Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, Mia Hamm, and Wynona Ryder. They All Have Something in Common.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Here in Chicagoland this weekend, we had some fabulous weather.  Saturday
was just a tad cool, but today, Sunday, it was a perfect spring day.  So my
choices of the morning were "It’s a beautiful day!  I know what I should
do, I should sit in a movie theater for a couple of hours!  That would be a
great way to enjoy the weather!" or "It’s a beautiful day!  I know what I
should do, I should get out, maybe take a nice walk and smell the flowers! 
That would be a great way to enjoy the weather!"  Well there wasn’t any
flower-smelling, but I skipped the movies (my choices were "United 93" or
"Friends With Money") and did get to enjoy the weather a bit.  But there
was still some work to do, namely finishing our latest episode of "Stu & The
Dude Reviewin’ the Movies for You!" where we did some talk about Tom Cruise and
"Mission:
Impossible III.
"  That’s posted for your viewing pleasure.

As nice a
day today was, my weekend started out in fabulous fashion.  I decided to
figure out who my "Celebrity
Love Match
" was, and I was very much pleased at the women who would love me. 
At the top of the list was Natalie Portman, followed by Angelina Jolie, Mia
Hamm, and Wynona Ryder.  I have to say that I find all of those dudettes great and I was pretty excited, waiting for them all to fight over me, until I thought about this a
little bit.  Natalie Portman is a reported vegetarian, so I’m wondering
what she would think about my propensity for a decent porterhouse steak once in
a while.  I have no idea how Angelina Jolie ended up as a match, although
maybe since she’s a mom now, well, she wouldn’t try to have me carry around a
little vile of her blood.  I’m thinking Mia Hamm really wouldn’t be too
proud of my work-out schedule, and being Catholic, would I have to convert to
Judaism for Wynona?  I was supposed to try and work on some movie previews
this week, but I think most of my week might be spent trying to track down the
new love’s of my life.  I just hope that by the time I find Angelina she’s
already had the baby and has any extra pounds she might have put on worked off. 
Oh, and I hope she has her eyesight back because who knows what she sees in that
Brad Pitt dude.  Just look at the size of my hands and feet!

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

It Was Just Supposed to be a Trip to the Grocery Store, not a Blog Entry.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Coming back to the Dude-Pad this evening, I really expected nothing eventful,
but who would have thought a quick trip to the grocery store would have been so,
eventful?  No, that’s not the right word.  Maybe exciting?  Nah,
that’s not it even.  I guess all I can say is it gave me this blog
inspiration.  You can call the story what you want (I’m guessing "boring,"
though I hope "relatable" might be a better word choice), but for me, it was
filled with being a little peeved, being a good sport, watching a crash, being a
lot peeved, trying not to get in a car crash, and grinning.  All of that
with a little trip to a grocery store.

Anyway, like I said, I’m on the way
back to the Dude-Pad and realize there are a couple of things I needed to pick
up for dinner.  Actually there were three things I needed, two for dinner,
and one for my super-fancy heating & cooling system.  It was when I got
back home and I walked past my thermostat that I said, under-my-breath, 
"Fuck."  That was because I also needed some batteries for the thermostat,
which has been screaming at me for a couple of weeks to replace its batteries. 
Okay, not really screaming, just blinking indiscriminately "Replace batteries." 
Fine, I forgot the batteries, but I digress.  Let’s get back to the grocery
store.

So I pull into the parking lot, get an okay space, and I get a little
peeved.  It’s not something someone did to me, it’s what someone did to
someone else.  What heinous act did someone do?  They were too "f"-in
lazy to put their shopping cart in the cart-corral.  And you know what,
they were also too "f"-in lazy to even get their cart out of the way. 
Nope, they left it right behind another car.  Being the nice guy I am, and
it wasn’t too much of a diversion, I grabbed the cart and proceeded to corral it
in the cart-corral.  Man, I’m such a good dude.

I make it into the store,
grab the two things I need, and view a fantastic "cart into
person-walking-too-fast-and-not-paying-attention-as-they-got-to-the-end-of-an-isle"
crash.  I love these crashes because it’s like this person getting plowed
over by a shopping cart has never been in a grocery store before.  Ah, some
humor before soon being pissed.

And I was soon to be pissed.

Most of the
lines were long, but my local grocery store has four "self check-out" areas. 
Because of this the grocery store got rid of the "Express" lanes with an actual
checker, but my leaving should be short and swift, until, well, I get to the
self check-outs, and they are filled with people who have totally full shopping
carts.  What totally boggles my mind is that these people have no concept
that if they had actually gotten in a full-service line, their trip would
probably be shorter.  Why?  Because a normal line, with a checker and
a bagger, can knock out a full cart of groceries in no time, let alone a couple
or three, rather than you, the shopper, reaching into your cart, trying to get
the item to scan (God forbid you have to actually look up a fruit or vegetable
product code), bag it, fill up the bag, move the bag out of the bagging area and
back into your cart, and continuing this maddening cycle, when all I have are
two items to scan, bag, pay, and get the hell out of the store.  But no,
YOU THINK YOU ARE SAVING TIME BY TAKING YOUR FULL CART OF GROCERIES THROUGH THE
SELF CHECK-OUT LANE BUT ALL IT REALLY SHOWS IS THAT YOU ARE A COMPLETE HORSE’S
ASS!!!!!!

A couple of people line up behind me, and we all shake our heads at
the assholes in front of us.  Finally a spot opens up and about one minute
later, I am out the door.  God I hate inconsiderate people sometimes.

But
my trip to the grocery wasn’t finished, and I’m not exactly sure if I can put
the ending of this into words, but I’ll try.

I get to my car, safely stow my
bag of two items, which should have been three if I had bought the damn
batteries I still need, but anyway, I start to pull out of the grocery store
parking lot.  There I am, dude-mobile at the exit, looking to make a right
turn.  The road’s a little busy, I keep looking to the left to see if it’s
clear, and then a big ol’ SUV pulls up next to me in the left-turn lane.  I
can sort of see through his windows to see if my turn is clear, but can’t budge
any further forward because that would have put the nose of my mobile 1/4 into
the traffic lane.  I’m fine with that, but then he pulls forward just a tad
and now my window-viewing access is gone (to all people in SUVs –  You can
lag back a bit behind us shorter cars because you can see over us.  Unlike
Superman, I can’t see through metal you fucking assholes!  Quit being
pricks.  I’m sorry, back to trying to turn.)  Anyway, we’re sort of at
a stand-off.  I can’t see what’s coming from the left, the SUV prick is
still waiting to turn, and now the jerk-off behind me is getting impatient. 
All of a sudden the SUV sprints out into the street and gets his left turn,
followed quickly by a car in the lane I want to be in, cruising by.  And
then the miserable douche-bag behind me honks his horn.

There are many horn
honks.  There is the slight tap horn honk which nicely says "You are
daydreaming, but the light has turned green so get going" one.  There is
the longer horn honk which urges "Hey, we’ve been sitting here for a couple of
seconds with the light green and you are still putting on make-up.  Get
your dumb-ass going" one.  Then there is the "I’m an impatient prick and I
can’t see why you didn’t put yourself in harm’s way even though you couldn’t see
how quickly someone was coming from the other direction who might slam into your
car as you pull out of this grocery store parking lot" one.  The miserable
douche-bag behind me used the latter.

I’m not a road-rage kind of person, I
usually just kind of take it in stride, but looking in my rear-view mirror, I
could see this dude was really annoyed.  But there were still cars coming
my way, so I couldn’t safely make a turn, and then, finally, a little gap opens
up, and I safely make my right turn, with room, for really, only one car to
safely make the turn.  But not douche-bag man behind me.  Nope, he
quickly darts into the lane, makes the turn, and as I see him in my rear-view
mirror, I mutter to myself, "What an asshole."

