Aardvark Art Glass

holiday entertainment tidbits

So, holidays. They’re coming. We’ve been entertained by people a few times this past week and I feel like I’m collecting information that could possibly help others with respect to their holiday party planning. Mixed drink recipes and what not. Ice-breaking conversation starters. That sort of thing. If you’ve got any suggestions of your own you can leave them in the comment area. Then you can help too.

So, Lost School moved to Brad and Carrie’s house last Saturday to celebrate a few birthdays. There a fellow named Lee was mixing up a very effective little cocktail made out of orange juice, pomegranate juice and Canadian Club whiskey. The drink is too unattractive to be commercially viable. I don’t think you’d serve it at a bar or in a punch bowl because it’s brown. Kinda looks like coffee. On the other hand you could drink it out of a mug in your cubicle and no one would be any the wiser. It is really tasty and the drinks true upside is that you cannot taste the alcohol in it seemingly no matter how much alcohol you put in it. That’s my idea of a good drink. Especially for the holidays when who the heck knows what you’re going to be enduring. It’s for people who want to get the job done without spending a lot of time fussing around with measurements. New staple drink for us. Thanks to Lee for that one!

On the ice-breaking conversation starter front–also from Carrie and Brad’s party– I don’t know who started this trend but at one point in the party I noticed everyone had masking tape with writing on it stuck to their chests:

Apparently, the idea was to write down topics you knew about and wanted to talk about–or maybe you didn’t know about them but wanted to talk about them anyway–so people could kinda tell what you were about and decide whether or not they wanted to talk to you. Don’s chest said “Catholicism”. Someone else’s chest said “Blood sucking parasites”. I don’t know…that tape thing seemed like a pretty good idea. I remember holding the roll of tape but I never wrote anything on me. I guess I couldn’t decide. Probably because of that boozy drink I was drinking.


the possum, or whatever it is
November 17, 2008, 4:07 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: ,

The possum is becoming the possum, or whatever it is. We haven’t observed him eating since last Wednesday but whatever food we put out is disappearing so we figure something is enjoying it. In order to photograph the guy I have to stand in the back doorway with the porch light on and my camera in my hand, which is kind of a problem. It’s come to my attention that this could be giving our back yard neighbors pause as their windows face us, they live pretty close and they can’t see what I’m trying to get a picture of. And even if they knew that a possum was the subject of my interest, yet more pause could be given by the fact that I am attracting such an animal to our house and near their house with food. Being incognito on some nights seems like a good idea.

So for the latter half of the week I’ve just been enjoying putting food scraps in a bowl and leaving them on the porch for the possum, or whatever it is. It’s actually a fairly satisfying thing to do. It’s like having the benefits afforded to one who owns a dog that eats table scraps without the drawback of the room clearing flatulence that usually follows such a diet. (That’s how I remember it being with my parent’s dog, anyway.) Also, now there won’t be anything clawing through our garbage bags because there won’t be any food in there.

I have a feeling that, since we don’t generate all that many scraps, sooner or later I’m going to be preparing meals for the possum, or whatever it is. I’ve been studying up on what they eat in the wild and their diet has definite herbivore/insectivore tendencies. That’s a bonus for me because I currently own one of each of those animals and buy food for them already.  I’ve got a bunch of dry food in the studio that I bought over the years for the hedgehogs that they wouldn’t eat. Freeze dried crickets with calcium inside (don’t ask how it gets there), kibble designed for animals that eat bugs and some high end cat food for felines that are obese and elderly. I’ve never been one to force an animal to eat something it doesn’t want to and hedgehogs are picky, so, several opened bags of test food here.  It’s all very nutritious, expensive and something I don’t want sitting around in the store. I’ve tried pawning it off on my friends that have cats but to no avail. They’re not ones to force their animals to eat anything they don’t want either. Can’t blame them cause there’s no fun in that.

So the possum, or whatever it is, could do me a real solid by eating some of this food. Especially that jar of crickets. And I bet it’s a lot better for him than pizza crust. Maybe the possum will grow healthier and stronger on the new diet.*

*= I’m just going to start putting an asterisk next to sentences and ideas that I might regret saying or thinking later on.

The Lincoln Traveling Sideshow

Has this come to your town? It’s the Abe Lincoln traveling museum aka The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Tour. Basically, it’s a semi full of fairly high tech Abe related exhibits including a hologram of Abe giving a speech off the back of a train. It’s here in Madison (nearby, anyway, in Verona) today and tomorrow. Check the website to see if it’s coming to your town. This thing has got the most chaotic and inefficient tour schedule I’ve ever seen. It could show up anywhere at anytime.

Here’s a picture of Don and a replica of Abe Lincoln’s famous stove pipe hat:

Don appears to be scoffing at the hat which is not an unsurprising reaction as the hat was kind of disappointing. I thought it would be bigger. The plaque behind it claims that it is an exact replica complete with wear marks on the brim where Lincoln would have grasped the hat to tip it to the ladies. Also, the plaque claims that he used the hat as a vessel to stow papers. If any of this is untrue I expect someone whose initials are Jean Yates to clue us in. She is a Lincoln maven.

