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31 October, 2008

Happy Halloween, from the Porch at Mellow Mushroom!

He Did the Mash...the Monster Mash

If you're not up for spending $9.99 on iTunes to buy the Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House (by Walt Disney Sound Effects Group), then at least feel free to enjoy the best Halloween song of all time, right here, for free:

While there are many versions of the Monster Mash video on YouTube (the Disney Monster Mash version is also quite good), I like the one above because it features so many famous characters, monsters, villains, etc., including Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, Godzilla, Ants, Dracula, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Wolfman, and the Attack of the 50-Foot Woman.

Thank you, YouTube, and thank you Boris Pickett and the Cryptkickers!

29 October, 2008

When 29 is Actually 29...

A year and a week after my own grand entrance into this world, a beautiful Hawaiian princess, Leilani Jennifer Ann, was born on the dreamy island of Oahu. Her birth was celebrated with a week-long festival, during which time, Islanders stopped saying 'Maui no ka oi' meaning 'Maui is the best,' and instead said, 'Leilani Jenni no ka oi!'

10 years ago, I celebrated Jenni's birthday with her for the first time in my life, with a simple gift, and me nervously singing her a song I had written her. My life has only gotten better since that first birthday celebration, and soon my best friend became my loverly wife, and our life together has been filled with blessing after blessing, gift after gift.

Happy birthday, baby! You are my treasure, and my delight. You complete me and make me whole. If I can bring half as much joy and love and wonderfulness into your life today as you do mine every day, I know it will be a great birthday. I love you.

25 October, 2008

Domo Arigato!

picture plush Domo 6-inch

The Bubby has been a great helper and such a responsible guy lately, he was due a surprise. He loves the Domo characters (and actually gave me a very groovy Domo with turntable for my birthday) so this little plush one from Urban Outfitters was just the fit.

So, domo arigato, Mr. Bubby!

21 October, 2008

When 22 is Actually 30

Stendig Modern calendar from MOMA picture

There is a huge calendar in our living room—the super-groovy Stendig calendar from MOMA—and if there is one particular trait it has, it's that it is enormous. It's huge and in your face and you had darn better well like Helvetica if you have one of these kicking around.

Another thing about it:

It doesn't let you forget what day it is.

It may have made matters worse that I took out a red permanent marker and filled in the 22nd of October, but either way, there it is, staring me in the face, trying to freak me out: my 30th birthday, on October 22nd, 2008.

I'm not freaking out.

Really. Do I look like I'm freaking out?

Jonathan Carroll picture

Honestly, though, I'm not. I truly do not think of 30 as a big deal. It certainly isn't old. 50 isn't old. Those definitions are so subjective anyway and are always open to change. Some people think 72 is too old and other people think 47 isn't old enough. So I don't really care.

A few weeks back, though, I felt older, when Bubby turned 5. He's 5?! Holy crap that made me feel old. It kind of smacked me in the face.

So that was a bigger deal than 30. But really, not planning on running and screaming.

I think I probably already freak out too much to actually go ahead and have a special day for really freaking out.

...particularly for freaking out about something as wonderful as life.

So this October 22 actually means 30. Eight years ago, October 22 actually meant 22. Twenty-two year old Jonathan! I was getting ready to marry my best friend, and that was pretty much all I knew I was sure about with my life, that I wanted to spend the rest of it with her, and that I couldn't make her my bride fast enough.

I was totally right about that. I may have been 22, but I was definitely ahead of the curve on that decision. Mad skills, son, mad skills! I was 22, but I think even then I had the heart of a 82-year old man looking back at the glorious 60 years he's had with his wonderful bride, and wanting to make sure that old man turned out to be me.

It's 8 years later now, and now I'm thirty, and have a 5 year old, and the two most amazing people on the planet live at my house, WITH ME,

...and I stlll am not sure about most things. Like, how I'm the V.P. of Communications at an energy company (several energy companies) but how that doesn't really sound like me. Or how I'm trying to get into making textiles, or how I still haven't figured out convincing Josh to give me a job (right before he runs out of VC money). Like how I have pictures of robots I need to paint and phone calls to make for Obama and not enough time and not enough patience and not enough _______________________ (no seriously, fill it in, your call: money? attention span? love handles? guitars? iPods?)

