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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

9 of My Favorite Things from 2008 (Jonathan)

Well, folks, Christmas is over and the new year is on its way, but before we close the book on the glorious year that was 2008, I'd like to reflect on some of my favorite things from the past 365 days. Won't you join me?

Favorite album of music: Vampire Weekend’s Vampire Weekend

You can criticize Vampire Weekend’s debut album on as many levels as there are metrics for measuring music’s “goodness.” It’s not especially inventive, insightful, or technically accomplished. It isn’t the best genre exercise of the year. It isn’t a passionate statement of purpose from a hungry young band. It doesn’t have the most interesting production. It won’t forgive third-world debt or cure AIDS. It cannot be used as food. But it is the album I listened to the most this year, and it’s the most fun I’ve had listening to an album in at least two years. At least. Maybe that says more about me than Vampire Weekend, but there you go.

Runner up: Black Mountain’s In the Future, which I enjoy almost as much for very different reasons.

Favorite famous person: Barack Obama

Let me get this out of the way first: I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in the recent 2008 election for President of These Here United States. I know it seems insane--treasonous almost--but I trust reasonable people will find my motives at least defensible, and I hope we can remain friends. That being said, I really do like the man. I think he genuinely wants more people to have more control over their lives, and that’s one of my favorite things, like, ever. And I think he’s an honest man too. I mean, what politician in their right mind in the year 2008 in this here country, the greatest country starting with a U and ending with an A on the North American continent, would ever actually admit to smoking cigarettes?

If a man can be honest with the American public about something so heinous, so vile, so potentially disastrous to the health of millions of impressionable little children (think about all the kids who refused to eat broccoli after Bush I banned it from his White House meals), then he certainly can be trusted to be forthright about other, relatively trivial issues like the war in Iraq, the economy, and his sex life.

But I’m serious about this. I like Obama, and I think this degree of candor adds to his likability. I only wish he’d admit to actually enjoying the tobacco products he occasionally inhales.

Runner up: No contest.

Favorite viral video: You Can Vote However You Like

I don’t really care much for the electoral process and I don’t think kids this age should be particularly concerned with politics at the presidential level, so it doesn’t excite me that these kids are learning important lessons about their country that they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives. No, what excites me is that they’ve taken one of the most depressing aspects of living in this kind of great land of ours (trying to choose a leader who won’t fuck things up too much) and made it into a joyful exercise in youthful exuberance that doesn’t really concern itself with anything more than having fun here and now live on CNN. I very much think that’s awesome.

Favorite thing to watch while exercising: Penn and Teller’s Bullshit

I discovered Penn and Teller’s Bullshit way back in 2007 (I think), and I haven’t actually watched any of the episodes from 2008 (because I don’t have Showtime--I watch on my iPod), but Penn and Teller’s Bullshit belongs on this list for one simple reason: it’s awesome. And I watched it a lot in 2008. That’s two reasons, which makes this entry bullshit, but you know what else is bullshit? Recycling. Recycling is (because it is often, like a lot of "green" initiatives, more about making us feel good about ourselves than actually doing what's best for humans and their environment) bullshit. Know what else is bullshit? Anti-smoking laws (most of ‘em anyway). Let’s see. What else is bullshit? How about the war on porn, the good old days, Mount Rushmore, alternative medicine, ESP, talking to the dead, P.E.T.A, ghosts, and 6 seasons worth of other things you may or may not already think are pretty stupid.

I don’t agree with all the conclusions Penn and Teller come to, and I don’t think I’m getting “the whole story” from watching the show, but I happen to find that refreshing. They approach topics that are often controversial from a perspective that you may not have heard before, and they try to present the issue as they see it. They’re also not afraid to correct themselves or to make fun of themselves or to shamelessly use topless women to make the show more interesting. For a taste of what I find so refreshing about this show, check out this clip from Penn Says, Penn’s video thingy, in which Penn, a full-fledged religion-is-a-disease atheist, reacts to being witnessed to by a conservative Christian to see just how even-handed, humane, and surprising the show is.

Runner up: the fat guy on the treadmill in front of me.

Favorite sports team: Your 2008 Carolina Football Panthers

Sports. Men like ‘em, right? Right. Rest assured, gentle reader, I am a man, and I, like most men of my gender, engage in the occasional sports-related obsession. Mine mostly manifests in a baseballular fashion, but I probably have had some of the most exciting sports-related moments of my young life watching football. There’s nothing quite like watching your favorite team of ragtag misfits traverse the minefield that is the NFL and ascend to the ranks of world champions by attaining football’s top honor: champion of the world. That’s just what I hope the Carolina Panthers do this season, and they’re having a good season, so they just might do it. And if they do, I’ll be there every step of the way…watching on my television, eating greasy food, and complaining about the commentators.

