Date Archives December 2010

Stuffed with Wiener Art

The day after Christmas, Tom, Emily, Evan, and I took a daytrip to Leavenworth, a tiny psuedo-Bavarian tourist-trap town nestled on the other side of the Cascade mountains. We spent the trip there singing loudly and obnoxiously–there may, in fact, be video evidence of us singing/screaming “Paradise City” by Guns N Roses.

I was still running really low on sleep, but high on caffeine from the mega-gulp-size Americano I chugged on the way over. By the time we got to Leavenworth, I had to pee really, really, really, really badly. I had mentioned it at one point in the car, and Emily snipped at me to “Hold it!” so I dutifully held it and fantasized about blasting over the snow-and-ice-covered landscape like some sort of urine-stuffed jetpack anime nightmare, cackling wildly and leaving a trail of yellow snow in my wake. I never claimed that my fantasy world was a good place. Regardless, by the time we got there, I was getting pretty desperate to find a restroom, so we barged into the first store we came upon after we parked, begging to use their facilities.

After my moments of blessed relief, I came to and realized I was in the tackiest place I’d ever been in over the course of my life, and this includes Tijuana. I didn’t realize this last time I’d been here, as everything was closed, but the knowledge that I was now entering Tackyville, USA, settled about my shoulders like a bedazzled cloak. It really struck me when I looked up at the wall and saw a truly terrible painting of a nude woman. It was clear from this painting that the artist wanted to solely paint some breasts, based on the way they were carefully rendered and lighted, but ultimately decided he needed to add the rest of the body as well, the aspects of which he was obviously less familiar as the face resembled nothing so much as a melted candle. Nearly everything in the store was tagged “I love junk”, so I suppose at least they don’t believe they’re getting anything over on the visitors.

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I wonder what sort of “goods” they “sell” here?

We hit the tacky tourism jackpot with a store dedicated solely to Christmas, which particularly specialized in a series of “life-size” elves ripped straight from my darkest nightmares. These elves did not grin jollily, they leered. They were not gesticulating merrily with their hands, they were groping. I’m certain their mouths were frozen in place while mouthing satanic curses. Their eyes follow you around the room, piercing you, letting you know they’re watching, always watching. I did not like these elves, and, in fact, wanted to set fire to the store in a bold act of heroism.

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As I progressed through the store, flicking my bic, I discovered that just about anything can be turned Christmassy to turn a profit on this, the most profitable holiday of the year.

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Really, nothing says Christmas like a fiber optic angel. Unless it’s a glittery boobed, hairy-chested army merman.

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They also had a statuette of Santa praying over the baby Jesus’ manger, that moved and played music when you turned a key at the bottom. The problem was, the movement involved the baby Jesus’ cradle rocking back and forth into Santa’s lap in a terrible religious travesty blowjob.

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Santa is always watching. Even from dark hallways, always watching.

More tourist trap tackiness under the cut

“That’s a ring of fire, not a crown of thorns, you moron!”

On Christmas Eve, I went over to Emily’s house already dressed in my pajamas, breaking a solemn vow I had made to myself years ago that I would never leave my home in PJS, unless of course, I was wearing them under other clothes.

We started drinking, did a Yankee Gift Swap where at least two of us ended up going home with the gifts we brought (apparently Anne and I are bad gift-pickers. I maintain that my gift, a trio of L’Occitane hand creams would have been awesome for anyone other than the solitary dude in our midst who almost burst into tears when he opened it and thereby almost made it a holiday), and then made a pilgrimage to the Peppermint Christmas House, where in the car, Rachel and I both grabbed Evan’s ass while reaching to put on our seatbelts and he socked me in the arm, the fading bruise a constant reminder to me about the price of safety.

Rachel got lube for Christmas, so I suppose remarks about her Sahara-like vaginal canal are no longer appropriate, if in fact they ever were.

