Christmas decor and the stuff of nightbears.

The Nut House has officially been Noëlified. Lights, baubles, action!

As I was putting up the lights, I discovered that the small string that customarily goes around our equally small bedroom window has finally decked its last hall, so to speak, so I stopped by the hardware store to grab a new one. While I was there, I figured it couldn’t hurt to grab a nice new long set to replace the several ancient shorter ones I’d cobbled together in past holiday seasons to go around our large living room window.

It was a good idea. Trouble was, I’d forgotten that I’d already had the same good idea last year (this is why you take full inventory of things before running out to buy stuff), making me now the proud owner of two nice long sets of lights but only one large living room window.

Ah, yes, it’s all coming back to me now. How I triumphantly cannibalized the ratty old small strings for spare bulbs with which to replace all the burnt out ones keeping my artificial tree from lighting up.

There were only five non-working bulbs on the tree this year. A vast improvement over last year’s…oh, I don’t know…ALL OF THEM. Still, the tree always insists on having its little quirks. Even with all the faulty bulbs replaced, the bottom half stubbornly refused to light up for a good minute.

Then I either breathed on it in a way it liked or else the phrase “goddammit you needy fucking tree WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” holds some kind of arcane power when shouted at faux evergreens because the tree suddenly decided it was glow time and I didn’t need to throttle it after all.

Meanwhile, I’m fairly certain my elderly recluse of a next door neighbor uses the appearance of my wreath to determine when to put up his own, because every year without fail his goes up on the door exactly one day after mine.  Which I find kind of sweet, except, just like every year, there’s this small wayward piece of faded curling ribbon dangling from the bottom of his that is entirely out of place and drives me batty.

Is Neighbor Hermit blind? Does he not own scissors? I want so badly to snip it that little eyesore ribbon off. I feel like I’d be doing him a favor. Except for all I know he likes it that way or purposely leaves it there for some other reason, and who am I to mess with his status quo? It’s the holidays. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to all, even if I have to go quietly mad to make it happen.

Actually, I lied. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to everyone except this fucking bear:

I had to buy a replacement headlight bulb over the weekend and I saw this monstrosity threatening Nutty Hubby and I from the window of Home Depot as we passed by on our way to Canadian Tire.

I’m sure whoever designed this plush robotic nightmarebear was trying to make it look like he wants a hug, but if that’s their idea of a hug then I feel really bad for all their friends and loved ones because this bear looks more like it’s ready to fucking rumble.

Even Nutty Hubby, lover of all things horror, stopped in his tracks and was like, “Jesus, do these people hate children?”

Hush little baby, don’t you cry
Beary’s gonna punch you right in the eye
And if that doesn’t make you sleep
Beary’s gonna kill your family!

Better act fast, friends. Only 20 shopping days left to get your very own Robo Murder Bear before Christmas!

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I’m glad to be with you, here at the end of all things.

Well, here we are at the end of November.

Yep, we’re here all right.

I was hoping I’d have some good news or bad news or big news or any news for my last post of the month so I could end Nano Poblano with a bang, but I realized after a whole day of half-hearted brainstorming that there’s really nothing I can currently write that will live up to to the hype of yesterday’s Big Bang of Supreme Facepalmery.

That said, today was one of those days where I just felt really good for no particular reason, so in honor of the thirtieth day of the month and this rare window of optimism, here are thirty things I’m currently grateful for:

1. Nutty Hubby, for being so fucking awesome and making me feel fucking awesome by association.

2. My incredibly understanding boss, who knows I can’t stand my job and is backing my escape plan every step of the way.

3. The animal shelter, for giving me the opportunity to do some of the most fulfilling and meaningful work of my life, a few hours at a time.

4. The new kitty who climbed right up into my lap today and made herself at home even though it was her first day in a strange, scary place and she had no reason to trust me.

5. Kitties in general.

6. Kitty headbutts.

7. Kitty chin skritches.

8. Li’l kitty toe beans.

9. Rats and other assorted small animals that make me go  “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” with giddy joy from their sheer adorableness.

10. I had to go in for a Pap test today. That wasn’t particularly fantastic in itself, but now I don’t have to go for another one for three years. So yay for that. (BTW I know that was a weird jump in subject matter from rats to Paps, but to be fair, “Oh rats!” is usually my first reaction upon finding out I’m due for a Pap.)

11. Doctors who make sure the speculum is warm so it doesn’t feel like having an icicle shoved up your hoo-ha.

12. The Elimination Diet of Sadness has helped identify several foods that were sneakily making me feel shitty.

13. The Elimination Diet of Sadness has helped exonerate several foods that I thought were making me feel shitty but weren’t.

14. The Elimination Diet of Sadness has somehow made me learn to love sweet potatoes, which I previously couldn’t stand.

15. The Elimination Diet of Sadness is almost over.

16. Cast iron pans, for making everything they touch extra delicious.

17. The grocery store having fresh shrimp again instead of the tasteless “previously frozen” excuse for shrimp they carry when fresh isn’t available. (Yes, I’m a seafood snob. So sue me.)