Runner up: Your 2008 Chicago Baseball Cubs

Favorite sports player: Rhys Lloyd

Every sports aficionado needs a favorite sports participant, and this sports aficionado is no exception. Thing is, my favorite sportsters tend to not be the best of the best but rather the ones with the weirdest jobs (like LOGGYs), funnest names (Milton Bradley, Coco Crisp), and most interesting bodies (Cecil and Prince Fielder).

Lucky for me the Panthers have a player that fits all three criteria: Rhys Lloyd. He’s got probably the oddest job of any NFL player: kick the shit out of the ball in the general direction of the other team. He’s got an awesome name that he got from his British parents. He’s got a cute little pudgy belly. And he’s got a mustache (sometimes).

Runner up: Ryan Dempster, but for more traditional reasons

Favorite nickname: Kemo

Maake Kemoeatu, the Panthers 345-pound defensive tackle, is called Kemo by his teammates, the media, and adoring fans in Charlotte and beyond. And it’s a fitting moniker. Much like the chemical cocktail used in chemotherapy destroys cancer cells, Kemo destroys the Panthers’ competition. And he often shaves his head bald. The similarities end there.

Runners up: Fumbles Jones, Cancer Gordon Green, and Buck Lawson

Favorite web comic: American Elf

I’ve been following James Kochalka’s insanely interesting daily diary comic for a couple years now, but hardly a day went by in 2008 when I didn’t visit at least 15 times, reading the same strip over and over again. Why do I do this? Sometimes I get stuck in this loop where I repeat the same tasks over and over again without thinking until something happens and knocks me out of the loop. I’ll sometimes just go through my bookmarks, visiting the same 10-15 websites over and over and over until my wife calls me and asks me what I want for dinner or a cat bites my toe or I have to pee. Lucky for me Kochalka’s American Elf is thoroughly engaging, often offering intimate glimpses into the life of an artist, a father, a husband, a rock star, a minor celebrity, and a neighbor to drug dealers. Like the time Kochalka drew a strip of him and his son tongue wrestling (exactly what it sounds like) and readers in the forums suggested that maybe he shouldn’t do that. I believe that happened in 2008. That was fun for me.

Runner up: Scary Go Round

Favorite Manga: Kazuo Umezu's Drifting Classroom

2008 will always be remembered as the year I discovered the joys of horror manga. I’ve still only read a few, but my favorite so far is Kazuo Umezu’s Drifting Classroom series, which was reprinted by Viz Media from 2006-2008. Originally published from 1972-1974, Drifting Classroom is the story of a group of school children who are transported along with their school to a seemingly barren wasteland where they must learn to survive drought, plague, monsters and each other. I swear I didn’t steal that from the back of the book.

Runner up: Junji Ito’s Uzumaki Read the rest of this article.

Wednesday Morning Music: Los Campesinos - "My Year In Lists"

For the final Wednesday morning music of 2008 (a notable occasion to be sure) I've chosen a song about making lists, "My Year In Lists" by Los Campesinos!

Sure, the plaintive-yet-emotionless (how does that happen?) female vocal performance that punctuates the verses will excite some (plaintive-yet-emotionless teenagers) and annoy others (just plain emotionless adults), but I think they act as a bitter balance to the richly emotional lyrics (They remind me of a more clever version of a 12-year-old's MySpace rant about how she hates all her friends) and bright, peppy, rhythmic (repetitious?) melody. Do I even like this song? Yes, I do, and I like Los Campesinos!, though I have a sneaking suspicion that their being young, British, and adorable has way too much to do with it. (So what? It's rock and roll.)

Also, in case you didn't get it, the song's about listing things, which is something people tend to do at the end of the year. Read the rest of this article.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post Holiday Stress Relief

The GEP staff is still on Christmas vacation, so here is something to keep you busy until we return.  Enjoy.
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Yule Doo

Merry Christmas, everyone! The Christmas season officially dies today, but before we start making our wish lists for 2009, let's bid the holidays good night with this: the worst holiday decoration ever conceived. It's Yule Doo, the ornament that looks like dog excrement!

Now, I know what you're saying: "Matt, this is a fun novelty! I gave this to one of my co-workers at the office Christmas party and got a huge laugh. Why are you being such a Scrooge?" Why, unamed person I made up? I'll tell you why! Yule Doo shits all over Christmas, which just happens to be my very favorite holiday! That's why! It isn't amusing to give someone a hunk of shit with a ribbon tied to it. It isn't funny. It is quite literally crap. Hell, if this is how little you think of someone why don't you just find a real mound of dog shit, attach a ribbon to it, and shove it in the person's face. "Here you go, asshole! I don't respect you enough to purchase you a proper present, so here's an animal's poop. Merry Christmas. I hate you."

