Surprises

Cripes, I can’t even manage to bang out one lousy post a month? If this blog had been born a cactus, it would be compost by now.

So, the first surprise is that Kirk got around to writing a blog post. Moving on…

I want to give a shout out to my pal YGRS, from whom a lovely, handmade Christmas Tree Ornament arrived yesterday. Thanks, YGRS, for sending us such a warm holiday surprise!

Handmade by YGRS

YGRS Originals

It should be noted that this is the second ornament YGRS has sent us over the years. The new one is on the left; the one on the right is from 2008. As you can see, she’s a crafty lady!

I got another Christmas surprise today, this time from my ever-thoughtful wife, Karin. Things are financially very tight for us right now, so holiday spending has been kept to an extreme minimum. Nevertheless, Karin managed to acquire a gift for me* the cost of which drastically belies it’s incredible value to me personally. That’s the amazing thing about sentimentality and nostalgia: they can render the simplest of baubles utterly priceless.

Forty-plus years ago, when I was a very little boy, my favorite possession was a Snoopy soap dish released by AVON cosmetics, circa 1966. I adored that back-floating beagle. It wasn’t just a bath toy to me; that soap dish got to see a lot more of the world than just a muggy bathroom.

I eventually lost it, of course, but over the years, the fond recollection of it would come back to me from time to time. One of those times I happened to mention the soap dish to Karin…

…and it turns out she’s has been searching for this thing ever since. Finding one in worthwhile condition was evidently no easy task, since AVON quit making them decades ago, but last week she finally located one in nigh-pristine condition on Etsy.

1966 AVON Snoopy Soap Dish

Snoopy Soap Dish

She got it for under $10, including shipping.That’s a ridiculously small price to pay for something that can repeatedly make you feel four years old all over again — take you back to when Saturdays were filled with cartoons, cereal boxes had prizes inside, and monsters were confined to books and movies.

Thank you thank you thank you to those who have purchased one or more of my assorted novelty items. It never ceases to amaze and delight me that there are people in the world who would voluntarily shell out their hard-earned cash just to wear one of my drawings on their chests.

An additional thanks to AMC, whose new hit series The Walking Dead is most likely responsible for the rise in sales of of my Zombies Were People, Too! t-shirts. Much appreciated, guys.

Last but not least, a catpile.

DG, Edgar and Diblet

Catpile

If you look closely, you’ll see that Edgar is in the midst of bathing his brother. Even better than that is he’s actually returning the favor.

I’m going to go find a place to display my new soap dish. Perhaps on the mantle next to the statue of The Thinker…

*Yes, we give stuff to each other the very moment it arrives. Neither one of us has the patience to wait for December 25th and we save a ton in wrapping paper and bows.

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Posted in The Book of Deej, The Homefront | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Turns Out He Got Sidetracked In Colorado

If you’d have told me, say, a month or so ago that Cthulhu’s impending return would see him sprawling on his back and accepting a tummy rub from the likes of an annoying ass-boil like South Park’s own Eric Cartman, I’d have been forced to assume you’d already been touched by the Great Old One’s special, mind-altering influence. I probably would have donned my best look of dismissive derision and made some trite claim about eating my shorts the day that happened.

Long story short, I’m glad we never had such an encounter because, as it turns out, I’d be looking pretty stupid right now and you’d be enduring some awful joke about the nature of employee potlucks at Fruit of the Loom Company or somesuch.

Cthulhu Puts the Hurt to South Park

Cthulhu Puts the Hurt to South Park

The full episode will be here on the third of December. Until then, if you happen to have cable, you can watch it via Comedy Central’s OnDemand. There are actually a few episodes with Cthulhu in them and if you can get past the continual mispronunciation of his name (as well as Cartman’s testicle-related profanities), they’re a terribly good time.

I do have to say a few words about the depiction of ol’ squidface himself. Although I’m pretty sure Cartman would have gone insane instantly and that Cthulhu would have slurped the fat little sociopath up like an overcooked won ton, I’m glad they at least gave Cthulhu some semblance of a gut. It’s not the “bloated” and “corpulent” visage I imagine when I read Lovecraft’s stories, but it’s better than all these lithe and buff Cthulhus I’ve been seeing rendered recently. And wings! They made sure you noticed the wings, too! They’re supposed to be “rudimentary”, but whatever. They’re usually forgotten entirely. It’s weird how the wings get left off all the time…

Seriously. It’s as if all anyone cares about anymore are profuse facial tentacles. People are sick.

Today’s picture of DG is entitled Poupon Revisited. Why another one of these? I don’t know. It just seems like he’s making this particular face a lot lately. Call it his “Blue Steel”.

DG's "Blue Steel"

DG's "Blue Steel"

Posted in All Things Eldritch, The Book of Deej | 18 Comments

glowee green glare is glowee

I let DG title this post. As if you couldn’t tell.

This is a follow-up to last Wednesday’s pic of the Deej with his favorite kitteh treat. Remarkably — probably because he knows I’m like putty in his paws and my thumbs work a little better than his — he  chose not to build upon his previous masterpiece when I took the bag away.

 

Indoor Salmon. Now.

Tiny Green Mirrors

Do not be distracted by the mouf. Observe the eyes. They kindle with controlled fury, betraying a mood gone bad like warm sashimi. Indoor sashimi, to be precise. If you look closely, you can see the flash from the camera and my shadowed form.

What you can’t see in those lime-colored looking-glasses is that I neglected to set the bag of treats down before taking the photo. Truth be told, that’s really the only reason this isn’t a blurry shot of a blue blanket.

Posted in The Book of Deej | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Think Maybe Cthulhu Hit the Snooze Button

OK, so, you know how after you’ve let a friend down in some way, you’ll put off calling them because you feel so ashamed and/or embarrassed about failing them the way you did and how the days slip past until so much time has lapsed that each passing day makes it exponentially more difficult to bring yourself around to picking up the phone and rectifying the matter?

That’s sort of how I’ve been feeling about Cthulhu is my Copilot for the last few weeks. I’ve been wanting to write. Really, I have. And I’ve had quite a few not-altogether-pointless things to say, even with my recent decision to do my best to heed Thumper’s Rule. It’s just that after this long, I feel like a complete tool for becoming such a half-assed… no, wait, make that a quarter-assed blogger. Calling me half-assed would be giving me far too much credit at this point.

But you know how after you finally scare up the courage to make the dreaded call, your friend is always really happy to hear from you and blows off whatever you were so worried about as nothing at all and offers to treat you to lunch next Friday, even though you’ve just rung him at three in the morning so shit-faced your tongue can’t form consonants?

Yeah, well, if I had to guess, I’d say it was the confidence you guys would all be totally cool with my recent lack of activity that finally got me off my arse. Plus, I’m typing this sober and won’t force you to read it in the wee hours of the night, so I have that going for me, as well.

By the way, you owe me lunch.

DG has developed a serious addiction to Indoor Salmon. That’s his favorite flavor of Temptations Treats and he will stop at nothing to acquire them. He actually asked me how he would go about growing his own indoor salmon. I tried to explain “indoor” was in reference to cats and not salmon, he rolled his eyes and said my excuses for refusing to let him keep small pets “have become as tired as they have tiresome”. He’s clearly upped his reading regimen and I now suddenly suspect he knows what happened to my Sherlock Holmes anthology.

DG don't play...

Write them off. They're not coming back.

As many of you know, one thing I love to do is go to live rock shows. Karin, Panda and I have gone to quite a few but, believe it or not, Zach has never been to a rock concert in his life. This isn’t because we keep him locked in the attic, but because his musical preferences are a bit more nuanced than his sister’s. But he and I both love Heavy Metal – or, more specifically, the sub-genre known as Speed Metal or Shred Metal.

So when I heard Ozzy Osbourne was going to be in town this February and that he was bringing Slash with him, I realized I was going to be flat-ass broke for the next few weeks. There was really no choice in the matter. Zachary needs to see his first rock concert and, as far as I’m concerned, Ozzy is the perfect introduction to such an event. But then, my father taught me how to swim by lobbing me into the deep end, so, you know…

Ozzy Tickets!

One last thing. Take a look at the crowd of concertgoers depicted in reverse silhouette on the envelope flap above. I’ll admit the unapologetically obvious pattern of repetition probably bothers me more it would than the average person, but the other bothersome thing about this illustration that isn’t as obvious is that it makes no sense. The positioning of the people indicates they are all at the same level and not in bleacher seats, while it’s well-known that the act of holding ones arms aloft for extended periods is decidedly a rock-and-roll activity. Note, however, that some of the people have pom-poms or megaphones in their hands — two items that would get you beat down at a rock show.  So, considering how thoroughly Ticketmaster has infected the entertainment world, it’s probably more believable to assume these folks are enjoying cotton candy and sno-cones at a cockfight in Cambodia.

Posted in Concerts, The Book of Deej | 13 Comments

You’re Twisting My Words! I Never Said I Beat My Wife!

