Monday, December 7, 2015

RiffTrax Live – Santa and Ice Cream Bunny Nightmare! Plus Caroling Tips from LG Keltner, Ex Machina Review, Question of the Month, and Ninja News

Today L.G. Keltner gives us some snarky caroling tips, but first…

RiffTrax: Live – Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

If you could project all the random thoughts inside a mental facility onto a screen, you’d come up with Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.

The story has so little substance that they had to insert a story (told by Santa to the kids) of Jack and the Beanstalk into the middle of the film. It was really bad, but ironically better than the actual movie.

The film was so short, they had to insert THREE shorts to riff before it began. (The third one was hilarious.)

Overall, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny was the most I’ve laughed at a movie in a very long time. Probably one of RiffTrax’s best! And it just might rival Manos: Hands of Fate for the worst film ever made…

There is an encore showing – go HERE to see if it’s playing in a theater near you.

Some pre-show screenshots:

Caroling Tips from Author L.G. Keltner

Thanks for hosting me, Alex! It’s an honor to be here.

Some people love Christmas caroling. Others not so much. The world should be grateful that I don’t take part in this tradition, because my voice is terrible.

For those of you who are going to be caroling this holiday season, I have a few tips for making the experience an enjoyable one.

Tip #1: If you don’t like to sing, haul a portable sound system with you. Put “Carol of the Bells” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra on repeat. It rocks, and there’s no singing involved.

Tip #2: Bring a kazoo. No one can resist the charm of a plastic kazoo, and they’re fun to play. Plus they come in pretty colors.

Tip #3: Bring a drum and do a freestyle solo during “The Little Drummer Boy.”

Tip #4: Wear an ugly 3D Christmas sweater. Believe me, such things exist, and they’ll grab attention.

Tip #5: Make up funny lyrics in your head. Just don’t sing them aloud unless you like living on the wild side. That might get you into trouble.

Now enjoy an excerpt from Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family.
* * *
I finally pulled away, gulping air as I tried to muster a cool response. “I had to shut you up. I couldn’t risk you saying that it was a mistake, because then my whole wanting-my-first-kiss-to-be-something-the-other-person-wanted thing would’ve been ruined . . . then, um, I would have had to push you in a snowdrift.”
“So you kissed me for my own good?” Seth asked breathlessly.
I nodded.
“That was considerate of you.”
* * *

Find Self-Help 101 at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Createspace, and Goodreads
She’s also hosting a giveaway – visit her blog to enter.

Movie Review

Ex Machina
A young programmer is chosen to participate in a test with a female A.I. built by an eccentric millionaire.
It’s not action science fiction – this is a thought-provoking flick. But it’s so fascinating that you won’t be bored. At all.
This film poses the big questions about self-awareness versus clever and manipulative programming. It’s a little unsettling but not enough to make you stop watching.
Everyone is excellent in their role. Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasely in Harry Potter) is the star and Oscar Isaac plays Nathan, the eccentric. Alicia Vikander was scary perfect in the role of Eva, the A.I.
If you’re a patient viewer and can stand a quiet, thought-provoking film, you will find this movie fascinating.
Definitely recommended.

Ninja News

Thanks again to all participants and co-hosts for a successful Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day.
I do my best to get to as many participants as possible, but I know I can’t visit everyone. (One of the reasons I have new co-hosts every month.) I also try to visit my blogger buddies not involved in IWSG. Altogether, I visit about two hundred blogs on IWSG Wednesday. I visit a few more participants on Thursday and Friday, but I’ll be the first to admit, by that point I am beat.
So if you don’t see me for your regular posting those days, please forgive me.

Elizabeth at Liz’s Random Ponderings is hosting a blogfest – the Christmas Joy Blog Hop – on December 14.
Join us!

Just Released:

Fright Before Christmas: 13 Tales of Holiday Horrors
Featuring stories by Medeia Sharif and Laura Pauling
Find it on Amazon

The Art of Losing: A Thinkerbeat Anthology
Featuring a story by Patsy Collins
Find it on Amazon

Question of the Month

Hosted by Michael at A Life Examined.

Which one social convention would you get rid of? 

I’d like to get rid of the trending political correctness to the extreme and absurd.

At this rate, all jokes will soon be considered taboo. People are way too sensitive. Just stating a difference of opinion is perceived as hateful.

Folks, it’s all right to agree to disagree if at the end of the day, we still respect the other person. We all have different morals, values, standards, and opinions, and that’s all right.

What’s your best caroling tip? Enjoy the IWSG last week? Have you seen Ex Machina? Joining us for the bloghop? What social convention would you get rid of? And did you see Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny last week? And if not, do you want to see RiffTrax take on one of the worst films ever…?

