Archive for December, 2012

Some stuff and also some things.

Monday, December 31st, 2012

1. I just saw this picture of Brussels. Why were the giant orange bunnies not there when I was there? I would have made a concerted effort to see them. Who took away my bunnies?!?! I’m gonna write a letter.


2. I decided a girl’s gotta look out for herself at holiday-time, so I went online and bought a big box o’ dead bugs! Happy Holidays to me! Really.

It was tough, but I waited and waited and then one day, there it was! My box of beetle corpses! There were only two problems. One, the box was clearly labeled “Dead Insect Specimens – For Scientific Use Only” and then the rest was Chinese characters all over, so my doorman handed it to me like, “What’s up with you, girl? You get weird things.” The other problem, and Snorth tells me this is a thing with all beetles, is the buggies have a smell. A pretty strong smell, in fact. It’s not bad, like rotting flesh or anything, but it’s not good. I would describe it as pungent. I think the closest thing I could compare it to is roasted peanuts and a touch of musk. Now they are laid out all over my dining room table on an oilcloth airing out in the hopes that it will dissipate the odd stink. There are gorgeous, though. An excellent gift to myself.


3. I saw a holiday-themed commercial for Pringles the other night, and then the next day I saw this:

He makes an excellent point, but that’s not the thought I had. Every time the British voiceover person says, “Merry Pringles,” at the end of the commercial, I can’t stop thinking about a scary campfire story about a forest witch. “Did you ever hear the tale of Mary Pringles? It’s said she roams this forest, shaking a long can filled with compressed, formed cellulose slivers to lure children to her den. Ticka ticka ticka, that’s what it sounds like. Be afraid of Mary Pringles.”


4. Everyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about owls, particularly teeny-tiny grumpy owls. I always assumed they had ears, but due to the feathers, I had never seen an ear. And now I wish I still had not seen an owl ear. Eeesh.

The article I saw this in said, “Northern Saw-whet Owls are ‘earless’ owls in the sense that they have no ear tufts, as do Eastern Screech-Owls and Great Horned Owls. But the tufts on those species are not really ears – they are just tufts of feathers that probably serve in displays and in adding to the bird’s camouflage. In the photo above, we see the true ear of an owl. They are massive cavernous pits located on either side of the head, and covered by feathers. If your ears and eyes took up the mass of your head in proportion to a saw-whet, you would probably be making your money with the carnival crowd as part of a sideshow act.”


5. I saw these skeleton-painted vacuum tubes on I think they’re adorable. So creative. I would like a wee battalion of skull-vacuums to guard my home.

Christmas windows 2012.

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

I haven’t gone to see the windows in a long time, so the other day I walked past all the stores I normally look forward to at this time of year. It did not start well. Lord and Taylor, lame. Macy’s, lame. Saks didn’t even try, which was shocking. I was hoping they would bring back the happy happy snowflakes, but they just had creepy animatronic dolls and one of those mapped light shows on the exterior of the building which screws up foot traffic royally. Meh. Thankfully, I did not allow this to get me down and I kept walking up Fifth Avenue towards Central Park. Then there were really cool holiday decor all over! And everything was better. Thank you, Predominantly Luxury Jewelry Shops, for making my holiday merry and bright.

First I passed Henri Bendel’s, where there was an insane giant dangly-tinsel tree sculpture. They have really high ceilings and they used it to their advantage. It was impressive.

Shortly after that was Fendi. Now, Cartier is famous for wrapping their building with Christmas lights like one of their red boxes. They do that every year. It’s a staple.

A lot of the other stores have followed suit. Fendi wrapped their building in belt buckles and drippy icicles, which is a weakness of mine.

Harry Winston had enormous plastic jewels made and lit them from the inside so it looked like diamond clusters over the windows.

But Bulgari was my favorite. They took one of their designs, the Art Deco snake necklace, made it really big and draped it over the building. It twinkled periodically and I damn near walked into traffic to truly appreciate it.

