Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don't Be Shy Day

I'm whispering so that I won't disturb anyone. The meek SHALL inherit the earth, you know.

Ah to heck with that - let's make some noise! I now pronounce this the first annual International Don't Be Shy Day! Be confident that telling your friends and neighbors about this new holiday will arouse absolutely no interest. But you will have DONE it, and who cares what other people think of us anyway? I certainly don't.

Here are some ideas for living today to the fullest. Ideas can be carried over until tomorrow if you run out of time.

First, dress up in your best duck outfit and visit your local museum. Do not get twitchy if someone yells "DUCK!".

Stand out from the crowd by driving an antique automobile. Notice the looks of envy and amazement you receive. Offer to teach others about Ultramatic Drive.

Have an attack of the vapors while swinging in the park. You may be surprised at how many people run to your aid. With cameras.

Dress your entire family as famous movie characters and express confusion as to why no one else is Trick-Or-Treating.

Reassure each of your friends (if you have more than one) that the main character in your latest novel was NOT based upon them, although many will jump to that conclusion. Begin to dress like Virginia Woolf and show only your left profile, explaining that the other side of your face is just TOO ugly.

Announce your next dirigible trip in the Society pages of your local paper. Express sorrow that the flight is sold out.

If you follow the above suggestions, you will no longer be shy and will in fact feel very empowered. You will never be embarrassed by anything, no matter how embarrassing it may be.

And remember:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Belated Happy Easter!

I hope you and your families had a great Easter yesterday! Following an old Irish tradition we had an Easter dinner of Mexican food this year. Somewhere I'm sure a Latino family was having ham, so it all evens out.

Easter is one of the most dangerous holidays, as I'm sure you know. We can't really blame the poor bunnies because we started the whole biting-the-ear-off thing, and now it's just one of those blood feuds with no end in sight. Some bunnies have even taken to hiding eggs in very treacherous spots. It's probably too late to warn you now, but don't be looking for goodies in an alligator patch.

It's also wise to avoid hunting for eggs in pastures that contain anything with horns. Although an old Model-T would probably be harmless.

If you insist upon being foolish but are fortunate enough to survive your encounter with an unfriendly bull, you might qualify to be set in bronze, with a cape over your arm and your Easter egg held proudly aloft.

More likely, you will walk dejectedly through the rest of your life, wondering what might have been if you weren't so stupid.

Oh now that's just depressing. Time to cheer up. Invite your local raccoon out for a beer and be thankful you survived another holiday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Put on your best hat

Ok, ladies and gents, dig through your closet and find a colorful hat and some clunky, but comfortable, shoes. Meet me at the corner bus stop. We have a lot of ground to cover today.

If you were to plan your holiday through a 15th century Czechoslovakian travel agency, the following journey "to the end of the world" might be suggested to you. In fact, the journey only goes as far as Portugal but that doesn't sound nearly as exciting as "the end of the world". If this is Tuesday, you must be in Avignon on your charger.

Well, I guess that isn't a very realistic trip to plan, so let's try this instead.  Who wouldn't like to go to Maine, where you can experience "The Way Life Should Be"? Puffins, yes, very good. Life should have puffins. Lobster, definitely. Fishing, hunting...meh, if you like that sort of thing. Moose on the highway as you speed around a corner......not so much. Temperatures cold enough to freeze your blueberries....I don't think so. The motto should be changed to "The Way Life Should Be, Partially".

While we are up north freezing our donuts off, we might as well take in Canada. Notice the family in the runaway hot air balloon screaming for help. They really didn't intend to go to the Yukon.

My, but I do hope you wore a warm coat today, because next we go north of the Arctic Circle. There is no attempt here to convince anyone that life should be like this. Several countries have planted the flags of other countries, hoping that someone else will claim the land.

South now, to Germany, land of beer. You can compete in the "Man vs. Beer" tournament if you wish. By drinking all the bottles on this wall you will get your name engraved on a plaque. And such a headache.

