Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let's Nativity!

I have to give props to Heather for alerting me to this Playmobil Nativity Set, and I was immediately like, "Let's get one!" because the best way to avoid getting depressed during Xmas is to actually celebrate it in style.

And Sarah was reluctant, supposedly because she doesn't want to get a lot of stuff this holiday season (but I think it's because she hates Jesus). Then we fell into this idea of making a Nativity set with stuff we've already got: Grimace, that bald soy sauce man/baby, Nibbler from Futurama, etc.

And holy crap is that a great idea.

I'm blogging about it now because that'll force me to actually build it, so within a week expect a picture of a very awesome (if not historically/Biblically accurate) Nativity set.

Let's Get Awkward!

So here was a nice Let’s Yes moment.

Last Monday I’m at La Guardia airport, heading home to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. And as I walk down Terminal D (D stands for Delta!) I see a semi-familiar face. Like, semi-familiar, as in, I probably met this person before, but for the life of me, I can’t quite tell where. And I have no idea their name or anything like that, but I AM sure that they’re someone I’ve met face-to-face, and it isn’t, say, Lisa Loeb.

This isn’t all that unusual, because with the fancy lifestyle I lead, I’m always meeting tens - if not dozens - of people on a weekly basis, but I’m terrible with names and not much better with faces (unless it’s Lisa Loeb). And I like to say, “It’s not who you know, but who knows you” as a way of assuaging my guilt about this, because I don’t know them - they just know me. So that makes it OK, right?

We half-notice each other, and we're on the cusp of greetings and official recognition, but I keep walking. And I literally take two steps, stop mid-stride, think for a moment, shake my head and go, “Nah,” and keep walking to my gate, which is always at the very end of the terminal. Always.

But that was a very cinematic moment, I tell you. It might not translate so well to blogspeak, but it was one of those crucial points in the movie where the main character almost, almost, ALMOST could’ve solved everything, but then he kept walking because there’s still another hour of wacky highjinks to deal with.

So then I sit down at Gate 6, eat my sandwich, and think I might not have actually ever met that stranger at Gate 3, I might have dreamed about them. Stranger things have happened. And if they WERE some companion from a long-forgotten dream, then I really ought to reconnect with them, right? And, damn it, what’s the point of having this blog if I’m not gonna go up and talk to some semi-stranger and then blog about it later?

I finish my sandwich and walk back to Gate 3. I walk by, we half-notice each other again, but this time I make the greetings and the sign of recognition, and proceed to have a bizarre and pleasant conversation.

How are you doing? Where are you headed? For how long? Where do you live, again? How do I know you? What’s your name? What was it that we talked about the last time we met that I thought was interesting? Are you real or someone from the Dreamworld? Am I crazy? Do you actually know me, or just recognize me?

That sort of thing, minus the ridiculous questions. But I tried (and failed) to find out how I knew this person, and then when some very specific statements were said (“Did you go to the bar after French Stewart's show?" - thusly, we both know French Stewart, and more importantly, this stranger knows that I know him), I still couldn’t figure out how we knew each other.

Luckily, I called ____ afterward and was able to get the scoop, but hearing those details (“You met last month. We were sitting talking about old-fashioned card games.”), it was all news to me. Worse, Sarah remembered meeting this person, and yet I didn’t. That makes me a lame-o, right? Wrong! It makes me an awesome-o for even being recognized at the airport... and by Lisa Loeb, no less.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Let's Winter Wishes!

Please do this: New York Cares' Winter Wishes

I am, and I'm excited about it, even though I know it won't help the inevitable holiday depression that seems to be the bane of my existence.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let's Bellairs?

Over the past month I re-read all of the books by John Bellairs, an excellent-yet-sadly-underappreciated author of children's gothic horror.

I first encountered these books when I was a kid, when my grandparents would take me to the library every week and man, oh man, did I devour these. They're not at all like Goosebumps or the usual crap that passes for children's horror. They're creepy and scary. Also, the illustrations are by Edward Gorey, and that ups the eeriness tenfold.

It was pretty awesome to discover Sarah had the same Bellairs appreciation, and she still had her old collection up in Maine, so we brought them down after our last visit. Huzzah!

