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Dec. 24th, 2014

Fic Rec #47: The Lawn's Fourth Annual Christmas Fic Rec!

Yes, it's that time of year again. And to be honest, this year's almost didn't happen. It's been a bad few months for me and reading Christmassy stuff just wasn't something I was in the mood for. Usually I start looking for Christmas fics in September or October... this year I didn't do it until Thanksgiving, but I still think it came out okay, even if it’s kind of short and there’s no multi-chapter fics this year.

Happy Holidays!


Have Yourself a Merry NORAD Christmas
Fandom: Hetalia
Category: Gen
Rating: G

Every year, since the 1950s, America and Canada give Santa an escort over their territories in fighter jets. This is loosely (very loosely) based on a true story- in the 1950s, a department store tried to set up a telephone line where kids could call and talk to Santa Claus, but they made a typo and instead printed the phone number for the US Air Defense Command Center (the precursor to NORAD). None of the NORAD people wanted to break children's dreams, so they decided to tell kids where Santa's sleigh was. This still happens today, and it makes for a really cute fic.

In Her Place
Fandom: Harry Potter
Category: Gen
Rating: PG-13

Ok, this is really only a Christmas fic in the most technical sense- it takes place at Christmas and it’s not really the most holiday-ish premise. Basically, over the holidays, Draco Malfoy has the best idea ever- he is going to use Polyjuice potion to figure out what the Gryffindor Quidditch team strategy is and accidentally ends up going undercover as Hermione. He finds out that life as Hermione is pretty difficult… bitchy roommates, creepy perverts with mistletoe, and high heels are the least of his problems. This is a pretty funny story, although oddly enough the site will ask you to confirm that you’re 18+ to access this story even though it’s PG-13, and barely at that.

All I Want For Christmas Is…
Fandom: Free!
Category: Gen
Rating: G

Based on the scene in Episode 10 where Mini-Sousuke and Mini-Gou hold a Christmas party for Mini-Rin with the flu. Just a cute, sweet story about kids wanting to cheer up their sick friend by throwing a party.

Dec. 24th, 2013

Fic Rec #36: The Lawn's Third Annual Christmas Fic Rec

And for the first time ever, the title “Christmas Rec List” isn't entirely accurate, since one of the stories on this list features more than just Christmas as its holiday focus! Granted, considering that the rest of the stories on this list are centered around Christmas it's still not ideal, but it's better than last year. And as always, no offense is intended towards anyone who doesn't celebrate any of these holidays.

No matter what you celebrate, whether it is Christmas or Hannukah or Eid or Yule or nothing... I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!


Poor Little Fancy Cat
Fandom: Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Category: Gen
Rating: G

When I was a child I used to love Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I'd watch it whenever I could find it on the television and I had a ton of the novelizations. I'm not entirely sure what happened to them, I'd like to read them again. But enough about that- this story takes place at the first Christmas after Sabrina and Harvey get married, and Salem is feeling grouchy and lonely. When he overhears a phone conversation that Sabrina is planning on getting him a subscription to Cat Fancy magazine, that's the last straw. It will take a Christmas miracle to get him out of the dumps. Just a cute, silly Christmas story for the holiday season.

Yes, Twilight Sparkle, There Is A Santa Hooves
Fandom: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Category: Gen
Rating: G

Hearth’s Warming is the pony version of Christmas, so it totally counts. Princess Celestia has always had difficulty with Hearth’s Warming after she was forced to banish Luna to the moon. The story follows Celestia’s celebration of the holiday from the first Hearth’s Warming after the civil war, to several Hearth’s Warmings after Luna’s return, and discusses Celestia’s hope to get her sister back, through her surrogate daughter, Twilight Sparkle. Also, Santa is a reindeer.

The Frost Fair
Fandom: Tangled
Category: Het
Rating: G

Okay, so technically this isn’t a Christmas fic, but it features a made-up winter holiday, so I decided it counts. And it’s my list, so I can do what I want with it. Anyway. Flynn and Rapunzel go out to the kingdom’s winter fair together. It being Rapunzel’s first winter outside of the tower, she wants to do everything. Just a cute winter fic.

When They Were Young: The Night Before Christmas
Fandom: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Category: Gen
Rating: G

In a world where Celestia, Luna, Discord, Queen Chrysalis, and King Sombra never grew up to become enemies, their families got together at the holidays as part of a diplomatic exchange, giving the foals a chance to spend time with their friends. Little Discord comes up with a plan to stay up all night to meet Santa Claus, and the others agree. But, being foals, will they all fall asleep before they get the chance, or will they actually meet Santa? Just a silly little fic that features Christmas, along with the princesses and some of the main villains of the series goofing off together as kids without a trace of the enmity they will have towards each other later in life.

The Meaning of Christmas
Fandom: Chuck
Category: Slash
Rating: NC-17/R18/Adult

This fic was a bit awkward for me to read. Not because of any problems with the fic itself, but because I used to watch this show with my parents. Which made for some awkward moments while reading this fic, because seriously, I don’t want to associate something like this with them. But I got over it pretty quickly and enjoyed the fic a lot. Not only is it very hot, it also perfectly captures the feeling of working retail during the holiday season with its hilarious anecdotes about crazy shoppers, and holiday company parties with drunk-ass coworkers.

Multi-Chapter Fics

The Wool-White, Bell-Tongued Ball of Holidays
Fandom: Crossover between The Avengers and Being Human
Category: Gen
Rating: PG
Completion Status: 18 chapters, completed
Notes: Again, this one’s part of the Housemates series, which I have previously recced.

