santa v. the kraken 🎅🐙

Additionally: a birthday memory, and an un-fond farewell

In this installment of Samtastic News, we have: a farewell to 2020! a flashback feature! and Santa v. the Kraken!


Yep, that’s it. See ya.

FLASHBACK: Best Birthday

I recently turned 35. I don’t much celebrate anymore, but in this strange, sad year of only seeing my loved ones by phone, I wanted to share my favorite birthday memory, and why it was so important to me.

My favorite birthday, hands down: December 2008. I graduated from college the prior summer, straight into a historic recession, and promptly moved back in with my mom. I was broke, had minimal job prospects, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

It was a massively full house (we peaked at a dozen people including my baby sister, baby niece, somebody’s friend living in the garage, various significant others), and my old bedroom was now occupied by my sister and her boyfriend. Everyone was struggling financially, so were all piled together to make ends meet. And I mean, OH BOY, we had some serious 12-people-in-a-house drama, but we were very lucky to still have a house.

I lived in the dining room, with a garbage boyfriend (boo!) and all the bookcases (yay!).

My birthday rolled around and I wasn’t expecting anything. But my mother, brother, and sisters chipped in for a pile of little presents, just to show they hadn’t forgotten. A couple of books, some chocolates, some amazingly fuzzy socks, a tiny baby monkey toy that cooed and waved its arms, handmade cards. Things that wouldn’t be particularly special, except that nobody could afford a thing and they tried anyway.

It was a bright spot in one of the worst years of my life. It was brighter because everything else was going off the rails.

I don’t want to downplay the shitshow so many people have been going through, and I don’t want to imply that bad times are worth it to appreciate the good, because eff that, but I will say that there’s no shame in forming a few happy memories when the world is on fire; and that, in fact, it’s imperative to do so. Take some time to remember those moments that have kept you going—and maybe try to make one for someone else.


I dropped the ball this year. I dropped several balls this year. The balls were on fire and lost in the mail!!

One was my annual Christmas card, a heavily photoshopped affair featuring myself and my family in various incomprehensible situations that I then have to explain to half the recipients. Oh well.

But, looking through my old cards, I decided that 2013’s masterpiece was actually pretty appropriate for 2020: in which I, a dolphin jockey, and my husband, an extremely hot cowboy merman, went searching for Santa Claus, who had gone missing. Santa getting eaten by a Kraken really would be the capper this year deserves, isn’t it?

Happy Holidays! At least you haven’t been eaten by a Kraken.

Next time on Samtastic News:

Next time, it’s going to be 2021!!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