Well, I hope all of you had as much fun as I did checking out these truly awful holiday decorations. If you have any of these decorations in your possession, please know it was all in fun. But, seriously, I'd hide them if you've invited me over to your house this year, because I will pubically ridicule you on this very blog. Try me. I guarantee you will be verbally thrashed to within an inch of your life.

Happy Holidays, folks! Read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Animated Mooning Santa

Over the past two days we've taken a look at Santa novelty items focused on things coming out of Kris Kringle's ass, so on this special day, Christmas Eve, why don't we just get the whole ass out there. Insulting your extended family and making your friends uncomfortable has never been easier! The animated mooning Santa does everything you wish you could do to people during the holiday season...if you are a sociopath! What is this fascination with Santa's ass? Farting, shitting, mooning--this is not what Santa does!

Granted, he probably does shit. And, yes, farting sort of goes hand and hand with the other thing, so, OK, he probably does those two things. But it isn't funny. And it isn't something you should prominently display in your home...unless you are retarded. If that is the case, congratulations for living on your own and bringing in enough disposable income to waste on tacky, farting Christmas decorations. While I am proud of your achievement, I do question those close to you who have allowed you to fill your home with offensive holiday trash.

Thank Baby Jesus we've only got one more day of this! Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Santa's Musical Outhouse

You've already got a Farting Santa, why not buy yourself a Shitting Santa while you're at it? Welcome to Santa's Musical Outhouse. Why is it musical, you ask? Who the hell knows. It just is.

Santa's Musical Outhouse also shakes, lights up, and features "Santa mouthing off 8 different naughty phrases." Nothing says Christmas fun like Santa talking dirty, at least not in my opinion.

You know what? If Santa's Musical Outhouse is part of your holiday decor somebody should come to your house and smash your skull in with a brick. Read the rest of this article.

Monday, December 22, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Pull My Finger Santa

Here's a farting stuffed toy that understands what Christmas is all about!

"Maybe it's all those plates of milk and cookies or Mrs. Claus's special Bon Voyage Bean Soup, but Santa is bringing more than presents this year."

Oh no! Mrs. Claus's Bon Voyage Bean Soup!?! But beans make you...OH NO!!!

Happy Birthday, Jesus! Read the rest of this article.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Lil' Stinker the Farting Teddy Bear

At first glance, Lil' Stinker the Farting Teddy Bear seems to fall into the Horrible Gift category rather than Horrible Decoration, and while that is entirely true, I think he fits here just fine. You see, the ad my wife and I received in the mail for this product seemed to suggest that the remote control farting teddy bear is at it's best when it is set up somewhere in your house (say, a shelf or a couch) and made to fart during parties and such. The ad also challenges you to keep from laughing when the bear rips one. I'm not made of stone, but I'm fairly certain I could keep a straight face if a teddy bear were to suddenly pass gas in front of me. Farts, on occasion, are hilarious, but I'm not sure that farts coming from the ass of a teddy bear make the act of farting any funnier than if anybody else were to do it. Like, I think it would be funnier to be at a party and, like, your grandfather falls asleep in the thick of things and, like, he totally farts in his sleep. That'd be funny as hell.

Also, why is Lil' Stinker the perfect gift for Father's Day? What are the creators of the remote control farting teddy bear saying about our nation's dad population? I don't want my future children to think that a perfect gift for their old man is a flatulent stuffed animal.

Oh, I'm sorry, I misread the ad. It says Lil' Stinker is the perfect gift for Farter's Day. OK. That makes complete sense.
Read the rest of this article.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Hula Hoop Girl Ornament

I am so glad we didn't have this Christmas ornament on our tree when I was in middle school. I can assure you, my mother would have found it hidden under my bed on more than one occasion during the month of December.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Santa Window Poster


This super fun window poster makes it appear to neighbors and passing transients as if Santa Claus is inside your house. Santa seems to be saying, "Shhhhhh! Tell anybody I'm in here and your house is next, bitch." Santa, no!
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eary Christmas Present #4

Before we created Giant Electric Penguin and made literally tens of people laugh, Jonathan and I tried our hands at sketch comedy. Today's early Christmas present is the opening credit sequence and Dance Party sketch from the first and only episode of Live Nude Mice, our 2005 sketch comedy disaster. Special thanks to Ben Snyder for shooting the thing. Also thanks to Jonathan and I for finding all of the hilarious clown pictures. Check it out right here!
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25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: 6 Foot Stocking

Is there a child alive who has been good enough all year long to warrant receiving a 6 foot Christmas stocking full of yueltide goodies? My initial inclination is to say no. 6 feet is a lot of room in which to jam pack candy and trinkets. Frankly, the idea of 6 foot stocking is ridiculous. What next? An 8 foot stocking?