Once again I find myself posting another one of these stories on one of these lists. Between this and All-American Girl, I could probably never read anything else ever again and be satisfied, as long as this series, as well as the many storylines making up AAG were finished. And, as mentioned in the introduction to this list, this story contains more than just Christmas! Loki and his friends and the Avengers all celebrate different holidays- Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, and Festivus in the one week they spend together. Very heartwarming.

Nov. 26th, 2013

Holiday Preparations

For those of you not in the US, Thanksgiving is on Thursday. As such, it's been insane the past few days trying to get all the food and stuff ready for everything. My grandparents are coming to visit for the holiday tomorrow, and as such, my family has been working very hard to provide for their preferences and dietary needs. And trying to get things that we want as well, for eating and drinking.

So yesterday, my dad decides that we should go to the liquor store to get some whiskey for my grandfather. He has diabetes and cannot drink beer anymore, because of how it turns to sugar in the bloodstream. It is okay for him to have whiskey, however, because it's more distilled. My mother wanted Bailey's Irish Cream and cream sherry- she tends to like sweeter alcohol than my dad, my grandfather, and I do. So we get a list of everything we need and we head off to the shop to get it.

When we get in there, though, there seemed to have been a run on the alcohol, since the store was out of a lot of things. They only had the coffee flavor of Bailey's- my mom hates coffee. They didn't sell the kind of whiskey my dad likes, so he had to buy the cheaper kind, which in my experience tastes like rocket fuel. And they didn't sell sherry of any kind there (because, as I found out later, is less than 15% alcohol, so it can be sold in a normal store instead of the special liquor store).

Now, if I'm being perfectly honest with you, I wasn't entirely sure what sherry tastes like, as I've never had it. So I bought some cognac instead, which is kind of sweet, like how my mom prefers her drinks.



And then she yelled back, “ASK WHERE IT IS, YOU IDIOT!”

What a wonderful family I have.

Oct. 16th, 2013

Grinch Watch 2013: Equal Opportunity Grinchiness

Yesterday was the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. I hope all of my Muslim readers had a great holiday and spent time with their family and friends.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Grinch Brigade is no longer happy with throwing fits about how secular Christmas has become, it seems that now they're targeting other holidays, including Eid. In Montgomery County, in Maryland, about forty-five minutes outside of Washington DC, Muslims in the area have been trying for about a decade now to have the schools closed on Eid so that their kids don't end up missing class for their holiday. Their arguments are sound- Montgomery County school district closes down for Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. All three of those are Christian holidays. They also close down for the Jewish High Holidays. But they don't close down for Eid.

Personally? As a former student? I would say HELL YEAH to getting the schools closed for Eid. I love holidays! If I could get away with it, I would celebrate ALL THE HOLIDAYS. And seriously, Eid isn't like some random, teeny little cult's holiday. There's about a billion Muslims in the world, and according to the news article, several million Muslims in Montgomery County alone. That's a significant number of kids and teachers who are going to be out of school/work on that day. So shut the school district down. Muslim students and teachers get to have their holiday, and everyone else gets the day off from school. I don't see a reason to argue with that!

However, some people do not see it that way. I hesitate to offer links, because some of the rhetoric is mind-bogglingly offensive. However, you can get sample of it in the comments to the USA Today news article. But you would not believe the vitriol this has inspired in certain parts of the Internet. While I was Googling for the article (that wasn't behind the paywall I read it in first), I accidentally clicked on the Free Republic link. I do not want to give them page hits, so I won't link to it, but I'll give you a few samples of the comments from the site here, underneath the cut. Please do not click on the “read more” if you do not want to see this. I tried to pick some of the less obnoxiously racist ones, but... less obnoxiously racist than the rest of that website doesn't mean much. Please realize that these are in no way my opinion whatsoever and are 100% the words of their writers only.

Oct. 1st, 2013

It's October!

And you know what that means?

It's time for stupid Halloween jokes, silly Halloween songs, and bad memes! I'm not going to inundate you with ridiculousness, but I have to share this video. Someone showed it to me last October, and it's been stuck in my head on and off since last Halloween.

Sep. 17th, 2013

Entertainment vs. Paranoia

Time for an actual Serious Business post. Well, not exactly all Serious Business, but it is a serious subject for me.

People who know me tend to get pretty irritated with me around Halloween, since I have to be extremely careful about any scary movies I watch, since that sort of thing can set off a paranoia attack for me. In general, I do pretty well with avoiding stuff I know will make me into a frightened, wary, hyperventilating mess, but other times I get cocky and think I can handle things I can't. Some friends of mine talked me into watching Paranormal Activity with them a few years ago, and it was a huge mistake. I spent the next week sort of half-in, half-out of rationality, and jumping at shadows and constantly looking out the window. I felt horrible about it, since I really upset my friends and because, well, having delusions sucks. But that's not really my point here- the point is, there are things I know can set off an attack, and horror films are one of those things. Interestingly enough, even though my paranoid delusions tend to be along the lines of “everyone and everything is out to get me, the black helicopters are coming! HOLY SHIT!” I can watch political thrillers and movies where the premise is some crazy guy murdering the shit out of everything with no problem. Zombies tend to be okay too, and I've never had a problem with Lovecraftian horror. What really sets my issues off is paranormal- ghost stories especially. I don't really know why that is- stuff that you'd think would actually tie into the delusions doesn't bother me most of the time, but you put a ghost up in that shit? One-way ticket to Looneyland for me.

