Thursday, April 5, 2012

Squirrel Stuff I Own: Ridiculous Squirrel Wallet

Is this even a wallet?  What do you call this?  It has slots for cards inside of it and that is my definition of a wallet so we're just going to go with that.

I bought a new handbag today (it has come to my attention that they are no longer called purses) and was thinking of upgrading my wallet while I was at it.  I was admiring some very conservative grown-up wallets when I pulled this one from the back of the pile.  I looked at it, thought about it, and immediately put it back on the shelf because it was ridiculous.  Then I kept looking at the adult wallets.  Then I realized that there was pretty much no way I could walk out of that store without purchasing this ridiculous thing.

RIDICULOUS I SAY.  I'm not sure if I'll feel gleeful or embarrassed the first time I have to get this out in public.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Westminster Kennel Club 136th Annual Dog Show: Casey's Guide to Attending the Big Show

So on Friday, February 10, I made the somewhat impulsive decision to attend the Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Gardens on the following Monday.  I've always wanted to go, but have never had the nerve to take a full day off work and dive into this crazy subculture.  

But this year I did it.

I had no clue what to expect when I bought tickets.  They started judging breeds at 8:30 AM, but I didn't make it to the Garden until about 10:30 AM.  During breed judging they have 7 separate rings operating throughout the venue, and the audience can basically wander around as they please, either taking a seat up above or standing down below near the action.  I got a front row spot for the border collies!

It was a little difficult finding my way around (and it was my first time at Madison Square Garden) so I mostly just wandered around until I found new cool things.  For instance, I thought I would need to be an owner or handler to get down on the floor at the rings, but it turns out anyone can hang out down there.  

During the day it seemed that the audience was composed mostly of owners and handlers and breeders and others with some sort of investment in the show.  The conversations around were very serious and along the lines of "Oh, that's Patrick's border collie... he's the one to beat" and "Last year our dog took third in his breed but this year we're winning for sure."  I very much enjoyed the conversations I overheard.

Eventually, after more wandering around I found the "benching" area.  I had read about this in the show guide online, but could not for the life of me figure out what benching was.  Turns out, that's where they groom the dogs.  I couldn't believe that they just let the public wander around back there.  It was crazy.

It was by far the most crowded part of the entire event.  I really enjoyed seeing all the dogs "off stage" but I felt bad that they had so much going on around them, and so many people petting and prodding at them.  It was completely overwhelming for me and I wasn't tied to a table and being photographed over and over!

They did the Junior Showmanship competition in the afternoon, so I left for a couple hours and came back to see the group judging.

This part of the show was totally different from the first part.  There was not as much freedom to move around, benching was surprisingly more insane, and there were cameras everywhere.  I had only bought general admission tickets, so I settled into a decent seat at about 6:15 and had to wait for the 8:00 show.

It was really fun watching the group judging in person.  I've watched it on television most years, but it's really great to see what the dogs are doing when they aren't on camera.  The basenji was absolutely adorable jumping in and out of his box during the hound group.  During the toy group judging, after the pug and his handler moved off camera, the handler got down on all fours and nuzzled the pug for a few seconds, which was both strange and adorable.  That was fun to see.  The picture above is of the dalmation winning the non-sporting group.

I'm really glad that I went to this event, but I don't think I would go again.  It's much easier to see the dogs on television, after all, and I'm not the type who really enjoys live events.  I did like attending alone during the first part because I moved around at my own pace, but it would be much more fun to go with a friend for the second half, especially since then you can take turns saving seats and you can get drunk and not feel pathetic (oh yes, that's the other thing: I was surprised at how much drinking was going on at this thing, even during the day!).

Anyway, this is my review, and although I know of only 3 people who actually read this blog regularly, I am hopeful that someone looking for more information about attending the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will come across this entry and will find it useful.  Hey, you never know, there are some weird search phrases that lead people to this blog, if you can believe that.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, Rodent Style!

I received some excellent Valentine's Day presents in the mail in early February.  They are not squirrel related, but they are rodent related, and I love them!

It's hard to see in the picture, but the hamster sticker are puffy stickers!  And the heart tin has two beavers on it and it says "Wood you be mine?" which is hilarious and I can't believe I never came up with that joke.

These came from my Minnesotan friend, H.  Thank you, H!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Squirrel Stuff I Own: Vintage Squirrel Salt and Pepper Shakers

My friend E procured these little dudes for me and they are just delightful! 

They are supposed to be salt and pepper shakers, but I don't want to expose them to the horrors of the dining room table, so they've taken up residence on our bookshelf.  I love their little Disney eyes.  Sometimes I set them up so they look like they're kissing as a secret message to B, but I don't think he notices.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Squirrel Stuff I Own: Know Your Rodent

I had to get drunk before I wrote this post because it was the only way to calm myself down enough to think clearly and write a few sentence fragments.

This book.  Received for Christmas.  So awesome.

I said, "Oh my God, this is so amazing!  I can't believe I don't already own this!"  Friend said, "I can't believe you didn't write it!"