BOO-YAH! Take that, bitch! Hell yeah! There's a new sheriff in town, baby, and it's the 8 foot stocking! That's 2 more feet of cheap toys and off-brand candy. That little boy can't even reach the top of that damn thing! He can try, but he will fail. Let's hear it for novelty stockings! Read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TIME Magazine's Person of the Year: And the Winner is...

Barack Obama!

Yawn. Really, TIME? Barack Obama? Talk about an obvious choice. He only changed the course of American history. Whoop-de-doo. I guess I understand TIME's choice of President-Elect Barack Obama, but I hope that they at least considered the following candidates before making their final (boooooo-ring) decision:

1. Jennifer Aniston:

Sure, I'm sick to death of hearing about how much she respects her ex-husband and how Angelina Jolie did her wrong and, granted, her upcoming film, Marley and Me, looks dreadful, but look at this GQ cover. Look at it! I do. Daily. If this naked photo shoot doesn't make Aniston Person of the Year worthy, then I am truly out of touch with reality.

2. Alan Keyes:
When Barack Obama won the presidency it was a joyous moment for millions of people. It was especially sweet for African-Americans who before never believed that America would have a Black president. It was an event that brought together a nation, started a healing process we so desperately needed. It also inspired former presidential hopeful and one-time Borat victim, Alan Keyes, to file a lawsuit against Obama, Biden, and a whole bunch of other folks, challenging our future president's eligibility for the US presidency. Sour grapes or a true American hero? Anyway you slice it, Alan Keyes took a bold, arguably retarded, stance and only time will tell what difference it will make, if any.

3. Joel McHale:

Joel McHale deserves a whole bevy of awards. This wonderful man is surrounded daily by the ignorance and stupidity of American society, yet he seems to remain sane. From the empty-headed automatons of The Hills to the probably herpes-ridden Ikki Twins to the five-headed, egomaniacal force of nature that is Tyra Banks, McHale suffers through them all for his loyal audience. Isn't it time we salute this god among mortals, TIME Magazine? Doesn't he deserve our praise and adoration?

4. Megan Hauserman:
Hauserman had the balls to call out Sharon Osbourne on basic cable this year, telling the shrill-voiced Brit that her fame is a result of a lucky marriage. This nugget of truthiness resulted in a physical altercation for which Osbourne is currently being investigated. Kudos, Megan. You were always my favorite bobble-headed skank on Rock of Love, Beauty and the Geek, Rock of Love Girls: Charm School, and I Love Money. Now go out there and make your home for mentally retarded dogs a reality. This is the kind of go-getter we need to appear on the covers of magazines, both porn and non-porn, respectively.

5. Flapjack:

Yes, I know he's a cartoon, but his positivity and passion for adventure makes my heart soar with the power of a million-billion smiles! If you haven't checked out this little fella's Cartoon Network program yet, what the hell are you waiting for?! I've been a loyal watcher for the past few months and I have never been disappointed. Confused and disturbed, but not disappointed. When will America see through the bullshit and elect a ficitional cartoon character as Commander and Chief? Flapjack for President!

6. This guy:

Read the rest of this article.

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Pop Art Holiday Toaster

Christmas Morning, 2008:

Uncle Jerry: Here you go, Stu. Merry Christmas.

Stu: Thanks, Uncle Jerry! You shouldn't have. I wonder what it is? Oh, hey, a toaster. Look, honey, Uncle Jerry got us a toaster.

Uncle Jerry: It's a Pop Art Holiday Toaster from Sky Mall.

Stu: Oh...yeah? What does that, um, mean?

Uncle Jerry: Well, you can make toast with Christmas pictures on it.

Stu: Christmas pictures?

Uncle Jerry: Yeah, like Santa and Frosty. I think there's a stocking in there.

Stu: Then after Christmas, what do you do with it? Can you set it not to make toast with Christmas pictures on it?

Uncle Jerry: Nah. You probably just want to pack it away in the attic with all the other Christmas stuff.

Stu: Oh. Well, that's stupid.

Uncle Jerry: It really, really is. Got any vodka? I wanna refill this flask before I head over to my mother's house.

Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toys That Time Forgot: Baby Doll Edition

What happened to toys, man? Maybe it's just that I'm older, but I can't remember the last time I saw a toy commercial on television. To be fair, I can't remember the last time I actually saw a commercial at all (God bless you, DVR).  And true, I don't watch much Saturday morning TV, mostly because I like cartoons and there don't seem to be many good ones on anymore. When I was a kid we had some truly awesome cartoons (The Real Ghostbusters, Rude Dog and the Dweebs, Gummi Bears) and tons of colorful commercials for everything from sugary novelty cereals to dolls who shat themselves. It was a glorious time to be alive, young, and totally spoiled. Kids today have video games and weed. We had Transformers and Picture Pages! We had the Care Bears and The Smurfs. Today: Bratz. 'Nuff said?

