Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Early Holiday Gift: TMBG New York City

I need happiness, perkiness, and joy today. It's been a loooong week at work--much motion and activity, but too little accomplished. I hate the week after a short week.

So, anyway, this isn't the official video for this song, but I like it. I stay away from the amateur attempts at song videos because they can be so lame, but this one has a real polish to it. Plus, I'm nuts about typography.

Tomorrow night is one of my favorite events of this or any other season.

What it's like to thrift in Omaha.

What to get Popeye for Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ever get one of those songs stuck in your head for days?

A little while ago, I watched a documentary that used a song as the opening, and it ended up stuck in my head for several days afterwards. Since this is the season of giving, I thought I'd share it with you.

Here is the great Marlene Dietrich singing Where Have All the Flowers Gone.

The version I heard in the film was in German, but I couldn't find that one online.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Have an early present on me!

It's been one of those days where I tried all day to accomplish one simple task--turning in my timesheet--but got sidetracked every single time I set out to do it. I feel like I ran, ran, ran all day without actually getting anything done. I hate days like this, and they leave me too braindead to actually contemplate anything remotely approaching coherent.

So, here, have an early holiday gift:

Because, who doesn't like the Go Go's singing the Beach Boys?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Break

Being part two of a few more, each just a bit more stupefying than the last...
(At least this installment includes a video!)

By Michael Edward Mitchell, Age 43

Black Friday was really different for us this year. We’re the typical get up early, hit the stores as soon as they open types. I draw the line at standing outside places before they open, and of course we don’t frequent the evil empire.

Keith usually wants to hit a Staples or the like and a Radio Shack for their early bird deals. By the time Black Friday rolls around, we generally have 90-95% of our holiday shopping done, so we’re looking for deals and stuff for US!!!!

There’s one strip mall in town that has a Staples and Radio Shack side-by-side (it’s also got a you-know-what there, but we just ignore them). While Keith is entertaining himself, I’m a few doors down at Michael’s, finishing off my baking and candy-making supply needs. They always have an early bird deal where you get 25% off your entire purchase before 9.

Sometime between 7:30 and 8:00, we’re both finished and we meet at the car to head across the road to Shoney’s. We’ll fuel up on the breakfast bar and watch the sun come up and plot our next moves. There might be one or two more stores we want to hit, but most of the rest of the day for us will be spent in Barnes and Noble or Half-Price Books. We'll also make a point to hit some local businesses along the way too.

From start to finish, though, this year was completely different. First off, the Shoney’s closed, causing much consternation about where we would watch the sun come up. Then, Keith got an email about a special advance online sale Best Buy was having that happened to include the one item he was going to Staples to get. After he ordered that, he eliminated one of his major stops in our strip mall starting point.

Since we didn’t have to be at Staples when they opened, he decided to hit the Radio Shack in our part of town. Lo and behold, they are so off the beaten path that he was the only one in the store and was able to get all of the special sale items he was interested in. (That never happens.)

Well, the Radio Shack happens to be across from the Shoney’s in our hood, so I chowed down, while he shopped. Then we headed over to Michael’s. (Unfortunately, there’s not one in our part of town.) I only needed a few things there, so it was a quick stop. I did get a new candy thermometer, which I really needed.

After that we hit Target, for a jacket I wanted that was on sale. Then we went to the new Half-Price books, which is quite large, and quite nice. Lots of room to spread out and look and lots of comfy chairs to relax in while you browse. Good selection of graphic novels and trades, plus lots of other interesting stuff to look at. Just the kind of place we could spend several hours in, which, of course we did.

I ended up getting the first Nextwave hb, plus some CD’s, including The Age of Consent from Bronski Beat, which was really weird, because I’d been looking up BB videos on YouTube the other day. Like this one:

How's that for a little bit of holiday cheer?

After this, things took a real left turn.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Pledge To You!

For what it's worth, anyway...

From now until the end of the year, expect a blog post every day here at the old Eddie-torial hangout. I'm not guaranteeing that every day will be content-rich, mind you, but at some point during the day, I will spit in the face of the status quo and throw something up here.

