Monday, December 31, 2012


I'm not one for making a lot of New Year's resolutions, because I tend to blow them off.  Or forget about them.  And it just seems kind of gimmicky.  I make a lot of to-do lists on a daily basis, anyway, so trying to wrangle some sort of year-long thematic to-do list out of the jumble of stuff in my brain seems...hard. (This lack of long-term planning may explain why I still haven't gone to grad school or, y'know, decided what I want to be when I grow up.)

But, well, I feel like I need to throw up a blog post tonight to close out the year.  And I don't know what else to write about.  So...resolutions it is.

  • Read 13 books in 2013.  And by "books," I mean actual books.  It's not that I feel guilty for a lack of reading, because I read all day at work, I burn through a few magazines a week, I'm reading all the time.  But my contact with real honest-to-goodness BOOK-books over the past few years has diminished, and I want to turn that trend around.  (I sort-of set this as a goal this year -- except it was 12 in 2012 -- and figured I should up the ante and make it official.)
  • Keep diligently updating my 365 Pictures project.  (I've only had to fudge it twice so far, on days when I forgot to take pictures -- or when I forgot to do it before midnight, anyway.)  
  • Get around to watching the 17-disc set of The Complete Larry Sanders Show (which has been sitting on my bookcase since last Christmas).  I started...then got distracted by a backlog of Netflix discs. 
  • Sort out my old pictures.  I've got a ridiculous pile of photos dating back to middle school that are in desperate need of organization.  They're all in boxes and there's a rough sense of order to some of the piles, but there's so many duplicates and so few of them are sends me into a shame spiral every time I go digging through them.  I envision me standing in the middle of a bunch of boxes, tossing pictures around and around, grimacing whenever I spot one from middle school.
  • Crochet 13 things I've never made before.  I'm sure I'll crochet more than 13 things in 2013...but this is primarily to encourage me to make things other than potholders and turkey hats. Sometimes, at least.
  • Procrastinate less.  And be more spontaneous, too.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


A late addition to the nativity scene:

December 30.

Yeah, that's a spring-mounted Baby Jesus.

Spring-mounted Baby Jesus.

I have no clue where my mother found this, nor why it exists in the first place (is it supposed to be like a bobblehead?  should I be mounting it to my dashboard?), but I guess if ever there was a nativity scene that could incorporate a spring-mounted Baby Jesus without anyone raising an eyebrow, it's probably mine.  Welcome, boing-boing Jesus!

Monday, December 24, 2012


It's Christmas Eve!  You know what that means...time for the annual nativity picture.

December 24.

(We're up to nine Jesuses/Jesi this year -- a new record!  It's enough to warrant the installation of stadium seating in the manger.)

Toivo wasn't thrilled that we found his jingle collar, but it doesn't seem to get in his way when he's trying to nap, so I think he'll survive.

December 23.

Last but not least, we spotted this at Walgreens:

December 22.

Better be careful to lift the toilet seat up, or you just might get a fake carrot up the butt.

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oredock demolition update.


The last of the remaining concrete approach to the dock's been getting whacked with a wrecking ball for the past week or so.

Oredock, post-wrecking ball.

It's depressing. On the other hand, the ice is pretty.

Ice around the dock.

And braver souls than I have been spotted skating out there (not too far from shore, though, for safety's sake).  So that's festive.

December 18.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"That could drive people crazy."

If there's one thing me & my mom love, it's Christmas lights.  So when we turned off Highway 2 last Friday night in Superior and came across this, you can imagine how giddy we were.

And then, down the street, we found Mecca:

December 14.

(Some of the lights on this house seemed to be timed to play along with the same radio station as the one in the YouTube clip; could it be the whole neighborhood's in cahoots?)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No news is good news.

I'm trying to stay away from TV news this weekend.  What happened in Connecticut is unspeakably awful.  It's impossible to try to make rational sense out of something so profoundly irrational.  And yet, the talking heads on TV have hours of programming to fill, so they talk.  And talk.  And talk.  They speculate, and they try to dissect, and I get that they're going to do that, that's part of their job.  Some people might want to know all the details, so they can try to understand.  But the thing is, no amount of details will make any of it make sense. 

