Randyland, Randyland

There’s a place called Randyland that is very close to where I live. It’s one of those places where you can’t take a proper photo of it. Well, maybe you can. I can’t. And of course I tried.


These were taken around 3:30-4 pm at the end of December. Randy of Randyland told us that it looks different at different times of the year, from different vantage points and of course at different parts of the day.


Same time, same time of year. That’s Randy in the lower left corner. I still can’t get a decent photo of this thing. It’s huge. Those are not 12-ounce bottles up there. The thing in the middle of that eye up there is a glass vessel the size and shape of a human head.


Right now the whole thing is kind of a Virgin de Guadalupe with a huge eye next to it, but Randy noted that it’s always changing. It’s been about 17 different things in the past 20 years.


Ugh. My photos. So inadequate. Go here and here for better pictures and a better sense of scale, preferably while listening to “Happyland” by Harpers Bizarre (written by Randy Newman). Then keep an eye out for a scheduled tour, or bug Randy yourself for a private showing. It’s viewable from the street, but so much better when you can see the thousand bottled little suns from their proper vantage point.

Poe tay toe salad

Ladies, remember: listening to your emotions will make you fat. Or a nazi.

Wait – that’s a terrible message.

Oh, wait again – boredom isn’t an emotion.

Ladies, being bored will make you fat. Or a nazi.

 

Published in: on January 20, 2018 at 7:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Haircuts of the day

When reading about this Felix the Cat novelty song, I learned about a haircut called the shingle different from what I knew in the ’80s as a shingle. As one does, I quickly fell down a rabbit hole of ’20s hairstyles. Coconut bob. Eton crop. Cottage loafEarphones and cootie garages. None of which make any sense for Felix. Who gives a cat a haircut?

Word of the day for Tuesday, January 9th

I don’t know where you are, but where I am we had a lovely

sunshower today, after quite a bit of normal dark and stormy-type rain. It was quite nice. “But I know the word ‘sunshower’,” you might be saying. “Everyone knows that a sunshower is a rain shower that occurs while the sun is shining.” Well, smarty, you might know, but apparently not everyone does.

In some parts of the United States, a sunshower is known as a pineapple shower… and even more frequently, it is known as “the devil is beating his wife” or “the wolf is giving birth.”  Apparently the devil is beating is his wife because he’s mad that God made such a beautiful day and he has to take it out on someone. I don’t know why the wolf is giving birth.

Turns out, most of the world has pretty interesting names and meanings for the phenomenon of rain falling while the sun is shining. To wit:

  • it’s the wolf’s wedding in Algeria, France and Morocco
  • it’s the fox’s wedding in Bangladesh, Galicia, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and parts of India
  • it’s the jackal’s wedding in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • it’s the monkey’s wedding in parts of South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Zimbabwe, parts of India and the Sudan
  • species are intermarrying in other parts of South Africa (jackal and wolf), Korea (tiger and fox), Sudan (monkey and donkey), parts of India (crow and fox)
  • gypsies are getting married in Croatia, Macedonia and Albania
  • witches are either getting married (Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic), combing their hair (Catalonia) or making butter (Poland)
  • ghosts are either getting married (parts of India) or just making the rain (Hawaii)
  • a zombie is trying to get his wife to give him some salty food in Haiti
  • Hell is having a carnival according to the people in Netherlands and Belgium
  • It’s a glitter waterfall in Canada
  • It’s a vitterväder in Sweden (if anyone who knows Swedish can explain what “vitterväder” means, I will update this post. I have to say I am intrigued, as Wikipedia sends me to a post about Vittra/Vittror, which are apparently trolls with cows? Please tell me more)

Wow. I grew up in a boring place. We just knew it as a sunshower. I guess that’s what I get for growing up in Sunnyvale.

Won’t wake up, won’t eat his cereal

As someone who spent some time in bed sick this week, I can attest that sleeping too much can give you some very strange dreams. Wake up, gosling.

