Category Archives: Bloggy Friends

Oscar Contest Results!

Congratulations to everyone who answered this year’s
Cocky & Rude Oscar Contest! Here are the results:

8th Place (6 correct) – Michelle M, Polt & VUBOQ
7th Place (7 correct) – John Eliot & David S. II
6th Place (9 correct) – Tam
5th Place (10 correct) – Craig & Mr. Sombrero
4th Place (14 correct) – TwoPi
3rd Place (15 correct) – Patricia M.
2nd Place (16 correct) – Jimmy O. & Adam
1st Place (17 correct) – Mikey & FDot

Here’s the break down:


Congratulations Mikey & FDot!

Note: I know that I said I’d select a winner … but with no prize this year, I’ve decided to let Mikey & FDot share the honor of winning. Hope you guys don’t mind! Congratulations!


The Great 2014 Gift Exchange!!

To Mush / From Tam


OMG I’M SO GLAD TAM GOT MY NAME because I LOVE THESE SO BAD YOU GUYS. Two woven pashmina scarves. Two! Warm, soft, international. ALL MINE. I love these, Tam. Especially the large one, which I’m wearing wrong-side-out in this picture because I like it that way AND I CAN BECAUSE IT’S WOVEN AND THEREFORE TWO-SIDED.

I have a habit of sitting on the living room floor with my laptop on the coffee table while internetting. These wraps are perfect for keeping off the winter drafts and I’ve been wearing them regularly. The large one will probably end up as a meditation shawl because it’s so large and awesome.

I have a shitty acrylic version of these wraps, actually; I bought it a few years ago at a truck stop in the mountains on the way back from a gig because I was chilly. It gets compliments, but I’m going to BURN IT because it’s such a poor copy of these, the real thing. These are gorgeous and will be well-used.

Thank you so much, Tam!

To Mikey / From Craig


Craig knew exactly what to get for the tv snob in me. Oh wait, that’s all of me. He got me an amazing 30 Rock mug with a portrait of the incredible Liz Lemon (née Tina Fey) on one side and the phrase “A splash of lemon” on the other side AND a never-nude pint sized Tobias Fünke. Sure I’m living in the TV of latter days, but I’m thrilled. Thanks, Craig!!!!

To Michelle M / From Justin



I received my gifts from Justin. He sent me a blue bookmark (I love blue! And I love books!). This will come in handy as I’m a terrible dog-earer. He also gave me a beautiful hand made leather notebook to jot down all my doodles and million dollar ideas in. Last, but not least, he sent the perfect gift – a sparkly little budgie ornament. Every tree should have one. Thank you so much Justin!!

To Harry M / From David P



Dave P. sent me a 6 pack of Bell’s Porter beer, some Ghirardelli chocolate and two seed cakes for the flock. A big thank you from the flock and me!

To VUBOQ / From Mush


I received two Sci-Fi related gifts from my exchange person, Mush. First, she sent a Dalek-shaped dish scrubber. I will be able to exterminate all baked on food and grime with it. Second, she sent the Light of Eärendil. It will be a light for me in dark places, when all other light has failed. Thanks so much, Mush for these practical, yet science fiction-y, gifts!

To Nathan / From Ty


This year I received a delicious box of strange Japanese Kit Kats. I was really confused because Ty’s card arrives two days after the chocolates and I had no idea why I’d had chocolates arrive at my door (secret admirer?). They were delicious, even the wasabi flavoured ones. Thanks Ty!

To DrPara / From TwoPi



To push off Adam’s wrath, I’m taking time out of drinking to write this! For my bloggie gift giver, I got TwoPi, who actually gave me, what I consider, the coolest gift I got this year. Sure, there was almond biscotti, and some fantastic music (the biscotti was served at a family gathering on Christmas day and the music was played for all of 20 seconds before my aunt gave me that look.) However, it was a day later that I got this amazing gift, as seen in the pics. A cocktail chemistry set, because as much as I love cock, cocktails are my total life (as we’ve seen many a times.) Thank you sir, this will get much use in the apartment over the next 3 months as barren shit winter wrecks my want to go anywhere.

To Ty / From FDot


FDot got me puzzles (in both calendar and book format), Reese’s spread (suck it, Nutella!) and a cheese slicer in the form of a Polaroid Instamatic (suck it, Kodak!). Both my brain and tummy are grateful!

To Tam / From Adam


Since Adam is so mean, here is a pic from my sick bed. *cue violin music*

Anyway, due to screwy mail rules to get things to me, I asked my Santa to send me a card (see photo) and make a charity donation. My Santa Adam (who can be mean but made it on the nice list for this) made a donation to the Fund for Global Human Rights (insert Link). They support LGBTI, women’s and children’s rights around the world with only 10% of the funds going to admin. Thank you, Adam for a great choice and maybe some of that will be used in my part of the world.