 

The Peppermint Christmas House is one of those houses with the lights strung to sync with music, which you can listen to by tuning into a radio station. I felt the best way to demonstrate how festive the whole shebang made me feel was to get out and dance in front of the house. Emily joined me, Evan started shouting something indiscernable, and it was a Christmas Miracle the police weren’t called.

On our way back to the house, we noted that the RiteAid was open, and found ourselves with an opportunity to do…something.

This something involved buying Franzia in our pajamas. Franzia, swirly straws, and pop rocks.

166397_479973398939_2993986_n133022_479973078939_1977978_o I was kind of mesmerized by these bags. Do you really need a special storage bag for all of these things? Are all of these bags that different? All of my groceries go into The Forgotten Pit at the bottom of the refrigerator until they turn into science experiments.

We didn’t stay up much beyond that–I had to run home to let Napoleon out, so I missed out on about an hour of what everyone got up to, and when I got back, we watched A Christmas Story. Given the sounds that Evan was emitting upstairs (chainsaw followed by some sort of yelping whimper?!), I elected to sleep downstairs on the couch. Emily’s kitty, Luger, elected to also sleep downstairs on the couch, namely, on the part of the couch containing my face. I’d wake up every twenty minutes or so, choking and gasping, my mouth full of cat fur, and hear four cat paws hitting the carpet as Luger realized that yet another attempt to smother me to death was fruitless. 7am has never come so early in my life. And during all of that, somehow Santa still managed to sneak past me and do his Santa-ing business!

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We had gifts not only from Santa, but also from Mrs Claus and Shaky the Elf at the Methadone Clinic. Some of these givers elected to wrap their gifts in glitter paper, which does not merely come off the paper when one unwraps a gift, but explodes off of it like it was a glitter bomb, a natural disaster of glitter. Glitter was everywhere–on our clothes, in our hair, on the carpet, on the couch, covering the cats and dog…I myself had so much glitter around my mouth in particular that it looked like I’d spent Christmas morning eating out a stripper named Sparkles.

After we’d ripped into our stockings and the gifts from the various citizens of the north pole, we exchanged the gifts we’d gotten for each other. There was so much gift-unwrapping going on that while I didn’t get to see everything that everyone got, I did watch carefully to see when people opened mine. Everyone seemed to really like what I got them, which thrills me as it’s such a disappointment to put thought into a gift and have it ill-received. Emily loved her scarf (and she’s worn it ever since, so I know she wasn’t bluffing), Anne loved the book I got her about the civil war (one she hadn’t read!), and Evan actually squealed in delight when he opened the box set of grindhouse movies I’d gotten him–“Oh my god! Kung fu death punch!?”. So far everything I’ve given has been well-received…there are three more sitting under my tree that have yet to meet their destined owners, but I can’t imagine that there’s a loser among that bunch, so I will go ahead and declare this a successful year of gift-giving!

Evan got me “Dragon Wars” on blu-ray, explaining that he and and friend had gone out to find me the absolute worst movie they could find–he started at one end, the friend started at the other, and somewhere in the middle, an angelic choir sang and a light shone down from heaven or some indoor spotlight, whichever fits more in tune with your personal religious beliefs, and lo, there was Dragon Wars.

We had breakfast, played with the dog for a while, and then I had to pack up my things and leave. First I went home, to feed Napoleon and let him out, and then I went to girlpirate‘s house, where I spent the rest of the day. We hung out, chatted, played about a million rounds of Angry Birds on her new ipad, watched Christmas Vacation, and she made me some gorgeous jewelry. She said she likes my eye for color and design, and we’re going to work together to make some new pieces for her store.

All in all, it was a very lovely Christmas with my chosen family.

It was Santarchy, I tell you!