Inquisitive as I am (and hoping
this dude isn’t a total psycho and trying to catch me), I keep checking my
rear-view mirror, and I now see him, leaning over to the passenger seat, trying
to clean up some spilling.  From the looks of things it looked like his
impatience made him spill his groceries all over the front seat, and in my head
I said to myself, "Self, you see, impatient douche-bags get their own payback in
the end."  I couldn’t help but grin, as I watched the dude in my rear-view
mirror trying to clean up the mess in his front seat, but then worried, just a
tad, that now this prick was going to rear-end me because he wasn’t paying attention to the world around him, let alone, the car, my car, in front of him.

Well, he didn’t rear-end
me, and I made it home, safe and sound, and now wrote a blog longer than some
reviews I write.  Oh well, I hope I at least depicted my trip to the
grocery store in a way most of you can understand, or could at least relate.

And, oh yea, in case you were wondering, and I’ll bet you weren’t, but dinner
turned out fabulous (fresh garlic and some good wine never hurt).

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

Bon Jovi says: “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” I Went Home.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Bon Jovi sometimes has some
of the best words of wisdom.  Fine, sometimes those words might be sort of
cliché, but who can’t appreciate the advice of "I’ll
Sleep When I’m Dead
."  It’s a simple phrase, and I’ve used it many a
time, mostly when I was drunk, at four in the morning, when people are telling
me I should just go back to my room and go to sleep.  I’d tell them "I’ll
sleep when I’m dead," give them about five minutes of my whit and humor, and
then at about 4:05, well, I’m heading to my room to go to sleep.  Ahhh,
those college days!  Anyway, this time I took the advice of their latest
hit, the one getting airplay on the country side of things with the very cute
babe
Jennifer Nettles
from "Sugarland,"
namely the song "Who
Says You Can’t Go Home
," because, well, this past weekend, I went home. 
Yup, it was off to the old country to visit my parents for
Easter
weekend, you know, the weekend where we celebrate everything about bunny rabbits
that we can think of.  We celebrate them as chocolate, we celebrate their
eggs (even though they are mammals), we celebrate them as blow-up dolls, and we
celebrate them in pastel colors.  And don’t forget the "Peep,"
which is really cool when you toss it in the microwave.  Now I hear that
some religious folks are upset because we are taking, umm, the "East" out of
"Easter."  Man, that doesn’t work nearly as easily as taking the "Christ"
out of "Christmas," but in any case, they are upset that various communities are
turning "Easter" celebrations into "Spring" celebrations.  Man, I hate to
get off on a tangent, but for the most part, because, well, Christians are still
the majority in this country, and well, they adopted the "Easter Bunny," that’s
why Christians are in this predicament.  But the United States is a melting
pot, and we keep melting together more and more, and damn, I’ve got to get off
of this tangent because it won’t make anyone happy because this Blog was
supposed to be about my going home.  Let’s get back to that.

The Most Comfortable Toilet.

Anyway, for
this blog, I originally had planned on doing it yesterday, taking some fun
photos that would embarrass me about being home, pictures of things like the xxx
that I was staying in, my xxx collection, our xxx on the wall, our xxx in xxx,
and xxx School where I went to in my teens that is now closed.  Then, of
course, there would be the pictures of what I think is the most comfortable xxx,

 my xxx from when I played xxx, and a xxx that I wish was bigger when I was
younger.  Sadly, for this trip, the battery in my digital camera died, so
all of those "xxx"’s will just have to wait until maybe the next trip home.

So, I went home, and all in all, it was a good time.  I trimmed some
raspberry plants, trimmed some roses, made homemade horseradish, saw "Scary
Movie 4" (our video podcast review should hopefully be done by the end of this
week here and on 

),
did some puzzle making, and had a few slices of the best pumpkin pie in the
world.  Bon Jovi says "Who Says You Can’t Got Home," but it was just good
to be home.

