Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cold as Ice

Quite a few things have happened folks. I originally intended to have something up over the weekend, but a combination of crazy weather and over 30 hours without power put that on hold. Believe it or not, the whole endeavor has left me with vast amounts of Christmas spirit! Let's note that I'm starting this on Monday Night but as the internet is M.I.A. At the moment so who knows when this will actually get posted.
First let's touch on Friday Shall we? I started the day with a slight wrap up of seasonal work-to be renewed in early January-where I delivered my first gifts of the season. It was rainy out; the snow melting to provide thick puddles along the roads. The day would have gone down as fairly uneventful if not for the first of many quests. That night I went out on a four mile walk to return/rent movies, wrap up some banking, things of that nature. It was a thoroughly invigorating-if a bit soggy-affair that jacked my holiday spirit up to full. The only downside of the trek was on my return home I hit a soiled spot of ice that left me with the choice of of potentially falling on my back or diving sideways into a large pile of quickly freezing snow. I chose the snow, causing the entire left leg of my pants to be soaked. Still; a solid adventure all around.
Saturday stepped things up a bit more with an ice storm to coat every tree branch and power line in a thick crust of frozen horror. This made for a great excuse to stay in and watch things like “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2” and fellow Christmas fright flicks. One can stay glued to the teli for only so long however, so my brother-in-law & I ventured out into the icy town at 3 AM. The neighborhoods were a strange patchwork of bits that had power and those that lacked. Most of the houses were fine, but a great deal of the street lights had gone dark. The best part was the occasional multicolored flash from various transistors or power lines that where blowing out. In a strange piece of serendipity the last song on the radio before reaching home was “Cold as Ice” by foreigner. We kept our power that night, which allowed us to revel in more horror movies and gingerbread M&M's.

I wasn't awake long on Sunday before the aftereffects of the ice storm took out our power. This made for one boring ass day until I decided to venture out to deliver presents to some friends. This truly ranked as one of my all-time greatest walks. There wasn't a light to be seen though the snow provided a blue glow which allowed me see as far as the eye would allow. The few people I encountered along the way were all extra friendly and the sights will remain in my mind for some time to come. The camera on my phone wouldn't pick up much, though it was able to take shots downtown where one side of the street still had some power.

After visiting with friends and doing the Santa bit I ended up back home to whittle away some hours with an extended game of Lords of Waterdeep. Board games really do come in in handy during a blackout, though I must say it adds an extra layer of difficulty when trying to see what's going on when all you have are candles and flashlights to work with.
I slept for an extended period of time on Monday morning. Waking only so a few of us could venture into Lansing for the promise of some electricity and warm food. The main strip of West Lansing was only partially operational. The mall was open, but many of the lights were turned off and very few stores even tried to play music. I found it rather pathetic that stores with practical entertainment like books and tabletop games weren't making a major push to get people to buy.
Eventually hunger took hold as the driving force of our trip. We decided to see if the nearest Denny's had power. Indeed it was a veritable temple of light. As we walked up the the entryway we were greeted by multiple signs claiming they were closed due to having no power. We walked inside-yes, the doors were unlocked-to surround ourselves with the glow of electricity. We could hear someone working in the kitchen and even asked for them, receiving only silence in response. We abandoned that sad scene in favor of the nearby Steak 'n Shake. You might not think much of the place but after spending over a day living off of the remaining snacks in the cupboard........let's just say the meal was almost a religious experience.

Power returned late Monday night which allowed us to spend our Tuesday cleaning the house up and stocking up for a well deserved holiday feast. Christmas day is here at last and boy do I ever appreciate it this year. After facing the threat of a holiday without light or heat I can't wait to make my eggnog, tear open some presents and lay back to watch the Santa's Slay and the Alastair Sim Christmas Carol.
I must be going now folks. I wish you all the merriest Christmas there is, along with all the other celebrations. Have a great time. That's an order.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Oh Shrimpy Tree.

Today I had a thought that if I had repeated interactions with a female fox I would name her Vivica. That way I could point and tell people “that's Vivica. a fox.” This is how my brain functions before coffee. Now that you're trying to shake off that pun, let's talk about my Christmas tree.
It's not the worst tree around but it's one of those trees with just the right measurements to insure that two strands of anything will not cover the whole thing but three will go way too far. The whole thing would take almost zero effort to put up if I didn't have to spend a good 20 minutes pulling lights tighter to make them reach the nearest plug or zig-zaging pearls back and fourth through the whole display like some demented patchwork. Still; it does the job of filling the livingchen area with an aura of holiday cheer. More so it leaves a surprisingly large space for presents. 

