Museum of the Weird

Austin is definitely known for being weird. This museum is one of the places that cements that reputation.

This tiny place is down on 6th street, in the back of a T-shirt shop. I’m not posting too many pictures, because that would just spoil it for you. It’s only $5 to get it. The place is pretty small, so it’s a good stop on an evening out.

This is just one of the cute little souvenirs they have. They have plenty of bad ass stuff I was tempted to buy. I managed to get out with only some monster post cards.

I love all the classic movie monsters, so now I want to set up a big vignette like this in my living room. Those are life-sized wax models, and they look better than my sad little camera is capable of showing.

Overall, the place is cool, and worth stopping by. The website says you get free admission if you buy a t-shirt or poster. They have cool toys, shirts, and randomness. Keep it weird, minions!

January 31, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . My Quest to be more Interesting. 2 comments.

Earring Upgrade

I found these earrings on clearance for $2 awhile back. They are giant circles of red stars. I completely loved them, but the red was pale and tomato soup-colored, rather than a deep red. I also decided glitter would be an improvement. I used some nail polish I already had around the house to give them a good coating.

I had to be careful not to fill in any of the stars. They took about 5 minutes to paint, and about the same time to dry. They are super sparkly and gorgeous now! This picture below gives you a little better idea of the color differences. Quick, but fun crafting!

January 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. 2 comments.

Minions, Unite!!

We have a slight crisis, and I need all my minions to respond. Apparently, the City of Austin has decided to rename the Solid Waste Services Department, and idiots that they are, they are letting people VOTE on this! And not on pre-approved choices! My favorite is the Department of Neat and Clean. Isn’t that freaking adorable?

So here’s where the crisis comes in: someone, attempting to be clever, submitted the name “Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts”. Yes Fred Durst of the band Limp Bizkit that was torturing all of us in the 90s.

And guess what else I discovered? These bastards over at somethingawful.com are attempting to hijack this vote!! They planted this name and are trying to get tons of people to vote for that awful name!!

Minions!!! We cannot allow this travesty to take place!! You are officially ACTIVATED!!! Please vote for Neat and Clean, as that is in second place, and we can hopefully overtake the horrific jackasses!!!

Minions…GO!!!!

PS. Shout out to Jessica who always finds cool stuff to show me and get me riled up.

UPDATE: I scooped NPR on this story! Here’s their link. And thanks for all your comments on this. They are apparently not displaying, but I am receiving them. Thanks!!

January 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Random typing. Leave a comment.

Baby Names vs. Pet Names

I’m sure many rants have been written on this particular topic, but it’s on my mind today, so you get to read another one. I’m sure mine will be the most humorous and insightful of them all.

Pets are not people. Don’t give them people names. Kory, Steve, and April are people names. If you post to your facebook that “April ran in circles then pooped on the floor”, I have no idea if you’re talking about your child or an animal of some kind. A facebook post very similar to that is what started this whole rant.

I’m at the age where lots of my friends have young children. I also have tons of friends with no kids at all, but pets they view as their children. There are enough random people on my facebook that I often don’t know whether or not they have kids, or pets, or both. They could very easily be posting to facebook about their special needs child, not their dog, so if I make a snarky comment I’m the one that looks like an ass. This is not cool.

My pets names are Flapjack, Mudface, Tinkerbell, Mushroom, and Ferret. They are obviously pets. I can talk about Tinkerbell eating hairbands without fear of confusion. Naming pets is an opportunity to be creative. When naming your spawn you should stick within certain societal guidelines, unless you are a nutbag famous person. They don’t count. Apple, Prince Michael, and Moxie CrimeFighter would be teased in the school yard, and later ignored for job interviews if they didn’t have famous parents. Names like that are about the parent using the child to further their own status by getting attention. It doesn’t allow the child to develop their own identity. They are forever dismissed as the kid of that famous wack-a-doo.

Back to the pets. How freaking boring of a person are you that you can only come up with a normal, boring person name for your pet? A name not even good enough to give a plant? I have a cactus named Cornelius, which I think is hysterical. Technically that’s a person name, but it’s definitely not common, and I would never post to facebook “Cornelius seems to have some kind of fungus. I hope they don’t have to amputate!”  That’s completely retarded and misleading.