Spring is here, I’m gearing up for summer, and I hope you had a
nice weekend, whether it be about bunnies, yarmulkes, a Resurrection, or just
about getting good deals at the store because of a Christian religion.  But
just don’t forget about Bon Jovi, because for most of us, you can go home.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

The Dude on the Right Admits He’s a Loser and Finds Out That He’s an Addict.

By:

The Dude on the Right


In this podcast, I’m sure much to the joy of my nephew, niece, and sister, I
admit to my loserdom.  I also found out this morning that I’m an addict, so
I discuss a little of that, and thankfully "American Idol" finally gets to
Hollywood next week because I’m getting tired of the auditions, although there
was a highlight/lowlight from yesterday’s show that I spotlight.  I’m going
to try and pick myself up by my bootstraps and turn my frown upside down now,
but hopefully, by the end of the weekend, I’ll feel a little less like a loser
and have something brand new for all of you.

Thanks for listening and reading, and as always I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here



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Learning Animation, Lucid Dreaming, and “The Matador.”

By:

The Dude on the Right

Not much new has hit the pages of Entertainment Ave! in the past week, and I
partially apologize. Pretty much I’ve been wrapped up trying to finish the
animation for the debut of "Stu and The Dude Review the Movies for You" later
this week. I think I’ve just about got it down pat, I hope, because I’d really
like to get some sleep and not have wacky dreams where I started bouncing around
my bedroom, eventually landing on the floor, and then being pulled through the
ceiling, only the ceiling seemed to be infinitely thick because I keep floating
higher and higher yet still going through plaster. The weird part, as if that
wasn’t weird enough, was that I was aware I was dreaming and usually when that
happens I can take control,
lucid
dreaming
as it is called, and believe me, being able take over a dream can
be pretty fun sometimes. But, I just kept floating up through my ceiling until,
still aware I was dreaming, I forced myself to wake up.

Anyway, thanks to The
Dude on the Left calling, I was able to get from in front of my computer monitor
and saw pretty funny adult film, "The
Matador
," where
Pierce Brosnan
is working quickly to shed his image as James Bond, although he does kill some
people in the movie. If you’re looking for some adult humor and entertainment, I
recommend it.

Wrapping up before I get back to getting back to trying to learn how to do
animation, thanks for your patience and support. We should have a new episode of
"Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up," I’m going to try and write some reviews of
"Underworld: Evolution" and "Last Holiday," as well as review "The Wedding
Crashers" DVD that has been sitting next to my TV, but in working to get one of
my goals for the new year accomplished, I’ve got to get our premier video
podcast of "Stu and The Dude Review the Movies for You" done by the end of
January, even if it means no sleep or more wacky dreams. I just hope I can take
control of the next one because it’s always fun being able to fly around in your
dreams, especially when you can control it.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Hopefully it means we can all live together on this Earth of ours no matter what we believe.

By:

The Dude on the Right

This morning, while visiting my folks, a friend stopped by and I cheerfully
said, while snarfing down a bowl of
Frosted Flakes
, "Happy
Boxing Day!
"  She looked at me like I was an alien, although at first I
thought it was just the frosted flake stuck on my chin.  Then she said
"What?"  I retorted back, "Happy Boxing Day!"  Again I was an alien,
although by this time I was able to get rid of the stray flake so I knew it must
have been my comment that begat such a puzzled look and inquisitive tone. 
I quickly explained that today was "Boxing Day," the day after Christmas, and
it’s celebrated in places like Canada.  Knowing I was fighting a losing
battle in trying to explain any further, especially since I wasn’t totally
positive of its true meaning other than I thought it had something to do with
boxes and not boxing, I just sunk my face back into my bowl of cereal knowing
that Christmas was over, I would be heading back to the Chicago area soon, and
it was time to get back to normal, although this week wouldn’t be normal because
of some extenuating circumstances that may or may not come out in either a blog
or podcast this week, depending how things go.  For now I’ll just say some
of it is a bummer, some of it brings change, and some of it is supposed to bring
a new beginning, or at least a new year.

