Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Last Post of 2009

I just had to get one last post for 2009 on my blog. And the last day of the year seemed best to do it on. It always seems to begin slowly--just see how slow the upcoming month seems and then see how fast it will be before the new year is nearly over.

As for celebrating, I don't it that much on New Year's. Not much to do where I live.

Welcome to 2010 everyone!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What Chocolate Dessert Are You?

You Are Chocolate Mousse

Compared to most people, you are blissful and content with your life.

You enjoy each moment, and you try your best to live simply. You think people cause their own anguish.

You are charming and a bit of a smooth character. You can always get by on your charm.

You are confident and sure of yourself. You are comfortable with your own skin and don't try to be someone else.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thoughts on the Day After Christmas

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas, whatever you did for the event. My family celebrates on Christmas Eve, so we don't do much on the actual day. But mine was all right. Whatever you do, you should make it fun for you. And I sure hope that you did.

Still have yet to use the gift cards I got for Target and Walmart. I have to go out of town for Walmart and am not much into that idea on rainy days. it began raining off and on today and it is expected to do so again tomorrow. We have a Target in the town where I live, but I was a little fearful of the after-Christmas crowds that might have been there. I don't like driving in rain when it's not necessary to do so.

For the gift exchange at work I got a gift card for Blockbuster. I've not rented from them since I've been a member of Netflix. It was therefore a bit awkward going to a video store and having to get the DVDs back on time. I still have some money on the gift card and will have to use it. I tried Redbox once last year when I got a free rental coupon at Safeway, and it too was hard to get back into the mode of having to return a video on time, instead of dropping into the mail whenever I want or am able to do so.

I will see how things go tomorrow. It's been like a mini-vacation (I've been off since Christmas Eve) and will have to get back into the mode of waking up early again on Monday. I don't yet know if I'll be working on New Year's this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Satire

Very funny take on the 12 Days of Christmas on this link:

If you do the math you will find out exactly what "my true love gave to me", and the results are quite disturbing. Upon further inspection you will see that the recipient of these gifts has been given the following quantity of items: 184 birds (which includes 12 fruit-bearing trees), 140 people, and 40 rings. That is a total of 364 gifts, or 376 gifts if you include the pear trees separately.

Where exactly would one go to procure these items?

I doubt your local pet store would have that many birds on hand to purchase. Aside from that, you can't buy people and give them as gifts unless you are a slave merchant.

What kind of band ensemble is this? You have 34 musicians, but you only have a wind and percussion section. Do you know nothing about music!?

What about the ladies and lords? Why are the 30 lords a-leaping? I suspect some type of torture is involved. You also have 36 ladies dancing. That is a suspiciously high number of female dancers. Should we assume that the 36 ladies are Rockettes, or perhaps strippers?

What's with the 40 maids a-milking? I would think they would be too busy cleaning up all of those bird droppings. What are they milking anyway? Maybe the 36 ladies are all pregnant…

The only somewhat sensible gift is the golden rings, but why so many? Unless you are a Hindu goddess with the subsequent arms, hands, and fingers for all of those rings, I would say it's a waste. Who else would benefit from 40 golden rings? Sonic the Hedgehog?

Whoever this "true love" is, I wouldn't trust them to do my holiday shopping.

Very interesting observations. I've often wondered how many gifts there would be altogether (see previous post). Yeah, really a band with only percussion and wind sections. I've often wanted to do a humorous piece like this, but I now don't think could never do any better than this one! Forty rings--I was immediately reminded of a line from the "Schoolhouse Rock" Multiplication Rock for the number six:
See that prince over there? (Yeah!)
The one with the fuzzy hair.
He's got six rings on every finger.
He don't wash no dishes,
Not with 60 diamonds.
Six time ten is 60, ten times six

Wow, that's even more rings than in the Christmas song! Yeah, whoever wears those 40 rings acquired on the 12 days of Christmas won't be washing any dishes either if they are wearing all those gold rings at once!

Yeah, why are we giving birds, people and gold rings as gifts anyway?

12 days of Christmas--how many presents altogether?

Ever try to figure out how many of those birds, drummers, rings, etc., it adds up to on each of those days in that popular song? Well, here's the answer:
From this site:

Partridges: 1 × 12 = 12

Doves: 2 × 11 = 22

Hens 3 × 10 = 30

Calling birds: 4 × 9 = 36

Golden rings: 5 × 8 = 40

Geese: 6 × 7 = 42

Swans: 7 × 6 = 42

Maids: 8 × 5 = 40

Ladies: 9 × 4 = 36

Lords: 10 × 3 = 30

Pipers: 11 × 2 = 22

Drummers: 12 × 1 = 12

Total = 364

The same number of partridges and lords (12): geese and swans (42); maids and rings (40); ladies and calling birds (36); hens and lords (30); doves and pipers (22).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are You Red or Green?

Not all of this is true....

You Are Red

You are a passionate, outgoing, and intense person. You are naturally joyful.

However, you tend to be quite intense, and your temper is easy to spark.

You are confident and a real go-getter. You don’t fear or expect failure.

