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…may go unheralded by the major online media outlets, but hopefully will be noticed by the wordpress chums whom I have so long neglected.

Without further ado, please put your retro-hats on and venture into the Wayback Machine with me and the hilarious song stylings of DeStorm. If you think he’s awesome (and who wouldn’t?) check out the rest of the Soul-Tunes series, which include beat-box versions of cartoon themes ranging from Fraggle Rock to G.I. Joe to the Animaniacs.

It’s nice to be back, peeps!

I never cared much for Lady Gaga, but I sure do love Christopher Walken.  If you survive his rendition of “Pokerface” without dying of mirth, check out the even more spectacular audio of him reading “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe (how did I not find that on YouTube before Halloween?)

Because I have some fans who are not also Facebook Friends (and why aren’t you?  Just friend me, “Carrie Lowery” and make my day!), I thought I’d share one of my favorite photos from the SciFi/Fantasy convention I attended last month down in Atlanta, GA.

I happened upon a dozen or so convention-goers, all of whom thought they’d be the only “Indy” in attendance.   Fortunately, since geeks are normally pretty even-tempered, there was no big rumble . . . the gang set aside their differences and compared hats, whips and deadpan “Harrison Ford faces” with great good humor.

A "fedora" of Indianas at DragonCon 2009

A "fedora" of Indianas at DragonCon 2009

Note: When I asked what the collective noun for “Indiana Jones” should be when I posted this on Facebook, the terminally clever Pannonica replied within seconds…”a FEDORA, of course!”

…and yes, it’s going to look like this:

If You Don't Know What This Is, You May Be Normal...

If You Don't Know What This Is, You May Be Normal...

Opinions about the wisdom of this choice have varied (depending, of course on the geek level of the respondent), but the funniest reaction I got was this:

Me: Look – this is a picture of the tattoo I’m getting on Monday!

Hip Friend: Jeez, Carrie!  What are you going to do next?  Get a pocket pencil protector tattooed over your heart?

I’m not sure anyone can talk me out of it at this point, but you’re welcome to try.

Live long and prosper, peeps!

…annoy the crap out of me.  I like this video much better.

Mad props to Erik, Ben and Sam for finding this nightmare-inducing masterpiece!

Sitting in my office looking at this…

Escobar - a cat of very little brain

Escobar - a cat of very little brain

…made me think of this:

snoopy-vulture

Work gets boring sometimes, but it is pretty cool that we get to have a cat around, don’t you think?

What do your pets make you think of?

Back in 1995, the hot ticket all over the world was the celtic dance sensation Riverdance.   Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to see the original cast featuring Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, I do admit that I nearly wore out  my videotape of the performance.

If you’re looking to get “warmed up” on a cold day, I suggest you take a few minutes to watch the amazing “Fire Dance” featuring flamenco legend Maria Pages and step-dance superstar Michael Flatley.    It starts slow and sultry, but by the time you’re done watching it you’ll know why the title features the word “fire”…

Woooo hoooo!  Are you fired up yet?  Want a little more of the original cast of Riverdance?   Here’s another favorite of mine, “Thunderstorm” featuring Michael Flatley and the men in the cast.

Who  knows what I’ll come up with next?

…because you’ll need it to win the contest that I’m going to tell you all about today!

So far this December my posts here have been sporadic.  Why?  Because a lot of the time that I would usually spend typing up posts or surfing YouTube for scary videos has been spent knitting scarves as holiday gifts.    I have found it to be an amazingly calming activity during what is for most people a very stressful time of year.

Who will the lucky winner be?

This is not the actual prize...Daniel Radcliffe was too quick for me!

Lucky for YOU I am ahead of schedule, and have budgeted time to knit a very special scarf for the winner of my contest!  And no, it’s not going to be some 2-foot long scratchy piece of muck like the one you got from Aunt Tillie when you were a kid and forced to wear when she came to visit.   I’m talking about a scarf that is truly:

a) super warm because it’s made of something nicer than cheap yarn from the local WalMart;

b) super funky (because I’m making it, and as you already know, I rock); and most importantly,

c) of a truly correct, extra-long Dr. Who/Harry Potter/use it to escape out a second story window length that will make you the envy of everyone you meet — most of whom are constantly rearranging their 2-foot long scratchy pieces of muck and just trying to fit them all the way around their necks to keep them from falling in the slush.

CONTEST F.A.Q.

Q: Oh, most be-KNIT-ficent Carrie, how can I win this fabulous scarf?

A:  Keep reading, and then enter the contest.   Was that question really necessary?

Q:   But how will I find time to enter a contest when I still have 500 stores to go to in the next few weeks in order to find all the perfect gifts for my family and friends?

A:  I’m glad you asked — your best chance to win is to actually visit 500 stores in the next few weeks!   How cool is that?