That isn't to say that every toy from the 80's was a winner. Most toys then were just as frivolous a waste of money as toys are now. What set our toys apart though was the weirdness factor. The sheer lunacy on display in the dolls we're featuring today is mind-boggling. Like, who the fuck came up with Baby Dolly Surprise? Insanity! And Baby Skates? Really? Hey, kids, want to watch a doll roller skate? No,'re not going to roller skate alongside her or nothing. You're just going to sit on your ass and watch a doll engage in physical activity. Here, have a Twinkie. Sugar makes everything more fun.

1. Little Miss Makeup/Little Miss Dress Up: Little Miss Make Up went from starry-eyed innocent to brazen whore with just a couple splashes of cold water, from Mommy's Wittle Sweetheart to a painted hussy in mere seconds.  What kind of message is being sent by Little Miss Makeup?  I'm not exactly sure, but I know it's bad.  Little Miss Dress Up is less sinister, but equally dumb.  I'm pretty sure my sister had both of these dolls.  Kind of explains why she turned out they way she did.  Ooooh, snap!

2. Jill the Talking Doll: I do not remember Jill and if you've watched the above commercial you already know she's hard to forget.  She's friggin' creepy.  And what's her claim to fame?  Well, it's right in her ear-splitting theme song: "I can move my head and arms real well/cuz I'm a lot like you, a lot like you."  A lot like me?  You can move your head and arms better than most dolls, I'll give you that, but you're not nearly as good at it as I am.  Most people don't flail their arms wildly when speaking.  That's a dead giveaway that you aren't a human being, Jill.  Also, Jill claims to be smart just like us.  Funny, I don't need a cassette tape jammed inside my body in order to have a conversation.

3. Baby Secrets: Baby Secrets came on the scene during a time in American history when gay and lesbian relationships were frowned upon, making it necessary for her to keep her love for young girls a secret, to be a "secret friend."  This was hard on Baby Secrets who shot herself in the head in 1995 after a coke binge.  It's a damn shame when love has to be whispered rather than loudly proclaimed upon the mountaintops.  These days Baby Secrets could have her own syndicated chat show.  GEP salutes Baby Secrets and her valiant struggle.  We only wish she was still around to see how truly progressive society has become when it comes to homosexuality, especially in California.

4. Baby Dolly Surprise: I think YouTube user copyright1982 said it best when he suggested that it appears that Baby Dolly Surprise is "pooping hair from the top of her head."  Sure, this commercial features Lil Kirsten Dunst, but that isn't enough to distract from the whole head pooping thing Baby Dolly Surprise has going on.  The most surprising thing about Baby Dolly Surprise is that she is a baby with a full head of luxurious hair.

5. Baby Skates: Even old men are wowed by Baby Skates.  "We showed 'em, Baby Skates," a little girl says at the end of the ad.  How and what did you show them and who exactly did you show?  If you mean you showed me a doll that sort of looks like she's roller skating, then, yes, you showed me.  But there is a tone to the girl's voice that leads me to believe she means something different, like she and the doll have something to prove.  "We showed those unbelievers a thing or two, didn't we, Baby Skates?  They'll think twice about fucking with us in the future."  The Baby Skates theme song admits that Baby Skates herself is a known show-off. Baby Skates is kind of a bitch.

6. My Buddy: Not forgotten, but a classic crappy doll.  An inspiration for both good times and nightmares, My Buddy is truly an American original...that I hope never again becomes popular. Read the rest of this article.

Early Christmas Present #3

Growing up I had all of the Food Fighters action figures too, but I never did anything nearly as cool as this with them:
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25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Santa Fairies

There's nothing wrong with Santa. He's fat, he's jolly, he's got rosy cheeks, and he loves giving free shit away. There is no reason to change Santa, no way you can make him better, and as far as I know there is no one out there demanding a new and improved Kris Kringle.

So why do these ornaments exist? Why has Santa Claus been slimmed downed, put in clothes befitting a court jester, and given wings? Why were Santa Fairies created if not to piss me off? How does a Christmas tree benefit from the inclusion of these mincing, pointy-shoed, anorexic Santa Fairies? All I can think when I see these atrocities is that a Santa Fairies cartoon series cannot be far behind. If that is the case, then God have mercy on us all.

Read the rest of this article.

