Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Heart for a Tree

Today I took down my Christmas tree.

To be fair, I've been planning on it for a while now, but a few key events altered it from the ever-existing petrified sculpture in the corner to a 5 foot tall blazing inferno in all but deed. A) My mother came for a visit and actually entered the apartment and B) Whichever friend coming over to play cards got the chair with their back shoved into that stale piny mess would probably never have come back.

So of course, I was planning on using the entire week to clean the place gradually, nude the tree of its red finery, and etc. Funny how times gets away from a person. In this statement, read: Friday night, home from work at 12:30am knowing the place had to be clean by 8am. It's awfully handy that, while my motto is "you only get one chance to make a first impression", following that, it becomes "after that it doesn't matter, they got their shot to see it looking good."

I realized I had neglected to alert my flatmate of the impending arrival. Anyone who has flatmates knows this is a no-no. So I told her. Only to learn that she also had a surprise guest. Who would be arriving in 3 hours. As I looked at my sad little Christmas tree I had fondly named "Dougie", I remembered my mother's words. "That thing is a fire trap" Me: "But it's still green! And we've BONDed!"

Looking at it now, I can see that it isn't is more of a "dead turtle" color, and the only reason I was attached to it was because the needles were everywhere--sticking in my socks, getting in my shoes.

I had to use a candy cane to coax the ornaments out of the tree, as the needles actually pierced flesh. Then I did something I hadn't known that I wanted to do until then. I took the red hair spray my little sis gave me for Christmas and spray painted a giant red happy face on Dougie. I filled in the other area's with a glow-in-the-dark black light paint that was the other half of her gift. All this was of course done to the strains of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" that I blasted to delight the apartment complex. (hey, from the sounds of the parties I was hearing an hour previous...nobody was going to hear anything anyways)

But then how to dispose of it? I considered sneaking it out to the street side, which is a kind of foliage waste area that gets swept regularly...then I looked at the plastic bucket on the bottom. And at all the "potentially fatal if swallowed" chemicals I had just sprayed all over him, and realized that he was a tree cyborg. Half tree...half...something else. So I propped Dougie up in the dumpster with his happy face ready to greet the next lucky disposer.

Looking at his happy face made me almost as happy as vacuuming our entire apartment at 3:15 that morning. And it looks good. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Garden of Discoveries

Why does no one make art like they used to? Aside from the fact that the nature of art is that it changes over time with our beliefs and the way we express them. That's nice. I however am a fan of the quirky and highly detailed works of our friend...Hieronymous Bosch!

The center panel (Utopia) of his most ambitious work "Garden of Delights" has got to be my favorite. Every time it is examined, it expands the mind in new ways, causes new questions to be asked. For instance:

The red tepee, with oxygen-rich blood vessels emerging...not bad. Behind is a lovely bird feeding a random guy. But that's not the fun bit. Look at the tepee. It must be like the Tardis...a whole lot bigger on the inside than the outside. I'm counting 3 pairs of feet, and if the proportions are right in this, one guy might be able to duck a tad. Just two people and you are already straying into the dangerous lip-action zone.

But what is this? I declare...a man-eating mussel. My first thought involved the mussel forming men instead of pearls around a central kernel of junk, but there are pearls inside already. Maybe the man (lets call him Steve) climbed in to get some. And then Bob (the guy carrying him) is trying to help in some way. Or he's hungry for a little stir-fried mussel and just took advantage of the situation. Either way you look at it, something awfully strange is going on here.

(or the unthinkable...the rest of the panel is filled with folk copulating...perhaps we shouldn't be so specie-ist)

This one is just odd.

At first, the woman's? man's? arm looks almost like the man's leg behind them. The poor fruit is spewing out little black orbs like a flayed pinata on the bottom. And why aren't they joining the reverie of the entire rest of the Garden's population? I mean, she just looks tired. The man behind them has a thing for strawberries--he's clutching that thing as though the strawberry has just realized what's coming and is trying to make a dash for it. But our couple just looks tired. What *have* they been up to? Never mind. Given the context, I think I can guess.
'till next thought!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Love, Friendship, and Consumerism

So I looked it up, and V-day is basically every other holiday; in that it was one of those ancient Romans-slaughter-animals-y
oung-virgins-things. The church comes along and “saint-ifies” it, picking (probably) good ‘ole Valentine, who illegally married young couples and got beheaded for it.

Then along came Hallmark.