I'll be off the grid from Thursday through the weekend this week. My last post of the year will be next Monday – stop by for some Christmas and geeky fun!


ediFanoB said...

I di not see EX Machina so far.
But after your recommendation I will do that whenever the fil will be shown on German TV.

Enjoy your time off from Thursday to Sunday

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Wish I'd had the caroling tips before the last time I caroled! I hummed a lot.

Love the "94 minutes before your kids are traumatized by Santa"! Ha!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Manos: The Hands of Fate was pretty bad, so Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny has me very afraid.

I think it would be great to get together with other Star Wars costumers and go caroling. Maybe the Jawas can finally say something more than "Utinni."

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I still can't believe you manage to visit as many blogs as you do. I'd get all bleary-eyed and run out of things to say. :)

Enjoy your break this week!

River Fairchild said...

I wonder if free range Lorax tastes like chicken?
Love LG's book cover!
I started to watch Ex Machina but was still very bored after half an hour so I shut it off. *shrug*
No caroling for me!

L.G. Keltner said...

Thanks for hosting me today!

I'm grateful to the RiffTrax guys for so many good laughs. Thanks for the great screen shots!

Caroling with Star Wars costumers would be fun. I could see myself doing something like that. Though I'd have to put my foot down when my husband inevitably suggests I wear Leia's slave girl bikini. It's far too cold where I live to do that. Going as a Wookie would be a better bet.

Pat Hatt said...

Ditching the PC crap is sure the way to be. Stupid how far they take it. The cat would probably sound better caroling than I would lol

Mary Aalgaard said...

My caroling tip would be to bring along a friend who's a good singer! Also, if someone can play the guitar, that would be helfpul. (Alex?) But, really, make a joyful noise, smile, and ring those bells!

People have gone way overboard on PC. You have to watch everything you say.

Sarah Foster said...

I'm sure visiting that many blogs is exhausting!
Fantastic caroling tips! They made me laugh. I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to go caroling. I probably haven't sung a Christmas song since fifth grade chorus...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sandra, it's bad. And you should go caroling as the Star Wars characters.

River, I bet it does taste like chicken.

LG, you're welcome! And might be a little cold for Leia's outfit.

Mary, I could do guitar!

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Just imagine my response is sang in the sweet sounds of Carol of the Bells... no wait the kazoo, that is much better. Some great holiday tips to live by, my hope is everyone gets to spend their holiday with someone who doesn't make them nuts. Star Wars is like two weeks away and I find myself more thrilled about the CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR trailer... does that mean I am a grown up?

Happy everything, everybody!

Jeremy [A ghost from Blogger's Past]

Christine Rains said...

Great tips from LG! I can't sing, so I just mouth the words and let everyone else sing. Ex Machina is high on my to watch list. That and Lost World. (Yes, I'm behind on my movie watching!) I'm sure you've been watching the casting for the new MST3K. Felicia Day! Such fun! Oh, I agree with you about the extreme political correctness. I'd get rid of the "boys will be boys" thing. Being male does not excuse aggressive or bad behavior.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - thanks for doing what you do .. and no need to comment at mine - enjoy when you do. Good to see LG here, and to note Patsy's book with her story in. Anthologies are cool to read. Carols - I think I'll stick with the traditional.

Cheers Hilary

Carol Kilgore said...

"A Walter White Christmas" - LOL. That's a good one, Alex. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny. I can't imagine how anyone could come up with something like that. Very weird. I belonged to a choral group when I was in college. We went caroling a couple of times and it was fun. Ex Machina sounds like an interesting movie. I'll put it on my Netflix list. Have a great week!

Michael Abayomi said...

I enjoyed Ex Machina as well, although I must confess that I was a bit skeptical going in, based mostly on my experience with the somewhat similar Automata.

Shell Flower said...

LG's book looks really cute and those are some excellent tips. I loved Ex Machina. Such a cool movie and that ending...I agree with you on the political correctness overload. We saw a high school production of The Music Man where they changed "boys" band to "kids" band and changed "Jews harp" to "mouth harp" in the script. I mean, are those things really sexist and racist? Wow.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I kind of want to see the the Great Pumpkin bathe the unclean in sweet, cleansing fire.

The only place I plan on caroling is in my shower, by myself, as God intended. And I loved Ex Machina. Without spoiling anything, I thought the end was a nice and fitting touch.

Tamara Narayan said...

Everyone finds a kazoo charming? No, just no. My kids bring these hideous things home from birthday parties and I toss them in the garbage as soon as they go to bed. I'd rather be cornered by a hoard of Jehovah's Witnesses than listen to a kazoo. Wait. That was probably offensive to both the Jehovah's Witnesses and kazoo players. I'm a terrible person.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Funny screenshot about the mall Santa. My daughter was always afraid of him so I never made her take a picture with him.