Monday, December 15, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Wine Cork Wreath

Sorry, I kind of got hung up on Christmas gifts the last two days. I'm trying to stay focused, but sometimes I find things so alarmingly stupid I've got to share them with you, faithful readers, no matter what.

Today's horrible decoration isn't really that horrible in theory. It's kind of neat looking actually. What I find annoying about the wine cork wreath is what it says about the person who hangs in on the front door or over the mantle. It's the adult equivalent of lining your college apartment's kitchen with all the beer and liqour bottles you've emptied. I never understood that decorating choice. "Look how much I can drink," it screams. "I'm awesome because I drink constantly." And it's never bottle after bottle of PBR, but instead a line-up of pretentious beers and wines that you've never heard of. If you had to do this in college (and let's be honest, you didn't HAVE to do it), it's time to stop. Maybe you think a wine cork wreath is OK, but it's not, it's just as tacky as the conga line of beer-scented sadness circling your filthy kitchen. Loser.
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Early Christmas Present #2

I can't help myself--I just love to give! Check out Wikipedia's plot description for Disaster Movie. If your brain doesn't explode, you will have one of most joyous experiences of your lifetime. Keep in mind, a "plot description" is meant to "describe" the "plot" of something. This is what actually happens in Disaster Movie! For real! Enjoy!
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9 of My Favorite Things from 2008 (List Lady)

My job- I get to impact the lives of young people by helping them be more included in the programs that they are participating in – what more could you ask for?? The best part of my job this year was when I got paid a very generous hourly rate (over $12/hour) to watch College Road Trip at 7:15am in the morning. I know you’re jealous. To ease this jealously, here’s a little taste of what you missed…hope it doesn ‘t make you hate me even more.

My favorite sports memory - Jets victory over the Titans. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Jets fan, and I have been since I was a little girl. Some how, some way, I managed to pick one of the most mediocre teams to root for. They have managed to hover around the average level for the entirety of my 30 years. I’m sure there have been good games, but I’m not really one to remember these details. But, I did watch the entire Jets/Titans game (thank you TWC!). It was awesome to see the Jets beat a “good” team. Too bad they lost the next two games to mediocre teams.

My favorite Jet currently:

My favorite movie…out of all of the blockbusters that I have seen (Mamma Mia, Sex and the City, Nim’s Island, Four Christmases – you get the picture) I would have to say my favorite was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I mean, how can you not love a movie with a virginal Jack McBrayer and a Dracula musical performed by Jason Segal? It was funny, it was raunchy, it was smart, it was cute…qualities that the other movies listed all lacked. Maybe I just don’t get out to see too many good movies.

My favorite Liz Lemon quote – “I want to go to there” – need I say more???

My favorite summer vacation – Disney World. Okay, so this may not be totally fair because it was my only real summer vacation, but it was awesome! Aside from the heat (it was June, what did we expect?) and the shoe fiasco (which forced me to buy and wear my Mickey Crocs, which Matt despise…), it was a great trip. And the best part…beating Matt TWICE at the awesomest ride/game, Toy Story Mania. The Dream Fast Pass for Animal Kingdom and the German lunch buffet were also cool.

My favorite YouTube video -

My favorite YouTube video (Runner Up) -

My favorite culinary creation – This is tough, especially since I really have a hard time remembering what I make. I usually don’t cook/bake the same thing twice, so that’s a LOT of recipes/dishes to remember! I think I am most proud of the apple pie I made for Thanksgiving, because it was totally from scratch. Pie crust has been the bane of my existence, but I finally got it right. My decorations were a little lame, but it sure was tasty!!!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Morning Music: Chris Rice- "Cartoon Song"

Really? Read the rest of this article.

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Nativity Paddle Ball

...Nativity Paddle Ball! Paddle ball just got a whole lot holier!

There's nothing stupider than paddle ball (well, maybe the Religious Right), but...I actually don't know how to finish that statement. Imagine that: me at a loss for words. The Oriental Trading Company is notorious for taking products people already hate and not making them any more interesting by adding Biblical themes. Paddle ball doesn't suddenly become fun because it's covered with pictures to color. Now, instead of being able to just whack a rubber ball around for a little bit, you've got to color the thing first. Wow, thanks Oriental Trading Company. Read the rest of this article.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Early Christmas Present #1

Good morning, loyal GEP readers.  I finished my Christmas shopping for you guys last night and I had to give you one of your presents early.  It's just a little something that I hope your family can enjoy all season long.  God bless.
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25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Merry Christmas from Heaven

It's hard to lose a loved one. A lot of people though believe that death is the next great adventure for the human soul. They believe our soul goes to a place called Heaven and lives there for all eternity in peace and harmony, unless of course it takes a detour and ends up in the fiery pits of Hell where it fries on Satan's griddle forever and ever. Comforting, no?