On bedside table now.  Still exciting.  Not conducive to sleep.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers!

So I went to Gamestop (my favorite place to spend B's money) the other day, had a disappointing look around the store, and left.  (Side note to all game developers who read my blog: I am not interested in first person shooters or anything that has "Momma" or "Puppiez" in the title.  Please stop making all of those games.)  I was sad, shuffling down the street back toward my officez when I noticed a sketchy man selling comic books had taken up residence next to the sketchy man who sells bongs on that corner.

Now, I have many interests, of wide range and quality, but comic books do not generally rate among my interests.  There is, however, one particular comic series that I was deeply dedicated to in the early 1990s.  "Oh, I'll just check out the kids section of Sketchy McSketcherson's comic book stand," I said to myself.

And I found it. 

Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers, the comic book!  I had a small stack of these when I was a kid, and I remember excitedly pawing through the comic books at Safeway every week looking for the latest issue.  Sketchy dude was selling this for $5, which I'm sure was five times what it cost back in 1992.  But I was in the mood to spend money, damnit, so I did it.  I purchased a small part of my childhood.

You can bet I'll be hanging out on the corner with the bongs much more frequently now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Found Squirrels: Creepy Bike Squirrel

Although I really dislike crowds, especially in Midtown Manhattan, I do always enjoy seeing the holiday windows in New York City.

And I especially enjoy the particularly whimsical and nonsensical windows, like this one, where we see a squirrel inexplicably riding a penny-farthing bicycle over the roofs of various townhouses whilst wearing a Santa hat.  I mean, why not?

Today, on a hunch, I went back to my folder full of photos from my previous phone, and finally figured out why this window seemed so familiar.  

I took this photo during my holiday window viewing in December of 2009, and I'm pretty sure this is the exact same squirrel!  Either that or multiple stores own copies of this squirrel riding a bicycle, which would just be odd.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Found Squirrels: Squirrel Mummy

Guys, I'm so behind in my squirrel blogging!  I'm sitting here enjoying the sweet sounds of Britney Spears (she's back; did you know?) and combing through my photos from the last few months and becoming completely overwhelmed by the number of posts I need to write.  How did I let this happen?  I blame the three week period in January when I tried to give up coffee.  

Way back in December we went to the American Museum of Natural History with a friend who was visiting from out of town.  I always enjoy this museum, particularly the room that addresses the evolution of mammals.

That's some squirrel taxonomy and evolution for y'all.  Check out the sweet capybara up there.

And they had a mummified squirrel!  Poor little guy looks so uncomfortable.  But I was so pleased to see him in the museum.  Everyone is always going on and on about the freeze-dried woolly mammoths that scientists are finding all over the place.  What about the squirrels? What about the giant prehistoric beaver?  Why isn't anyone else excited about bringing back the rodents of yesteryear?

Monday, February 6, 2012

What do you call a groundhog's laundry?


As longtime readers of this blog already know, I get really excited about Groundhog Day.  As longtime readers should also know, this is because a groundhog is a type of squirrel (a ground squirrel) and I love any day when we celebrate squirrels.  (I celebrate squirrels every day in my head, but when the rest of the world celebrates with me, well, that is a special day.)  So I threw a surprise Groundhog Day party for my office!

Hey, somebody has to make use of the color printer!   I designed the banner like three weeks ago and I was ridiculously excited about finally debuting it.

Probably the best part of Groundhog Day at my office this year was the presents.  Last year I was super lame and just made cards for everybody with fun facts about groundhogs.  This year I went all out and purchased delightful children's books about groundhogs for each of my coworkers!  And I included a card because I'm an adult now and actually enjoy giving and receiving cards.

I left a gift on everybody's desk so they would have something exciting to greet them when they came in.  I think everyone was suitably excited.  As one of my coworkers put it, "I woke up this morning, saw that it was Groundhog Day, and wondered if there would be some sort of insanity going on at the office.  Why did I wonder that?"

I also purchased special Groundhog Day donuts.  I was going to write some cute little poem about how the groundhog comes out of his hole and now we can all enjoy a donut without a hole... but I couldn't get my shit together in time.  My trains were messed up that morning and I almost didn't make it in time to set up everything for the party.

I think everything came together nicely, and my coworkers seemed both pleased and amused, which is what I was going for.

Next year I'm bringing in a real groundhog!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Found Squirrels: Santa Squirrel Selling His Sole for Shoes

He he, do you see what I did there?  Yeah, you do.

My new iPhone has really revolutionized the way I record squirrel stuff sightings, in a crazy way.  I used to struggle to find squirrel things to post about, and now I continually have a backlog of squirrely bits for my blog!  How is a full-time employed hermit woman supposed to keep up?!

I found this squirrel on the door of a running store (or maybe it's just a shoe store?) in Manhattan before Christmas.  I'm not particularly fond of this example of squirrels in advertising, as it appears the squirrel is either dead or "crunk," as B would say.  I recommend my treatise on the HP printer squirrel if you're interested in seeing what I think is a fantastic use of a squirrel in advertising.

Madison Avenue, take note.