Meanwhile in Amish country…

Hope everyone had a Merry Indoor-Pine-Tree-Wrapped-In-Paper-Mache-With-A-Star-On-Top Day! I tend to celebrate IPTWIPMWASOTs with plastic trees only because I have girly hands that are girlier than most girls’ and pine needles are absolute murder on them. I’ve had a bout with Pericarditis a few years ago and I’d much rather go through that again than have to stick my hands in a pine tree.

My mom got me a bottle of Inca Kola. BEST GIFT EVAR!

I got dragged into the shopping foray over Thanksgiving despite not feeling well (who in their right minds would turn down a free chocolate cake even with a fever?) I’m sorta glad I did, because it’s not often I really go shopping on the count of my severe allergy to commercialism and fixing-things-that-ain’t-broke. An old friend of my mom brought me along to go shopping at the Danbury Mall in Connecticut. I’ve been here before when the iPhone first came out.

The Crappening

I came across these stalls where women would apply toxic chemicals in vials of goo in an effort to look more beautiful superficially by destroying their natural beauty, because (God forbid) a presence of personality and charm haven’t been bottled yet. I’m sure Avon is working on it though.

There was an eerie silence as I waded through clothing isles punctuated by the sound of me gasping at the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a while. This is the sort of thing I’d expect to come across in a cemetery at night. I’m the kind of person that can shatter a mirror just by smiling at my own reflection and it still caught me off-guard.

It's the New England Chupacabra!

It’s the New England Chupacabra!

Clearly, it looks human. Sort of. I quickly went past that… whatever it was and came across the men’s watches section. Is it just me or are these getting bigger and bigger for no discernible reason? Are men’s eyesight getting weaker somehow or are our penises getting smaller? I mean, I know men do have bigger wrists… well not me; I look like a hairy 16 year-old girl with a face that could turn Medusa to stone, but these were approaching ridiculous sizes.

Is that case made of Depleted Uranium?

Is that case made of Depleted Uranium?

This thing really does weigh more than a small moon

These things really do weigh more than a small moon

These were almost the size of my whole bloody palm! It’s a shame that good taste in appearances have gone out the window and it’s not just in the West. Although I most certainly can’t afford one, and I know taste is subjective, I think Bell & Ross is one of few brands that have the ideal appearance for men’s watches mastered. They’re clear (the chief function of a watch, in case people forgot, is to tell time), have good Swiss movements, simple and above all else are tasteful.

Well, this was the mall so onward…

I then came across a picture of an actor with a beard wearing simple, quaint, clothing selling a heater that Amish people don’t make.

Did they make the cabinet or the heater? Or neither? Still not clear on the details.

Did they make the cabinet or the heater? Or neither? Still not clear on the details.

I can’t lie; I do like the idea of having one of these in my cabin, but the power demand will still be unacceptable considering the small roof size for solar panels. Plus the pellet stove will be more effective for heat anyway.

I popped into the Verizon store to get a new Bluetooth hands free set since mine got stepped on at work (yeah, someone will lose an ear when I go back to work). I’m reminded this is still Danbury, I.E. New England country bumpkin territory when I came across this.

Sure love em corn dogs done right, but I ain't riskin mah fingers!

Sure love em corn dogs done right, but I ain’t riskin mah fingers!

There’s been a lot of hoopla over the “War Christmas” which is ironic since Christmas has been waging a war on Christians since the advent of commercialism decades ago. The Lexus ads call it the “December to Remember Sales Event”, but I think calling it the “Buy-More-Useless-Junk Event” is more appropriate. The above iGrill really drove the point home to me that the “War on Christmas” people really have their priorities misaligned.

I got into an argument with someone over this very point right before Christmas. He’s one of those people who claim that somehow everyone coming together and enjoying the holidays in their own way is somehow detrimental to the spirit of Christmas. When I tried to explain to these people how their beliefs are quite safe, because, well… they’re their beliefs (unless the aliens come down to Earth and reach into their minds to brainwash them into clicking on PSY’s Gangnam Style video over and over until it reaches 1 Billion views on December 21st thereby initiating the End of the World… which didn’t happen), I usually the get irate retort :

WELL, WHAT ABOUT YOU, HUH? WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN?!

Chocolate and Donny Osmond.

No, seriously. Hear me out.

For every problem you may have (short of being able to fly an airplane during a hailstorm while being attacked by chimps tripping on acid) you will find an answer in either Chocolate or Donny Osmond.

Consider this :
If you’re faced with the problem of choosing between charity and avoiding troublesome in-laws, Donny Osmond would say to face them with your heart open and you shall overcome whatever adversity may strike you. I have followed this whenever I meet family and Donny’s advice (that he never gave me personally, but came to me in a vision through Crazy Horses) has never let me down. If this is not enough, chocolate will be the ideal peacemaker between all. And if that fails, well… Chocolate and Donny Osmond work in mysterious ways.

I have to start work again tomorrow, sadly, and even though I do have the coming weekend off, I’ll probably be spending time with family. So if I don’t get to post until after the 1st…

Happy New Year!

I Survived 2012

If you survived the Mayan Doomsday / Apocalypse / etc… etc… and want the rest of the world to know (you know, in case they’re still stuck in bunkers and staring at you through the peephole), wear the proof of resolve on your sleeve. *Yes,  this is totally a shameless plug.

I Survived 12 - 21 - 12

I Survived 12 – 21 – 12 . You know, in case that crazy uncle still won’t believe you.

Mayan Calendar. This thing is broken

Somehow we all know it was… or the people reading too much into it were.

Spoiler...Nothing Happens. Mayan Calendar

Spoiler… Nothing Happens.