To TwoPi / From Nathan


I haven’t gotten a package (yet?), but thought I could at least send a photo of me and Elvis celebrating Crit’mas. (Photo taken from our dining room, looking through the new (under construction) window to the kitchen.)

But then his gift arrived…


My gift came from Nathan, in Japan, and is an amazing taste of Japanese culture. In the photo I’m holding up a handkerchief/scarf from the Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum, in Osaka. They are known for their collection of Kamigata woodblock prints of Kabuki actors dating to the 17th century. Just below that on the left is a wine glass, and if you look closely you’ll see a young female elf in a Christmas stocking, perched on the rim. The papers that came with it indicate this is one of a series of 6 Christmas themed figurines, but I don’t know the larger context. Next to that is a cd of Babymetal, an awesome act that melds metal and j-pop, and has been one of the more controversial global metal acts from this past year. I can‘t possibly describe them in text, so please check out this video of one of their catchier songs.

Babymetal is a worthy addition to my collection of Japanese metal music. Awesome!

There is also a collection of snacks! From left to right:

· Yellow packaging, the only latin text “Ca+Fi”; snacks are star-shaped, puffy, brown; looks a bit like breakfast cereal; has a mocha flavor. This went over well with Heather and the boys.

· Large white package, with a big-headed yellow baby: strips that look like a cross between Fritos and corn husks; crisp; flavor is a little beefy? Could be Fritos, soaked in beef boullion, then dried and fried up crispy. I like them, but I’m in the minority.

· Blue package: “Mike” popcorn! A pretty straightforward popcorn, but there’s a curious taste to the salt – sea salt, or a hint of anchovy? A nice take on a salted snack.

· Box: “Milky”. Holds a bunch of wrapped candies, that look a bit like taffy. They’re white, and hard, flavor is of dairy – milk? Whipped cream? Something like that. Heather likes them the most of all of us.

· Card and strip: A strip of Pokeman themed packets of gum; the gum tastes very similar to juicyfruit. Not bad, but I feel like I’m foolishly opening the package and eating the gum from a collectable of some sort….

Nathan: Thank you!!! You rock!!!

To Xi-Heather / From Polt


My gift came from none other than the amazing Polt! He sent yarn, which Godzilla is already starting to make into a red and green striped hat, and Mama Polt’s baking (represented by an empty plate because, well, they were cookies and peanut brittle. And they were delicious.) And he also sent the Godzilla mug, which made me laugh with glee (enough that the 14-year old wondered what the heck great present I’d just gotten). Thanks Polt!

To Kristen / From Harry


I got the best gift ever because it involved JELLY FISH! Yes, Harry sent me a little packet of jelly related items, including some fun and festive jelly bellies! Not pictured here is a super cute card and chocolate bar I received. The little paperweight even glows in the dark but I’ve yet to try it out. GO JELLIES!

To Adam / From Mikey


Mikey gives the best gifts! He gave me Tod Browning’s ‘FREAKS’ – starring my beloved Pepper’s predecessors/inspirations! I’m also dazzling at the lovely smells of ‘Fifty Shades of Brown Lavatory Mist’. As many of you know, I’ve stopped pooping in 2015; but not everyone that I live with had the same New Year’s resolution. (I’m looking at you, Mr. Sombrero, Spring and Ollie!) And last but not least, Mikey bestowed upon me a ‘Mr. T In Your Pocket’ keychain soundboard that features such hits as, “I pity the fool!” and “First name: Mister, middle name: period, last name: T!” Thanks Mikey!

To Craig / From Michelle M.


Michelle got me this awesome Lego mug that is pretty much the best mug on the face of the planet. Even Lego Craig approves, and he’s very particular when it comes to mugs. She also gave me a delicious bag of chocolate treats which did not survive long enough to make it into the picture. Thanks Michelle!

To David P. / From VUBOQ


My bloggy exchange gifts came from my bloggy bestie Steven! Two awesome handmade Japanese-style tea mugs in the likenesses of my cats Lisa and Millhouse, cat toys, a cheap 80s porn DVD and a reusable Urban Outfitters canvas bag!!!!!

To Justin / From DrPara

So my gift-giver this round was Jason Galkus, aka @Jay_the_Gay, aka The Infamous Dr Para. Allen was best man in a wedding in Chicago this summer (which sadly caused us to miss Tam’s going away party slash Puntabucrowd reunion) and while we were there, we did in fact make a special trip down to the south side to meet Jay in person, so it was extra special fun to happen to end up with him as gift-giver this year J

I have to say, Jay was so amazingly generous – with a veritable bottomless cornucopia of gifts! He was so thoughtful, he even included a gift for Allen and one for Lisa!