The one store with killer windows this year was Bergdorf Goodman. They had a 1920s theme which made me way happy because OMG SPARKLY. There was rhinestones and sequins on all the surfaces. I think maybe in a past life I was a parakeet, because gosh darnit if light reflects offa something, I gotta stare at it. But before we get to the sparkle-windows, I want to cover the two smaller windows to the side. I had a nice moment when I saw one of the dresses featured in the side windows. I realized, and this almost never happens, that I could make this dress. The whole thing was within my skill set. Now, I would not make this dress because it is kind of fugly, but still, it’s a good feeling to know you could if you had to. Like you were taken to a Hollywood awards show at gunpoint. The dress was made of felt (why? so itchy) and it had beaded beads all over the front. Right in my wheelhouse.

In the other side window was a woman in full evening dress, sitting with a man in full evening dress, except his head wasn’t a man-head, it was a walrus-head. It was a really well-done walrus-head too. Whoever crafted that did a great job. If I ever need to make a walrus-head for a costume or something (and you totally know it could happen) I will refer to these pictures for reference.

The first of the main windows was jazz-themed. Rather cleverly, they skewed the perspective by mounting the mannequins and their instruments on the wall to make it appear as the floor. Really nice.

The next window had a white theme. They used taxidermied white peacocks and loads of ostrich feathers. It was quite lush.

Then there was the window with mirrors. The ones in the middle rotated slowly in opposite directions. Shocker! I stood in front of this one, mouth agape, for a about three minutes. “Spinny… mirrors… must look… away…”

Around the corner in the small windows was a magic show setup which was all fine and dandy, but what I loved was the female mannequin was wearing a cape adorned with sequins and beads depicting what I guess is Apollo crossing the sky. Can we bring back capes please? I feel the need to flounce through Midtown and you need to rock a cape for maximum flouncing. Mercedes Fashion Week, get on that.

In the final window they had a ballroom dancing theme. The mirrorball was really creative. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that you can cover any shape with mirrors and it will become a mirrorball. I don’t know when, but I will use this design style someday in the future. As God is my witness, I will make an oddly shaped thing reflective, I swear it! *raises fist to the sky*

Now, to complete my idea of an exciting holiday break, I will lay in bed, avoid cleaning my apartment and watch the “Modern Marvels” episode on beans I have on my DVR. Happy holidays to you and yours.

Christmas music that I like.

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

People think I am a Cranky Sue who hates all Christmas music because Jewish holidays are lame and don’t have any fun music. That is, in fact, true, but that not why I get a perma-frown starting the day after Thanksgiving. It’s because most Christmas music sucks. It’s just awful all over. I dream of the day when I become elderly and senile and no longer have any recollection of Dominic the Donkey. But there are a few really stellar Christmas songs, songs I enjoy so much I listen to them all year ’round. I know Christmas is technically over, but these songs are great, so feel free to file them away wherever you file this kind of stuff away for next year.

CollegeHumor  //  Rudolph the Regular Reindeer

Ceelo  //  All I Need Is Love

Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots  //  All I Want For Christmas Is You

South Park  //  Merry F***ing Christmas

Dr. Demento  //  The Twelve Pains of Christmas

Inpatient Music Therapy Program  //  O Come All Ye Faithful

Whitney Houston  //  Joy to the World

Steve Mauldin  //  O Holy Night (The Worst Rendition Ever)

Yogi Yorgesson  //  Yingle Bells

They Might Be Giants  //  Santa’s Beard

Justin Bieber featuring Busta Rhymes  //  Little Drummer Boy

Elvis  //  Blue Christmas

Ben Folds Five  //  Bizarre Christmas Incident

Lindsay Buckingham  //  Holiday Road

South Park  //  O Holy Night

Handel’s Messiah  //  Epic Fail

Wesley Willis  //  Merry Christmas

If that isn’t enough and you have a craving for some of the best worst Christmas music, this list is the be-all and end-all. Enjoy.

April Winchell’s Christmas Music List

Merry Christmas! Have some charts.

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

While I’m making candied walnuts to share with folk, please enjoy this collection of lovely and informative charts I have found in my internet travels.

Movies I have seen recently.

Friday, December 21st, 2012

1. Thor. I saw it was streaming on Netflix along with Captain America and I know you should probably see them before The Avengers, so I saw them both. Captain America was okay, but Thor was right up my alley. It was kind of cheesy and kind of epic and there were Norse gods, who doesn’t like a good Norse god story? My only problem is that the ethereal beings in the movie live on Asgard, and at no point does anyone drink out of the skulls of their enemies. I know that Valhalla is part of the world of Asgard, so why no skulls/enemies/drinkies? This caused me sadness because my whole life I wondered how one did that. You know the human head is full of holes, right? Tons of sinusii and nostrils and then there’s the eyeballs, they have to connect to the brain somehow. I was hoping I would see how the gods pulled it off, filling up the skull with beer without it all flowing out the holes. Also, I just looked up Asgard, and Wikipedia says this:

In Norse religion, Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds and home to the Norse gods of the Æsir. It is surrounded by an incomplete wall attributed to a Hrimthurs riding the stallion Svaðilfari, according to Gylfaginning. Odin and his wife, Frigg, are the rulers of Asgard.

Anybody else think “Hrimthurs” looks like it’s written backwards, both when read backwards and forwards? Anyone else?

Okay, Thor was great, loved the big bad monster near the end, good Hollywood stuff.

2. Magic Mike. What… what the hell was that? It’s filmed by acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh. The shots he chose were really interesting and beautifully constructed, even though the movie was unnecessarily filmed in what I lovingly referred to as “Piss-O-Vision”. There’s a strong yellow tint to all the non-stripclub-related shots. It would make sense in an art house film or something, but I think this was supposed to be a mainstream film, so it looks out of place. I blame Instagram and those frikkin’ filters all the kids are talking about. And the plot was an extended episode of 90210. The stripper-guy with big dreams likes a girl and helps her brother, but she doesn’t like him because of what he does, whatever will happen I wonder? That being said, watch this movie for Matthew MacConaughey. I don’t think they gave him any direction for this film. I think they just told him to go do his thing, and do it bigger. No, bigger. In one shot, he’s working out with all the strippers and he’s wearing a cut-off t-shirt and black boyshorts. Unironically. I was like, “Did he raid the Flashdance costume closet? Am I supposed to infer he’s a maniac, maniac on the floor, and he’s dancing like he’s never danced before? Because that’s what I’m seeing.” He was fantastic. It’s a good film to rent if you don’t want to do any heady thinking. Watch it with friends so you can turn to them and exchange thoughts and feelings like, “That guy is really grinding up on that lady, ” or, “Why is both the ocean and the sky kinda yellow?” or “Saw that coming a mile away”.

3. I listened to an episode of the podcast The Nerdist where the guest was Guillermo del Toro, and he was delightful and funny. First of all, he’s from Guadalajara, Mexico, so he has a soft lovely Mexican accent. I heart accents so much. Second of all, he’s really fun to listen to because he’s incredibly smart and loves what he does. It’s a terrible-sounding episode due to technical errors, but I listened to it twice, I enjoyed del Toro’s part so much. I’ve seen Hellboy and Hellboy II and Pan’s Labyrinth, and I saw that Mimic was streaming on Netflix (the phrase “streaming on Netflix” is a big part of my life) so I watched it. Oy. Not… not great. The giant bugs were great, but other than that, not good. At one point I thought, “Well, at least we’re probably nearing the end now, so soon it will be finished,” and I scrolled over the scrubby bar at the bottom.

What?!!?! And hour left? Ehhhhhhhh.

Everyone’s really excited about his new film coming out, Pacific Rim. I think it looks really similar to Transformers, but since this is a totally different director AND Idris Elba is in it (great actor), I have high hopes for it. You can see the trailer here:

This weekend I’m going to see The Hobbit Part I in Imax. I will post a review as soon as I’m done.

Addendum: I saw The Hobbit Part I. It was okay. Not great, not bad, okay. A couple of thoughts:

1. They used the word “whence” correctly and that made me happy. It’s not “from whence they came”, the “from” is already part of the word. It’s “whence they came”. So good job movie people.

2. One of the dwarves looks like Ryan Gosling in a fake nose. I was kinda of bummed when I looked it up and found out that it was not. Alas.

3. Oh look, it’s the guy from Flight of the Conchords, Brett. He’s an elf again (he was an elf in LOTR), but this time he has lines, several of them! Good for him.

4. Gollum is awesome. So great. So is Martin Freeman.

5. Whatever program filter they use when someone puts on the ring and the world becomes hairy, it’s the same filter they used in Harry Potter when a dementor tries to steal your breath. Not a bad thing, just a thing I noticed.

6. In the last scene where they show piles of money, did anyone else expect to see Scrooge McDuck swimming in it? I can’t believe it was just me.

Santacon 2012.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Since I don’t appreciate bar culture and didn’t start drinking until I was in my late twenties, I’ve never participated in any kind of alcohol-related festivity, like St. Patrick’s Day for example. However, my co-worker Nessa told me she was going to Santacon and I should join her. I figured, hey, I would have friends around me as a human shield to protect me from the inebriated masses and I could dress up like an idiot, so I decided to participate.

I wanted to look slutty (not sexy, like a sexy elf or sexy reindeer, slutty, there’s a difference), but it’s cold out, so I decided to clearly delineate precisely where my primary and secondary sexual organs are via the use of brightly colored fabric. I bought a red shirt and used green glitter glue to stick sequins in heart shapes over my bosomy parts. Then, I took a sparkly Santa hat, cut it apart, and made myself a loincloth of sorts with felty green poofs stuck on it. This way, I was still trashy while still wearing leggings, pants and a sweater. I called myself The Christmas Flasher. Please to also notice the “hot holiday mess” makeup and the antler headband.

We had a lovely brunch in Astoria and then got on the train to Midtown. Nessa had bought a pair of fairy wings that I painted in festive red and green, so she was a jaunty fairy elf.

When we got to Manhattan, there was a million billion Santas everywhere. On the corners, in the buildings, everywhere.

Most of them were wearing basic Santa costumes, but some people got very creative.

This man was dressed as a Squid Santa. I was super-excited about that. Him, less so.

There was a Santa that was 7’1″. He was an easy guy to find.

This is a nice picture, but the photobomb behind it makes it even better.

Nessa took this in an attempt to have street cred.

While I had a nice time all day, it was not my ideal social event. I don’t really appreciate standing around for five hours slowly sipping various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. I danced for a while, but other than that, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Luckily, as the other Santas got more and more bombed, they provided me with entertainment. I got to see something I had only heard about as lore. Two young men who were relatively short and therefore compensated by working out too much, attempting to fight but, being challenged by all kinds of gravity, looked like they were slow-dancing to oddly tempo-ed music. And the entire time both of them are slurring, “I love you, man!” “No, I love you, man!” I snapped one photo of them as their equally loaded friend tried to break them up.

Now that I have had this experience, I don’t really feel the need to go again, but if I would be going to super-cool dancing facilities or something next Santacon, I would make myself a big red cape festooned with holiday goodness that I could wear over my clothes and not be cold. Consider that as an option if you go.

Additional niblet: I was outside a Broadway theater when Dan Stevens came out! Teh Hottnezz from Downton Abbey! I posed with him for a photo and promptly stabbed him in the face with my antlers. Luckily he wasn’t mad and I took a photo with him without my antlers robbing him of one of his greatest assets.

My big foray into sports.

Monday, December 17th, 2012

About a month and a half ago I was hangin’ at the office, doing what I do, photoshopping out people’s under-eye bags and acne scars for documents we send to clients, and my boss contacted me and told me we were pitching something related to the NFL. The New England Patriots, to be specific. And then he asked me if I was available to go to Foxboro, Massachusetts and photograph the Patriots at their stadium that weekend. I said, “Is there no one here who knows anything, literally, anything about football who can go, because I will get confused and take pictures in the bathroom the whole time?” But he said no, he wanted me. He asked me if I wanted anyone to go with me, and I said no because I cannot think of any friend of mine that would leap at an opportunity to drive with me for seven hours to go and sit in a cold stadium for five hours filled with tipsy sporting folk. Not a one. So on Sunday morning, I woke up before the sun came up (grrr), got in my car, and took I-95 to Foxboro. Where I then encountered stadium traffic.

Hey, fun fact I would have appreciated knowing beforehand: parking is $40.00 cash. I did not have $40.00 in cash on me when I arrived. Thus began my mad dash around to find an ATM, which eventually I did, and luckily I found a nearby spot so I could sprint into the stadium and catch the team doing stretches and drills (my boss specifically asked for photos of that). Here’s the stadium from my parking spot.

Before I got to the parking area, I took some photos of tailgaters. I was extremely concerned for my safety. My boss kept calmly saying things like, “Just let me know if you get arrested, we have money set aside for your bail and we’ll send someone up there to get you out.” I was like, what, are you sending me into Kabul, what the hell? And people were informing me that the Patriots fans are… enthusiastic, and when that enthusiasm is combined with beer, things happen. So when I was taking shots of the tailgaters, I was seriously worried that they would whip a battery at me or something. I have never been in a fight so I don’t know correct fighting protocol and would probably screw it up. Luckily, nothing happened. Everyone was perfectly nice.

I learned a lot that day. Did you know there’s a whole social event going on underneath the seating area? There’s stores and bars and sometimes mascots, all kinds of things. It’s extremely well-laid-out.

I asked a nice man where my seat was, and he pointed to a giant walkway.

I took that all the way up for forever and ever. My seat, had it been one row further back, would have been outside the stadium. Nosebleed indeed.

As I was walking up, I was taking pictures of every branded bit of whatever could find. And then I was stopped by security guards and had to explain my lamey-lame reason (“Ummm, we’re pitching a client, and we need pictures of NFL players, specifically this team, sooooo here I am”).

Before the game I was told to take pictures of The New England Patriots warming up. The New England Patriots, got it? Here’s the problem – the Buffalo Bills were wearing blue and white, while the New England Patriots were wearing white and blue. The outcome: I took pictures of the wrong team for a good fifteen minutes.

When I got back, my co-workers scoffed at me and said why didn’t I look at the logos on their helmets? First of all, I was sitting a million frikkin’ miles away. Two, I didn’t know what their logos were, and from a distance they kind of looked like this:

Really similar, even if I did know what I was looking at (I watch a great deal of nature programs, so I would like to think had I been closer I would have figured out the bison is a bison and then used the process of elimination). Once I figured out which team I was supposed to be photographing, it was about time for them to go back into their tunnels to get ready to make their entrance. I ran down two or three levels in order to position myself.

My boss asked for both video and photo of the Patriots coming out, so I assumed that there would be some kind of build-up, like at ice hockey game so I could get my gear in order. Here’s an example.

Nope. Music started (“Crazy Train” by Ozzy) and they just ran out. I said something along the lines of “Holy crap!!” and snapped as many pictures as I could. I got a decent one that has the mascot in it too.

I noticed a giant coiled-up object in the corner and I could not for the life of me figure out what it was.

Since this was Veteran’s Day, this object was carried out by all manner of military members, and eventually I figured out that it was an enormous American flag. It took them a really long time to get it all the way out.

It looked great when it was all unfolded. I may have gotten some patriotic dust in my eye during the national anthem.

The man next to me could tell I was an out-of-touch tourist, so he informed me that following the national anthem, there would be “a fly-ovah”. And there was, the dumpiest plane I have ever seen. I’ve never seen a plane with a gut before.

After that there was the coin toss and during that I scuttled back up to my seat to take pictures of the scoreboard:

And the stadium in its entirety:

And fans reacting happily to various outcomes.

I liked some of the fan gear. These two people in particular.