So instead, I've been trying to unplug.  Trying to stay off Facebook, trying to stick to light, stupid, frothy crap.  Hanging up Christmas trim, wrapping presents.  I don't want to watch my friends and acquaintances argue about gun control, or to see people bicker about whether or not Obama's crying at the press conference was "real" or if he was "acting," or listen to people lecture about how this all happened because we don't have prayer in schools.   I want everyone to set down their pet causes and just think for a minute before they speak (or type).  I want all the adults in this country to grow the hell up, to stop turning every goddamned thing that happens into an excuse for a Red vs. Blue hissy fit, another opportunity for an Us vs. Them diatribe.  I'm so, so tired of it.  The pontificating has to stop. We are better than this and our kids deserve so much better than this.  We're setting the example they're going to want to live up to someday -- we have to do better than this.

I don't want to wallow in the news because I don't want to feel more hopeless.  I don't want to give hopelessness a foothold into my heart like that.  I want to keep on believing that people are good, and that even when people disagree with each other, they can see past those differences and remember that we're all in this together.  We're all just little specks in this universe, brought together by sheer luck and so many circumstances far beyond our control or understanding -- and we're only here for the blink of an eye.  I don't want to spend my time bickering with everyone.  I have better things to do.  We all do.

Mr. Rogers.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Police blotter.

Thursday, 1:36 A.M.:
  Report of a Ford F150 doing doughnuts in the Anna Marie Designs parking lot.

Friday, 3:25 P.M.:  911 disconnect call from person who said "I hit the wrong thingy."

Saturday, 7:19 P.M.:
Caller states that he heard some banging or metal creaking.  Update: blowing "for sale" signs may have made the noise.

Monday, 12:02 A.M.: Caller reports her boyfriend stole her memory card again and then left. She says he hides in the ravine behind her house every time law enforcement comes over; she just wants her phone and for him not to come back.

Tuesday, 11:54 P.M.:  Barking dog complaint: neighbor's dog has been barking for ten years.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reindeer hats and liturgical dance.

Ladyhead makes her public debut.

I wouldn't call the craft sale last weekend a home run...but it wasn't a total bust, either.  It was really well-organized, considering the high schoolers (and let's be honest, their parents) who put it together did so in less than a month.  The room was big, there was a nice mix of vendors, there was food and gift-wrapping and a guy wandering around in a Santa costume...if it suffered from anything, I'd say it was a lack of advertising.  Because man alive, did it ever get slow after the first hour or two.

But I did sell a few things, and went home with less stuff than I'd brought.  That was really the only goal I had going in, so from that standpoint, it was successful.  And hey -- it's not like yarn goes bad, so I can always put away the (fifteen leftover) reindeer hats and try again next year.

December 8.
(Elizabeth, barely visible behind the giant pile of quilts and towels she & her mom made.)

Plus, it was fun just being there.  Particularly when things got super-slow in the afternoon, and the head organizer lady turned into the craft sale equivalent of the Unsinkable Molly Brown.  Seriously, she was like something out of a Christopher Guest mockumentary.  Her optimism was hilarious, especially when she'd get on the loudspeaker for announcements.

"Hey, laaaaaaaydies!  How's it going out there on the sales floor?  Cha-CHING, am I right?"
- at a moment when there were literally, like, two shoppers in the entire room

"Good news -- there's no line for pictures with Santa right now!"
- yeah, no shoppers = no line

Unsinkable: "The raffle winner is...Sue Kapowski!  Sue, come on up and get your prize!....*long pause* Sue?  Sue, where are you?" 
Random vendor: 
"She was here about four hours ago."
"Well, too bad for Sue, then, because you must be present to win!  Let's draw another name!" 
- and she literally had to draw about a dozen more names before she got one that was still there, and of course it was a vendor
Seriously, the raffle and door prize drawings took so long, and went to so many vendors, that it would've been way more efficient to just put all the prizes on a cart and go from table to table, letting the vendors just pick out whatever they wanted.

But still:  it was fun.  Thank goodness Elizabeth was there, though, because I would've lost my marbles if I hadn't had anyone to talk to.  Or to perform mock liturgical dances with while they had super-schmaltzy Christmas music playing.

(My favorite liturgical dance, plus an homage.  You're welcome.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What's making me happy this week.

Will Ferrell randomly showing up at a Packer game and leading the Beer Barrel Polka.

Friday, December 07, 2012

What's making me happy this week.

Especially the kid in the pink running after him.