Here’s the bottom line: If you gave your pet a boring person name, obviously it’s too late to change it now. When posting to any social media, start with a qualifier such as “My dog, April…” Is that so hard?

Basically, my main problem is this: I don’t know how to respond to this stuff. Should I be severely worried and sympathic that your child seems to throw up a lot, or should I laugh with you and joke about how my cat does the same thing? You are inconveniencing ME!!! I end up avoiding communicating with people to avoid potential embarrassment, and that sucks. So think ahead when you name your pets and children. Think, “How will this affect That Clever Chick, ruler of all and infinite font of wisdom?”. Actually, think about all your decisions in that way. I’m going to go get some HWTATCCROAAIFOW bracelets printed. Who wants one???

January 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Random typing. 5 comments.

Book Review: Uglies

I have a habit of picking up random books for a buck or so at Half Price Books, thrift stores, where ever. I usually buy a stack (spending about $10 or less), then stick them on a shelf in the house. By the time I get to them, I’ve forgotten what they’re about or why they sounded interesting. Here’s where the crazy shows up: I don’t reread the cover because I like to be surprised. Nuerotic? That’s me. Just wait. I’ve managed to cover up a lot of the crazy so far (except maybe for my Super Soup recipe). I’m sure more of it will start leaking into the blog over time as I lose my grip on social norms and reality. So keep reading!

Yes, um. Where was I going with all that? Ok, so I saw this book on my shelf called Uglies, and I started reading. And I loved it. LOVED IT. If you ever read The Giver as a kid, it reminds me of that book, but with more of a 1984, this-could-really-happen storyline. When I got to the end, it just ended. I was shocked, then looked online, and sure enough! SEQUELS!! I wish I could show you my face when I figured that out. So I techinically read Uglies last year, so we’re not counting that for 2011. I did, however read both Pretties and Specials this year, so we’re counting those 2.

Both Pretties and Specials were fantastic. They follow the same main character, and everything gets crazier and crazier, in a super bad ass way. I may sit down and read them all again. And you know what? The author, Scott Westerfeld has written a BUNCH of books! Now I have someone new to obsess over and book-stalk! Plus, he has a gorgeous steam punk themed website!! I may have to step up the design over here. Anyone have any ideas?

Final ruling: absolutely love the series, and I will definitely be hunting down some more of his books. I need to make up a real rating system, but until then, this gets a SUPER HAPPY FACE!!

January 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Book Reviews. 1 comment.

Restaurant Review: Maggiano’s

I went to a recent work event that was held at Maggiano’s in the Domain here in Austin. I’m going to start off by saying, generally I would never set food in a place like this. Italian food = pasta = super cheap to make at home. Therefore these ritzy Italian places = instant rip off. A big bag of portabello mushroom ravioli is $5 at HEB. That fact is always in the back of my mind whenever people want to go out to eat Italian. I just don’t see the point. All that aside, this was free food for me, and you know I am all about free stuff. I don’t mind if someone else gets ripped off.

First things first: this place looks like the inside of a fancy hotel. I personally feel all the frou frou crap is unnecessary, and it was setting off all my “rip off” alarms. I had to reassure myself that I was not paying, and therefore could relax, even when surrounded by high ceilings, dark wood, and boring tasteful artwork.

Because this was a large group, they placed large plates of each dish on the table for us to pass around. For appetizers we had the bruschetta, which was nice, tomato caprese which was good, and the Maggiano’s salad, which was heavy on the raw onions, but otherwise fine. These were my favorite part of the meal.

For entres we had lasagna, which was normal, although pretty acidic, the baked ziti which I didn’t have because it looked like a hot, watery mess, but was told it wasn’t that good, and the parmesan-crusted tilapia, which was really good. The fish was crispy on top, and served on a bed of spinach, with capers and lemon butter. It was tasty, well cooked, if a little bland. I actually had seconds of that.

The desserts came out, and I was pretty excited, but that didn’t last long. The first dessert was Nonna’s toasted pound cake, which doesn’t even sound like something I’d want. It came with carmelized bananas, and I’m already biased against bananas. I had a small bite of this, and it was fine. If I was paying, I wouldn’t order it, but if someone hands it to me, I’m not going to turn it down.

The other one that I saw, and got excited about was the chocolate zuccotto cake. It was put on the table as this massive domed wedge of chocolate upon chocolate. First of all, that is a really awkward way to serve cake at a group event. There is no good way to cut a normal piece off so that you don’t look like a pig in front of all your coworkers. Second of all, I f**king love chocolate, and you guys basically gave me brown cake that looked like chocolate. I guess it is techinically chocolate cake, but it just tasted like liquor and sadness. Again, if someone handed me a free piece, I’d eat it, but I’d rather have more of the fish or tomato caprese.

Here’s the thing, at least in my mind. Chili’s, of all freaking places, makes a damn fine chocolate dessert. So seriously, what’s up? Rich people don’t like chocolate? The cake was completely mediocre in all ways, just moist enough, just sweet enough, and just firm enough to technically be called cake, and to make me say “meh”.

So, final ruling? If someone else is buying, go for it. If you feel like spending $20 per plate at LUNCH, you better think again. There are many fine places you could eat better, healthier food at and still have cash leftover.

January 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Restaurant Reviews. 2 comments.

Don’t Drink and Drive

I distinctly remember as a child, telling my mother she shouldn’t drink and drive.

This is my fuzzy recollection of the event: we were in her old Toyota Camry that was a horrid brown color. The way I’ve remembered it, I was sitting in the passenger seat, but I would have been too young at the time, so I was probably in the back. Mommy Dearest (who hates that nickname, but can’t think of a better one) took a drink while driving RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! Of course I had to admonish her strongly. My cartoons were apparently liberaly sprinkled with “Don’t Drink and Drive” ads, and I had taken it to heart.

Mom had to explain they were refering to alcohol in those ads, not coffee, which she was drinking.

Thinking back now, I’m surprised she didn’t just bust out laughing at me. That would have been my automatic reaction. I did have my own logic about why drinking anything would be bad. I was young enough, maybe 5 or so, that I didn’t know that alcohol impaired you in any way. My Mom was always drinking alcohol constantly, and seemed pretty functional. I’m kidding, of course.  (Dad used to say “There’s Mom, drunk as usual”, when reading children’s stories to us. He would just point to pictures and say ridiculous things, like Ankylosaurus has a whip-like tail. I think he got bored of reading the same dinosaur book repeatedly, and had to find ways to amuse himself.)

My thought process was this: you’re driving your car, watching the road. You look down to get your coffee cup. Assuming terrible screaming death doesn’t attack you in the 2 seconds that process takes, you will now take a drink of your beverage. This will obviously impede your line of sight, thus leading to imminent horrible burning death carnage. Makes sense, right? I have always been logical to a fault. We’ll see if Mom comments about this. Hopefully she remembers it better than I do.

January 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Random typing. 5 comments.

I missed my Dad’s birthday because I was pole dancing

So it sounds bad, but yes my whole family got together last weekend for my Dad’s birthday and I couldn’t go because I had a pole dancing class scheduled. I’m sure many of you have seen the ads for Flirty Girl Fitness, which are basically work out DVDs you order from TV that teach you how to lap dance because it’s an awesome work out. Same deal with pole dancing.

Awhile ago Groupon had a coupon for half off a private pole dancing class at Brass Ovaries. My dear friend Doctor Stacey and I jumped right on that. I almost bought an extra one at the time, and now I wish I had. It was super fun, and laid back, and it was definitely a whole body work out.

You minions know that I am not the most physically active person ever, and I kind of hate working out, and exercise, and moving in general. This, however, was fun and not at all repeptitive. I think the fact that I was using my body while learning a skill made it a lot more entertaining. It has actually made me consider looking into some kind of class along these lines I could go to regularly. Brass Ovaries does offer those types of classes. I just need to check into the pricing, plus they’re a little far south for me. If I lived near there I would be all over that place.

Overall, the instructor was fun and helpful, and gave great pointers. The routine we learned was easily managed by out-of-shape little me, so anyone can do it, and it was a unique opportunity. If they pop up on Groupon again I will buy several. Try it out!

Oh right, and my Dad was fine with it. He exact words were “We all just saw each other at Christmas. Why are we getting together again?” Maybe you can see where my practical streak comes from? Happy Birthday, Dad!