Birth of a notion

Well, it looks like my first post of 2018 is going to break some of my rules here. One rule is that I shouldn’t just repost a cute Twitter meme, the second rule is that I shouldn’t give undue attention to a tweet that doesn’t give a link to its original source clearly, and the third rule is that I shouldn’t just regurgitate another article that has been on another site that you, faithful Notioner, may already be a fan of. But I’m going to break these rules because I don’t feel like I’ve seen other people in my social media feeds posting about these special little guys, the tweet brought this to a whole new level, and I feel like the article about these special little guys points to a timeframe when a superstition may have been cooked up. “What special little guys?” you may ask. “LUCKY LEMON PIGLETS,” I roar thunderously in response.

Yeah, I had to make a screenshot of the image in question because embedding a tweet with an image is not working here. And that’s also a rule I don’t like to break but I figure we’re so far down the copyright/attribution rabbit hole that it’s easier to explain with words rather than links at this point. So, the blog Grannie Pantries found this delightful creature in an Alcoa corporate-sponsored party booklet, Twitter user 70s Dinner Party reposted it, 70s Dinner Party followers responded with their own special little guys adorable and terrifying, and now if you go into a particular corner of Twitter you will be stampeded with Lemon Pigs.

Then Atlas Obscura stepped in, did some excellent research, and found that lemon pigs are some weird thing that cropped up in the late 1800s and then sort of disappeared (I mean, not really; they just lost popularity, apparently, though how this could happen, I do not know). They were a thing that kids made to amuse themselves, “like ‘walnut witches’ and cornhusk dolls.” And this was the point where I started to feel a little ripped off as a kid, because I was made aware of cornhusk dolls but not of walnut witches and certainly the only 1800s citrus/clove craft I was ever taught was the “make your mother a lovely orange sachet that she will love!” bullshit that we all fell for.

And then Atlas Obscura brought up something more – the fact that the old lemon pigs didn’t have pennies in their mouths, nor were they designated as lucky. AO posits that the Alcoa folks made the lucky part up, and that this is a fake superstition, but… maybe not? Maybe something happened in that short period when they stopped appearing in children’s craft books and the party book? A desperate former copywriter turned stay-at-home mom jammed a penny into her child’s toy’s mouth so the kid wouldn’t cram it up her own nose, and then she immediately got a call from the Alcoa Aluminum Company offering her a $25,000 advance on a party book? I don’t know. All I know is that I look at that pig and I know his luck isn’t fake. That is a magic special little guy.

Never brought to mind

As the extremely legit-looking scientist says, “If things don’t get worse, they definitely will get better.” All I know is that my shadow feels so very, very long right now and I’m ready for a fresh start. Good luck with 2018, everybody.

Published in: on December 31, 2017 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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Yule love it

There’s still time to listen to some Kmart holiday music from 1974 and snuggle up by the candy corn fire.

Merry Christmas!

Published in: on December 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The night before the day before

Sometimes during the holidays you don’t get a Christmas-y cartoon on Saturday morning. Sometimes you get a Christmas-y horror movie on Saturday night.

Yeti Christmas, everybody.

Published in: on December 23, 2017 at 6:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Etiquette & superstition: sweaters with buttons


It’s finally sweater weather here in Los Angeles. 62 degrees right now. Don’t laugh. My blood is so thin it’s almost a mist.

ETIQUETTE: If you’re a man looking to snazz up your suit a bit, you might consider adding a cardigan under your jacket in place of a waistcoat. To make this look fashionable rather than frumpy, the Men’s Flair blog says you should follow the same rule as you would a waistcoat and leave the bottom button unbuttoned. There is also a bit of discussion on same blog about whether you should also leave the top button of the cardigan undone, eventually getting to the conclusion that “… some consider this a little too informal, even rakish as the ‘mock waistcoat’ effect is no longer being followed, and the cardigan is essentially playing by its own rules, or rather, the wanton extravagance of its wearer.” Ouch.

SUPERSTITION: If you knit a sweater for your beloved, they will leave you unless you knit a strand of your own hair into the garment. Putting your arms through the arms of a sweater before you put your head through the neckhole will protect you from drowning. This is really easy with a cardigan because a cardigan doesn’t even have a neckhole until you button it up. For even more luck, put your right arm through before the left arm.

If you have a sweater with an even number of buttons, sew an extra button on for good luck, but wait! Don’t sew that button on while you are wearing the sweater because that is very bad luck indeed.

Spring Buck by Rachel Denny; found via The Jealous Curator
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