The Alabaster Sock

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Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

Christmas Post 1/12

Posted by Matt on December 14, 2010

Well, it’s the holiday season again. Which gives me an excuse to try to post some things on a daily basis. 12 days, to be precise. Get it? 12 days of Christmas. Yeaaaaaaah.

The first thing about Christmas one should learn about is Krampus. Krampus is the monster friend/colleague of Santa Claus/Sinterklaas/Saint Nicholas in his homeland of Eastern Europe. Krampus is meant to be the stick in the carrot/stick dynamic, threatening children on the naughty list with blunt objects and rusty chains, or taking them away in a sack. Krampus is an awesome meeting point between pre-and-post Christian folklore in the region, and its a shame that the tradition has not caught on over here. Many Internet nerds, however, adore Krampus, and make sure to reference him every Christmas.

Other Christmas creeps in European folklore:

Belsnickle is, depending on where you are, either another companion of Santa Claus or his equivalent figure. He seems to be the basis for both Santa’s fuzzy costume and his love of stuffing stockings: Belsnickle either gave children socks full of candy, or coal. Sometimes he would also carry things to threaten violence like Krampus.

Black Peter/Zwarte Piet is the one who supposedly went down chimneys to deliver gifts, thus the source of his blackness. In early versions of the story, he was a demon enslaved by Saint Nicholas to show his conquest over evil. Since then, he has essentially become a gollywog, which is why some people may not be too comfortable with him around.

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Posted by Matt on May 22, 2010

Bear with me, I’m on a nostalgic trip.

Early this morning, I saw that CTV was airing OWL TV. I used to watch OWL TV in my preschool days. It was one of those shows that made me interested in Animals!

How many of these kinds of children’s science magazine-format shows do they have now? Honestly, I think one of the easiest ways to get kids more excited about learning and science is to just show it to them, plainly, because nature has a way of being awesome on its own. I’m sure kids still like animals, and animal facts, right? They damn well better.

This, of course, led down the rabbit hole of children’s shows that I watched. Camp Cariboo, Fred Penner’s Place, The Umbrella Tree (fucking horrifying puppets), stuff like that. Then came…PJ Katie’s Farm. Upon reflection, I now realize the utter strangeness of this show.

Here’s the thing: the show was about a woman manipulating little home-made clay figurines to tell a story about farm animals, doing all the voices as well as narrating. No camera tricks, stop-motion, or anything. She just moved the clay figures and told the story in plain view. It’s sub-Manger Babies level television. Yet there’s something to the low-key affair and its public access production values; it makes me kind of glad it exists.

To show you how this show worked, here is a highlight reel:

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When Things Stop Making Any Sense

Posted by Matt on May 15, 2010,_Zax_&_the_Alien_Prince

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Posted by Matt on April 10, 2010

This made me laugh:

Skylar Neil (1991-1995), American cancer victim

I am a bad person

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Posted by Matt on January 2, 2010

How is your new decade been? Guess what I did today? If you said ‘nothing’, you’d be wrong, because I did less than nothing.

The only thing I really did do was get flustered over one of my random Internet prowling missions for the name of something. It really is pissing me off. I’ve been able to find so much about so much other bullshit, the fact that I can’t couldn’t find it was CONFUSING AND INFURIATING.

Before I even finished that paragraph, I found what I was looking for. It was this show, which was shown on some local channels around ’97-’98. You know, I just didn’t see very many Australian claymation shorts featuring annoyingly cute little blobs and ass-faced space mercs back then, so there’s a reason it stood out, and why I was so adamant to find it again. That, and for pride. I AM A NERD WITH TOO MUCH FREE TIME, I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED SO EASILY.

Still, it’s interesting on its own. You can find episodes of it on Youtube. I’m not going to post them here, because I’m fucking lazy.

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Posted by Matt on December 25, 2009

Red Hulk, referred to as Rulk in comic narration


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Posted by Matt on December 12, 2009

It’s the final judgement time once again. Considering my output rate on here, I doubt studying (for the exams that will require the least amount of study) will hurt it.

There a many childhood objects that I wish I could reclaim. None of them are toys or anything along those lines (burn the Velveteen rabbit, for all I care), but rather some of the class projects I did in grade school. Because I remember them, and I would like to look at them again, because some of that shit WAS CRAZY.

Take my first storybook, written in the first grade: The Sad Scorpion

Being a weird animal kid, I was often enamored with…well, weird animals. Or at least animals that would be weird to be enamored with in the first grade. Thus: a storybook about a scorpion. A sad scorpion, at that.

Why was the scorpion sad? Because he lived in the pet shop. I don’t know if I ever saw them selling Emperor Scorpions at the local exotic pet store, but I obviously knew that pet stores did carry them. Why am I explaining this? Because it’s my process, dumbass.

So anyway, the scorpion lived in a pet shop in New York City (because why not?), and then decides to leave the pet shop. Can one be sad at the lack of freedom if freedom is that easy? I don’t know. Would the citizens of Manhattan appreciate a scorpion wandering the streets? I don’t know that, either.

So, a series of truncated Disney-esque events ensue, and the scorpion ends up being followed by a turtle and a cat, who also want to escape from…something. The book ends with the bizarre image of the three animals speeding away from the island (and with the obligatory Lady Liberty in the background) on a hovercraft. Where are they going? Who rents hovercrafts in New York? All mysteries that will forever be locked in my first grade mind.