Anyway, the point is that I'm not particularly fond of Halloween now that I'm grown. It's less about candy and more about scaring the shit out of everyone now that you're adults, and I kind of hate it. It's not a huge issue, but I do tend to feel a bit more... I dunno, jumpy? around the month of October. It's partially why I could never get into Supernatural, the television program- the pretty men didn't do enough to counteract the scary that messed up my health issues. I can't even really read online creepypasta either, since it does the same sort of thing.

So with that in mind, it's been a bit weird for me lately. I've been listening to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast which I was initially heavily warned against. However, that's a humorous horror podcast done in the style of HP Lovecraft, which has never been a problem for me. So, with that in mind, that I can handle that, I watched the Sleepy Hollow premiere last night on FOX.

I liked it. I liked it a lot and I intend to watch the next episode next week (and then the day after that, Agents of SHIELD).

Normally this is the sort of thing I can't handle. I will admit to feeling mildly uncomfortable during the Headless Horseman scenes and the bit with the freaky trees, but more in a “huh, that's weird and a bit scary” way rather than a “HOLY SHIT GET THE GUNS AND LOCK THE HOUSE DOWN!” kind of way. A few years ago, I don't think I would have ever even gotten to the “HOLY SHIT!” stage, I would have probably started fighting imaginary attackers.

It's a stupid thing, but it feels like a huge step forward for me. I'm probably not going to rush out to by a ticket to the latest Paranormal Activity, but I also feel like being able to watch this show is a step forward. For a long time, I thought I was going to have to spend the rest of my life tiptoeing around certain things, and possibly missing out on a lot because I didn't want to go bugfuck insane. I'm probably never going to be the go-to person for ghost stories, but I'd like to think I'm getting a bit better. Maybe I'll get to the point where I don't have to carefully consider whether or not watching a new television drama will send me into a panic attack.

This has been your once-in-a-while PSA on Life with Paranoia.

Mar. 21st, 2013

Grinch Watch 2013: FFS, IT IS MARCH!

While most of the time, this blog focuses on just random things I feel like writing about, I do have some recurring features- some which are written more regularly than others. The fic rec, for example, barring any extenuating circumstances, is posted once a month, while other features, such as the series I write dissecting Michael and Debi Pearl's teachings, is posted whenever I feel up to actually trying to wade through their crap.

But I never thought I would be writing up a Grinch Watch post IN MARCH. Jesus H. Gundam Christ, you can't even let three months pass from the past year's Christmas before you lot start ranting on about how Christmas is under attack from secular forces? I mean, the first Grinch Watch post of 2012 was in NOVEMBER! At least that's somewhat more reasonable of a time frame. I mean, seriously, wait at least until stores start putting their Christmas crap up for decoration. Which... should probably be sometime in July if recent trends have been anything to go by, but that's neither here nor there.

The strange time-frame of this announcement notwithstanding, it gets even crazier. Oh no, my friends, this is no ordinary grumpy Grinch. This is everyone's favorite former vice presidential candidate from Alaska- yes, that's right, Sarah Palin is getting in on the Grinchiness.

While, in fairness to her, the book is scheduled to be published sometime in November of this year, the press release was given several days ago. Ironically, she claims, and this is directly verbatim from the article:

"Amidst the fragility of this politically correct era, it is imperative that we stand up for our beliefs before the element of faith in a glorious and traditional holiday like Christmas is marginalized and ignored," Palin said in a statement released through her publisher. "This will be a fun, festive, thought provoking book, which will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defense of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas."

Bit ironic, really- the only Scrooge I see here is Palin, dredging up the old War on Christmas zombie.

Dec. 31st, 2012

New Year's Eve

Dec. 23rd, 2012

Fic Rec #24: The Lawn's Second Annual Christmas Rec List!

Unfortunately it's a bit shorter than I had originally planned. I had been collecting Christmas-themed fics since August, when I contracted salmonella poisoning and was too ill to do much of anything but lie around and look at stuff on the Internet and watch television, but things didn’t turn out as I had planned. My hard drive failed, and unfortunately I hadn’t had the foresight to back up this particular document. What was originally going to be a ridiculously long holiday list is now about the same length as the normal rec lists. Maybe next year, my friends. Next year.

As usual, no offense is meant to any readers who do not celebrate Christmas. If I was able to find fics for any other holidays, I would surely include them. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year, no matter what your beliefs are!

Oh, and I do believe this is the most SFW fic rec I’ve had yet. There’s not a single fic on here that’s above a PG-13 rating. I know what you’re thinking- who are you and what the hell did you do with Kaboom?! But I assure you I’m perfectly fine. I’ve just been in a fluffy mood.


The Green Dress
Fandom: Rurouni Kenshin
Rating: PG
Category: Het

This was one of only two fics that was on the original version of this list that I was able to find again, which is good. Because it definitely deserved to be on here. At first glance, it might seem like a bit of a strange story. It's a Rurouni Kenshin modern-day alternate universe fic. That takes place in a shopping mall. There are so many things that could have gone wrong here, but the author managed to pull it off while really capturing the spirit of what it's like to be stuck working a craptastic minimum-wage job during the holiday season. I’ll give you a hint: if you work retail and you want to quit your job, for the love of Longcat, do it before the holidays start!