Here is a photo of me holding the wrapped presents by the tree (one of my own extra-specially-humiliating Christmas hats included for readers’ amusement [hopefully Jay in particular will get a kick out of that]):


And another showing the extra goodies that Jay included on top of the wrapped ones, for me and Lisa:


and lastly I had poor Allen wear another equally-embarrassing elf hat to show off the present Jay sent specifically for him:


The unwrapped goodies were three bags of delicious gummy bears, plus Ghirardelli Chocolates for Allen and Lisa for which Jay included a note making it clear that I was to keep my paws off them 🙂 He will be happy to know that I have indeed obliged and not had a single one!

In addition to the pictured gifts, the entire box came with a USB flash drive loaded with music Jay thought I’d like, and a Christmas letter to go along with the gifts.

The three wrapped presents were particularly thoughtful. Jay included his own explanations in his letter, of each. First was a DVD of The Opposite of Sex, which has been in my list for years, so now I have no excuse not to watch it:


(and yes, Jay, I do own a copy of Rocky Horror Picture Show, to answer your question)

Next is W Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage:


… which I have not yet read either. This was an inspired choice, since Maugham is one of my absolute favorite authors, though I’ve only ever read his short stories. I’m truly thrilled with this gift and it’s going to be my next book as soon as I finish the book Allen got me for Christmas (Ghostwritten by David Mitchell)!

Last came a novel I had not yet heard of by another favorite author of mine:

… which I have not yet read either. This was an inspired choice, since Maugham is one of my absolute favorite authors, though I’ve only ever read his short stories. I’m truly thrilled with this gift and it’s going to be my next book as soon as I finish the book Allen got me for Christmas (Ghostwritten by David Mitchell)!

Last came a novel I had not yet heard of by another favorite author of mine:


… Jay had no way of knowing this, but I’ve always loved Tom Robbins. Jitterbug Perfume in particular is one of my favorite books of all time, so I’m truly looking forward to this!

All in all, I’m overawed with Jay’s thoughtful choices. And I did try not to eat all the gummy bears at once but (apart from the few Allen and Lisa managed to snag) they’re all long gone.

Thanks so much, Jason! Your gifts were truly lovely and thoughtful and I’m thrilled!

To: Talita / From: Heather


I received a cake boss flower pan, that I can not wait to make little cakes in. I also got a candle that I already started burning as you can see from the picture. And Arianna’s favorite part of the present Christmas treats, that she couldn’t wait to open! Thank you so much Heather, I love everything!

To: John / From: Kristen “The Kid”


I received my presents from Kristen (a.k.a. “The Kid). Kristen sent me a gift certificate from the Home Depot, which will be used to find the many projects I have to do around my house. This specifically will be used to purchase paint for my kitchen cabinets. Or perhaps new plants for my yard if I am too lazy to paint my cabinets….

Kristen also sent me the “Title” EP by Megan Trainor. While I am uncomfortable thinking about Kristen’s bass or lack there of, I can say that based on the lyrics of some of the songs, I am concerned for the welfare if her future husband…

Thank you for my presents Kristen! I am enjoying the cd and the gift cert will go to good use!

To: Polt / From: John


My Christmas Gift Sender was john eliot, and I got one of those AMAZING homemade artwork things he does! This is obviously of Superman, and its unfortunate you cant see all the intricate detail in the photo. I recognize the issue it came from, although I dont remember which title and number. And i know it’s based on John Byrne artwork (which means nothing to you if you’re not a comic book geek like me. but since I am, that makes it all the more awesome) I don’t how he does it, but this the simply incredible. Thanks john eliot! Now I just have to find the right place to put it in the house….

To: FDot / From: Marcus


My Bloggy gift arrived from MARCUS! It featured two items. 1. A lovely sheet of the most bizarre Disney stickers I’ve seen. I swear Donald and Pluto are staring at me, Daisy and Mickey are trying to pass the blame for…something, Minnie and Goofy are just being simpletons and it looks like Chip and Dale are all set to go mano-a-mano. They are chipmunks after all, nature’s striped rats. There are also some disembodied heads stuck in clear plastic bubbles. Maybe they insulted Droopy Dog. 2. A vintage 1950’s Archie pin. Archie Comics is headquartered only .2 miles from me, so my hope is to show up wearing the pin and get offered a job. If not, the pin is 60 years old and a little rusty in the back, so I can jab whoever turns me down and give them tetanus as revenge. Two great items that I will thoroughly enjoy. Thank you Marcus!

To: Marcus / From: Talita



For Gift Exchange 2014, I received a pair of sea green vintage sunglasses with gold detail from Talita. Thank you so much for the glasses 🙂

Your 2015 Calendar Is Here! (Updated)

Calendar_Page_01The 2015 Puntabulous Cocky & Rude Whatever Calendar is here! 

It was a lot of hard work and I hope you enjoy it!  It’s been proofed by a number of people … but if you happen to spot any mistakes, errors or omissions, please let me know via email as soon as possible. I’ll fix it and replace the file as soon as I can.

