Merry Couple of Days - Jason Mraz

As of now I am off for the next two days. The chain for which I work closes Christmas day - entirely! - and New Years evening/night which marks the only hours out of 365 days where I most likely won't be called or texted about some work related issue. Time off is over rated. There will be a line up of people waiting to get in when I open the store on the 26th (and January 1).

I have the 24th off and I have to tell you it disappoints me a little because I enjoy telling people "We're closed" and I couldn't be happier sending you off empty handed because you couldn't be bothered reading the sign notifying you we would be closing. You assumed we don't have lives and we aren't human because we're never closed. 24/7 is a long, long day. So I'll miss that this year but not enough to volunteer to work it.

Anyway, I may post prodigiously or I may not. I hope whatever you're doing, it's something you want to do and it's with someone with whom you want to be doing it.

Probably older than dirt and seen by billions but it makes me smile and it's my blog.

Quell Dramatique

So one half of the face with make up, the other without. doesn't make that much of a difference on me,
I'm just that beautiful out of the gate! Horse reference intentional.

Red Light District

I drive home from work about the time school buses are lined up and waiting to take children home for the day. If I'm running late, as I most often am, I run into these same buses dropping off children. I have never once encountered flashing red lights when children are being dropped off. (or picked up for that matter) W.T.F.? I thought this was a given. I have lived in a lot of communities in my life and every one has had school buses with flashing red lights indicating when it is not only unsafe, but illegal to pass a school bus. I assumed this was universal. Not here. What I have encountered were motorists just as confused as I am about whether I'm supposed to stop or not for a bus with flashing amber lights. What would you do? Cars both ways stop then creep ahead wondering what their responsibility and culpability is in this ambiguous scenario. In a situation where children's safety is involved, is there room for ambiguity?

So today I decided to get to the bottom of it and I was not successful. Just thought I'd throw that in now in case you were looking for a happy ending. I called First Student Canada and asked the receptionist what the deal was. She said that they are not allowed to use flashing reds as this is against the law in our town. Inconceivable. So I called City Hall and asked for the bylaw office and nobody is available to help me right now. This is not over. A friend of a friend of mine knows someone who knows someone and I will get answers.

Notice anything unusual about these pictures?

They're oil paintings by photorealist Steve Mills.

Yes they are.

He nails reflective surfaces like this

And glass

Seriously, you are looking at a painting. An oil painting.

This is the one that gave it away to the lad. He was still blown away though. He said the rust looked too clean. But remember the peeling paint? I'm thinking this rusty chain and bolts must have looked exactly like this. Because that's what he does. He paints exactly what his eye sees. I'm so jealuz.

Nice work.

Steve Mills

Steve Mills' web site. Go and be filled with wonder at the things other people can do with their hands. Me, I can pour coffee. That's about it.

We knew this was coming...

Christopher Hitchens
April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, an author and journalist, was the reason I faithfully threw away a large chunk of ten dollars on a magazine every month. He had been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1992. He has been 'not fighting' esophogial cancer since 2010, the same cancer from which his father died.

Hitch (everyone called him that, so I'm jumping on that wagon because it's shorter to type) was both praised and vilified because of his confrontational manner in debating sensitive issues. In his book The Missionary Position he wrote that Mother Theresa was and is undeserving of honour because she was an oppressive political opportunist spreading a fanatical religious belief. He called Henry Kissinger a war criminal. Ripped Mel Gibson a new one in an article found here. I personally loathe Mel Gibson for the same reason I loathe Tom Cruise. There is no room in the world for fanatics. I believe 911 drove that home on American soil. Hitch called Jerry Falwell treasonous for saying the 911 attacks were "probably deserved". He also wrote a scathing article about the globally indulged Dalai Lama. Michael Moore also got an article. Hitch was an equal opportunity critic.

He considered himself an antitheist as opposed to an atheist. Hitchens said that a person "could be an atheist and wish that belief in god were correct," but that "an antitheist, a term I'm trying to get into circulation, is someone who is relieved that there's no evidence for such an assertion".

His death will be followed by lauding eulogies and poisonous denunciations. I'm sure he would enjoy whatever was said, either way.

Team Laud

Literal Move Trailers

Toby Turner is a stand up comedian who also does literal interpretations of movie and gaming trailers. He has over 800,000 subscribers on YouTube. As usual, the lad turned my attention to his work. Like most of the things the lad finds amusing, I also found it amusing. (although My Amazing Horse and Nyan Cat were not, in any way, amusing) Below is an example of Toby's work applied to the trailer for the game Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. A game that now inhabits a dark corner of the lad's bat cave. Anyway, you don't even need to know the game's back story or how it's played. Toby is a guy who voices over the trailer, describing what we're seeing.

Literal Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Trailer

This is his web site. He also did a Literal Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides trailer.

This is Toby. He looks normal enough for a guy with 73 first cousins.

This is the Literal Twilight Eclipse Trailer. Ahahah!!! Better than the movie. Probably. Because I didn't see the movie.

And, this is Nyan Cat. It's a cat. Wearing a pop tart. Farting out a rainbow...yeah...I don't get it.

Glass Harp - Sugar Plum Fairy - Tchaikovsky


Quick, guess who this is!

OK, it's obvious but isn't this photo totally surreal??!! She's dressed like a wedding cake and he's a majorette.

Quick, guess who this is!

Helen Mirren

Pinhead, Accident of Birth

If you drop by here you might notice I sometimes post pictures of wacky art. I found a whole collection today that lead me on a voyage of nostalgic reflection and adventure. It was a collection of pics of sculptures by Thomas Kuebler. The gallery was called "Beggars and Freaks" and you can find it here. What was interesting was that a lot of the "Freaks" were literally sideshow performers who also were in the movie Freaks in 1932. I recognized Schlitzie aka Pinhead.

Not this Pinhead

Rendered here by Mr. Kuebler along with...

John Eckhardt Jr. aka Johnny Eck aka Halfman.
One half of a set of fraternal twins.

Minnie Woolsey aka Koo Koo, the Bird Girl 
and Harry Earles. Three of his six siblings were also dwarfs
and all four played Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz

But let's talk about Schlitzie. His real name was possibly Simon Metz (later his name was legally Schlitzie Surtees, I think) and his date and place of birth are unknown. He was born with microcephaly which caused his brain and skull to be very small. He was very tiny physically and had the mental abilities of a three year old but by all descriptions seemed to be a happy and pleasant person. He was also well cared for by the various people who took him in during his career in the circus. While I refer to him as a he, Schlitzie was dressed as, referred to and 'marketed' as a female in many shows and in Freaks. It apparently added to his mystique. Sideshow performers with microcephaly (there were many) were known as pinheads.

Posing as The Thinker. I make the point that he's posed here because he isn't smiling. Most pictures I've found he is always smiling. In this one he's doing what he thinks is a representation of 'thinking'. I don't think Schlitzie was required to think much and that's probably why he is always smiling. Do you think if he lived now he would even know who Brooke Mueller or Lindsay Lohan was? No.

Schlitzie, with Wallace Ford, in a scene from Freaks.

It is a mistaken conception that Schlitzie wore dresses due to incontinence. However he is often shown in dresses with pants underneath so obviously this was not a problem but it continues to be the prevailing theory. Why? He doesn't deserve dignity?

Here's a montage of scenes which include almost all of the people above.

Interesting to note that the dwarf characters of Hans and Freida, 
affianced in the movie, are played by a real life brother and sister.

Prince Randian, The Human Torso. Married with children. Lived to be 63. Shown in this video lighting a cigarette he rolled himself (the rolling of which is sadly not shown).


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