And I'm not saying the books are perfect or live up to my memories as a youngster - there's a lot of talk about gobbling hot fudge sundaes and all the characters really love chocolate cake, and a lot of the time I'm like, "OK, really, they would've died in this book," but Uncle Jonathan (a real live wizard) and Professor Childermass (which is probably where I got my interest in the title "professor") are still terrific characters and often the mysteries are just so... Bellairs.

Weird, wicked, dark black magic against the powers of Catholicism. I love it.

Also, I think horror, the best horror, is done with a PG rating. We don't need extreme gore or violence to be horrific. R-ratings and axes and chainsaws are amateur. A dream about a dead aunt? That's skill.

But I blog about Bellairs now because I've gotta think about something. See, many years ago I was given a gift of The House With a Clock In Its Walls, my first and favorite book. It was a cast-off from the library, so it had that plastic cover and the little pocket for the library card with all the dates stamped on it, and I loved it very much. But somewhere along the line, I lost it.

How does someone like me lose a book, though, especially in my parents' house, which is basically a storage space for everything that ever existed? Where the hell did it go? I'm pretty sure it's somewhere, but I've never been able to find it, much like Uncle Jonathan could never find that goddamn clock that was hidden somewhere within the walls of his mansion.

Anyway, I found a rare first edition of the book. It's quite a find, I should think, because old Bellairs books are usually scarce because of the Gorey illustrations. And even though I have no need for a first edition book, and I'm trying to keep unnecessary things out of my life, there's that Dwarven covetousness in me that would very much enjoy a treasure like this. Just because I would appreciate it.

So I've been thinking of making this purchase, which isn't that cheap, but it isn't a bank breaker, but I'm also trying to purchase other things, and I can't buy everything in the world, and then I wonder is this desire to find treasures from my past something to do with getting older (see that awesome Marvel puzzle I got for my birthday), or are all people in my generation like this?

So it's something to think about.

I mean, come on, a hand of glory with some milk and cookies? Genius.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Let's Puzzles! (III)

So it took about five months, but I finally finished that damn Winnie the Pooh puzzle.

Lemme tell you something, 1000-piece puzzles are HARD. I worked on this thing forever - mostly when Sarah was cooking or baking in the kitchen, so I could keep her company - and at the end there was a very satisfying moment of "Finally!"

And then after basking in my own glory for a few days, I started on the Cinderella puzzle (you can see the beginnings at the bottom of the photo). Fun fact: Its pieces are cut in the exact same way as the Winnie the Pooh puzzle. So I could set down the completed one as a placemat, and focus just on the shapes instead of the colors and stuff to put together "Cinderella's Grand Arrival." Fun, right? RIGHT?

I did that at first, but then it felt like cheating, so I took "Fishing with Friends" and turned it over - a nice thing about this brand is that they're sturdy and don't come apart very easily - so that I woudn't follow the cuts of the jigsaw.

And now I'm about 3/4 done with the border on this new one, so in about... March or so, I'll have something very pretty and worth framing.

You might be wondering why I didn't start on the Marvel Super Heroes puzzle I got for my birthday. Main reason: I have to do them in order. Otherwise there'll be a curse. And I feel like the Marvel one will be easy and might only take a day. Or a week, who the hell knows. And when that's done, it has to remain done and no puzzles can fit on the table until that one gets framed (and it will be framed, to make up for my tragic childhood).

At least with Cinderella, I can do it entirely over the Winnie the Pooh (saving space), and then I'll be ready for the Marvel Super Heroes. Unless, of course, I find that Seven Dwarfs one. Then I'll have to do that, too.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Let's Glasses!

As mentioned earlier, my glasses were killed in combat last Friday. It's some consolation that they died a warrior's death, and some day we'll meet again in Valhalla, where we'll enjoy an eternity of battle and feasting. Vikings, now that I think about it, had a very odd view of the afterlife. But, then again, don't we all?

So I had some decisions to make... I could go glassless until Thanksgiving, when I could buy a new pair pretty cheap down in Florida, or I could just suck it up and pay more for them right now.

After a night or two of wandering blind at night and not enjoying life (and realizing that borrowing a pair from someone with similar-but-not-exact prescription would cause headaches and eventual death), I bit the bullet and went shopping.

Which, actually, is a lot of fun for me. I love trying on different pairs, I know what I like and want (I want to look like Doctor Who)...

...I know what I hate (looking ugly), and there are a number of nice/cheap places, including my favorite, Fabulous Fanny's, where I've gotten two pairs of glasses in the past and they always remember me, which makes me feel kind of famous.