Want a printed copy?  You have a few options:

1. Print it yourself or get it printed at your local Staples, FedEx Office, or just about any other copy & print shop.  They will also bind it for you (wire or coil binding would probably work best, and should only cost you a couple bucks).

>> Printing it yourself? Download and print this file. (This version is standard letter sized – 8.5″ x 11″)

2. Upload the file and order from a website.  I’ve shopped around and the best option I can find is Overnight Prints.  They offer cheap prices and full customization (other sites like Cafe Press, Zazzle and SnapFish insist that you use their calendar grid).  Overnight Prints will spiral bind the calendars and print on 100lb glossy card stock that is sourced from environmentally sustainable forests.  Currently they’re only charging $8.59 + Shipping (I calculated for NJ and CA and both were $5.34 for the cheapest option). You may be able to find a coupon code or something if you search for it … so you might be able to make it even cheaper.  And I’m also not sure how long the $8.59 sale price will last … so order soon or risk higher prices.

Here’s how to do it: go to (click or copy into your browser address bar).  Click “Add Image Files” and upload the .pdf file (this will take a couple minutes to upload and then render the art).  Carefully drag and drop the images from “Uploaded Image Files” to populate each page of the calendar. Click “Continue”, then select “Preview Calendar” and double check your work.  Add it to your cart and check out.  The whole operation took me about 5 minutes.

>> Printing at Overnight Prints? Upload this file to the site. (NOTE: Polt had trouble with his order and I adjusted the page size of this file. This version works wonderfully!)

3. If you’re completely computer illiterate, I’ll order the calendar for you from Overnight Prints and you can transfer me the money via PayPal.  I can set the shipping address as your address, so it’ll be shipped directly to your address. Contact me via email and plead your case.

I hope you enjoy it!  Sing your praises in the comments.

The 2014 Crafty Gift Exchange


Mikey to Talita:
I received from Mikey, a handmade butterfly necklace. It was a little too small for me, so I put it on Arianna and she loved it. Sorry she was very busy running around.


Craig to Polt:
“So on the second try, Craiggers (or his assistant) got the address correct and my Crafty Christmas in July (in almost October actually) arrived! YAY! And it’s sheer awesomeness! The paddle has Polt’s Bounty on it! In PURPLE! And as soon as I saw, I thought of one particular Asian (sans hairthing) that might be interested in having me try it out…but we’ll see! The paddle is now hanging in a place of prominence in my living room, right above me TV!” I think the best part is this: Craigger’s first attempt to get this to me disappeared in FedEx hell, and as Craiggers said, there are now TWO of these floating around the world! Hopefully someone else out there is enjoy Polt’s Bounty as much as I’m sure *I* will! It’s was WELL worth the wait!”

p1 p2 p3

vuboq to john:
Steven got my name for the Crafty Gift Exchange. I have long admired his ceramic work and hoped that I would be his recipient one year and this year was it! Steven sent me a plate and three cups. Each piece has a bunny pained in blue on it and is glazed in blue and tan on a white background. And each of the cup handles is delicate little bunny too!
Steven said he sent three, just in case the handles broke, but all three cups arrived safely and in tact. I had shredded news paper all over my house for days and it had a tendency to stick in my arm hair, but who cares?!? I have three awesome cups and a plate!I am thrilled with my gifts and look forward to using them as often as possible. Thank you Steven!


Michelle M. To Enrico:
The marvelous Michelle Vis–, er, McKee sent me a triumvirate of Drag Race related swag! 1.) My own pink furry box, filled with delicious cherry candies (not all photographed here cause they were consumed 10 seconds after opening the box). 2.) A “Don’t F*ck It Up” placard, which is now placed right above my desk, so I can look at it for motivation while I’m writing papers! 3.) A signed photograph of America’s Next Drag Superstar Bianca del Rio surrounded by famous DR quotes. This is also on my desk, to remind me that if I fail at school, I can drop out and try to become a famous drag queen! Thanks for the wonderful gifts Michelle!!

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Polt to vuboq:
I received my gift from the fabulously purple Polt. My package included two tins of delicious cookies (snickerdoodles (ALLTIME FAVORITE!!!!) and chocolate chip) baked by none other than the wondrous Mama Polt. NOMz. Also, I received the refrigerator magnet thing in the background, which reads “V is for VUBOQ” and “When I grow up, I want to be just like you …” And, really, who doesn’t? Thanks for a delicious and funny gift!


