This year we had twenty submissions. TWENTY. That's a new record, which is great, but it also meant I couldn't give every single guy his own page. And that made me cry a little. Okay, a lot. As you will shortly see, there are some pretty epic guys this year, and I had to make some hard choices, but I managed to fit almost everyone in. (With one exception - I got one submission that was so small, it would only have printed clearly at thumbnail size. And I was so sad, because he was a hottie.)
Enough of my whining about how hard it is to pick pictures of half-naked men. Let's start with the cover:
That right there is Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios. He's also the community editor at Generation Q (and yeah, that's his own product placement there.) I lost a LOT of sleep over which picture to put on the cover, and I kept coming back to this one because look at that smile! How can you resist a man in a bathtub smiling at you like that? You can't. You pretty much want to crawl right in there with him. He's going to freak out that he's on the cover, but it's his own fault for being so stinkin' adorable.
The Rogues Gallery! Man, I hate it that there aren't nineteen months in a year (and that a nineteen month calendar is totally cost prohibitive). Dan up there in the top left was the guy on the dune buggy backhoe thingy last year. This year, he's in an outhouse! Rick has got his burrito in a lathe. That should be a new saying: Don't get your burrito in a lathe, dude! Joe is all suave with his glass of pinot and a fresh chicken-n-cheese special. Though that bench arm has got to hurt. Henry was the Big Man in the Little Boat last year. Stormtrooper Andy is the son of Mr. June and John is the son of Henry and Michael is Mr. January's dad. It's all one big family!
Again, I just love all these guys so much. See how hard my job is?
Here is Mr. January:
Enno is a baking student from Bremerhaven, Germany who only makes it home on occasion, so his mom grabbed the opportunity to get some shots of him in the garden. I like to imagine he comes home to mom and dad with boxes and boxes of pastries and cakes. He could have been holding an eclair. Do they even have burritos in Germany? They're probably called something like tortentillenbeanenschnackaschnackayumyumsies over there.
David here is not only insanely gorgeous, is not only wearing a kilt—which is always unbearably sexy—he also wins the award for BIGGEST BURRITO. He can barely get his hand around that thing. Congratulations, David. I hope it's gratifying to know you make other men feel inadequate about their beef and bean wraps.
And here we have quilter Scott Murkin lounging around in his hammock. I am loving my Scotts this year - both are accomplished quilters and designers and both are adorable cuddle muffins. They probably talk about that whenever they meet up.
I've got a soft spot for Rick because he reminds me so much of my brother. Jon rode a Harley and was always rocking some sort of mustache/beard/goatee combo. He had that same kind of silver hair too, though towards the end it looked almost all white. I believe that quilt is made of Harley Davidson t-shirts, and my sister is making one of those for Jon's wife out of his vast collection of them. So, thanks for looking like a badass, Rick, just like my big brother.
It's the amazing, the fabulous, the glitteriffic Molli Sparkles!!! I had gotten the word that some of my Australian readers were putting pressure on this guy to submit, and I threw a few hints out there as well. I knew if he decided to go for it, he'd come through in grand style. And he so did. This picture has it all: lights, feathers, glitter, and bright pink underpants.
Jym here is married to GenQ technical editor, Vicki Tymczyszyn and is also dad to the mystery Stormtrooper in the Rogue's Gallery. I absolutely adore his purple swim cap. He should talk to Molli about putting some glitter on it. The quilt was made by Vicki as a tribute to Jym's triathalons. Plural. I always figured once you do one triathalon you wouldn't really need to do another one, right? Or maybe that's just me.
ISN'T HE THE SWEETEST THING EVER? Jimmy's mom is also known as That Moxie Girl, and if you have seen anything about Selfish Sewing Week around the interwebz lately, you have her to thank for it. We also have her to thank for little Jimmy as well, since he is also her creation. AND APPARENTLY SHE MADE HIM OUT OF SUNSHINE AND UNICORNS AND PANDAS AND CANDY. Nice work, Moxie Girl.
Gentlemen, take note. Alex is Working. It. With the burrito in his pocket. I can't even tell you how happy this picture makes me.
Cover boy again, in a slightly different shot.
Ron has so much going for him here. He's got kick-ass hair. he's wearing a skeleton apron and is stretched out upon a quilt of skulls. And, if you look closely, he's wearing a TOE RING. For some reason, I find this just ridiculously endearing.
What's not to love about Jeff? Tats, a cowboy hat, the mustache/sideburn combo thing, and the chopper. I have never figured out how people actually ride these kinds of bikes. There's no back on the seat and the handlebars are way up over your head. That can't be comfortable. Wouldn't your hands fall asleep? I mean, if your back didn't go into spasms first. These thoughts plague me.
Mark always comes through for me. If you recall, he was the iconic cover model from the first edition of the QSMASBC. He and his wife Ida always go scouting out for great locations and then send me a CD full of pictures. Mark scared the piss out of everyone this year when he was hospitalized with pneumonia—the on-a-ventilator, touch-and-go kind of pneumonia. To everyone's great relief (particularly Ida's) he got well and is looking mighty fine. He sent me so many good pictures this year, I told him I could do a calendar of just him. It took me days to settle on just one.
Now, Mark is such a great sport, he also heeded my call for naked Christmas booty. See, for each of the past two years, I have had one man willing to bare his buns and he has traditionally been placed in December as a little Christmas gift to us all. However, last year, many people wrote and complained about the booty. "What about the children," they cried. "Won't somebody think of the children?" Apparently, many people don't want a man's naked buns on display anywhere where small children could see them and discover that men have butts. So, I had thought that this year I would make two calendars—one with booty and one without—to give people a choice. But THEN I remembered all the emails I get every year from people who have trouble ordering and want ME to fix it, even though with a print-on-demand service, those things are totally out of my hands and have to be handled by the company that prints and vends them. So, I knew that were I to offer two calendars, somebody would inevitably order the wrong one and then demand restitution from me personally.
So, I am keeping Mark's booty under lock and key here at Bitchy Stitcher headquarters, to be used someday in the future, either when I can finally get enough money together to print my own calendars or when the inevitable QSMASBC All Mark All Year edition comes out.
So is it me, or is this—despite the lamentable lack of Christmas booty— quite possibly the BEST CALENDAR YET? (Though I do miss the Platt brothers. I almost put them back in just for the hell of it.)
Once again, it is being sold through Lulu.com but this year the price has dropped to $18.99. Click here to order. And you can use coupon code FBC18 to get 18% off your order (the coupon is good once only)
PLEASE NOTE: My husband's father passed away on Saturday, and we are leaving shortly to go to Indiana for his funeral. If you have questions or problems, I will do my best to address them, but you should not count on being able to contact me until this weekend. Thanks.