Seems like we miss those who have slipped off this mortal coil most during the holidays. When the family gathers for spiral ham and political arguments, we realize Grandma's truly gone and the season gets a little sadder. It's equally sad to know you won't be getting that Christmas money from Grandma you were counting on.

What joy could we possibly find in death? Well, the geniuses at Oriental Trading have come up with the perfect gift for those people missing their money...I'm sorry...dead grandparents this Christmas: the Merry Christmas from Heaven poem and picture frame. Just slap a picture of the gift recipient's dead loved one next to a cheesy poem wishing said recipient a Merry Christmas from the dead relative pictured and watch the healing begin. Another wonderful gift idea from the people who brought you Softy the Snowman and... Read the rest of this article.

Friday, December 12, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Santa's Massage

So, maybe Santa is just encouraging that young boy to do his best on the baseball field. And, OK, Santa bowed in reverence before the Baby Jesus is a powerful reminder of what Christmas is truly all about. But there is no--I repeat, no--reason for this! This is both poorly crafted and horrifying. Why is Santa being massage by so many creatures? This is the kind of orgiastic full body massage Roman emperors once demanded. Santa Claus should be getting a wholesome neck rub from his elderly wife, but instead he's being worked over by Rudolph, two elves, and a penguin. Who in this group pulled "happy ending" duty, I wonder? It's gotta be one of the elves, right? I mean, Rudy's got hooves and penguins are notoriously bad at giving hand-jobs. This is not the activity I want to imagine Santa engaging in on December 26. No, sir, there is nothing Christmasy about this at all. Read the rest of this article.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Aaron Nativity Figure

Just in case you find your nativity scene a few figures short this year, Sky Mall provides $99.00 replacements, like Aaron the Sheep Fucker.

Yes, Aaron the Sheep Fucker makes a perfect addition to any stupefyingly high priced nativity scene. Aaron proves Jesus didn't just come to Earth for wise men and barnyard animals to adore, he also came for perverts who enjoy having sexual relations with those aforementioned barnyard animals. Stand Aaron off to the side as if he's trying to keep his nasty predilections a secret from the King of Kings or put him right in the thick of things, undone and unashamed. Aaron the Sheep Fucker! On sale for $99.00 dollars at Sky Mall. Read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stop Already: Have a Holly Lottery Christmas

If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I listen to the radio quite often. Mostly talk and the local wacky morning show when I'm at the office. You'll also recall that I often write about radio ads that irk me to the point of insanity. Thanks to the magic (and it is magic-don't let nobody tell you different) of DVR technology, my life is almost commercial free, however, radio has picked up the slack, so I'm inundated daily with irritating advertisements for Hardees' homemade biscuits and whatever abomination Taco Bell is currently forcing down America's gullet, the endless pleas of car dealers jonesing to make a sale, and Allen Handelman's weekly reminder to visit the Bed Gallery.

The latest radio spot that's worked me up into an unnecessary frenzy is one promoting lottery tickets as a viable Christmas gift choice. In the ad, a man's wife is pushing him to find out what he's gotten her for Christmas:

Wife: Is it a new pair of shoes?

Husband: It could be.

Wife: Is it a trip to the Bahamas?

Husband: It could be.

Or it could be absolutely none of those things because he bought you lottery tickets. Lottery tickets! That's like buying your wife a waffle iron and then demanding that she make you waffles that very instant. That's how shallow the gift of lottery tickets is. What, he couldn't ask his wife's friends for some ideas? He couldn't subtly probe her at the dinner table ("You like novelty socks, right, honey?")? He couldn't just, I don't know, ask her ("You don't want lottery tickets for Christmas, do you?")?!?

If you haven't purchased something for your wife/girlfriend/woman you occasionally engage in no strings attached intercourse with but secretly feel you are falling in love with though you're not sure she feels the same way, do not rush out and buy her some lottery tickets. Lottery tickets for Christmas says you don't want to get a blowjob ever, ever again.

Is there any man in the world stupid enough to get his wife only a lottery ticket for Christmas? If there is,


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25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Santa Chips and Dip/Cake Stand

Just in time for your next holiday party! Who doesn't want to dip their chip into Santa's crotch? Just fill Santa's taint with your favorite holiday dip, surround him with chips or veggies, and snack like there's no tomorrow. Make this year's holiday party gross and uncomfortable.