You are a very lucky person. You are destined to be prosperous – if you aren’t already.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What Kind of Christmas Card Are You?

You Are a Cute Christmas Card

You love the holidays, and it's hard for you to feel any sort of seasonal burnout.

You're the person who thinks the holidays don't start soon enough. You have your Christmas cards picked out months in advance.

The holidays make you feel happy and content. You're tickled by every gift you receive and every old friend you reconnect with.

You are a thoughtful gift giver, and you take the time to make each object you give unique and special. You like to see someone's eyes light up when they open your present.

The Santa Hat Test

You Would Be a Conventional Santa

Truth be told, you're pretty happy with Santa and Christmas as they are. Why mess with a good thing?

Traditions are traditions for a reason. And you're happy to participate in all of them. You even believe in Santa a little.

You think that old fashioned holidays with old time values are nice. It's all about family and togetherness.

You think that too much commercialism and greed are naughty. It breaks your heart when the holidays bring out the worst in people.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thrift Store Holiday Item Mixups

Why is that thrift stores mix up items from different holidays in their displays? See this blog entry on misplaced items in the Halloween sections in thrift stores. And during Halloween season I spotted one of those coiled mini Christmas trees in a Halloween display at a nearby Salvation Army store. It's in this entry on my blog.

And now I'm seeing Halloween items mixed in with the Christmas items display at the local Goodwill store. Two such odd items were Halloween Fortune telling kits and Halloween Charades kits. These are pictured in the photo on the left. My town's Goodwill carries items from Target, so these things might have been at Target at some point during Halloween season, but I did not notice any such things then, not that I was looking.

Bags of Halloween candy are also in the Christmas display. Is this stuff even still edible after nearly two months? Sure, they start stocking Halloween candy in stores as early as the end of August, but does anyone buy it that early if they're not planning on eating it all themselves? Don't most people wait until a day or two before Halloween to buy candy they plan to give to kids who come to their door? Certainly no one wants to buy candy now that they're going to distribute to random kids 10 months from now.

And just what can these Halloween things be? They look like an eyeball-shaped decoration in the photo (I did not catch what they were when glancing at things in the store and shooting the pictures).

What's next-- leftover boxes of Christmas cards getting tossed in with the boxes of Valentines for kids?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Christmas Ornament Are You?

You Are a Tree

You love every part of the holidays, down to the candy canes and stockings. And you're goofy enough to put a Christmas tree ornament on your tree!

The Christmas Tree Test

You Are Meticulously Precise

During the holidays, you take celebrating very seriously. It's like a job for you.

You make sure that every stocking is hung and that every Christmas card is sent.

You believe it's your responsibility to make sure that no one is forgotten. You have the longest Christmas list of anyone you know.

You can relax once everything is taken care of. You tend to start your holiday planning and shopping early.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are You an Elf or A Reindeer?

You Are A Reindeer

You are a solid, dependable person. You are more likely to act than talk.

You have a lot of endurance and grit. You can work well into the night if you need to.

You are cooperative and competent. You like being part of a team, especially if everyone is pulling their weight.

You are energetic and hyper. You don't like to stay still for to long, and you're always ready to go somewhere new!

One year ago today

It was one year ago today that I started this blog, thus entering the blogosphere.  I have found and regularly read a number of other blogs.   It's been fun and I am looking forward to more.  Finding blog material sometimes gets me stuck, but I'm sure that happens to most of us.  I am glad to have started this.  This a good outlet for opinions, random thoughts and ideas.  Looking forward to more!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shopping for Christmas

Got some done today.  I don't have to get a lot though, as my family does a kind of white elephant gift game on Christmas Eve, in which each of us buys a silly present. We then draw numbers and each person picks a present. We can steal a present from another person, and each present may be stolen only three times.   This is a good idea for those who don't want to have a to buy a present for everyone in your family.  Everyone gets something.   A silly toy, bottle of liquor, a board game, DVD,  book, food basket, gourmet coffee or candy are just a few gift suggestions for those who want to consider this idea.  

And this Friday is the gift exchange at my work.  Those who chose to participate can spend up to $10 on their gifts.  I went to look for something at Walmart today.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Wrapping Paper Test

You Are Whimsical and Imaginative

You approach the holidays with creativity and imagination.

For you, it's yet another opportunity to express your glorious view of the world.

Whether you're decorating your house or baking cookies, you like everything to have your personal touch.

You do your best to make the holidays a unique and special time for everyone around you.

Of all the types, you are the most likely to give delightfully surprising and interesting gifts.

You're also the most likely to wrap your gifts in an quirky, beautiful way.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What Christmas Cookie Are You?

You Are a Gingerbread Cookie
You are an organized, responsible person.
You value success, and you're likely to get an early start on the day.

You are good with both planning and numbers.
You have ambitious life goals, and you're well on your way to achieving them.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shots of My Fiber-Optic Christmas tree

I've had this fiber-optic tree since 2001.  In addition to changing colors, the tree also rotates.  The bottom picture was taken first,  with the camera flash on.  

What Color Christmas Lights Are You?

You Are Red Lights
Your holidays are a time of warmth and sharing.
No one epitomizes the spirit of giving as much as you do.

