Holiday Touring – New Years Day

All is quiet....

All is quiet….

My friend Marilyn from the fabulous Serendipity blog had one of those blog hop challenges thrust into her lap, and chose me as one of the recipients of its chain mail-like glory!  It’s called Holiday Touring, and the victim recipient of the invitation has to answer three questions posed by the nominator about how or if they celebrate the holiday that person chose… and then pick a different holiday, write three similar questions to ask about it, and present these questions to two different bloggers.


You confuse me!

For example, Marilyn was nominated by Doobster, who chose April Fools Day as the holiday to challenge their nominees with.  So, in her post I linked to above, Marilyn answered the questions about AFD and then chose New Years Day as her holiday to tag me and another hapless blogger with.  So in my post, I first have to tackle the three questions she posed to me regarding this most perplexing of non-holiday holidays that I’ve ranted about in the past

Time to party like it's 1995!

Time to party like it’s 1995!

1) What do you do on New Year’s Day? Sleep off your hangover? Host a Victorian feast for a few dozen good friends? Nothing?

Any discussion of my New Years Eve/Day activities first depends on my work schedule, which of course is anything but what most of you would consider to be normal.  Yes, while many other people are getting lit up or going to bed early to avoid all of the midnight gunfire, there have been a handful of instances where I’ve been slaving away at Mecca that night.  In those years, January 1st is just like any other day in the middle of my workweek… much of the day is spent hidden away sleeping to prepare to go in again that night.

It's still daylight!  Don't wake me up!!!

It’s still daylight! Don’t wake me up!!!

The truth is, though, that I’ve had many more years where I haven’t worked that night.  However, those that pay attention to the personal details I occasionally throw out on this blog know that I’m not a party person, nor has the demon rum ever touched my lips… so that rules out sleeping off hangovers or party hardiness.  Really, I don’t treat New Years Day any differently than I treat any other day.  I like the quietness of New Years morning… it’s even more eerily quiet than Sundays are.  Like it’s 364.25 companions, January 1st is generally just another day for me…

party squirrel

So totally not me.

2) What are your plans for the coming holiday, if any. If you have some, tell me (and the world) what they are. If you have no plans or are, heaven forbid, working … explain how you got yourself into that mess.

Let’s see… this coming January 1st is a Thursday.  Even if I weren’t off the entire week before (4 weeks of vacation rocks!), I’d have had both the 31st and 1st off this time around anyway since they fall on my W/Th weekend.  That said, it’ll probably be just like any other typical Thursday… only without the sleep lag since by then I’ll have been off for 8 nights.  Me and my Dad will probably have lunch… like we always do on Thursdays.  Heck, we’d likely go for lunch this Thursday if some idiot hadn’t decided to declare it a major holiday…

Even multi-million dollar athletes have to work holidays.

Even multi-million dollar athletes have to work holidays.

And of course, I will have a comic to post that day, along with my third annual Sandy Awards honoring my favorite blog search terms for the past year (Here’s the 2012 and 2013 editions if you missed the extravaganza before).  It might be odd to see the product of either of those endeavors had I been hungover from NYE celebrations…

I'll leave all the fun of consuming alcohol to all the kiddies out there...

I’ll leave all the fun of consuming alcohol to all the kiddies out there…

3) Does New Year’s Day have special meaning to you? I (for example) became engaged to my husband on January 1, 1990. If it doesn’t have special meaning, say whatever is in your heart. Sharing, as they say at WordPress, is caring.

I can’t think of a significant, or even insignificant event in my life to happen on New Years Day… so I’ll just say what I think of NYD: It’s a crock!

Or maybe a Kroc as well...

Or maybe a Kroc as well…

January 1st is not a holiday.  It should not be a day the world shuts down and stays home.  It should not be a blatant excuse to go out the night before and celebrate……. what exactly?  What is so special about the year changing?  It used to be somewhat significant when it meant the beginning of a two week period where you were constantly voiding checks by putting the wrong year on them… but how many people even write checks anymore?

Other than me, of course.

Other than me, of course.

random rantThe much ballyhooed YY odometer rollover isn’t any more of a viable reason to go out and get plastered than believing wearing green makes you Irish, or knowing what May 5th means in Spanish, or shooting off your Chinese fireworks in the name of patriotism, or especially watching an overrated football game surrounded by a batch of overrated and overpriced commercials.  Did you know that there are people who want to make the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday a legal holiday for the same reason we “celebrate” New Years Day?  I shit you not… it’s no wonder we lose so many jobs overseas to countries that don’t even have a calendar in which to have holidays on…

Sweatshop squirrels don't know what day it is.

Sweatshop squirrels don’t know what day it is.

You know what would cure all of this New Year’s mania nonsense?  Let’s move New Year’s Day back to March 25th like it was before America (via it’s stamp and tea taxing British legal guardians) adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752.  There is nothing at all sexy about March 24, 2014 suddenly becoming March 25, 2015 the next day.  In fact, it would probably cause a lot of people’s heads to explode, making them reach for a….

WTF!?!?  I went to Spring Break, and suddenly lost a year!

WTF!?!? I went to Spring Break, and got so drunk, I suddenly lost a year!

Errrrrr, nevermind that.

OK, it’s time for me to choose my holiday and who I want to torture with my questions!  The holiday part is easy….

appreciation day

National Squirrel Appreciation Day!!!!!  Yes, it exists, and it’s a much more sensible holiday than New Years Day could ever hope to be!  Every January 21st, the world pauses and thinks of how great it is to have attics garages power lines engine blocks trees full of gorgeous, bushy tailed little squirrels!

Oh yes!!!!  This is the most happiest holiday of them all!!!

Oh yes!!!! This is the most happiest holiday of them all!!!

My questions shall be:

1. In what ways do you appreciate squirrels?

2. Who is your favorite well known real life or fictional squirrel, and why?

3. If National Squirrel Appreciation Day deservedly got the A-list holiday treatment that observances like Groundhog Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day receive in American culture, in what ways do you think people would celebrate the day?  What kind of customs and rituals would run rampant every January 21st?

And I hereby choose two of my favorite bloggers, Sheena and Merby, to pass this challenge along to!

I'll probably have to bribe them do this...

I’ll probably have to bribe them do this…

Thank you Marilyn for passing this buck along to me!  It was a load of fun, and I can’t wait to see what my two patsies nominees come up with!

Posted in Random Rants, Squirrel Droppings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Supermarket Sheep

Sorry.  The CD broke, so they asked me to come to the store and sing in person.

Sorry. The CD broke, so they asked me to come to the store and sing in person.

It’s the Monday before Black Thursday Friday, and while DJ Scratchy would love to carve up a little Steely Dan on the turntables, we must faithfully stick to the usual collection of meccamuzakmondaysearworm turkeys here on Mecca Muzak Monday.  And since this is the final MMM before the series goes all-holiday for the month of December, me and my pony figured we’d take this opportunity to feature what is probably the most infamous song to ever spin in your local Mecca since the muzak CD program began after Christmas of 2012…

There has been a lot of different kinds of music to show up on seven CD’s of contemporary gold that have been played on repea-pea-pea-pea-peat, but one of them stands out head and shoulders apart from the rest.  A special kind of stupid earworm that could only be brought to us by a washed up singer who thought it’d be a good idea to make a children’s album…

Oh yeah!  I can totally get down to this!

Oh yeah! I can totally get down to this!

Jewel burst onto the scene in the mid 90’s as a somewhat lamer more mellow alternative to the gangsta rap and grunge rock that dominated the decade.  While her coffeehouse style folk music played well through the remainder of the 90’s, by the time the 21st Century came around, the only jewels anyone cared about were contained in addictive internet games.

Well, and the family jewels.

Well, and the family jewels.

So Jewel branched out into the ever popular world of Satan’s children’s music.  If you think pop earworms are bad, try keeping those wheels on the fucking short bus from going round and round in your head.  In 2011 she released an album through Fisher Price called “The Merry Goes ‘Round”, and on that not quite good enough for Kidz Bop collection was a little song dedicated to the grocery store that Mecca couldn’t resist putting on the inaugural CD…

You’ve seen the kind of songs I’ve featured in past MMM posts… can you imagine “The Supermarket Song” suddenly showing up in the middle of all that rock, pop, and country?  The comments section of that YouTube video is full of fellow Mecca workers complaining about having to hear it all the time, because it sticks out like such a sore thumb that it’s impossible not to notice it playing in the background!

It's the 800 pound possum in the room.

It’s the 800 pound possum in the room.

And Mecca’s inclusion of it on the Winter 2013 CD is almost certainly due to the fact that she performed a Mecca version of the song at Mecca HQ in 2012.  You can find that performance fairly easy if you search “jewel supermarket song” on You Tube if you really want to see it… but I won’t link to it here since it’s posted on Mecca’s official channel, and I know referrers can be tracked back, and maybe I’m a bit paranoid…

Yeah, he thinks we don't know what Mecca really means... fire that stupid squirrel!

Yeah, he thinks we don’t know what Mecca really means… fire that stupid squirrel!

And I have to admit… though I too rolled my eyes at this song for a long time, it did manage to grow on me like a 50 pound bag of chicken nuggets.  There’s something to be said for the tuba and the old time jazzy horns in this one…

Not that kind of horn...

