Sergeant Says Happy Holidays!

The Holidays are a time filled with family and cheer. What better way to spend Christmas than with text you can cut and paste into your Christmas cards:

Sergeant: Sergeant says stand on one foot.

The whole platoon stands on one leg.

Sergeant: Sergeant says Happy Holidays.

Platoon: Happy Holidays!

Sergeant: Sergeant says twirl your gun like a baton.

The whole platoon swings their guns like batons.

Sergeant: Kill that innocent civilian!

One soldier shoots a bystander.

Sergeant: Ooooo Sergeant didn’t say! Jimmy is out!

Merry Christmas from wontchangetheworld.com and I’ll see you next year.

Give yourself rock this Christmas. Direct your browser to: http://thespiral.bandcamp.com for a free rock album download from wontchangetheworld.com to you!

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The Goonies – 2005

In celebration of visiting Oregon this Christmas, I decided to round up an Oregon related Bunny Droppings file. Ever wonder what those Astoria based 80’s adventurers are doing twenty years later? Here’s a chance to find out:

Chunk – Became a male stripper. Incorporated the truffle shuffle into his set. Widely successful. Had three seasons on Saturday Night Live. Died of a cocaine habit.

Mouth – Works as a translator for the Secret Service. Caused an international incident while house sitting for George W. Bush. Now lives in Des Moines.

Mikey – Never really did find a girlfriend despite Andy’s encouragement. Everyone thought the inverted penis was a joke.

Data – In competition for every Asian stereotype, he is the owner of a large robotics company. Comical mishaps later, he created Number 5 from Short Circuit.

Brand – Blew all his money in Vegas. Works as a gas station clerk in Astoria. Can sometimes be seen riding a little girl’s bike in the backyard. Humming to himself.

Andy – Bitter after Brand blew all his money in Vegas, she turned to a life of using men. She bought fast cars as used the rear-view mirror to look down their shirts.

Stef – What would she do without her glasses? Lasik surgery.

Sloth – Became a body model for Calvin Klein – CK-IT. Does slam poetry on weekends.

The Fratellis – Winner of the Oregon State Penitentiary Barbershop Quartet Award. Sloth is the mysterious fourth member.

Update 2010:

Chunk – After the James Doohan Disaster, less important ashes were rocketed into space. Other ashes included in the capsule are President Adar, Moff Jerjerrod, Wilhelmina ‘Willie’ Scott, and Crispin Glover.

Mouth – Caused another international incident under the Obama administration. Now he is never allowed in North Korea again.

Mikey – After reconstructive surgery, he became a porn star. The old Mikey would never kiss the painting. The new Mikey always kisses the painting.

Data – Sick of Asian stereotypes about technology, he sold everything. He now lives in a wigwam chanting, “Om… lali lali. Om… lali lali” for twenty three hours a day. The other hour, he speaks to the public, whom line up for miles hoping to hear wisdom. He tells them the importance of opening a 401k early. The public leaves miffed. They wanted to hear “Confucius type wisdom and shit.”

Brand – He is now the manager of the gas station. The little girl’s bike collection in his garage is a little disturbing but mostly harmless.

Andy – Fast cars and rear-view mirrors are part of the past. She is now seeking to reconnect to her roots in Astoria. The romantic comedy brews when she happens to meet Brand at the gas station. Unfortunately, she later opens his garage and finds the bikes.

Stef – What would she do without her glasses? With her new found vision, her path is clear: world domination. She currently resides in a tropical island volcano.

Sloth – After the kid from Mask toppled his modeling empire, Sloth needed a change. He focused his vast wealth and time to documentary film making. Unfortunately, documentaries like The High Cost of Low Prices, Super Size Me, and The Cove, beat out his self proclaimed masterpieces: Baby Ruth, Rocky Road, and Sloth Loves Chunk.

The Fratellis – Now that they are finally out of prison, they opened a restaurant. Unfortunately, The Fratelli’s Hideaway’s famous dirt flavored water and hand tossed in your face pizza really keeps them struggling for honest work.

Vegas Baby

My wife and I decided to take our unofficial honeymoon in Vegas. The official will be in Europe but that’s a little ways off and we wanted to do something relatively close after our wedding. So we packed the car, my sister, and headed to Vegas. My sister was a stow away. Before any of you think we are a wild and crazy couple prone crazy spur of the moment trips, my whole family was there.

