Skyscraper: The Search for An American Style, 1891-1941, Edited Roger Shepherd
- December 5. You realize you’ve made it this late in the month without hearing about Wham!ageddon this year. Starts a good argument online about whether you can join in late since you think you heard “Last Christmas” a couple days ago but don’t remember if it was in November or not.
- December 7. Debate about whether it has to be Wham!’s version or if a cover of “Last Christmas” counts. Two friends stop speaking to one another.
- December 8. Running through the grocery store run to minimize exposure to Your Local Christmas Hits Station and also Covid-19.
- December 10. You were gone for 35 minutes, how is everybody you know angry about whether the “Sleigh Ride” carol “really” has words?
- December 12. Remember that you forgot you were doing Wham!ageddon this year.
- December 13. Your bad-movie podcast is about Last Christmas. Debate about whether you can be exempted for the time necessary to listen to the episode. This generates three new factions among your friends, who engage in a Talmudic debate about whether you heard the song if the podcast hosts do a brief, a capella, rendition unburdened by any musical key.
- December 14. Get 1600 words into a deep-dive essay about what it means that people do these avoid-the-ubiquitous-thing contests for the fifth time before realizing the author hasn’t gotten to a thesis statement yet and give up on the whole thing.
- December 18. Remember that you forgot you were doing Wham!ageddon this year.
- December 19. You were gone for 25 minutes, how is everybody you know angry about the “Monster Mash”?
- December 20. Debate about whether it counts if you catch yourself starting to hum it to yourself in the shower but are legitimately not sure whether you were just singing in your head.
- December 21. Debate about whether this is, as Wikipedia’s article about Wham!ageddon implies, a “strategy” game.
- December 24. You were gone for 15 minutes, how is everybody you know angry about haikus somehow? Haikus? What are people even arguing about over haikus? Even for 2020? Haikus?!
- December 26. Debate about whether there even is such a thing as the “We Didn’t Start The Firefest” contest ahead of New Year’s.
- January 2. Finally have the somehow two hours, 35 minutes needed to listen to that movie podcast.
Reference: The Impossible Dream: The Building of the Panama Canal, Ian Cameron.
- Chrissy, the Christmas Mouse
- Bright Christmas Land
- The Holly and the Ivy
- Ding Dong Merrily On High
- Away In A Manger
- Got Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
- O Christmas Tree
- O Holy Night
- O Little Town of Bethlehem
- O Come O Come Emmanuel
- O Come, All Ye Faithful
- What Child Is This
- We Three Kings of Orient Are
- Wolcum Yole
Not listed: I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas because no matter how hard you try it’s not getting out of your head.
Reference: Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: or, The True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History, Giles Milton.
Someone out there is trying to commit an act of filking. They just know “You’re a weird one, David Lynch” is a killer line and they just have to fit the rest of a song around it. I don’t know which friend it is. But I know there’s one. It’s most likely the same one who Christmas around 2002 was trying very hard to fill in the lines before and after “In the meadow we can build a newsman / And pretend that he is Aaron Brown”, without ultimate success.
Also I’m like 40 percent sure I know which friend would tell me those are both awesome ideas now that someone’s had them, and if I don’t go writing the filk around them he will. (He won’t.) (Neither will I.)
It’s just one of those things we have to risk around the holidays like this.
- Calling bird
- Drummers drumming
- French hens
- Geese a-laying
- Gold rings
- Ladies dancing
- Lords a-leaping
- Maids a-milking
- Partridges in a pear tree, a
- Pipers piping
- Swans a-swimming
- Turtle doves
“Yes, you should definitely record that idea for a novelty cover of The Twelve Days Of Christmas. The world needs it.”
— Apparently a surprisingly diverse set of people at different times and places, somehow.
“Oh, it’s itself about receiving novelty versions of The Major-General’s Song?”
— Follow-up question.
First: I have another batch of mathematics comics to talk about, over on the mathematics blog, because Comic Strip Master Command was really enthusiastic about pushing math topics on unsuspecting readers for the last week of 2014.
Second: It’s a new month! That justifies looking back over December 2014 and reviewing what was popular, so it can be more popular, and what countries sent me a lot of readers, and what ones barely did. Again, I don’t understand, but people like it.
It was another very popular month for the blog: 1,251 page views, as WordPress makes it out, which is not quite the Kinks-inflated 1,389 of October but still up from November’s 1,164. The number of unique visitors was down to 626 (from 676 in November and 895 in October), but I suspect that reflects things getting back to normal after the Kinks excitement. That’s a growth in views per visitor, though, from 1.72 to 2.00, which is probably a statistic of its own of some note.
The countries sending me the most readers were the United States (973), Australia (48), Canada (35), the United Kingdom (27), New Zealand (19), Brazil (14), Slovenia (12), and Spain (11), and I admit Slovenia took me by surprise, although, hi guys. I didn’t have you mixed up with Slovakia. Single-reader countries this time around were Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sweden, and Venezuela. Belgium and Finland were single-reader countries last month (but not before that), although I see that New Zealand was last month and suddenly whoever read me then was joined by eighteen fellow countrymen. Hi, gang. My India readership grew from three to four, so that’s something.
The individual pages that got the most readers, and this is counting only 30 or more because there were thirteen that got 25 or more, and twenty that got 20 or more viewers, were:
- Calm Urged As Comic Strip _The Better Half_ Ends, which I guess shows how passionately people feel about a comic strip I always thought was a worn-down copy of The Lockhorns but somehow came first by a decade. I better not cross their fans anymore.
- On The Next Thrilling Episode Of Star Trek: The Next Generation, part of that little string I did of captioning a particularly exquisite moment of Next Generation actors in unusually shiny clothes.
- Little Nemo in Mathmagicland, in which I prematurely suspected Little Nemo’s caretakers of wishing him ill just because I have an irrational prejudice against volatile organic solvents.
- Statistics Saturday: What Average People Think Are Rodents Versus What Biologists Think Are Rodents, and again, I don’t dispute biologists’ conclusion that guinea pigs are rodents, I’m just saying, if we find out this decade that we were mistaken all along I’m not going to be too surprised.
- Is That Enough?, some grumbling about Christmas carols and the attempt to make one in the modern era.
There’s no good search term poetry this time around either, although there were a lot of people looking for information on The Better Half (the cartoonist gave it up for his own cartooning projects), as well as these evocative phrases: he gladest was in his fathers. for , unknown to his daughter “conrad” the old baron klugenstein, and alphabet percentages by 8 people workload, as well as mnemonic device for since and sense. For the last, I offer this: stalactites cling from the ceiling, while stalagmites grow from the ground. This won’t help with “since” and “sense”, but at least you’ll have “stalactites” and “stalagmites” worked out, and maybe make some progress on “ceiling” and “ground” too, and that’s something to be proud of as 2015 gets under way.
Finally, general readers might not know this, but WordPress has put in a new statistics page for people who want to study their own sites, and it is awful. Less information, spread out over more space, requiring more clicks: it’s like they read the modern book on redesigning computer stuff so everything about it is noticeably worse.