I can't believe you visited 200 blogs on Wednesday. You are such a great blogger friend.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Alex! You hit on the social convention that bothers me the most, escalating political correctness. People need to get a grip, blow out some air, count to ten, and laugh and relax. As one who shared "The Lorax" with my kiddos many years, I got a big laugh at the thought of the Grinch serving up free range Lorax for Christmas dinner. It is deliciously politically correct and incorrect at the same time. How on Earth you visit 200 posts is beyond me? Enjoy your rest ~ hope it involves rocking out with your guitar and maybe singing some Christmas carols!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I almost used political correctness as my answer. I watched Ex Machina with my son and daughter. We were all creeped out and not sure if we liked it. It was more like a horror movie than what we expected. I haven't caroled since I was a teenager.

L.G. Keltner said...

Mary-Your caroling tip is a good one!

Sarah-That's probably around the same age I last sang in public as well. It's something I generally avoid.

Christine-I've done that too!

Shell Flower-Thank you!

A Beer For the Shower-That works! Showers are probably the best place for caroling anyway.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jeremy, I'm stoked for Civil War as well!

Karen, and it is still growing. So much for blogging being dead.

Christine, I have been watching!

Michael, so was I. Ex Machina was much better.

Shell, that is too much.

Brandon and Bryan, didn't see it coming!

Tamara, that made me laugh!

Natalie, thanks, and I did.

Fundy, yeah! Just relax and eat your Lorax, people.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I skipped going to the Peanuts Movie with my husband and daughter. Maybe if it had been I Think Linus Has Been Drinking, Charlie Brown I would have chosen differently. said...

I'll take the rejected banana stocking stuffer, Alex. Kidding. Or am I?

I agree about the extreme of political correctness. On the other hand, I unfriended a facebook/real-life friend because he insists that political correctness is "bullsh*t." Some sensitivity is needed - heck, tons of sensitivity is needed - in this world. I know you're with me on that.

Have a nice week.

Arlee Bird said...

I've never seen anyone caroling in my neighborhood and I'm not going to start the tradition. Besides, I won't be home during the Christmas season.

I'm with you on the PC stuff. It's gotten ridiculous. Younger people and college students have become the worst. Today "freedom of speech" only applies if the listener agrees totally, anything otherwise can get the speaker in big trouble. It's really stupid!

Arlee Bird
Wrote By Rote

Unknown said...

I need to catch up on my blog-visiting, Alex. Visiting your blog reminds me how far behind I am!

Karen Baldwin said...

Ex Machina sounds like my kind of movie. And I agree - the PC in the U.S. is getting out of hand. Our country was founded on free speech. My mouth will not be edited...not that I want to say insensitive things, but I do have a right to my opinion.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

RiffTrax needs to rag on Tomorrowland for taking too damn long to get to the actual place. *Eye twitch* Turned out to be the most disappointing movie of 2015 for me. Why Disney, why? Ex Machina sounds like my kind of movie. Yes Alex I will give this movie a good ol' look see.

Sorry I don't do Caroling or any other out door Christmas stuff. Yeah...ok.

The social convention I would get rid of is the one that makes us think we have the right to rag on an entire religion, race, culture, etc. for the wrongs of an extreme minority. Not all black people are criminals/violent, white people are not all racists and Muslims are not all terrorist waiting to kill non believers. Stop it!

Have fun off the grid Alex and thanks for being on it today. Hugs.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm laughing at some of those movies. Linus has been drinking. " Lol

stephen Hayes said...

Will Walter White Santa leave "Crystal Blue Persuasion" in my X-mas stocking? I've been a good boy this year.

cleemckenzie said...

Thanks for all the Christmas cheer! :-) Fortunately, all my kids are beyond the Santa years, so no long lines and no screaming when he pulls them on his lap. Already done that one. Ex Machina is on my to see list. It sounds intriguing. I've been out of the loop, but hope to catch up. Have missed these posts.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Congrats to all who have new publishing!!

I might like ex Machina. Hmmm. I'll be thinking on it.

I did enjoy my third IWSG. So much fun.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I first saw Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey upon its theatrical release in 1968. The spacecraft's on board computer, HAL 9000, and its role as the main antagonist of the story, ignited my interest in artificial intelligence. I don't require exploding screens to be entertained and therefore believe I would enjoy the quiet, thought-provoking film Ex Machina.

Thanks, Alex!

Carrie-Anne said...

With a title like Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, I kind of have to wonder if the creators intended for it to be total garbage!