You enjoy all of the tastes, sounds, smells, and sights of the holidays.
You usually have the best decorations, music, and food.

What Jones Holiday Soda Are You?

This must be why I don't drink this stuff!

You Are Turkey and Gravy Soda
Gobble. Gobble.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Valentine's????

Every holiday seems to come earlier every year in the stores.  Only the first five days of December have passed and at work we are already receiving Valentine's Day items?  It's not even Christmas yet!  Of course we received Halloween items  in July and began receiving Christmas in September and even before the calendar switched to October, Christmas displays were overtaking the Halloween ones.  And very few Thanksgiving decorations were sold (hidden between Halloween and Christmas items),  hence everyone's belief that everyone has forgotten that holiday.    I have yet to check to see what date Easter occurs on next year--how much sooner before those arrive?  And don't even get started on St. Patrick's Day, please!

Even getting Valentines in January seems too early (I seem to remember this being true when I worked at Dollar Tree),  but in December?  People were still buying Christmas tree ornaments today! And I have not yet gotten any of the few Christmas presents I need to get.   How many of you have gotten all your Christmas presents yet?  

I mean really--who is thinking about Valentine's Day right now?  I can see thinking about New Year's right now, since that's only only one week after Christmas.   But are Valentine candles and candy going to get sold out two months ahead of time?   Seriously...!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Slothful Thanksgiving Weekend

 Four days off and I did nothing much. I'd been debating whether to get out my Christmas decor this weekend, including the fiber-optic Christmas tree I've had since 2001, but didn't get around to it.  I felt too sick on Friday morning to go anywhere, but felt better by the afternoon.   Needless to say, I did not shopping, something I wasn't planning.  I was glad to be off the day after Thanksgiving,  but wasn't sure I wanted to face the crowds.   I didn't even do anything on Thanksgiving itself.  

Tomorrow everything is back to the usual.  And I hope to get out Christmas decor this week. 

Are You Wal-Mart or Target?

You Are Walmart
You think people who don't shop at Walmart are totally crazy. Walmart is always your first (and sometimes your only) stop.
Everything is so inexpensive there that you're really throwing your money away if you shop any place else.

You like the convenience of being able to get all the items on your list at one store, at any time of day.
So what if the lines are long and the aisles are messy? Shopping at Walmart is an adventure that doesn't tax your wallet!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What's Your Thanksgiving Personality?

Your Thanksgiving Personality is Foodie
You love Thanksgiving, as long as it's done right. And that means no funky green jello salads.
Thanksgiving is all about the food for you, and you like it to be top notch. There's a good chance you do all the cooking... that is unless you dine out.

Your ideal Thanksgiving would include your favorite dishes, as well as a few funky new experimental favorites.
And it would also include friends and family who can appreciate good food as much as you do. No instant mashed potatoes lovers welcome!

What Does Your Favorite Thanksgiving Food Say About You?

You Are Friendly and Cooperative

You love the togetherness of Thanksgiving, and you like adding your own little something to the group dynamic.

Like stuffing, you do a good job complementing and cooperating with others. When you're on your own, you're a little lost.

You are old fashioned and love traditions. You like to remember the holidays of your childhood and replicate them as much as possible.

You think that passing down customs is important. Even if everyone at the table doesn't like stuffing much, it should still be served.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas music already

I have to confess I broke a vow I'd made not to play any of my Christmas CDs until after Thanksgiving.  But I was tempted after the music system at my work started playing the all-day Christmas music rotation yesterday.  In previous years, they would wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start the Christmas music.   I guess they had to be like other stores that were already playing the holiday music over their intercoms.   I heard Christmas music over the intercom at  the Super Walmart across the street earlier this week.   At least our store avoided playing the  the Christmas music starting on November 1.   A whole month of Christmas music all day is bad enough, an extra week than in previous years I guess I can take, but I could never stand two whole months of Christmas music all day long!  One day after dragging out my Eagles CD to play "Witchy Woman" for Halloween, I had no interest in getting out my Christmas CDs (including the Christmas parody CDs by Bob Rivers) when I needed to take down and put away my papier-mache ghosts, plastic bag pumpkins, plastich hanging ghosts and lighted plastic pumpkins until next October.   Only after hearing the music on the work intercom earlier than I'd expected did I want to start listening to the  Christmas music I have at home.  

Strangely, I have never heard "Do You Hear What I Hear" or "Little Drummer Boy" on the work intercom.  I began noticing that when I first worked at Home Goods in 2006. During the holiday season that year on one of my days off, I went to my local Safeway had heard "Do You Hear What I Hear?" over their intercom system.   That's when I realized I hadn't heard it at work.  But the lack of these songs is hardly bothersome because everything gets repetitive anyway.  I will have already heard between 15 to 20 versions of  "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and other standard Christmas fare by the first of December.  And I will hear Christmas songs done by everyone from the Jackson Five to Bon Jovi to  Macy Gray to Harry Connick Jr.,  to Mariah Carey to George Michael... the list goes on.  I have to admit I like the songs "Step Into Christmas" by Elton John and "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney.  It took me years to find CDs that contained those songs.  I don't mind playing those at home even though they too will turn up over the work intercom.   One Christmas song I've not found on any Christmas CD is "Please Come Home for Christmas," the version by the Eagles from 1978.   I hear this one over the intercom as well other versions of the song.  

