Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Christmas Story House

A day away can do wonders for you. A kitschy day trip is a great way to spark you creativity. So my friend and I took a day. We made that drive to Cleveland, Ohio, to see that place of things of Christmas past. Or maybe I should call it Christmas kitschy. We visited A Christmas Story House.
Most everyone in the United States has seen the movie A Christmas Story. I mean around Thanksgiving, it plays for like 24 hours straight. It's a movie about an ideal of America. An America that is part of the past for the most part. And we can all relate to some of those crazy scenes in the movie. You know the triple dog dare scene. The pink bunny scene sticks out in so many individuals minds. The movie is all about an idealistic Hammond, Indiana, where the author of the story grew up.

When they went to make the movie in 1984, the city of Hammond had changed, and it was difficult to find a house like the one that was described in the stories. But Cleveland was another story. The movie producers just kind of stumbled across this house. And it was exactly what was needed for a perfect setting.

So what do you get at this house? You get a chance to explore hands on the place where some of the scenes from that kitschiest of all Christmas movies was filmed.
Walking through Ralphie's bedroom I could just see the characters in the house. You are able to touch the props in the house. And you can pose with them for photos.
What fan of the cult movie doesn't want the opportunity to sit in the bathroom and decipher the message buy more ovaltine? You can do it!

Or a chance to sit down where that question how do the piggies eat was asked?

There's also a house next door that is the home to props from the movie. And a few of the reviews of the movie. It was fun to read a positive review, and then go on and read a mixed review. One reviewer ever stated that adults may not find this movie interesting. And then there is the shop. It's full of everything a fan of the Christmas Cult Classic has to offer.

So, overall, I really recommend the Christmas Story House as a day trip. Fans of the movie won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Heart Shaped Box

I am a fan of a good horror story. Not the ones full of gore, but the ones with a little suspense. I recently read the Heart Shaped Box, and this is what I thought of the book.

The Story

Imagine being a rock star who can buy anything. And your tastes run to the dark side. And your assistant points out that there is a ghost for sale online. And it is something that you need for your collection of the darker things in life. But when you receive that heart shaped box you learn that the ghost is no joke. And that it will turn your world upside down.

What I Think

I enjoyed reading this book. I like that this book explored what can happen if you buy something you know should probably be left alone. I liked how the characters in this book are broken individuals in so many ways. Since Jude, the rock star, has tastes that are dark you would assume that he is totally uncaring. And at first you believe that is true, but as the story unfolds, you find that while he able to do some of the really rough things in life. He really does have a good side.

The story reminds me that following your instincts should be a rule of thumb. If Jude had followed his instincts and not allowed that gift from the heart shaped box he bought to be burned, the story might have been a little different.

The book also reminds me that everybody has some sort of moral compass. Even the rock star who owns a snuff film. And sometimes it takes some big events to move us towards doing what we already know is right.

I also like that this book does not depend on gore to develop the story. There are some gory moments, but it isn't the entire story. It's part of what is going on in the story.

Who Should Read This Book

If you are a fan of horror stories, you will probably like this book. It is scary to find that you buy an item at an online auction, and you get a little more than you bargained for. And if you have any connections with the goth or alternative world you will probably enjoy this book. The story has some great twists and turns that revolve around goth girls.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Just a Good Night's Sleep

I work nights currently. I've worked alternate shifts most of my life. And the one thing anybody who has worked alternate shifts knows is that just a good night's sleep is one of the most valuable things around. The third shifter shares something with the  insomniacs of the world. We share the desire to just get the right amount of rest. After years of working weird shifts, here are a few of my secrets to getting some sleep.


There was a point in time when I tried to stay away all day after I got off work on the weekends. I thought this would help me get more completed in life. The opposite was what occurred. I was so groggy and tired I didn't get much accomplished. And I didn't enjoy the things I was doing. What I found was that my body likes knowing what to expect. I did much better when I picked a time to go to sleep and went to bed at or near the same time every day.


A daily nap will screw your sleep cycle up. An occasional long nap once every week or so will make you feel better. If your body is telling you to sleep on a regular basis. You may need some extra sleep. There are just times when you need to sleep extra in order to have more energy. Personally, I stay awake during the night on my days off. So I am up all night pretty much every night. But if I am tired at night, I sleep for an hour or so when it's dark out. I'm usually pretty good to go for a while after that nap. And I mean that I am less tired for several days.


Fit some sort of exercise into your life routine. The more you move the more energy you will have. It will also provide you with a time when your body naturally wants to sleep.

