December 27th, 2007

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Gift Exchange

Over the past half a week or so, the gift exchange items have filtered in and I finally got around to snapping some photos and then uploading and resizing the results. Well, most of them anyway.

From jirel:

I haven't touched a John Steinbech book since high school. For all that I would read voraciously, I never actually went for the classics unless forced. It's probably not a stretch to say that if it weren't for high school English, I wouldn't have encountered his work at all. That said, I liked a lot of what I did end up reading. I still have very pleasant memories of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. I can recall that whole moment of "Listen, you fellas don' know what you're doing" and thinking, holy crap, it's Jesus and that one scene of Okies pulling up to the diner and the waitress telling them it was penny candy so the father could get a piece for the son and then receiving the huge tip from the truckers in return. Just thinking about it almost makes me want to go out and find a copy. Besides, if I read it this time around it's unlikely I'll need to write an essay afterwards.

Up until now, I had never heard of Travels with Charley, though I've been promised it's cynical. Nothing like a good tale of developing misanthropy at christmas time. In the past, the only travel logs I've read have been by Bill Bryson. They've been incredibly entertaining and afterwards, even I feel a twinge for wanting to follow in the author's footsteps. Considering how much I loathe travel in general and my other issues, that's saying something. I can only hope that Travels with Charley ends up being as spiffy.

From vala_amaris:

To preface things, this package ends up qualifying as the most disturbing thing I have received in the mail EVER. I'm almost certain it'll keep that title up until someone sends me a severed bodypart or something similar.

I probably should have suspected something unusual just from the card. Cats are always an ill omen. It was with a minor amount of trepidation that I unwrapped the item and this is what I found.

It's a cat voodoo doll. Spiffy in a creepy WTF sort of way. Just looking at it, I'm tempted to try to sneak it under someone's pillow just to see what the reaction is. I guess I would need to stick a few pins in it first just for authenticity but I'd love to see the response when someone finds this sort of thing in their bed. It could very easily become the stuff of nightmares if you tried it on a child.

For the time being Voodoo kitty is sitting on my desk, though he has his head covered with some paper. I didn't like the way he was looking at me. Admit it, you wouldn't want him staring at you either.

From sparklefancy:

Spiffy. I haven't had a desk calender in ages. I don't think it's something I've ever bought for myself before since I tend to get very absentminded about ripping off the days in a timely fashion. Not to mention I'm one of those people who always has only a vague awareness of what day it is. I've never been able to get into the habit of making notes and scheduling events, even back when I had something worth scheduling. I'm thinking that this might come in handy as a header to future LJ entries in the new year. A quick camera shot and upload and it might be pretty spiffy.

I should note that I also got the gift from smallvictories but it ended up arriving after I had taken the pictures of all the others. I'll try to snap a few shots sometime tommorrow or the next day and edit this entry with its addition.
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Gift Exchange Part II

I found some time today to snap a few more pictures and got them all uploaded and prepped.

Here is what I received from smallvictories:

I actually spent a good chunk of time looking at and thinking about this card. It seems incredibly familiar but I can't recall where I might have seen the image before. It looks very Tim Burtonesque and reminds me of the style of art from the nightmare before christmas or corpse bride. That gothic sort of claymation. It's also reminding me of some halloween clip I recall seeing on youtube a while ago.

My mom was around when I was opening up the package and I got to explain what liberals were. I think she believes I receive mail from nutjobs. It's just as well she never saw the voodoo cat.

Hmmm. You know, I've never really given much thought to robot uprisings. I'm not even sure it'd be a horrible thing really. When I have focused on sci-fi end of the world senarios, I always figured it'd be a clone war or a battle over eugenics. It might actually be sort of comforting to simply have robots revolt. At least there you can draw the lines of good and evil pretty starkly and clearly. I'll have to peruse the book at length and see if any of the tactics can be adapted to fighting cats and hippies.

I have no idea if this was intentional, but I thought including the receipt was a humorous twist. I can only assume that smallvictories thought it was possible that I would hate the book so much I would trek up to Toronto in order to exchange it. I was also happy to see that the other book listed on the receipt is Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. A absolutely fabulous book IMO, and it should be a must read for everyone, even those who normally don't have much of an interest in the sciences. He manages to bring a level of easy comprehension you don't often find as well as including a lot of interesting and funny scientific annecdotes. The takehome message being that many scientists were nuttier than peanut brittle.

So that's all the items to date. I'll keep making addenum entries as more things arrive. Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope you all enjoyed what you ended up getting.
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Auctions and chevrons

It's actually been a pretty productive day for me so far. Of course, that's productive based on my standards which are admittedly quite low. eBay is having a $.10 listing sale today so I took the oppertunity to pop up some items. First and foremost, I relisted the 6 Vera Bradley bags that didn't sell the last time and then tossed in a couple of items that have been useless and taking up space. I'm not really expecting to get much, if anything, but at 10 cents a pop, it's not like it's really costing me anything to give the wheel a spin.

My room is full of clutter and crap that I should offload, but I just never get around to it because it never really occurs to me. From where I'm sitting, I can see things like a 550 piece little mermaid jigsaw puzzle painted by Christian Reese Lassen, bunches of unopened board/card games, dozens of old video games and dvds, etc. All sorts of things I no longer want and should just clear out. Maybe what I'll do is just pick a day and take pictures of all the items and wait until eBay is having another sale and pop it all up there. That's pretty much the deal with the senseo, though I actually took the pictures of the damn thing over half a year ago.

Oh, I also just downloaded the Stargate SG1 movie, Ark of Truth. Talk about a fubar of monumental proportions. I have no idea who over at MGM dropped the ball but letting a screener leak out over 2 months before your DVD's release is a huge fuckup. Since fans can't buy it in stores yet, they're almost forced to pirate it. For each one that does, a certain percentage won't go on to buy the item when it comes out in March. I'd be shocked if it didn't negatively affect sales. I feel a little guilty about the whole thing too, but at least it was never a certainty I was going to buy the dvd anyway. I haven't bought a dvd in years and I almost never watched them when I did pick one up. I'd like to support the franchise and all but just can't convince myself to spend the money.

Oh well. I'm off to watch the film.