Also in the trailer was a plasma screen with a movie interpreting the entire Civil War in four minutes. On the screen was a map of the US with a line representing the northern and southern fronts. It moved south and north and south as the years sped by while a counter in the corner kept track of the number of dead on both sides. That was neat. Not that 1.3 million people died but that you got a lot of information in four minutes. The whole exhibit was pretty neat–for being free and inside a truck and everything. If Abe’s truck comes to your town you should go inside and check it out.

So speaking of Presidents, did you know that, in an attempt to create another icon like the teddy bear, William Howard Taft was once tied to the character Billy Possum? I read that on Wikipedia (Virginia Opossum entry) so you can take it to the bank (or revise it until it makes sense to you). For some reason, opossums weren’t as endearing to the public as little stuffed bears so the whole thing never really took off. Evidence of the once tangy idea exists today on the Possum Politics website. That is a stitch.

Carne o fruita?
November 12, 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

I had to take away the possum’s bag because it was garbage night. I tried to unload my dregs from the juice machine onto him but he didn’t eat them. Probably because there was another bowl with chicken skins in it right there. Maybe he’ll come back for the fruit later. I had to leave him a little something something for taking away his bag.

That’s our possum!
November 11, 2008, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , ,

DON (on the phone):I’m at Copps (grocery store). Do you want me to pick up anything?

ME: Get a bag of spring mix for Lucy and pick up another one of those pizzas that the possum likes.

DON: Do you remember that we didn’t like that pizza very much and we threw part of it away?

ME: What’s your point?

The possum was back tonight. He comes out around 7pm, it seems. I tossed him a chicken wing so he’d pull his head out of the garbage and let me take his picture. Either he’s kind of tame or he just can’t see what’s going on around him at all. I think he can’t see real well. Doesn’t care if the porch light is on or off. He does run away when he gets a whiff of people.

Here’s another picture:

I am enjoying the possum. He likes chicken. I already know that feeding a possum is a wildly bad idea but I bet I’m going to do it again. Do you know why? Because I’m a person and people really enjoy feeding other life forms. Whether it’s a good idea or not “let’s feed it something” is usually my first response toward any living thing toward which I feel remotely positive. I think it’s a vicarious enjoyment thing, watching something eat something that you like to eat. Some people don’t think that, though. There was this time years ago when my dad was in the hospital and I brought him some Twinkies. I figured they would be all the more appealing because they were forbidden. When one of the nurses found the Twinkies in a drawer she remarked that families were always trying to feed the patients because bringing food gives them some control over a situation where they have none. I thought that was an interesting theory, but, I just figured they had Dad on a bland diet and that a forbidden Twinkie would really hit the spot, like a chicken wing from a grocery store chicken would taste really good to the possum. Of course, I didn’t really want to watch my dad eat the Twinkie like I wanted to watch the possum eat the chicken wing. Hmmm…Know what? I’m really tired. I think I should go to bed now.

hope froze
November 10, 2008, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , , , , ,

Don informed me tonight that my beloved tomato plant, Hope, passed away. Don remarked about how small now the once very mighty plant looked so me and James Lee, who was there for band practice, went to go look at it out the back window. When I turned on the porch light I saw not just the shrivled plant but also the cutest possum EVER sitting on our garbage bags. I pretty much forgot about Hope at that point focusing instead on the fact that I did not have my camera with. A picture of the possum exists in Jame’s phone but it will remain trapped there as his phone does not know internets.

But ANYWAY…that possom was so cute! It wasn’t just me, several other people remarked on it’s cuteness. I know blah, blah,blah not afraid of humans, blah,blah,blah, rabies–I’m not an idiot–I wasn’t opening the damn door to it I was just looking. I watched that possom for probably 45 minutes. The last 20 minutes or so the critter was all the way inside a bag so I was really just watching a bag move around while hoping that he’d come back out so I could look at him some more. The possum ate all of our discarded crust from a cheese-filled crust pizza we ate the other day. I think crust-grade cheese is different from actual pizza cheese. Like, if cheese were an animal the crust cheese would be made from the cheese animal’s hooves or scales or perhaps it’s rendered hide. Maybe that’s not how it works but that crust tasted abnormal to me. The possum really liked it though so I was glad we threw it away. Seeing that animal up close eating pizza crust was the high point of my day, for sure, maybe even the high point of my month. It’s been a slow month here.

oh, happy day
November 5, 2008, 10:33 am
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

Downtown Madison has the democratic enthusiasm of an entire large city, but we haven’t won anything in so long. Never did I lull myself into the sense that my immedate reality was the same as the nation at large because, usually, it isn’t. I’ve got Mc Cain supporters in my family, even. The outside world is just full of people who, no mater what the polls say, are going to do whatever the hell they want to do. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Often it defies logic, the outside world. Usually it defies logic. So Don and I did not assume that Obama was going to win until CNN announced it at 10pm CST. Then we were very tired because denying yourself optimism for that long is really exhausting. And that’s why we didn’t go to the bar with everyone else.

James Lee, the most vocally optimistic Obama supporter in the group, won the electoral vote pool by guessing 330. Incredibly, he called that on October 9th. If only we’d believed him we wouldn’t be nursing ulcers right now. Way to go, James Lee! Inexplicably, your prize is a ceramic penguin wearing a santa hat. That’s what was on my desk when I was writing down numbers on Monday. You can swap it out for a disembodied santa head or a burnt pizza if you want. Those are also on my desk.