In any case, my Christmas weekend is
done, and it was pretty interesting.  I won’t go into much of it here, I’m
hoping Stu is ready for a Christmas Weekend Wrap-Up Podcast tomorrow, but if
not, I’ll host my own tomorrow night.  Here are some of the the low, mid,
and highlights.  The lowlight involved some bad news that no one really
wants to hear at this time of year, or really, at any time of year, namely a
friend’s parent passing away.  I learned this news on the drive back to see
my folks, and it really made for a reflective rest of the drive, in more ways
than one.  On the midlight side, there, under the Christmas tree at my
parent’s, was a card for me from my brother.  The thing was it was a thick,
puffy card, and I was suddenly struck with the paranoia that he actually got me
more than a card, that somehow a gift might have been stuck in there, and
suddenly my, his, and my sister’s agreement would come crashing to an end with
guilt for me.  On the highlight side, it was great to be home with the
family, although my sister and most of her family was missing.  I say most
of them because my nephew decided to hang out in the cold of Ohio rather than
the warmth of Texas.  For a sometimes change, I had someone to go with me
to a movie on Christmas Day, or on any day, so I didn’t have to go by my myself
and be what our staff member, Whammy, says of
people who go and see movies alone
I will always contend that I have to go because it’s my job.  Anyway, we
saw "Fun With Dick and Jane," which was pretty funny, pretty generic, and
hopefully a real review will follow in a couple of days.  I also realized
it wasn’t very nice to have an outside link describing my family in a bad light,
so, I actually removed them, although the Astros still got swept by the White
Sox, phhhhtttt.  And finally, on my highlight list, I believe I might have
ruined the animated shows "Santa
Clause is Coming to Town
" and "The
Year Without a Santa Clause
" for my nephew, mostly having to deal with the
Germans, the French, drugs, greedy kids, and a dude named
Flavor Flav (for a hint,
think of Jingle, or was it Jangle, oh hell, I don’t know, I’m just setting
myself a reminder to truly dissect these two animated shows next year in time
for the holidays, much like I did for my nephew as I watched them last night.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Good Kwanza, and I hope you enjoyed your
Atheist day off, or enjoyed whatever you might be celebrating at the end of the
year.  Hopefully all of it means we can all live together on this Earth of
ours with whatever we believe.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem that way. 
Here’s hoping next year is a little better that way.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Bill, I’ll Miss You Buddy.

By:

The Dude on the Right

It was a sad day at The Dude household last week as I lost one of my "kids." 
I’m really not sure exactly what caused the untimely death, but my best guess is
that it was one of my crabs.  Yes, Bill, one of my fish, died last week.

Bill was a good fish.  A Court Jester Goby by birth, Bill was actually the
third addition to my family, following the adoptions of Steve, a Clown Fish, and
then Ashley, a Blue Tang.  When I got him he came as part of an algae
cleaner pack, complete with some crabs and snails.  Immediately part of my
family, Bill didn’t seem to mind his new friends, but I saw something sort of
strange going on:  Bill was moving the coral gravel under one of my lava
rocks.  I was a little perplexed, but as I read a little bit about the
Court Jester Goby, I realized he was just building a home because my aquarium
set-up really didn’t have an instant nook or cranny for him to call home.

So,
there he was, one little piece of coral at a time, sucking it into his mouth,
then spitting it out, and ever so slowly he built himself a little cave under
the lava rock, and for a couple of years, this is what Bill called home, except
when I did a major tank overhaul, cleaning out the gravel.  Not seeming sad
or anything, he just started the home building process over again, until, alas,
he had his new little cave to call home again, at least until I destroyed it,
again.  But Bill would poke his head out every now and then, swim around
the tank, nibble on some algae, and enjoy breakfast and dinner when I served
them to the rest of the family.

But then, early last week, something didn’t
seem right.  Sure, every now and then, I wouldn’t really notice Bill for a
day or two, or maybe just catch a glimpse of him, but it occurred to me I hadn’t
seen him in a while, and I became a little worried.  So I removed the lava
rock over his home, and there was Bill, still alive, but not looking well,
especially since he didn’t swim away in fear when I removed the rock.  I
knew something was wrong, but fish-tank wise, all the levels were good, so I
decided to set up a quarantine tank for Bill so I could get a closer look at
least, and if something needed to be added to the water to help him, it wouldn’t
affect the other kids.  With that tank set up and Bill transferred over, he
still didn’t seem well, and I noticed what looked like a cut/injury to his
underbelly.  I was going to try and take him to my favorite fish store, but
sadly, by the next day, Bill’s time on this earth had come to an end.  Bill
had gone to that great aquarium in the sky, where all of the brine shrimp is
free.

With my tank quality being okay, and no visible signs of a wacky fish
disease, the only thing I could really come up with was that somehow one of the
crabs must have snagged him.  Or maybe he just died of old age.  I
really didn’t know how old Bill was, I mean, it’s not like I gave birth to him
and actually had his birth day, but he was about 2 1/2 inches long, so at least
I hope he had a fairly decent life.

I’ll
miss Bill.  Like I wrote before, Bill was a good fish.  He was rarely
skittish (Ashley still freaks out every time I walk in front of the tank), just
seemed to like to rebuild his house after I destroyed it, eat when he was
hungry, and take the occasional dump in the tank, kinda like what most good fish
do.  Steve and Ashley seem to sense something is different, but as a
parent, I really don’t know how to tell them that one of their siblings is gone,
especially since you can’t really have a funeral for them to attend (although I
suppose, I could have scooped them out of the tank into a plastic bag, and had
them see what happens to fish when they pass away), that and the fact that I
don’t speak Clown Fish nor Blue Tang.  I think Steve and Ashley will get
over it, and at least I have a nice picture of Bill to remember him by.

Goodbye Bill.  I’ll miss you buddy.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

“60 Minutes,” “Aeon Flux,” and an Ode to Bill

By:

The Dude on the Right


I’m getting frustrated by winter already, but that’s a story for another
podcast.  This podcast deals with the likes of the CBS show "60
Minutes
" and why do they insist on supposedly having it start at 7PM EST/6PM
CST during football season, especially since it is messing with my finale of "Survivor," you can listen to what I thought about "Aeon
Flux
," and listen to my Ode to Bill, one of my kids that I lost last week
in a tragic fish incident.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here



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My Christmas Display is Done.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Fine, I don’t promise anymore.  Again, this blog was supposed to be about
the size of a man’s unit, with a totally unscientific study by Trash about Garth Brooks,
and the rantings of one of our staff members, Whammy, but alas, I finally
accomplished something more important than giving you dudettes supposed tools to
help you determine if you really want to get down with a dude based on, well, it
will just have to wait, because this is more important in my life right now,
especially since getting down with a dude will never be important in my life. 
What could be more important?  I finally finished my Christmas display.

If you read my

last blog
, you found out that my Christmas decorating was not going very
well.  Decorations were all over the floor, I was one track short of
completing my train set-up, I had to buy more train
track connectors, and I was
almost ready to just say "Screw it." and leave the display in total disarray
because, well, as Christmas is approaching, pretty much, every day, I go from
being filled with the holiday spirit to being a total Scrooge.  I finally
just decided to get the damn thing finished, and I finally finished it, but it
wasn’t easy.

