Miscellaneous Pictures

These are photos that don't have a category, or there are too few of them to warrant their own photo page. I have them up here because sometimes I need to point the URL to someone to say, "Hey, look at this!"
... the beast arises...
During a meeting at my house, our friend Moria showed be what her boyfriend Matt's store had just gotten in. I bought it off of her immediately. I love Cthulhu toys. Isn't he great? He's made by a company called "The Toy Vault" out of Playa Del Ray ("Beach of the Sun"), California. Moria says Matt can't keep them in stock, they go too quickly.
Happy, happy... Joy, joy...
Tell me, have you ever seen a pineapple THIS happy? I didn't think so. I got this back in 1995, my second trip to Cancun. There was a restaurant called the Piņa Colada at the Omni Resort we were at. We had some of the best breakfast buffets anywhere. Sometimes, when you don't want to get up, you stumble down past the huge pools, and this pineapple forces happiness into your tired, sun-worn body. I have this shirt up on my wall to improve my mood when doing bills and other painful processes.
Rock Lobster!
This guy has an interesting story. See, back when I worked at Cargo Furniture, we carried this huge stuffed pink octopus we named "Olivia." Olivia was made by this company called Angelitos out of El Salvador. I got one of their catalogs once, and drooled over all the stuff they had. Giant stuffed sculptures of all kinds of things, like trees, animals, food, and so on. But most of their big stuff was $200 on up, and at the time way out of my price range (it was all made by hand by people in El Salvador, see the woman who owned the company hired locals to keep them employed and to revitalize her childhood village... but I digress). One year, my company flew us managers out to a dude range in Bandera (near San Antonio, Texas). We got these silly things called "Cargo Dollars," which you got more of by doing good deeds, making good sales at your store, and so on. But the auction was for weird junk, and had bad descriptions in the handbill (on purpose, part of the fun). Like tacky leather stool found at a flea market was posted as "a bun warmer" and so on. I saw one for "free seafood," and instantly knew what it probably meant. So I bid on it, and won. Then I got to see what it was, and I was very happy to have correctly guessed that it was a giant stuffed Angelitos sculpture. I was hoping it was Subby the Sea Serpent, but was extremely pleased to see it was a lobster. My fellow managers thought, "Oh, man, you got shafted!" and could not understand why I was so happy. Sure beats the pair of giant paper mache maracas I almost bid on! I had to hand carry it onto the plane, and somewhere, in a managers' old photo album, they have several shots of me happy to see it, carrying it with me to the rest of the sales meeting (part of your punishment), and getting it on the plane.
When I was a little boy, there was this store in Georgetown park in DC that was called "The Embraceable Zoo." I was as crazy about large sea stuffed animals as I am now. I was about 10, and they had this giant, life-sized penguin for $500. Wow, $500 to a little kid in the 70s might as well have been a million dollars. I loved that penguin, and wanted him more than anything. But when I was about 13, I went back to see if it was still there and the store had gone out of business. In the back of my head for the next 18 years I missed that penguin. I told myself that someday I would get that penguin, but that day never came. One day, I was commiserating with Brad about stupid things I was still carrying with me from my childhood. I forgot I told him, but then he brought it up again around my birthday, and gave me some links on the web to find the very penguin I had "lost." "Was this it?" he'd ask. He wanted to be sure that he got me the very penguin. Well, we did find it on one cool and nifty site, and a month later, it was in my den. Brad, if you recall, was the guy who got Christine the dragon for her birthday a few years back. He's a life size King Penguin, and very silly. I love him and move him around. He sits in chairs, in the car, in the living room, and never sees the same scene twice. Brad rules at finding great gifts.
Rock Octopus... doesn't have the same ring as Mr. Schnider's...
I couldn't tell you about the lobster (unnamed... I wonder why I never named him? Anyway...) without taking a photo of Olivia. She's seen better days, and I didn't pay for her. See, she used to be in every one of our stores, sitting on a whitewashed girl's daybed. Olivia matched the comforter we sold at the time (a print known as called Kelsey). Well, in Springfield Mall, after the great ice storm of 1994, the roof over my store broke open from the ice, and when it melted, it dripped all over the showroom. Olivia, a brave octopus, saved my daybed by soaking up all the water that fell over the daybed. When I got there and discovered the mess in the morning, Olivia looked like a rusty-pink swollen bruise. So I took her home to wash her. She faded badly, and looked like a pink tumor. So I kept her and gave her to my son, who was a 4-year old who took care of her like any four-year boy old might. I once took her to a pool party, where someone threw her in the hot tub, which made her faded pink turn a strange reddish cast. This is the first time I have seen her in years. But I was happy to see while she still has rips, she still looks proudly on, as if saying, "I am ready to show off the daybed now, Mr. Larson!" or maybe not. Maybe it's more like, "Kill... me..."
I am blessed to know many talented people. I met Amira back in 1994 when she was a hotel roommate our family shared at FanTek conventions. She and I have had many spiritual conversations, and she is known my local art enthusiasts by some of her "goddess silhouette" artwork (I currently have two pieces). She painted the Bastet for me, because she knows how much I like cats (and I read Kuyakendall's Cat Tarot). When I was carrying it around, people gasped in awe and demanded to know who painted Bastet. I happily told them. Notice the eerie 3-D look to the painting. I love it.