A Very Sandford Christmas
Fandom: Hot Fuzz
Rating: PG
Category: Gen

This one was the only other story that was on the original list that I was able to retrieve, and like the first one, it’s definitely worthy of its place here on the list. Hot Fuzz and Christmas fluff aren’t really things I thought would go together, but apparently it’s relatively popular, since it’s one of the top tags for the fandom on AO3. Who knew? Anyway, Nicholas’s mother cancels Christmas because she’s upset with his sister, so he goes to spend time with Danny Butterman’s family. I like this one because it’s so relatable- my family is pretty damn ridiculous if you ever get the entire extended House Kaboom in the same place, just like Danny’s family. And even on top of all of that, it has a bittersweet twist in the plotline. Definitely worth checking out.

Holiday Adventures with Dad and Jim
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Rating: High PG-13
Category: Slash

I once read a list of the most soul-scarring things that a person can walk in on in their teenage years, and interrupting your parents, uh, doing the horizontal tango was at the top. Unfortunately for Joanna McCoy, that’s exactly what she walks in on… multiple times. I normally am not a huge fan of the 5 + 1 types of fics, but this one is just hilarious and holiday-themed, so it makes it perfect for this list. This is also probably the most mature fic on this list, even though nothing is too graphic about it.

Another Nightmare Before Christmas
Fandom: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Rating: PG
Category: Gen

Although this movie came out the year after I was born, the first time I ever saw it was when I was seventeen years old. Honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long to finally watch that movie, but when I finally did watch it, I liked it a lot. However, even though I liked it, I never thought to look for fanfiction of it. I guess the movie seemingly tied up everything so nicely that I didn’t see much of a point to it, but then I found this story, and absolutely loved it. Ten years after the events of the movie, Santa comes to Halloweentown to visit Jack and his family. Oogie Boogie, unfortunately, survived, and wants revenge, so it’s up to Jack and his family to save Christmas again. This is not only one of the best Christmas fics I’ve ever read, but it’s also among the best fics I’ve ever read in general.

Multi-Chapter Fics

Happy Hearth’s Warming Eve, Twilight Sparkle!
Fandom: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Rating: PG-13
Category: Crack
Completion Status: 10 chapters, completed
Notes: Potentially offensive humor. While I don’t think it’s that offensive, sensitive readers might want to skip this one.

This is not your traditional Christmas story, and I’m not just saying that because it’s about the pony version of Christmas, Hearth’s Warming Eve. This is one of the most fucked-up fics I’ve ever read… and I was giggling through the entire thing. Apparently even ponies go batshit insane around the holidays, just like people do, and it’s up to Twilight to stop her friends from destroying the world in a mad pony war over the holiday. But… she takes it a little too seriously, and loses her mind. It’s like what would happen if you crossed over How The Grinch Stole Christmas with A Christmas Carol, and then dropped a lot of acid. It’s great. Even if you don’t like ponies you should check this out, just for the sheer crazy factor here. Do be aware however that this story includes jokes about just about everything any person might potentially consider offensive. It is definitely un-PC, so if you are worried that you might be upset by this content I’d recommend skipping this one.

Dec. 11th, 2012

Grinch Watch 2012: Oh FFS, Stop Giving Them Ammo!

So, today's Grinch story comes from Fox News. For my non-American readers, Fox News is a notoriously right-leaning news channel that tends to cater to fundamentalist Christians. Since most people, even other conservatives, tend to consider anything from Fox News a bit suspect I normally wouldn't include sources from them, especially for a more serious post like this one.

So why am I including it in the Grinch Watch? The Grinch Watch has, in various forms, been going on here on this blog since 2010, although this is the first year I've actually given a name to it. I've spent a lot of time debunking the alleged “war on Christmas” that evangelicals think non-Christians are waging. But I'm including it because if this is true, then I have to say that they might- just might- have a fraction of a bit of a point, because if this is true, this secular person thinks the secular person in this story has gone completely overboard.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of those television shows that everyone in the English-speaking world has probably seen at least once. It's a story of the Peanuts cast putting on Christmas pageant and getting a scraggly looking little Christmas tree, while Charlie Brown talks about how commercialized the season has gotten. It's one of those things that is so ingrained in our holiday culture, it's like the Coca-Cola ads with Santa Claus and polar bears. Everyone goes “WTF!?” if it's taken out of the holiday season.

I'd also like to add that there is literally nothing offensive about that cartoon.

Yes, Linus does recite the story of the Nativity, from the book of Luke in the Bible.

But honestly, if you don't believe in it, then why get so butthurt when it's literally a three-minute segment in a television program about the holidays? Do you get upset when you hear someone telling stories from the Greek myths? What about the tales of the Norse gods? Or even the fairy tales most people grew up with? Are you enraged by Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast? What about Egla the Serpent Queen? How in the world did you get through World History in school? When I took it, we learned about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and yes, even Christianity. How did you manage to graduate if you shit a brick at the merest mention of religion?

This atheistic-leaning agnostic wants to tell you to chill the fuck out and take a few deep breaths. The world is not going to end if schoolchildren see the Charlie Brown Christmas television special.

I'd also like to bring to attention the fact that this article states that attendance was not mandatory- it was a field trip. There were field trips I wasn't allowed to go on growing up- my eighth-grade class trip to New York City? My mother didn't let me go, saying that she was afraid I wouldn't take my medication if I went. There is no law saying that your child has to attend every field trip that the school proposes. Yes, your child might be pretty damn angry with you if you don't let them go on the trip, but if you are that strongly opposed to Christmas specials, then just don't sign the damn form!

I am kind of loath to say this, because I don't like agreeing with the religious lunatics on anything, but damn dude, you're giving the rest of us secularists a bad name. Yes, I am aware that the event was held at a church. So what. Like I said, if you are that opposed to it, just don't sign off on the form and let the other kids go watch their television program in peace. All this guy has managed to do with this is alienate a large number of people and make himself look like the second coming of Ebenezer Scrooge.