First off, I decided I needed a couple of new additions, and on
my way back home from a weekend with old friends in Chicago, I stopped at the
first American Sales store (they sell the
village series that I started collecting) on my way back, and as I looked, on display, they had
the extra lighthouse I wanted, they had the windmill I wanted, and they had the
boat I wanted, but they didn’t have any of them in stock to sell.  Them my
obsessiveness kicked in, because, as I continued heading home,
I knew I couldn’t finish this
display without them.  So I drive closer to my house, supposedly
remembering where the next store was, but, low and behold, I forgot the powers
that be turned this store into an outlet store.  I started swearing a lot,
especially since I was in total "I have to get these pieces" mode or else I
probably wouldn’t have even been able to get to sleep.  So, yes, I drove
down the street, to the new American Sales store, and yes, they had everything I
needed;  The boat, the windmill, and the lighthouse, and I also picked up what I
hoped would be enough fake snow.

Finally back at home, safe and sound, and
over the course of a few days, I knew I needed a better game-plan than I had
before, so I formulated it.  First off, get the train track secured to the
plywood, using anything from thumbtacks to wood screws if necessary.  With
the train track finally secured, it was time for the basic layout of the
buildings and the mountain for the ski hill.  Envisioned in my head, things
started
to come together except for the fact that the new, plastic, pebble road, needed
to be straightened out (it comes in a roll), and for a change, the internet was
no help at all.  Not really sure of the best way to do this, I heated a pot
of boiling water, put the rolls of "road" in the pot, and let them simmer a bit. 
After that bit, I laid them out on the floor, flattening them with a bunch of
Pyrex baking dishes, and low and behold, this actually worked.

The next issue,
when dealing with these goofy village buildings, is getting the power to them,
but somehow that all worked out, and alas, my lighthouses were lighthousing, the
sawmill pond was sawmilling and ponding, my ski-lift was ski-lifting, my
windmill was windmilling, and my boats were, well, not really boating, just
sitting there on some blue plastic that is supposed to be water, but at least
their lights were lighting.  All that working and the train was still,
well, training.

Finally
the last project was at hand, re-hang the Christmas ornaments that fell off of
the tree at my last debacle, and then, lastly, get all of the snow positioned. 
Surprisingly I had enough snow, the ornaments all fell into place (except I do
need to get some super-glue to fix my Angel and Snoopy), but, for the most part,
other than cleaning up the rest of the mess in my living room, my Christmas
display is done.  Finally.  And just in time for the six inches of
snow that fell this afternoon and evening that gave me a nearly three hour drive
back to my dude-pad today, mostly my fault, because I wasn’t as good as a
weatherman as I usually am.  Maybe I should have called my sister, she’s
the one that really needs a "Weather Channel" Intervention, but that’s another
story for another blog, or maybe a podcast.  Merry Christmas to those of
you that are Christmasers, and Happy End of the Year to those of you who aren’t.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Christmas Decorating is Becoming a Disaster

By:

The Dude on the Right

Okay, so this, my next Blog, isn’t about a scientific study about unit size,
hopefully for you dudettes, it will be the next, but I just wanted to lament
about my Christmas decorating and how it isn’t going too well so far. 

The Dude’s Original Christmas Tree

My Christmas decorating used to be the easiest thing in the world, usually
taking about 15 minutes. It started probably about six years ago, when I finally
broke down and bought a tree. Now, me, being the generally lazy decorator that I
am, of course bought a tree with lights pre-installed. I had ornaments thanks to
my Mom ordering me Hallmark ornaments for a number of years, and so, I moved one
of my end tables in front of the front room window, assembled the tree, put on
the ornaments, and even bought some Christmas tree skirting. Bamm, that first
time it took me about 60 minutes to go from opening the box to having a lit tree
complete with ornaments.

Christmas came and went that year, and as it went, I was faced with the crappy
task of packing away the ornaments, taking apart the tree, and in all honesty,
this seemed like it would take longer than the assembly. But then a moment of
genius occurred to me. I had a spare bedroom upstairs, the tree wasn’t that
heavy (it’s only a 4 1/2 foot fake tree), so I said to myself, "Self, why don’t
you just carry the tree upstairs, ornaments and all, throw an old bed sheet over
it, and then next year, all you have to do is move the end table, carry the tree
down the stairs, and you’d be done?" And so, for years, that is exactly what I
did. I’d get back from the Old Country after Thanksgiving, move my end table, go
upstairs and remove the bed sheet, carry down my decorated tree, and
"Voilà!" , about 15 minutes
from start to finish, my Christmas decorating was done. I was always so proud of
the time it took me to decorate that whenever I was in a conversation about how
long it would take someone to deck their halls, and had to regale those present
with my genius.

My bare tree this year.

Then, visiting a friend of mine, I was shamed, at least in my head, at the
total lameness of my Christmas decorating. At her house they had this giant
village built, in their basement, that stretched along one wall and halfway
along another, and as proud as I was that my decorating only took 15 minutes, in
my head I decided something more needed to be done. So, after Christmas was
over, I saw an ad that the village houses and props were 75% off, so it started. 
I bought a couple of houses, a lighthouse, and the next year, my decorating
started to get more complicated. This was a few years ago. Then I added a
ski-lift, an old train set, and things got a little worse, although not as bad
as this year. In the previous year I sort of had the train set halfway done as I
didn’t have the width to make the full loop. It looked alright, but the train
didn’t work. So, this year, I calculated all of the space needed, set up the
plywood, and started to get to work. This is where things really started to go
wrong. First mistake, bringing down my ornamented Christmas tree and plopping it
on the plywood first. Yup, there was my tree, standing proud, only now I needed
to install the train track.

Ornaments strewn on the floor.

No biggy, until, well, sprawled along the plywood trying to get the
thumbtacks put in to secure the train track, my svelte body under the tree,
well, wouldn’t you know it, I lifted my back just a little too much, and then
the tree started to tumble, I caught the tree, but not before 90% of the
ornaments decided to vacate their place on the tree and onto the floor.

Great, my decorating is now starting to go horribly wrong, now I’ve got to
re-ornamentate the tree, and the angel on the top of the tree, while taking her
tumble, well she lost her wings.

But that wasn’t all.

Nope, finally settling into the fact my decorating was getting slightly more
entailed than I planned it to be, I continued laying the train track, only to
quickly realize that I didn’t have enough track connectors. So much for getting
my decorating done on that night. So, decorating not finished, I go to bed, wake
up the next day, head to the hobby store, get more track connectors, and I’m
psyched that "Yes, I can finally finish this Christmas decorating crap this
evening, it will be great, the train will work, and it will officialy be the
Holiday Season in the dude-pad." Evening comes, and begin decorating again, and
I thought I would be creative with the train by kinda loopy-looping it rather
than just having a normal oval, except there was one other problem – I
miscalculated the amount of track needed. Yup, there I was, most of the track
tacked down, getting towards at least finishing the train, when, low and behold,
I was one track short. One freakin’ track short.

A section of track is needed.

I’ve already spent way to much time on this project, I’ve got a tree with
only a few ornaments left on it, I’m sure I need more fake snow, and I need ONE
PIECE OF TRACK THAT I COULD HAVE BOUGHT AT THE HOBBY STORE EARLIER IN THE DAY
BUT NOW THE STORE IS CLOSED.

I thought of just leaving my decorating as is, tree half done, train not
finished, ski-lift still in its box, especially since I rarely entertain, so who
is going to see it anyway, and wouldn’t it be a funnier story if I had people
over with my "not done" decorating, but, after this blog, I’m going back to
work. I decided I will untack some of the train track, remove one piece,
re-assemble the train, so hopefully I can at least get the train going. Then
it’s time to unpack my village, get the skiers skiing and the boat boating, and
I can almost bet you by the end of the night, I will have one last problem, not
enough fake snow.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!