costs back under control, but in the meantime any little bit that we can offer our kid(s) is certainly going to help!

Truth be told, neither Sara nor I really got any financial help for our respective educations. I didn’t qualify for any grants, but I only did two years so was able to balance the costs between living at home and putting on credit cards what I couldn’t pay with my job at the time. Sara pretty much got student loans to cover both her bachelors degree as well as her nursing degree when she left teaching to go into nursing, and although the problems with student loans themselves are a rant that is entirely too un-jolly for an advent blog post, I will say that based on her current repayment schedule the last of them are set to be paid of in 2029.

In comparison, Christopher should be starting college himself ONLY FOUR YEARS LATER in 2033!

Regardless however, the numbers are still very much in favor of a college education being “valuable” in more ways than just the economic and as parents, we kind of look at it as our job to make options like that available to our kid when he has to make that all-too-important decision of whether to go off to college right away or to jump headfirst into a nightshift position driving a delivery truck that will slowly eat away at his soul until he finally decides to suck it up and give college a try anyways… 😛

So Merry Christmas, Christopher – very much belated since you were born 18 months ago, but we’ll do what we can to catch this puppy up in the years to come!

From the video game lyric’ing brilliance of Brentalfloss comes this delightful, holiday tune about the Presidential candidate who speaks his mind, which apparently is usually filled with mostly asshole thoughts that sadly a surprising percentage of our voting public relates to. Whether this crazy billionaire actually becomes the president that America probably deserves next year or not, at least we have this song to dwell on in the meantime … Mr. Grinch. 😛

I’ve kind of been more into the older, more classic holiday tunes lately, as noted in this year’s 4th edition of my Christmas Mix Tapes – the other three of which can be found right here…

Not sure why I didn’t put one of these together last year, but it’s fun to look back and see which holiday songs I was rocking out to in the previous years and I’ve got a feeling as Christopher gets a bit older and can more eloquently vocalize his radio demands in the car, we’ll be seeing the list trend rather differently still! But until then…

  1. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (performed by Johnny Mathis)
  2. The Christmas Song (performed by Nat King Cole)
  3. Happy Holidays (performed by Andy Williams)
  4. Sleigh Ride (performed by John Williams & The Boston Pops)
  5. White Christmas (performed by Bing Crosby)
  6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (performed by Frank Sinatra)
  7. Let It Snow! (performed by Dean Martin)
  8. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (performed by Andy Williams)
  9. Walking in a Winter Wonderland (performed by Dean Martin)
  10. Christmas Time is Here (by Vince Guaraldi)

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I love buying toys for my kid!

Everybody said that this Christmas would really be the one to remember because unlike last year when he was less than a year old and still crawled everywhere to and fro, a year later he’s very much vibrant and alive and full of energy, and even though it certainly makes him a bit tougher to keep up with, there are definitely other benefits to his newfound interactivity as well…

Even long before Christopher was born, I’ve always loved me some Toys ‘R Us and could spend hours getting lost in their aisles, perusing and goofing off like any kid at heart does, but now that I’ve got an accomplice … a mini-me of sorts to gawk and giggle at the multitude of toys right along with his old man … wandering around our favorite neighborhood toy store has become a whole new level of fun!

It’ll be interesting to see how it is when he gets a little older and really wants all of these things for himself because right now I’m a horrible influence as a parent when we visit Toys ‘R Us. Case in point is the same Elmo that you see aside my bubbly son in the picture above … here we are – only two weeks until Christmas – and do you think that I put his red, furry friend back on the shelf with the notion that maybe Santa will bring him for Christmas if he’s REALLY good?!

Heck no!

Elmo came home with us tonight, along with a new Lego set for me and a couple of random Christmas gifts for others in the family who I promise aren’t me or Christopher. But just as *I* can’t set foot inside of a Toys ‘R Us as a 35 year-old adult without picking out a new toy for myself, it just doesn’t seem right that my son – my own flesh and blood – should have to suffer a worser fate than I!

So yeah, I grew up pretty spoiled and I fully intend to raise my own son the exact same way. I mean, I turned out alright, didn’t I??? 😉

So yesterday we spent the day at SeaWorld Orlando awing at whales and learning about sea turtles and just generally enjoying the Christmas spirit as they pumped Christmas music around the decorated park. We haven’t actually been to SeaWorld in about eight years and even then was only a brief visit during our engagement trip, so it was neat both to revisit the park as well as introduce Christopher to it for the first time, all on top of getting to experience the place all decked out for the holidays for the first time to boot!

Granted, it fell a bit short of throwing a giant Santa hat on a 6,000-pound killer whale, but I thought they still did a nice job, particularly unique to the whole SeaWorld atmosphere with all of the illuminated trees lit up across the harbor a la the Sea of Trees. Christopher has gotten more and more into Sesame Street recently and absolutely loved Elmo’s Christmas Wish, and we even got to meet Santa, albeit I’ve never really been a fan of The Polar Express that his “attraction” – if you will – was based on…

We ended up getting passes to SeaWorld (and Legoland!) for Black Friday this year, so I’ll probably have some more to write up about the park in the future, but for now it was just a nice celebration in a new place we don’t normally visit, and my kid got to make some brand new sea turtle friends to boot! 😉

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Remember back when Adam Sandler used to be funny? This video from a recent live show is a great example, unlike pretty much any movie that he’s made in the last two decades!

Oh well – Happy Hanukkah, however you spell it…  :santa:

Been unexpectedly under the weather the last couple of days, but surprisingly I did still manage to squeeze a new humor column out of the miserable experience – with eggnog and gingerbread influences, no less!

The Immune System of a French Hen
At least if you’re one of the birds stuck in that dreadful song, you’ve got some backup in case one of your feathered friends unexpectedly comes down with the bird flu.

So I noticed something interesting late this evening while I was watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation whilst buried under a mountain of kleenex. I’d never really thought much about it before because it’s really only featured in the opening scene, but the Family Truckster – the iconic mode of transport that takes the family to Wally World in the first Vacation movie – isn’t actually the same car as the one in the first movie!

Now maybe this is completely intentional, but because I’ve got plenty of cough syrup coursing through my veins *I* thought it was an interesting, fun little fact. And granted, the movies themselves were released 6 years apart, so it could be argued that of course it’s a new car, although it seems like my own family growing up milked our family Oldsmobile for far longer than that.

PLUS!!!

The Truckster that made its cameo in this year’s Vacation sequel in fact was the original car, or at least one that looked a lot like it, so … that!

Anyways, here’s the original…

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And here’s the version from Christmas Vacation, which appears to just be some sort of Ford Taurus painted to resemble the unmatchable Family Truckster…

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I tell you, it really broke the continuity for me to see all of those sleek and sexy curves of the Taurus in place of the blocky, ton of bricks-exterior that the original Truckster was known for. Ok, so not really, but cough syrup will do strange things to a man, so frankly you’re lucky your even getting advent blog posts at all right now!

Holiday ro-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ad, holiday ro-o-o-o-o-o-ad… 

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