18. Aurora golden gala apples. Best. Apples. Ever. (I might be an apple snob too.)

19. A hot cup of tea.

20. Warm fuzzy socks.

21. Microwaveable heat packs.

22. Memory foam pillows.

23. Sleeping in on the weekend.

24. Itty bitty birds chirping happy birdie songs outside my window.

25. Finally catching up on my reading and discovering several spectacularly written I-have-to-work-in-three-hours-but-I-can’t-put-this-down new favorites to add to my library.

26. I start Christmas-ifying the apartment tomorrow. MY SOUL IS READY.

27. The smell of holiday baking.

28. The television of holiday baking (Holiday Baking Championship and Christmas Cookie Challenge, anyone?).

29. Holiday music in the key of Bing Crosby.

30. The fucking awesome people who inexplicably still stop by to read this sad excuse for a blog even after it spends occasional eons lying dormant in a pool of its own filth and self-pity. I don’t fully understand why you keep coming back, but I love you for it, you magnificent weirdos.

And with that, Nano Poblano draws to a close for another year. Happy December, my dears. I hope it brings each and every one of you joy, laughter, and at least 31 more things to be grateful for.

And once this bloody diet is done, I hope it delivers me five times my weight in eggnog to suck down my greedy gullet.

This is Nano Nutty, signing off. I promise I’ll try not to be such a stranger around here.

It’s a boy! It’s a girl! It’s an $8,000,000 disaster!

Gender reveal parties are stupid.

There, I said it.

Granted, as someone who would rather die than create and incubate a small new human which would then repay me by tearing its way into the world via my delicate lady bits, I may be ever so slightly biased.

I (hypothetically) understand why finding out the gender of a baby would be exciting and something worth sharing, I just don’t get why it has to be such a circus. “We have happy news! Come stand around at our house for two hours while we string you along before finally letting you watch us lift a rabbit out of a hat holding a carrot which when cut open will reveal vegetable weevils that have been dyed either blue or pink!”

It’s like on all those cooking competition shows where Gordon Ramsay stalls for twenty minutes before actually announcing whose dish won them a tiny advantage in the next round and you just want to strangle him.

“There were many impressive contenders in the battle to fertilize Heather’s egg. But there can only be one winner. Which sperm had the drive and motivation to rise to the occasion? Was it an X or a Y chromosome of Dan’s that found the perfect pairing with Heather’s X? It’s time to find out. And so…without any further ado…I am so very pleased to announce…that the winner…of the battle to knock Heather up…the gender that I am about to reveal…the child that will be growing up under its lucky parents’ roof for the next 18 years…after an incredible performance during Heather and Dan’s successful act of procreative love…please join me in congratulating this wonderful husband and wife as they welcome…”

Like, enough already. What’s wrong with just, y’know, telling your friends in passing and letting everyone get on with their lives? Sure, have a small gathering if you’re the happy hostess type and you want to blurt the joyful news out en masse and in person. Just don’t make all your invitees wait for the next ice age before you pop your confetti-filled balloon or slice your overpriced layer cake down the middle. And if your guest list absolutely must comprise more than a hundred people, spring for a JumboTron so the people in the back can actually see what the fuck is going on.

Also, try not to set anything on fire.

know it’s just not a baby-related event without guns and highly volatile explosives, but do your best to rein yourself in.

That kid’s gonna cost you enough without an eight million dollar fine on top of it all.

You get a kick in the ass! And you get a kick in the ass!

It’s one of those days at work. The kind where everything goes wrong for the dumbest of reasons and you want to murder everyone even more than usual, which if we’re being honest is already a lot.

However, as murder is generally frowned upon in the workplace (even when your coworkers are as inept as mine? yes, even then, dang it) I’ll have to settle for giving everyone a big ol’ kick in the ass instead.

The manager who I constantly have to chase down for missing paperwork and who still can’t spell my four letter name correctly after seven years? He gets a kick in the ass.

The coworker who after five years still doesn’t understand how warranty exchanges work and paid a massive bill for a rotable part outright when she should have waited for a credit memo, just like the NINE BILLION OTHER TIMES WE HAVE EXCHANGED PARTS UNDER WARRANTY? She gets a kick in the ass.

The manager who blamed me for “letting” my dumb shit coworker pay said massive bill, as if I’m supposed to be looking over her shoulder at all times making sure she doesn’t do anything stupid? She gets a kick in the ass.

The contractor who only just now, in November, has decided to dispute his wages for the period of February through June, causing me to have to go back through our records and audit his hours for those five months? You better believe he gets a kick in the ass.

The IT guy walking by and telling me to smile because I look too frowny while I go through and add up five months’ worth of scrawled time sheets? Kick + ass = he gets it.

When I worked retail, I once had a customer tell me not to wish him a nice day. When I asked why, he said, “I’ve made other plans.”

If that grumpy old man were a workplace, it would be mine. I swear this dump and the people in it are determined not to let one single iota of joy or job satisfaction run free within their domain.

So they all get a kick in the ass.

You’ll float too.

You’d think a place like Vancouver, known for its rain, would have made more of an effort to improve its drainage systems over the years. But every year it’s the same routine; waterlogged bike lanes, swampy sidewalks, and lakes where streets should be. The City pretends to care and tells you to report these things when you see them, but then fuck-all gets done about it.

Well, that’s not completely true. There’s always the Adopt a Catch Basin program!

That’s right folks, you too could sign up to spend your free time digging disentegrating leaves, discarded food wrappers and slimy cigarette butts out of our Atlantean city’s storm drain grates for absolutely no compensation and minimal recognition!

It’ll be fun! Bring the kids! Bring the toy boat!

When it comes to teaching a child how to give back to the community, Emily Lefebvre thinks it’s best to start early.

That’s why the 37-year-old enlisted in Vancouver’s Adopt a Catch Basin — a city-sponsored community program that encourages residents to keep a storm drain unclogged.

“We thought it would be something fun to do with our three-year-old daughter — just teach her a little bit about community spirit,” Lefebvre told CBC News.

Forget community spirit; think what she’ll learn about community buoyancy! After all, we all float down here!

Elf Alone: Lost in New York

Yesterday a bunch of us watched Elf with a friend who’d never seen it before.

(Yes, I have friends. I know, I’m surprised too.)

I love watching movies with people who are experiencing them for the first time. Will they love it? Will they hate it? Will they find it scary or boring or hilarious or overrated or beautiful? Will they lose their shit giggling at the same things you do or will they die laughing at something you never really noticed before?

Those are my favorite moments: when your friend points out or laughs uncontrollably at something you might not have picked up on or found funny on your own; the moments that really let you see the movie through new eyes.

There were a lot of those with Elf, but by far the most memorable was when Buddy is preparing for Santa’s arrival at the department store and dumps a bucket of LEGO out onto the floor.

Those of us who’ve seen the film know the fantastic sculpture-in-progress Buddy has in store for us two cuts later, but Roslyn, totally in the dark and mystified, blurted out, “Wh-why is he throwing LEGO on the floor?” When the answer presented itself a few seconds later, she burst into peals of laughter.

“Oh my god,” she gasped. “For a minute I thought he was pulling some kind of Home Alone shit with the LEGO and I was like, ‘Why would you try to hurt Santa? I thought you loved him!'”

Of course that set the rest of us off, because the mental image of Buddy going all Kevin McCallister trap happy on his beloved boss in red was too much to handle, and the rest of Buddy’s decorating spree was drowned out by a discussion of just how insane and potentially awesome an Elf-ed up version of Home Alone would be.

For the record, I would totally pay to see that movie.

Forbidden Stroopwafel.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m something of an enthusiast when it comes to nail polish.

To be more accurate, I own a metric fuckton of the stuff. And I just keep buying more. Because I can never have enough nail polish. Never.

There are always new colors to try. New finishes. New special effects. I have creme polishes and shimmery polishes, magnetic polishes and textured polishes, multichrome and holographic and UV color-changing polishes, and I STILL. WANT. MORE. I NEED THEM ALL.

And because I’m super extra and the selections available at drugstores are boring as fuck, these days I buy most of my nail polish online.

Most of my magnetic polishes, for example, are by a Russian brand that I have sent to me from the Netherlands.

The Netherlands.

I have a problem. A colorful, shiny problem.

Yes. these are all mine. Apparently I was a nail blogger in another life.

But the real problem is that the nice people in the Netherlands who help feed my addiction also just plain feed me. Every package I get from them comes with a tiny complimentary stroopwafel.

A mouthful of heaven right here, folks.

If you’ve never had a stroopwafel and you like things that are sweet and chewy and delicious and fun to say, put eating one of these babies on your bucket list. Just trust me.

I would join you in feasting upon their syrupy goodness, but I can’t, because while my taste buds say yes, that big ol’ buzzkill known as The Elimination Diet of Sadness says no, and them’s the rules for two and a half more weeks.

Until then, my small gift from the Dutch will just have to sit there making waffle-patterned eyes at me.

I feel I can speak with absolutely no amount of hyperbole when I say it’s torture.

On the bright side, my nails look fabulous.

 

Introducing the Booties.

Bad news, everyone. Marilyn and James have vanished into thin air. That didn’t take long. Charilyn still remains, so I guess that’s something, but a lawn chair just isn’t quite able to contribute the same bombshell/heartthrob factor that the other two added to the yard.

Though given the Hollywoodian pair’s papery composition and my city’s knack for attracting large quantities of rain, I suppose it’s for the best.

That said, Marilyn’s wasn’t the only booty you could find around the neighborhood.

I guess Just Right Booty ran off with Goldilocks?