Q:  Enough already, cut to the chase — what do I have to do to win the prize?

A:  Inspired by a recent visit to a discount store with my mother that involved fits of hysterical laughter at many of the items on display, I want you to seek out the most hideous, loud, annoying, shiny, tasteless, stupid, ugly, ridiculous and just plain WRONG holiday-themed item you can find, snap a photo or take a short video, then send it to me.

Here's what I found...hideous, isn't it?

Here's what I found so far...hideous, isn't it?

Q:  So how do I get you my entry?

A:  If you’re an overachiever, you can just drag your digital camera along on all of your shopping trips and then email me the results at jimsmuse@comcast.net , OR you can simply whip out your cellphone, take a picture and then send a picture/text message to my cell at 908-328-7500.   (If you’re outside of the U.S. you should still be able to send me a text message: just check with your mobile carrier for the proper international codes, or submit your entry via email.  If you don’t know how to send a text or picture message from your cellphone, just ask the nearest 12 year old and I’m sure he or she will be happy to help out!)   Don’t forget to add the cell number above to your own cell before heading out to the mall, peeps — and don’t forget to identify yourself either in the text message or via email after you get home to let me know which pic is your entry!

Q:  OMG OMG OMG did you really just give me, a total stranger, your cell number?

A:  Yeah, so what?  I just like to live on the edge I guess, and giving out the number seems to be the easiest way to encourage participation, because I know that things are busy for most of you this time of year. You want the scarf, you just don’t want a big hassle to get it, right?   Snap.  Send text.  Takes five seconds.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…

You could also use the above number to call me and say hello and then tell me how awesome you think my blog is, but that isn’t a requirement to win the contest.   Besides, I’d much rather talk to YOU than a creepy telemarketer, and they all seem to have my number already — why shouldn’t you?

Q:  Can I just send you a link to an image of some creepy Christmas or Hanukkah thingy I found on a website somewhere?

A:  Nope.   There are too many sites devoted to things like this, and I seem to see the same recycled pics and posts every year.  I’d like to add something new to the mix for a change, and that’s why I’m having the contest.   If I’m willing to make you a hand-knitted scarf, it seems only fair that you should be willing to actually take an original photo and send it to me, don’t you think?

Q:  What’s the deadline for entries?  Can I enter multiple times if I find a place with lots of ugly, scary, flashing things in it?   Can I make something extra scary with a holiday theme and take a picture of it for my entry? Do you think Santa will bring me a pony this year?

A:  The deadline for entry is December 20th at 9pm EST;  of course you can enter as many pictures as you want;  if you make something truly tasteless and scary in an attempt to win the contest it will only count if you actually display it in your charming home during the holiday season for the purpose of freaking out guests; and um, no — there are only so many ponies to go around, and I’m at the top of the list!

And now for today’s video, “Scarf Song” courtesy of Maple Rabbit.   I cannot tell you how completely awesome these insane keyboard playing girls are — you will simply have to have your mind blown by watching this weird and wonderful music video.

Good luck on the contest everyone!

After running an impromptu contest involving random facts about myself, and then doing a similar meme forwarded to me recently by prairieflounder, I have been tagged yet again by another blogger, Epicurienne, to spill what’s left of my guts and list 7 facts about myself that I have selfishly kept from all of you curious peeps.

Since I have already done this meme recently and the “following the rules” part was completely ignored by all participants (including myself) I will not repeat the rules here, nor will I make a great effort to pass this meme on. But because I adore Epicurienne and don’t want to get “clogged” on her blog, I’ll gladly list seven more facts about myself that you may not be aware of…illustrated!

snorlax

Snorlax

1. Snorlax and Gengar are my two favorite Pokemons.

gengar

Gengar

2.  The artist for whom I posed nude briefly in 1991 did not pay me with money, but instead gave me this amazing Eraserhead painting, which is currently hanging in my office and that I enjoy every day.  I’m sorry that this image doesn’t really do it justice.

"Eraserhead" by Howard Vives, oil crayon on paper, 1991.

"Eraserhead" by Howard Vives, oil crayon on paper, 1991.

menorah

Call your friend Veronica -- it's time to celebrate Hanukkah!

3.  I celebrate Hanukkah, although I am not Jewish (in fact, you’d probably call me a born Atheist), because: it’s less stressful than Christmas; it is not a particularly “religious” holiday; I find the lights soothing during what is usually a frenetic and often depressing time of year; and I’ve always thought menorahs are cool.   It started as kind of a joke to declare my independence from the commercialism of the American Christmas season, but has evolved into something that is much more serious and important to me.  I may have conscripted the rituals of Hanukkah (I am pretty rigorous about doing them  properly and learn more about them each year) and adapted them for my own “guided meditation” purposes, but it works for me.

