Friday, December 31, 2010

The Festival Of Trees Pt.2

After we looked at the cute little gingerbread houses, we moved onto look at the trees. It's been many years since I've been there, and even then I mainly only went after hours to help set up our tree when I was in the troop. I had forgotten how much work people put into decorating them, and how awesome they turn out. There were many, many themes and not all of them were Christmasy as you are about to see.

The spaghetti tree. Complete with fork.

Made by students from Towson University. The theme was Towson Monopoly. I loved the cute little TU tiger plushies.

This was a Through The Looking Glass themed tree. It had a mirror underneath that made the tree look right-side up when you looked into it. At first I thought they did something odd to it so you couldn't see yourself, but then my friend pointed out I just wasn't leaning over enough. She was right....I was freaking out for like a minute before she pointed it out.

Close up of the Wonderland tree. I loved the Cheshire smile they put in there. And the little bottles of purple stuff that said drink me. There were also little Mad Hatter hats and cards and keys. My pictures do not do it justice.

Go speed Santa, goooooooooo!

The first Halloween tree I saw. Loved the topper, although there was one that was better.

My troop's tree. Our theme was recycling. All ornaments are used out of recycled materials and we put donated toys under the tree. It sold for 150 dollars. Not too shabby.

Close up of the ornaments and presents. I helped make that can snowman. Please, do not gaze upon my work for too long lest your eyes melt from its glory.

Another tree made by a Girl Scout troop. I think the topper was a kite.

A closeup of their tree and why yes those are crab shell ornaments. Now you know you're in Baltimore. I remember my great grandmother used to save the crab shells and clean them and make these. Once she had a little nativity scene pasted into one.

Remember the Halloween tree with a better topper that I talked about. It was this one.

An awesome tree done by a middle school. They titled it 'One World, Our Earth'.

I don't know what the little hands were but they were painted beautifully.

A Baltimore tree with more crab shell ornaments. They even hung little tins of Old Bay on it! Believe you me, if people were not around, I would have stolen one of them. The cute ornaments, I can buy my own Old Bay.....ok the Old Bay too! But only because they were so tiny and cute!

Another Baltimore tree. This one had little painted screens all over it. Too bad people don't really do that anymore. When I was a kid lots of people had them, more so in the city you saw it.

Another shot of the same tree. This time with more Baltimore kitsch! Little Baltimore Hon's! Unfortunately I didn't get the topper on this one, I accidentally deleted it. It was a huge Baltimore Hon, with a big pink beehive hairdo, leopard print blouse and pink leggings. Neon green high heels and big pink wings! I honestly don't think they could have encompassed more of the Baltimore spirit in their tree had they tried.

This was my favorite tree there. A Calvin and Hobbes tree with an amazing flying saucer topper. They also had a bunch of Calvin and Hobbes comic books underneath it as well. And the cute little tiger striped balls were too much.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for...Christmas trees?

The Mizer Brothers from the movie 'The Year Without Santa'.

And as promised here is the cute little wreath.

Next post is part three. There were other things there besides trees and gingerbread!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Festival Of Trees Pt.1

A while ago I went with my two Jessie's to the Festival Of Trees at the Towson Fairgrounds. I've never been before and at first I didn't really want to go, because I'm normally not a 'Holy Shniz it's Yule!' type of person. But I am glad I went. Also being that I have to get the pictures off of my phone and that I can finally post blogs with pictures now; I would like to share the trip.

The Festival Of Trees is this huge charity that auctions and sells trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and stockings for the Kennedy Krieger Institute. The place is huge and has at least three rooms full of trees and things people have made. Vendors, live entertainment and things like that.

When we first went in there we took a look at the gingerbread houses. Some of which were completely epic in their build.

Like this gingerbread treasure chest from Micheal's Arts and Crafts.

And this huge town hall looking thing.

This is the center view of it. Look at that tiny gazebo! Which I was told was edible. Well, everything had to be edible so of course it was.

Mmmm cheezits and toasted marsh mellow Jelly Bellys. This was made by two people from St.Timothy School, a private boarding high school for girls.

I think the water was made using cake decorating gel.

