Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So much for the spirit of the season

I’ve been so busy preparing for Christmas that posting has been pretty slow. And the holiday fun is not over yet. I’m headed out of state over New Year’s to celebrate a late Christmas with more family. But I didn’t want to leave you empty handed while I was gone so here is an email that I sent to my very best friend Shawna around the 15th of December after my husband called to inform me that some asshole had stolen my vintage bicycle directly from our front yard.

It was completely non-functional (tires were shredded, chain was rusted) but it was charming and I had put a basket on the front which I decorated throughout the year with seasonal items, and I’d place potted plants or pumpkins on the vintage metal child’s seat on the back of it. I loved that thing and I was planning on writing a blog post about its theft. But looking back, I think the raw unabashed hatred and sense of helplessness that I felt after that theft could not be conveyed any better than in this excerpt from an email that was composed directly after I found out it was stolen:

Some Mother Fucking, Son of a Bitch is going to die! Die a horrific death. If only the fury of my hatred could be fired out of me like a bullet out of a gun, and magically seek out the asshole who has done this, it would be a thing of beauty!

Some jerkoff has stolen the bicycle from the front yard. The vintage bicycle that I saved from the curb and gave a new home to. The one I lovingly added a basket to the front and filled with seasonal flowers and decorations. The one that added charm and whimsy to an otherwise shitty front yard.

Gone. Stolen. I haven’t been this pissed for months, years maybe.

You know how sometimes for fun or an ice breaker people will ask you what kind of super power you would have if you could have any super power, and people say , flight, or invisibility, or super strength etc. Well my super power would be the ability to recognize the people who steal stuff from people’s lawns. Yes, I’d want the ability to look into their souls and recognize what they are and then I’d want the power to punish them for the rest of their lives by making their things disappear. Maybe not even their lawn ornaments but just anything – one day they’d wake up and I’d have removed every pair of underwear they own, including the pair they had on. The next day I’d remove every mirror from the entire house, the next day I’d take the steering wheel out of their car, the spoons, their toothbrush, every pair of shoes . . . on and on until the last day of their life.

They’d wake up every morning and find something gone – just like my bike was gone – and my payback would be complete. . .

And while my reaction might seem a little dramatic for the theft of a bike I got for free, I think it speaks to that feeling of helplessness and violation that you get when something is stolen. You can’t do a damn thing about it and it’s frustrating. Not to mention that if you sit and think about it long enough to realize that some stranger was inches from your front door at night with evil intentions (okay maybe evil is a little overboard but they certainly weren’t friendly) and that you were at home alone with your kids, then it compounds that feeling of helplessness and even mixes in a good dose of fear as well about what “could” happen.

So now that I’ve given you a good dose of reality after the fantasy and charm of the holiday season. I’m heading out for more holiday cheer. Have a Happy New Year everyone.

oh and don’t ever think about stealing anything from my front yard. I’m installing motion sensors and stockpiling weapons by the front door so they’re within easy reach when the next person tries to steal my Malibu lights.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tacky Treasure time - cast your vote!

The tacky treasures are awaiting your vote! Go to www.freewebs.com/tackytreasures to cast your vote!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa Snob

We recently made our requisite December journey to the Mall. Not for shopping, not for an orange Julius, though that would have been nice, except the Julius has raw eggs in it doesn’t it – isn’t that what makes it frothy or is that an urban legend? Maybe just a smoothie would have been better or some ice cream from the creamery – sorry – off topic.

It was time to see Santa – that jolly old soul. The most ironic thing about seeing Santa is that it’s never jolly. We knew the line would be horrendous, and it was. We knew it would be packed with snot nosed impatient children – and it was; ours fitting in perfectly with the rabble.

We’ve gone to the same mall every year since Aaron was born to see this particular Santa. I’m a bit of a Santa snob – I’ll admit it. I’m not going to sit my kid on just anyone’s red velvet robed knee. Oh no, if I’m going to perpetuate the myth that is Santa then by God I’m going to do it right by choosing a Santa that could actually BE Santa.

He’s round, he’s jolly, he has a REAL beard of snowy white, a gentle voice and a genuine way with children. This way when the kids get old enough to realize that we’ve been lying to them for the entirety of their childhoods, they might at least appreciate the fact that we were damn good liars and picked a heck of a good actor to aide and abet us in those lies!

How about you? Are you picky about which Santa you take your kids to see?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nothing tops the black fuzzy poster

The Christmas season is here and I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done. There are cookies to be baked, cards to be sent, photos with Santa to be taken, shopping to be done, gifts to be wrapped, family feuds to begin, or end . . . and the list goes on and on.

Due to economic issues, and the fact that I am kind of crafty, I’m making a lot of gifts for people this year and while I think they are fantastic, I sometimes wonder if the recipient might think they are completely lame. To combat these fears I try to focus on some of the worst gifts I and people I know have received over the years and in comparison to some of these gifts, my hand knit scarves seem like the most thoughtful and beautiful gifts ever!


Now in general there’s nothing wrong with Potpourri. It’s not my cup of tea but I suppose it serves some sort of purpose, doesn’t it?? Like an alternative to cat litter when you’re in a pinch? Anyway, it wouldn’t have been such a bad gift had it been paired maybe with a candle or a lovely bowl or something to put it in except there was nothing else. Just a plastic baggie full of potpourri from the dollar store, with the price tag still on it. If you couldn’t afford to give me anything that’s fine, just get a card or a scrap of paper and write a lovely note wishing me a happy holiday. A 99 cent bag of potpourri is like leaving your waitress a 2 cent tip, it just shouldn’t be done unless you want her to spit in your salad the next time you eat there.

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia!

While there is something intrinsically fascinating about watching something sprout from the back/head of a terra cotta (insert your shape – sheep, tweety bird, Homer Simpson, Garfield) figure, I don’t think the Chia Pet has ever been or will ever be elevated to “good gift” status. My husband got one of these as a gift one year and quite frankly he’s still insulted by it. Though he’ll deny it, I think the true insult came from the fact that it wasn’t even the terra cotta one – it was one of the cheaper heads made out of nylon with a face painted on it - you know like the ones you made in kindergarten from your mom’s pantyhose. Perhaps if it had been the actual terra cotta variety, he might have gotten over it by now.

KOOL t-shirt

I think this might have been a birthday gift actually, but a bad gift is a bad gift so it makes my list. When my husband was in grade school his grandparents were pretty heavy smokers and they used that habit not only to supply themselves with lung disease but also with countless gifts for their grandchildren, and I’m not even counting the second hand smoke as one of the gifts! They’d save up their cartons and packs and send them into the company for free merchandise. So Matt was often gifted with a KOOL or Salem T-shirt as a gift. What could a 13 yr. old want more?? Hey at least they didn’t pair it with a carton of ciggies.

Black fuzzy poster

Now in general I try not to make fun of hand made gifts. Because even if they are absolutely hideous, if somebody put the effort into making something for me, I try to look past the fug and appreciate the time and the thought. However, I don’t think coloring in one of those black flocked posters really counts as hand-made so I have no qualms about poking fun at this gift.
It would have been a different story if it had been a gift from say a 9 yr. old, or even a 15 – 16 yr. old. But, no. This was a gift from a grown woman. A black fuzzy poster that she was incredibly proud to announce that she had colored in all by herself! I can’t even remember what the image was – perhaps a unicorn or a kitten or something, shockingly I did not keep it.


Everyone had that grandmother who bought them socks or panties every year. Well my friend’s grandmother took it a step further – actually 2 steps further because not only was she gifted with panties every single year up to the age of 15 (yikes) but she also was forced to put them on and model them for her as if it was a festive holiday sweater instead of a lacy pair of undies with the days of the week printed on them. No wonder the poor thing is in therapy now.

Mini bottles of shampoo/conditioner from a hotel

While it’s a great idea to share mementos and photos from recent trips with friends and family, it’s not usually looked upon fondly when you share your trip by gifting them the bottles of shampoo from the hotel you stayed at in Hoboken. A friend was once given mini bottles of Super 8 shampoo by her husband’s grandmother. So either her grandmother is very cheap or perhaps she’s not well liked by the in-laws – or maybe both.

What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received??

Monday, December 1, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

So I know things have been a little slow around here. Posting has dropped off dramatically and I’m sorry for that but I do have a legitimate excuse. I’ve launched a craft business and I’ve been busily creating products, setting up my online shop and creating content for my craft blog.

Now I know what you’re thinking; “Woman, it’s about time you did something! I mean with a full time job, plus being the sole caretaker of your 2 small children in the evenings while your husband works, it’s about time you took advantage of all that abundant free time you have!”

And you’re right. Because I was seriously wasting my time on things like personal hygiene and sleep. It was laziness, pure and simple and now I’ve found something worthwhile to fill up the hours of my day.

Now I’m still in that optimistic stage of the game. I’ve sold two things (hurray!) and hope to sell more. Right now my stuff is just online but I hope to do some local craft shows and stuff next year when I have more inventory built up. I’m really trying to find my niche and that’s hard. I don’t expect to earn enough for champagne wishes or caviar dreams, but I love creating stuff so I figured I might as well try to hock some of it while I’m at it.

If you’ve got nothing better to do – check out my shop on Etsy: http://www.pinandpaper.etsy.com/

and visit my crafty blog as well: