Random Thursday: Random Costumes and Zombified Love Songs

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

I wish I could blame more of you for more of this . . . but most of it is my fault.


Vampire slaying kit from 1890s

Vampire Kit 1890

“Cased vampire killing kit, in a rosewood and ebony case with inlaid silver stringing and mother-of-pearl inlaid plaque. Contents include a black powder percussion 2-barrel pistol, a powder horn and bullet mold, bone handled dagger with crucifix, three small crucifixes, mallet and two wooden stakes, book of common prayer, two small framed portraits of Jesus, holy water and four glass vials with crystals.”

(from Dangerous Minds: thanks for sharing this on Facebook, Paula!)


Parsing the Uncanny

Why Poe’s Raven
(not to mention the tintinnabulations of those danged bells, bells, bells)
gets us every time.

(Thanks Watson!)


Why did the Turduken Cross the Road?

To get away from the Cthulken:


I don’t blame it one bit.

The brainchild of Rusty Eulberg who hails from Lubbock, Texas (at least on this plane),
the Cthulken combines all the flavorful weirdness
of crab, turkey, octopus, bacon,
with just a soupçon of existential dread.

The story of its conception is here.

You may be thinking
(supposing you’ve recovered from the horror of imagining the carving)
that this is really more of a Thanksgiving random bit.

Maybe so.

But forewarned is forearmed.

(photo borrowed from @damana, which is as far back as I was able to trace)


Fair’s Fair


Earwoooorrrrrmmmmmzzzzz . . . .

I know I’ve shared this once or twice before,

But this song just won’t die . . . in my heart.

Aren’t these the most adorable zombies ever?

I mean, the benchmark’s pretty low, but still.



‘Cause they probably haven’t eaten all the good candy, yet.

Better go back to last weekend, just to make sure.



Another tender zombie love story,
from a Martian’s POV


Random Thursday: Colors and Carwashes, Cogwheels and Kids

I don’t wear a lot of makeup.  Most days, I don’t bother.  This doesn’t mean I’m disdainful of the stuff, in case you care—it just means I’m too lazy to gild the thistle each and every morning.*

But once every few years, just before a special occasion, I’ll drag down my small case—which has lived on the highest shelf of the linen closet since the Janie Discovers Foundation Incident of ’09—take a guilty look at the fossilized sadness in those elegant little containers, toss it all out, and make an emergency trip to the Mall, where an optimistic young thing will sell me the works, not knowing that she will never see me again in this lifetime, no matter how many handwritten thank you notes or special customer postcards she drops in the mail.

I will use it all once.  Perhaps twice.  And the cycle starts again.

My one exception to this is nail polish—I get my nails done, in a real salon, every two weeks.  There are actual reasons for this.  One, my nails are brittle and tend to split and crack along the sides unless they’re armored in several layers of polish. Two, I make a lot of photocopies every day, and my hands are in everything.  Might as well make ’em look purty.

Three—I love OPI.  Great colors, weird names.  “I’m Not Really a Waitress” Red?  “I Vant to be a-Lone Star” silver?  “House of Blues”?  Gimme.

Aaaaand they’ve come out with a set for the new Muppet Movie.    This week, I’m sporting “Warm ‘n Fozzy” on my fingers and “Rainbow Connection” on my toes.  I would have gone with “Meep Meep Meep,” or “Fresh Frog of Bel Air,” but the octogenarian next to me snagged ’em.


 In which I am outnumbered, in a car, in the rain:

“Why do you have wiper-thingies, Mom?”

“Windshield wipers?  So I can see to drive.”

“Why don’t we have them back here?”

“Because you don’t have to see—only the driver has to see.  See?”

“I can’t see, Mommy!  I want to see.”

“Use your mitten to wipe the window.”

“It’s not the steam, Mom, it’s on the outside.”

“The raindrops?”

“Yeah.  And the dirt.”

Mom-my’s car is dir-ty.  We should wash it.  With lotsa car soap.”

“Can we, Mom?”

“It’s too cold . . . Maybe the rain will help.”

Doubtful silence.

“Okay, maybe we could run it through the car wash.”


“Not right now.  This weekend.”

Much more squealing than I expected.

“They gots popcorn!”

“And little jewel things under a plastic microscope.”

“And popcorn, Mommy!”

“And stuffed animals.”

“At the carwash?”

“Yeah, they have a gift shop.”

“And popcorn.”

“At the carwash?

“Sure.  It’s fun.  Can we go with you, Mom? Please?”

“Pretty Please, Mommy?”

“Pleeeeeeeese with sugar on top and a cherry and, um, Reddi-Whip?”

