Sunday, October 26, 2003

Beware of the pumpkins 

Boo. Did I scare you? No? Well, look down below for some terrifyin' pumpkins:

(click on each photo to see the full-sized image)

Scared now? Of course you are. Here, you better hold my hand, 'cause we got yer Frankenstein's monster, we got yer pirate, we got yer tombstone. Like I said, terrifyin'. My 8-year-old nephew (he's a brave boy) helped me paint ol' Frankie. I realized after I finished drawing and painting him (I took the design from a site which has things to print for kids to color, but drew it freehand), his chin is way off to the right. And his mouth resembles a monkey's. But, considering he's a monster made out of spare parts and all, I'm just going to say he was put together that way.

The pirate -- my nephew's step-grandmother said he looks Chinese. It wasn't intentional, but I can see it now. Oh, well... I'll just say I went international this year. And the tombstone is your basic tombstone, R.I.P. and all.

I have two more pumpkins I've yet to adorn, but I'm running out of paint, so they may stay naked. Not very scary, but them's the brakes. What would be truly scary is if I went naked, but I want to do the fun type of scaring, not the oh-my-God-head-for-the-hills-it's-a-short-squat-nekkid-and-not-in-a-good-way-monster type of scaring.

I didn't get any other decorating done this weekend, I'm afraid. Real life, in the form of babysitting my nephew and shampooing carpets (though not at the same time), interferred with my important decorating duties. Maybe next time I'll have my nephew shampoo the carpets while I go outside to decorate.

In related news, I'll be placing red light bulbs in various fixtures in the front room, a bedroom with a window facing the front of the house, the porch light, etc., to give the whole area an ethereal glow. Or, as my mother put it, it will be a true red light district (a.k.a., whore house district). If so, I'll be one ugly madame, what with the rotting flesh makeup I'll be wearing. Either way, there will be a lot of tricks turned Halloween night.

I'm off to go mix a Halloween-themed music CD now. "Cause it's the mash... they did the monster mash..."

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Saturday, October 25, 2003

One more week! 

I've painted my first pumpkin of the year, as pictured at right (click on it to see a bigger version). Yes, friends, it is an M&M pumpkin. I think it came out rather well, considering I did it all freehand, based on a little picture. He's going to get a wizard style hat, once I make it. He needs a costume, too, after all.

Tango the Wonder Kitty assisted me during the painting of the pumpkin by knocking off the paints, the brush, the Sharpie I used to outline, etc. He also stood in front of the pumpkin, which was immensely helpful. Butler, one of my other kitties, simply laid on everything. He just wanted to be sure I didn't lose anything. I'm surprised I was able to actually finish the pumpkin.

The cats have been extremely helpful with the whole decorating process. The boxes of stuff in the living room seem to magically change positions, and the contents get dispersed throughout the day and night. We frequently hear random thumps and crinkles coming from the living room, and cats come running out like they've been set on fire. I never smell any burning hair, so I'm pretty sure that isn't the case.

In music news, I'm presently watching Insomniac Music Theater on VH1. I've been doing that for the last few nights, because I haven't been sleeping well. So I've seen, over several hours of watching, about five music videos, each of them several times. I'm fairly certain, years from now, I will have violent video flashbacks wherein I will be going about my daily activities, and all of the sudden, I'll start seeing Beyonce and Sean Paul's "Baby Boy" or The Darkness' "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" on super speed repeating loop and I will be reduced to a blubbering heap, right there in the middle of my daily activities. Whatever they will be. I hope it won't be operating heavy machinery.

My only hope is there will be others like me, and as a result, there will be a home for video-induced mental mushiness victims. There will be various branches of the home... one for VH1/MTV victims, another for CMT/GAC (country music videos) victims, a special branch for victims of both VH1/MTV and CMT/GAC, and so on. It will have satellite TV, but all music video channels will be categorically banned. CNN and public television will be shown primarily, with a little Discovery, TLC (where Trading Spaces will be in its 30th season, and Paige Davis will still look 25 years old and be perky as ever), etc., thrown in. But no music videos.

Maybe I'll start the home myself, and live there for free. "I'm not just the owner, I'm also a client." It's good to have a plan for when I grow older.

I should probably start sleeping more. It's scary the things I think up when I don't. Before you know it, I'll start watching infomercials. I could even start buying the products in the infomercials. And then I'd have to shoot myself. So sleep would definitely be a good idea. Right now I seriously want a Magic Rattle Poo, which I just saw in a commercial. It's for babies. I don't particularly care for Winnie the Poo. I'm more of an Eeyore fan.

So, sleep is needed. But oooh... "Spaceballs" is on. I love that movie. Dark Helmet, Pizza the Hut, a space Winnebago... great stuff. "Use the schwartz!" "Funny, she doesn't look Druish." Spaceballs the Toilet Paper. Pure genius.