I think my primary expression was, “Oh, I guess something just happened.” Here’s a problem that needs a resolution: In one endzone, it says Patriots. And in the other endzone, it says Patriots. You think maybe you can put Visitor in the other endzone so I know who’s scoring the touchdown kthx? In addition, there are Paul-Revere-looking guys standing near the endzones, I believe they are called Minutemen, and when something happens they fire muskets. No one told me there would be muskets firing. Those guns went BLAMBLAM-BLAM-BLAMBLAM and I immediately thought, “Now I’m going to die because Bane from The Dark Knight just took over the stadium and I am slow and therefore will be crushed by the panicked stampede of people attempting to get out,” but no one else reacted, so I looked around like, “No one else? No one’s leaving? O… kay, I guess it’s…. a football thing, then.”

The cheerleaders were fun. They did three costume changes. In the beginning, I suppose because it was Veteran’s Day, they came out in “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B” outfits.

They clumped up at one point and I couldn’t figure out what they were doing.

Then I looked at the screen. How delightful! Nice work, ladies.

After that they switched to typical-looking cheerleader outfits. I found myself clapping for their abs.

And finally, they came out in velour tracksuits.

They were excellent and I loved that their primary dance move was a hair flip. I’m not criticizing, they were amazing at it. Here’s some footage of them doing some of that, starting at 5:04:

Now I have been to an NFL game. I can cross that off my bucket list of things that were not on my bucket list.

A panoply of things.

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

1. Nessa, my co-worker, had a party for Halloween. It was the one and only time I got to wear my Ocean Reef costume. Normally, I would have worn it to the company Halloween party, but that was cancelled due to Sandy and her holiday-ruining rain. So here is a picture of me in my costume in Nessa’s apartment.

Nessa went as She-Ra, but she couldn’t find an appropriate sword. She bought some kind of Marauding-Horde-of-the-Rings sword, but it totally didn’t work for She-Ra. It looked like this:

Totally wrong. I took it home, cut off all the points on the sides of the blade as well as the handlebar bits, and tried to shape it more like a diamond. Then I sawed slits in the sides, shoved Bristol board in there and wrapped it in wire to hold it all together.

The next day, I paper-mached over all that goodnees.

And the day after that, I painted it silver with black accents and glued two giant resin turquoise blobs on either side. Perfect? Far from it. But it totally did the job.

She looked great. Some might attribute that to good genes or the fact that she works out all the time, but I say it’s the sword that I modified.

2. I saw this while walking through Koreatown. I… I don’t think that’s how you want to phrase that.

“Enjoy your black time!”

3. So, every day I walk past a sign for a necklace that is supposed to be an artistic interpretation of a teddy bear. However, whenever I look at it, all I can think about is Coco’s shoulders, torso and rump. Are you familiar with Coco, Ice-T’s wife? She is a cartoon character of a human being. See for yourself. NSFW in most places, like Earth.

Here is the picture of the advert for the necklace.

And here’s what I see every time I look at it.

4. I love this. I want a flabby mirrorball. In related news, if I were to become a burlesque performer, “Flabby Mirrorball” isn’t the worst name I could pick.

5. Today in Grand Central Terminal a news team was doing a piece on a sniffy dog. I played tourist and took a bunch of pictures. I liked the dog’s expression. “I can smell all kinds of stuff! Do you want me to smell something right now? Because I could.”

Handmade things for Christmas.

Monday, December 10th, 2012

I am a big proponent of buying handmade crafts for the holidays, so I went on Etsy and found a bunch of stores selling things that I think are really beautiful. Maybe this will help you if you have a hard-to-shop-for friend or relative.


Super-cute tiny little polymer figures. That’s it. I especially love the stegosaurus with hearts for spine-plates.



I had never heard of temari balls before, but they are an embroidered ball from Japan. They have really nice intricate patterns, and PennyFabricArt makes them and they are very lovely. Might be a good gift for someone who likes math or fractals.