I found this pair of glasses in Chinatown. Note, though, that I don't think they're really the color shown in this picture. They're way more black instead of green, but the serial number is the same, so what do I know?

And I like 'em! They're a bit more narrower than the Doctor's, but what're you gonna do? The green background is a nice tint, and a change from my old pair, which were more brownish on the inside. Two-tone, is that the word?

And though I dislike the idea of wearing "designer" glasses, everything else just looks stupid and terrible. Part of my reluctance to shop in Florida is that their choices might all be awful, and then I'd be obligated, especially with my parents looking on, to make a horrible and regrettable purchase.

So life goes on, and now I can see. Whee!

RIP, Other Glasses
December 2008 - October 30, 2009
Non Omnis Moriar

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Let's October?

October was basically one neverending 80-hour workweek, and so I disappeared from the ol' blogosphere for a while. My sincerest apologies. If the first 30 days of my 30s are any indication of what the rest of this decade is going to be like, I'm not gonna make it out of here alive.

In November we'll hopefully return to our regularly scheduled programming, but for now, let's look back at the month that was October, quickly and in brief, and in reverse order.

I didn't go out last night, instead I stayed in and finally watched Twilight. But the night before was Buffyprov, and I got to play Giles, and had more fun than I thought I would. The episode ended with all of the Scoobies being murdered inside a Baskin-Robbins by puppet Angel, Spike and Drusilla, which I find acceptable. Also, my death was, as Sarah put it: "really funny."

After that, I went to a pre-Halloween party in Brooklyn, and it being Mischief Night, eventually some inconsiderate people crashed the party and lit some bottle rockets inside. Then they were asked to leave, and as that happened, the drunken fellow attempted to light one last bottle rocket.

I snatched it from his hand - because people who can't play nicely get their toys taken away - and in the struggle ended up smashing his head against the wall. In consequence, I got punched in the face, a regrettable hit that broke my glasses, so now I need new ones. There were more shouts and more punches thrown and a lot of shouting, and though there was almost a bit of a scuffle, it luckily didn't escalate that much further.

I feel bad for some of my comrades, one of whom got punched in the ballz - which is such a low-blow it makes me wish I smashed that guy's head harder - and one unlucky lady who got bruised up by a garbage can.

Funny to think that about 10 years ago on Halloween I also got punched in the face, so now I know what to look forward to when I turn 40.

Oh, and getting home was such a nightmare. We were ejected from a cab who took us in the wrong direction, and I ended up calling the Taxi and Limo Commission on him. Now I can look forward to a day in Taxi Court some time in the near future.

Mischief Night sucks.

ZombieCon was mostly a bust because the wet weather fogged up my gas mask almost immediately. I was effectively blind and had to abandon the best part of my costume. Lesson learned: in the event of a zombie invasion, DON'T WEAR A GAS MASK. It'll hamper you more than anything else, and you will get killed.

This is not me, but a similarly attired zombie.

Oh, and I saw one zombie peeing on the street in Times Square, which I find insane. Even more insane - no cop stopped him. Madness!

My Birthday Party.
Thirtyoke Kirkaoke, a hell of a lot of fun! And getting dinosaur party hats were definitely the spark to evolve this from just a normal Charmander-sized party to one of Charizard-sized proportions.

I look forward to having a Christmas Karaoke Gathering of Champions, since this one went so well. Get ready for it!

My birthday.
My actual birthday was mostly a bust, just because of a long day at work and then directing a show and then a not-the-best restaurant and then a Cookie Puss cake that was 1) almost dropped on the floor and 2) didn't have the all-important cookie bits in the center, but then I got the best birthday present ever:

which, seriously, is the best present ever. I mean, I blogged about it, for cripe's sake. It's like my Rosebud.

They Might Be Giants on Jimmy Fallon.
So I'd won this contest where I got to see TMBG on Jimmy Fallon, and we got to stand on the stage. Unfortunately, we were up in a catwalk and off-camera (except for my legs), but it was a really good time, and "Meet the Elements" is a pretty great song (I can't figure out how to link it).

But they also played "Dead"!

Medieval Fest.
I dressed as a gnome. The crowds got me down, but Jen Mac and I had some fun taking pictures.

I'm pretty pissed about my glasses.