Yeah, so, sleep. Know where I can get some? Which isn't illegal drug induced? If you do, let me know. In the meantime, I'm going to watch Spaceballs and spout random other phrases from the movie to no one in particular. Take care, friends, and remember: may the schwartz be with you.

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Monday, October 20, 2003

I'm back - warn your local neighborhood watch 

After a fun-filled weekend of not being able to use my computer, Windows XP arrived today and I am back in business. I still have to reinstall most things, but I can ramble once again, so I'm sure you're all thrilled beyond belief.

Great strides were made in the Halloween decorating department over the last few days. All of the lights are up, and I set up the canvas tent cover thing which usually resides over the patio. I'm using it to create a lovely graveside service, complete with a coffin, mourners, etc. Of course, the mourners will be a werewolf, a skeleton lady, another skeleton, a fiber optic skeleton head, and so on. Oh, and a skeleton head with a hand holding a butcher's knife will be coming up out of the coffin. And there's a lot of blood.

It should be fun for the whole family.

I've also added the hanging bloody mummy, the tombstones, a lovely witch complete with a broom, and a black light in the porch light fixture. There will be red lights in the windows and the foyer area by the front door, to give that extra lighting oomph. Five pumpkins now grace the front yard, and there is still quite a bit more stuff to go out there once it gets closer to the big day.

I listened to the CD I made last year of Halloween sound effects and music, and quite frankly, it sucks. So I'll be redoing that, but I can't decide if I should go scary or not-so-scary. Maniacal laughter or the Addams Family theme? This is the kind of thing to keep me up at night, so I better decide soon.

There are so many other important issues to worry about, after all. Issues such as there being several M&M Halloween-themed items out there which I do not have. I don't have any Halloween-themed M&M items. I have M&M items for several other holidays, but none for this one. This sucks, friends. But they aren't cheap, so it will have to continue sucking until such time in the future when I can afford to purchase them.

I'm going to bed now, so I can stay awake pondering these and other related very important issues. If I don't do it, who will?

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Thursday, October 16, 2003

I'm going incognito this weekend 

My computer, bless its little CPU, has decided to stop working. Apparently, according to Dell, the Windows update I installed last night didn't agree with my OS, so it caused some serious errors which can't be fixed, so that means a full system reinstall. Which would be fine if I could find the disk for my OS, which I can't. So the computer will continue to not work until at least monday, which is when the replacement OS, which I had to pay for, will be arriving.

I'm presently using another computer, an older model Comcrap... whoops, I mean Compaq, of course... which doesn't have the stuff I need to work, so I'm presently trying to rectify that. Once I get some work done, I think I'm going to shut off all the computers and "rough it" for a few days. I've not done that in a long time, so it should be an experience.

I wonder how long I'll last.

This will, obviously, give me plenty of time to decorate for Halloween, do some household chores, discover my inner self, etc. What I'd really like to do, however, is take long baths, read books, and sleep. I want a self imposed vacation! Yeah, that's it. I'll indulge myself for three whole days. I won't, but it would be nice.

So, I'm going to sign off and get some work done. Wish me luck, 'cause I'm gonna need it.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2003

16 more days to go 

I spent a good portion of the day yesterday placing batteries in the various Halloween decorations... well, the decorations which require batteries, that is. It would be pointless to put batteries in, say, a blow-up ghost. I may be a little over the top in this whole Halloween thing, but I'm not that bad.

I went through well over fifty (yes, fifty) batteries before I ran out, which meant I had to buy more today. It also meant I had to buy extra, because I likely will need to replace batteries throughout Halloween night. Fortunately a discount store in town had a very good deal on batteries, so I didn't have to take out a loan to finance the expenditure.

I also took inventory of what all I have, separating like items into bags and boxes, labeling them, then placing them back into bigger boxes so the cats won't steal them during the night. The cats are very helpful that way. When I was doing the battery thing they found great delight in pouncing on everything, climbing in boxes, etc. I frankly do not know what it would be like to anything without kitty helpers.

So, anyway, I didn't actually get any decorations put up outside, because it's been raining, and frankly, I don't know where to put them. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking there are still 16 more days to go before the big night, and that should be plenty of time to get everything set up. I'm sure you mean well, but you are, of course, terribly wrong. There is still much planning to be done (two different plans based on rain versus dry weather) before I can do anything truly productive on the decorating end.

I am happy to report I will have some assistance on the day of Halloween, because my two nieces and one of my nephews will be here. One of my nieces is taking this decorating business very seriously, offering some very serious pointers, so I'm sure she'll come in handy.

After all, I do all of this for the children. I want to make them happy in a world filled with truly scary things such as war, crime, the economy, Martha Stewart, etc. It's a selfless act, but I consider it my civic duty. If I can make their lives just a little bit better on Halloween night, then I've done my job.

Either that or I'm obsessed. Either way, I must get back to putting batteries into the decorations. There is still much work to be done.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Countdown to Halloween 

Well, it's begun. I hauled out the boxes out Halloween decorations, and they're presently occupying the majority of the living room floor. I spent a couple of minutes last night getting reacquainted with what I bought on sale last year after Halloween... some I'd remembered getting, some I hadn't. It was like opening presents on Christmas.

Now I have to go through all of them and decide where to put them. Want to come over and help? Please? I'll let you take home some of the 20 or so orange votive candles I bought last year as payment. Frankly, I have no clue where to start. A lot of the stuff can't be put out until the day of Halloween, and where they go depends on whether it rains.

So, as you can plainly see, I'm under a lot of serious stress. So much stress, in fact, I can't even begin to deal with Shasta, my rottweiler, being tormented by my cat, Butler. Butler's perched in the closet and won't come out, which is distressing the poor little 80 lb. doggy to no end.

But, no, I can't deal with that now. I have more important matters to which I must attend. For example, should the 6 ft. tall skeleton lady go by the porch, or should it be mourning over the coffin and tombstones? Should I have the glowing skeleton head coming out of the coffin, or should I use the strange rotting flesh head? If I put the talking full-body skeleton dude on the porch again this year will it scare away any children? Should I play spooky sounds or Hallowen-themed music? Or both? If I hang the flying bat (he flaps his wings and goes around in circles) over the walkway leading up to the porch, would that totally freak out the kids?

It's a delicate balance between spooky and just too scary. I know some kids were afraid last year to come to the door, so I need to do some experimenting with different decoration placement this year. I want it to be fun, not creepy. Well, not too creepy.

I'm off to go sit amongst the boxes of decorations and ponder these heavy, thought provoking questions. That, and I have to ponder how I'm going to make a pumpkin look like an M&M character. It was my mother's most excellent idea. Take care, friends. If I don't return, it will be because my brain, after trying to figure out the mass of confusion that is my Halloween decorating crisis, just gave up and I'm rotting somewhere amid the boxes.

Which, come to think of it, would make an excellent Halloween decoration.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The end is near 

It's official: the world is ending. It has to be. I woke up at 8am (that's in the morning) -- again -- so that settles it. Pack your bags, friends, and prepare for the hereafter.

I have some sort of bug... I thought it was a cold at first, but whatever it is has the added exciting features of both diarrhea and vomiting... so I've been feeling less than spiffy. All I've wanted to do is lay in bed doing absolutely nothing but sleep, but no. Instead, I woke up at 8 o'clock in the morning.

Last night, in the midst of my misery, I decided to take a bath, which I'd hoped would make me feel at least a bit better. Which it did, but not quite in the way I'd intended. About 10 minutes into the bath (squeamish folks will want to skip to the next paragraph) I suddenly felt very nauseous and vomited, right into the bathtub. With me in it. I could not drain out the water fast enough, nor could I clean myself off soon enough. So the experience did relieve some of the nausea, but I could have done with a different set of circumstances. Although, I must say, the vomit was an interesting color -- purple -- as I'd just taken a drink of grape juice.

Just thought I'd share.

I'm going to go take a nap now, because, after all, I was up at 8 o'clock in the morning, which, as we all know, is just plain wrong. Take care, friends... and when you drink grape juice, try not to think of me.

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Friday, October 03, 2003

It's a random world out there 


Another morning, and I was awake. This is becoming a disturbing trend. On the plus side, I was able to watch Ellen DeGeneres' talk show today. I don't usually get to, since it's on in the -- *sigh* -- morning here where I live. So this is a good thing. Ellen is spiffy beyond compare. I want to be like her when I grow up.

The reason I'm awake is my dog, Shasta. She herself didn't wake me up this morning (for once), but her vet did. Shasta, bless her overactive little self, has issues. Psychological issues which I intend to ramble about at great length in the near future, so be sure to stay tuned for that exciting event.

I'd called the vet's office yesterday to discuss said issues, and the vet called me this morning. Which was nice, but really... 8:30am should be illegal. If I were president (running under the Rambling party ticket), I would make it so the work day didn't start until at least noon. School would likewise have a noon start, because we all know children have an adversity to mornings, anyway.

That's it! I just realized something important here, friends. An epiphany, if you will. My aversion to mornings is because I am still a kid at heart! It's my youthful disposition, that's all. Nothing wrong with that.

At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself from now on.


In other news, I do believe, being the ever astute individual I am, I have a cold. At first, I thought it was allergies, but now my throat hurts, my nose is runny, and my allergy pills aren't clearing things up like they usually do.