Not that kind of horn…

And that closes the book on traditional Mecca Muzak Monday for its inaugural season.  The hits that weren’t quite good enough for Tarjhay will be back in 2015, but until then, we hope you enjoy our selection of fine Mecca holiday hits for the next five weeks!  I know the vinyl one will…

This is just too cute not to repost!

This is just too cute not to repost!

Posted in Mecca Muzak | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Wag The Squirrel

Trigonometry Squirrel's got your sine.

Trigonometry Squirrel’s got your sine.

This certainly isn’t the greatest quality squirrel photo I’ve ever taken, but I’ll bet you can quickly spot what caught my eye and kept this image from being tossed like so many others into the virtual recycling bin so that hard drive memory can be better used for more porn artwork.  Look at that tail go!  Not only is it sqturday squirrel logoclearly in motion, but it looks to be moving in a wave formation!  The frayed end of the tail whipping around to form the next ridge looks neat, but not as cool as the wicked curvature that can be seen in the first peak!

No doubt you’ve seen squirrels rather vigorously wag their tails before… a practice which is generally used as a way to communicate with other squirrels much in the same way we might extend another human the finger.  The message I read in this furry fella’s flickering rear mudflap was a statement of his worthiness to be this week’s Saturday Squirrel.  Ten-four, good buddy… you’ve indeed earned some waves of your own from my appreciative audience!

Have a great weekend… and shake a tailfeather!

Posted in Saturday Squirrel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It’s A Long Way To Tipperary

Oh, don't act like you aren't going to need a tissue for this post.

Oh, don’t act like you aren’t going to need a tissue for this post.

Turn out the lights, the party’s over.  What began with a “oh fuck, why not?” phone call turned into a once in a lifetime journey that spanned three months, yet somehow took up seven months of blog time.  Look at the date on that first post in this series… April 11th.  Not even I knew on that early Spring day that it would be three seasons and 32 weeks later when I would finally type up the final entry in this crazy storytelling project I undertook only because I ran out of Flashback Friday ideas.  How in the hell did I milk this game show tale for over 50,000 words and even more pathetic attempts at humor?

I couldn't have done it without you, Dishwasher Dog!

I couldn’t have done it without you, Dishwasher Dog!

I did not extend this story one final chapter to brag pontificate over how long it ran… but to merely serve as an epilogue to the main plot, while also tying up a few loose ends and including some cool things I forgot.  Like the fact that I was an unwitting pawn in an online contest…

No really… I made thousands of people (besides all of you reading this) boo and jeer me!

You suck, Squirrel!  Get your sorry ass back to the minors!

You suck, Squirrel! Get your sorry ass back to the minors!

During the first few months of 2001, ABC ran an online contest based on a similar game that was a hit on their sporty sister ESPN’s website.  It was called Hot Seat Draw 3, and each night the show aired, you could log in and get a random draw of three of the finalists (the carryover was also thrown into the mix) along with three ways each of those contestants could score points for you.  Since all of the ways to score points involved at the very least making it to the Hot Seat, anyone who drew my card had no chance of winning the valuable prize of a TiVo for accumulating the highest nightly score.  To make it up to those people who still curse my name to this day, here’s a potential draw of my card that would have given them much better odds:


They even took special photos of us in the Ring prior to the taping to use for their HSD3 profiles.  Do I still have the image of that HSD3 photo?  Yep, thanks to a kind message board buddy to emailed it to me long, long ago.  Am I gonna share it with you…. not a chance.  It looks even worse than my on air intro still does.  Given the number of unfortunate looking people that were on my show, I’m surprised our group’s foray into the world of fantasy game show leagues didn’t kill off the franchise…

Where does Regis find all these ugly people?  I think I'll watch Big Brother instead.

Where does Regis find all these ugly people? I think I’ll watch Big Brother instead.

Probably the most intriguing loose end that dangles over my prolonged tale of woe is whether or not Amy Turner’s incessant stalling in the Hot Seat, as well as the show’s unwillingness to edit the majority of it out, cost me a chance to fuck up a third fastest finger question.  Despite only seeing eleven questions, Amy took up almost 25 minutes of the show’s 42 minutes and change of airtime…. or about 60% of the show was dedicated to her.

What can I say?  I'm the Queen of your Millionaire Journey!

What can I say? I’m the Queen of your Millionaire Journey!

The key to unlocking this mystery lies in the fate of Kevin O’Neill, who finished off my show by making quick work of his first nine questions.  If we could have squeezed another five, or perhaps even ten minutes of time into his run that was instead used to listen to Amy babble over fingernails and petty officers, would he have vacated the Hot Seat before the final horn sounded?

Ain't happening.