Fantastical nail polish is a thing right now, so people are making their own nail polish concoctions. KBShimmer does that as well as making her own soaps and scrubs and bath bombs. The nail polishes look really awesome (golly gosh, I love glitter so much) and the soaps are swirly and enticing.



This person only has nine things for sale in their store, but those nine things are terrific. The flameworked griffin is particularly nice, with the color transitions. It’s looks like it’s made from sugar.



And finally, the best darn pastie shop ever. Pasties, in case you don’t know, is what burlesque dancers wear over their nipples an areolas to maintain some secrecy in their performances. Also, at the Mermaid Parade, ladies were rockin’ seastar versions as they walked down the boardwalk. They’re usually very basic, but Montabahn is taking it up a notch. I want to get invited to situations where I can wear them so I have an excuse to purchase them. Heck, I wish I was a housecat so I could wear three sets at once. That is how much I like them.

Belgium for Thanksgiving 2012, Part 7 and done.

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Just to close the out the Flemish art theme, I saw some original Bosch paintings. And some other guys who painted equally weird things.

That guy in the first image is pretty famous. I believe he’s called The Mailman. When I went downstairs to the gift shop I became super-ultra-jazzed because lo and behold, a Christmas ornament!

He’s felty and glittery. His earflaps are beaded. I’m going to cut his little beak and put a small piece of paper in there that looks like an envelope and then I’m going to hang him beside my Chinese articulated Christmas shrimp ornament in my kitchen, thus creating a small collection of seriously weird ornaments for a holiday I don’t celebrate. My life is a Samuel Beckett play.

The rest of these images here are what’s now left that didn’t fit in the other blog entries.

A wine cask I saw in a liquor store window. If it didn’t weigh so much and wasn’t so cumbersome, I might have considered buying it because of the nifty doodles all over it.

The Museum of Music in Brussels. Designed by Horta. Shocker! I loved it.

Cool mural:

Niche with fountain beastie in it:

Architectural details:

The oldest bar in Brussels. It’s from the Renaissance. You have to walk down a creepy corridor/alleyway to get to it. Why must the city planning from the past have loads of places rife for pickpocketing and molestation? It’s almost like they wanted petty crime to happen.

As we exited the bar, behind was a tiny garden with big thorny vine trees, and sitting in the tree right next to my head was… a chicken. A freaky-looking chicken, just looking at me with it’s spooky velociraptor eyes. I thought it was fake. It was not fake.

Startled lion:

A sign for a children’s clothing store:

Some wrought iron from various buildings that made me happy:

The Brussels Cathedral. Also polychrome. Also distinctive windows.

Fox sculpture. He dustay.

In Bruges we went past a German Christmas shop. Holy macaroni, the Germans get Christmas on a level that mere Americans cannot understand. It’s in their blood or something. I ended up getting Cricket’s mother some creche trees there.

Alright, look at this picture.

Story from my childhood time. When I was three, four and five, The Moomins was writing her Master’s thesis on 15-century Flemish painters, so she would take me with her sometimes on reconnaissance missions to various churches and cathedrals in France, Holland and Belgium. I went to a Jewish day school, so I didn’t really know any non-Jews and you know, with kids you don’t explain everything to them all the time. So I kept seeing this guy on a cross with the word “INRI” over his head. I assumed it was an European spelling of the name “Henry”, so I called him Henry. For years. Only when I was about eight did anyone bother to tell me that he was not Henry. So when people yell the expletive, “Jesus H. Christ!!” I get very excited because maybe they called him Henry too! (They never do, but I keep dreaming.) Moving on.

They really, really, really like mushrooms in Europe. The one with the white stalk and red cap with polka dots on it. I saw them portrayed all over. Gnomes and mushrooms.

The Ghent train station had pertinent ceiling paintings. I kinda want to paint those all my workplace ceiling, see if anyone notices.

And finally, The Moomins and I wandered into a building and promptly died from the awesomeness of the interior. There’s a birdcage elevator! I love those! Why did we get rid of those?

That’s it. We now return to random postings about bad typography and the horrors of reality television.