At least  I will be sticking to no Christmas decoration up until at least next Friday as I had planned.   If I can get them up next Saturday I will have them up before December 1, a Tuesday this year.    

In honor of the release of "New Moon"...

Your Dream Guy is Jacob
You are a warm, friendly, loving person ... and you're attracted to the same qualities in a guy.
For you, love is an organic process. It happens naturally, and it sometimes takes years.

You love being with a guy who has a wild streak like Jacob, even if he's a little unpredictable at times.
You love fun and adventure. You're likely to fall in love with a young soul.

You Should Date a Vampire

You're attracted to intense, complicated people. You think danger is sexy.

You're willing to risk your heart (or even your neck) if it means you get to be with a super hot, super powerful vampire.

You think that there's a fine line between pain and pleasure. And you're certainly willing to learn exactly where that line is.

You think there's nothing hotter than a vampire falling for you. You're honored to be chosen by such an experienced and wise creature.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Stamps

I went to get postage stamps at Walmart the other day after work to get postage stamps and what did  see? Christmas-themed stamps already!  I didn't want to get any Christmas stamps until December, but I wasn't going to complain because I needed stamps.  

Friday the 13th

Yes, that's today!  There were three this year, the other two having occurred in February and March.   I reminded someone at work of today's date, and customer announced that she didn't know that's what today's date is.   

If you're superstitious (I'm not!) or just curious, there will be only Friday the 13th in 2010, in August.   And the only one in 2011 will be in May.  

I've never had anything bad happen to me on this supposedly scary day.   And we're having another spooky day less that two weeks after Halloween!

Monday, November 9, 2009


A month I've often found less than exciting.  No exciting holidays, as it's the month that starts after Halloween ends and the month before Christmas .  And all throughout November, everyone seems preoccupied with preparing for Christmas.  Of course we have Thanksgiving, but all it seems  to be these days is an excuse for a huge dinner (with turkey as the centerpiece dish), with family members watching the Macy's parade and football games all day long.   It doesn't look like my family is doing anything that day this year.   People now think Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday.   Retailers seem to jump from Halloween to Christmas.   Some radio stations have started Christmas song rotations.  Thankfully the music system at work doesn't begin this until after Thanksgiving, but a month of Christmas music all day long  sounds almost as bad as two months worth.  I always vow not to put up any Christmas stuff or play any of my Christmas CDs until after Thanksgiving Day.   But starting to buy stuff for Christmas--I may just get that started in November, to avoid the rush.  I've been slothful on some things,  but the last thing I want to do is be caught in the shopping rush that occurs once Thanksgiving is over. I almost always work that day so I can't even think of trying to go to those huge stores on the so-called Black Friday day.  I work at Home Goods, an off-price retail store, with no sales so we never really expect our store to be quite as busy as say Wal-Mart and Best Buy, both of which are close by our store.  Old Navy is also next to our store  and they are more likely to busier than we are. 

OK, I admit I can't and don't always get all my Christmas preparations done in November, but I try to get started sometime then.  I'm afraid to even go to the grocery store on Christmas Eve.  Those at grocery stores on Christmas Eve holiday are either slackers who put off buying important stuff  ahead of time (I try to avoid being one of those people) or those who unfortunately ran out of milk or toilet paper that morning (I'm often scared of being one of those).  Lucky I live across from an independent grocery store as well where I can get these things if that fear should arise.  Independent grocery stores tend to be less busy than chain grocery stores.   

Thanksgiving just doesn't seem to be as commercial as other holidays.  Do many people go out and wear pilgrim or turkey costumes?  And where do they go and what do they do to don these? We have Santa suits and Easter bunny outfits for those who take mall jobs as these holiday characters.  And there are elf outfits for those helping Santa at the mall.   And of course we have Halloween to play another person for one day.   But even thought they sell cupid and leprechaun costumes, Valentines and St. Patrick's Day aren't exactly dress up occasions for most people either.  And you don't see many too Thanksgiving decorations on the outsides of houses the way you do for Halloween or Christmas.  

Even if you don't go all out on Thanksgiving, I suggest that you let those you love know how much you care about them.  You don't need a huge dinner or elaborate decorations for that.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Post-Halloween Weekend Recap

Of all the people I saw in disguise last weekend, I did not see the projected-to-be most popular guise of Michael Jackson.  Not a one!  No Oxi Clean guys either--I guess that wasn't expected to be quite as common as MJ was expected to be.  No Farrah Fawcett, either, but how many of you expected to see that one?   As far as living celeberities go, the Octomom and Kanye West were nowhere to be seen in my neck of the woods.  One Flava-Flav showed up, however.  Somehow I did not see that one coming. I guess I don't live in the right part of the country to see these costumes.  They must have had some better ideas where I live.  I could try Googling images of them, but it would have been much more fun to see one in person.  I can assure you I'd be snapping them with my camera (with the hope they would permit doing so, of course).  

I kind of wish that I were a guy so that I could have gone as the Oxi Clean guy.  Having not seen anyone in this guise would have made me the only one in my neighborhood.  And if I had thought hard enough, I could have tried going as a bottle or jar of Oxi Clean, Kaboom or Orange Glo.  All those were promoted by Billy Mays, though most everyone remembers him as the Oxi Clean guy.  

Some thought my Pumpkin Spice was a relative of the Jetsons or the Flintstones.  One even thought I was Betty Rubble, though the outfit looked nothing like her!  Someone even guessed a Doodle Bop. It was not a common disguise, so I was sure most people would question it.   Though some did get the pumpkin part. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Are You a Trick or a Treat?

You Are a Treat
As a kid, you didn't cause too much trouble, and the adults adored you. Now that you've grown up, not much has changed.
You know that a little sugar is the way to get what you want in life, and you are as sweet as they come.

You like to make things better in the world, and you don't mind following rules... no matter how silly they may seem.
You are a truly good person, and there's very few of you in the world. Anyone who knows you is blessed!

What Halloween Costume Matches Your Personality?

You Should Be a Ghost for Halloween
You are painfully shy. You don't really care much for socializing, and you prefer it when people forget all about you.
When you get dressed up for Halloween, you're just trying to hide a little. It's the one time of the year it's okay to wear a mask.

To be honest, Halloween makes you want to lock the door, turn out the lights, and wait for it to be over.
It's a huge step if you even hand out candy on Halloween. Sometimes you're too shy for even that!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crazy Pet Costume Ideas

I don't have pets but have noticed for a few years  now the costumes that have sold for pets. Just about every idea available for humans has also gone to the dogs (so to speak) now and possibly also to the cats). "Star Wars" characters,  Batman , Superman, Raggedy AnneZelda Rag Doll Dog Costume and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz" costumes all Taco Pet Food Dog Costumecome in pet sizes, as do generic characters such as clowns, witches,  vampires, pirates, angels, and devils, pimps and just about everything you can imagine.   Even food costumes come in pet sizes, everything from tacos, hot dogs, and bananas.  Dogs can also pretend to be other animals Over the summer the store I work at had a candy corn costume for pets. 


I liked this one (even though I have no dogs!): The Zelda bouffant dog Zelda Bouffant Dog Costume

And whoa! Look at this Elvis for dogs: Elvis Dog Costume

And take a look at thisMailman Dog Rider Pet Costume
Looks like pet costumes can get as weird and bizarre as those for humans.  Check out this blog post.

And this year Michael Jackson costumes are also being made for dogs.  Even the world of pet disguises wasn't safe from the late singer this year.  From the San Francisco Chronicle on October 27:
Paula West, opening tonight for a month at the Algonquin in New York, dressed Satchmo, her French bulldog, as Michael Jackson for Saturday's Thompson Square Halloween Dog Parade. He wore sequined jacket, black fedora, shades and one bootie covered in sequins.
I know a lot of you would like to see pictures, but there are no pictures are in the Chronicle article, since it's a daily column.  However, I did find this link.

I have a sneaky feeling that Billy Mays won't be seen as a canine disguise, however,  and probably not Farrah Fawcett either.  Can you imagine a dog in a red swimsuit?  A blue shirt with the Oxi Clean logo and the requisite beard?  

Here are more dog costume ideas.   Sarah Palin for a dog? OMG!

And again from The San Francisco Chronicle today:
In other travel notes, Paul Kilduff, who contributes to The Chronicle, and his small daughter, Alice, were at Sunday's Halloween dog costume/parade in Healdsburg. Kilduff's pick for best in show: A Chihuahua "peeking out of a gondola beneath a tin foil contraption," the whole "made up to look like the Colorado family's balloon-boy hoax UFO rig," with a "Call CNN" on the side.

OMG!  Now the Balloon Boy for a dog?  I wonder how many humans are going to be doing this one, let alone if others are going to make it for their pets!   Could this be the next worse costume idea this year after Michael Jackson?

I'm not sure what I would do if I had any pets.  Would they ever keep these things on? I've joked with my mom about dressing her tow cats, but she always argues they would never keep them on.  I know that, but I just like joking about it.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What I Think of Some Ideas for Costumes...

Here are just a few ideas I've come across that seem bizarre, silly or even disturbing. 

iPhone Costume:  I can understand making a plain, easy one like this:
Homemade iPhone Costume
But can you get more bizarre or advanced than that? Apparently so.  Like this person said, who is going to spend $2000 for a 42-inch LCD TV and car battery and wear an 85-pound costume?  

The Octomom: In a blog entry I posted in August, I ranted about the possibility of the Octomom appearing on Halloween, and how IMHO, this was am much more disturbing idea than Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett or the Oxi Clean guy.  Seeing her standing alongside someone as one of those recently deceased celebrities seems a bit scary, IMHO, but there is something that could be just as scary, if not more so: seeing someone in the guise of the Octomom alongside someone in the guise of another famous mom of eight.

And one general idea that I just can't mention.  If you want to know, just look at this link and at  this one. 