I agree some people are far too sensitive about things which weren't meant to be offensive. I'm particularly annoyed by the radical transactivists these days, who are so quick to label someone "transphobic" for something like saying a woman looks like a man or not wanting to date someone with the body parts of a gender you're not attracted to. I'm actually thinking of writing a rant on a related subject on my blog!

Joanne said...

Caroling tip - more cowbell (yes, stealing from SNL). Your review of Ex Machina was spot on - very thought provoking indeed. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny sounds like a wacky hoot. I think you've got the Christmas spirit - I laughed at several of your messages. Have a good week and keep laughing

Suzanne Furness said...

I do like to hear the traditional carols at Christmas and a festive movie is good to get you in the spirit.
Sorry I missed IWSG this month, I wasn't feeling so good last week.

Catherine Stine said...

Hi Alex, I have been SOOO busy with my new novel release I have not had a moment before now to read the blogs or post. This is the first time and I always love reading yours because there is so much to sample. Cheers!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I love Ex Machina. I saw it last year when I went to visit Portland, Oregon. I still haven't seen a Riff Trax show. And I love the caroling tips (especially the one about the ugly sweater).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, there is a balance.

Lee, exactly! I almost added that to my post.

Sheena-kay, well said. And Tomorrowland would make for great RiffTrax fodder.

Stephen, he just might!

Teresa, glad you joined us.

Shady, you would definitely like it then.

Carrie-Anne, be curious to read it if you do!

Joanne, I am here to amuse.

Suzanne, no worries.

nashvillecats2 said...

Enjoyed your varied post, especially the qoutes.

L.G. Keltner said...

Sheena-kay-Don't worry, I don't do all that much outdoors stuff for Christmas either. I'm not a fan of freezing.

Joanne-Yes! Cowbell makes everything more fun!

Suzanne-I hope you're feeling much better this week! I have a selection of Christmas movies I turn to in order to get me into the festive mood.

Unknown said...

LOL on some of those fact cards! On the topic of sensitivity and social platforms, a part of me would love to be rid of Twitter...(please no one hate me for saying that). I read a tweet the other day by Ayesha Curry, who stated that she'd rather cover up the "goods" for her marriage/husband and would rather stay classy (in relation to fashion and clothes). And people got all sensitive about it--saying she was body shaming. I'm appalled. I agree with her statement and can't fathom why people would get so offended. Anyway, it can get pretty ridiculous out there in social media land.

Sandra Cox said...

Hats off to you for being such a great blogger bud, I don't see how you keep up.

Stephen Tremp said...

Alex, I have to agree about PC to the extreme. Love Jerry Seinfeld's take that politically correct college students 'don't know what the hell they're talking about.'

L.G., to wifey's dismay I'm always changing Christmas lyrics to what I think is funny, but it usually has to do with farting.

Stephen Tremp said...

Sorry, but I just don;t know of a PC way to say farting. And if there is, I don;w want to know. Really, I don't.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Like Anna, I really enjoyed those "fact" cards. PC is just the mind-set of those who insist you have to speak in ways the herd does, but the herd changes as you travel until you become like the rooster on a weather vane, spinning in the wind!

Thanks for the review -- I can watch EX MACHINA free on Prime. I think I will do just that tomorrow. :-)

Chemist Ken said...

200 blogs on one day is amazing! I understand why you're beat afterwards. Still I'm grateful you're still managing to keep the blog tour going. Thanks, Alex.

Robyn Campbell said...

L.G., I can't sing. So I definitely only have one caroling tip. Don't go with me. *snort* My hubby sings, though. Poor guy. Married to tin ear. Loved tip #4. LOL.

I am sick of political correctness. I'm also sick of the school systems that make the entire student body winners. We have to learn how to lose in life. Sometimes we will. UGH.

Ex Machina sounds great. Must tell hubby about your review.

Alex, you are amazing to visit all those blogs. No need for forgiveness, my friend.

SpacerGuy said...

I've marked Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny down as a must see. Thanks LG for the enlightenment about Christmas carols, I'll be keeping my eyes open for the ugly 3D sweaters, lol. Ex Machina sounds interesting, I'll have to spread the word! Count me in for the Christmas Blog Hop, its the Trekking Season of Good Spirits!

D.G. Hudson said...

I'd like to see Ex Machina, as robots fascinate me. The dilemma about whether they can become self reasoning and step outside their programming is the problem. We don't want machines to control humans, but there is also the questions of cloning and androids. . .
Agreeing to disagree is the civil way to defuse tense discussions of our differences in opinion. Good point about taking things to the extreme, Alex. If we do that, we sound like Trump de trump trump.

Murees Dupè said...

I saw Ex Machina and remember being really quiet after. I get why she did what she did, but I still kind of felt bad for the young programmer. The inventor had it coming, because for some reason that guy just gave me the creeps from the start.