January 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Bucket List, My Quest to be more Interesting. Leave a comment.

Book Review: Bohemian Manifesto

Yes, I just did a book review, but this is a new category, and needs a little bulking up. Hubby somehow heard about this book and requested it for Christmas. I almost immediately commandeered it. This book, by Laren Stover, is a non-fiction explanation of the modern bohemian lifestyle. I honestly never realized such a thing existed, and yet, I am one. That’s right!! All my lunacy and quirks are actually socially acceptable! I rescue furniture from the trash, I burn incense and go to art shows for the free alcohol. I love thrift stores and remaking my clothes and home to suit myself. I’m just a modern-day gypsy.

I personally loved this book and plan to reread it. It not only tells about the different types of bohemians, it lists books, movies, and famous people, such as Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, and Jack Kerouac, that exemplify bohemianism. There was a bit too much listing of things, but I found it overall to be inspiring and liberating. I have so many more plans for eclectic projects I can’t wait to work on, and a category for myself. That may seem odd, but I find it comforting. I guess knowing there is a whole subculture that thinks the way I do, and feels so outside our current consumerist culture, makes me more confident that I am on the right path, not just avoiding the inevitable slide into normal suburbanism.

January 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Book Reviews. Leave a comment.

How not to be me

Don’t get nosebleeds.

Yes, this was me just last week, very cleverly illustrated for me by my wonderful Hubby!!! I was at the office when out of nowhere: nose bleed. I get them periodically, but racing around the office holding my head back and looking for tissues was not something I planned on.

If you want to be smarter than me you can prevent nosebleeds in several simple ways:

Use a humidifier. This time of year the air is dryer, and having the heater on in the house dries it out more.

You can also use nasal sprays to moisten the inside of your nose directly, but these are actually addictive, so only use it every other day or less.

Try to breath through your mouth when sleeping. This also prevents the delicate nasal tissues from drying out too much. If my sinuses are bothering me, I breath in through my mouth, and out slowly through my nose to warm and moisten the area.

Okay, ugh that’s enough talk about the inside of my, or anyone else’s nose. I hope that was very useful, and you enjoyed laughing at my discomfort. 5 gold stars to each of you who got what the title of this blog is referencing. I hope you guys have a chart or something, because I’ve been handing out gold stars like candy without keeping track.

And if I haven’t mentioned it before, everything in this blog is copyrighted by me, and that drawing by my Hubby. Don’t get any ideas about using my stuff, or I will sue. I need every penny I can get out of you in a settlement. Cheers!

January 15, 2011. Tags: , , . Random typing. Leave a comment.

Book Review: The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

I’ve decided this year to start keeping track of the books I read. I always read constantly, usually every night before bed, and I have no idea how many books I read per year. I started to keep track at the beginning of 2010, but obviously didn’t keep up with it. My first victim is a not-so-famous book by Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This one has his same brand of quirky humor, though it doesn’t seem quite as Adam’s-y as his other books.

Another of his, Starship Titanic, was much funnier, in my opinion, with all the inexplicable occurrences you’d expect if you’ve read the Hitchhiker’s Guide series. This one follows an investigator, Dirk Gently, and the god Thor around London in separate story lines that finally intersect in the climax, much like a Guy Ritchie movie. This book was good, and kind of funny, but the ending was rather abrupt, and I think that left a bad taste in my mouth.

You’ll notice I’m not telling you much about the plot. I don’t believe in it. I hate spoilers, and I can’t really think of specifics in the story I can mention that would pique your interest without giving something away once you were actually reading it. Oh I know, no wait. That will ruin the end. Okay, Odin is in a retirement home, and he loves clean linen.

If you haven’t read anything else by Douglas Adams, then most of this review will be rather meaningless to you. Let me say that you have to read all the Hitchhiker’s guide books. They are madly hilarious. If you are a hard-core Adams fan, this one is worth a read, but don’t get super excited about it. If you like Adams you should also read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It is awesome, and with a similar comedic style.

We’ll see how this category evolves. It may turn out to be more of a “I just read this”, rather than reviews. My aversion to spoilers make true reviews hard for me.

January 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Book Reviews. Leave a comment.

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