Avoid Sleep Aids

Tylenol PM is the third shifters friend and enemy. If I take one on occasions, I get a great night of solid sleep. But I do feel a little groggy when I wake up. If I take a sleep aid on a regular basis, I am just tired all of the time, and they become less effective when I really need them to be. Melatonin is much more effective for me. And I don't seem to build up that tolerance as quickly. It is a natural supplement, and it does work at regulating sleep cycles. It works.
The point of all of this is listen to your body. Most of the time it will guide you to where you need to be.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Concrete Angel

Sometimes you drive around and you see something. And you think I really like that, but you continue driving. And then you drive by it again and think to yourself, I should take a picture of that. But you decide you are busy and it will have to wait until another day. And then there is a day when you decide it's time to push your creativity a little further. It's the day you decide to get out of the car and take the photo.

That was what happened with these photos. I loved the angel as I drove past it. But I am a shy photographer. I like taking photos best when nobody is around. But I knew I wanted to see this concrete angel as a photo, so I told myself that I would get that pic today.

Let me know which of the photos you like best. And do you have a difficult time getting out to take photos too?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Thoughts About A Monster Truck

I pulled into a parking lot the other day. And I looked over. I saw something unusual. I mentioned it in my post Life Is Grand. It was a vehicle. It didn't look like the other vehicles in the parking lot. It looked like this.
I thought to myself, I've never really seen a monster truck so I decided to take a closer look. I have to admit this is one sub culture I don't understand. As I walked toward the truck, I wondered what was the first person who created a monster truck thinking about. Why do you need wheels that large? Where was this originator of this truck from?
As I got closer I realized that the body of the truck really isn't the outside of the truck isn't what is important. It's all that orange crap underneath it that is important. That's the real draw to the truck. Those shock absorbers are huge. As long as a leg huge.
And then as I was looking around at the truck. I remembered I once had a friend who worked for Goodyear. I remembered how he told me they had special tools to go out and change those big huge tractor wheels. And I remembered that flat tire I had a few weeks ago. I thought there is no way that I could change one of those tires on this or on a tractor, if I can't change a tire on my car.
Then somehow my mind wandered to Transformers.  Are they just monster trucks that were mutated?
Which led to a strange thought about the movie AI. It's a few years ago since it was put out. It was about a robotic little boy. And I thought about how he developed emotions. I wondered if that was really going to be part of the future.

Then I wondered to myself, why is this truck causing so many random thoughts? I decided maybe it was just time to run into the store and buy the case of pop that I originally came for. Because really are monster trucks meant to cause so much thought?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thrifty Finds Week 12

Another week of thrifting has come and gone. And yes, I will share the finds I have found this week.
This is a really great collection of things I picked up at a Goodwill on the way home from my mother's house.
I really liked this little figurine. I liked the pastel colors, and the feather in the cap. It cast less than a dollar.
I picked up this vintage Parker Brothers game. It was green tag day at that Goodwill, so it only cost me a dollar. The game box was taped up so I couldn't tell it contained all the pieces or not, but I figured it was worth a shot. I mean that illustration is fabulous isn't it? And has anybody ever played the game?
I really loved the denim top I picked up The floral embroidery on the denim looks great and it is a Carole Little top. $2 yep, that's it! Just two bucks!

There was also a canvas painting that I picked up along with a Pixar coloring book. Both were ridiculously cheap. And I can put them both to good use. I do love to color.

So let me know how all of you have been doing with your thrifting.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Life Is Grand

Life has been really busy recently. I haven't really had the opportunity to write much. So I thought it was time to share some of the great things in my life.

My mom is home in her apartment after her heart attack. And she is doing fine. Thank God for all those rehab therapists, who were able to help her out. You are all fantastic! And I am so thankful that my employer was understanding when I needed a week off of work to get her settled back at home.

I am so thankful that a friend of mine remembered me on a trip she took to San Francisco. She brought me back some truly great finds. I mean these shoes are an example of some of the items she brought back.
I want to get a better picture for you guys to see, but they have chains and skulls on them. The best present so far this year.

A new phone. I finally got a new phone. I got an IPhone. It's the first new phone I've gotten in the past five years. I don't know if I will be able to handle the new technology or not.

Driving into a parking lot, and seeing this.
It's not everyday that you see a monster truck up close and personal is it? Look forward to some other thoughts I have about these monster trucks later on in the month.

Road trips are the greatest. I finally got to take a road trip to someplace I've wanted to go for a little while. It was way fun. And yes, you will hear a little more about traveling to Cleveland later in the month.

So these are a few of the things that have made life grand recently.