Saturday, December 19, 2015

Retro Y'all! Holiday Edition

I originally intended for all the December Retro Y'alls to be novelty songs, but this one kept coming back to mind over and over again.  The song I had originally chosen for this week didn't quite seem appropriate, given all that's going on right now.

For too many people, the world is a scary place right now.  In that light, this was the only choice to make.

Do they know it's Christmas time?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Retro Y'all! Holiday Edition!

I had to bend the rules for this one, but there was no way in heck that I was not going to include it.

I always try to find a period performance video by the original artist to go with my selections, but there just wasn't one this time.  There were lots of vids using the original recording in the video, but this is the one I really, really liked, even though I'm pretty sure it's a cover.  Those guys are having too much fun.  So I'm using this one in the spirit of the holiday.

Out of all the Christmas novelty songs that have ever been recorded, this one is certainly a front-runner for the oddest, which is why I love it so.

By the way, Santa's donkey was really named Nestor.  I think I would wanna be called Dominick too, if my name were Nestor.

No offense meant to any Nestors out there.  Really.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gather 'round!

 Come join the circle!  I have a tale to tell.  A tale of a wonderful, far away place.  A place called "Arkansas."

This is a land of plentiful thrift shops.  I found four on one street!  Some have familiar names--Goodwill and Salvation Army--but others have different names, like MARVA.  One legendary store is referred to as the SCT (Super Cheap Thrift) by one beloved local.  Alas, I did not get to behold those glories (of the SCT and the beloved local) at this time.  Perhaps on a future trip.

Plentiful treasures are found within these shops! 
Items are priced in cents, instead of the usual dollars.  When there is something priced in dollars, more often than not, it's only one dollar and not several.  What prices!  What treasures!  Things practically fall into your cart and you walk out with bags full of stuff, all for less than five bucks!

There are even stores where things aren't priced, so you don't know what you're in for until you get to the register.  Now, this is not an ideal situation, as you are set up for a nasty surprise,
but in Arkansas, the surprises are always pleasant.  You know you're in good hands when your pile of stuff gets you a "How about three bucks?" from the friendly cashier.

Oh, yeah.  The cashiers are always friendly.

Even the antique malls are havens of affordable delight, which is not something I can always say.  Have you ever seen a booth in an antique mall with a sign that says:  "BARGAIN BOOTH!  Everything a dollar or less?"  I have.
It's in Arkansas.

Arkansas.  Truly a junker's paradise.  You have to experience it for yourself.

If you do go, don't forget to check out my man, Fred.  I always have to go to Fred's when I visit.  Look at all the Christmas clearance I found!

Christmas clearance at Thanksgiving?  That's the wonder of Arkansas! 

Can't wait for my next trip to this wonderland of junk!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Thoughts from a Scan

I had my scan yesterday.  I'll get results next week.  Getting a scan is a lengthy process.  If you've never done one, you would think they just shove you in the machine, yank you out, and that is that.

In actuality, it takes about two and a half hours for the full body scan, which is what I get.  First off, you have to do all the prep stuff:  blood sugar check, isotope injection, and contrast consumption.  The contrast is gross-tasting, like an off-flavor Tang.  After that, there's a wait for the contrast and the isotope to get all over your insides, so they'll be all glowy and stuff for the scan.  Bear in mind, that while this is happening, you are very aware that you haven't eaten for HOURS.

The scan itself takes about 40 minutes, or at least mine do.  They do two scans on me.  The first is a head/neck scan, which is the short scan.  This is followed by the rest of the body, which is longer, and also requires that I hold my arms above my head, which makes it seem a lot longer.  My shoulders are always so stiff that I can barely lower them when it's over.  I do have to admit that this part is a lot more bearable since the steroids came into my life.

That's a lot of time just laying around, doing nothing, which means that I start getting bored, which means that my mind starts to wander on to all kinds of bizarre things.  If I actually got around to typing all the blog posts I have drafted in my head during my scans, you all would either think I'm a genius or totally insane.  (As if you don't already.)

This time, however, there was a bit of a wrinkle.  I've been taking anti-biotics for the past week or so to finish off my post-Thanksgiving illness.  I took the last one today, so that's done.  Everything is cleared up, even the cough is gone.  I'm feeling good, but this process has not been without side effects.

To be blunt, the anti-biotics have made me...well...a little...gassy.

Now, I'm not talking blow-the-door off, clear-the-room all-out farts.  These are just little build ups of air in the gut that have to go somewhere.  Somewhere, as in outside of me.   Generally, it's just a bunch of tiny toots.  A bunch.  Usually these little spells last for several minutes and happen two or three times a day.  Since I took the last pill today, I'm expecting them to stop in a day or two.