Vegas, somehow the Las is always removed, has the allure of the place to party, America’s adult playground, and of course the movie Swingers. Vegas has a myth built around the city. Most people think going to the City of Sin involves partying so crazy that the phrase “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” truly applies. Telling your co-workers you are going to Vegas is like saying “I’m going to bungy jump from an airplane, then skydive to an small platform on the ocean during a hurricane this weekend.”

For me, Vegas has always been a different experience. As New Mexican, I must always explain Las Vegas, Nevada not New Mexico. Most New Mexicans look at you inquisitively when you excitedly say “I’m going to Las Vegas this weekend!”

Las Vegas, New Mexico is a small town in up north of Santa Fe. Youths escape the town to the giant metropolis of Albuquerque. Grandpa on his porch is why the youths are trying to escape. He pokes at them with his cane. At least in Albuquerque, the grandpa’s are packing. No that is not a joke. A lady was being stabbed to death at a Wal-mart (when they rollback, they really rollback) and a 72 year old man shot her assailant.

The confusion slowly recedes from our co-workers when we explain Nevada is the intended destination. Then they think of hurricanes and skydiving. However, for me, Vegas reminds me of being young, family vacations, and road trips. I’ve been going to Vegas my entire life. My grandparents lived out there when I was a kid. I can remember winning a giant armload of stuffed animals from Circus Circus (back in days before a winner at Circus Circus would get an giant armload of crack and hookers).

My grandparents lived in this small apartment complex with a outdoor, unheated pool. I swam on Christmas Day for the first and only time in my life at the desert city of Vegas. When the Excalibur was being built, my brother and I anxiously awaited the hotel themed after our Dungeons and Dragons adventures. Imagine our delight to watch jousting and eat with our fingers.

I grew older and Vegas didn’t fade into childhood memories. In my early twenties, I hung with the goths, cyber punk, and hacker crowd.  Defcon, the yearly hacker convention, happened in Vegas so we went to Vegas year after year. Although my friends weren’t really hackers, just geeks that liked the atmosphere. We would get a kick out of yelling, “Hack the planet!” in line for the New York, New York roller coaster to a cheering crowd.

This weekend was yet another chapter in the Vegas years. Some hotels stayed solid and unchanged, like the Flamingo and Harrah’s. Others expanded to a size that could be an entire city, like Cesar’s Palace. New hotels, like the Aria, filled the concrete and metal landscape. But somehow amidst the constant change, the city stayed the same.

Vegas is a manufactured reality. Ancient tombs, ripe for exploration are at the Luxor. But really the tombs were just a marginal hotel far from everything else and our feet at least, wished we stayed closer to the middle. The Venetian has canals with boat rides down a European like city for simple wait in line for an hour, with a bored looking attendant at the mall. Paris is almost like the city or at least what American’s expect from France. “Ya’ll got some craps! I want craps!” That’s crepes sir. Crepes.

Despite the best efforts to convince the wandering crowds about the “culture” in the hotel, the experience is almost totally American. Endless stretches of shopping malls, bars, shows, and of course gambling make the entertainment maze of Vegas. There is plenty of free trams but only between hotels owned by the same company. The real New York is easier to navigate than ten square blocks of the Vegas Strip.

One night, while we were hanging out with some friends at the New York, New York, I said sarcastically, “It’s like being in the real New York!”

My friend, Phil, said with the same sense of sarcasm, “Almost indistinguishable.”

He and his fiancé lived in Brooklyn for a while. They know the real New York, yet we decided to hang out in the manufactured version. American’s place a high value on authenticity. I’m going to “keep it real” in the equivalent of a photocopy of another place. Yet we go back. I will probably always go back.

For most people Vegas is the memories of hangovers, shotgun weddings, and other crazy times. For me, Vegas is candy canes, Christmas presents, early twenties road trips at midnight, and now my unofficial honeymoon. My wife, my family, and my friends are all connected Vegas. The people around me is the important part of Vegas, the reason I’ll go back. And before I get too sentimental, here’s link my wife sent me: how to gift wrap a cat.