Talita to Adam:

Talita sent me this awesome bit of poo!  It’s a lovely embroidered poop emoji framed in a pink painted hoop.  It’s a lovely dream come true – and is currently decorating the bookcase in my home office.  I may relocate it to my bathroom in the near future – to help inspire magnificent works of art in my toilet.  Thanks Talita! ❤


Adam to Mikey:
I got this awesome wood piece with wood on it from Adam. He indicated it was valued at $10,000. I had it appraised and now have a net worth of negative $350.


john to Craig:
I was #blessed to have John as my crafty gift giver this year! Thankfully I received mine before the whole FedEx debacle or I would have gotten coal. Instead I got an awesome work of art featuring the characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was such an amazing choice because not only was it an awesome show, but I want to be Ahsoka Tano when I grow up. The level of detail is amazing! I have no idea how he does it! Thank you John!



On Sunday night, we oohed and aahed as a dozen or so rich people receive golden statuettes for making amazing[-ish] movies. Now it’s time to to receive your award – for correctly predicting the most Academy Award winners. This year’s winner of the 4th Annual Cocky & Rude Oscar Contest is … FDot!!! Congratulations! You’re amazing!

Now let’s take a look at the results:

With a near-perfect score, FDot snagged the win with an impressive 23 of 24 correct predictions. Second place was a tie between Andrew M. and Jimmy O., who both correctly predicted 22 categories. At the bottom of this year’s contest were Nathan V., James B., and Kulsoom R., who only predicted 10, 9 and 6 categories, respectively.

oscar_results_Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 9.06.47 AM

But what’s everyone’s favorite part of the C&R Oscar Contest? The best and worst dressed pie charts, of course!! Here are this year’s Best Dressed results:

Best Dressed

Cate Blanchett claimed this year’s prize with 28% (7 votes), closely followed by Lupita Nyong’o with 24% (6 votes) and Jennifer Lawrence with 16% (4 votes). On the bottom were Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams with 12% (3 votes each), and Leonardo DiCaprio and Bad Grandpa, each with 4% — a single vote each.

This year’s worst dressed results were spread a bit thinner:

Worst Dressed

Sandra Bullock and Jared Leto nabbed the Worst Dressed prize, with 12% each (3 votes each). At 8% each were Josh Page, Judi Dench and Jonah Hill (each with 2 votes). At the bottom of this year’s list were … everyone else with 4% (a single vote each). Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence share this year’s distinction of being on both the Best and Worst Dressed lists.

That wraps up the results of this year’s Oscar Contest. Thanks to everyone who participated! Congratulations again to FDot! You’ll soon be in possession of a 2-month Netflix subscription!

So what did you think of this year’s Oscar Awards? Any surprises? Who really was best & worst dressed of the night? We’ll see you in the comments!

Bloggy Gift Exchange 2013

After nearly three months of hard work, it’s time to reveal the results of this year’s Bloggy Gift Exchange! Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s exchange. It’s [hopefully] been a lot of fun for everyone involved. And now, without further ado, here’s all the great loot that we received!

To: Polt
From: DrPara


I got my gift from Jason Galkus. It was comprised of a whole bunch of stuff: A Captain Morgan glass, four CD’s of music, a book, and a pack of gummi bears and gummi worms. An eclectic grouping to be sure. But I imagine I’ll just be drinking some gummi infused alcohol out of the glass while reading the book and the music playing in the background. Sounds like a GREAT Christmas to me! Thanks!

To: DrPara
From: Dave2


Voodoo Priestess

As everyone knows, bitch rhymes with witch and since I’m kind of both, it would only be fitting that my gift was New Orleans themed. Filled with Tobasco Jellybelly’s, Hot Sauce, a fetish, beads (which I will be wearing all the time,) a Hurricane mix (which will be used on NYE) and of course, the voodoo doll in the pic below (can we guess who I’m thinking of in that pic,) this had to be one of the coolest things I received this season. Huge thank you to Dave2 for not only the awesome attached letter but the contents, all of which will be used or displayed around my apartment.

From: Enrico


I received several great gifts from Enrico – a box of chocolates, a cute bowtie, the book “The Marriage Plot,” and two skeins of Vanna’s Choice (!) yarn. I can’t wait to start knitting (a scarf? A hat? Mittens?), reading, and eating. Well, I’ve already started the eating … Thanks, Enrico!!

To: Marcus
From: Josh

me 1217

For Bloggy Gift Exchange 2013 I received a box from Josh. Inside this box was a collection of amazing stuff that Josh had purchased for me his recipient. Included were items that appealed to my interests, such as a Louisiana cookbook, because I had stated that I love to cook, a Britney Spears teddy bear, for my love of animals, and some sunglasses because for my love fashion. Also inside I found a print of a painting for my love of art and a Diana DeGarmo cd which was to represent my love of music. Thank you for the great gifts Josh! Happy new year everyone! 😀

To: David P.
From: Xi-Heather



My bloggy gifters were Heather and Two Pi who send me two jars of delicious homemade “a bit hot” salsa and a super-cool cat toy for Lisa: A “Whack-a-Mouse” kit! The toy initially terrified her but she has begun to play with it. Thanks Heather and Two Pi!!!!

