Saturday, April 10, 2010

Deco-demon and other Monsters

Some ebay purchases

I was in a collecting frenzy from the mid 80's until about 2002, my sister and I would haunt flea markets, Rose Bowl, Long Beach, Santa Monica, you name it we were there, We visited every antique store from Santa Barbara down to San Diego. The thrill of the hunt and all that.... Then one day, around 1998, a neighbor came with her sister to photograph my yard, this was at the height of garden collectibles and that was one of my passions at the moment. As we were talking she casually mentioned you must love Ebay, I didn't know what she was referring to, and nodded dumbly, not wanting to admit my computer skills at that point were zero, so I set out to find what it was all about. Asking around at the antique stores and some geeks, I found out what I was missing. From that moment on I was hooked, you could find almost any collectible you wanted online , and for a price it was yours ! Well that would certainly save a lot of gas, plus I could shop at midnight in my pajama's, now this was a dream come true! What I didn't take into account was that I was not the only one doing this. I started bidding wildly on everything, my daughter would often comment I looked like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, plunking away on the keyboard thinking I was controlling something. I kept losing out at the last moment, I was what they refered to on Ebay, a newbie. You don't bid immediately you lurk in the background, pretending you don't want this item you have desired for the last 5 year, then you pounce at the last minute, or snipe as they call it. I started to notice everything I coveted was won by someone called "Deco-demon", so I started watching her bids, her buys, and realized this was my foe, I got to beat her price no matter what, I stayed up until the wee hours sniping like a mad woman, if she bought old ashtrays, I bought old ash trays, no matter that I hadn't smoked since 1978 ! Packages were arriving daily and the feeling of triumph when I outbid my adversary was exhilarating, setting alarms to wake at east coast time, caused me to lose a lot of sleep, but I was the proud owner of a flower pot salt and pepper shaker, it was worth it !! Well I finally came to my senses, it was actually a moment when I realized I might end up like the Collyer Brothers, buried alive in my greed, but as they say "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Last Christmas when my sister and I were doing are annual vintage reindeer sweater hunt on ebay, I noticed they were no longer using names, just stars and a numbers thing, gosh, that takes the fun out of it, you can't get personal, you can't get addicted,you can't let the monsters take hold, they would do wise to rethink that move...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Wanna see a Peep Show"

I have to confess I am one of those people who adore peeps, and this is the peak Peep season. You can now get Peeps year round but they used to be just an Easter treat, causing me to hoard them or as I liked to call it "my peep stash". I would sneak them into my shopping basket and inevitably I would always hear someone behind me announce, "can you believe people eat this crap" as I slinked to the checkout counter pushing my trench coat collar up and putting my sunglasses on . Now Peep lovers are not ashamed to admit their love for this sugary marshmallow treat, they have shows on Food Network, artists use them as a medium and recipes incorporating peeps are actually published. We have really come a long way baby, another thing to be thankful for in this great country of ours. So here's a little bit about peeps.

Peep Facts

In 1953, it took 27 hours to create one Marshmallow Peep. Today, it takes six minutes.

The first Peeps were squeezed one at a time out of a pastry tube and the eyes were painted on by hand. Now, machines create 3,500 Peeps' eyes per minute.

Just Born's Bethlehem, Pa., factory makes more than 1 billion Peeps a year -- that's 4 million Peeps a day.

Americans will eat more than 600 million Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies this Easter.

Popular ways to eat Peeps: stale, microwaved, frozen, roasted, or served as toppings on pizza.

Until 1995, when lavender was added, Peeps only came in three colors: yellow, pink and white. Blue Peeps were hatched for Easter in 1998.

Each Peep has 32 calories (160 calories per five-chick serving) and 0 fat grams.

Yellow Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue, then white.

During Easter, Peeps outsell jelly beans.

Peeps-manufacturer Just Born also makes Hot Tamales, Mike and Ike, Just Born Jelly Beans and Teenee Beanee gourmet jelly beans.

Peep art is quite the thing, and as peeps do not disintegrate,( What !) they are a wonderful medium for artists, as shown in this video from the Washington Post Peep contest .

If you prefer to make your own peeps in the privacy of your kitchen:
Here's a recipe for homemade peeps from twig and thistle

Well maybe after reading that it's a lot easier to run down to your nearest CVS in your trenchcoat and sunglasses.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter's beloved books have always been a favorite and none are more appropriate at this time of year than "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny" Their escapades in
Mr. McGregor's gardens are perfect family entertainment. Beatrix Potter earned enough money from these books to purchase her beloved Hill Top farm, which upon her death was given to the National Trust of Great Britain. It is located in the beautiful Lake District area.

"The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny'' is a very well done collection for children and adults as it is partially real actors mixed with animation. I promise you will enjoy it, as you get a peek into Potter's home and village.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Flying Down to Rio"

I was watching "Flying Down to Rio" on Turner recently and was fascinated by the ballet on the wings scene, considering the movie was made in 1933 this was truly a great demonstration of special effects. This got me to thinking just how awful flying is these days. I try to avoid taking any trip that involves flight to get there, because it takes me most of the holiday to recover from the ordeal! Arriving at the airport hours early, waiting in line with shoes off to be inspected, herded to your waiting area, and then stuffed into a seat that would be uncomfortable for a three year old, and you pay for this !?!! Couldn't they just remove a few seats from coach for a little leg room, couldn't they make the bathroom a tiny bit bigger, does every inch of the plane have to be filled with a passenger, it really is a form of torture. Flying used be fun, as witnessed by the photos above, even the pilots were blissfully happy ! Who wouldn't have loved to see those Braniff flight attendants arriving in those helmets, that would have been worth the ticket price! I haven't even mentioned the food or lack of it, today that child in the picture above would have been presented with an empty tray! I'm also sure if the airlines could, they would strap a few more people onto the wings as they did in that dance scene in "Flying Down to Rio"!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cats vs. Dogs

My dogs

I'm very much a dog person, I love their neediness, their faithfulness, their desire to please. You can never enter your home without them rising to greet you, even from the deepest sleep. " Wow , you're home again, boy did we miss you , oh this is so great, we thought you were gone for good...." and on and on, until you finally say "Enough ! " Now cats on the other hand are entirely different. They start out as irresistible kittens, couldn't be cuter and it's a love affair. Then one day they look up and it's as though they see you for the first time through very clear eyes, "God, this one's really an idiot, I better keep an eye on her". They study you from a distance, with that aloof air about them, utterly bored by your every move. They suddenly know they can get on very well without you, but if you insist on staying they will tolerate you. I have to say my friends with cats are beginning to win me over with their wonderful pictures and stories of their pets. Delightful cat videos that melt your heart and I start thinking maybe I have this all wrong, Then I come across a video like the one below. Maybe I have it right.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dreaming of Spring

Spring is here for such a short while, you look out one day and it is gone. That's perhaps why it is loved by so many, it doesn't get tiresome by lingering at the door with its goodbyes. So this year I am going to enjoy every moment of it and savour its beauty.

The Most Beautiful Flower Garden - Funny blooper videos are here