Friday, December 24, 2010

Fond Childhood Memory: Christmas

Since we don't have kids and the dogs can't read calendars (they think every day they get a cookie is Christmas), its kinda hard to get into the Christmas spirit.  I truly do think that Christmas and Disney World are for kids, and that Disney World as an adult is inhumane and should be outlawed, or they include "adult land" where its nothing but alcohol and strippers.

Anyhoo, I just happened to find some black and white pics of one of my childhood Christmas times, so I thought I'd share the wonder that was "A Very Robinson Christmas"... and yes, for those of you that know my first name is Penny, I was Penny Robinson and NO I wasn't named after the stupid "Lost In Space" family (although I had an Uncle Don and my father was Jon, I did not have a little brother or a freakin robot so STFU I was named after a dog!).

See, you keep trying to ruin Christmas for me, so just be quiet and enjoy "A Very Robinson Christmas" and no, we weren't a Swiss Family either OMG will you just be quiet and enjoy the stupid pictures!

Here is our tree:


















Yes, it looks like quite the motherlode of gifts under the tree, but be advised, we got socks and clothes and to make things look bountiful, my parents use to wrap everything separate... so it was "ooooh, a sock", then "oooh the other sock".

The tree was snagged from one of the local tree sellers and decorated with about 5,000 lbs of ornaments, popcorn strings, and tinsel.  We would invariable find popcorn and tinsel laden poo or cat puke around the house for weeks after, and there was always the lovely walking through the house and having your foot impaled with a brittle, splinter-like tree spike.

The "thing" in our house was that my mom would take my sister out "shopping".  Then she would take me out "shopping".  I can only vouch for my shopping, but it went something like this:
Mom - "Your sister would really like that doll"
Me - "euw, lets get her a GI Joe"
Mom - "no, I think we should get her THIS doll"
Me - "whatever"

Then, when we would unwrap our gifts, we would each get the same doll, and the same GI Joe... whatever one got, the other got.  The mindset behind that insanity was that we would never fight over gifts, because we both got the same thing.  We figured that out quickly, and just traded dolls for GI Joes and finger paints for guns, then we both had two of what we wanted.

The household tradition would be that on Christmas Eve Dad would trudge upstairs with Mom and read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" where we would both burst out laughing when the guy "threw up" the sash.  Then we were told that we had to fall asleep or santa wouldn't come.  Of course we were too keyed up to sleep and heard Santa downstairs rustling around and cursing in a voice that sounded like dad.

Around 3am we'd get up and creep downstairs and ask if it was too early, then run back upstairs when threatened with bodily harm and continue to ask each hour until finally they'd have enough and decide to get up.  Then we had to wait for the coffee to brew and they each had their first cup before we started the whole opening gift process.  We'd get each parent a gift, then get to open one, etc.


Here I am near the tree, and from the carnage it looks as though we are in mid-unwrapping.  The lovely little pajama number was sewn by my mom, who ran out of the patterned material before she made the sleeves.

Yes, that is a cow skull hanging from a beam in the ceiling, and yes, that is the sun god Rah on the wall.  Behind me is a rotary phone too.








Here is a bigger picture of the homemade pajama monstrosity.  Please note: I have the exact same hairstyle now.  Also note that the last time I was home, my mom still had the same Encyclopedia Brittanicas that we bought from some door to door salesperson dirt cheap because even by the time we bought them, they were incredibly outdated. I'm pretty sure there's an entry in them about the world being flat.









Here is my dysfunctional sister with her bounty.  Love the saddle shoes (and yes, I got the same exact freaking things).















Every year one of us would get the "big" gift.  Actually if it was for us kids, we'd each get the "big" gift, like bicycles or something.  But this year it was mom that got the big gift... a new sewing machine.  She cried over the sewing machine... seriously?  We cried over the sewing machine too, because that meant that she could sew unmatching, one sleeve too long fashions for us for school.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the fact that my mom tried to put us into the latest fashion, but as with all home-made clothes, its just... not right and all of the kids KNOW its not store bought, especially when your mother can't match fabric colors to save her soul (a trait she passed on to me).

Later she would take up crocheting and I had quite a collection of mutant stuffed crocheted animals.

There you have a "Very Special Robinson Christmas".

Merry Christmas to everyone out there!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stupid Sayings

This morning, as I blew about 5lbs of crap out of my nose, I thought "great, I'm catching something".

Then I thought about how stupid that saying was.  Typically when you "catch" something, its a conscious decision to grab and hold onto something that is thrown to you.  While nobody bats an eye when you say: "I caught a cold", they would probably avoid you and label you a nutcase if you said "I caught a pile of poop".

Although germs can be "thrown" at you, typically by an inconsiderate co-worker that comes to work sick and then hacks and sneezes all over you in a meeting that you didn't want to attend in the first place, I'm pretty sure you have no choice in whether or not to "catch" those germs as they are sprayed on you at a rate of 40 mph.  Its like trying to outrun a speeding car.  So you should just say: "some inconsiderate bastard sprayed me with their cold and contaminated me."  Of course, that's a really long sentence but if you just said "I have a cold" then people will label you a plague carrier and blame you for everything as if you spontaneously contaminated yourself with a cold virus.

So, I guess having a cold is all about blaming someone else for your illness, and that you couldn't possibly be sick for no reason, but that someone threw a cold at you, and like a dumbass, you caught it without thinking.

I'm going to start a new trend:
I was attacked by a ninja cold virus.

This Old Foreclosed House - WTF Edition

In our last episode of This Old Foreclosed House, we discussed the joys of trees and the futile attempt of the bank to sell a house that was mold filled, had a whole dead tree cluttering up the front yard, and a mosquito-laden decrepit in-ground pool in the back yard.  Yep, a true "fixer-upper".

Despite numerous phone calls to the bank about this eyesore, and damage to our property, This Old Foreclosed House sat around for another few months until... yes... movement once again!

This movement was signaled by the delivery of a huge dumpster late at night and parked in the driveway.  A few days later, workmen arrived and loud banging was heard from inside the house, and pretty soon the dumpster was filling with the guts of the house.  About a week later, the dumpster disappeared and we thought that excitement was over for at least another few months, but lo and behold, there was a major development on the dance floor.















We weren't exactly sure if the pulling back of the tarp was a wind-driven event, or done on purpose.  We have had pretty high winds in the area, and since the tarp had been "secured" with bits of brick and other debris, it could have been nature's force, but apparently not because the next day, we started seeing this:














Yep, after all that work to clean the garbage out of the pool, then erect no less than three different covers for the pool (including the elaborate dance floor that succumbed to a bit of rain), workmen were, once again, using it as a giant dumpster and throwing the guts of the house in there.  LOVELY!
I was about to get on the phone with my friend the County Health Inspector when this started happening:














Holy crap!  They're ripping the whole back part of the house off!  Of course, this is perfectly logical, you see the old couple that lived there had that edition added onto their house, and I'm pretty sure they had their third cousin from a fourth marriage who owed some guy a favor who knew a guy that once worked at a home improvement store and owned his own hammer do the work.  I'm also pretty sure that right after the new edition was added, their basement flooding problems started because instead of putting up adequate gutters and downspouts, they saved money by ending a gutter in the middle of the new edition and snaking a garden hose from the gutter to the side of the house.

The only problem I have with this whole new work flow (being a logical and thoughtful person) is that it would make more sense (and make the job easier) to have a dumpster parked close by so you can throw the debris into the dumpster, rather than duplicating effort by ripping the place to shreds and THEN having to go pick up the debris... which leads me to believe that perhaps the intent is to fill up the pool with house debris, then covering it up again.  Nobody is that stupid... yeah, right.














So, as the work progressed, and please note that the work crew consists of three guys, a hammer, a crow bar and a pack of cigarettes, we've now revealed the lovely platform and the tipsy deck.  When they finished on Wednesday, here is what's left:














I haven't seen them back today, and because it is the eve before Christmas eve, they may be taking the day off.  This means they won't be back until Monday (I hope they plan on coming back to at least finish the destruction) and we're suppose to either get a blizzard, or not... yeah... fun!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Perspective

Recently on a news channel (which surprisingly had actual news on it) Lobsterman and I saw a report about vandals spray painting graffiti over ancient rock art.

Ok, so we're all suppose to be disgusted by this blatant disregard for history and wanton destruction of ancient pictographs... until Lobsterman put it into better perspective:

Prehistoric times:

Modern times:

Yep, its all perspective.