Ain’t happening.

The answer is most likely no… because Kevin wound up seeing four more questions when he carried over to the next show, and not a single one of them went as quickly or smoothly as the nine we got to see him breeze through in the waning moments of my taping.  He used his three lifelines, one a piece, on each of the next three questions before finally deciding he had 125,000 reasons to walk away from his $250,000 question that asked who the then poet laureate of the United States was.  While I never saw that show to get an idea of the time it took Kevin to finish off his stack, I sincerely doubt it could have been crammed onto my show even if Amy had played a bit more smoothly.  And after all, we got a huge break anyway in the way carryover Ed Toutant got prematurely ejected from the Hot Seat… so in a way, everything balanced out in the end.  It just wasn’t meant to be…

I wish Don Pardo would have been there to call me a complete loser.

I wish Don Pardo would have been there to call me a complete loser.

Coming from a message board that was full of Millionaire wannabes at the time, I’ve seen many, many others walk the same path I did of making it all the way to New York only to leave with the Turtle Wax.  To say that the experience didn’t sit all that well with a good number of those people would be an understatement.  And I can certainly understand why it could cause bitterness… after all, I am positive I’d have won at least $32,000 had I not managed to brain fart on either of those two fastest finger questions.  Though it’s no million bucks, that’s a lot of money to have so temptingly close only to see it vanish in a puff of smoke at the sound of a horn.  And if I say I don’t still think about how that may have changed my life 13 years ago, it would be the biggest lie I’ve ever told on this blog.

burning rodent

And that would be saying something since I’m always catching on fire.

But being one of the most self depreciating squirrels you’ll find has its benefits, and rather than be bitter and depressed over a once in a lifetime opportunity squandered, I have instead chosen to embrace what happened and just marvel over the fact that some insignificant moron like me was even a blip on the radar of one of the most highly rated game shows at the peak of its popularity.  The entertaining tale that’s been told here every Friday for as long as you can remember could have never been spun by someone who only looked back on the misfortune through piss and vinegar glasses.  Right off the bat, I decided to just let it go.

The cold never bothered me anyway.

The cold never bothered me anyway.

Besides, even coming home a loser still managed to turn me into somewhat of a local star.  My co-workers at Mecca who were around when this all happened still tell the newer people that the dictator guru of the paper goods and chemicals department was once on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.  I can’t tell you how many times in the months after the show aired that customers after chewing me out over an out of stock recognized me and stopped to ask if I was the local guy they saw on Millionaire.  I experienced deja vu of the celebrity phenomenon in 2004 when The Game Show Network (Now just GSN) picked up the original primetime episodes of Millionaire to add to its lineup.  I’ll admit it was fun to have people pick me out in public as someone they saw on TV for the brief time that it lasted… but I’m extremely happy I don’t have to go through it every day like real celebrities do…

Though I do wish I'd have been famous enough to get my own groupies.

Though I do wish I’d have been famous enough to get my own groupies.

So could there ever be a repeat of the Millionaire Journey (Assuming there’d be enough time left in the universe to chronicle it, that is)?  Well, despite the fact that I’m still not a fan of whoring myself out at an audition, I did attend two more local tryouts for the show… one in August 2001, and the other for the watered down syndicated version of Meredith Vieira Millionaire in October 2010.  Given the quick brush off I got from both experiences, I gained an even greater appreciation for how lucky I was to slide through the original audition.  And I also picked up this cool GTFO souvenir from the latter of those two complete wastes of time…

Cats will tolerate even a loser, so long as that loser feeds them.

Cats will tolerate even a loser, so long as that loser feeds them.

And….. well, there you have it folks.  I promised you a recap of my experience on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and I gave you an epic novel that spanned over half of the year instead.  I do hope you enjoyed it though, and were able to find joy in even the obscure tangents, pretty pictures, and totally predictable 168 hour cliffhangers I provided.  For hanging in there with me for so long, I think you all deserve a special badge to commemorate making it all the way to the end of this cybermarathon without keeling over from old age….

Display it with pride!

Display it with pride!

And so there will be no more talk of lunulas or glowing potatoes.  No more gagging over mystery meat and continental breakfasts.  No more condemning shitty airlines and fleabag hotels that have since rightly gone out of business.  No more caterpillars, curses, T-shirts or scary limo rides.  No more babbling, stalling, show tune singing, or waiting until next Friday.  And absolutely no more unsightly visuals of Regis trying to pronounce “Wynema” while taking a dump….

This is the end, my friends.  The end of The Millionaire Journey.

Time to take that snowglobe away from you, Evil Squirrel....

Time to take that snowglobe away from you, Evil Squirrel….

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Millionaire Journey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #134 — 11/20/14


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