This was a major project for me. It was laminated and everything! Lamination in grade school was hardcore shit, and when something was covered in plastic, you knew it was going to last the ages (A friend and I also made an ‘Encyclopedia’ in our school free time, which included a ‘huge’ number of well-researched facts about oft-overlooked topics like animals, dinosaurs, birds, and clouds. You bet the principal laminated that fucker, and I bet if I went over to my buddy’s old house, we’d be able to find it again. I’m sure he’s totally up for that.)

My hubris got the better of me when I attempted to create a follow-up, which to this day has never been completed. The work, titled the far more subtle A Sense of Humour, followed a bizarrely-drawn version of another one of my obscure animal obsessions, the wolverine*. In what I could theorize was either a case of self-insertion, or just coincidental choice of names that sound good, the main wolverine’s name was Matt.

I had set-up the following plot for the book: Matt the wolverine’s mother warned him about evil snakes (my childhood ideas were filled with evil snakes for some reason that I really can’t pinpoint, which often frightens me) living in the bushes. Matt and whatever friends I might have concocted for him (I actually can’t remember this time!) were brave though, and they probably dared eachother to go into the bushes or whatever. Although never finished (probably because it was a side project and not something the teacher lady told us to do), I did have an ending in mind: the characters would hear something in the bushes, are terrified, and learn it was a practical joke (thus justifying the title, which I think I may have created first without actually understanding the term). Oh, the magnum opus that hath been deprived from us!

Needing something more down-to-earth in order to get my groove back, I then wrote a short story about a monster. The monster story, whose title eludes me, has the monster (whose design was partially ripped-off from Toxic Seahorse, showing how videogames corrupted my young mind) scare a family. In a shocking bit of poetic justice, the monster is then scared by the family, and learns that it’s not so fun to be on the receiving end of a monster rampage!

Even though my creativity was sparked again, that ended the age where we were to write storybooks in school (with a few exceptions later on, when I accumulated some cognitive ability, which of course makes the whole thing a lot less fun). However, I was beginning to put together my own comic books out of printer paper and pen in the 4th grade, which might be a story for another time. However, it is also worth noting that my first major comic projects have also been lost to the ages, which might be even sadder than the lost storybooks.

*In true Sonic the Hedgehog fashion, my wolverine looked less like the real thing and more like a combination of an otter (my favourite animal, and one that would have its own series!) and Little Critter.

Just a dream update, because I haven’t had one in a while:

A few nights ago, the dream had me waking up on Saturday morning (like I want to wake up on the one morning when I don’t have to) to, what else, watch cartoons. But then my family and I are now at my one friend’s house, apparently looking after it. I want to watch whatever cartoon it is I want to watch, but I can’t find a TV (my brother is playing Mario World on the basement TV). I do see the cartoon, however, which features superheroes and some cartoonier characters battling it out with colossal space gods. Some of the superheroes are vaporized in the conflict.

This leads to a funeral scene on an airship. One Superman-esque character is told to use his shapeshifting powers to get the proper attire on. Apparently deciding to play the funeral as a comedy scene, the idiot shapeshifter transforms into several different things (including an Elizabethan-era Lady), before settling on a gorilla; all the while, properly keeping his head down in mourning.

After this I head into the farthest room in my friend’s basement, where I grab a trash bin and proceed to spit out a stream of goo filled with sunflower seed shell splinters. All the while, I am being watched by fraternal twins, who I seem to recognize as siblings (although I do not have any twin siblings). Thus ends the dream

Considering how most of my dreams as of late have involved me doing absolutely dick-all, I guess this is a bit of a step-up in terms of activeness.

Today’s dream, which I didn’t bother detailing, has me on a boat. I think it might have been a race, although all I know for sure is that the water that seemed to resemble my street was filled with other boats. Boats seem to be a recurring motif in my dreams lately.

What does the Internet dream expert have to say about this?

To dream that you are in or see a boat, signifies your ability to cope with and express your emotions. Pay particular attention to the condition and state of the waters, whether is is calm or violent, clear or murky, etc. Are you “smooth sailing”? Alternatively, you may be ready to confront your unconscious and unknown aspects of yourself.


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The Hell

Posted by Matt on November 26, 2009

And then this:

But then I go to the source and:

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What I Don’t

Posted by Matt on November 12, 2009

The group’s name changed from “The Chipmunks” to “Alvin & The Chipmunks” just like “Diana Ross & The Supremes”. Alvin, just like Diana Ross, was the lead singer.The Chipmunks name change sparked rumors of a possible solo career for Alvin.

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A Delirious Post

Posted by Matt on October 28, 2009

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here or not (too lazy to look it up), but I have a strange fascination with malls. Especially really large ones, like the West Edmonton Mall. I mean, I guess I find the sense of a capitalistic community, an indoors city of sorts, to be rather fascinating. And WEM exemplifies that. It has themed quarters, a water park, an amusement park, sea lions & other animals that don’t belong in fucking Alberta, a pirate ship…lots and lots of things. Apparently, it’s next expansion will add apartments. APARTMENTS. It’s like my story idea of the mall eventually becoming a self-sustaining community is coming true!

But I digress. The reason why I’m posting this now is because of the upcoming new entrant in the giant mall mythology, brought to you by one of the mad geniuses behind the WEM: Meadowlands Xanadu in scenic New Jersey. It might not have a pirate ship, but it has lots of other shit. And nothing says ‘gargantuan eyesore’ like a 200-foot-tall Pepsi logo.

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