“Pleeeeese, Mommy? With spinkles?”

“She means sprinkles.  Please, Mom?”

“I’m not going to say yes, just to get you to stop.”**

“Please with cheese on top?  Pleasie with cheesie?”

“Don’t say that like that, Janie.”

“Why not?”

“It sounds icky.”

“It does not!”

“Pleases can have cheeses, Sunny.  Great, now you have me doing it.”

Much giggling.

“Well?  Can we, Mom?  Or should we keep asking?”

“No!  I mean, Yes!  But no more pleases.  Please.”

The sound of a high-five in the back seat.

“We’re going!”


“Sorry, Sunny.”

“’Sokay.  Mommy? Can we have popcorn for a snack?”

“I don’t think so.  It’s almost dinner time.”



This made me sniffle like I haven’t sniffled since the Iron Giant. Felt good.


And by popular request, an image of the world’s only blonde, curly-headed Batgirl, who uses the power of sheer cuteness to melt evildoers into little puddles of goo:


And everyone else, too.

*And also that after years of playing a double reed, I never got used to the taste of lipstick.

** Yes, I lied to my children.  But it’s not like they believed me.

Random Thursday: Candy, a Contest, and the Steampunk Cheesefest

Jane’s class Halloween party is coming up, and we volunteered to provide the drinks.

My husband went to the wholesale place and bought two flats of assorted juice boxes (one for lunches, one for the party), various household necessities . . . and the biggest bag of Hershey miniatures I’ve ever seen—and that’s coming from a woman who often dreams in chocolate.

“It’s for the Trick-or-Treaters,” he said, with commendable optimism.  “Hey, kids,” he said to the two who had materialized in front of him the moment he said trick-or-treat, “do you think we should hand these out for Halloween?”

“Yes!” said Jane, her nose pressed against the plastic of the bag in an expression of cacao-ian rapture.  “They’ll love them!”

“Daddy?” asked Sunny, her eyes huge.  “Can we come by our house for Halloween and get some of those, too?”


Her Sharkliness, Janet Reid is hosting another one of her 100-word story contests over at her blog, presumably to celebrate the release of  Sophie Littlefield’s new book, Unforsaken—the prize is a critique by Barbara Poelle, who is Ms. Littlefield’s agent.

The required words are: unforsaken, deadly, witch, ghost, decay, and slay, with extra points given for working in insalubrious.

You can place your story in the comments of the contest post starting tomorrow at noon EST.

It’s a fun little exercise and it’s free to enter.

I’m planning to start scribbling mine right after I google insalubrious.


Three Musketeers is coming out tomorrow.   I’ll be going with my friend, Grace, as my husband, who is devoted to the 1970s movies,* which follow the books just a touch more closely,  has declined to go anywhere near it.  He says if they wanted to make Master of the World, they should have—but they shouldn’t call it Three Musketeers.

But I’m planning on reveling in its steampunk fanfic-y cheesiness without apology.

I say fanfic, because this clearly isn’t a remake—it’s a what-if  brought to life, with much fanfare and use of rich fabrics and exploding ordnance.   Barbie and the Three Musketeers might be marginally closer to the source material, and that’s one of the few books I’ve hidden under Sunny’s mattress so I won’t have to face them for a while.**

I may be asked to turn in my Bibliovore Society membership card, but I don’t care about any of this, as long as Matthew Macfadyen keeps talking in that lovely voice of his and Orlando Bloom keeps chomping scenery like a piranha in a fop suit:

Even Genevieve Valentine, who has already dubbed this film The Comedy of the Year, is planning to revel in its anticipated wrongness:

I suspect it’s one of those movies so wonderfully dreadful that, after I see it, I will feel as though it’s always been in my life.

That’s my kind of recommendation.


*The ones with Richard Chamberlain as d’Artagnan—both of whom irritate the behooey out of me, though the book character bugs me marginally less.  While all the Musketeers sport some pretty big character flaws, which makes for more interesting reading, Mr. Chamberlain—a fine actor, I’m told, whose performance in Austin Powers I did enjoy—infuses the admittedly WTF dialogue of his d’Artagnan with just a bit more oblivious arrogant narcissism than I feel is strictly necessary.  Or indeed tolerable.  I actually prefer the Disney version, which might tell you something, though I’d swap all of them for The Man in the Iron Mask with Gabriel Byrne, Gérard Depardieu, John Malkovitch, and Jeremy Irons.

**I think there are one or two Barbie-wrecks-the-classics under there, but mostly it’s just because the best children’s books tend to lose their luster after the bazillionth reading.  Parents, guardians, and caregivers, back me up:  what books have you nudged under the couch?