A Trivial Pursuit Game I Could Really Get Into…

I was at my local Chapters last Halloween and they had a huge display of various themed books and games in the middle aisle.  I was browsing around and being a big fan of the holiday, I was drawn to the display.  The following is probably one of the most awesome themed Trivial Pursuit game I have ever seen.

2011-10-18 18.47.03

Now, I’m a Tim Burton fan in general.  I’ve loved the man’s work since I was a tiny, wee child and saw the epic hotness that was Batman.  The twisted and dark essence of his movies were always some of the most fascinating and spellbinding works of cinema I could ever drink in and honestly, not much has changed since those times.

The Nightmare Before Christmas was my favourite movie that Tim Burton was ever affiliated with.  I LOVE Halloween and Christmas if obviously awesome so inherently, the combination of the two was absolute genius.  That is why, when I saw this game, I pretty much squealed with joy and just had to capture the moment.  I love to play Trivial Pursuit and this would be SUCH a guilty pleasure to play.

Sadly, however, I had no money on me at the time of this wonderful find and it was no longer in the store when I went back.  So to anyone reading this who feels the need to bestow a gift upon me, this is an appropriate item.  Granted, I’ll have to find some people who would play it with me…

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Weird Food Quirks – One Item at a Time

A friend of mine encouraged me to share with all of you, my weird food habits and quirks.  Of these, there are many.  Some of them have developed since I was a small child, some have changed over the years and some are just weird.

Today we start with eating one item of food at a time.  I don’t mean just grabbing one thing to eat, I’m talking about when you have a variety of food on your plate.  I will eat one item until it is finished.  Then I will select the next item and consume it in its entirety, before doing the same thing with the next until I have consumed the last one.

I don’t know when this started, but it’s been a long time and I don’t remember when I didn’t do it.  I noticed it with Chinese food first, always eating the veggies first, then the chicken and finally, the delicious noodles.

I thought it was just the Chinese food, but then I noticed that when I eat McDonalds, I have to have the fries first and then the burger.  I tried to mix it up once and it felt all wrong and I couldn’t do it.  Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner is the same.  A plate full of different items, all of them eaten one at a time, saving the stuffing for last.

A handy diagram of explanation

There are many possible explanations for this.  It could be that I don’t like to mix textures of food.  However, this doesn’t account for the fact that I love stew and it has many different items in it, though I do notice that I will only eat one item on the spoon at a time.  It could be that I don’t want to keep screwing up the flavours I have in my mouth.  If I eat one thing at a time, I can enjoy it before I move on to the next.  The most likely reason, however, is that I tend to eat my least liked food item first and finish with  my favourite.  I usually consume any vegetables before I move onto the meat portion and end with the potato/starch item (this does get switched around depending on the specific items…bacon is consumed last).  If fried mushrooms are accompanying the meal, they are the final item consumed because they’re just so damn yummy.

This may seem weird to all of you, but I will say, this is just the beginning.  As with my food, I have started with the least weird and will finish with the ultimate bizarre food quirk that I have…olives.

Dear Santa….WTF?

Well friends, Christmas has come and gone and tomorrow night is new years.  I gave it a few extra days because of Snowmageddon and all the delayed mail and frantic postal workers trudging through five feet of snow, however, I can deny it no longer.  Santa failed to write me back this year.  I took the time to painstakingly hand write such a lovely letter and I received no return post from the North Pole.  Fail Santa…epic fail.

I checked the mail eagerly every day after work, but alas, the dream was not to be.  My boxspring still droops where it somehow was broken, Mr. Pip cannot open his own cans of food and the boyfriend has no belted sweater to call his own.  I hope that he had time to write all the little kids who wouldn’t understand his lack of dedication to his fans so they can go one more year with that total belief and excitement, but I myself am saddened.  Perhaps next year, friends.

I do plan to try again next year, hopefully not hindered by a freak snow storm and I’ll be sending the letter out well in advance of Christmas.

A Second Snow Day: Beating Cabin Fever

I awoke this morning to much of the same weather as the night before.  The snow was coming down like a white blanket outside my window, the lane way looked like we hadn’t used the snow blower at all the night before and there were people up and down the road in all directions shoveling like their lives depended on it.

I dutifully checked the local college website and informed the boyfriend that his classes were canceled for the day and he could stay in bed.  He mumbled a rather unintelligible yet distinctly celebratory noise, rolled over and went back to sleep.  I then checked my work email, hoping for good news and that I could go back to bed as well.  Unfortunately, there was only an email saying that the office was open and if we felt it was safe enough, we were to head on in.

Wanting to keep everyone informed, I sent a quick note saying the college was closed in case anyone had kids that were attending and went to have a shower and work up the courage to dig myself out of the lane way.  I got dressed, I put my hair up a la ponytail style (that’s right, I’m all about cutting edge fashion) and I said goodbye to the boyfriend.  I then decided to check my email one more time and lo and behold…SNOW DAY!!

It was official, I didn’t have to go to work.  I decided not to go back to bed as I had already showered and was wide awake, so instead, I sat and watched about five episodes of Intervention and did some work from my laptop.  Yes, I’m just that exciting…working from home on a snow day.  However, I also cleaned the house which was the inspiration for the boyfriend’s motivation to put the tree up this afternoon/evening.

So that is what we did to keep ourselves from going insane because we couldn’t leave the house.  We dragged the giant box of Christmas decorations up from the basement, organized everything, got rid of a few things that were ready to go away, and we set to work decorating.

The mishmash of decorations in the lovely storage box that lives in the basement 11 months of the year

The pile of stuff the started accumulating after we went sorting through the storage bin

The boyfriend sorted all the decorations into various categories such as indoor lights (for the tree) outdoor lights (which we are estimating are over 20 years old), run of the mill decorations (shiny, coloured balls, garland, etc..) and sentimental ornaments to name a few.

While he was doing this, I used non-tree decorations and made other areas of the two living rooms look a little spiffier.  I used green and silver garland for the upright lamp posts in either room and they turned out looking rather nice.  I then set to work on jazzing up the lovely new entertainment stand.  I put green, leafy garland on it and we set most of our figurines on the shelves.  I have since noticed that we have a great deal of penguin paraphenalia.  When the boyfriend and I got together, little did the two of us realize that we both really liked penguins and between the two of us, we have a lot of them.

It looks a little cluttered, but I couldn't bare not to put them all out

When I was finished doing that (while at the same time torturing the boyfriend by making him listen to the Glee Christmas album), we started in on testing the strands of lights.  This proved to be difficult because some of them were mine from when I lived on my own and some of them were the boyfriend’s which had been collected over approximately the last 10-15 years.  So in testing them we found that some of the lights didn’t work but the others would come on.  We would simply replace the defective lights and move to the next one.  Some, however, were the ones that if one light didn’t work, the whole strand didn’t work.  After much frustration and swearing on the boyfriend’s part, we decided that we could make due with two working strands of lights as they were kind of long and if we were sparing, we could manage to get the whole tree done with them.  I don’t think we did too bad of a job considering he’d moved on to testing the outdoor lights (and diligently making sure they all worked and no two like colours were side by side) while I tried to string the lights on the tree.

This was problematic for several reasons.  The small amount of light strands, as mentioned above, the fact that I’m just not very good at stringing lights, and lastly, the fact that we have a rather fat Christmas tree and I have rather short little arms that will not reach around this.  The tree itself is in a corner and I could not just walk around it, so I had to get creative and reach behind the tree, throw the lights over the tree and generally stretch my wee little arms to the limit.  This was the end result (only of stringing the lights, this is pre-decoration):

Its kind of sparse in some areas, but overall, not to bad.

During all this rigamaroll, Mr. Peep decided to hide in his usual cautious place; the mat in front of the kitchen sink.  I’ll admit that it’s not the best hiding place, but he actually usually blends in quite well and he likes to sit there when there’s something going on that he’s curious about, but too afraid to get close to while it’s still happening.

