One man's attempt at literacy

Tag Archives: Christmas

This isn’t awkward. This isn’t awkward. It isn’t awkward! I kept repeating the phrase to myself, the thoughts becoming louder and louder until my ears almost hurt, as my parents and my friends sat in our living room, eating sausages and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol (NOTE: for my family, one drink is excessive). I tried my hardest to will the not-awkwardness into reality, but — just like when I tried to will being Tina Fey’s long lost son to be true — nothing happened.

Outside, snow fell, blanketing our home, and making the scenery perfect for the day: it was Christmas Eve.

As we sat, chatting and imbibing, the lack of someone’s presence was easily noted. We pretended it wasn’t an issue, that there was nothing amiss, but we all knew the terrible truth; my brother should’ve been there. But he wasn’t.

I can’t believe this happened. That jerk. If only I had said something else. Oh, this terrible!… Oh well, I thought, mentally going through all five stages of grief in under 3 seconds.

My dad began to joke about something with my friend’s mother. What did he say? I don’t know, I was too distracted, but, knowing them, it probably involved feces, The Bachelorette, or blowing up fruit, because we are classy people.

A few minutes more passed, and then I heard footsteps coming upstairs. I looked expectantly, and it was him: the prodigal brother. He had returned, after 30 horrible minutes of uncertainty.

The last fateful time I had seen my brother was, as said, half an hour before. Upon seeing him I made an inquiry about the one request I had given him for the evening, and it set him fuming.

“What? You were serious!?” His arms came up like a comic book character, showing his frustration and disbelief.

Property of NBC Universal, dawgggg

“Um…. Yes.” I looked at him simply, perplexed at his confusion and shocked at such a dire reaction.

“I thought you were joking!”

“Um… No.” Again, I looked him up and down, one eyebrow raised in skepticism at this reaction. I saw the steam building up inside his body with nowhere for it to escape except through his mouth in loud bursts of frustration.

“You can’t do this! You can’t be serious! Greg, this is Christmas Eve, you can’t take over!” He bellowed all this at me, his indignation matched only by his incredible rate of speech.

My dad, hearing this (not unusual) level of volume and passion from my brother’s voice hurried over to resolve the conflict. Ah, my father, always the mediator; I knew I could rely on him. “What’s going on?” he asked, his voice serene as two sleeping kittens.

“Greg was serious earlier!”

My dad simply laughed. “Hah, no he wasn’t! Greg, you were joking, right?”

I looked at them both plainly, aghast at this turn of events. “Um… Nooo?”

Then my dad’s face, generally calm and kind, changed, as he too was filled with anger. “Greg, you can’t tell me what to do in my own house! I dress like this for meetings and I won’t let you tell me what to wear in my own house!”

Property of BET.

You can’t see me so well because I’m behind Dennis Rodman.

My brother pointed one finger at me and poked me squarely in my chest, basically bowling me over because he was in good physical condition and I have the physique of a pudding cup. “Greg, you’re a Christmas dictator.” He decided he could no longer look at someone as atrocious as Kim Jong Un and went downstairs in a huff, never to be seen again (for 30 awkward minutes). My father called to him to come back, but his words fell on deaf ears. He looked at me once more, angry that I would make a request that so thoroughly destroyed our family, before returning to his work getting dinner ready.

All I could think about was the previous day’s phone call that sent this whole thing into motion.

“Hey Greg, can I bring anything tomorrow?”

“No, I’ve got the food covered. I was just wondering if you could wear something other than jeans so it’s a bit nicer.”

“Hah, right, okay. See you then.”

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This is my entry for the Weekly Writing Challenge.


Well folks, it’s over again; Christmas has come and gone. If you want, you can spend today frantically taking down the decorations because, well, it’s just so blasé to leave them up when the holiday is over. Or, if you’re a more sane person, you can take a deep breath and celebrate my favorite holiday with me: Leftover Day.

Leftover Day is, truly, the most wonderful time of the year. Maybe I just say this as someone who, despite being a pagan, has always held Christmas in such veneration that my expectations couldn’t possibly be met — I generally enjoyed the days leading up to the holiday more than the holiday itself, those magic times where you seem to have no worries and don’t have to interact with any drunk relatives or worry about cooking a meal for ten people who are drinking while you’re trying not to touch the giblets. But I’d like to think my feelings are justified. I mean, who hasn’t had a moment during Christmas where they want to throttle someone? Who hasn’t been asked to carve the turkey and had to bite their tongue from responding, “I’d like to carve YOU!!!”?