Must admit to never meeting anyone as bad at wrapping gifts as I am. So far I'm the only one in the house to place anything beneath the tree. This means there are somewhat passable looking presents with about half a roll of scotch tape stuck to them standing next to mounds of colorful paper folds barely identifiable as anything close to a gift. As proof, lock at that monstrosity on the far right. My sister has the honor of tangling with that beast.

We have more than enough ornaments to switch in and out each year but I prefer to work with a limited batch of personal favorites, mainly consisting of the kiddy car Hallmark series. These where my first introduction to the kiddy car as a child and I immediately stopped being jealous of those with power wheels as I knew those where for babies, but kiddy cars are for men. As they were a yearly childhood fling, the only ones we have are those we were lucky enough to find on clearance. This means that one day I must search through page after page of ebay to hunt down the many leftovers that escaped my grasp years ago.
That festive mutated starfish is actually our tree topper. When this particular tree was bought a few years ago we encountered a problem. One of our toppers is a lighted star that blinds anyone within spitting distance. On a taller tree it's not so bad, but on this tiny thing it renders the living room uninhabitable. Our other topper is some creepy ass animatronic angel that exists only to spread nightmares, Bless Cthulhu this tree isn't strong enough to support the angel's weight, keeping it in a long deserved retirement.

On Friday I got to rummage through Wally World for holiday treats, Now my cupboard smells like artificial sugar cookies. Yes folks, Sugar Cookie Jet Puffed Marshmallows exist, and lordy do they stink! Frankly they don't taste much better. There's a split second where you can taste something that might be good. However; that bit of happiness is wedged between layers ranging from dull to downright vile. Completely worth the two bucks to buy them just so you can trick others into eating em. That is of course, if you consider torturing people with candy to be a worthwhile endeavor...and you should.
I'm gonna go looking for Vivica.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Back to Work!

Hello all. Been a while hasn't it? Now that the blink and you'll miss it antics of November are over, making way for the bright lights and good times of Xmas, it's time to start treating this site right. This month is hopefully going to mark a big turning point in this little blog's life, so I would be honored if you'll come along for the ride. Still, ya gotta start small so here's a grab bag of stuff.

First order of business is the big project I've mumbled about in past posts. It got delayed a little. The plan is to get it up and running around Friday the 13th or so. As the Japanese would say “please look forward to it.” What's that? You say you won't look forward to it? Well horse pucky I say! Trust me to know what's good for you and get excited!

As you can tell by the photo up top, I've begun the Christmas decorating. I'd been hoping to show up my neighbors this year with a grand display but lo unto me, my whole area's caught quite the festive bug which has lead to a hefty dose of lights. Subsequently I've been using the LED lights that project little boobs everywhere to make a bigger impression. Sadly, my supply has quickly dwindled down to almost nothing. Simply put, I need to up my game in a big way. Anyone out there have some suggestions for something more unique than simply wrapping trees and porch railings? Lemme know.

Some super quick movie reviews:
Man of Steel: Boring, shiny, downright pointless. Watch the old Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve flick and have a much better time.
The World's End: Awesome good time. Didn't like it as much as Hot Fuzz, would rank it higher than Shaun of the Dead. Go out and get it!!
Cellar Dweller: Think of a lackluster Tales from the Darkside episode stretched out to 76 minutes. Don't Bother.
Birdemic 2: The Resurrection: Haven't laughed this hard in ages. Fantastically stupid & cheap. Any lover of garbage cinema needs to get on this thing ASAP.

Did anyone else notice that Black Friday/Cyber Monday was kind lame this year? I almost walked away from the entire sale weekend empty handed if not for my local Meijer having leftovers from the bluray sale. For starters, I nabbed Licence to Kill for all of four bucks. Believe it or not I'd never seen this particular Bond entry in full which has bugged me for a while as The Living Daylights is my favorite Bond Movie. I didn't say the best one mind you, just my personal fave. Licence doesn't quite match up to the standards of its predecessor but I'm more than happy to finally happy to own the complete Dalton era. The More impressive deal however was finding a bluray of Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder for $1.88. it has officially overtaken Megashark vs. Giant Octopus as my cheapest blu.

Alright. It's time to get back to working on my books. I'll aim to be back soon to start Christmas coverage before moving on to the big project. Peace out!