Tiny edible Sydney Opera House. If I'm reading the half of a card that shows on there and remember correctly this was done by Patapsco High School and Center for the Culinary Arts. Maybe they teamed up, or maybe Patapsco has a Culinary studies class or whatnot, I don't know.

This was my favorite. At first I thought I wanted to just steal it and lick it like some sort of sugary salt lick, but then I realized I wanted to steal the pretty dress from the Labyrinth and live in it.

Yo Gabba Gabba bitches.

Completely awesome Nightmare Before Christmas inspired house.

Next post, we move on to the actual trees....and one cute wreath I managed to spot.

Friday, December 24, 2010

One More Day Till The Holly King!

Tiny post, just in time to wish everyone a Merry Christmahannakwanzayule to all!!! And a bitchin' New Year as well!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Trick To Getting Good Service

A couple of nights ago we had no food in the house and I had just gotten off work at midnight. My friend had told me of a Slenderman blog, and has thusly renewed my interest in him. I was trying to come up with my own theory on him and found it's very hard to concentrate on writing and looking things up when your stomach is punching itself with hunger. Thankfully we have a 24 hour diner nearby since it was 1 am.

I went to the Broadway Diner on Eastern Avenue and was seated, after I told the waiter what I wanted I brought out my notebook and pen and started looking things up and logging them, like you do when you are researching a cryptid. I was brought my food and sampled everything and then went back to writing, when automatically, like five seconds later after just having dropped off my food, my waiter comes over asking me if everything was OK and if I needed anything. I told him everything was fine and was kind of weirded out when I realized that he thought I was some sort of food critic or reviewer. Needless to say I got awesome service, more so than normal. So I thought, what the hell, why not actually review the meal since I kind of acted the part anyways and mark my first foodie post with this one. Well..technically third I believe.

The Broadway Diner is an awesome diner. I've never had any problems with them before in regards to service, the wait staff is very nice and the place is always clean. The lighting is diner lighting, so I think nothing more needs to be said about that (it's not a bad thing, I just mean it's bright inside and you can actually see).

I ordered the Dolmades and the Reuben, because that sandwich is always relevant and awesome.

The Dolmades are served cold on a bed of veggies with two cups of Tzatziki sauce. I love the sauce. It's so very thick and creamy. I've only had Dolmades a couple of times and never cold before. I always remembered them served warm. But they came nicely chilled and were a nice size for about six bucks. My only qualm with them is that they were slightly greasy tasting. Just enough to notice it, but not enough to put me off of them. I have no clue what meat was in them, but I think it was beef. There was a nice lemony taste throughout them. It reminded me of what little I've had of YiaYia's cooking, especially some of her soups. Very lemony. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of them, because I didn't think of it at the time. I still prefer them warm and I wish they came with that option.

However I did take a picture of what came next. The Reuben.

It came with a small cup of very yummy coleslaw. It wasn't too sweet and was kind of dry, which was fine with me because I hate liquidy coleslaw. Actually I usually hate coleslaw itself. The fries were crispy and everything was hot, but obviously I was not there for the fries.

I think the Broadway Diner has some of the best Reuben's I've ever had. They're always hot and come with the dressing on the side. I hate places that put the dressing on for you, sometimes it's too much and it completely takes away from the sandwich. They have a choice of corned beef or pastrami, I chose pastrami, and they pastrami that shit up. The meat is so juicy and yummy and there's lots of it.

I apologize for the blur, it was the best pic I could take. After this I stopped taking pics because even though it was mainly me there, I got very self conscious. I tried to make it look like I was texting while holding the phone oddly for texting, but I think they know I was taking pictures. I'm very not used to just snapping shots of food. The only thing that annoys me with the sandwich is that the bottom is kind of soggy from the sauerkraut; you have to eat it carefully sometimes.

So there you have it. My first actual review/foodie blog post with pics. And if you ever want really good service, remember to take along a journal and pen with you. And if you are in Baltimore and in the mood for diner food, visit the Broadway Diner.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quite Puzzling

Working at an answering service you get used to the fact that sometimes you're going to get very crazy calls; especially when you answer for therapists. I remember one day I had just finished an overnight shift and was taking my last call of the day. It was from an extremely angry woman calling her M.D. Because he hadn't called her in over a week on an important manner. I looked through our records looking for any messages of hers and told her we didn't have any of her calls did she get the office when she called. The next moment was a complete facepalm moment.

"No I didn't call the office. I left him four messages in the brain of the universe and I want to know why he hasn't returned any of my damn calls. This is important!" I wanted so badly to tell her the Doctor doesn't check the brain of the universe on weekdays.

But for weirdness and the sense of curiosity it leaves me with, the call my co-worker took today takes the cake. I was giving out a death call for one of our funeral homes and when I was done, saw there was a message that had been saved. It was from a woman that worked in a funeral home and wanted to leave a message for the director. All it said, other than her name and number was, "She is safe when the dead stays dead.", and that was all. Refused any other information and hung up.

There are so many questions I was left with. It was like a written version of Lewis Black's horse joke. Never in my three years of working here have I so badly wanted to call someone back and just ask..."Sooo.. What happened? And should I or should I not start preparing for the impending zombie apocalypse?"

I mean, was it an inside joke between funeral directors? When I asked my co-worker the way she said it sounded like she was serious. So what the hell happened, what did she see? Was that like some sort of job resignation? I guess this is what I get for being snoopy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Creeping Myself Out Again

So I've been spending time lately on a blog my friend suggested to me, knowing that I love creepy and spooky things and especially the mythos surrounding Slenderman. The blog is a Slenderman blog and so far is very awesome and creepy and does not disappoint. Making It Count is the blog. The owner of the blog is from Baltimore, so being as it's in the same city I live in makes it even creepier; especially when it mentions places that I've either heard of or are near.

But I've really got to learn to control myself when it comes to the creepy. I've been at work marathon reading this thing the whole time when I'm not on a phone call. And let me just say, reading like a billion blog posts about a blank faced stalker is not the best of ideas when you get off at midnight....and there are trees...everywhere around your work.

Also, tonight when I got off of work, I drove to the Royal Farms to get some gas for my car since it was running on fumes. On the way in I had to step over something to get into the store, I look down and what was it?

A fucking branch. All I could think was if I come out here and Slenderman is pumping my gas; I shall politely thank him...and then flip.

For anyone confused as to why I'm freaking about a tree branch, trees are connected with the Slenderman in a myriad of ways, but they're also where he prefers to hang the bodies of his victims from.

Oy vay, this is North Carolina all over again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tom Green Did It First

I love Steven Colbert, not as much as John Stewart, but I love him. Especially when either of them are being particularly ballsy, like tonight... Or maybe it was last night, I normally only watch demand. For every night that Wall Street Banker Buckley Rachtman doesn't come on his show to discuss their bonuses with him, he's going to reveal a digit of his credit card number. For anyone who didn't catch it, tonight's number is the number 5, brought to you by the letters S and C.

I actually wonder how far down the line of numbers he'll get.

Also, apparently a marriage organization is trying to get gay marriage banned in the gay mecca yet again. You know, I think when a person like Arnold Schwarzenegger is like "Ah what the hell. Let 'em put a ring on it."; it's over! Let it go, you've lost this battle, you'll eventually lose your unconstitutional war, our community is gaining ground. Even the NAACP knows this shit isn't right.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Like Real Trees Better


So this is my dinky, fiber-optic tree my mom has had for the past couple of years. I'm sorry if the pic is huge as fuck. My phone's touch screen only gives me so many options sometimes; apparently resizing might not be one of them. Also I can't highlight and had to hand type the html code photobucket gave me. So huge as fuck it stays.

I don't really celebrate Christmas, haven't for a long time. Well, being as I'm a pagan, that is to be expected. Tonight though, looking at our tiny, fake tree; I'm reminded of two things. Why I love real pine trees and what I miss from the winter holidays.

First off; a small tree just doesn't sit right with me. I'm so used to these huge, full trees that leave just enough ceiling room for a star and get in the way of everything. It's an all evening thing to decorate it. You need two people to do the front and sides and someone brave enough, or dumb enough, to venture between wall and tree to try and put glass ornaments and help wind lights with pine needles in their eyes. That's not counting the finesse it takes to get out from behind there without messing up your handywork.

Then of course there's the smell. ...Well for a while anyways. I only ever noticed the smell really for the first few days. But those first few days were like hanging out next to a really pretty air freshner.

But lastly what I miss is the taste. Yes I said taste. You see I grew up reading the American Girl books. I remember when it was just five girls. Samantha and Kirsten were my favorite. I was so into those books. My grandmother bought almost the whole series for each girl and I read them until they fell apart. I had the paper dolls and that stupid catalogue of thiers with the American Girl dolls I was embarressed to ask Mom for and to poor to have (of course I was poor, I was in 4th or 5th). I remembered reading about Kirsten biting into a pine needle and describing the fresh, strong taste it left in her mouth. So I did the same thing.

Let me say that pine needles taste very good. From what I remember almost weirdly minty. Just don't swallow them.

After that whenever I was in the small field across from my house playing if I was having a bad day I would bite into a pine needle and close my eyes for a few seconds and just kind of relax into the taste for a moment. Then after that I would play with really good breath.

I especially liked doing it to our Christmas tree. Standing in front of the tree when no one was around, I would just appreciate the sometimes pretty, sometimes fugly but sentimental or aments and then pluck a needle or two. Then I would bite into it and close my eyes and it was just me, in front of a tree, the taste of pine in my mouth and colored lights blinking through my eyelids. Sometimes with music that I could usually block out a little. There's only so many times you can listen to a midi version of 'We wish You A Merry Christmas.'

Looking back I think those were the times I was the most grounded in my life.

Oh well, atleast using the plastic one is more eco friendly I guess, but I still miss the real thing especially right now. I could go for a pine needle or two right now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Almost Reeling Me In

I don't think I've ever wanted a twitter account until now. Michael Ian Black's twitter account is awesome. He makes me want the tweety even more than Craig Ferguson and Patton Oswalt do combined. I mean I'm not going on the tweety, but he makes me want it. He's like Billy Mays or the Shamwow guy...only with twitter.

Here are some recent gems:
"I hope someone steals my identity and gives it a better life than I could."
"Rice Krispies treats give me a tummy boner." My Gods I'm so using this the work Christmas party... tomorrow.
"Why would someone pay to see 'The Beaver' when they can watch Mel Gibson have a mental breakdown for free?"
"Sometimes eating a burger is better for the soul than blowing the Dali Lama."

There's so many more though.

Also does anybody else notice that twitter is like facebook, only really simplified? Another thing, why have both twitter and facebook? I never got that. You can update your status from your phone as well.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

If You And Your Fetus Got It....Flaunt It!

I love pregnant women. And I love pregnant women that love their bodies! I was just being so very lonesome at work on the overnight shift, when this picture of Alanis Morissette caught my eye in the bullshit tabloid I was reading (Well not this exact pose, this was taken from some website called splash news I believe. Wherever google image search led me to.). I think more pregnant women should wear bikinis to beaches. Especially tatted up, kick ass ones like Mrs. Morissette.

Somebody really needs to come out with a line of revealing beach wear for the preggos. If I was the owner of a store I'd sell it. They could name the line something like: 'Fertile Mystique'. ...Or maybe something less froofy then that.

Pregnant women are beautiful! You hear me preggos? Flaunt those round moon bellies!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Zoi Enai Oraia

Yiayia's funeral was today. Her service was one of the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. Didn't understand any of the Greek, but that did not take away from the bittersweet beauty of it.

It seems this year, that The Powers That Be are playing whack a mole with my loved ones. But Yiayia lived a long life (she was 84) and she had a great heart. She was one of the people that gave me a place to stay when I came back from North Carolina. I will miss her smile.

When we were at the grave site, everyone got a chrysanthemum to place on top of her coffin. The priest was handing out roses to family members. They were to symbolize her, for she was a rose in our lives and when we smelled or looked at it we would remember her and all the good she has done.. One of my friends family members took an extra rose and gave it to me because she knew I was very close to the family. Then she asked me if I wanted a happy thought. When I said yes she leaned in and whispered ' Yiayia was allergic to roses'.

I knew she was looking down on us and laughing and whenever I see that rose, so will I.

To all the ones that have passed before us, may your memories be eternal. This is not goodbye, this is simply goodnight. I shall see you when the morning comes.