Dino Drac After Dark

The End of 2021!

This is your weird, limbotic post-Christmas / pre-New Year’s thread! It’s always one of the strangest weeks of the year, right? Feels like half your body is cement, and the other half is a helium balloon about to pop in the stratosphere.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday season. I sure did. I said it a few times during Halloween, but these celebrations really work best when we look at them like garnish.

I’m actually looking forward to the “drier” months to come. There isn’t too much to grab onto from January through April, but that can be motivating. After spending the last 4+ months trying to tie so many of my activities to the time of year, it’ll be fun to get a little creative and just see what’s out there.

As kids, we’d all be on break for school this week, free to spend every waking moment messing with our new toys and watching sitcom reruns. As adults, even if you did save some vacation time, it’s rarely going to be that relaxing. Hell, for many of you, the only difference between this week and any other week is that you might get off a little early on Friday.

Even if that’s the case, I encourage you to embrace the traditional spirit of those post-Xmas days. Find whatever time you can for reflection, and for walking around wearing a blanket cape, and for mapping out your 2022, and for binging some dumb TV series. Work in some pizza or Chinese, and leave the lights twinkling until Little Christmas.

This is a one-week free-for-all thread. Talk about whatever! I’ll update again after 1/1.

2021 Holiday Season: Week 7!

Hey all! Welcome to WEEK 7 of the 2021 holiday season – aka THE FINAL WEEK. (Well, unless you count New Year’s, and I guess you should.)

How has everyone’s season been? Mine’s been good in an extremely low-key kind of way. Like, the lowest possible key. No ridiculously special moments, but there has been a weird peacefulness to it all, which is extra-appreciated after such a crazy year.

The extent of my “celebrating” has involved stuff like lighting minty candles, running Christmas movies on my phone (ahh, technology), and switching my Dunkin’ order to “Holiday Blend” for the season. It isn’t much, but I’ve enjoyed it.

I started the season with a tiny tree, but eventually upgraded to a full-sizer after finding one for a super low price at Home Depot. Seriously, every tree they had seemed to be $200 and up, but then there was one off to the side that was only $40, despite being six feet tall and pre-lit. This tree wouldn’t pass Linus’s sincerity test, but I’m into it.

Since the rest of my place is in a long renovation process (and because Halloween the Cat has kinda taken over the living room), I set the tree up in my second workroom, which is mainly used for Funpack-related chores, but is also just my room to do any kind of hands-on activities. It’s been so nice in there lately, with the tree, and the candles, and the soundtrack to Freddy’s Nightmares running on repeat.

I’d wanted to do soooo much more on Dino Drac this season, but time just wasn’t on my side. I decided not to stress about it, because judging by the vibes online, everyone seems preoccupied lately. Besides, unlike prior years, I’m definitely not going to vanish for several months right after the holidays. If anything, I’m looking forward to cooking up some stuff for y’all that isn’t married to the particular time of year. (That said, a new article will be up on Monday!)

It’s gonna be a wild week. Still gotta finish shopping, though fortunately I only have two gifts left to grab. Gotta go food shopping, both for myself (I won’t break my weird diet rules, even on Christmas) and for the few dishes I’m supposed to make for the party. Christmas Eve isn’t until Friday, but there will probably be smaller family gatherings on Wednesday and Thursday, too.

Fortunately, I have nothing planned for Christmas Day, and can spend it the way God intended: On the couch, in pajamas, eating leftovers from a foil pan, and watching A Christmas Story.

This is your final free-for-all thread of the 2021 holiday season. Use it however ya want. Plan right now is to add another post for that weird week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and then we’ll most likely settle into monthly threads after that.

I’d love to hear about how your season has been, and how you’re planning to finish it off. Spill it, in the comments!

2021 Holiday Season: Week 6!

Welcome to WEEK 6 of the 2021 holiday season! Yeah, I completely whiffed on adding a post for Week 5, but it looks like everyone was able to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives.

Not much new to report, other than this month being insanely busy. I wish December didn’t move so fast! Right now I’m working on Funpack stuff, because with the holiday shipping deadlines I needed to start earlier than usual. (If you’re a subscriber, look for info on the December box on Sunday!)

At some point next week we’ll be dropping our next podcast, which has already been recorded. It’s very Christmassy, of course!

I still have a couple of big pieces I’m hoping to get onto the site before Santa arrives, but I just gotta get through the deadlined stuff first.

Hope everyone is well! Here’s your free-for-all thread. Talk about whatever ya want, all week long.

This week’s background noise: He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special, from 1985. I’m old enough to have seen this when it premiered, and yes, I remember watching it that night… which just happened to be on Christmas!

2021 Holiday Season: Week 4!

Totally forgot that I was supposed to update After Dark last night! That post-Thanksgiving food coma will do that to you. Welcome to WEEK 4 of the 2021 holiday season. Now that we’re nearing December, it’s super official. Bust out the lights and suck down candy canes with impunity.

Thanksgiving was solid. I got all of my cooking done on Wednesday night, so I was free to enjoy the entire Macy’s Parade without stressing. I’m glad for that, too, because I thought it was an amazing parade this year. It was probably the first one in the modern era that I could see myself reviewing, whether on Dino Drac or on the podcast. (Tho not this year, obviously!)

There were a dozen people at the big family dinner, which was actually pretty small by our standards. (By comparison, Christmas Eve will involve close to triple that number.) A smaller gathering was perfect for this year, which has been nuts in so many different ways. Last thing I needed was total insanity.

Highlights from the party included getting my ass kicked by my nephews on the Nintendo Switch, which I’d never played prior to Thursday. I was also happy to discover an open Dunkin’ Donuts nearby, so I got to be the hero who delivered Boxes O’ Joe (and some stale donuts) during the dessert round. (Way over-tipped the two people working at Dunkin’, too, because I can’t imagine that they wanted to be there.)

Now that we’re doubly officially in the holiday season, it’s time to break out the big guns. Here’s one of my own commercial compilations, featuring 30 minutes of nonstop old school Christmas spots. (I’m sure I ran this last year, but it’s worth highlighting twice.)

On deck for this week: Purple Stuff bonus show, new (old) holiday toy catalog review, and then hopefully back on camera for a YT video, because it’s been a while!

Enjoy your week. This is your free-for-all thread. Talk about whatever!