Two Saturdays ago, I convinced my friends to join me in the booze-riddled, fur-covered, red tidal wave nightmare known as Santacon. Last year, I went by myself and had a smashing time. I also had a fantastic time this year, but it suffered a little from lack of organization, and the weather also blew, which made hanging outside the bars socializing with strangers, caroling, elf-tossing, etc, less appealing. If spending all day in a velvet suit with itchy fur is uncomfortable, spending all day in a sodden velvet suit is exponentially worse. Last year as a single Santa, it was easy for me to squeeze into the bars and do my thing–when you have to find spots for 4-6 other people, it gets a little more difficult. I’m not complaining, merely explaining why we ended up breaking off from the Santa horde and forging our own path, filled with slapfights and pizza slices the size of a toddler and handsy elves and shoving plastic penguins down strangers’ pants. Emily took some funny videos, but sadly, I cannot figure how to get those from facebook to embed here.

Everyone met at the Fremont Troll, where one of the organizers reminded everyone of the Four Fucks of Santacon: Santa does not fuck with cops, Santa does not fuck with children, Santa does not fuck with security, and Santa does not fuck with Santa (unless it’s consensual). After the Four Fucks were established, everyone made their way to the first bar, the Dubliner. Already, there were far too many Santas for everyone to get inside, so we hung around outside, passing out gifts, receiving condoms and pornography and swigs from random flasks and party invitations and clove cigarette drags and awkward kisses, all while dancing to such fine tunes as “Baby Got Back” by the inimitable Sir Mix-a-Lot.

 

Here comes a santa, there goes a santa, yet another santa

Early Cthulhumas

Last week Wednesday, Jason and I celebrated Cthulhumas early, as he was flying to visit his family for the holidays. We did it up in proper style–I took him out to dinner, he took me out for drinks, and then we went home, opened gifts, and watched Sharktopus, because my man knows what I like. No one cried, so it wasn’t technically a holiday, but it was lovely nonetheless.

At first glance, Sharktopus appears to be about a half-shark, half octopus hybrid, which for some undiscernable reason has both whiskers on its face and bayonets on the tips of its tentacles, neither of which are found on either species in nature. Upon further reflection, I have decided that existence of Sharktopus is proof that Syfy loathes its target audience. The cancellation of Stargate Universe, the mere existence of Caprica–these things were evidence that Syfy kind of disliked the people to whom they cater, but Sharktopus is hard proof, a bayonetted-tentacle slap across the face that screams “OH GOD WE HATE YOU FUCKING NERDS SO FUCKING MUCH AND THIS IS HOW WE’RE GOING TO HURT YOU.”

Bad movies can be wonderfully fun, and given my intense love for trash culture, I enjoy a wide range of B movies, from the earnest-yet-inept to the self-aware. Sharktopus falls squarely into the self-aware category, however, the entire thing is done with a wink and a nod in a sort-of insulting way. “I bet you retards would like to see some dudes get yanked off the side of a boat while eating sandwiches. *WINK* Here ya go, assholes!” “Let’s see, I bet you shitstains would laugh if a stacked girl in a bikini found a gold coin on the beach and was so excited she started jumping up and down, jumbling her jubbly jiggly bits, and then BAM, sharktopus, all while some creepy dude watches and doesn’t help and then takes the coin she found. *WINK* There it is! We just gave you jerkoffs jackoff material for a month. By the way, the creepy dude and the pimpled teenager who shouts ‘AWESOME’ when he sees Sharktopus attack are both allegorical to what we think of you, our audience. Fucksticks.” Look, Syfy–if *I* can see what you’re really saying, it’s obvious. Maybe tone the hatred of your audience down a little? Or turn the production of your made-for-tv crapsterpieces over to someone who isn’t so bitterly resentful that he’s directing this instead of something like Black Swan that he infuses it with all of his loathing? Just a thought.