To: Michelle M.
From: Craig



My gifts* were from Craig** – featuring two of my favorite things. Wonder Woman and budgies!

He sent this really cool Wonder Woman artwork, which is going up on my “Wall of Wonder”. Love it!!

Craig also sent these adorable salt and pepper shakers (Cooper is trying to figure out which one is salt and which one is pepper). They are too cute to put in a cupboard, so they live on my bookshelf where I can see them everyday.

Thank you so much Craig, for sending me these fantastic gifts!

* 5 out of 5 stars!
**I highly recommend Craig as a gift giver.

To: John
From: Polt

Gift Exchange 2013

I received my gift this year from Polt! And it was fantastic! First, I got gift certificate to the Home Depot. I’m in there more often than I’d care to admit. I’ve already put it to use by getting the supplies I need to paint my kitchen cabinets. The gift certificate was great and appreciated, but I also got cookies! COOKIES! From Mama Polt! Yes, that is a purple-coated sugar cookie! And there were chocolate chip and I think snicker doodles, but I’m not sure honestly didn’t care as they were all delicious. I may or may not have eaten them all in one sitting. I SAID MAY NOT!!! I also received some peanut brittle, which was also delicious. Lastly, Polt made me a cd of “travel” songs. It has some great familiar songs and some new favorites of mine. It’s been in heavy rotation in my car since I received it. Thanks Polt! And any chance Mama is looking for another son for whom she can bake cookies?

To: Mush




My santa was VUBOQ. He spoiled me ROTTEN! I got a TARDIS throw, a hand-thrown mug and bowl set, and some yarn! Attached is the TARDIS throw pic. (It’s really hard to take a picture of yourself in a blanket.) Here is my pottery, which I adore and eat breakfast out of as much as possible, and my yarn! Best bloggy gift exchange ever!

To: Mikey
From: TwoPi


I had TwoPi for the gift exchange and the gift found me despite moving in the middle of everything. In the box was an adventure game called “Forbidden Island,” some yummy cranberry walnut muffins and a toy for Roscoe!!!!

To: Justin
From: FDot


My gift-giver was Tim!!! Here’s a photo of me in front of my tree holding the VERY thoughtful gifts from Tim, who must really have been paying attention to my likes — not that I remember what I wrote, but if I didn’t write it down then he’s developed telepathic powers! I got a nice big thick hardcover non-fiction history book, “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism”, which I had actually already made note of as an interesting-looking book! He gave me two types of dark chocolate: 60% for when I just want dark, and 72% for when I want *REALLY* mega ultra dark. And since I also love pumpkin spices, he got me some pumpkin bread mix. I shall be sure to nom on my pumpkin bread, alternating with dark chocolate bites, as I enjoy this book! Thank you very much, Tim!!! And Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to the whole gang!!! 😀

To: Ty
From: Adam


Turns out those stop-motion Christmas specials from my childhood were right: Santa IS a ginger! He brought me a CD of music from Mad Men, a sweet stamp “perfect for lawyerin’,” and a coffee mug that outs allegedly gay famous people. (Take THAT, Perez Hilton!) There were also some coppery pubes in the package, but I’m not sure that was part of the gift. Either way, thanks Adam!

To: Dave2
From: David P.


David P. got me the best gift you can get during a time of rabid consumerism and selfishness… a donation on my behalf to my most favorite charity ever, Doctors Without Borders! Very cool! But he didn’t stop there, he also gave me a Saltalamacchia/Batman action figure… CATCHMAN! (which is not a double entendre, I’m sure). CatchMan is “here to do battle with the free agents of evil,” which sounds about right now that Saltalamacchia has moved from The Best Baseball Team on Earth… THE BOSTON RED SOX… to the =sob!= the Miami Marlins. Talk about holiday depression!

To: Enrico
From: Tam

Photo 295

Looks like the Bruno and Ames families are united through the gift exchange once again (seriously, we are always swapping gifts)! Tam got me the red sweater I’m wearing in the picture (which fits me perfectly) and two bags of the nuts I’m holding, which came in the little penguin baggies. I assume Tam knows that I go to the gym now so she sent me nuts for quick and easy protein. Thanks Tam!

To: Tam
From: Michelle M.

Christmas Exchange 2013 - Tam

Michelle M. gave me an amazing trip to Hawaii for Christmas. I love her. Okay, well, Hawaii in a box. I got a beach zen garden, fixings for a nice cocktail, macadamia nuts, perfume that smells like Hawaii and Hawaiian Christmas music. Yay. Thanks, Michelle. It was worth the wait.

To: Mr. Sombrero
From: Ty


Ty sent me this wonderful diorama! It depicts a snowy ‘Mr. Sombrero’ scene, complete with lollypop trees, cotton snow, and a tiny Lego man holding maracas. I will treasure it for the rest of my life. Under the snow I found a bunch of delicious Reese’s peanut butter trees. If only that was true-to-life. Every time I dig in the real snow, all I find is dirt. Thanks Ty!