Not Hallmark specifically, but cards/chocolates/flowers/etc. I just saw a commercial; “…everything you NEED to show your love” We all know V-day has been commercialized, but what is pathetic is when you see the how companies are trying to tap into the friendship market…telling us it’s ok to NOT have that “special someone”. Face it. St. Valentine (the most probable one) MARRIED young LOVERS. But since on any given Valentine’s day, a large percent on the population remains unattached, that leaves a very large group of people potentially with no drive for consumerism. (besides, I must admit, those of us who say “oh look, CANDY!! CHOCALATE!! Time to load up…” or those of us who feel depressed and sorry for ourselves and buy it to feed our loveless depression)

So now friendship has become candy-worthy. I am not knocking this. I have friends that I love, just not in the “St. Valentine-I-will-help-you-get-married-if-you-don’t-tell-the-emperor” kind. If I did, they would be my sig. other, not just my friend. (true, I could feel that way about someone, but as long as I don’t tell them, the point is moot)

Now you can potentially spend money on red foil and chocolate love for everyone. Yum!!

I suppose that this “friend inclusion clause” in the Valentine bylaws is so amusing to me because of all our other holidays:

  • St. Patrick’s Day…wear green/pinching—fun for all!

  • Easter…(us) Christians=Jesus, the rest of you can hunt eggs/poke the Easter Bunny

  • 4th of July…ditto, wear red/white/blue

  • Labor Day…don’t go to work

  • Halloween…dress up or do the “All Saints Day” thing, your pick

  • Thanksgiving…kill a turkey and say thank you (vegetarians…um…just say thanks)

  • Christmas…(us) Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth, and anyone can kill a tree and give other people stuff, and say thank you when YOU get stuff

What does one notice? Well, there are options for all! V-day however is primarily for “lovers”. It would be like having Mother’s Day roll around, and your mother had died. Or maybe, you never had a mother. Quite the quandary really.

So, I will give my roomies chocolates and conversation hearts while I munch on the “leftovers” while I try to remember which of the two reasons I had for buying the candy in the first place.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 that a...Fuzzy Onion?

From where I sit, I can see the fuzzy backside of an onion. At first, I took it for a heavily waxed apple, but the rest of the bag appears to have yellow onions, so...

Things go bad in the kitchen, but the onion says more. It says "whoever bought me intended to actually fix something that required more cooking than the use of a microwave" or "they forgot about me on top of said microwave".

The fuzzy apple is more forgivable, and therefore not as interesting. After all, the styles for eating a Jonagold and a Vidalia wildly differ. One buys a bag of apples to keep up on the middle right hand side of the food pyramid. Very noble. (tho not as noble as buying a head of cauliflower in a singular stab of optimism). Wilted scummy lettuce is you wishing you had bought the pre-cleaned and bagged stuff. Moldy cheese is....a redundant phrase. Rotting meat is laziness. Face it, your freezer is at eye level. Anyone having trouble with this concept should look by the door. Check for Velcro fastening shoes. Check.

There are two excuses for a fuzzy onion:
  1. It is in a cupboard not in plain sight, and another, newer onion is currently half gone in your fridge. This proves that you could and were going to use it, but honestly and completely forgot about the little devil. A silver star for you, oh gourmet chef!
  2. It was the shriveled runt in a bag of 5 or more others that have already or are getting ready to make their way through someone's digestive system. Congratulations on your thriftiness, plus the fact that you were able to get through the other five onions before THEY molded...a GOLD star for YOU! :D
I have 1/3 of a beautiful red onion in my crisper. Time to get my backup....

Forgein People...Inn p7

When people come from out of town and out of the country, there are two things that I notice: the accent and the manners. Accents are truly lovely things--but as with any lovely thing, they come with a danger attached as well. Who can concentrate on the fact that Mr. 213 needs a wake-up call at 5:30 when all *I* hear is
Mr. 213: "Can aye 'ave (Australian accent.............)"
Me: (oops, I should be listening) I'm sorry sir, what was that?
Mr. 213: "Aye need ah (Australian accent.............)"
Me: (oops, new problem, I didn't understand half of what he said) "What was the time again sir?"

So, all in all, I end up looking (and sounding) like a deaf zoner

The word "cheers" is also a word seemingly much neglected in usages here in the U$ of A.
I enjoy a good all-purpose word as much as anybody, but I think "cheers" is becoming a rising star. (and yes, I am referring to *polite* society)
Cheers can mean "thank you" like on the occasion following.

Australian man walks up to the is the Wednesday before the 4th of July weekend
Man: I need you to book me a cabin in Lake Tahoe for the weekend"
Me: Any particular cabin?
Man: Anyone of the nice ones...I can't remember which ones. One on the south side. Cheers!
(walks off, leaving me, mouth agape. Tho in this particular mans opinion, the word cheers seems to be interchangeable with the phrase "thanks love" but we shan't go there)

Or as "Goodbye"

Me: Goodbye!
Man from Holland: Cheers!

Or as in "Goodnight"

Me: Your room is down the hall and to the right. Goodnight!
Man from Ireland: Cheers!

Or "Good luck"

Man from Germany: Cheers!

My conclusion? People from Europe are fun.
Perhaps not blinding, but true all the same.