Very Merry

There is something magical about the Christmas tree. No matter how drab the room is to start, it suddenly gets transformed with sparkles of light and color. And it’s temporary, it only happens once a year, otherwise it would not be so special. Back when I was travelling a lot, I would often follow S in her quest for the perfect Christmas ornaments. Now I acquire new ornaments in a random fashion, perhaps it is that they have chosen me.

I found this cowboy/chili pepper mashup at our annual garage sale, it doesn’t really seem like one of my standard obsessions, but. So some years ago I was in San Antonio for a convention. I was walking down the street early in the morning, when I found a Jalapeno lying on the sidewalk. I decided to take that chili on a tour of the city and photograph it was we went around. I even had it with me when S and I went to a proper Christmas store. This ornament is in memory of that long ago art project.

This ornament is another mashup between the classic Blue Willow pottery (like my grandmother had) and a monster attack (we’ve all been there). There is an entire series of these featuring various calamities, but I found this one by chance at a thrift shop, and I love sea monsters which stand in for the fear of the unknown.

I think we all know about my obsession with pterodactyls. It is true that a pterodactyl makes any photo better, but this one isn’t gaudy enough to make the tree better. Oh well.

This ornament certainly qualifies as gaudy, and it is really quite tricky to find a dodo ornament, but I was up to the task.

This one is a rather generic sort of dinosaur, but the hat and smile give it some charm.

Every Christmas tree must have a topper of some sort, and angels are a common theme. This one bears a number of traits: it has a halo and wings like a saint, it has a Santa hat, and it appears to be some sort of Saur. So it’s a St. Santasaurus Rex, which makes it a perfect addition to this years magical tree. It was this year’s featured ornament at the Natural History Museum in London, so I hope that this motif spreads all over the world (really, I hope I’m not the only one who bought this at full price). These ornaments are now all a treasured part of my holiday tradition, so see you next year.

Go Fish

At the local sporting goods store, which features a full-size Ferris Wheel inside the store, there are also giant salt-water fish tanks at the entry. I do enjoy looking at fish, swimming and going about their fishy business as shoppers pass them by without a second glance. (Unless they have small children, then they say “Look, fish”). Well I must also admit that I was not there to see them, I was shopping as part of this crazy before Christmas frenzy. But I did stop for a moment to enjoy their finny antics.

The fish live in three pillars of water that are connected by shallow bridges, so they can choose a favorite place to hang out. I was interested in this one, it sort of looked like a Plecostomus (suckermouth catfish) from the bottom (but really, no Plecostomus would be up that high). In the reflection one can see that this is a much taller fish, so I have no idea what sort of fish this is.

Here another species is hanging about, no doubt waiting for some store employee to come by with the food. (I was pretty hungry myself at this point, but I was on a mission).

And why was I there in the store? Well I had to be in that part of town and I had heard through the girlfriend grapevine that they had some interesting shoes for standing about. The recommended brand was too sincerely ugly to buy, so I ended up with another sort. And it shall join the other many pairs in the closet as I search for the ultimate shoe. So see you again sometime, fishes.