December 21, 2005

a Coinstar kinda Christmas

Well people, I'm electronically gone for the next week or so. I just thought I'd take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I would call, but I'm broke and soon exchanging my pennies to buy my last few sausage logs and herb tea gift sets.

I've spent all my money. And I feel great!
Happy Holidays!

December 19, 2005

The Chronicles of a Comeback?

The internets are totally abuzz about the "Lazy Sunday" digital short (aka the "Narnia Rap") feature on SNL the other night. I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. I even kept it in my TiVo to show my sister, which is very rare as of late when it comes to SNL (This is besides Dane Cook's epi, of course). But yeah. This short was really fun. It had cupcakes, a reference to "The Notebook", and a very Beastie-boysy feel for the holidays. Check it out when you get a chance at YouTube.

Actually, I was surprised to find myself watching the entire episode, TiVo'ing through the commercials aside. And no, it wasn't just the Ba Ba Booey reference during Weekend Update, awesome as it was. There were still a few so-so sketches, but on the whole it was a decent effort. Maybe SNL is on an upswing?

Shopping is scary.

“The ornaments look pretty but they are pulling down the branches of the tree.”

I knew I was in for trouble whilst stuck on the interstate exit before even reaching the mall. I had been told that shopping the weekend before Christmas was a fool’s errand, but what the hay. I like shopping. I’m patient. Hell, I spent four years in the trenches at ODU standing in the registration and financial aid lines. I got heart.

Conversation remnants describing this weekends events:

CA: “The stores were RAVAGED”
LP: Seriously. Old Navy's women's department WAS A sock and A cell phone cover.
CA : “Kohl's looked like a New Orleans WalMart three days after the hurricane.”
CA: “We abandoned our cart and fled the scene
LP: I fled Lynnhaven like a crow flying away from a french frie on the interstate.”

I mean I had simple goals: Get in. Get out. Buy no presents that had a size or were of a rare nature to find and/or replace. DO NOT SHOP FOR YOURSELF. Do not equate present price to friendship value. Everyone’s equally deserving (or I simply will not have groceries for following year). Christmas is about selfless giving, and giving, and giving. Right?

There muggings at all major malls. Tiesha called to warn me not to go to Greenbrier, there was a woman down. To further her point “Leslie, I don’t think I coulda took down THIS woman. so it must’ve been SOME mugger, I’m not going back out after 5 and I’d advise you to do the same.” The mall that dreaded sundown.

I’m starting to think the war on Christmas has nothing to do with Santa, Jesus, or holiday greetings at all. The real war is debt and consumer commercialism and just trying to survive it without selling your kidney.

December 14, 2005

The Holiday Address

I really didn’t want to do this; but my hand (and, ahem, Leslie’s for this accompanying picture) has been forced. I’m declaring a war on the war on Christmas.

I need to know why our nation’s news organizations are so obsessed with this non-story, and who started all this kerfluffle (am looking in your direction, Mr. O’Reilly), so I can kick them in the baby-maker.

I just don’t understand why people are upset when someone is just trying to be nice. There really are a whole lot of worse things they could say to you.

A few weeks ago, a guy friend of mine wanted to celebrate the fact that he and his fiancĂ© were going to have a baby with his most near and dear. Long story short, this was a baby shower thrown by a couple of dudes for a crowd of mostly dudes and three girls attending. It was quite possibly the best baby shower ever. No stupid games where you guess how big Mommy-to-be’s belly is with ribbon. There was no wishing well, unless you count the grated heater in Joe’s floor where renegade silverware goes to die; and the only reason the shower didn’t have a theme based around watching that day’s soul-crushing Eagles game was because the Eagles weren’t playing that day. (Nonetheless, there was still football on the TV, for everyone in attendance of said shower except the three ladies were in a fantasy football league.)

Besides the paper tablecloth with pictures of babies on it buried underneath not one, not two, but THREE sandwich trays; balloons strewn about the tiny apartment in every color EXCEPT pink or blue, and one of those cardboard letter-banners reading “Baby Shower”; there was the cake. A cake which read “Happy Baby”, which my brother and I took to chanting for most of the afternoon like characters in a Japanimation cartoon (always wanted to be one of those). No, it made no sense, and yes, it was pretty damn near inappropriate. After all, would it have killed the novice boy-shower-organizers to ASK a girl what the appropriate phrase to write in delicious icing would be?

But Joe’s cake-wish blunder wasn’t even a blip on the radar of that afternoon. The real story was that it was a great shower. Everyone there was genuinely excited that our friends were going to have a baby, and no one had to make a baby out of chewing gum to prove it.

So here’s the memo. Say whatever the frig you want, as long as you mean it. It’s the thought that counts.

December 12, 2005

Fix U

So a few months ago, me and the artsy girls were at the movies watching Harry Potter. King Kong was amongst the previews and I shared that King Kong is a love story between a woman and a gorilla. This was greeted a series of snickers, and various snorts of mock " I luv u gorilla" during the movie at at sporadic intervals. I thought for a moment maybe I had read something wrong in my critiques.

Was it just about bringing a big gorilla to NYC? No love?

Then the commercial came out and I felt vindicated. Naomi Watts + huge ape + Coldplay = ick..

"And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth"

What a weird commercial combination? It makes me wander how you can change the whole concept of film by adding a varied music score.

December 11, 2005

The Mayor of Chrimmas and his Fugitive Brother

Not to take anything away from Leslie's ghetto-blaster Don Magic Juan Christmas tree or anything, but I wanted to share my own personal slice of Chrimmas time. At right, you have the Mayor of Chrimmas. He's a Christmas ornament made out of gumdrops, and the key ingredient to any happy Carol Ann Christmas. According to my mom, he is about 40 years old. He is the first ornament I put on the tree, and always gets a red light right behind his head. He lost his right eye sometime in the 1990's, and no, I will not replace it. Violence has been threatened when attempts have been made to repair him. I think his handicap makes him all the more endearing.

Just as Bill Clinton has his embarrassing brother Roger, the Mayor of Chrimmas has a Fugitive brother, seen here trying his gum-droppy damndest to flee the scene. Doesn't he look like he's been caught in the police searchlights?

December 8, 2005

The worst obit in history.

I know there will be a stock piece about this from every single news outlet in existence today, but since we've got a forum, here's my John Lennon schpiel. When I was six, my cousin Jeanette and I watched the movie "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" on average at least twice a day. I fully understand that this movie is HORRIBLE. But we were six. And we knew every single word to "Come Together", the way any given kid knows the Spongebob Squarepants theme. We didn't know the songs were about drugs and sex and disenfranchisement or whatever; I think we knew on some level that is understandable to six-year-olds, that this music came from a real place. That's all that counts. Also, Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees wore some pretty ridiculous costumes in the movie, so they probably got us a little there.

During my teenage years, as most people do, I decided that I knew everything that there was to know about anything, especially music. There was a solid two year period when all I would listen to was Beatles and John Lennon records. I read every book I could get my hands on about the Beatles, and when in 11th grade we got the chance to choose a historical figure we'd like to "impersonate" for a mock press-conference in front of the junior & senior classes, I decided I wanted to be John Lennon. My history teacher, Mr. Borneman, fought me tooth and nail on it, claiming John Lennon wasn't a historical figure. Bullhonky! I won. And no, I did not try to affect the accent.

I'm rambling for sure, but today, the 25th anniversary of his death, I just wanted to give an electronic shoutout to John. He is one solid person, besides members of my family, who I can truly say have made an impact on me, as far as any creative leanings I might have, or just how to be who I am. If for nothing else, there's this quote of his, which I used to have tacked up on my wall...

"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?"

And since I don't have a graceful or non-pithy way to end this business, I'll just encourage all 9 of you who may read this to listen to some Beatles and/or Lennon solo stuff today. Or don't. Either way, have a nice Thursday.

December 6, 2005

X-mas crap

I'm listening to the most overwrought Christmas song ever. Xtina Aguilera's "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas". The beginning is fine but by the third or fourth "happy golden day-ay-ay-ay-ay-eeeeeeeeee-ay-eeeeeeeay oooooooo ummm" My ears begin to bleed. Well there's still Jimmy Eat World's "Last Christmas", no discredit to George Michael but Jimmy Eat Word rocks that sh*t!