I agree. People are allowed to disagree. As long as we can respect one another, things should be fine. I wish the human race could be more tolerant of each other, and like you said, not so sensitive about everything. There is far too much hate going around.

Hope you have a lovely week/ weekend ahead.

Elephant's Child said...

LOVED the snarky carolling tips. And hope, so much, that none of the carollers who live near me read them.
I am a fence sitter on political correctness. Too many jokes were just plain hurtful and disrespectful. And they almost always targetted minorities. When there is a collection of 'rich white man' jokes I will accept that we have no need for political correctness.

Karen Lange said...

Nice to see L.G. here. Wishing her well! Enjoy the break, Alex. Will be posting once more this year too. Hard to believe the year is nearly over already!

farawayeyes said...

I really enjoyed E Machina and have had many interesting discussions regarding the premise since. Great review. I also like Dohrmall Gleeson, kind of a geeky type guy who is really a pretty good actor, IMO. Loved him in 'About Time' - a great flick about time travel without really seeming to sci-fyie.

Still so overwhelmed I missed another IWSG, although I did make it by some of the other posts. Maybe I'll get my act together enough to make in back in January.

J E Oneil said...

I'm a patient viewer and like things that are quiet and thought-provoking. Sounds good to me.

I don't think there's anything wrong with political correctness. I'm not talking about a difference of opinion, but things that really are denigrating and ignorant. Of course there are people who go too far and say you can't joke about anything ever, and they're wrong. But there are also people who get dismissed as "politically correct" because they say don't use gay as a pejorative and frankly, I'm with that group. I don't think it's a case of people being too sensitive. I think it's a case of a lot of people not being sensitive enough.

Elizabeth said...

Alex, thank you so much for sharing my blog hop :) You are so helpful and I appreciate all you do with the IWSG!

I agree with you on political correctness, it keeps many people silent because they are afraid that sharing their own thoughts could offend someone.

L.G., I like tips 1 and 3 :) I would love it if someone came to my house with some TSO. Another fun non-singing song would be Sleigh Ride, I think I could handle some of the percussion parts :)

BB said...

I couldn't agree more Alex. It's gotten so ridiculously out of hand. Good answer!

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't had carollers at my door in years - wish they still visited!
Love those screenshots - definitely laugh-out-loud worthy :)

Stephanie Faris said...

Do people still carol? Maybe in smaller towns? Or richer neighborhoods, perhaps! I can't sing, so you'll never see me out there.

Susan Kane said...

Boy howdy, I am with you on the P/C! The one person who saw suspicious activity near the San Bernardino killers did not call 911 because he didn't want to be accused for racial profiling. Poor guy, what he must feel.

Saw Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny! It was perfect for RiffTrax! Why oh why did they throw in Jack and the Giant Killer?? Why didn't Santa be a little proactive in digging the sleigh out of the sand. Monkeys?
It was awesomely bad.

Ray Rousell said...

Quite fancy Ex Machina, looks good?

Tyrean Martinson said...

I admit, I'm one of those who loves caroling . . . at the top of my lungs with lots of other people doing the same. I can definitely hear it when people are out of tune, but I enjoy singing anyway, and hearing everyone sing - making a joyful "noise" together.
However, I can dig a good "Carol of the Bells" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, too. :)

Love L.G. Keltner's book. I've been sick the last three days it was one of those books that I read on a slightly feeling better part of the weekend. The humor is awesome, and she caught that awesome teen tone just right. Go, L.G.!

Movies - I've seen the older, less snazzy movie that I think Ex Machine is based upon, and I liked it. I'll have to check out Ex Machina one of these days. I'm currently forcing my family through all the old Star Wars movies before we go to the latest one. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Anna, body shaming? See, that's what I mean.

Sandra, some days I don't!

Stephen, that made me chuckle.

Roland, that's a great analogy.

Ken, I will soldier forward!

Robyn, exactly! There are losers in life.

DG, and he is just crazy.

Murees, I felt bad for him as well.

Karen, I know!

Faraway, I hope so.

Elizabeth, you're welcome!

Barb, thanks!

Susan, so awesome you saw it!! Yeah, why didn't Santa just walk away???

Tyrean, Ex Machina is much better.

Andrew Leon said...

I was Santa.

L.G. Keltner said...

Stephen-I sure hope there's no PC way to say farting. That would be horrifying!

Robyn-Great tip! :)

Spacerguy-Some 3D sweaters look like they might bite, so watch out!

Elephant's Child-Thank you!

Elizabeth-You clearly have good taste!

Stephanie-I've never seen carolers where I live, but I've heard that some people still do it. Some family members of mine suggested we do it one year, but a few of us quickly shut that idea down.