EDIT: Several hours after I wrote the draft of this post, I was able to find another source- this time from the local NBC of the area. Here is the secondary source- I couldn't find a way to insert it into the main body of the text without having to rewrite the whole thing, and well, I'm lazy. Sorry about that.

Nov. 22nd, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Make sure to avoid homicidal turkeys today!

Nov. 16th, 2012

Grinch Watch 2012: Let Loose The Elves of War!

how the “Evil Non-Christians” are out to ruin the holiday season, or to complain about how Christmas sucks and forces everyone into holiday cheer whether they like it or not. So this year, I've decided to make it an official thing- welcome to Grinch Watch 2012!

This year, the Grinches have come out ridiculously early. People, it's not even Thanksgiving yet! What the fuck. Seriously! At least wait until it's, you know, ACTUALLY THE CHRISTMAS SEASON before you start acting like a bunch of assholes! Sheesh.

Anyway, this year's first Grinch attack comes from Santa Monica, California, and for once, BOTH the Christians and the atheists are to blame for it. This atheistic agnostic wants to tell the both of them to sit down, shut the fuck up, and eat some Christmas cookies, goddammit! Or, since, like I said, it's not even Thanksgiving yet, eat some pumpkin pie or something. This article even came from October 11th of this year. Seriously.

Apparently, in Santa Monica, some Christians and some atheists are engaged in a fight about whether or not they can put their displays up on the public property. As I have said multiple times over the years, you can put whatever the hell you want up on your own property. If I want to put a nativity scene on my actual lawn, I can do that. If Eat at Joe's wants to wish their customers Eid Mubarak, they can do that. If the mall wants to tell everyone to have a happy Hanukkah, they can do that. Nobody cares what you do on your own property. What you can't do is put sectarian crap on the public property, because that's a violation of the separation of church and state.

Now, I can already hear the arguments. “But Kaboom! How come the White House has a Christmas tree! Isn't that promoting one religion over another?” To that, I say: “only if you're a complete dumbass.” A Christmas tree, in and of itself, isn't a particularly religious symbol. A lot of people have Christmas trees. I know a lot of people, and I grew up in a very diverse area. I know Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, and even pagan individuals who put up a Christmas tree around this time of year because they like the pretty decorations, and they like to give presents. If you don't like the pretty Christmas lights, I honestly don't know what to tell your crazy ass.

But to be honest, the atheists here aren't really much better. You're going to throw a fit about the damn nativity scene but still fight to put up your “solstice greetings?” Why can't you put those greetings on your own property? Why do they have to be on city-owned property? You lot are a disappointment to secular people everywhere, and you all need to grow up.

The city council in this situation did the right thing by voting to ban ALL displays on the public property. You can put your decorations up on property you own. Congrats, both sides of the debate, you ruined it for everyone with your idiotic infighting. Now the city can't even put up pretty lights and whatnot, thanks to you failing to one, follow the Constitution, and two, behave like the grown-ass adults you're all supposed to be. I am disappoint, and I hope you all get coal in your stockings for fucking up the holidays for everyone else in the town.

Nov. 12th, 2012

Boycott Black Friday?

Apparently there's some sort of petition going around telling people to boycott the Black Friday sales at various stores. They give a number of reasons for this- do we really need a bunch of crap anyway? Why should we go be part of a stampede just to go get cheap stuff? And what about the workers? It's not fair to them, especially if they need to be there on Thanksgiving!

No. Stop. As someone who currently works a minimum-wage job (although now that I've been there for over a year, I get $0.75 above the federal minimum wage), as well as a better paying job, you clearly do not understand Black Friday.

Yes, it sucks if you have to work on Black Friday, even moreso if you have to work on Thanksgiving. But if you boycott Black Friday, you are harming the workers at those places. You may not realize this if you have never worked a low-wage job, but we're not salaried employees. If you don't work, you don't get paid. That's why, at my job, if you are being disciplined for your behavior your hours get cut. At a lot of places, the employees need Black Friday so that they can afford things like their rent and food, as well as other things that are not essential to survival. Some places will give their employees hazard pay on Black Friday as well, because of the fact that when you have people lining up outside the store a week beforehand, it can get kind of crazy in there. Also, if you have to work on Thanksgiving itself getting things set up? Your boss is legally obligated to pay you time and a half, because it's a federal holiday (found that out when I ended up getting time and a half on Fourth of July).

Also, Black Friday is an opportunity for these minimum-wage workers to be able to afford things that they might not be able to afford at other times in the year because it is on sale. Last year, I had asked for Black Friday off because I had relatives in town, and I was able to go hit up the mall and computer store to buy some nice things. Last year, I was able to buy a pair of $110 pants for $30. I was able to buy some electronic equipment I needed for a lot less. Computers, which I think everyone will agree are a necessity for modern life, will go on sale for as low as $99.

If you really want to make a difference and help support the economy? Do Small Business Saturday the day after Black Friday. It is an event sponsored by American Express, the credit card company, to encourage people to support small businesses in their area. It also, arguably, makes a bigger impact on the economy than Black Friday anyway, because small businesses are the largest creators of jobs in this country. Yeah, Wal-Mart and Microsoft employ a lot of people, but Bob's Country Store creates jobs in areas where these larger corporations aren't a presence.

Here's a link if you want to learn more about it.

