Endangered species: Christmas Cards

I noticed this Christmas a trend that gets worse every year – the Christmas postcards with nothing but a picture of a friend’s children and the words “Happy Holidays” or some other version of the same sentiment. A couple of years ago it was cute, now the majority of the cards we receive are not cards, but pictures. Many troubling questions arise from this trend out of hand:

  • What do you do with the pictures after the season is done? I like digital pictures because there’s no additional clutter. I don’t have photo albums, so printed pictures sit in a box some place. Honestly, I throw them out. Sorry, most of the time I don’t even recognize who’s on the card, why would I keep the picture? Which leads me to the second point:
  • Why aren’t the people I’m friends with on the card too? It used to be that you might get the odd family photo at Christmas, but of all the cards we received, only one included an image of the people we’re actually friends with (and those friends don’t have children). But if they do decide to have children, then the next question is:
  • How long does this last? My friend Nancy had a little girl last year, and sent out Christmas cards with a picture of her daughter to her friends that haven’t seen her in awhile. We saw her last night and she asked me “when do I stop?” Good question. At least once the kids get to college.
  • To my friends that have sent us Christmas cards with their children on them – don’t fret, we’d rather hear from you, than not. Take this post as me being Andy Rooney, who I seem to get more and more like each year.

    RIP: Benazir Bhutto

    I’m fairly well informed, but I really didn’t know Benazir Bhutto as well as I wished I had. The fact that she went back to Pakistan knowing that there were likely two choices – President or martyr, tells you what you need to know. I am more impressed with her now – and that’s a shame. Her father, her brothers, all suffered the same fate as she would. And the biggest benefiter of all this is our ally Musharraf. I’m not sure if he was complicit, but he sure as hell is doing a jig tonight.

    Let’s hope Bhutto is ten times as powerful in death as she would have been leading Pakistan.

    The following are a couple of interesting articles from Slate and Salon:

    Benazir Bhutto, 1952-2007 (Slate)

    We South Asians like our leaders dead (Salon)

    A Rubber Door’s Top albums of 2007

    Here’s my top 18 albums from 2007. Why 18? Well I keep listing albums until I feel there are no more that deserve to be mentioned. I’d love to hear your comments – and if you have your own list, put it in the comments section and I’ll keep a running list of best of 2007 around the blogosphere. For the most part links will link you to iTunes (except for Jay-z and Radiohead).

    1

    spoon_gagagagaga.jpgSpoon – Ga ga ga ga ga – For some reason this album got middling reviews. For me every time I heard a song from it I couldn’t believe how good it was. Easily the most accessible of their releases.

    My Favorites: Don’t Make Me a Target, The Underdog

    2

    fooechos.jpgFoo Fighters – Echoes, Patience, Silence, and Patience – I love Foo Fighters but hadn’t liked anything they’d done recently. This album is the best they’ve had since The Color and the Shape.

    My Favorites: The Pretender, Home

    3

    bird_cover300x300.jpgAndrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha - This album is truly amazing. I’ve described it as a more tuneful Sufjan Stevens album. And it holds together better than a Stevens piece.

    My Favorites: Fiery Crash, Darkmatter

    4

    radiohead-in_rainbows_front.jpgRadiohead – In Rainbows – This album will be remembered for the unique, name your own price, distribution method. It should be remembered as classic Radiohead.

    My Favorites: Bodysnatchers, Falling into Place

    5

    peter-bjorn-and-john-writers-block.jpgPeter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block – I couldn’t get the whistling song (Young Folks) out of my head all summer – which was like torture since I can’t whistle. Get past that and this some kick ass jangle rock.

    My Favorites: Objects of My Affection, Young Folks

    6

    newmagnetic.jpgThe Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder – I waited to get this because it’s a double album and took a lot of my eMusic downloads. Stupid. Some people won’t like it because of it’s experimental takes, but it includes a ton of great songs.

    My Favorites: Energy, 7 Stars

    7

    theboywithnoname.jpgTravis – The Boy With No Name – Travis hasn’t been the same since 12 Memories but they still kick Coldplay’s whiny ass.

    My Favorites: 3 Times and You Lose, Closer

    8

    markronson_version.jpgMark Ronson – Version - All I have to say is Ol’ Dirty Bastard redoing Britney Spears’ Toxic. Just one of an album full of great covers – done so differently you forget the original.

    My Favorites: Toxic, Oh My God

    9

    feistreminder.jpgFeist – The Reminder – Thanks to Apple’s ubiquitous nano ad I bought this album. 1234 is the catchiest song of the year – but the rest of the album holds its own.

    My favorites: 1234, I Feel it All

    10

    amy_winehouse_back_to_black_island.jpgAmy Winehouse – Back to Black – Listening to this album, you should have been able to see the train wreck coming. That doesn’t make this into a novelty act – Winehouse (and producer Mark Ronson) update the 60′s girl sound – without making it trivial.

    My favorites: Back to Black, Love is a Losing game

    11

    jag110fullnew.jpgOkkervil River – The Stage Names - This one will surprise you, demanding repeat listen after repeat listen.

    My favorites: Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe, John Allyn Smith Sails

    12

    a-year-in-the-wilderness.jpgJohn Doe – A Year In the Wilderness – John Doe does what I would want to as a singer/songwriter – work with unique voices such as Kristen Hersh or Kathleen Edwards. His song The Golden State (with Edwards) is one of the best examples of songwriting I’ve heard this year.

    My favorites: The Golden State, Unforgiven

    13

    alberthammondjr_yrstokeep.jpgAlbert Hammond Jr. – Yours to Keep – Maybe The Strokes should let this guy write because this is better than any of their albums.

    My favorites: In Transit, 101

    14

    crowdedhouse_timeonearth.jpgCrowded House – Time on Earth – I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I did. It’s been 14 years since their last release and this sounds like an older Crowded House – but I’m an older me, so it works.

    My favorites: Silent House, Nobody Wants To

    15

    american-ganster-jay.jpgJay-Z – American Gangster – So much better than his last album. This one is fierce and sounds like it has a purpose.

    My favorites: Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…..), American Dreamin’

    16

    b000jjrxgg01_aa_scmzzzzzzz_.jpgKristin Hersh – Learn to Sing Like a Star – Kristin keeps on cranking them out, and she keeps getting better.

    My Favorites: In Shock, Day Glow

    17

    xoxox_cover.jpgTrances Arc – XOXOX – I have a sneaking suspicion this album will keep rising and rising the more I listen to it. I didn’t get it until recently and it’s already made an impression as one of the best pop rock releases this year.

    My favorites: Peace of Mind, New Style

    18

    salvationblues.jpgMark Olson – The Salvation Blues - The former Jayhawks lead singer sounds like he hasn’t skipped a beat. This could have followed up Tomorrow the Green Grass. Some might call that nostalgic; I’ll call it timeless.

    My favorites: Clifton Bridge, Tears from Above

    Here’s an iTunes iMix of My Favorites songs from the albums above

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