Tyrean-Some people do love caroling, and that's cool! I wish I could sing well enough to pull it off. And thanks for buying my book and for your kind words! You made my day!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Ha, ha. Great caroling tips. Out here in the country, I'd be caroling the coyotes and other wild varmints. They wouldn't care whether I could sing or not.
As usual, I haven't seen anything.
Enjoyed IWSG last week. Met a couple of new people.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Alex, I've never even heard of Ex Machina. I'll be on the lookout.

I love LG's cover!!! And I wish her much success!!!

Tonja Drecker said...

I had to laugh at the 94 mins before Santa trauma. Congrats, LG! And 200 blog visits is Simply wow.

Anonymous said...

Great tips, LG!

I agree with you, Alex, on the PC stuff. Yes, be respectful and mindful of hurtful words, but some of this stuff is going overboard. Censorship is bad, mmkay.

Liz A. said...

I thought Plan 9 from Outer Space was the worst film ever made. I read that someplace once. Not that I've ever seen it to verify. (I know the worst film I ever saw. One I'd rather forget.)

I don't carol. My voice isn't bad, but I'm not into Christmas carols. Long story.

No worries if you don't visit my blog on IWSG days. I completely understand.

Jo said...

I definitely agree with your choice of social convention it is becoming stupid. Not only that, bending over backwards to not offend minorities. Drives me batty.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I enjoy some of the ISWG posts, though I don't belong to the community. I am still blown away by your numbers.

Agree on the PC-ness being carried too far. Most people seem to be in perma-outrage mode.

Enjoy your break!

Birgit said...

Gosh I am late but I have Christmas shopping and decorating as we all do. 200 you visit in 1 day!! Wowzers-we don't call you Ninja for nothing:) The movie actually sounds quite good. I think, if I went caroling, I would have a hidden tape of Julie Andrews singing and I would be mouthing the words pretending I sound like her instead of the banshee I actually sound like. Lip syncing was always done on every variety show back in the day so I can do it too:)

Helena said...

Sigh. L.G., like you I too can't sing, so your helpful hints might get me through the holidays.

A friend highly recommended Ex Machina, and I wish I had seen it in the theater (there's an art house type just a few blocks from me). But I'll catch it now on TV at least.

Alex, you're right about the political correctness problem. When comedians start to avoid college campuses because too many students complain about being emotionally hurt, we've got a big problem.

Patsy said...

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny? My first thought was 'who makes this stuff up?' but after a moment's thought, I'm way more puzzled by 'who the heck funds this stuff?'

Rhonda Albom said...

Christmas is different here, it's summer. We carol out on the beach after a day's sailing to one of the local islands. My best tip just involves having fun and enjoying friends, and ignoring the fact that I can't carry a tune. Ex Machina sounds pretty interesting and certainly better than the Santa and the Ice Cream bunny.

Nicola said...

I think everyone should sing, even if it is out of tune. It does the soul good. And if all involved have had a good helping of egg-nog, nobody will notice the dodgy notes. SING SING! SING! It's Christmas :)
Alex, I think you are the star of the blogging world and very much appreciate you dropping by so often. You must eat a lot of spinach :)
I've already downloaded L.G.'s new book and am looking forward to reading it over the festive season. Good luck with that L.G.
Wishing you all a great week!!

Truedessa said...

Good Morning Alex,

I agree on the PC thing this has gotten so out of hand. While I believe we should be respectful in some situations, censorship is never a good idea. Then what telling us what we can read or watch? I don't like where all this is going...jmo..

Tips on caroling...the only place I see that is at the mall or on those Victorian Christmas Strolls they have around here. I would gladly bring my drum for a rat a tat...The Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorites. I just heard it at the mall some kids were singing raising money for the Salvation Army and I came around the corner to that song, I had to stop and listen and drop some money in the kettle. The kids just beamed..

Enjoy your time off are amazing...somewhere on a distant star an adventure awaits...

Unknown said...

Yep, totally with you. People will disagree with even your most firmly-held beliefs.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Beverly, the coyotes might just howl along with you.

Patricia, it is overboard.

Liz, I've seen. Manos and Ice Cream Bunny are worse. And you know I'll visit anyway.

Jo, so true.

Birgit, that's funny.

Helena, big problem.

Patsy, that is the real question.

Thanks, Nicola!

Good morning, Truedessa! And it it headed in that direction.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I still haven't seen Ex Machina yet and who knows when I'll get around to it

kaykuala said...

The grandees have not insisted on the Ex Machina. Being involved with robots it is an attraction, It is frightening given their propensity at self-reasoning that they might act like human. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny is also a fine bet!


Anonymous said...