Being middle-aged and mortal, Karin and I are accordingly experiencing the invisible thumb of entropy upon our various body parts. Joints are popping. Muscles are tearing. Ligaments ache and bones break. And, of course, there are those bizarre, paralyzing pains that suddenly stab through some remote section of your torso for no apparent reason whatsoever. What the hell are those?

The Theater of Pain’s current main feature is in its third week and has been the same for both of us: an acute locking of the shoulder and lower neck muscles combined with a healthy infusion of deep-tissue soreness. Karin has had it worse of than I have. I gave her a heating pad, attempted various styles of massage, but I knew she’d finally reached the end of her patience with the white-hot twinges and spasms when she asked me to get her largest wooden rolling pin and try working out the knotted muscles with that.

I laid the rolling pin just where her neck meets her shoulder and started gently rolling up and down.

“How’s that feel?”

“Harder.”

“OK, like this?”

“Harder!”

“Really? Alright, then. If you’re sure. How about now?”

“HARDER!”

“I’m pushing pretty hard, babe. This could bruise very eas—.”

“HARDER!!!!”

It sounded to me like if she had to say it one more time, I could expect that deep, layered demon voice you hear in the movies. So I stood up to get a really good lean on it.

Worked like a charm. Karin said it was incredible how much better her neck and shoulders felt.

Of course, as I am apt to do, I started in with the jokes: “Yeah, had to take a rolling pin to the wife last night. She was really asking for it. Found out just how much she could take, too. She even thanked me for it afterwards. Said it actually made her feel better. I guess some chicks just get into the rough stuff.”

Posted in The Homefront | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

By Way of Contrast

Item #1: 8-Inch Planter Drip Tray

Material: Plastic

Purpose: Catches run-off from over-watered houseplants

Price: $2:39, plus tax

Item #2: 1.5ml Curved-Tip Eyedropper

Materials: Glass and Rubber

Purpose: Accurately measures and safely dispenses eye medicine

Price: $1.00, plus tax

If the laws of supply and demand are as ever-present in our economy as we are supposed to believe, then it would seem during this recession, more people are turning to home gardening and, evidently, avoiding eye infections with greater success while they’re at it. An increase in homegrown tomatoes, perhaps?

Maybe, just like in science, “laws” of economics are actually only widely accepted theories with varying opportunities for divergence.

The two examples above are from the same store and it probably makes a difference it’s a grocery store. But if that’s to be considered a factor, then shouldn’t the eyedropper be the more expensive item? That is to say, we wouldn’t commonly consider either item to be “groceries,” but wouldn’t you expect a supermarket to carry eyedroppers before it carried drip pans? And let’s face it: it’s not like anyone ever says, “You know who has competitive pricing on medical supplies? Safeway! That’s who!”

For what it’s worth, I’d have no problem letting my houseplants drip into a plastic tray obtained from a dollar store, but there’s no way in hell I’d put something in my eye that came out of a dollar store eyedropper.

I’m just sayin’.

Posted in Can I Say Something? | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Cute Cthulhu Crash Course

Long ago, when Cthulhu is my Copilot made the move to the upscale but welcoming VOX community, there was this sudden urge consuming need to explain — or at least give a half-assed overview of — what a “cthulhu” was. The new digs were pretty nice and I felt like the least I could do was give the uninitiated some idea of why there were squids everywhere. I was able to eek out something somewhat satisfactory, which was read by nine people.

So here we are at this new place WordPress. Looks pretty alright so far. Spammers seem to keep to the lowlands just outside the borders of the WP community. Posts auto-save, which is as good as cash in this time-is-money world. I have a shiny new masthead that isn’t so utterly depressing. Threaded comments. Cool smileys. 😀

Problem is that now the original crash course in Cthulhu looks like a rusted-out ’55 Chevy that may or may not have an engine sitting in your neighbor’s front yard and serving as a hovel for a pair of surly raccoons.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that it seriously behooves each of you to know a little something about the beast to whom you might unwillingly relinquish your tastier body parts. (In case it’s not obvious: the yummy pieces are on the inside.) Fortunately, I happen to know that people will listen longer to what you have to teach them if you deliver the lesson in the form of a cartoon and that your success rate is further increased if the show is kept under three-and-a-half minutes. Go the added distance of dialing the cuteness factor up to 11 and, well, let’s just say I think there must be an animated version of Dianetics somewhere for there to be so many barmy Scientologists. I must confess I have no idea how they made it cute.

Anyway, this is about the best shortened rendition of the Cthulhu mythos I have ever seen. It gives you the story in a concise but detailed synopsis that is so syrupy-sweet, it warms you as it informs you. Enjoy with cocoa. Or chum. Whatever you happen to like.

Posted in All Things Eldritch | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments