This happens almost every time I go to feed the ducks.
This happens almost every time I go to feed the ducks.
I’m Jewish, but I celebrate Christmas as well. I grew up celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah because while most of my family is Jewish, my maternal grandfather was Lutheran, and I just love all the lights and joy, it’s not just a ploy to get more presents. Christmas time for me means watching Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration. Made in 1987, it’s a look back at when animation involved a whole lot more than sitting at a computer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting down CGI artists, I know that can be intense time-consuming work as well, but I miss the days where more things were drawn and created by hand, not just with a mouse and keyboard.
Thanks to YouTube, you can watch this Special if you’ve never seen it, or like me, remember watching it as a kid. I own it on DVD, but I’m glad I found it online so I can post it here for others to watch. Happy Holidays, everybody!
There’s an episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery called “Hell’s Bells,” starring John Astin as a hippie who dies and ends up in Hell. But he’s confused because he’s expecting fire and torture, but instead he’s in a boring room. So he hollers for Satan who shows up and tells him “This is your hell.”
Mom told me about this episode today and I started to joke about what my personal Hell would be like, and as I kept talking I realized it would make a good blog entry. So here’s one idea…
For one, I love fresh air and being able to look out a window. So obviously, the room in my own Hell would be windowless. I also like interesting wallpaper or a nice color of paint, so the walls would be plain white, or maybe an off-white or even a shade of beige. There’d be no form of entertainment, no music or television or books. And finally, since I can’t stand groups of children, the room would be a daycare. Hell for me would be a daycare in an ugly boring windowless cube of a room, with dozens of dirty snotty screaming brats running around nonstop. All the toys would be broken so there’d be no point in my trying to play with them, any books would be gibberish and shapeless squiggles of color that the children could understand but it’d mean nothing to me. I’d just be stuck chasing after them or at a desk answering call after call from parents saying they’ll be running late to pick their kid up and bitch about fees or whatever.
I’m sure you get the idea.
Even imagining it now, it just sounds awful. I’m not even going to justify my opinion by saying something like “Certain kids can be cool, I guess.” No way, man. I was a kid once, I remember being a pain in the butt sometimes. And don’t even get me started on sticky hands, kids get all sticky and then have to touch everything, you’re lucky if those blackberry jam stains will come off the walls. And a child’s shriek is just terrifying, it’s the modern roar of a velociraptor.
I guess now that I think of it, I’d probably be stuck with one of those overly dumbed down children’s songs and/or cartoons on a loop all day, so although there’d be no form of entertainment I’d like, I’d be stuck listening to the same stupid thing over and over and over.
Just like Hell’s Bells says, what I just described could easily be someone’s idea of Heaven. And their Hell would sound awesome to me.
What would your personal Hell be like?
I’m a huge fan of the tv show American Horror Story, especially that gorgeous house. A friend on Facebook posted a link mentioning the house is for sale, I wasn’t going to bother clicking the link at first but the preview said it’s located in Los Angeles and that caught my attention. I looked up the address and it turns out the house is so closeby, it would’ve been a crime for me not to go see it.
The story my friend linked to is this one, which has some amazing pictures of the interior. The actual house was used to film the first episode of AHS, but the rooms have since been recreated on a backlot, which will be good news for whoever buys/bought the house since they won’t have constant film crews.
The house was built in 1902 by Alfred Rosenheim, a Los Angeles architect who also built the Doheny mansion which is equally as beautiful as this house, his private residence. It is now considered a Historical Property and, lucky for me, is located barely four miles from my own home. I didn’t go inside since there wasn’t an Open House, the sale sign’s gone so perhaps it’s already been purchased. But I wanted to take a couple photos for my friends who also love the show but don’t live where they can come see it. I couldn’t take a proper photo of the front of the house since a rather large tree is hiding half of it, but you still get a general idea of just how big this 10,440-square-foot home is.
And by the way, the actual mansion is definitely not haunted. The name “Murder House” is the nickname for the house based on this one used in the tv show, I mean no disrespect toward Mr. Rosenheim’s family or the current owners of the house.
If you live in Los Angeles and you’d like to visit the house, the address is 1120 Westchester Place. It’s near Pico & Arlington, just west of Arlington and south of Olympic. It’s not in a gated community, but since it’s an actual home and located in a residential neighborhood, please respect the people who live there and don’t do anything crazy.
On Saturday, August 6th 2011, the Zoo’s female Sumatran tiger, Lulu, gave birth to three male cubs. The cubs made their debut to the public on December 9th, Mom and I went and saw them yesterday! We stood there for a long time watching them, Lulu kept pacing around and lightly roaring, probably hungry since it was close to feeding time. One cub kept running around her trying to get her to play, and at least one other cub was fast asleep. The third cub was either also asleep, or just where I couldn’t see him, because I only noticed two. Apparently one cub is on a completely different schedule than the rest, which is good for those of us who want to see them but not good for poor Lulu who’s stuck with hyper cubs all day and night.
I took a bunch of pictures but unfortunately my camera’s not the best, so a lot of them are either just not very good or the tigers are too blurred to use, but I took some good ones and got a couple videos as well.
Two years ago I bought myself a Wreck This Journal. I slowly worked on it and came up with some fun ideas, but ultimately didn’t like a lot of what I did and didn’t even complete a lot of the pages. Here’s some of what I did:
I ended up throwing it out since there was food inside (one of the pages says to document your dinner, for example) so I never got around to finishing the rest. But I’d love to own another one. I had the idea that maybe some friends and followers could chip in to help me buy a new one, it’d be an awesome holiday present and you can count on me posting my progress of the new WTJ. I know a lot of you have young children to buy holiday presents for, but there’s no harm in asking!
