University lectures officially finished today…and I am embracing three weeks of final exams and pencil chewing ahead of me. But before I dive into my books without a life boat or compas for safe return, I thought it was only right I got a little seasonal. No, it’s not that time of month…I mean that time of year.
I love the Christmas season and it starts for me when I feel the smell of oranges and clementines. Yesterday Mom went shopping and brought home a basket full of oranges and so Christmas season started this year on a Monday, around tea time.
The reason I love this smell so much goes all the way back to East Germany. No, it was not a country known for its unlimited growth of various citrus fruits. I am not sure what we were known for, if anything…maybe communism and a passion for unfortunate haircuts.
East Germany was rather poor, from hindsight of course. As a kid I didn’t think I lacked anything, simply because I did not have a frame of reference to anything else but the neighbours kids, who wore the same kind of boots and Auntie Agnes did cut their hair too.
Christmas was special even back then. I always knew the Season approached when an envelop with a fancy stamp arrived. In that rather unassuming envelope was a white sheet of paper; on it was a date, some other numbers and little tickets, usually green. The date mentioned when a special delivery would arrive to our local store and the green tickets (special Christmas food stamps) showed how much had been alotted to our particular family that year.
Christmas was all about that day. The entire village would get ready early in the morning and stand in line of the still closed store. Konsum, we used to call it. The doors opened and people moved along; nobody skipping in line, we are German after all. When our family got to the front, my Mom used to give our green stamps to the lady at the counter. She would turn around and I’d see the world’s most beautiful thing: the pile of oranges. So many of them and the lady would count the appropriate amount into my Mom’s bag. I always counted feverishly with her, hoping she’d make a mistake in our favor. Never happened and to this day I can still count all the way up to 5 without much effort.
Usually there was one orange per person. The centerpiece of the Christmas table. I used to roll mine over my arms because I loved how they felt and smelled. And when I finally had eaten mine, I put the rind on top of the massive stone-oven and a smell would fill the air of the room that today has come to mean that the Season is upon me! That, and the darn Coca Cola song of wanting to buy the world a coat…
So what triggers your senses, what is an absolute must for you to feel Christmassy or just how much of a Grinch are you? Anything goes…share!
I said I would continue my weekly input into the Snark under the condition that I could go on about school as much as I like. Since I sorta like you lot, I try to pick out the fun stuff and regurgitate it here for your convenience. Today I learned about the eye and how the sense of sight works, apart from seeing dead people, of course!
To demonstrate I need you to do something for me. Just go with it for a second. Follow my instructions and really give it a go. Some time ago our very own CYM did a wonderful post about visual illusions, and when Snuppy has nothing better to do I encourage her to put a link, right about HERE!
For those of you who have already done this, there is hot chocolate and cake in the back, now be quiet!
Stare at the blue dots while you count slowly to 30.
Then close your eyes and tilt your head back. A circle of light will slowly appear. Keep looking at it.
Did you see it, if you are not impressed, you did it wrong. Do it again. If you smiled and wondered what just happened, please proceed :
Try this again, but look at a white wall after 30 seconds.
Do you still see it?
Now enquiring minds would like to know how to explain this. An obliging Penguin will attempt an answer, with the help of textbook and the web…naturally…yes, I was born in Germany but I haven’t found a relative link to Einstein yet, so why pretend?!
Most people see an ‘apparition’ of a man. When you look at a white wall, the image appears much bigger.
Staring at the bright white areas of the picture tires out some of the light-sensitive detectors in your retina (at the back of your eye).
When you then closed your eyes – or looked at a white wall – you see a negative after-image. The areas that were white now look black.
Being the good researcher that I am, I used my Mom and let her do this as well, as I observed her closely. I encouraged her to tell me what was happening while she visualized. She said: “I see hearts, two of them…wait…oh bugger, are you kiddin’ me? Jesus Christ!”
It’ll be a miracle if you don’t laugh your as… er, head off at Humor-blogs.com.
…AND you never pick up. Sorry, heh heh. That’s just us being silly. Oh, like that comes as a surprise to any of you (the 2 or 5 who are still reading our drivel, that is).
ANYWHOOO, if any of you are anything like any of us — and believe us when we tell you we hope that’s NOT the case — you started gettin’ excited by the new iPhone the minute you first heard about it. Maybe not so much “excited” as “curious”, but that’s beside the point. Our point, for we found one after calling 411, is that those new iPhones look pretty darn cool. Well, okay, so the fact that over half-a bazillion of those iPhone thingies were sold on the first day, before the Good and Well-Intended Folks at Apple ran out and were forced into hiding until more iPhones can be manufactured, was also a good indication they’re destined to be more popular than sliced bread, but that, too, is beside the point. Our point, besides the one we just shared with you 3 sentences ago, is that, iPhones are a big deal. Probably because they look so darn cool.
SOME folks find this cause for mild concern — as we happily discovered after reading THIS AMUSING COMMENTARY by one of our new regularish readers — but we say, bring it on. As long as we don’t have to buy, one, that is, because, really, we have trouble operating our dishwasher. Do we need a thing that combines all that’s frustrating about telephones/computers/DVRs/cook books/GPS’s in one device roughly the size of a credit card? With controls so tiny we couldn’t see ’em if we tried? No, we’re not gettin’ anywhere near those things. Trust us, we’re not as stupid as we look and/or would look if we ever got an iPhone and were then unable to activate and/or use it.
WHATEV. We saw this HILARIOUS iPHONE RELATED VIDEO the other day, and basically wanted an excuse to share it. Far as we can tell, we’ve done that. Okay, besides linking to that slice of iPhone related hilarity, we confess we also wanted to share the phollowing phone-related pheature, because, well, we think it’s phunny, too. We also love the phact that it reminds us of a kinder/gentler time, when phones were phones, and operators were great sources of gossip.
HAHAHA. Don’t mind us. As you know, we’re nothing, if not easily amused. And, trust us, Lily Tomlin’s performance as one of our favorite characters from one of our all-time FAVORITE SHOWS is, in our opinion, a comedy gem. *snort snort*
One ringy-dingy may be all it takes to connect to Humor-blogs.com.
We all have said it, we all have felt it and looking into the mirror, it takes serious delusion plus some altering medication to believe otherwise.
The other day I read a tag-post on our very own lampshade lady´s site. And it made me think. What did I do 10 years ago? Yesterday seems to have gone so quick, last week certainly flew by and don´t even get me started on where June went and if it even made an appearance.
10 years? A lot has happened. Some of you had kids and saw them going to their first school day, some of you opened your own company, some of you met someone and went down a different track than you thought you would…10 years is a major step into the next leg of your life. Granted, some of you still watch the 257th re-run of Star Trek epsiode 37 , series 15 “The escape to Nemisis” in your mom´s basement … but hey, whatever beams you up!
This goes out to all that have done the best with what they were given at the time.
Here´s my top three countdown of the things that made my last ten years worthwile, a little scary and absolutely necessary:
• 3) I moved to Iceland in 1997, leaving behind hurt, no prospects and an amazing pair of red rubber boots! I found my family herre, lots of hope and realized the rainbow had more colors than just red.. although I´ve never been a huge fan of orange, it looks quite lovely next to yellow.
• 2) I figured I was just smart enough to move above the low expectations my birth environment demanded of me and reading a book wasn’t as hard as I thought it´d be, so I enrolled in the university and even did well. Don’t worry, I won’t turn Narcissa on you … after all it was my mom that dragged me kicking and screaming to the sign-up. She is so pushy, someone needs to talk to her and with all that education she is insisting that I mow the lawn. What?
• 1) I discovered myself…learned that you can’t please everybody, someone is bound to not like you. Having your thoughts, opinions and feelings makes you you. And once you actually stop self-deception, the people that are compatable with your complex structure of weird inclinations, will see and make you shine. Although when they start to demand you polish your shoes, it´s time to branch out!
This makes me happy, it all mattered in putting me right here, typing this..10 years well spent, I think!
Now I encourage you to take a minute and look back over your last ten years, what´s the first thing that comes to mind and are you willing to share?
Would you look at the time? I have to run…!
This is not humorous, it´s kinda melancholy…just thought I´d warn you! I was trying to come up with something else, but when your head is wrapped around something…it is hard to focus on anything else.
I had a Nightshift yesterday. Most of you know that I am working in a Nursing Home to pay for my studies. Many of you know that I like my job. Some of you know that I think it is really tough. We have a couple staying with us, decent people…a bit picky when it comes to food, but tolerable…always inseperable. I remember them telling me that 60 years or more they have lived and breathed side by side. I liked them alright. Last night, the woman died and left a husband devestated and so alone.
This goes out to all who have “loved and lost”.
I entered the nightshift and I could immediately tell something was off…there is a certain energy surrounding death that you can´t escape. I have been around this for years, it doesn´t frighten me. Sometimes I even think “about time” when a last journey took too long and involved too much pain. This was different; the ward was asleep, everything silent when suddenly my eyes fell on a man sitting hunched on a chair, not moving much…almost apathic.
After I got my report I went over to him and I could see there was little I could do. He wasn’t crying, he wasn’t doing much of anything, except breathing …it seemed every breath was a mountain he had to climb. I followed him to his room and made him comforatble in his chair and then I just talked…about everything that was going on in my head…no red threat connecting the different stories; I told him about the colour of the sea I noticed that morning while walking and about the lady that shoved her cart into me at the shopping mall and didn’t even apologize and how I was thinking about going back to university next fall. I talked until I felt I needed a glass of water and when I stood up he asked me not to go. I told him about one of my favourite poets, Emily Dickinson and recited this poem for him:
“Apparently with no surprise
To any happy Flower
The Frost beheads it at its play —
In accidental power —
The blonde Assassin passes on —
The Sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another Day
For an Approving God.”
He asked me to translate it into Icelandic and I hesitated, I felt it was not my place. He insisted and I mentioned it was about death, he said he had some experience in that area and told me to go ahead. I did a lousy job, grammatically wrong I am sure and not doing any justice to my beloved poet, but he listened and he started to talk. He wasn’t as understanding or accepting as Miss Dickinson was…but he was talking.
We made pancakes at around 4 in the morning, he didn’t have any…but suggested a bit of orange juice squeezed into the dough and they tasted lovely.
~ Penguin out
Filed under: ponderings
INDULGE us for a moment, will ya? You see, we’re feeling a little verklempt after learning that one of our favorite actors from one of our all-time favorite films of all-times passed away yesterday. We’re speaking, of course, of PETER BOYLE — the man who played many roles throughout his career, including Ray Romano’s curmudgeonly father, Frank Barone, on TV’s EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, and the “monster” in the aforementioned all-time-favorite film, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN— who died of multiple myeloma and heart disease at the very young age of 71.
ANYWAY, we hope you don’t mind if we turn today’s post into a teensie tribute to this lovely actor. Not that it matters if you do, because we plan to do one anyway. Still, we did say “teensie”, which means we’ll limit our “tribute” to a classic clip* of BOYLE at his comedic best. In our own minds, it doesn’t get much better than the following video. By way of set up, the scene you’re about to see occurs after the “monster”escapes Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, and lost and confused, finds himself at the door of a lonely blind hermit, played with needy brilliance by Gene Hackman. As far as we’re concerned, Boyle’s facial expressions alone make this worth the time it takes to watch.
WE don’t know if any of you guys liked this actor (we’re fairly certain many of you did). We don’t even know if he was well-loved by his peers (we’re fairly certain he was). We do know he made us laugh with his droll delivery and subtle-yet-expressive mannerisms, and we’re gonna miss him.
*You might need to crank up the volume, since we thought the level seemed low. Of course, that just may be old age rearing its ugly-hearing-impaired head at us again. Damn that old age. Bad enough a favorite actor dies, did we really need to have our own mortality rubbed in our faces and/or ears, too?
Ok, I checked the Calender and I couldn´t find any American Holiday this post might interfere with. In case I can´t read: Happy *insert holiday here* to all of you! I know in Icleand it is just plain old Wednesday, which I think is an odd name for a weekday. If you care to eleborate on how this name came into being: now is not the time!
Anyways…I thought it would be fun if we all did a little quiz today. Logo usually has one up by Tuesday, but not this week. I am a habitual creature and sometimes you just have to do it yourself! So HERE it goes!
If you don´t feel like quizzing (what is wrong with you?) listen to the beat of this:
If you don´t like this either: come back tomorrow!