He sits on the very furthest side of it and stares into the living room whenver we're moving things around

After this came the final stage of decorating (for now…outside stuff will come later when we can move through the yard).  We put the ornaments on the tree.  I would like to point out that none of our ornaments have any kind of theme or reason to them, they’re just a collection of things we’ve accumulated over the years.  Sometimes we will decide that a few are too ragged and they will get tossed.  This year we parted with a whole bag of strung beads and various other things for donation.  We each have our various sentimental ornaments that were gifts over the year that must go on the tree.

I always tease back and forth with my friend about how her tree must be perfect and matching have a theme and she always just stares in awe at the tacky mismatch and disarray of mine every year.  The year we lived together in an apartment was the best because I was the one that owned the tree and it was spectacularly tacky that year on purpose just for her.  You can see her well decorated and nicely themed tree on her blog here.  I will admit its very lovely, just not my style.  Even the boyfriend looks at our tree now and then and shakes his head.  After it was finished and we had all the supplies put away, Mr. Peep ventured out to check out the scene, immediately placing himself under the Christmas tree and chewing on the branches.

Our Christmas tree 2010

He has already knocked off one decoration...I expect to find more

Bizarre Little Thrift Store Finds: Christmas Edition

So the boyfriend and I went on a random thrift shopping adventure yesterday.  He just wanted to browse and I was on the lookout for belted sweaters.  Christmas is fast approaching and the boyfriend is always rather cold.  As per usual, while he browsed the video games and textbooks (yes, the boyfriend eagerly checks out the textbooks at the thrift stores), I wandered around in search of bizarre and interesting things that one could only hope to find in a second hand store.  This trip was not a disappointment and because of the approaching holidays, the stores were chock full of wonderful Christmas items to see.

First up, a stocking.  But no just any stocking.  This was home made…with latch hook.  I find that the eyes are the creepiest thing about this stocking.  Santa either has deep dark patches underneath his non-existent eyes or his eyes themselves are nothing but dark, black frightening patches, not unlike a shark who is about to devour his prey.  This stocking must have frightened many a child back in the day on Christmas morning.

I would be terrified of this on Christmas morning

Another creepy thing I spotted was something I’m assuming was supposed to be an angel of some sort.  However, it seems as if the male angel has a female angel growing out from the side of it.  I mean LITERALLY out of the side of the male.  She’s got one arm and then her mid-waist connects to his side and they freakish Frankenstein stitches are covered by some kind of shield.  It’s like a Christmas science experiment gone wrong.

Yes, melded together at the side...so creepy

Elves are a jolly lot.  They’re happy and bouncy and oh so fun and dancy, right?  Well, not this elf.  This one is completely demented.  It’s got weirdly smeared lipstick and googly eyes and these odd little eyebrows.  With his sparkly little hat and shiny green tights, I would be very suspicious of this elf if he were working in Santa’s workshop.

I feel as if he's looking into my soul....*shudder*

A theme I noticed while browsing the Christmas wonders on all the shelves was Santa statues holding geese.  It was odd because I wondered why Santa would be holding such a thing.  Then it occurred to me that perhaps, Santa was delivering these birds to be eaten as Christmas dinner.  Which is all well and good, I’m by no means a vegetarian.  I love turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas and the occasional Easter dinner.  So I understand the concept of perhaps eating these cute little geese for dinner.  My problem with this is, they seem so happy to be hanging out with Santa and if they ARE food, then he’s delivering them up for slaughter.  It kind of seems mean.  If he’s going to be delivering food to people, it should be dead before hand.

The poor unsuspecting geese

In one of the stores, there were a bunch of little statues of kids playing in the snow.  There was nothing particularly odd about them individually, however, two over them were placed on the shelf in such an unfortunate manner that I couldn’t help but share the amusement with the rest of you.

Someone was not paying attention at the store when they put these on the shelf.

The last thing I found that day was just something that was quite odd to be sitting on the shelf at all, let alone with all the Christmas ornaments.  A Coke bottle.  A little glass coke bottle with actual coke in it.  Just sitting on the shelf, happy as can be.  It was just odd.

WTF???

So yes, these were my Christmas adventures in thrift store land.  I will, of course, be keeping my eye out for any other marvelous treasures as well as belted sweaters.