As far as the gift-giving went, Jason either genuinely liked all of the things I got for him, or he’s a far better actor than anyone in Sharktopus. I had done some snooping around on the internet and found his Amazon wishlist of two items, only one of which would make a suitable gift. He said that one was a genuine suprise, unlike the piles and piles of socks–athletic socks and support socks and squishy socks and fuzzy socks and moisture-wicking socks and god knows what other superpowers dude socks have. This is the thing about dude socks: I am used to purchasing lady socks, which are sold according to the laws of cuteness and softness–there really is no other standard that I have seen. Dude socks are all sold on the basis of performance enhancement, a concept with which I am unfamiliar in terms of socks. Arch support socks, cushion socks, odor-resistant socks, moisture-wicking socks, penis-enlarging socks, 50-yard-dash speed socks, bear-fighting socks, socks that will sneak out of the house at night and slay your enemies while you slumber peacefully…the list goes on and on. How am I supposed to know what sort of sock is the ideal sock? The World’s Greatest Sock? “To hell with it,” I muttered (truly, an embodiment of the holiday spirit), and bought some of each. Maybe we’ll need to hold some sort of sock endurance test, with graphs and charts.

He also said he’d like a t-shirt, maybe a matching t-shirt with me, which is not something I’m super-comfortable with because, hey, I’ve spent a long time building this obnoxious identity and it’s not going to go down without a fight. But I did find something that would make us both happy–the coordinating but not matching glow-in-the-dark Tron shirts at Threadless. I also got him some shower stuff that smells like apple pie, as he mentioned that apple pie is one of his favorite-ever smells–the best part about philosophy shower stuff (in my opinion) is that it smells amazing in the shower or while you’re taking a bath, but the scent doesn’t linger beyond the shower, so you don’t have to smell like apple pie or pumpkin spice muffin or gingerbread or peppermint bark or whatever for the rest of the day.

He got me a boxed copy of “Yo! Noid!” for the NES, a game (surprisingly) made by Capcom that’s essentially a big advertisement for Dominos pizza that I have a lot of nostalgia for that disappeared in the Great Game-Selling of Nineteen Ninety-Something, when my brother decided that the family NES was now his NES so he could pawn it for pennies to Funcoland and get a SNES. I’m not bitter or mad about this at all. Noooooo sir. Maybe a little. Anyhow, when I started working at Gamestop, I began to recollect these NES games, and I got my hands on most all of the titles that I remember playing as a drooling brace-faced child–pretty well all of them save “Yo! Noid!” which never showed up as a trade-in at the store. I had mentioned how bad games hold a special place in my collection and my heart to him in one of our earliest communications, and how it was missing “Yo! Noid!”…and he remembered, and it’s no longer missing.

He also got me this monstrosity:

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Look at how huge it is compared to what I was using before (which was also a gift so I’m kind of loathe to get rid of it, though I have absolutely no idea what I’d use it for)! I hardly know what to do with so much screen real estate. Using Photoshop is going to be awesome now–no more toolbars piled upon toolbars which are piled upon yet more toolbars!

Best non-holiday ever.

Got my hurrs did

As of yesterday, it had been a year and a half since my last haircut, and, in the immortal words of Popeye, I’d had all I can stands and I can’t stands no more! It was a million and three different lengths, the ends were scraggly and dry and gross and no amount of conditioner, savage beatings with a hot iron, or prayer could make them look presentable. It was getting to the point where I would catch my hand inching toward my head whenever I was holding scissors, and to save myself a Britney Spears moment AND to celebrate hitting a rather significant weight loss target, I found myself in the cheap-o salon next to the great wall mall, which advertised men’s haircuts for $8, women’s for $11+.

Mine ended up being $13, which was a pretty damn good deal, given that I’m pleased enough with the cut even though the stylist and I could hardly understand one another save for the interrogation about what’s wrong with me that my hair is so thin. Yes, I know. I’m fat where people want to be thin and thin where people would prefer volume. I’m a walking, talking, breathing, shitting contradiction, and no, I have NO IDEA why my hair is so thin and neither does the battery of doctors I’ve visited, but it IS an excellent way to make me cry if you’re looking for a way to get in a dig. Just tell me I’m looking a little bald and that maybe Donald Trump could give me a tip or two. I’ll cry like a bitch.

Hey look, I don’t have scraggly ends hanging off my balding head down to my saggy boobs anymore!

When I started typing this post, I realized a picture would probably come in handy to illustrate my point so, hey, bathroom-cam! I couldn’t get a nonblurry one as my body is currently riddled with so much caffeine that it’s difficult to even type. Euphoria without the unsightly track marks!

Yesterday I finished up all of my Christmas gift-wrapping–Jason and I are having our own Pre-Christmas today as he flies out tomorrow to spend the holiday with family. I am hoping he likes what I’ve picked out, but if not, we’ll take it all back and buy him his body weight in socks.

I braved the mall on Monday in order to pick out some final gifts, and while I was absolutely in the foulest of foul moods when I left work, I took it out on NO ONE (I especially strive to be extra-nice to retail staff as I know how soul-crushing this time of year can be, with angry, entitled people screaming at you because you had the audacity to sell out of the product they’d come to buy and don’t you know they’ll DIE without it?!) and was actually jollied considerably. A woman at the post office complimented my santa suit manicure (pics to come) and thought it was professionally done, which is really the best sort of compliment. An employee at one store I visited exclaimed that she could not believe how polite I was and that she wished all of her customers could be like me. That’s right. I can be polite. I know it comes into question sometimes.

Of course, just before I left the mall, an employee came rushing into the store I was in and announced “Oh god, there’s another fight going on. Security has been called but you might want to wait in here for a while.” Nice, people. Way to be quality humans, fighting at a mall. For fuck’s sake!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Cthulhumas!

I’ve got two more gifts I need to pick up from the office tomorrow and wrap, and then I am done. My Charlie Brown tree is overwhelmed! I’m really looking forward to giving everyone their gifts, I feel like I did an excellent job as far as everyone is concerned.

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Helper dog had to help!

I totally fail as Santa

Eight days until Christmas and there remain a couple of gifts with which I am struggling. I am typically a fairly good gift-giver, honing in on things that the recipient will enjoy and that may have special significance as far as our relationship goes–that on the surface, it’s one thing, and underneath, it’s also something else–a reason to make them smile, a private joke, something special.

One person whose gift(s) I have been struggling with is Jason. I figured “Hey, we haven’t been going out long, so it doesn’t need to be an ordeal, right?”. Right? But then he said “Oh, I was thinking about getting you a new monitor for Christmas.”

…Crap. Not that it would be an unappreciated gift, but now what I’d already purchased was woefully inadequate. I needed something better. But what might he like? I don’t know him well at all yet! I messaged our mutual friend Tristan with “I need some help with Jason” and he immediately responded with “I’m Switzerland! Neutral!” “Whoa, whoa, we are not fighting, I just need help with gift ideas!” “…I don’t know, I’ve always had a problem getting gifts for him, too.”

…Double crap. I thought, and thought, and thought, the six brain cells I had left grinding so furiously that smoke began to waft out of my ears and the air began to smell vaguely of fried pork and ozone. I finally copped to him, “I’m sorry, but I have no idea what to get for you for Christmas. What do you want?”

“Socks.”

“I’m sorry, did you say socks? S-O-C-K-S, socks? Socks are not a good gift. Traditionally in my family, socks are a gift which is cried over*. Try again.”

“Maybe a t-shirt.”

Socks and a t-shirt. The fabric of our lives. This is what led to this totally-slick text message I sent today: “What size t-shirt do you prefer? If you were getting one as a gift which is not to say that you are?”

Sliiiiiiick.