Sorry for the long rant, guys, it's just that the whole “Black Friday is evil!” thing is incredibly short-sighted and usually said by people who have never had to work a low-paying job a day in their lives. Yes, working retail on busy days sucks. It sucks a lot. But if it's how you get paid, you don't complain, at least not to your boss! If you really want to make a difference, do Small Business Saturday and support local shops. You can get some really cool stuff and help support the job creators in your area.

If you do not live in America, I encourage you to see if there's anything similar in your country- at the very least you might get some cool stuff out of it.

Oct. 7th, 2012

Not Yer Little Brother's Halloween

Ah, October. Halloween season. The time when retailers advertise the most WHAT THE FUCK Halloween costumes ever. Some people I follow on Tumblr were posting images of Halloween costumes from a site called Yandy, which sells “sexy” Halloween costumes. Whether or not they are actually sexy is another matter. If anything, these costumes are some of the most disturbing things I've ever seen in my life. I mean, sure, I am not attracted to women, but I'm completely baffled as to how anyone could see some of these as anything but disturbing.

For example, let's take a look at this one. It's supposed to be a sexy Care Bear, but all I can think of is that the woman wearing the outfit is a serial killer who murdered a Care Bear and wears the poor thing's skin as some sort of fucked-up trophy.

Or what about this one? Sexy Mario? How about NO.

OH MY GOD SHE KILLED PIKACHU. If I saw someone wearing this out on Halloween I would probably turn around and run like hell in the other direction.

Now, as to this little number, I'm confused. She's supposed to be a sexy honey badger, but honey badgers are not sexy. They're like Tasmanian devils- they eat the fuck out of everything they come across. I'm a bit worried for that woman with the honey badger on her head... what if it gets hungry?

There's a whole bunch of My Little Pony themed costumes, too. Considering the existence of the fanfiction Cupcakes, I find the Rainbow Dash one to be the most disturbing, but the Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, and Fluttershy costumes are equally alarming. I don't know whether to be relieved or annoyed that they left out Applejack, though. All I can say is- thank fuck they didn't include the Cutie Mark Crusaders. That would be more than my poor heart could take.

Oh look, I found Nemo.

Well, this sexy baby costume is just a big old pile of NOPE. Anyone who buys this should probably be added to some sort of FBI watchlist, because there's no way that they have good intentions.

Someone better let the Onceler know that some crazy bitch killed The Lorax and is wearing him as a costume...

Here's another one that probably needs to put the buyer on an FBI list. Seriously, who thought “sexy girl scout” was a good idea?

Oh god it's sexy Thor. There is a Captain America costume as well that I saw, but it honestly wasn't that bad, it was pretty similar to what Black Widow wore in the movie, except red, white, and blue, obviously. I wonder if there is sexy Loki as well?

This one is called Sexy Trash Monster. One guess as to which beloved Sesame Street character these costume makers have bastardized, and the first two don't count.

Sexy Pepe Le Pew costume. OK, that's it. I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
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Jul. 4th, 2012

July 4

Jul. 3rd, 2012

Happy Third of July!

The Fourth of July is probably my second favorite holiday, right after Christmas. I love it. I love fireworks, I love hanging out with my friends and family, I love snacking on watermelon and red, white, and blue cookies and cakes, I love the whole thing. Every year for the past six or so years, as well, my brother and I watch Looney Tunes: Back in Action on the Fourth. It's a tradition, although one that probably no one else in the world shares.

And this year, I don't get to have a Fourth of July, thanks to my job.

There are times when I really resent working in customer service. This is one of those times. We have to stay open on most holidays- the only ones we close for are Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and Christmas. Last year we closed for New Year, too, but that was only because we were having resurfacing done on the floors, and you can't really have customers up in the store when they're doing that. Sometimes we'll close early on certain days, like if we have to have a business meeting, or if we're having a company party or something, or even if it's a holiday and they feel like shutting down early. We closed at 5:00 PM on Memorial Day this year, you'd think we could close early on Independence Day. But apparently a major investor in the business threw a shit-fit when we closed early on Memorial Day, so now we can't close early on the Fourth. Which is, to put it bluntly, bullshit. It's also bullshit that I'm the only one stuck working on a holiday, but I guess since I took some time off to go to California it's only fair. Still, I'm not always the most rational being ever, and I'm a bit cranky about missing my favorite summer holiday to cater to a bunch of entitled little dipshits. Yeah, Angry Kaboom is Angry.

Usually on Independence Day, some of my friends and I will meet up and light off a bunch of fireworks. In the past, we've been able to get the fun fireworks, that are illegal in the state I live in, and light them off, much to my mother's consternation. But I've been lighting off fireworks since I was a wee little Kaboomlet (I lit my first sparklers when I was two, and I lit my first firecrackers when I was four)- I think I know how to light them off safely. This year, we only have the fountains and stuff, nothing that explodes and flies into the air, but we're already planning a road trip to the next two states up for next year, where there's a Black Cat fireworks warehouse that sells everything. It's five hours away, so I'll have to take a few days off work and we'll have to get a hotel room, but it'll be worth it.

As it is, I hope all of my American readers have a wonderful Fourth. I'll be thinking of you all while I'm moping around my job hating everything. :P

Dec. 31st, 2011

December 31, 2011

Today is the final day of 2011.