(Also acts as a less creepy cake stand.) Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

25 Days of Horrible Holiday Decorations: Softy the Snowman

Am I a jerk for making fun of Softy the Snowman? You can be honest. I mean, I love the idea of families and I'm a huge proponent of love and it's various unmeltable qualities, but look at this sappy sack of saccharine shit. Families are forever? OK, Softy, I'll buy that. You know what's not forever? Life. And you can't expect to live much longer when you're this unhealthy. Look at you, Softy! You're huge! We can't even see your feet for God's sake and it has probably been eons since you last saw your dick. How do you know if it's even still there? And where are your arms? It's like your body chub just consumed them. I look at this fat-assed snowman and I feel sad, not cheerful. Families and love may last forever, but Softy ain't too much longer for this world. Read the rest of this article.

Monday, December 8, 2008

9 of My Favorite Things From 2008 (Matt)

We are rapidly nearing the end of another year. I am one cookie party, one Christmas in New Jersey, and one New Year's Eve asleep on my couch away from 2009 (and just 52 days away from my 3oth birthday) and I couldn't be more excited. 2009 is going to be my year, baby! Influenced by Barack Obama's history making presidential win and Michael Lerner's inspiring book The Left Hand of God, I have decided to devote a lot of next year to charity and giving back. Don't worry, I'll still be spewing snark and sarcasm here at the GEP, I'm just going to try doing something meaningful for the world while I'm at it. Feel free to laugh and point, but as a grow older, I see that I've missed a lot of opportunities to help people less fortunate than myself and to take part in the betterment of my community, so I'm going to think about someone other than myself for once.

But before 2009 arrives, the GEP staff has decided to take a look back at their favorite movies, music, television shows, pop culture events, and personal milestones of 2008. I guess I'll start.

The Life and Times of Tim- Steve Dildarian's late night HBO cartoon is the funniest thing I've seen since HBO's Flight of the Conchords. The Life and Times of Tim, like Dr. Katz, Home Movies, Squidbillies, and Tom Goes to the Mayor, proves you don't need fancy animation--you don't even need good animation--to have a successful animated comedy. Tim is like an animated version of Curb Your Enthusiasm, only Tim lives in New York and his sidekick is a sassy black prostitute.
Wall-e- The most charming movie of the year and one of the most beautiful movies ever made, I described Pixar's Wall-e earlier this year as "Amelie with robots." Two adorable robots from the future fall in love and save the human race. As thought-provoking as it is amazing to behold. Oh, Wall-e, you have me under your spell.

Ricky Gervais: Out of England - The Stand Up Special- Who other than Ricky Gervais could make a bit about the childhood rhyme Humpty Dumpty this hilarious?

My One Year Wedding Anniversary- My wife tolerated me for an entire year! Hooray! And how did we celebrate one year of wedded bliss?


Role Models- One of the funniest films I saw all year. Plus, it gives me an excuse to post my favorite clip of Paul Rudd ever. Enjoy.

American Dad finally gets the respect it deserves- More often than not, Fox's Sunday night Animation Domination has been less than stellar this year. That is unless you stick around til 9:30. I've been a proponent of American Dad since it's debut three years ago and was incensed when I read a review for its first season DVD in Entertainment Weekly in which the program was given a "D" grade. The entire review was about how much the reviewer hated Family Guy, with hardly a mention of American Dad at all. Anyway, this season has proved all haters wrong. American Dad has been funnier than both Family Guy and (gasp!) The Simpsons. I'm still not sold on the talking German fish, but everything else is awesome.

Death Cab for Cutie's Narrow Stairs- Yes, I do more than watch TV and eat cheese fries. Death Cab's latest release is solid from start to finish, a nice companion piece to their major label debut, Plans, which I also thought was near flawless (if not a bit too sickeningly sweet in places, but, hey, it's Death Cab!). But I put Narrow Stairs right up there with Transatlanticism and We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes. Another great album from one of my favorite bands.

Gossip Girl's 2nd Season- The OC gave us an amazing first season, a bumpy second season with a few genius moments (Ryan and Seth on Spring Break in Florida), and a third season that I didn't watch, but I hear ended with the death of Mischa Barton (awwwww.). Gossip Girl, from OC's Josh Schwartz, has had a solid two seasons and I'm still hooked. I know what you're saying, "When did Matt developed a vagina and become a 14 year old girl?" Well, for one, I haven't. Two, I don't even think that is possible. Gossip Girl is not my guilty pleasure because I don't keep my devotion to it a secret. I love you Gossip Girl. Please love me.
Live Your Life by T.I. with Rihanna- It is physically impossible for me to skip Umbrella on my iPod. I've tried and it cannot be done. The song has a hypnotic hold on me that time has not diminished. What has happened is that now I have a new Rihanna song that haunts each waking hour, that being this duet with rap artist T.I. Live Your Life samples the Numa Numa song and gives me hope that a song using Chocolate Rain cannot be far off. Favorite lyric: "Some say they so gay that they can't get work on Labor Day." (That's what it sounds like anyway)

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