After all that beer, you will definitely need a map to find your way out of the country, with all the rest stops marked along the way.

You can take off those silly hats now, we're home. I know you're tired after today's journeys, but do take a few minutes to watch this. It is the funniest dog video I've ever seen. I have to watch it at least twice a day.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Fondue party

Love to eat them mousies
Mousie's what I love to eat.
Bite they little heads off
Nibble on they tiny feet.
-- B. Kliban
Malcolm the cat asked me to start this blog entry off with some cat poetry. He has been known to sing this verse in the middle of the night. He gives it a bit of a blues feeling, probably due to lack of mice. .
It's getting quite spring-y here now. I think it would be a good day to find a scenic body of water and listen to the wonderful water sounds. First stop, Spain.
I love to watch ducks on the water, especially when they go underwater with their heinies up in the air.
Now to Essen, Belgium, home of the celebrated Christmas Beer Festival, held each year in July. Everyone is so busy around the holidays that the Belgians decided to move the festival to a more convenient date. Besides, after several of those good Belgian beers and ales, no one cares what month it is.
If you are able, after attending the Beer Festival, stagger to this beautiful spot for a nature break.  Occasionally duck heinies can be seen here too, in fact sometimes you will see three duck heinies when in fact there is only one.
You may also see a boatload of beautiful (and cold) maidens, on a tour with some old man playing Scrabble. Be sure to wave back when waven to, at, or whatever.
Next stop, beautiful Ontario, Canada, where you could travel from lake to lake for your entire life and never see all of them. Eh?  It's too late to start now - you should have begun when you were three to have any hope of making a good dent in them.
So why is this post titled "Fondue Party"? Because I'm going to show you my new fondue maker.  
Cool, huh? You just build a big fire in the middle and you can cook five different fondues at once. This is handy when you have a lot of guests, such as a boatload of naked maidens.
It can also be used as an incense burner, but that gives the chocolate fondue a bit of a tang that you might not care for.
Having begun this post with a cat topic, I will finish with one as well. This link will take you to a Swedish site where someone has gathered together a large selection of cat photos and videos. If you like cats and spend any time on the Internet, you will have seen some of these before but there are a lot that were new to me.

Monday, April 04, 2011

A Bold Fold (or so I'm told)

I've discovered something about myself. I have these artistic urges, but I'm not really an artistic person. However, I AM very good at following patterns or designs that someone else has already figured out. I may have found the perfect hobby for myself: Iris Folding. Ever heard of it? I think it's actually considered a type of origami but the results can be used in some pretty snazzy ways, such as in the greeting card below.
Thoughts of You Greeting CardImage by campbelj45ca via Flickr

Of course if you actually WANT to have paper cranes, swans and ducks all over your house, you should stick to origami.
Origami crane folded from one uncut square of ...Image via Wikipedia
I don't need this, do you?

For a good overview of Iris Folding, check out this page on Squidoo. 

I did my first small project this weekend after finding a little kit for this balloon at Stamping Cat Studio here in Salem.
It isn't perfect - I made all the usual beginner's mistakes, like accidentally gluing my fingers together - but I learned a lot and next time I'll know what I'm doing. 

Iris Folding has a lot going for it, for example:
  1. It isn't nearly as hard as it looks, so you can impress people. ("WOW" is a common response. That either means they really like your creation or they can't believe you spend your time folding paper.)
  2. It gives you an excuse to look for interesting pieces of colored paper (otherwise known as "trash")  everywhere you go. Experience the joy of discovery, like a magpie finding some dryer lint for his nest.
  3. You cannot eat while doing this. Anything that keeps me from eating is a good thing. 
  4. REAL greeting cards are very expensive nowadays. Make your own and save thousands. The more you make, the more you save, or something.
  5. When a friend asks "What have you been doing lately?" you will actually have an answer other than "oh, nothing much", making you instantly less boring.
In my next post we will once again travel to far distant lands, but I did want to spend this artistic moment with you. They happen so seldom.