A lot of things happened this year- I moved back home, I got a job and a car, I've started thinking about the future even more... all things considered, it's been an OK year. But still, I can't help but feel this sense of hopelessness about the coming year. Despite all the good that has happened this year, I'm about to enter Year 4 of the Ongoing Existential Crisis, and I'm nowhere near closer to solving it than I was on December 31, 2010. I still have failed to achieve most of the goals I set for myself at this time last year. And I still feel like I do not understand anything about what caused the problems I had last year. Even though I live with my parents again and have a job, I still feel extremely isolated. In some ways, I feel more trapped than I did back when I was living at college, and I'm not really sure why that is- moving back home should have solved that, right? I'm at the point where I'm just about ready to give up.

Usually, around this time, I would make New Year resolutions, despite the fact that I never seem to be able to keep them (heh, me and everyone else on the planet). But this year, I really don't see the point. 2011 wasn't all that much different from 2010, why should 2012 be any different? That sounds depressing, but really, I'm just keepin' it real. At this point it seems futile for me to hope that anything will be different, even as I know that the clock is ticking down for me to keep living my life like this. In two more years my parents intend to move, so if I haven't moved out by that point, I will have to go with them, and lose what little progess I have made to becoming totally independent adult.

I know this all sounds incredibly depressing, even though it's New Year and everyone should be happy- New Year is about the promise and hope that the... well, new year will bring. But all I feel is a sense of crushing despair. I couldn't care less about the parties, and I don't really have the energy to hope that next year will be better. And to top it off, I've contracted the flu or something, and I feel awful. Yay.

But please don't take my depressing ranting as a fact- if you're excited for New Year, then please have a good time tonight, and I hope that your 2012 will be one of the best years ever. I'll toast you with my NyQuil tonight (too sick to have champagne) to having a wonderful New Year.

Dec. 25th, 2011

The Four Types of People At Church on Christmas Eve

(Alternatively titled Kaboom Is Scrooge)

Yesterday, I went to my mother's church to celebrate Christmas Eve. I really, really dislike attending her church, for a myriad of reasons, but thankfully the things that make her church extremely unpleasent to attend were absent yesterday, probably because it was a holiday and no one really wants to get into that sort of unpleaantness on Christmas. One thing that did stick out to me, though, was the fact that there still was some obnoxiousness, although it seemed to be coming from small pockets of individuals rather than the congregation as a whole. However, it still annoyed me enough that I decided to blog about it. I don't know if that's a good way of dealing with it, or a bad way, considering it's the holidays and I've been actually trying to be less of an asshole lately. But whatever, let's do a rundown.

1. Perfume Miasma Lady: if you've ever been anywhere that large numbers of people gather in a relatively small space, you've probably run into a Perfume Miasma Lady, or her male counterpart, Dude That Takes A Bath In Axe. Both use industrial sized amounts of their fragrance of choice, effectively rendering the immediate area around them extremely difficult to deal with unless you have a gas mask. Now, don't get me wrong, I like to wear perfume. My personal favorites are Hanae Mori Butterfly, Philosophy Amazing Grace, and my personal favorite, which is unfortunately extremely difficult to find now, the Fresh Memoirs of a Geisha perfume, which I received as a gift my final year of middle school. But the difference between me, when I wear perfume, and the Perfume Miasma Lady, is that I don't dump so much on myself that I make life miserable for everyone else around me. A little goes a long way when it comes to perfume, but the Perfume Miasma lady doesn't understand that. There's a Dilbert cartoon that pretty much sums up this kind of person.

Anyway, last night I had the misfortune to end up sitting directly behind a Perfume Miasma Lady. My brother and I could tell immediately. My brother started sneezing like someone had put pepper up his nose, and my eyes started watering. Of course my mother saw this and assumed we were being obnoxious, but really, she was just lucky to be directly under the vent so she got fresh air, while we were stuck with the contaminated air. I thought for sure I was going to have an epic sneeze right in the middle of some important part of the service, but luckily that didn't happen.

2. The Spirit Hss Moved Me! Worshipper: This individual really, really likes church. They think church is totally awesome, and you know what's even more awesome than church? Why, God of course! While TSHMM!W is not as detrimental to physical comfort as the Perfume Miasma Lady, they are irritating in their own way. Mainly because you have to duck to avoid getting whacked upside the head when they feel so enraptured by the music, or the sermon, or whatnot that they have to throw their hands up in the air and wave them like they just don't care. While this did not happen to me, an older man who was sitting two pews in front of us had his glasses knocked off when one of these kinds of people got a little toooo overenthusiastic about the church's rendition of Go Tell It On The Mountain. I really couldn't help it, I started laughing. It made me feel horrible, but it was just so ridiculous I couldn't help it. And now I'm officially a horrible person.

3. Hyperactive Kids: It really wasn't all that long ago that I was a wee little Kaboomlet. I remember the day before Christmas- the anticipation about what you're going to get, wondering if Santa is really going to come, wanting to open the presents right this very minute, and being hopped up on Christmas snacks. I get it, I really do, and normally I actually like kids. But one thing I do not particularly like is three-year-old girls running amok and stomping all over my handbag, which contains my cell phone, my iPod, and several other delicate electronic devices, as well as my money and my portable notebook. Now, I can understand if the kid in question did this by accident- after all, I barely had enough space to put myself down, much less my bag and my coat as well. But this little girl in question just stuck her tongue out at me and kept stomping about like she was Godzilla or something. At least I was able to get my bag out of the way. But still, it made me wonder- if I had done that as a child I would have gotten in trouble- where was this kid's parents?