To: TwoPi
From: Justin


Justin gave me a Captain Kirk salt-and-pepper shaker set — and I must say I haven’t laughed out loud so much in quite some time! It has pride of place in the center of our dining room table. Awesome! Thank you, Justin!

To: Xi-Heather
From: Marcus


Marcus gave me everything I need for a fantastic winter day – a make your own gnome (hah! I love it!), chocolate, and a coffee mug. Thank you!!!

To: Talita
From: Mush



Since some of my gifts were for Arianna I thought I would use her in my photo. I received nail polish, cupcake wrappers, sprinkles and cake decorating gel. And Arianna got hair clips and a hello kitty that she has been trying to eat the Santa hat off of for the last 2 weeks. Thanks for our gifts Michelle.

To: Josh
From: Talita


Talita obviously pays attention to what’s important in life, aka the things I like, aka horror movies and Taylor Swift. Now I can watch my four-movie horror DVD, cry over the terror, and then use my new Taylor Swift karaoke to lift my spirits (and then cry over “dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light”).

To: Nathan
From: Mikey


I received some Delicious snacks from Mikey (that you can’t get in Japan) and a lovely card. If you have good eyes you might be able to tell that I ate them all already. Thanks Mikey.

To: FDot
From: Nathan


Just before Christmas Day, I received a box from Nathan from an address I cannot possibly begin to replicate on an envelope. Upon opening the box, I discovered the contents of various Japanese vending machines. Since my Japanese is very rusty, mostly because I’ve never studied it, and not knowing if Nathan likes or dislikes me, I figured I would have to research exactly what I received before I dared to attempt to eat any of it.

Starting with the bottom row, the first and third packages I thought at first were an homage to “Yellow Kid”, a popular and slightly racist comic strip from the 1890’s. Remembering that Canadians aren’t racist, I looked further and discovered that the small yellow tyke is one of many characters from the Baby Star line and his child labor is going toward shilling packages of dried ramen and other various types of noodles or noodle flavored snacks. There appear to be 4 different ways to prepare the larger of the 2 packages, none of which I can decipher.

The package labeled “Mike’s” is a Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn. Thankfully, the nutrition information section on this package is in Japanese.

Despite a valiant effort, the package marked “Texas Corn” eludes me. It looks like spicy Kix cereal. I’m not sure why an Octopus sweating milk is its mascot.

Up top on the left there is a package of what I first read to be “Soot-Covered Bamboo Chopsticks”, then realized it said “Soot-Colored”. This will now force me to learn how to use chopsticks that don’t have a small piece of paper wadded between them and held with a rubber band.

The pack labeled “Mickey” is a deck of playing cards, fueling my Disney obsession. Where, by the way, I will be this coming November if anyone wishes to join me and help me escape my three nieces begging me to buy them souvenirs.

The small brown bar under the playing cards is some kind of chocolate snack, since “Choco Snack” is printed on the bar.

Under that is a small yellow package that is a complete mystery. Who knows what lies within the yellow package? Is it good? Evil? Are its intentions pure? Only the yellow package knows.

We then have two more sets of chopsticks, Disney style, no doubt to replace the set of Soot Colored chopsticks that I will eventually snap in half in my frustration in trying to use them

The “Milky” package with the lip licking jailbait girl on the cover is simply just a packet of Milk flavored chewy candy and not some hideous concoction that its packaging implies.

I believe the final package, in the top right, is not food at all, but appears to be some sort of card game, probably Japan’s answer to Magic: The Gathering, but geared for children. Or it’s a creatively packaged condom. Hard to tell.

In summation, Nathan managed to hit upon two of my favorite things in this literally amazingly packaged gift, since now that I’ve opened it I can’t figure out how he got everything into the box in the first place. I’ve tried to, but can’t. Those two things would be Disney and snack foods of different countries. All the different edible components look amazing and I can’t wait to try them all. (But with my fingers crossed, since I have no clue what the hell any of this will taste like.)

P.S. Since there was no way to actually finagle a picture of this stuff with me in it, I just included an old picture of me looking posh at the top of it all. This was taken just before Carson called everyone into supper.

To: Adam
From: John


Three words: John is amazingly talented. Oh wait, that was 4. Close enough! I’ve never seen one of John’s folding/papercraft art pieces close-up, and HOLY CRAP — he’s amazing! John sent me this Weeping Angel (a evil, alien villain from Doctor Who) and I just cannot look away. An not because I’m afraid that it will kill me … I cannot look away because it’s just so damn amazing! Thanks John! Your talent is truly inspiring!!!