Of course, one of these spells hits while I'm getting the scan.  As I'm sitting in the injection room, waiting for the contrast to take effect, I just start firing off a series of these little toots.  It lasts for about ten minutes or so and then it passes.  I'm alone in a closed room, so it's no big deal.

Until I get to the long scan.  And another spell hits.  I'm in the scanner.  The tech is in another room, running things.  These are the thoughts that result.

"I gotta fart."

"Should I fart?"

"Who would know?  Maybe I should fart."

"What if I accidentally move a little when I fart?  Would that mess up the scan?"

"I would hate to have to do this again, just because I farted."

"Surely I can fart without moving.  Don't most people?  I've never seen any fart wigglers. Or wiggly farters."

"What if I don't fart?  Will that show up on the scan?"

"I couldn't eat or drink, because that would show up on the scan.  Would a suppressed fart show up?"

"It's just a cloud of air in my gut.  Would a cloud of air show up? I guess it could make me look bloated."

"If I look bloated, would that be some sort of sign on the scan that could be misinterpreted?"

"I would hate to get bad news next week, just because I didn't fart."

"If I get bad news because I didn't fart, then I would have to tell them that I had to fart and didn't."

"I don't want to go to the cancer clinic and talk about my farts."

"Maybe this kind of thing happens all the time, and they can tell on the scan when someone needed to fart and didn't."

"Would that get noted in my file, where anyone could read it?"

"I would hate for all the interns to be looking at me and thinking: 'So this is the fart represser.'"

"How would I explain that to Chiquito?" 

"If I farted, and they could tell that, would that end up in my file?"

"Would people start watching me to see if I'm going to fart?"

"Nobody wants to be known as 'the farty dude.'"

"I'd rather be called 'Gassy Guy!'"

"That would be a good super-hero name."

"Just fart already and get this over with."

"I'm totally going to have to blog this."

In the end, I decided to fart.  We'll see what the result was next week.  I'm working on my Gassy Guy costume, just in case.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Monday Rambles

So, I broke a mirror yesterday.  There goes the rest of the decade for me!

Also, I bought some stuff on Saturday, so I have a teeny Mazda shot.

What's in Mazda?

Sales are getting fewer and farther between here, but I did scrape a couple up for Saturday.  We had to hop across the river for them.  We went to a church that was having a Christmas yard sale fund raiser.  I was hoping to find some more vintage stuff, but no such luck.  I did pick up a few small things, including a Hulk ornament.  Nothing special.  The cashier spent all this time carefully wrapping these candle holders that were mostly cast iron, then tossed the ceramic figurines in the bag unwrapped.  Sometimes, I feel like I live in Bizarro World.

That church also runs a thrift store, which is only open about six hours a week.  I love it, but I never get to go there because of their schedule.  It epitomizes the one thing Louisville lacks--the little church-affiliated thrift run by little old ladies with tons of stuff at super cheap prices.  I wasn't sure if they would be open because of the church sale, but they were.

Their Christmas was all half off.  I gathered up a box of stuff, both Christmas and non, including a complete vintage Yahtzee game.  Prices ranged from 5 cents to 2 dollars.  The older lady doing the check out decided she needed to sort the Christmas out so she could do all the half price at once.  Good plan.  Then she declares that three ornaments aren't Christmas.  In fairness, they were little houses and buildings, so they didn't look like typical ornaments.  They were only a quarter, so I let it go.

Then she declares that the religious articles--crosses, Jesus pictures, etc--are Christmas because "You can use them for that if you want."  So, I got more of a discount overall than I would have if she had left those ornaments in.  I always throw in a small donation at fund-raisers and church sales, so I kind of made up a little of that difference for them. 

She grabs this roll of bubble wrap for the glass stuff I bought and this little older man, who I assumed was her husband, moved to the counter to help. Or at least I thought.  He grabbed the end of the bubble wrap and started popping the bubbles!  It was too funny.  She fussed at him and he stopped.

The other big sale I went to was a library book sale.  One of the libraries across the river holds a book sale twice a month.  I had been wanting to go, as I had heard good things about it.  Oh my gosh!  It was so organized, that it was nearly mind-boggling.  Everything was on shelves, instead of tables, with clearly labelled sections.  Prices were super-reasonable.  All around, it was impressive.

I ran into blog reader Elizabeth while I was there.  From time to time, she pops up at the booth, usually when it looks the worst, but she always says nice things about it anyway.  I've been meaning to mention her here and keep forgetting.

Anyway, I got a nice box of books there, plus a large stack of cookbooks out of the FREE boxes out front.  Love me those free boxes.  I sell a lot of cookbooks.  It was nice to be at a sizeable book sale.  The Louisville library has discontinued its large sales, much to my consternation.

We grabbed lunch at our usual Asian Buffet, and I made a stop at the Thrift Store that's in the same little mini-mall, since it was having a sale. I ran in the library branch in the mall to use the bathroom, then saw a dude with a bunch of tables in the middle of the mall selling comic books!  Seriously.  I'll leave it to you all to fill in the result of this discovery.

Saturday night, we went to one of our favorite holiday events.  It's been three or four years since I've gone, due to health stuff.  I was so glad to be able to do it again.  We wandered the streets, popped in and out of shops, enjoyed hot cider, shopped a bit, then finished off with a wonderful dinner.

I didn't get many photos, but I did get a few.

Santa's VW van sleigh

Always gotta get a Kizito cookie.  Fresh and hot!

The Eye of God is watching you!

Blow molds!

There was a rep from the business guild that sponsors the event driving around with a bunch of lights and blow molds on a truck, all lit up.  I could never get my phone out in time for a pic.  I also failed to get a pic of the girl in half a banana costume doing sidewalk karaoke.  I did get some short video of the laser light show.

I hope this works.  I've never done video on the blog before.  Well, like this anyway.  That Eye of God pic comes from the neighborhood Catholic Church, by the way.  There are more pics of the amazing decor in the church at their web site.  Doesn't Keith look all ruggedy and mountain manny with his walking stick and beard?  Believe it or not, he was wearing shorts!

So much goes on at this event.  Past years have included Elvis impersonators, bagpipes, Dickensian carolers, and concerts.  I look forward to it every year, and was so glad to be able to do it again.

This is going to be a pretty busy week.  Today, I'm heading back to the booth.  It was busy there yesterday, that I didn't get everything done that I needed to.  I have a cartful of stuff in the break room that I need to get put out.  The store is having its vendor party and open house on Saturday, and they need the room for that.  Sales are remaining strong so far.  I'd like to have a couple of $100+ days in the mix, but otherwise I can't complain.  I still cannot seem to get all my Christmas out.

Tomorrow is my next scan.  Results will be next week.  After that is done, I'll be headed to Mount Sorrow.  Thanks to being sick, I am a week behind on the work I wanted to do there.  I also just remembered that I have two sleds buried in the back (!) of that mess and they should have been at the booth two weeks ago.  I'll probably pull a small load out of there while I'm at it.  Since I'm going to have to pull a lot out to get to them, I'm planning to get it all back a little more organized.

Wednesday, I'm planning on working at home.  I need to go on an orgy (not like that!) of pricing and packing.  I am going to get any stray little bits of holiday stuff I might have missed.  I keep feeling like there are a couple bags of stuff still kicking around here.  I also have a new stack of comics to bag and price.  (Heh!)

Thursday, it's back to the booth.  Friday, I'm sneaking out to finish getting Keith's presents.  This weekend, I'll be at the Peddlers Mall vendor get-together, and maybe going to a holiday gift show.  It's run by the same people that do the Big Flea, and I've been wanting to check it out for a while.  I'm not planning to buy anything, but I would love to check out the displays.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Your Chiquito of the Month for December

This one is another wedding shot, combined with holiday cheer.

He's popped up in his wide-eyed best pose to wish all his internet friends a Merry Christmas!  Thanks for all the many wonderful things you all have said about him this year.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Retro Y'all! Holiday Edition!

Last Sunday's Hardrock/Suzy post was supposed to be a Retro Y'all! post on Saturday, but it didn't work out that way.  I am dedicating Retro Y'all! this month to those undeservedly forgotten or overlooked Christmas novelty classics.  Some things are too good to be allowed to slide into obscurity.

Like this little jingle.

Fun fact:  She actually got the hippo.  Take a look at the other people who've recorded this, including two Captains:  Kangaroo and Toni Tennille's then-husband.  The video is actually from the Ed Sullivan Show.  Gayla Peevey's website has the full version from the show with Sullivan introducing her.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Catch Up Updates

After several days of anti-biotics, I have arisen from the sick bed!  And taken a shower!

And there was much rejoicing.

I still have the damn cough, but I'm bouncing back and on the mend.  Thanks to everyone for your get well wishes and patience.  It's been a bit too long since I've blogged.  So, let's catch up, shall we?

Except for being sick, Thanksgiving was really nice for us.  We never really seem to have enough time to spend in Arkansas, but that (and being sick) was really the only downside.  We were actually going to stay longer this time around, but that would have required rescheduling my treatment last Tuesday, and Keith's mother would not entertain that idea in the least.

Keith's mother and I have both been hinting at a summer visit, when we could stay a little longer and not have so long between visits.  Keith thinks that it would be too expensive to do that, but I think I have a plan that might make it possible.  We'll see....

I've always felt kind of bad that we spent so much more time over the years with my mother than we have been able to with his, simply because of the distance.  He and his mother are as close as I was with mine, and I would do just about anything to have them see each other more often while that's still possible.  

Any chance to see Keith's mom is worth it because she is such a jewel.  We tried beforehand to convince her that there was no need for a huge spread for Thanksgiving.  We were happy just to be with her.  When we got there, however, she kept pulling out dish after dish after dish and setting them on the table.  Her one compromise was that she bought the potato salad, instead of making it!

It was a good thing we had plenty of food, because Keith's brother came to dinner as well.  To be honest, Keith's relationship with his brother is, well, a bit strained.  This isn't the place to really go into the reasons, but we were surprised to learn he was coming.  The meal was cordial enough.  Everyone behaved and we all had good conversation.  They all even continued visiting after I went back to the hotel to rest.  We still have no idea why he decided to make the trip, but Keith's mother was ecstatic to have all of us there at once, and that's all that matters.   Oh yeah, everything was delicious!   

Since I was sick, I didn't get to visit with Keith's elderly aunt, whom I adore.  She's in her 90's, and I didn't want to pass anything on to her.  She's another sweetheart.I think everyone in town knows her.

Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving, aka "Black Friday"), we set out for the mall in the nearest big city.  Yes, the mall.  On Black Friday.  I had to go.  It's tradition.  Several years ago when we were visiting, Keith's mom decided that she didn't like the look of Keith's shoes and that he needed new ones.  Not willing to take "no" for an answer, she swept us off to the mall and the shoe section of Sears.  Once we were there, she decided that it was only fair that I got a new pair of shoes as well.  I really protested this, but to no avail.  It's been our Thanksgiving tradition ever since. 

The shopping trip doesn't always fall on Black Friday.  Usually, it's a couple of days before Thanksgiving, but our trip schedule was different this year.  Honestly, I'm not wild about this tradition.  It's terribly sweet of her, but shoes aren't cheap.  I hate her spending that much money on us, especially when we don't often actually need the shoes.  Right now, I am wearing a pair I bought two years ago at the JC Penney Outlet that closed here.  I wear shoes until they have no life left in them before getting rid of them.  I still have pairs from the last two years to get to before wearing the pair we got this trip.  It feels like a wasteful use of her money to me.

Still, it's her money, her choice.  She is being sweet, and I don't want to hurt her feelings.  I thought we weren't going to do it this year.  I had Keith talked into finding an alternative--I had suggested going to a different town, doing some fun shopping, having coffee, and just hanging out for a while.  He's not any more of a fan of the mall than I am, but she would not hear of not getting shoes.

So I have shoes.

I already had Batman boxers.

And Batman socks.  Because Batman socks. And clearance. These were free by the way.  I used Keith's Sears points to pay for them.

Oh, yeah.  I may have gotten a bit of thrifting in.  Just maybe.  Hee hee hee!  Tune in later for that.

So, today, I am wandering out for the first time since we got back.  I have got to get over to the booth, which I know has to be a total wreck at this point.  It's been nearly two weeks since I have been there. True to booth logic, however, the longer I go without coming over, the stronger sales get.  Seriously.  December is young, but it's strong.

Which is good because November never really caught on.  I was having a mini-rally right before Thanksgiving, which had me thinking I could still pull a good month out, as long as Black Friday weekend was strong--which it wasn't.  It was just average, and so November became average as well.  Average is better than below average, but I was really wanting to build a fall streak of super-duper months.  Color my hopes dashed.

I do need to get out there, as most of my big ticket Christmas stuff has sold, and I need to put more out.  I also need to get caught up on everyone's blogs and emails.  I'll do that this weekend.  There's an indoor all Christmas yard sale at a church that I'm planning to hit, plus a library book sale.  Our favorite holiday event is Saturday night, and I am looking forward to that as well.

I think I still have time to pull off all the holiday surprises I had planned for the blog, so keep checking back.  A little vintage.  A little oddity.  A little cheer.  Just the way I like to celebrate. 

Stay warm and stay well..

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Sickbed Rambles

How are you?  I am sick.  Not just sick.  Sick, SICK, SICK! The kind that lasts for days and leaves you flat on your back in bed wishing for the sweet release of a NyQuil coma.  Yes.  That sick.

Keith was down with a cold for most of the week before we left for Arkansas.  I did my best to avoid catching it, but the night before we left it was pretty obvious it had caught me.  By Thanksgiving, I was a wreck.  I ate dinner, then went back to the hotel and totally crashed out for the rest of the day.  Friday, I seemed to be doing better.  Saturday, we left, and I thought the worst was behind me.


Sunday, I felt worse than ever before and just stayed in bed with Chiquito curled beside me.  Yesterday, Keith called our doctor for some meds, while I stayed in bed.  I'm starting to feel better today, but I am sick of coughing and wheezing like an old bagpipe.  Also my head still hurts.

Needless to say, this has pretty well screwed up my week.  I still haven't even unpacked yet!  Hopefully, I'll be a little more back in the swing of things tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm going to take more meds and go back to bed.