Are you feeling sorry for me yet? No? Damn. Well, would it help if I mentioned my mother, with whom I live, even though I'm 29, because of my health (or lack thereof), is also feeling like utter and complete crap? She has something beyond a simple cold, so she's been staying in bed a lot, trying to convince her body to just forget about the whole being sick thing. It's not listening.

I actually sort of cooked earlier, which isn't a normal occurrence for me. Normally, my culinary expertise is limited to stirring, opening cans, and setting the timer on the microwave. But today I made goulash... with, of course, my mother sitting nearby, giving me explicit instructions. I am fairly confident I can, without too much prompting, make goulash again the future.

I think.

Of course, on an given day, I am prone to forgetting my own name, so let's not place any bets on it.

Now do you feel sorry for me?


In other news, I woke up this morning with a scuffed up watch. I have no idea how this occurred, but it could have been Shasta. She has big feet, and since she insists on sleeping right next to me at night, she could have kicked it or scratched it with the pads of her feet while I was asleep. So I had to buy a new watch, because the old one is scuffed beyond repair. I, even though I'm female, wear only men's watches (gender roles, after all, generally suck piggy wonks), because they don't seem to make women's watches which perform any functions beyond that of telling time. At least not in my price range... which is cheap. Free would be better, but I've found stores don't like that very much.

I, being the demanding consumer I am, require one which displays not only the time, but also the day of the week and the date, as well as a back light for nighttime viewing. That is because, on any given day, I am prone to forget what day it is, the day of the week, and you can forget me knowing even vaguely what time it is.

I am a clueless individual. This is a fact I must face. And face it I shall with my new watch. And I will know what time it is, the day, and the date when I do it.

Even if it's dark.

'Cause I have that cool light.

Yeah. So, anyway, my watch, my dog, and I are all going to bed now. If Shasta scuffs up this one, she's going to pay for the replacement this time.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003

More talk show topic fun - the return of the trash 

I discovered more older talk show topics from previous ramblings I didn't include yesterday, plus I have a few new ones. Wow.

The older topics:

Jerry Springer: Lesbian for a Day
(Jerry's a lesbian for a day? And here I thought Jerry's a male... silly me)

Ricki Lake: You Are My Baby's Daddy
(Ricki's a daddy? And here I thought Ricki's a female... strange)

Montel Williams: I Disapprove of Your Relationship
(Well, Montel, I didn't ask you, anyway)

Jenny Jones: You Need to Be Told, Your Lover Is Too Old
(What is it with these judgmental talk show hosts, anyway?)

Montel Williams: Safe ... but Deadly?
(Um... huh?)

Jerry Springer: When Transsexuals Attack!
(Um... would it be any different then when anyone else attacks? I'm confused.)

Ricki Lake: I Want to Walk a Day With a larger Chest!
(Okay! We'll take your 4-drawer pine chest and replace it with a nice oak six-drawer! But you have to give it back tomorrow.)

Jerry Springer: I'm Having a Lesbian Affair With My Own Sister
Jerry Springer: I'm Having a Lesbian Affair With My Own Daughter

(You know me, I'll all for lesbians, but really... keep your family out of it!)

Sally: I'm Ashamed of My Looks
(But Sally, you're not a bad looking woman! And, really, it's all about inner beauty, after all... at least, that's what I, personally, am banking on.)

And now, a couple of new ones. My comments are after the summaries, prefaced by "--". Brace yourselves...

Jerry Springer: My Boyfriend Is A Woman!
Mario is in quite a spot! He was feeling neglected by his girlfriend, Ebony, so he started cheating with her friend, Alvenia! Now Mario wants Ebony back and Alvenia out of his life! But he has more to tell Alvenia... he must confess that he is actually a she! Remarkably, both women want him and are will to fight for him!

-- You'd think at least one of them would have noticed the lack of a certain part of the male anatomy on Mario. That's right, friends, I'm talking about an adam's apple.

What else would I being talking about?

Maury: Can You Guess... Sexy Divas or Dashing Dudes?
They have the curves and they have the clothes, but some of the sexy divas on today's MAURY are actually men! Will you be able to pick out the boys dressed as girls, even when they are wearing skimpy swim suits? It's a fashion show like no other!

-- Wouldn't you hate to be one of the actual women on the show whom the audience thinks is actually a guy? If that happened, of course, I'm sure you could go on another talk show to talk about. Possible title:

They Say I'm a Man, but That's Just a Sham!

It would be all kinds of fun. When I was a child I was very much a tomboy, and was actually mistaken for a boy on a couple of ocassions by other children. That doesn't happen to me any longer, but I can still remember it like it was several years ago. Because it was.

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