Letter to Santa – The Finished Product

So today I wrote my letter to Santa Clause and will be sending it out in the mail tomorrow.  I chose a very lovely stationary with snowflakes and Christmas trees.  It ended up taking 3.5 pages but not because I’m greedy.  My handwriting is atrocious and very big, so it takes up a lot of room on unlined paper.  Below is a picture of the finished letter and a translation underneath so you can see what I wrote.

My very pretty letter to Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

I know that it’s been a while since I wrote you a letter, probably almost twenty years, but it’s never too late to catch up, right?
How are the reindeer? Are the elves surviving these hard, economic times?  I hope so, they always seemed like such a jolly lot.
Anyway, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so here is the list of things I was kind of hoping to get for Christmas.

  1. A new boxspring for my bed. It was damaged in a freak accident and now my side of the bed dips. This makes for a most uncomfortable sleep at night.
  2. A pug named GIR so the Peep can have a friend and stop torturing the boyfriend on a daily basis.
  3. Fuzzy dice to hang from the rearview mirror in my car. Because Bob the Car is just that classy.
  4. A belted sweater for the boyfriend because I can’t find them anywhere. His favourite colour is orange.
  5. Another Snuggie. I know that I already have one, and I love the way it’s warmth and coziness invades me while it steals my soul, but I can get cold at work and would like to have one there as well.
  6. I’d really like someone to make a She-Ra movie. There are no good cartoons left in the world and that was one of the best and greatest roll models for girls and she was the best. Boys got a He-Man movie and I’m still waiting for my She-Ra film. I’m sure you have connections in Hollywood and can make this happen.
  7. By the way, since he doesn’t have opposable thumbs, Mr. Peep would like cat food that is easily opened so he doesn’t have to wait until the boyfriend and I get up to eat his tasty breakfast. Because, trust me, Mr. Peep is not impressed with his humans sleeping in.
  8. I know that this is a very nerd-like request, but please bring back Buffy and Firefly. Please????
  9. A new duvet would be lovely because the boyfriend stole mine two years ago and I haven’t been able to snuggle into it’s pillowy goodness ever since. I miss my duvet, Santa, a lot and I’d be very appreciative to have another one. We don’t share blankets very well, so no, that is not an option.
  10. Lastly, Santa, I would like a winter coat. I used to have several and somehow, they have all disappeared. It may be the boyfriend’s way of getting me to buy a new coat as the old ones were ten years old. I live in Southwestern Ontario. It’s freaking cold here and the moderately rated one I have isn’t really cutting it.

So, in closing, I would like to thank you for your time and tell you that its been wonderful writing you a letter again after so long. I hope your trip is good this year and Merry Christmas to you.

Thanks again,

Shannon.

Letter to Santa – A Prelude

This year, I was discussing with a friend about how much fun it used to be to write letters to Santa every year and get one back in the mail.  Then, at the very same time, we both stated out loud the address to which you sent them at the same time and laughed and I had a brilliant (if not somewhat childish) idea.  I’m going to write a letter to Santa Claus this year.  I may be 27 years old, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to partake in the fun and joy it always brought me as a kid to sit there and write that letter and then, like magic, get one back in the mail, written specifically to me, from the big man himself.

And so, I went to the craft store on my lunch break yesterday and got my hands on some very pretty stationary and I’m going to do it.  This weekend, I shall sit down and hand write a letter to Santa and mail it off on Monday.  Then, as I did when I was but a wee tot, I shall wait every day in eager anticipation for my return letter.   I will, of course, be sharing the entire journey with you all, from what my letter said to what I got in return, so you can eagerly await it as well.

If you are feeling a hankering for some good old fashioned child-like fun this Christmas, don’t hesitate.  In case you had forgotten, the address is as follows:

Santa Claus
North Pole
H0H 0H0
Canada

So go ahead and write a letter, ask about how the reindeer are doing and if the recession effected the number of elves he had in employment, I certainly intend to.  Maybe I’ll even leave some milk and cookies out this year.  Why should kids get all the fun and magic and leave the adults with the stress of shopping and decorating?  I say, “No More!” and I’m taking back my magical Christmas.  I fully encourage you all to do the same.

For further, more official information on the subject, visit the Canada Post website.