This idea seems a bit funny. See picture below
Unusual Halloween Costumes

Not a bad idea, IMHO. In fact, the only one mentioned above that I would ever consider. 

Some pun-based ideas I've come across (from Costume Idea Zone):
Dr. Pepper: Get a white lab coat or some surgical scrubs, and pin some chili peppers all over yourself.
This is one that has sounded like fun to me, though I have never gotten around to trying it.

Bermuda Triangle: Make a large triangle out of cardboard and use straps to hang it on your body. Then find several toy airplanes, ships, and other things that have been lost and never found (like your car keys!), and attach them to yourself inside the triangle. Optional: dress in tropical-themed clothing.  
Not something I would ever consider, but I just saw this newly submitted idea and it's a god example of the punny types of ideas submitted to the site.

Hall and Oates: Simply take a bag, and fill it with... anything really. Label the bag "OATS" and sling it over your shoulder. When anyone asks you, just say that your Haulin' Oats.  
Just had to laugh at this one.

Spongebob Squarepants: Wear a black sweat suit and hot glue pieces of sponge to your pants. Also, wear a nametag sticker that says "My Name Is: BOB." It works even better if your name is Bob already.  
Very punny and easier than a papier-mache version of an actual SpongeBob costume. See how many will people get this! 

Lawsuit: Wear a nice suit and carry a briefcase. Attach legal documents all over yourself.  
See picture below:

Ceiling Fan: Write "Go Ceilings!" on the front of your shirt. Add other gear if you want (pom poms, big foam finger, etc.) And don't forget to cheer!  
Picture below:

There are far too many more ideas to mention.  Look at the link above for more of these pun-based ideas.  I've been looking a the site for years and have found many fun-sounding ideas, but have never gotten around to using any of them them.  But it's always fun to look and maybe just one year!  And look for photos on their sister site Candid Costume.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Pumpkin Face Should You Carve?

You Should Carve a Classic Pumpkin Face
You are calm, collected, and together. You are good at following rules and instructions.
You tend to celebrate Halloween in the same way every year. You have a routine down that you like.

You look forward to your favorite decorations, candy, and costumes. You might even carve the same pumpkin face each year.
You love the Halloween classics like little kids in costumes, spooky movies, and candy corn. Why mess with a good thing?

Does Anyone Really Like Those?

Saw this in my hometown newspaper this morning:

...I'm about to tell you all about the ins-and-outs, the do's-and-don'ts of picking your Halloween candy. Oh, sure it doesn't sound like a big public service, but trust me it is. You have no idea what it's like when you hand out the wrong thing on Halloween. Those children who look so cute in their costumes will turn on you like a pack of wild animals when they see you handing out sunglasses or, worse, sugar-free gum. 

I must confess ever since 2005 I stopped giving out candy in favor of pencils, small toys, stickers and such.  I've gotten no complaints.   I saw Halloween as a perfect opportunity to give out those little toys in boxes of cereals and trading cards printed on box panels.  Having no kids of my own and no use for these things myself,  this seemed a good way to get rid of these things.  In 2005, I found a "Star Wars" trading card on a Kudos box panel. The card had Yoda on it and one little boy who came to my door and said "I want Yoda."  A girl that same year was excited over the SpongeBob stickers I had bought to hand out. As of yet, I haven't been saddled with kids complaining that I don't have candy.  

Do not ever hand out toothbrushes.

Look, I don't care if you are dentist. If you have children and you value their lives, do not hand out toothbrushes on Halloween. For years afterward, your children will be taunted and teased with cries of, "Look, there's toothbrush boy," or "Hey over there, it's brushy girl; brushy, brushy, brush, brush." Trust me, you don't want to put your kids through that. It's tough to get over.

At least I haven't tired this one.   And you can be assured I never will. 

Contrary to what the Raisin Board says, raisins are not nature's candy.

This is Halloween. Nobody wants your icky old raisins, which I might add are horrifying, wrinkled up things that are really rotten grapes in disguise - even if you cover them in chocolate. Trust me, I know these things. I grew up in the Raisin Capital of California. We know from old, rotten grapes. They cannot be mistaken for candy on any planet. And I know I shouldn't have to say this, but the same thing goes for prunes. People, these are not a fruit in themselves. They are rotten, old plums that somebody forgot to pick. And they have side effects we won't go into here.

I'm not sure I have any comments on this one.

Do not hand out anything with the words 'all natural' or 'good for you' on the wrapper.

This is very similar to the raisin issue. It's Halloween. Nobody wants to eat anything that is good for him or her, not even the parents. Seriously, we don't. Why do you think we check all the candy? It's not because we're looking for razor blades, we're looking to score all the full-sized chocolate bars before the kids eat them. And even we don't want any all-natural fruit roll things cluttering up the sugar high. 

Candy corn isn't fun corn, it's icky candy.

Look, even sugary sweets have a hierarchy. And in the Halloween candy hierarchy candy corn is gross. And icky. And quite possibly the only candy nobody really wants to eat. Informal studies conducted in my kitchen have shown candy corn is always the last candy to be consumed. And mostly it's eaten when there's absolutely, positively no other candy left on earth. Yes, that's how icky candy corn really is. 