To: Craig
From: Mr. Sombrero

To Whomever is Reading This: Send help. Please. I have been trapped in my office for approximately three weeks. I received a package including an enormous black dong (works with most harnesses! attaches to walls!), lubricant, and a toblerone, from a man known only as “Mr. Sombrero” with strict instructions to “enjoy” and “put to good use”. I believe this to be some sort of life-or-death game of sex and mischief. Like something out an X-rated Saw movie. I have tried to leave… to escape… but the enormous black dong blocks my path at every turn. I have had the toblerone to sustain me, but it is running low. I do not believe I will be able to last much longer. Please. Help me. Humbly, Craig. OH GOD IT’S LOOKING AT ME AGAIN

The Crafty Gift Exchange!


A year is way too long to wait to receive gifts (or to give them, which they say is better). So why not have a gift exchange in July? They also say that handmade gifts are the most thoughtful. So take a look at what we created (or bought that was created by someone else) and let us know in comments if “they” are correct, or just out of their minds.

To: Adam, From: Vuboq

VUBOQ’s gifts came in two different shipments – YAY! More fun stuff to open!! In the first, I received this beautiful, green, handmade mug. Lately I’ve been enjoying iced tea in my mug! Love it! Then about a week later, I received “Xmas in July II: Electric Boogaloo” – two containers of homemade Peanut Butter and Snickerdoodle cookies! YUM! … And perfect for my diet. Needless to say, they disappeared very quickly 🙂 THANKS VUBOQ!

To: Craig, From: Heather

Heather made me these amazing knit crochet slippers! How awesome are they?! I will assume you said SO AWESOME, cause they are! I can’t even imagine how she was able to make them, but I’m sure math or wizardry was involved. Not only are they stylish, but there the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn ever! Come on, winter! I’m ready for you! Thanks Heather!!!

To: Heather, From: Polt

The cookies were handmade by Polt, and they were fantastic – there were actually two kinds, but it was tough enough saving a single cookie for the photo. And to make an awesome gift even awesomer, there was apple butter by Mama Polt. P.S. Mark was taking photos, and our ten-year old son photobombed it. So did the cat.

To: John, From: Mel

Mel made me this awesome hat!mi LOVE it! First it is shades of orange, which is my favorite color. Second, he made it with his own two hands that may or may not have new elbow deep in some animal before he knit it. And third, it fits my giant cranium! (Srsly, he might have had to take a loan out to get all the yarn…). It will go well with my brown jacket and I can of wait to wear it proudly in the winter. Thanks Mel!!

To: Kristen “The Kid”, From: Craig

So despite the wait, my gift was worth it. However, I will admit when first opening the box I thought it was Han and Chewie, but thanks to Craig’s little explanation I realized it was not them but my mother and I. I hated that I had to unwrap it since I’ll just be packing it up for school again but thank-you Craig it was wonderful : ).

To: Mel, From: Michelle M.

My gift came from none other than Michelle M.! It’s a painting of all three of our frenchies – our dearly departed Tuck as well as our current boys, Chauce & Theo – plus a few toys & treats for the boys. I absolutely love it!

To: Michelle M., From: Kristen “The Kid”

I received this adorably cute little up-cycled apron from The Kid. Now I can whip up delicious treats and scrumptious meals and keep my clothes spatter free while doing so. Now all I need are some high heels and pearls. Look out Martha Stewart!
Thanks The Kid!

To: Mikey, From: Tam

Tam (and The Kid) sent me this amazing blanket with unicorns on one side and orange on the other. Roscoe is thoroughly jealous and I expect he will steal it soon.

To: Polt, From: Mikey

I got my Crafty Christmas In July gift(s) from Mikey! He sent me four jars of personally canned goodies. Strawberries, peaches, spiced pears and pickled beets. Now honestly, the pickled beets, to me, are not goodies, cause I don’t like beets, pickled or otherwise. However, since mom helped me on my crafty gift, and since mom LOVES beets, I’ve just given her the jar beets for her to enjoy! Now, enough of the blurb, I’ve got food to eat!

To: VUBOQ, From: Talita

This is me enjoying the sweet, sweet smell of my candle from Talita. My candle … in an actual Tanqueray bottle! How totally cool (and appropriate) is that? Gin is so wonderful. Thanks, Talita! The awesomeness of this gift knows no bounds (and I hope a certain Tanqueray lover *cough* Craig *cough* is totes jealous)!

To: Talita, From: John

My secret gift exchange sender was John! He made me a beautiful name banner for my daughter’s room that I absolutely love! Thank you so much John, you’re awesome! 😊

To: Tam, From: Adam

Here I am opening my gift and … um, it’s a… yeah. Wow. Uh. Gee, words escape me. A life-sized papier-mâché sculpture of Adam’s junk. I’d never have guessed, but I’m… honoured? Maybe. Or not. I’m not sure. I can’t wait for December Adam. Let’s just say my gift for you starts with a v and ends with an a. Be ready.