I totally admire your stamina, Alex. I struggle on an ordinary day to visit the blogs that I follow - many of them added on IWSG visits in the past. Some days, I can get 100 emails and almost half are links to fascinating articles. (Great distraction from writing, except I can't drag my desktop into the bathroom, where I do my best scribbling.)

Dean K Miller said...

Nice twists on caroling, L.G. I wonder how many Carols go caroling and how they feel about verbing their names. Riff Trax rules it again.
Thanks Alex, for the IWWSG work you do.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Wow - 200 blogs?! How on earth do you manage that? That's really impressive.

Social conventions.'s hard to think of one I'd get rid of. The one you chose is great. I'd actually like to adopt a new one - that people turn off their phones when they're out with others. Nothing is more frustrating than to be enjoying dinner with a friend, only to have it interrupted by a text or phone call from her spouse or mother.

I miss the days when people let voice mail pick up their calls.

Tess Julia said...

I can't believe you visit 200 posts on Wednesday! You put me to shame. I do deeply appreciate all the visits you make to my blog and the comments.

Michelle Wallace said...

I love L.G's's quirky cute!
Getting rid of social conventions? Mmm. Lots come to mind.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm pretty tired of political correctness, too. And I don't like rewriting history or banning books or refusing to let kids "win" a competition.

What I do like is respect and good manners and people who smile. :D

Anonymous said...

I love laugh out loud movies. Thank you for the shout out. I don't care for political correctness.

Cherie Reich said...

Tip #1 should happen all the time, not only during Christmas. Great caroling tips, L.G.!

Unknown said...

ha, did not see ice cream bunny! And I had no idea it took 94 mins to wait for Santa...whenever I see those lines at the mall I'm amazed anyone would wait that long! And the kids always scream bloody murder.

Anonymous said...

I've never caroled before! I'd really like to see Ex Machina, looks pretty good and the way you talked about it.. I'll have to see if Redbox has it. I'm also going to have to check out this Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, haha!

Donna McDine said...

Never heard of Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny. Might be good for a good old laugh. Your visiting capability through cyberspace astounds me!

Sandra Cox said...

I didn't see Ex Machina but we watched Selfless this weekend. It was good and sounds on the order of Ex Machina. Although this one did have action in it.

Toi Thomas said...

These are good caroling tips. My family gave up on public caroling a long time ago. Now we just rent a van and drive around singing to ourselves as we look at lights.
Ex Machina sounds like my kind of movie. I have a thing for machines, robots, A.I. etc...
I just barely made my IWSG post last week, but missing it would have devastated me. Still I wish I could have visited more people than I did.
I agree; political correctness is getting a bit out of hand.

Unknown said...

I will have to tell my hubby about Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, haha. And thank you L.G. for the tips. :)

Unknown said...

I will have to tell my hubby about Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, haha. And thank you L.G. for the tips. :)

Unknown said...

You visit two hundred blogs in one day? I stand in awe.

Misha Gerrick said...

I'm adding Ex Machina to my to-watch list. :-)

Congrats to everyone releasing books!

Have a good weekend, Alex!

Crystal Collier said...

Bwahaha! Wear an ugly sweater... I think I should go caroling this Christmas. I'm totally a singer and 2 of my children are as well. Methinks that's a tradition our new neighborhood needs to have.

So um, I think I'll pass on Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny for rewatching the original Star Wars movies with the kids.

Loni Townsend said...

Ha, those RiffTrax cards are great. I like #2, but I've never figured out how to play one of the darn things.

M Pax said...

I do not have a copy of Santa and the Bunny. Tragic.

LG, lol, on your tips. I would love to do the drum solo. I suck at singing too.

I'm not sure things are really so PC. I think we're all brainwashed by the media as to what to think and feel. However, it's always good to be charitable when speaking, feeling, and thinking.

John Wiswell said...

I've never actually seen a Christmas Caroler in real life. Except maybe at a mall, where they congregate for the whole day? But certainly not at my door.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Roland, that was almost TMI.

JH, that's a good one!

Patricia, Amen!

Medeia, you're welcome.

Sandra, I'll have to catch that one.

Toi, that made me laugh!

Melanie, yes I do...

John, neither have I.

Li said... conventions...I'd like to get rid of the idea that a gift MUST be reciprocated with a gift. If I give someone a gift - even if it's just an ornament or a poinsettia - it's because I WANTED them to have it. It makes me sad that people feel embarrassed and feel stressed if they don't have something in return. Worse are those who count up what they got, get angry because they spent more than the other person, etc. I wish that gift giving was just "No strings attached". You give what you can and what you feel, and accept whatever you get with an open heart.

