We put the Christmas tree up the other night. I may as well show you a picture of it.
Isn’t that fine? Doesn’t that make you wanna whip up a hearty batch of figgy pudding?
The perennial star on our holiday tree is Stinky. Stinky is all that remains of an old doll my mother used to have as a child. Originally named “Kenny”, my brother took a liking to the doll when our grandmother found it in her attic, and we took him home and rechristened him. He’s been through a lot. My brother and I used to like to record tapes of us making dumb radio shows which usually consisted of us talking about pooping and penises followed by several minutes of unsuccessfully concealed laughter, and quite often these recordings “starred” Stinky, or me pretending to be Stinky. I gave Stinky a very high-pitched, horribly loud, and profoundly irritating voice, and he had several odd obsessions (including buttered green beans and Francois Clemens from “Mr. Rogers”) that he discussed at length, inappropriately interjecting them into conversations that didn’t necessarily concern them. He also had a notably poor short-term memory, and a favorite gag of ours would be to have Stinky interview a “guest” (usually one of our stuffed animals) and in mid-discussion I would have Stinky innocently and cheerfully ask the guest “When did you arrive?”. That bit killed us, for one reason or another. I’m sure there are a few of those tapes kicking around my parents’ basement, no doubt drenched in mouse urine. Anyway, please meet Stinky. He’s sort of an important part of my life, sad to say. I really identify with him.
Aren’t those lion pictures in the first photo fantastic? They’re embroidered! Why don’t I share with you the rest of the artwork adorning our humble apartment? Here is all of it, or at least as much of it as I could photograph before my battery-decimating dinosaur of a camera became tired of performing the sole function expected of it.
Like Stinky, these fruit heads came from my Grammie’s house in Monson, which is now depressingly deserted. They used to hang in the dining room, and they always commanded my attention whenever I went in there. They continue to do so. I love how resigned they are. If these were manufactured today, they’d be smiling to beat the band. These two are happy enough with their lot in life, but they’re not gonna be freaks about it or anything. They’re just trying to get through their day, and I can appreciate that. On an unrelated note, I wish I got the opportunity to begin more paragraphs with the phrase “Like Stinky”.
Like Stinky, we often find ourselves compelled to purchase low-cost decorations bearing images of goofy cartoon owls. This striking ceramic owl plaque came from the Goodwill in Brewer. I like the Goodwill in Brewer. It’s terribly organized but I’ve never gone in there without finding something at least somewhat incredible. It’s one of the few Goodwills left that doesn’t feel like it’s pretending to be a real store, and I applaud that. The Brewer Goodwill looks like the Broken Shit Plane crashed and no one felt like cleaning it up so they slapped price tags on everything and called it good. Actually, the entire city of Brewer is pretty much like that, and I mean that to be complimentary, for the most part. Anyway, yeah, the yellow owl plaque was love at first sight. It really pops against the soul-crushing paint job (I believe this particular shade is known as “Smoker Teeth”) in our kitchen.
It’s not as though we’re obsessed with owls or anything. They’re just featured in so many weird, inexpensive decorations. And that one on the left is an oven mitt, so he’s a multitasker. Bought that cat picture at an otherwise disappointing Methodist church rummage sale that smelled like Bangor water. I didn’t really know why I was buying it then and am still unable to shed any further light on that. There’s just something about it. The only other thing I can remember purchasing at that church rummage sale was, shockingly enough, the mug pictured below:
It magically transforms coffee into wrung Speedo sweat.
Annie has a rarely exhibited fetish for caricatures of food service employees. If we come across a portrait of a jolly rotund chef offering a tray of muffins in Target, you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie will be excitedly cooing over it in a matter of seconds. I’ve grown quite fond of these guys myself, although looking them directly in the eye is not recommended.
For half of 2005 we lived in the Seattle area, and while it was far too citified for the likes of us, they sure did have some good thrift stores. Especially enjoyable was pawing through the “framed pictures of weird things” section, which resulted in keen finds like the above. I haven’t had the same luck in Maine-area second-hand shops when it comes to hangings. It’s hard to see due as usual to my dungy camera, but in the second photo that picture on the left is a pineapple with watermelon innards. As inanimate objects go, it’s definitely one of my faves.
On the left is a slightly damaged ceramic oblong panda-based oddity I picked up at a yard sale and beside it is a neat picture of a station wagon driving through a psychedelic storm of wavy blue lines that our friend Jared made.
A former neighbor painted these and gave them to us. Their creator turned out to be off-puttingly insane, but the paintings themselves are undeniably fun.
This is hanging in our bathroom. It’s kind of gross. As such, it is not at all out of place in our bathroom.
Finally, we close out our tour with arguably our favorite wedding photo, taken by my brother-in-law, Peter. My best man told me I resemble George W. Bush in this picture. I would be surprised to learn that he intended that as a compliment. Annie looks very much like her dad here. So needless to say this loving portrait did wonders for our self-esteem. It sure was sunny that day.
That’s it! I’m gonna go eat two Manwiches!