I no longer need donations, so I’ve removed the Paypal button. Keri Smith herself donated so I could buy one of her books, I’m surprised and very grateful!
Edit on 12/27: I got the new book today and will start on it ASAP!
A friend of mine (female, of course) got kinda uppity with me when I said I don’t like dark chocolate. “Oh,” she said. “But it’s healthy!” I clarified her statement by saying it can be good for our health, it’s not actually healthy. She got even more uppity and I lost total interest in the conversation. As a fat woman, I don’t need another fat woman preaching to me about “healthy chocolate” while she’s chainsmoking cigarettes.
Dark chocolate is not some miracle substance that keeps you healthy, it simply has some health benefits. And specifically, it helps older folks. So if you’re an obese teenager chowing down on dark chocolate, you’re still screwing up your body. It can help all of us when eaten in moderation, but let’s face it, very few people know what “in moderation” means, especially in regards to something they love. I’ll admit I have that problem too, I’m not in denial about why I’m overweight.
Personally, I hate dark chocolate. But it’s nice to know it can lower my blood pressure and help keep my heart healthy if I ever need a little boost. However, for the moment, I don’t have to worry about that at all because my blood pressure is perfect and my heart’s normal. Sure, I’m fat, but dark chocolate sure as hell won’t fix that. So this friend telling me dark chocolate is healthy, she’s nothing more than an enabler even if she doesn’t realize it. And that’s just really pitiful. If you’re going to talk about something being healthy, don’t make yourself sound like a jackass.
In case you don’t believe me, you can read about dark chocolate’s benefits at WebMD. Although knowing that site, it probably also says chocolate can give you cancer, so feel free to take this knowledge with a grain of salt.
I took this picture on Halloween. I was at Party City, a party supplies store, to see if they had a sale going on. They were actually pretty bare in terms of Halloween stuff, either they’d already had a sale or they take things off the shelves before the holiday’s even over. Anyway, the aisle was obviously going to quickly become a Christmas section because this poster was on the wall. Almost every single costume for women was a short skirt or dress.
So basically, you can dress up as Mrs. Claus, an angel, a jester-elf thing, or any variation of a ho-ho-ho. Not that I’d ever dress like this for Christmas, but if I was going to go this route, personally I’d rather just go to a lingerie store like Trashy, at least I’d be getting good quality skankwear.
I used the word “tchotchkes” in my last entry, and a handful of people found that amusing. I honestly tend to forget not everybody knows Yiddish, it just sorta flies out of my mouth — or in this case, my fingers — and of course not everybody knows what I’m saying. I explained it to a friend on Twitter, but I figured I might as well explain it here too.
I’ve also seen it spelled as chochka/chochke or chachka/chachke. I figure this is for the same reason you’ll see both Hanukkah or Chanukah (the way I spell it), the original word comes from a language that can’t be perfectly translated into English so there’s no “correct” way to spell it.
According to Wikipedia, it came from a Slavic word meaning “toy,” but a tchotchke isn’t necessarily a toy. I describe a tchotchke as a dust collector, it’s the random junk we all keep on shelves.
In my case, my tchotchkes are a perfect blend of “Aww how cute” and “What the hell is wrong with you.” In the first photo you can see Nightmare Before Christmas figurines, Hamtaro toys, Bunnicula, a matryoshka doll (Russian nesting doll), a clown doll, and a rainbow candle. In the second photo there’s a large stuffed elephant and giraffe, an elephant-shaped bank, a Captain Spaulding bobblehead, Tokidoki dolls, a potted cactus candle, a chanchito (three-legged pig statue for good luck), and a few other random things.
Show me your tchotchkes! Or just tell me your favorite(s), I’ll settle for that.
My mother and I recently went to The Gold Guys with a handful of old jewelry to see how much it was worth, and to see how much of it was actually real. Mom was pleasantly surprised, especially with a particular piece I’d actually wanted to keep until I found out it was worth something. I wasn’t actually going to wear it, I just thought it was cool, but I have enough tchotchkes so I told Mom it’s okay to sell it. It was this tiny pendant shaped like a box, the idea was you fold up a dollar bill inside to keep on you in case of an emergency.
The one in the photo above is exactly what Mom had, but isn’t a photo of hers. I hadn’t actually taken a photo of the one she owned, I got this photo from an ebay auction. Not that it really matters, but I figure I should at least link to where I got the photo since I’m using it without permission.
The term isn’t used anymore, but it was called mad money. Mad money is essentially cab fare you always have just in case, something people don’t really worry about anymore thanks to credit cards, and the fact that a $1 bill absolutely will not pay for a cab these days but you sure don’t want to keep a $20 in a necklace because your “mad money” will magically turn into a pizza out of sheer laziness. Anyway, one reason why I’d wanted to keep this pendant was just the fact that there was a dollar stuffed into this tiny little thing. I don’t have the patience to sit down with a pair of tweezers and fold a dollar that tiny, I just found it incredible. The lady at Gold Guys managed to get the dollar out, which stayed in its shape due to the fact that it’d been in that pendant since the 70s. I have no idea what to do with it, ideally I’d like to put it with the rest of my tchotchkes, but we might end up unfolding it (or attempting to) to just spend. Because hey, it’s a dollar.