Guns don’t kill people. Cute Japanese consumer icons kill people.

Hello Kitty gun
Thanks to Jen for the link.

Fighting the mid-winter blahs

davey goliath
Antidotes to the mid-winter blahs:

  • Tonight! A Davey and Goliath marathon, courtesty of Secret Cinema (includes a bonus Gumby reel).
  • Flat Possum Boys play Thursday nights at Fume, the bar above Abyssinia (an Ethiopian restaurant in West Philly). It’s embarrassing that the first time I’ll see the infamous bluegrass night is next Thursday.
  • Who knew that Christo, that crazy umbrella guy, is still at it*. From February 12th-27th, The Gates will be on display in New York’s Central Park:

    7,500 colorful “gates” — free-hanging saffron-colored fabric panels, 16 feet high and 7 feet above the ground, with a width varying from 5-1/2 to 18 feet — will be installed along 23 miles of paved pedestrian pathways.

  • The Iguanas are playing on January 28th at North by Northwest (samples here).
  • Animation Show 2005 is getting ready to tour. No Philly date yet, but get ready by reliving the memories of last year’s Animation Show.
  • How much do I want to see All Wear Bowlers? It’s inspired by the spirit of Laurel and Hardy, and it’s being produced by 1812, my favorite Philadelphia Theatre company.

Any other suggestions and excuses for coming out of hibernation?

*The Christo information is via Artblog, a wonderful Philadelphia art review and gossip site run by Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof.

Good Grief! One year?

birthday cake
January 1st was the one year anniversary of Good Grief! Back in the day, many of the posts were political and sports-oriented and not even written by me.

You know what I like about this site? The diversity of people who stop by: Democrats, Republicans, parents, students, homosexuals, heterosexuals, metrosexuals, carnivores, herbivores, Christians, atheists, geeks, Luddites, academics, artists, cubicle slaves, Philadelphians, Philistines, and Viggo Mortensen stalkers.

Thanks to everyone for visiting.

Below are my favorite entries from the past year:

PS I got an e-mail from a FOMP (friend of Moon Pappy) who wants me to pursue a weblog award. I dunno. Should I try to win a bloggie for the “best tagline of a weblog”?” Then I could get rich and famous and tell boss-across-the-hall that I’m going to quit the soulless office park and devote my life to the Internet.

Christopher Elbow Chocolates

Christopher Elbow chocolates

Christopher Elbow chocolates

I was lucky enough to grow up in a town that smells like chocolate. Lititz, Pennsylvania is the home of Wilbur Chocolate, and I remember the sweet smell that would waft through the air as the neighborhood gang played ball or built forts or terrorized the old lady next door.

Though I’m not a chocolate aficionado, my early exposure to Wilbur Buds made me realize that Hershey and Mars fall short. So needless to say, I was thrilled when my friend J Bubbles (another Lititz native) gave me a box of Christopher Elbow artisnal chocolates. Seriously, have you ever seen such a display? And they taste as good as they look.

spiced drinking chocolate Ms. Bubbles helps out at Christopher Elbow headquarters, located in downtown Kansas City. We visited the store last week, and I am now the proud owner of “drinking chocolate infused with chilies, cinnamon, and vanilla bean.” It’s THE BEST–the chocolate is quality, and the chili is warming.

In the spirit of the season, I shared the chocolates with my family and some New Year’s Eve guests, so I didn’t taste each flavor. Starting in the upper left-hand corner and going across:

  • Top: Venezuelan dark, fresh mint, Vietnamese cinnamon, rosemary caramel, Morello cherry, maple spice, sterling champagne
  • Middle: Grand Marnier, black currant, caramel with fleur de sel, honey vanilla, Jamaican rum, Spanish saffron, citrus caramel
  • Bottom: espresso with lemon, raspberry, bourbon pecan, Earl Grey tea, lemon verbena, passion fruit, Venezuelan dark.

The life of Jesus in Christmas lights

lights flogging
What’s this? Why,it’s an animated Christmas light Jesus flogging. Frankly, I find this display a disconcerting piece of Americana.

The above picture is part of an annual spectacle in Blue Springs, Missouri. Guided by smiling gingerbread men, visitors drive through a subdivision and see lights that depict the life of Jesus–everything from his birth to his resurrection. At the end, a kid approaches each car with a donation bucket, rewarding contributors with a small candy cane. Weird, huh?

The pictures below were made possible by the ever-patient J. Bubbles, who incurred the wrath of other sightseers by making frequent stops as we traveled along the route.

Continue reading “The life of Jesus in Christmas lights”

Wanamaker Light Show: is the magic tree gone for good?

Wanamaker light show

the famous light board


Pictured above is the 2004 Center City Philadelphia Lord & Taylor holiday light show (formerly the Wanamaker light show). Wouldn’t it look better with a big magic Christmas tree, some colored fountains, and a Santa train with animated wheels?

I think so too. Alas, for the past few years we’ve watched as crucial elements of the light show are cruelly stripped away. Click here for evidence: the light show isn’t what it used to be. I still shed a tear during the finale, though.