Really? Why then is candy corn always sold every year?  And now it's being made for almost every other holiday. In dark fall colors for Thanksgiving; in red, green and white for Christmas; pink, red and white for Valentines Day; pastel colors for Easter. I have yet t see a red, white and blue one for July 4th, but could that one be far behind? 

Bottlecaps are weird

Who invented these things? What fool in his right mind said, "Hey, let's allow kids to pretend they are eating hard pieces of metal usually used to prevent soda bottles from leaking? And while we're at it, let's make this candy taste like the kids are eating real bottle caps also." I think I speak for the entire country when I say, "blech."

I only ever recall ever eating these things once or twice.   They are flavored like root beer, orange, grape and other soda flavors. Do they make them flavored like Dr Pepper or Mountain Dew, anyone know? Just wondering here.  

Strange, squishy peanut candy

I don't even know what this stuff is called, but you know that strange, orange candy that's shaped like a peanut? Whatever it is, it's gross. You take the risk of having your house egged Nov. 1 if you serve these things. Don't say I didn't warn you.

This is one of those things that for a long time, I never knew what it is called. Still not completely sure, but the peanut description is quite accurate.  

So what can you safely hand out to the ghosties, ghoulies and goblins on Halloween? Well, anything chocolate (except, of course, the aforementioned raisins) goes over well. As does anything that in one serving exceeds the recommended daily allowance of sugar. But you know, I'd go with the chocolate. You can't go wrong with a good Hershey product.

I guess that's right. ...

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Is Your Home Haunted?" Quiz

Your Home Might Be Haunted

There's definitely something weird going on in your home, and you have the right to be uncomfortable.

A lot of your home's creepiness could be psychological. Do you have some bad memories associated with where you live?

Try to freshen things up a bit. Maybe some flowers or a new happy painting would make your home seem less dead.

Plus maybe if you change things enough, you'll scare some of the "ghosts" away!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Party City

In between the two thrift store visits yesterday, I went into the Salinas, California Party City store. It was quite crowded for one week before Halloween and there was a long line of people waiting to try on costumes.   People were eyeing the poster of costumes on the back wall of the store. Having read this article two years ago, I began to wonder if I'd overhear parents at party City yesterday having these conversations with their children.  I  can't recall any as it was very loud with the crowds and the music that was playing over the store's intercom system (Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was playing as I entered the store and started again just as I was getting ready to leave).   Are these parents not as strict as those in this article?  I just don't know what I would be doing if I were a  parent, though I would suggest making my own disguises for kids. 

What I did do was pass by the poster in one of the aisles with the kids and preteen costumes photos.  I looked at the Aqua Fairy mentioned the article:

 ....Gabby did like the Aqua Fairy, a vampy get-up with a black ripped-up skirt, black fishnet tights and blue bustier that comes in medium, large and preteen. A medium fits a child of 8.


OK, so this exposes the shoulders and comes with fishnets. Perhaps this is why she opposed this.  But as far as I could see no one at the store was buying this. And I could not hear anyone saying about anything "No, you can't have that," or "This is so inappropriate."

I did see two  girls pointing to the racer costume below:

Now this is one the parents in that article would have opposed as well.  Apparently there were no parents with these girls and I have no idea how old the girls were, though they looked to be between 16 and 21. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Halloween Items at Thrift Stores

Today I trekked over to Salinas after finishing work at Home Goods in Gilroy and it wasn't until 4 o'clock that I got back home to Hollister. Anyhow, while in Salinas I went to the Savers thrift store as I'd been hoping to do. Even though it's a week till Halloween, the store was quite crowded and was quite a mess and there were people still deciding in costumes. Because it carries new and used costumes and makeup an accessories, part of the store looks like an actual costume store. Like in other thrift store, used clothing is mixed in with the costumes. Everything from old fancy dresses (that one might be able to pass off for some costume), medical scrubs and sleepwear were mixed in with used costumes, including a French maid without the apron. And once again, graduation robes were in the costume racks. This is actually the store where, in 2005, I bought a red robe and white one from which I crafted my own half devil/half angel costume that year. A year earlier, I'd gone to this same store to look for peace symbol necklace for a hippie costume, actually finding a necklace with matching earrings. As eesm to always be the case in thrift stores at Halloween time, the navy blue and emerald green robes were present in the store (unfortunately, the blue one looks purple in the photo.

I was sadly unable to get any pictures of the cashiers who were in costumes. One was a woman in a purple cape, and another was a man in a clown suit and another was a man in a taco suit. I know this sounds like a sad missed opportunity and I agree, but the store was so busy and it never seemed like the lines would end. On the other hand, I got to see how busy a store can be just one week before Halloween. I'd gone not only to find blog material, but also to look for a 50s dress fro sock hop on November 7.  I did not find one, unfortunately and will be looking again later, probably at another store. 

Later on, I went over to the Salinas Goodwill.  Unlike those in Hollister or Gilroy (both of which are in the Silicon Valley store district), the store in Salinas doesn't carry items from Target, but still had plenty of used costumes.  Like at the other stores, several racks of used costumes were in the front area of the store and other clothse presumably passable for some sort of costume, and again those emerald green graduation robes. At least two of these robes were present in this store location. Strangely, all season, I haven't seen any graduation robes at the Hollister store.

And I found what appears to be Joker costume (see photo below), one of the popular ones from last year. In one of the adjacent racks is a red-and-white checkered shirt (a bit blurred in the photo). Upon seeing this shirt, I thought of those of farmer girl costumes made with shirts like these.   Someone would be in luck if they wanted to make one of these. And next to the Joker is a burgundy velvet dress that appears to be a used vampire costume.  

Like at the Savers store, there were quite a few people looking for a costume a week before the big holiday.   A couple were in there holding a used girl's costume with web-like sleeves to their little girl suggesting she could use it for a vampire.  She apparently didn't want to do that, as they put it back on the rack.
I saw something I'd half-expected to be thrown in with Halloween items at some thrift store somewhere, a sombrero from a nearby Mexican restaurant.  I'd gone to the said restaurant for my birthday one year and was given one fo these hats, which I eventually donated to charity.  
Trying to photograph this hat was impossible as I apparently wasn't aiming my camera correctly. (I'm still getting used to a digital camera and have trouble aiming at some things) so I just gave up on it.   Not much to see, however,  just the logo from this restaurant chain. 

I didn't make it toe Salinas Salvation Army store unfortunately, but in between my two thrift store visits, I made a trek to the Salinas Party City store, which I will be writing about tomorrow.  

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Candy Apple Test

You Are Colorful and Flamboyant

You're the type of person who wears a really crazy, outrageous costume. Seriously, you push it to the limit.

You're likely to dress up in something that is both hilarious and revealing. Halloween is the one night you can get away with murder, and you fully intend to.

Your favorite Halloween celebrations are totally unpredictable and wild. You want to wake not knowing where you are... next to a hungover clown.

Candy and booze are a dangerous mix, and you like to live on the edge. Just remember to pace yourself while the night is still young.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Cute Monster Test

Your Cute Monster Says Your Inner Demon is Sensitivity

You are a giving, open, loving person. You truly want the world to be a better place.

You appreciate what you have in life. You are very content.

You are very sensitive, and your sensitivity can be a double edged sword.

People think you're cute because you're generous. You are easy to love - it's part of your charm.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Graduation Robes in the Halloween Racks at Thrift Stores

A lot of odd clothing comes up in the racks of Halloween stuff in thrift stores alongside the used costumes with missing pieces.   The blue dress mentioned in my October 1 entry is one such item of clothing.  T-shirts and sweatshirts and men's shorts decorated with skulls and pumpkins are  placed in these racks, as well as shorts or sweatshirts with these designs.   Long black dresses that could easily be used for any gothic costume also turn up in these racks.

Another thing that seems to appear yearly in these racks is old graduation robes.  One year when I began noticing this, I wondered what these have to do with Halloween.  Does anyone ever go as a graduate on Halloween?  Then one year I decided to be the half devil/half angel, and it hit me that graduation robes would be perfect to make it myself. I got a red robe and white one and cut them in half.  Since the robes zip in front, I only had to sew the two robe halves down the back. I made a devil cape from the other half of the red robe.   

Pictured at right are two robes sighted today at the Goodwill in one of the Halloween clothing racks.  One is emerald green and another is navy blue.  Though it's not visible in the photo, the blue robe has the pinned-on white collar.    The navy blue and emerald green robes seem to turn up a lot in these stores each halloween season.  I'm wondering what you could make with robes of these colors.  Black ones are perfect for witches and other gothic characters, perhaps also for Judge Judy.  White  robes can be for angles and red ones for devils.   I even saw an orange robe in a thrift store one year.  What could that one be made into? 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Episodes

I didn't put a lot of Halloween movies in my Netflix queue this year.  I did already have the SpongeBob Halloween DVD in the queue (along with two other SpongeBob DVDs) so I moved it toward the top.  It's alternately been on "Available  Now" and "Short Wait" the last week or so and is currently "Available Now."  It's in slot 2 right now.  

I also added the first Disc of Season Eight of Friends to watch their only Halloween episode. Yes, in 10 years they had several Christmas/Winter Holiday  and Thanksgiving Episodes, but only one Halloween episode aired the day after Halloween in 2001.  The disc is in  slot 1 of my queue and I'm guessing it will arrive on Tuesday at the earliest.  

Unfortunately "Family Matters" isn't on DVD, or else I would queue it to watch the Halloween episode from the 1990-1991 season, "Dog Day Halloween."  The title refers to the 1975 flick "Dog Day Afternoon," and involves Steve Urkel and Laura being among the people held hostage during a bank robbery on Halloween.  The robber is a man disguised as Abraham Lincoln.   Laura's disguise as Tina Turner becomes a running gag as the robber thinks she's every other African-American female singer out there (he misses Gladys Knight somehow).  The episode is on YouTube , as is the "Friends" episode for those who don't want to rent or buy the DVD.  I wish I could buy the DVD right now.