“I’ll show YOU how to mash the potatoes!”

What is Leftover Day, you may ask? You actually probably don’t ask that since it’s pretty self explanatory but I’ll still tell you. Leftover Day is the day after Christmas — or any holiday where you worked and dealt with family all day. This year I actually celebrated Leftover Day in November — and you just blob it up. Just chill the hell out, all day. No unnecessary moving, no dealing with family unless you want it, and lots of eating of the fruits of your labor from the day before. If your grandma calls to continue guilting you from yesterday and you just pretend your phone was run over by a car. More than that, one of my biggest complaints about Christmas is I always get games for presents but then I’m not actually allowed to play them because I need to “talk” to “family.” Pfah! Leftover Day is the day where you do whatever you want. No ritual, no obligations, just stuffing your face with fixings from the day before.

This is what a successful Leftover Day looks like.

Sure, Christmas is great. It has its moments. But Leftover Day is pure, unadulterated glee, where you decide the agenda, not because the day is about you so much as the day isn’t about anything. I hope I’ve inspired you to enjoy this Leftover Day. Go sit down, eat something delicious already-made food (may I suggest turkey, cheddar, and cranberry sauce on a day old roll?), see whoever you desire.

Happy Leftover Day!!!


In my continuing series of terrible movie ideas I bring you my second Christmas movie, and the weirdest of the four I will bring you. It is, however, also a very realistic plot, as evidenced by shows like Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives, which I will admit I watched half of. For those you you who enjoy the stranger, gay-touch, I present:

Christmas is a Drag

Christmas is a Drag is a fabulous new movie starring drag superstar and she-legend, RuPaul. In this adventure, Ru is joined by two freshman draglebrities, Rich Sommer (Mad Men) and BD Wong (Law and Order: SVU), to save Christmas from the evil Santa Bear and his army of beauty-stealing Christmas cubs.

Ru has just returned from a whirlwind modeling and singing journey around the world to sher’s girls, Sasha Lamorr (Rich Sommer), a shy, big-boned drag queen who just wants to find her knight in shining armor, and Nina Fierce (BD Wong), a sassy drag queen with a little too much attitude but all the right moves. When the girls are attacked early Christmas Eve by a group of scary, hairy Christmas cubs, they learn that the most glamorous of holidays is in danger from dirty, old Santa Bear, who wants to steal the beauty from the season and ruin it for all the little ladyboys.

This is the closest thing I could get to an evil Santa Bear that wasn’t actually an animal.

As with all things drag, Christmas is a Drag is a wild ride, with plenty of puns and glitter to appease the most dour of divas. “Tuck” yourselves in this holiday and get ready for an unforgettable ruventure.


Owned by Sony, YO!

With great terrible movie making skills comes great responsibility.

Dearest readers, today it’s time for the second installment of the best worst Christmas movies ever. Last week was iChuanukah, a movie starring Lena Dunham and Andrew Garfield as two adolescents who discover love and adulthood through eight miraculous days of cellphone life.

Today, I change gears to a story of Christmas and family; a tale that could truly be a Christmas classic, jingling all the way down the annals of history. In fact, when I jokingly described this plot to my friends a week ago, they looked at each other and then at me blankly and said in unison, “Wait… Is that a real movie?” Clearly, if I had a superpower it’d be my ability to make awful movie plots in moments. I now present:

Black Christmas Continue reading


Well, folks, it’s that time of year again: it’s getting a bit colder, a bit snowier (or, you know, just greyer in New York), and college students are coming up with creative places to hang mistletoe. I myself have started to celebrate by moving away from my normal litany of awful shows and onto shows in what might be one of the worst genres to have ever existed (the only genre that’s worse that I can think of  is “Paranormal Teen Romance Novels”): Romantic Comedy Holiday Movies, often made by ABC Family. To give you an idea of how terrible this is, just consider that I have started about 12 of these movies and only got close to finishing three because they are just so, so horror-inducing.

What a dumb couple

I wish I had a dead girl to give me life advice…

The gem of the movies so far has been Christmas Cupid, which is just such a wonderful mix of stupidity and outright offensiveness that you can’t possibly watch it without some sort of ire burning inside of you like a freshly lit fireplace by the end. The premise of this movie is simple: a woman who has always put her career doing PR first is visited by three boyfriends of Christmas (Ex-mas, get it? GET IT?!) who tell her how she’s romantically stupid and what will happen if this continues. Her spiritual guide, the titled Christmas Cupid, is actually a hussy, diva, and former client who died while clubbing by choking on an olive. Continue reading