Monday, December 7, 2009

If hating is your occupation, I probably got a fulltime job for you

There is a phenomenon that has started sweeping the nation as of last Thursday. And while some predicted that it would be huge, nobody knew that it would be this big. I'm talking about MTV's "Jersey Shore," a reality show featuring 8 Italian-Americans from NY, NJ and even Rhode Island that will be living in a house together for the summer on the Jersey Shore. I could try to explain to you the awesomeness of it, but there's no way I'd do it justice. So I'll just let Vinny and his fist pumping give you a quick introduction to the reality show amazingness.



So the obvious question is "Why does de jesus mention this show on the Swap blog?" Fear not readers, there is a method to my madness. Mike "the situation" has gone about putting together his own clothing line, and numerous items are available for less than $20. I'll provide a few highlights here, but keep in mind that everything is available at http://www.cafepress.com/Iheartsituation

First option is for the ladies. Clearly you want the situation plastered all over your chest, so this tee is a great way to proclaim your love for the dude who "pretty much looks like Rambo with his shirt off".



Dudes, of course you want to proclaim your love for the situation. Ladies love him to the point that your game will increase exponentially. But you can't be overt about it, subtlety is key. let the ladies notice your affinity for Mike casually and then flock to you so you can "pound em out" as he so eloquently puts it. The best option for this? A situation polo.



Lastly, everybody needs a place to store their protein, hair gel, jagerbombs, hairspray and glowsticks. What better place than a situation gym bag. You get instant cred walking into a Gold's with it in your hand. Ladies and dudes will flock to you alike.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brad Kasnet and Sweaters: A Love Story

There are very few truisms in life. Benjamin Franklin’s saying “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes” is one that is commonly thrown out. Sports writers often attribute truisms regarding particular teams or fan bases. Some people have truisms that apply to the holidays, such as some relative is going to get hammered at thanksgiving, or a certain aunt will always give socks as a present. Well, Swappers, there is one that I would like to throw into the fold. If there’s a Yankee Swap, Brad Kasnet will be wearing a sweater. While not a truism, a corollary with about 80% accuracy is that if brad is wearing a sweater, it will be awful. So for this posting, I shall be the ghost of Yankee Swaps’ Past and will show you the love affair that exists between Brad and Sweaters.


Here we have brad wearing one of his signature sweaters at last year's Swap. Notice the amazing patterning on it and the way it compliments his reindeer antlers. An amazing piece that I'm sure could be sold at a fine boutique for about $7.



The next example we have is from Yankee Swap '07. This is the only reason that I can't say that all of Brad's sweaters are awful. There's a small chance that Brad spilled something on his original sweater and raided Dave's closet. I highly doubt that and believe that this sweater is a genuine random occurrence in Brad's wardrobe. As people often say "even a broken clock is right twice a day" and here I think it was just dumb luck that this sweater came into Brad's possession.

This next example is actually from '05, and the lack of megaphone in Brad's hand suggests that it's not actually from the Swap that year. But when you factor in the tree in the background, the presents under that tree, the apps on the table and the video yule log in the background, it has to be from a holiday party of sorts, so let's go for it. Yes, that is the same sweater from the '08 Swap, but the main reason this picture is being introduced is because I'm under the impression that all of the residents of Strathmore actually borrowed those sweaters from Brad. So this is actually a great opportunity to see the Sweater collection in all its glory.



Lastly, I'm going to display a non-traditional sweater. If you have ever talked to a hockey player or a Canadian, you'll notice that they don't refer to jerseys as jerseys, but actually as sweaters. So based on the vagueness of the definition provided to us by our bastard relatives to the north, here's another picture of Brad in a sweater.



So what's the point of all of this? 1) Don't worry about what you wear to the Swap because we're all fairly certain that Brad's outfit will be horrendous. So worst case scenario you stand next to Brad all night. On second thought, that's the biggest motivator I've ever heard for trying to dress sharp. 2) I think it's time for a fashion intervention for Brad. Any chance the guys from Queer Eye would bring their show back on the air based on how grave the situation is?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Topical Present Idea

One of the biggest risks that you run when planning a present that references an element of pop culture is the timing. Buy it too early and the joke could be kind of stale come Swap time. Buy it too late and you’re cutting down your window for finding something that is amusing, under $20, makes an obvious reference and is capable of being wrapped, transported to Perry S. and placed under the tree.

The big news that is permeating the interwebs lately is Tiger Wood’s alleged affair. Sure there is a reputable news source reporting that he sent text messages to Ms. Jamie Grubbs that said “I will wear you out…when was the last time you got fucked?” TMZ and perezhilton are abuzz with this, as are the mainstream news and sports sites. But why does it matter to us? We weren’t married to him. All it does is provide inspiration for choosing Yankee Swap gift ideas.

One of the easiest items to associate with Tiger is the video game that bears his name. On eBay.com, you can easily find both the 2009 and 2010 versions of his “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” series for the PS2 for under $20. I’d recommend purchasing either right now as both are in auction format and you don’t want to be that guy or girl who breaks the $20 barrier. Granted this gift would be thought of as crappy once the initial amusement of it has worn off. I mean who owns a PS2 these days? If I were a betting man I’d say that the person who would want this present the most would be Dave, but chances are he already owns it. I could really see this getting tossed in the fireplace around 2am. But nobody will know you brought it, so you’re in the clear. Additionally there is the potential for someone to do the Tiger Woods fist pump upon receiving it. Good times had by all.





A little bit more practical of a Tiger Woods present would be the animal head golf club cover, in this case the animal is a Tiger. Some of the golfers would find it useful, or people could easily regift it to their father. Additionally you can bring on the humor of hitting people with it or making comments about Tiger’s wife’s use of a golf club to beat his ass. While we know it was an iron (a sand wedge apparently) the joke would still work. Less than $20 on Amazon. Easy click shopping and you can even get it giftwrapped. Problem solved.



Lastly, we’re going to suggest purchasing Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” CD. Yes, CDs are a dead technology and you could easily just download all of the songs, but what’s the fun in giving someone a shitty ass homemade CD? $0.20 is under the $20 limit, but I don’t think that it’s in keeping with sprit of giving that the Swap embodies. I’m kind of out of jokes about the scandal for today, but I’m fairly certain that by the end of the week there will be a few ways that tying this into Tiger Woods will be amusing.



On a final note, I’d just like to urge all of those who are planning on participating in the Swap to RSVP on facebook or at lease email one of the hosts. While the abundance of booze from years past would suggest that it is a virtual impossibility to run out, we’d like to be proactive in preventing that. So let us know if you’re coming and we’ll be sure to have enough jello shots for everyone.

Until then, happy shopping Swappers. The tree is up and decorated, stockings have been hung with care and a few special surprises have been ordered.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Swap Profile: Moose Sadler

To those guests who haven’t had the chance to make it to Brookline since last year’s fiesta, numerous changes have taken place to the host lineup. While the noticeable addition of estrogen to the roommate mix may be the first thing to grab your eye (apparently Dave wasn’t doing enough to hold it down for the ladies), this spotlight actually shines on the addition of a fifth host. Not since Crotty took up residence in the Panic Room in aught seven have we had five gracious residents opening their home to us (although Blaze’s chronic absence calls that figure into question). So Moose, welcome and thank you for having us.

Many of you haven’t had the chance to interact with Moose socially, so for you this profile can give you some of his backstory. For others who know Moose well, this profile will demonstrate everything that Moose is metaphorically bringing to the swap. What he is physically bringing will have to remain a surprise until it is picked from under the tree.

Mr. Sadler moved to Perry St. last August, taking up residence in Blazer’s old room. While Moose would have preferred the South End, he has been pleasantly surprised by the architecture and horticulture of Brookline, as well as the town’s acceptance of his penchant for vibrant (some would say gay) accessories. Additionally, he appreciates the amount of space and lower population density as it decreases the amount of forced interaction he has with the high percentage of “Liberals, Communists, Socialists and America haters” who reside in Brookline (his words, not mine). Does it seem odd to you that one of his favorite activities is burying his face in guest’s crotches upon their arrival at Perry St, yet he resents those who take advantage of Taxachusetts’s nanny state? Of course, but that’s Moose for you.

A first time swapper, Moose will be sure to bring a flamboyant young male’s perspective to his gift selection. Will it be something fabulous he picked up on Newbury St? Perhaps. Will it be something delightfully preppy? Most likely. Nautical themed? Who knows, but that is part of the fun of the swap.

So Moose, to you we say welcome to the Swap. I’m sure that your presence will only help make this event better than last year and contribute to the holiday good cheer, great times with friends, and the drunken shenanigans.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Start the countdown

Hopefully two weeks from now you’ll still be nursing the ridiculous hangover that you incurred during your debauched night of drinking and gift giving at the Yankee Swap. We don’t really know what we’ll be posting in the time leading up to the big event. It could be potential gift profiles as taken from ebay, craigslist or even the CVS circular. It could be profiles of some of the most prolific presents ever given. If someone turns to you and says “At least that gift is better than a hatchet,” you’d be all caught up on the swap lore surrounding it. Despite your status as a swapping neophyte, you’ll be able to say “or the Accommodator” without losing a beat. (http://www.oralcaress.com/accommodator.htm Yankee Swap 2k5)

Hopefully you already have your threads picked out. If you’ve seen pictures from years past, you know that holiday semi-formal (aka fancy festive) is the dress code. Awful Xmas sweaters have been worn in the past, but typically by Brad and without any inkling of irony. Santa hats are totally acceptable, as are any other type of holiday garb. A new rule added after 2k7 is that clothing must be worn. While Christmas is just a bastardization of Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice, all garb must conform to Judeo-Christian standards, no matter how loose they may be.

Step 2 is getting a present. Other than being less than $20, pretty much anything is in bounds. (Can we just pause for a second to appreciate the lack of motion in the price point at the Yankee Swap over the past 5 years? Despite the fact that political meddling has absolutely murdered attempts at Neo-Keynesian economic policies by the past two administrations, with the CPI dancing between 2.5 and 5% since the inception of the swap [barring 2k9] the price of a night of Bacchanalian revelry at Perry St. has remained constant.) You can buy pretty much whatever you want. Standards have included the DD gift card, alcohol, t-shirts with clever sayings, and whatever was on special at the Rite-Aid at the corner of Aspinwall. So go out there swappers and do what you can to help stimulate the economy.

The final step is getting your ass to Perry St. on the night of December 12. The swapping officially starts at 9pm, so please give yourself enough of a buffer to deal with whatever traffic may exist, arrive, drop off your present and get your order within the swap, and have a few beverages before the festivities begin. Keep in mind that parking does not exist at Perry St. and overnight parking in Brookline is a no-no. So take a cab, black car service, a horse drawn sleigh, or public transit and get ready to share in the holiday festivities and make some bad decisions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What's your excuse?

Okay, so Yankee Swap invites came out this year a little bit late. Normally we try to have them out by Labor Day so that everyone can do some effective scheduling and be sure to keep Yankee Swap weekend open, not just for the swap itself but the crippling hangover that accompanies the mix of holiday punch, wine, cheap beer and ice luging god knows what. But for some reason, the rate of people RSVP’ing in the affirmative has been a little slow.

As of right now on the RSVP list, the farthest people are traveling from is the Mountain time zone, but I’m sure some west coasters will have RSVP’d by the time the tree goes up on December 1. So don’t say it’s too hard for you to drive from Connecticut or New Hampshire. Grabbing a cab from Charlestown? That will cost less than the amazing present you’ll receive at the party. Pretty much, if you’re on the east coast, the only acceptable reasons for missing the swap are being on the donor list for a vital organ (kidneys don’t count) or an unforeseen death in the family. Lock in your transportation now while fares are cheapest.

Some people will argue that they have another holiday party to attend? Really, you’d rank something above the swap? What are the options, a work party? A family party? Going to holiday parties is all about getting drunk and making bad decisions, are the best place for that to happen is Perry St. Not only are there massive quantities of booze with incredibly efficient methods of imbibing (ice luge races?), but it’s the only place where making decisions that co-workers would deem “destructive” is not only acceptable but encouraged. Sloppily making out in the corner with some hottie you just met at the work party = being the subject of office gossip and watercooler talk until at least April. Sloppily making out at the Yankee Swap with a random hottie = welcome to Perry St.

Do yourself a favor. When invites for all those other holiday parties come out, just remember who reached out to you first and asked you to share a magical evening with us? I mean honestly, what sort of excuse could you have for not coming?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On the eighth (1/8) day, God said, "Let there be Yankee Swap"

As we start to measure the time till the Yankee Swap in hours instead of days, allow us to present to you the Unabridged Official 2009 Yankee Swap rules.  This year we'll be using a slightly different set of rules from swaps of yore, but rest assured we're going to make sure that this swap is better than ever.  Without further ado;

1) Numbers will be drawn at random.  Every person that puts a wrapped gift under the tree gets a single number (#).

2) The person with number 1 (one) selects a wrapped gift first and unwraps said gift.  

3) The person with the next number has two (2) options.  They may either 
a. Select a wrapped gift and unwrap said gift or:
b. Elect to "steal" an unwrapped gift from anyone who has already unwrapped a gift.

In the event your unwrapped gift is "stolen" through the implication of rule 3b (threebee), you must select a new, unwrapped gift from under the tree to unwrap.  

4) The person with the next number now has the two (2) options outlined in rule 3 (three).

5) After the last person in the swap has selected made their choice (outlined in rule three [3]) the person with number one (1) has the option to force a trade of their gift with any other participant's gift.

6) All decisions of the residents of 56 Perry St. (Xanadu) are final, binding and generally not to be fucked with.