I'm thrilled with our traditional tree this year. After the purple-gold Christmas tree fiasco of 03, we think twice before doing the conceptual tree thing. I'll have to fine the pix, but if Don the Magic Juan had a tree it woulda been that one.

My jobs getting ready for it's X-Mas party. I've agreed to make potato salad (I buy the materials, the room-mates make it, and I take credit.) Last years tasted like mayo on potato, no joke. I vowed this year never again. I wish I could take a picture of our inflatable Rudolph, he's strategically blocking the men's room door.

I was so bummed about rain mix vs. snow. I worry that by my mid-thirties or so snow on the east coast will become a myth. I mean a few days last month it was in the 80's.

Christmas Wishes anyone?
Bob Newhart?

December 2, 2005

Insecurities manifested in bolds, caps, and italics

Today was a busy day. I’ll admit I did not have time for the normal witty banter that ensues day to day on the internet. So I graciously posted my away message and carried on with my workday. It was at some point today when a non familiar (immediate & OEF friends not included) internet savvy friend of old sent me a note. A quick what’s up if you will. Instantly and without thinking – why should I – it’s the internet? I respond – LOL, I’M MAD BUSY! And hit send. So what’s the problem you ask?

I FORGOT I HAD MY CAPS ON BECAUSE I WAS WORKING ON A MAP OF U.S. CAPITALS. I minimize my window and watch my icon beep while I carry on with my work load and then 20 minutes later return to find a startling pool of emailitude or I-M- itude if you will.

“Why are you yelling at me? It’s not my problem if blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – U blah blah blah…”

My deal here is instant messenger is not real talk. Why would anyone assume that you are giving attitude to them via internet when u/they both have the option not to accept the conversation. I’m not understanding why this is a place to negotiate serious matters of the heart/mind. I have trouble scolding the family pet when she throws up in the floor. I’ve only had two physical fights in my life and both involved strangers where I stepped on their shoes. No fights were of the cuss out nature. I avoid conflict like the black plague.

Instant messenger is supposed to be an information exchange. Don’t get me wrong I love it here. I feel like Neo running loose in the Matrix. Who wouldn’t want all this power at their fingertips? But, it never will it replace hearing someone snort when they laugh. Or watching them trip in a sidewalk crack, or seeing someone get smoted. Maybe that’s my opinion, but typing in caps does not mean I’m yelling. I could just mean my caps lock key was stuck.

What’s next green text means you’re horny?

December 1, 2005

This Post Started Out Normal, I swear

So I originally was going to post about how I want it to be cold already, seeing as I just bought a winter coat at a ridiculous discount.

So, to accompany my little anecdote I went searching for the picture of said coat. Somehow I decided that since the girl modeling the coat had brown hair (and since I'm still on a crappy photoshop kick from the Hench-Garcia wedding picture) , I put my face on her body. And shabbily adjusted the colors on my face to try to match her skin tone. And then, feeling stylish, I put myself in Milan.

As crappy a graphic-design job this is, It still somehow makes going to the gym seem worthwhile. Look out world! Wild-haired, Globetrotting, Pasty-faced Carol Ann is comin' atcha!

Guerilla Art

So sadly I had to break up with Thigpens Artsy Fartsy blog (as my favorite education art website). Thanks to Sheiko's creative eye I'm redirecting my love to Drawn (hyperlink on the side). What caught my eye was a piece on guerilla art - this is where you do something artistic in a semi public place - it could be as simple as writing something in chalk on a sidewalk, to putting stickers on a car tire or even putting a message in a bottle. These are not my ideas ( receives that credit. But I plan on putting a few of them to good use. By no means will I do anything illegal like spray paint something - but maybe just maybe I'll put paper fins on the metro. Or maybe I'll chalk my favorite song lyrics outside tonight. I must be creative before all that is left of brain is a giant coupon. I have my assignment.
More to come tomorrow.