In the meantime, if you're a Neko Case fan (and if you're not, I don't want to know about it), Bloodshot Records has her first three CD's on sale from now until the end of the year! Details here.
In my book, it's always okay to pick up a little something for yourself while you're buying presents for everyone else.

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Break

Being a long and somewhat boring attempt at a timely blog post.

By Michael Edward Mitchell, Age 43

Last Wednesday was pretty uneventful at work. With most folks in the building off, it seemed like it was a nice, quiet day. I only learned later that appearances can be deceiving.

Our regularly scheduled payday would have been Friday, when everyone is off. So, we got paid yesterday instead, but with actual checks instead of pay advices—no direct deposit. I went to the bank at lunch and put my check in and got out enough cash for the weekend.

Keith was off all last week, so he picked me up after work. We celebrated the holiday eve by going to Shoney’s for the breakfast bar, where we also finalized our plans for the next day.

We were invited to go to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving, so we stopped at the grocery to pick up the ingredients for the dishes we were bringing. My mom had also advised us to bring whatever beverages we might want, so we got some store-brand diet cola with lime. As an impulse, I grabbed a cheap bouquet of flowers to take as well.

Thursday, I got up very early to fix our corn and pepper surprise, which was the side dish I volunteered to bring. Since I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, I also whipped up a honey bun cake as a desert alternative.

Then I got ready to do my traditional volunteer stint. Our agency operates the Meals on Wheels program for our area, and every Thanksgiving, they do a special meal delivery. For the past several years, I’ve volunteered to help out at their “command central”—getting the meals and the delivery routes together for the delivery volunteers to come pick up.

This year, the program manager asked me to also ride along with one of the delivery folks and take some pictures for them. Since she lives two streets over from me, she offered to pick me up in the morning. I got everything for our trip finished up and loaded in the car, then woke Keith up. The plan was for him to pick me up at command central after the deliveries were done. Then we’d head south to my mother’s.

I was ready at 8:40, and sat down to wait for my ride. At 9:15, I decided something was wrong, since she’s not one to be that late without calling first. I called her house and found out from her brother that she had fallen and broken her arm at the office Wednesday afternoon and would not be going to the meal delivery. Guess it wasn’t such a quiet day at the office on Wednesday after all! I was a little perturbed that this had taken place right down the hall from me, and no one had bothered to say anything about it. Even worse, I was completely oblivious to the whole thing.

So it was time for Plan B. Keith dropped me off at command central, where I discovered that two of the workers had been dispatched to pick me up. They showed back up a few minutes after I got there. Turns out they had gone to the wrong street looking for our house.

After that kind of rough start, the meal pick up went really smoothly. It was about 11 when the person I was going to ride with showed up to pick up the meals she was delivering. After we got out to the area she was delivering in, I realized that we were almost to the southwestern edge of the county—practically halfway to my mother’s house!

We delivered the meals, and I took some pictures of some very appreciative senior citizens. It was hard not to feel awkward and intrusive about doing it, but the meal recipients were all very gracious about it.

After the last delivery, I called Keith and told him where I was and told him to head on down the highway. I figured if he grabbed me where I was, then I wouldn’t be making half the trip twice! I convinced the delivery volunteers (a former co-worker and good friend) to drop me off at an open McDonalds. A little while later, Keith picked me up and we were off!

We had forgotten to put the flowers in the car, so we stopped at a roadside vendor and got another bunch. I wanted a more interesting drive, so we eschewed the interstate for the cross-country route. Several little towns and state roads later, we were pulling up into my mom’s.

She had fixed Morningstar Farms vegetarian chix patties for us, but otherwise we had the traditional meal. She also left the meat seasonings out of most of the dishes, so we could eat them as well. And it was a grand feast!

We stayed and talked for a few hours after the meal. Mom showed me some new stuff in her backyard, and we played with her dogs. When it started getting close to dark, we left.

I was so tired that I pretty much crashed out as soon as we got home. Had to get some rest before the big Black Friday extravaganza!