*My little brother used to be more excited for Christmas than any other kid, EVER. When the JC Penney Christmas catalog arrived, he would pore over it obsessively, composing an extensive list, circling things, and dog-earing the pages. As the holiday approached, he would search the house up and down, looking for packages he could poke or prod. One year, he triumphantly announced he knew what he was getting for Christmas because he had found the list he made in our mother’s jewelry box with certain items checked off. A week or two before Christmas, my mom would put out the gifts from the family under the tree, and the sparkling wrapped packages only served to increase my brother’s frenzy and intense desire to open them NOW. Every night, he would plead with my parents to be allowed to open one gift under the tree, just one, please, just one, because he just couldn’t take it any longer. My parents had various ways of dealing with this request. One year, my mom told him he could open a gift early, but that she had a special one for him in the basement and that she would go and get it. She went to the basement, quickly placed a shiny quarter in a box, wrapped it, and brought it upstairs. The rest of the family laughed raucously while he cried in his bitter disappointment, because as a family unit we are cruel, adept at hurting one another, and each take genuine pleasure from terribly mean jokes. Another year, the week before Christmas, my mom had made a large pot of chili, which my brother, a notoriously picky eater, refused to eat. She bargained with him–if he ate an entire bowl of chili, he could pick a present to open from under the tree. Watching my brother gag while forcing chili down his throat made for a poignant Christmas scene, particularly when my dad remembered the reason for the season and snapped at my mom, “JESUS CHRIST, Jill, don’t make him vomit at the table!” Under twinkling Christmas lights, gagging all the way, my brother finished the chili and dashed for the tree, picking a package he’d had his eye on all week. He ripped through the paper, opened the box, and found several pairs of socks, and cried, and cried, and gagged, and cried, while the rest of us laughed. To this day, I don’t recognize a holiday unless someone is crying.

How horrible our Christmas will be! No….how jolly!

Last week Saturday was the 27th annual Kent Winterfest. I run a Kent-based community on LJ, so every once in a (long) while, I will look at the city of Kent website and see if anything is going on that’s worth sharing with the community. The Kent Winterfest, while a bit cheesy with its block-long Santa parade and tree-lighting ceremony (and pet parade deathmarch), is still earnest and festive, so I dutifully passed the info along. In addition to Winterfest was a bulletin about the craft bazaar, which was billed as being “Not your grandma’s craft show” and “more of a gift show than anything”. In fact, after I posted about it to the community, the craft show organizer found it somehow and made his own post to the community, again selling his show as something extraordinary and out of the usual.

Sounds pretty good, right? I had gifts to buy, and this would be a place to get them all, save perhaps one or two picky boys, one of whom was dragged in my wake so it would have been impossible to buy for him regardless, particularly if I had to bully him into loaning me cash so I could do so–that sort of thing tends to dampen the spirit of giving a bit.

Guess how much shopping I got done? Go ahead. Take a moment and guess precisely how many people’s needs and wants I satisfied out of my extensive and varied list over the course of my visit to this gift show. No. Lower than that. Nope. Lower than that.

One. I bought one gift.

We were all of us deceived. This was no urban craft uprising. This was no gift show. This was my grandma’s craft show. I should know, having been dragged to show after show after show by my mom, who reveled in a style of home decor that can only be described as “horrible country handicraft cow nightmare”. This was room upon room of crochet snowmen and knit kleenex box covers and crappy scarves (I did not realize that just cutting an elongated rectangle out of fleece counted as a ‘craft’) and tacky appliqued sweatshirts and bedazzled jean vests…and it goes on like this! I saw weaselmom from across the room, our eyes met, we pointed at each other and bellowed “THAT BASTARD LIED TO US! CROCHET! CROOOOOOCHEEEEEET!!”

We chatted for a while, openly mocked the wares of the tables, cursed the name of the organizer, petted her cute little weasels which is totally not a euphemism, and then went our separate ways–I stopped by mschilepepper‘s booth and bothered her for a while (I should note that her wares are completely and totally high-quality and in fact I own and wear some of her necklaces and have purchased and gifted some to others)–apparently we had just missed amazoni whom I’m certain will corroborate my story about the quality of said craft fair. After chatting with Jeanine for a while, we made our way over to Kent Station, knocked another gift off my list, grabbed some coffee, and discussed our plans for world domination while we waited for the Santa Parade to begin.