4. Baby Haters: You know what's even worse than a hyperactive kid? An adult that hates on the hyperactive kids when they're actually not being all that hyperactive. There was one particularly wiggly baby a little ways down from where I was sitting, and he kept grabbing at things and making funny sounds- he was freaking adorable. One woman kept shushing him though, throughout the service and sending death glares at his mother. Lady, the kid isn't crying, he's just goofing around with the velvet bows and talking to himself. Yeah, it's a bit distracting, but seriously? He's not screaming his head off and he's not wreaking havoc. All he's doing is learning and entertaining himself (and me!). Grow up and realize that you're at a damn church. There tends to be babies at church.

Ah well. Merry Christmas, anyway.

Dec. 21st, 2011

Fic Rec #12: Christmas Edition!

Yes, you read that right: this month's rec is Christmas-themed! ALL OF IT!

However, I feel it necessary to point out that while this rec is Christmas-themed, I mean no offense to any readers who don't celebrate Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season no matter what holidays you do (or do not) celebrate. And who knows, maybe you'll find something nice to read in here that will keep you from whacking your relatives upside the head or something. And, believe it or not, 1/2 of these fics are worksafe, so if you do have young'uns hanging around, you can still have something to read that won't result in you having to give an explanation of the birds and the bees if someone gets a glimpse of it.


Ghosts Gone Wild
Fandom: Danny Phantom
Category: Slash
Rating: PG-13
Notes: Underage drinking, Age difference

To be completely honest with my readers: this pairing (Danny/Vlad) sometimes sketches me out because of the huge age difference, but this particular author manages to write it in a way that isn't creepy as fuck when she's not writing noncon. This is one of those- it's hilarious while being kind of poignant at the same time, while not going too far with the slash content with regards to underage characters,

The Mystery Baker
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Category: Slash
Rating: PG

Someone keeps leaving holiday snacks all over the Enterprise, and they keep leaving Kirk the best ones- gigantic pies, elaborately embellished cakes, and a whole peach cobbler. Of course, everyone else is getting snacks too, but the biggest and best are for the captain. What's the reasoning behind this? Who's the one behind the snacks? A cute holiday fic that will make you hungry.

Frost Me
Fandom: Naruto
Category: Slash
Rating: NC-17/R18/Adult

Another old, old fic from 2007, although one that's still good. Considering that a lot has happened in the Naruto series since this was written, it's completely OOC and practically AU, but it's still good. Tobi isn't such a good boy after all, and knows he won't be getting any presents for Christmas. So he decides to give himself a present. And his present's name is Deidara. Featuring cookie baking and frosting going places where frosting should never go.

We Three Robots
Fandom: Futurama
Category: Het
Rating: PG

It's X-mas, and the Robot Devil has a wager for Bender: he has to make Leela fall in love with him, or he'll be sentenced to an eternity (again) in Robot Hell! It's a pity that Leela doesn't like him... well, really at all. It'll take an X-mas miracle for this to work out! A hilarious holiay fic that really captures the tone of the original series, and is definitely worth checking out, even if it's just for the Robot Devil, who's written absolutely perfectly.

The Underwear Principle
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Category: Slash
Rating: Hard R

While this one is pushing the definition of “Christmas fic” a bit, it still starts out with a Christmas gift, so I'm including it because it's not only hot, but hilarious. By the way, Cocksox are a real brand of underwear. You can buy them on the Internet, and they were selling them in Spencer's the last time I went in there. All the lines about how replicated underwear give you wedgies in this fic are honestly pretty hilarious.

Multi-Chapter Fics

Under the Northern Lights
Fandom: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Category: Gen
Rating: PG
Completion Status: 22 chapters, ongoing

OK, I kind of lied up at the top of this rec- this technically isn't a Christmas fic. But it does have reindeer in it. And when you hear the word “reindeer,” what do you think of? Duh. Christmas. Anyway, Princess Luna and Twilight Sparkle are sent off on a diplomatic mission to the land of the Reindeer, and end up in a very complicated situation, what with rebellions and piracy and domestic intrigue and all that. The original characters are all brilliantly written without overshadowing the plot, and the world-building that this author does is among the best I've ever read, in any fandom.

Dec. 15th, 2011

The 2011 Scrooge Award

I don't often read FandomSecrets, because it tends to make me tired, angry, or just plain old confused. But the other day I decided to check it out to see what was going on, and I came across a secret submitted by a really nasty piece of work, that outraged me more than just about anything else I've ever seen on that site (and that includes the rampant “let's talk shit about the mentally ill while still keeping it all PC and shit”- but that's a rant for another day). Anyway, take a look at this shit:

Allow me to put it as bluntly as possible: YOU FUCKING SUCK AND I HOPE YOU GET USED UNDERPANTS FOR WHATEVER HOLIDAY YOU CELEBRATE. I don't give a flying fuck what your personal beliefs are regarding Twilight, if you purposely refuse to give the kid you adopted for the holidays what they want, you deserve to be waterboarded, but since it's the holidays, we'll settle for giving you used undergarments for Christmas.

According to the FandomSecrets thread, apparently some people didn't understand what it meant to adopt a family for the holidays. This isn't like Secret Santa- you don't draw a coworker's name out of the hat or whatever to do a surprise gift exchange. Generally, these kids are disadvantaged, and their parents can't afford to get them decent presents for the holidays. It is also sometimes done for children who are terminally ill, or who lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan. So, no matter what the situation, if you purposely refuse to give one of these kids what they want for the holidays, you're tacky as fuck and I hate you.

I wish I could get the address to send the present to, because I'd get that poor kid a copy of all four Twilight books and send them a gift card as well, so they could buy some other stuff, all because their secret holiday buddy is a fucking asshole.

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