Foiled again

Well, here we are. As of today (or maybe tomorrow; that first post wasn’t much), I’ve been writing Fancy Notions for ten years. A ten year anniversary is typically celebrated with tin or aluminum, but I had really wanted to make myself an elaborate smorgastarta, which is

a savory sandwich cake, frequently made with shrimp and eggs but mainly just whatever you feel like would be good in a sandwich cake. Ham slices, radishes, chickpeas and beets… with frosting made of cream cheese and maybe some ranch dressing. Yes.

But it’s Wednesday, and I’m tired. And it’s also Pi Day. A pie tin would work with both aspects of the day, but there’s no way I can bake a pie right now. If only there was one of those pecan pie vending machines nearby. Who’s in Austin and can ship me a celebratory pecan pie? I’ll owe you a smorgastarta.

And don’t worry. I may be tired, and I may not be able to go on forever like pi, but I will keep this blog going for as long as I can possibly handle it. Thank you very much for your support through the years!

Photo by Pomax on Flickr

Point well taken

I drove by what is probably my favorite liquor store sign today and thought about trying to take another picture of it, but I was late for an appointment. I always take rotten photos of this sign for some reason, and I would really like to have a nice photo of it someday. When I don’t stop to make another photo attempt, it’s because it’s too hard to park there, or the light seems bad, or whatever. And I already missed getting a photo of it before it got a big hole in it.

When I was leaving my appointment, I heard the news that the Melrose Witch (a/k/a Lava Lady, a/k/a Wellington Witch, etc.) had died. I drove by the liquor store sign, took a few more rotten photos, got home and bumped up the color on the photo as far as it would go, and now I’m posting it in honor of the passing of a most unique lady.


RIP, Ray Suzan Strauss. You were one of the first things I liked about Los Angeles.


UPDATE: More links about Suzan Strauss here and here (I’m being informed that my hyperlink color is too close to my regular text color, so you might have missed one of these above)

Word of the day for Friday, March 11th

An old (younger) school friend’s kid doesn’t know who Elvis Presley is. A Lyft driver looks at me like I’m crazy for mentioning that I remember the year 1994 even though it’s a completely valid thing to say in the context of the conversation. I start making rules like “kids should know pop culture history from at least the year they were born” and then realize that this year’s high school sophomores were born in the year 2000. I start noticing that things that I think happened a year ago actually happened four years ago. I find myself doing the math a lot to place things in perspective relative to my experiences.

A former teacher dies, and when I do the math I see that he was three years younger than I am now when he made such an impact on my life. I’m toasting that teacher in a pizza parlor that now serves craft beers in the area that used to screen Laurel & Hardy movies when we were kids who went here after AYSO soccer games. This place has a new name and I can’t remember the name it had when I was a kid. It was a long time ago. It was just yesterday. I guess I’m deep in

Gothic text from

zenosyne. The sense that time keeps going faster. Courtesy of our old friend The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.


These colors do run

I know Vons employees are unionized, so the lack of enthusiasm for decorating (what I’m assuming is) a Labor Day cake is a little sad to me. Or maybe this is not so much a Labor Day cake as a Donate An Organ Today cake.


In a pickle

Benny just found a dead opossum in our kiddie pool. I don’t know if said opossum was attempting some raid on our cucumber plant, or if he drowned after monkey-wrenching a nearby dam, or what. Anything’s possible. Rest in peace, possum.

A knight and a temple

Two people responsible for bringing a lot of light into the world died yesterday – Shirley Temple Black and Leonard Knight. Shirley Temple holds a place of high esteem here at Fancy Notions not only for her singing and dancing talents, but also for her stint in the ’70s as the US Chief of Protocol (a/k/a The Big Boss of Etiquette). Leonard Knight holds a place of high esteem here for his love of the world and his beautiful and strange creation that sprang from that love, Salvation Mountain. Nice work, you two.

You might be sick of hearing “Animal Crackers” or “Good Ship Lollipop” right about now, so why don’t you take a listen to the arguably superior “At the Codfish Ball”? If you want, you can take a virtual tour of Salvation Mountain while you do so.

He-Man leaves the neighborhood

Maybe this will all turn out okay, but I’m worried. Castle Grayskull across the street has just been put on the market. While it’s possible that the buyer will appreciate all of Grayskull’s unique features (retractable flails, outdoor pug tunnel balcony, stained glass panels featuring brave knights, and of course the moat), I have a feeling that the place is going to be gutted and turned into a ho-hum Spanish villa. I don’t even see the zebra in any of the photos. Sigh. My only hope is that Skeletor is still interested in the property. He might be a cranky neighbor,

but I bet he has some great parties.

The day after

We made it through another Christmas.


Bloody but unbowed.


Or something like that.

Strategies for tonight

I guess I’m posting from the future, because we already had Christmas yesterday. If it’s only Christmas Eve for you today and you need to get some excited young ones to bed, allow me to suggest some videos from XmasFlix’s YouTube channel to get them a little less excited about a visit from old Saint Nick.

Santa doesn’t seem nearly as magical when you learn that he lives in a split-level furnished with naughahyde and dingy wall-to-wall carpeting:

Here’s one where Santa’s world is both bizarre and mind-numbingly boring at the same time:

Of course, you could always just lower their expectations about what presents Santa is going to leave for them under the Christmas tree:

Thin blood

Man, it’s been cold here. Really. I mean it. Maybe it’s just my heart. I feel like it could snow.

Published in: on December 19, 2012 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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