An ugly 3D sweater sounds like just the thing. Especially if it's got lots of bells on it. Then I could go caroling and just jump up and down and leave the singing to others.

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Julie Flanders said...

I second your answer to the question of the month. It's gone so far now it's very tedious.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Alex!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

In the UK, wearing an ugly Christmas sweater is a tradition. Of course, they don't call them ugly. That's me speaking. And if anyone should ask, I didn't say "ugly". I said fabulous. Okay? Ex Machina... I'm a wuss. I didn't like the ending. Domhnall is left behind, and that just made me so sad. He hadn't deserved to be locked up.

Sherry Ellis said...

I think kids should bring kazoos when standing in line to wait for Santa Claus. I bet that would make things move a little faster!

The Happy Whisk said...

I don't play the PC game. It's just gone beyond stupid. Loving to hear how much you laughed. That's the best.

Happy Christmas and boogie boogie.

Belle Unruh said...

L.G.Keltner, Your book looked like it would be wonderfully funny, so I got it on Kindle. I love reading about crazy families. It makes me nostalgic. Thanks for hosting.

My husband watched Ex Machina while I was an innocent bystander. I thought it was good. Very good. As for caroling at Xmas, I once was bit by a St.Bernard while caroling therefore, my advice is to wear thick clothes. Luckily, I was doing so and he didn't bite through to my arm. He hung on though.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Sometimes, I feel that you work too hard. For me visiting 200 blogs on IWSG day would be mind boggling. I am sure I would not manage to visit even 100. Maybe if I just visited blogs the whole day, I could manage. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance. Have a relaxed break and don't think of work at all.

T.F. Walsh said...

Loved all your facts... Didn't realize that about Santa and kids being traumatised.

Haven't seen Ex Machina, but it sure does sound good.

DMS said...

I haven't seen anyone Christmas caroling since I was little- though it always looks like fun. Lots of great books coming out.

klahanie said...

Hey Alex,

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny. Well, having spent time as a patient, patient in a mental institution, this might make for fascinating viewing, perhaps.

I'm Dreaming of a Shite Christmas!

Nice to see LG, here. And, of course, that's not a reference to a brand of electrical products. Tolerating family is quite the concept as I now head out and do my best to aggravate Carol singers, in my case.

What social convention would I get rid of? Does this count? I'd get rid of those blog hops, blog fests and anything to do with a weird fascination of the alphabet. Then again, IWSG aka "I Was Seeking Gary", I shall consider an exception.

I'm going now...Gary ..... said...

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny sounds delightfully bad. You sold me on Ex Machina. Ill have to check it out sometime.

The social convention I'd do away with? Hmm... Political correctness tops my list as well. It turns conversations into one-sided monologues. It has also erased the idea from the general collective that you can listen and entertain an idea intellectually without necessarily agreeing with it. If we truly lose that, then we've lost a lot.

DL Hammons said...

Ex Machina is one of those flix that I'm glad I watched...thought provoking...but I would have been disappointed if I saw it at the theater and paid $9. :)

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

So glad I stopped by here for the laughs and the introspection, as well!
Thanks for a great year and here's to 2016, Alex!

LynNerdKelley said...

Those pre-show screen shots are pretty funny, especially the free range Lorax! Thanks for the review on Ex Machina. I was wondering if it's a good movie.

I agree with Michael, to get rid of political correctness. It's all ridiculous.

Merry Christmas, Alex!

Mason T. Matchak said...

Hmm. I don't think it's political correctness (or as I think of it, "treating others with respect") that's the problem. I think the problem is seeing differences between people as something to be hated and feared. If people would accept that others being different than them - in whatever matters, be it race, gender, sexuality, religion, political belief, what-have-you - is not a threat to their way of life, we'd have a great deal fewer problems. >_< But no, too many people want to lash out at others for being different than them. It's sad, really.

Didn't mean to get all philosophical in here, but your last section got me thinking.

EEGiorgi said...

Congratulations LG! And I *must* watch ex-machina over the holidays, I can't believe I still haven't seen it ...

Shannon Lawrence said...

Ex Machina was good, and I'm not usually someone who can patiently sit through a slow movie these days.

We've only had carolers once through here. At least that I'm aware of. We usually have our doorbell off. I'm loving the weird horror ugly sweaters popping up.

Leovi said...

Fascinating!! Ex Machina interesting movie !!

M Pax said...

Thanks for the blitz, and a very Merry Christmas to you and your wife.

Deniz Bevan said...

That carol of the bells on repeat works for me, as I can't sing! Wish I could :-)
I agree with you that as long as we respect the other person, we ought to lighten up on the joking!

Theresa Milstein said...

How many minutes for a mall Santa?!? Good thing my kids are Jewish. ;)