The Santa Parade was indeed a short affair, but to its credit, it did again contain alpacas and some sort of princess. They also had Darth Vader wearing a Santa Hat. I also helped myself to some more alpaca-petting which is, again, not a euphemism. We decided not to wait around in the freezing cold to witness the tree-lighting, as it takes place an hour after the parade ends with really nothing going on inbetween, and instead made our way to Spiros for delicious gyros and then on to Shindig for super-delicious hot holiday booze to ease the sting of the craft fair and lying mcliarpants liartons.

“Ten minutes and not ONE person has said ‘LET HIM OUT!’. This is why I love Seattle.”

On Saturday, Jason, Amy and I went to see Penn & Teller at the Paramount theater. When I first saw they would be in town on the Paramount sign, I squealed and very nearly drove off the road in my excitement–they hardly ever tour, and come to the Pac NW even more rarely; this was their first show here in more than a decade! Sure, I COULD go see them in Vegas, but that would require more effort on my part. A lot more.

As it was, we put in the bare minimum effort possible and didn’t bother to make reservations for dinner anywhere as none of us thought getting a table near huge shopping venues during the busiest shopping season of the year would be an issue, which meant we spent some time wandering around looking for somewhere that didn’t have people stacked out the door, and ended up eating at a restaurant simply called “Mexico”. The food was indeed vaguely Mexican, which meant delicious margaritas for all.

After dinner, we went to the theater and found our seats. Amy and I were on the fourth row in the second mezzanine, which was pretty ideal in terms of being able to see the stage–had even a basketball player parked himself in front of me, it’s unlikely he would have blocked my view. However, we were seated next to The Amazing Crow Woman who could not be merely satisfied with laughing and clapping, she had to caw like the world’s largest and most obnoxious bird. There’s always one. And that one is always next to me. Well, this time there were at least two, because after the show, some dude who just stepped out of mom’s basement and away from his collection of serial killer fingernail clippings for the first time in a decade tried to strike up a conversation with us. I’m not quite sure where his goggles were, but his conversational skills included a vacuous stare and a spit-filled pronouncement of “I liiiiike maaaagic”. He then proceeded to ask Teller to sign the backs of his credit cards.

The show itself was wonderful–they did some tricks I remembered from when I saw them in 2005, but also added quite a few new parts to their performance. I tried NOT to be drooly goggle-eyed boy when I approached them, but I swear to you it was difficult, because I adore Penn and Teller in a way that’s probably not entirely healthy. Nonetheless, I don’t think they had a conversation on the plane on the way back home about that frigging weirdo chick they met…I hope.

A real cliffhanger ending

This weekend, I received a notice on my door from the apartment manager, stating that patios are to be kept clean of all items other than plants and patio furniture, and that any other clutter in this area was a violation of my lease agreement. The specific item on my patio that needed to be removed was listed as a “cone”.

…I was deeply confused, as I keep nothing on my patio. There was a branch that had fallen from a tree onto my patio, but that hardly qualified as conical. What else was out there? A traffic cone? A cone of shame? A giant ice cream cone?

I couldn’t help but be lured outside by the prospect of a giant ice cream cone, much in the same way that the song “Turkey in the Straw” can send me furiously prospecting for change in my pockets while running out into the street.

There was no cone to be found, not on my patio, not on my neighbors’–though all of theirs were positively LOADED with crap. Mattresses and garbage and broken kids’ toys and all manner of miscellania that were neither plants nor patio furniture, because I do indeed live in a classy apartment complex.

Not only was the mysterious cone missing, but also mysteriously vanished was a huge chunk of land directly behind my patio.

Dirt used to go right up to the fence, now there is a three foot mini-cliff which indicates to me that I ought not play with the dog back there anymore as he is not smart enough to avoid such a gargantuan hole.

I wonder if this means that one day my apartment building itself will slide down the hill onto the highway below, and if so, does my insurance cover it?