"Ladies and Gentlemen... Punadyne labs brings you... the world's ugliest dog! His lower jaw sticks out further than his upper. His thin, curly fur is greasy to the touch and his skin feels like hot sandpaper! He has no tail at all, and runs like a possessed mountain goat. We're told his breed is a Brussel Gryphon, but that still doesn't stop the fact that Brillo is really, really ugly!" Okay, truthfully, Brillo was a dog we fostered until he found a new home. He was resuced from a pound while the sleep drug needle was being put in his leg! He was seconds from death before the folks at Lost Dog Rescue sntached him away. Brillo now lives with a woman and her daughter, where he is spoiled rotten.

Our house decorated for Halloween 2000. It was our first Halloween here, and we really pulled out all the stops. We had tombstones, a guy rising out of the grave (lower left) and death with candles (right).

Death Warmed Over. Here's a closeup of death (without having to watch a show on FOX). This statue creeped out a lot of kids, so we may tone it down next time. We got a lot of comments and people expected something weirder for 2001, but Christine broke her ankles a few days before, and I had hurt my back. But since 2001 was a month and half after 9/11, we didn't get more than a couple trick-or-treaters anyway.

Here's what my office looked like in April of 2002 (it's always changing), if you had turquoise monochromatic vision (I only had a B&W web cam, and they are a bit touchy about photographs where I work). This is a 180 degreee view, so my office looks a bit larger than it is IRL. On the far left is a Pokeball my son gave me, then on the wall is a world map where some of our stuff is located all over the world, then you see a bunch of computers I work with for various things. On top, you make not be able to make it out, but there is an old hub with a noisy fan that vibrates, so I put two nodders on top of it. One of them is a goth girl nodder, the other is a zoot suit skeleton nodder that says, "Bone Daddy" under it. On top of my monitor is some sort of green globe swirly thing I connected to a telnet switch so I can turn it on and off remotely from the office network (or it lights up to alert me of something). Then there are some assorted mini-Lego sets and a dead fish "Meanie Baby" called "Floaty" (always gets a good response). Lastly, the wall plaque is a tin sign from Futurama that says, "You're not paid to think. A Mindless worker is a happy worker. Shut up and do your job!" My boss loves that one, because often, we're called on to do stupid crap that has no point, but we get paid the same anyway... The other is a picture my friend Mark Mandolia did, and I won in an art auction. It's a spoof on Pokemon and "Army of Darkness" where both main characters are neamed "Ash," and the Pokemon ask is holding a sawed off gun into an undead pikachu's mouth. The pikachu is going, "Chu by Dawn... Chu by Dawn!" and Ash is saying, "Chu on THIS!" (this is only funny if you ever saw those Army of Darkness films)

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