This is not me, but you get the idea...

This is not me, but you get the idea...

4. In two separate and completely unintentional and unpremeditated childhood incidents, I broke my younger sister’s arm and nearly blinded her by spraying Easy Off oven cleaner in her eye.  Despite these traumatic events (both of which she has completely recovered from 30+ years later) she not only agreed to be interviewed for My Cool Job, but still lets me come visit her in Seattle.
5. After my ex-husband left me and moved back in with his parents, I collected Food Stamps for myself and my then 2 year old son for six months in 1998 before I was able to sort out my working and child care situation. I am amazed that the article I wrote about my experience is still on the Internet, but if you are interested, you can read it here (though I’m sure most if not all of the links in the article are no longer valid).

food-stamps

I think it's all done with cards now...

schnauzer_head8

Schauzers scare me!

6. I’ve had a phobia of dogs (especially dogs that bark and/or jump up on people) ever since being bitten by a schnauzer when I was in second grade.  I’m slowly getting better (watching episodes of The Dog Whisperer has really helped for some reason), but will still occasionally freeze on the spot and refuse to walk in right away if I visit someone who has a rambunctious dog, no matter how friendly they assure me “Throatripper” might be.

7.  My latest craft project is an Epicurienne voodoo doll.  :0  If you would like to make your own personalized voodoo doll, go to Pinstruck and curse your friends!  (C’mon, you know you want to…)

muslinvoodoodoll-2

Sorry Epicurienne, I couldn't resist!

Yes, I know it’s Halloween, and for my contribution to the festivities, you can mosey on over to My Cool Job to see my spooky cinematic masterpiece.

However, today on Carrie (Like the Movie) I have some important “Flat Stanley” news that those of you who’ve been reading my blogs recently simply MUST know about.

Schoolkids dissed by celebrities...except for Barack Obama!

Second graders were dissed by every celebrity they wrote to -- except for Barack Obama!

As you may recall, I recently hosted a visit from Tasmanian blogger Tony of Y-Not? Inspired by the popular website The Flat Stanley Project, which encourages schoolchildren to exchange “Flat Stanleys” as a way to learn about each other and the places they live.  Tony created a “Flat Tony” version of himself and invited his blog readers to download “Flat Tony” and host a visit!  What an awesome idea!  I even hosted a visit from him myself, which you can see here, as did people from all over the US and even a fellow blogger from Japan.

And then…well, things got a little out of hand.   “Flat Headless Carrie” visited CurlyWurlyGurly for a trip to Southern, NJ, and then a “Flat Carrie” with a head visited the Arizona desert (and the OB/GYN) with Khyri, and followed it up with a road trip to Southern California with Lori (click on “watch in high quality” to view the movie on YouTube).

Not to be left out, TheDailyDish then took “Flat Curly” for a day out in Philadelphia!   And how fondly all we S.L.O.B.S. (the Sassy Ladies of Blogdom to the rest of you) recall the Flat Halloween Party at CurlyWurlyGurly’s house where she made all of her “Flat Friends” such wonderful costumes!

Now that you see before you the full extent of this Flatmania, you’ll realize why I had to create a very special post about the news I’ve discovered today via Tammy and her very thoughtful and fun WordPress blog The Central Stream.

According to this article in The Hartford Courant, when a second grade class wrote “Flat Stanley” letters to everyone from Sen. John McCain, to Olympian Mark Spitz to NY Yankee Alex Rodriguez . . . Barack Obama was the only one to reply.  Here is what the article had to say about Obama’s visit with the Flat Stanley sent by class member Aron Mondschein, age 7:

Obama’s three-page letter to Aron described Flat Stanley’s visit with him and his staff in Washington, D.C. It chronicled their busy day together, which included coffee with constituents, a Senate committee meeting and a trip to the gym. It also had historical facts about the U.S. Capitol, details of Obama’s job and a confession from Obama.

“Sometimes I get a little nervous before talking in front of a crowd, but Flat Stanley helped me practice the speech,” Obama wrote. “He made me recite it in front of him and then even gave me some advice so the speech would go smoothly. Flat Stanley is really a great coach.”

Now I’m a pretty cynical gal as a rule, but I admit that reading the article turned me into a big teary mushball.  Of course I don’t know if someone as busy as Barack Obama had the time to write that letter to Aron and to also respond to a few of his classmates personally, but obviously as far as he’s concerned, letting people know he’s a cool dude with a sense of humor (which I obviously think is true) is enough of a priority that these letters got sent, despite what I can only imagine is an amazingly hectic schedule with the election so close in the polls, and happening so soon.

Is that cool or what?  “Flat Obama” can come visit me any time…after he’s done chillin’ with the REAL Barack Obama, of course!

Flat Obama hanging with his namesake..

Flat Obama hanging with his namesake..