Okay, if that doesn't make you think I totally don't have it together, I don't have anything else for you. Cos really, I don't. But this isn't some High Fidelity reality check. This is my 'Happy Birthday, self! Life is AWESOME!' moment. Because life is awesome! It's tremendous, and I am blessed beyond all reason. I do not deserve the wonderful life I have, the wonderful friends and family and outlook. I am grateful, more than I can express in a blog post, a thank you note, or with the medium-sized collection of words I now possess.

So what is 30? 30 is another day, another smile, another time to try to love Jenni and Bubby, and to be a good friend and to not screw it all up. And if I get an extra pat on the back today, or someone tells me something nice, like 'You're doing great!' then well, that rocks, too...

19 October, 2008

Saturday Alley Cat

Whilst taking care of some Saturday afternoon errands, I detoured down a couple of back streets (as I often do) and found this.

15 October, 2008

Monsters Behind the Myths

You're not the type that believes those emails when you get them, and you certainly don't send them on to everyone in your address book—you don't, do you? I mean, c'mon, even John McCain knows as much.

Anyway, at the very least, you probably are curious like me, where these malicious lies about Barack Obama come from, lies that are created with the sole purpose of creating fear and outrage in ordinary Americans. And I don't mean who perpetuates the lies—thanks, Fox News and Rush "Where-are-my-pills?" Limbaugh—but who actually originates the mistruths?

Look no further, truth-seeker, as Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times (the one Sarah Palin reads) serves up the truth behind (some of) the lies.

The Man Behind the Whispers

Spoiler Alert: This particular fear-mongering smear campaign actually isn't headed up by Karl Rove this time: it's a 62 year-old man named Andy, who:

  • was barred by the Illinois State Bar from becoming an attorney due to "severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character."

  • ran for Congress in Connecticut to "to exterminate Jew power"

  • aired a television advertisement in New Hampshire in 1999 accusing George W. Bush of using cocaine

  • had a judge bar him from filing lawsuits in any federal court without preliminary approval, because of how many frivolous lawsuits he has filed

For more information on the lies that lying liars tell about Barack Obama, and to connect the dots even further, visit FightTheSmears.com.

(Post-debate addendum: This just in, McCain isn't innocent in this matter either, as he himself in the final debate took one last cheap shot and perpetuated the myth and outright lie that Obama is chums with Bill Ayers, and specifically that Obama began his political career in Ayers' home, a known falsehood. Shame on you, McCain.)

More Happy in the Box!

The cover may be (kind of) on Jenni's sewing machine, but don't let it fool you: she's still going gangbusters on her Etsy shop projects, with brand-new additions to the store. More cool, repurposed t-shirt bags, including one from a groovy orange dragon Threadless shirt.

These things are selling fast, so go visit now: www.boxofhappy.com

14 October, 2008

iPhone Camera Cubism Madness

Trying to take a routine picture for an upcoming blog post resulted in the above, iPhone camera-induced cubism photo. No Photoshop was harmed in the making of this photo.

11 October, 2008

Slow Saturday Afternoon = LEGO Rocketship

picture of LEGO rocketship

My allergies are not being so nice to me today, so I had some 'still
time' with Bubby, involving LEGOs. And pretty much, that always ends
in me either building rocketships or robots...

10 October, 2008

Mellow Mushroom, We've Missed You!

picture Mellowing at the Mushroom

6 October, 2008

Death Cab for Screen Chaos

Screen Chaos 1

This random screen mess on my Mac has been happening lately when I have a window open for an RDC connection and have Pages minimized. When I restore the Pages window, these random patterns just happen. Anyone else?

(I think they are all reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie's Narrow Stairs album cover.)

5 October, 2008

Are You Registered to Vote?

If you're like me, you're ready for change NOW, and are getting tired of the political season and the egregious lies that the McCain Palin people are spewing--particularly the ones their famed pitbull is currently churning out--then take a moment to watch this light-hearted PSA, reminding you that not only do you need to vote, but that you in fact have to be registered to do so.