 

Or if you like the original calendar and don’t want any snark…

Mayan Long Count Calendar

The original calendar (minus snark)

 

RIP Adam Yauch (aka MCA From the Beastie Boys)

MCA From the Beastie Boys, a band many of us defined our generation with, died today at age 47 after a battling cancer. He will be sorely missed.

RIP MCA

Update 8:30PM

Now that I’ve collected my thoughts…

I was a 13 year old kid who had just moved up to New York after coming to America and, up until then, living in the South for a while. Nothing about Western culture — that I saw so much of on TV — had any discernable bearing on my real life. I felt let down by popular culture. At least TV culture.

Between my trips to Comedy Central to watch Dr. Katz, to Fox to watch the Simpsons and back to MTV, I grew into something of a cynic. High school was boring, my friends were stupid, enemies were evil, but at least I had entertainment to come home to. But then mere entertainment started to morph into something of a lifestyle. The Beastie Boys started to grow on me.

Once upon a time, believe it or not, the bane of civilization and all taste, MTV, used to be an OK place to visit for good music. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t really earth-shattering and most of it was incomprehensible. But the idea that it was all “fake” was hammered in to all of us all the time by the surreality of the content. Between Liquid TV, Aeon Flux, Beavis and Butthead and Daria, I thought I had a pretty good sense of the popular culture.

No one pretended that this was “real”. Even the Real World, which started the apocalypse, was stupid enough to be innocuous.

We all derived some pleasure from the trivial theater that is the Music Video. And since CDs were expensive (to us) and your mom couldn’t afford the latest albums, MTV and radio were your only sources of music entertainment. You could repeat the experience thanks to blank tapes, which were cheap, and I managed to scrounge up a recorder someone had thrown out and, viola… My taste in music was simmering with the times and the Boys were becoming a formative part of my life.

I think the first Beastie Boys music video I ever saw was No Sleep Till Booklyn and that was considered “old” even back then (the mid 90′s and the track was from the late 80′s). I didn’t care, I thouroughly enjoyed it. If they didn’t take it seriously, why should I? The collection snowballed as I finally could afford CDs.

The Beastie Boys… and I only saw those magnificiently absurd young men a few times before latching on to MTV… it occured to me, I think these guys really know how to have fun while not giving a damn. Entertainment was entertaining on its own merit. The music was good, the tune was catchy and rhymes were starting to stick. I think I could get into this.

And boy did I.

My first mixtapes always had the following :

  • Cooky Puss
  • The New Style
  • No Sleep Till Brooklyn
  • Paul Revere
  • Hold it now, Hit it
  • Brass Monkey
  • High Plains Drifter
  • Hey Ladies
  • Jimmy James
  • Pass the Mic
  • So What’cha want
  • Sure Shot
  • Root Down
  • Sabotage (the song and video are Immortal)
  • Three MC’s and one DJ
  • Body Movin
  • Intergalactic
  • Root Down

Suffice it to say that today, the same as to many others, a part of our childhood died. Nothing will really replace what Adam brought to the trio (quartet with the DJ) and a part of our reality has a gaping hole as a result.

Farewell, MCA.

366 Goodnight Stories

This is one very unusual book, but it was one of the best books I’ve ever read as a child and it was definitely the single greatest thing that inspired me to read more. And it’s probably the best book overall that I’ve ever owned.

Tales and Poems for the Very Young

It’s definitely seen better days, but this copy of the book has survied well considering it’s been through multiple owners. 366 Goodnight Stories by Golden Pleasure Books was first published in 1963. This copy from 1969 was the same one I had more than 25 years ago (when I was 4) and was the book that started it all.

Inside cover

Inside title

It’s a smorgasbord of stories, little tales and poems for every day of the week, for every month and for every season. Every story and poem belongs a specific day of the year.

First season, Summer.

Summer

The types range from whimsical to the surreal, from classic to abstract and from the bizarre to amazing. Even if you get a piece that didn’t thrill you that day of the year, you’ll never be bored since there’s no rule to say you can’t skip ahead or behind.

Hot cross buns

Ipsey Wipsey

Buzz Fuzz, Cycling, Soldiers, The Princess and the Dummy

New Year's Eve, New Year's Day

The copy of the book I owned was practically destroyed by constant use (by yours truly) and storage abuse. I don’t remember who gave it to me, but it was moved from place to place and changed owners across generations before it came to me and it showed. So I had left it behind when I came to the U.S. as a little kid. It broke my heart too since it was my favorite book. I was elated to find it again being sold on Amazon last year and was pleasantly surprised to find that it too was a gift for someone.

Meg & Nick. Birthday 1969 2 & 4 yrs. From Michelle and & Mark Peterson.

Meg and Nick, if you happen to wonder whatever happened to your book, not to worry, it’s in good hands and will be well cared for. And no, you can’t have it back. ;)

This morning, I read another philosophical musing by Kelly that inspired me to post this; which, by the way, is highly recommended reading. Each of her entries would fit nicely in a (grown up) version of this book if it were printed today, that’s based less on fantasy and more on the unreality of our reality.

Site of the Week: The Nicest Place on the Internet

Having a bad day? Life just seems too hectic? Need a hug? Looks like you need to visit the Nicest Place on the Internet.

Having one of those days? Yeah, been there too. And sometimes, a little pick-me-up is hard to come by. So come on by to turn the sad into happy and the happy into celebration. Cause this is a nice place to visit on days like today.

On first glance, this would have normally been a place that would make me gag, but what first caught my eye was the brilliantly simple structure of the place. It’s all videos of happy things and hugs from all sorts of people cycling through.

Yeah, even the jadeometer on yours truly went down a notch.