(*Knock* *Knock*) Housekeeping!

Instead of the usual Haiku Wednesday, I wanted to take care of 3 housekeeping items today:

#1 Happy birthday to my husband, Cecil!

He who puts up with me.

#2 I recently watched a bizarre and disturbingly jerky version of Alice in Wonderland marinated in Eastern European-ness. This 1988 movie was just called Alice. The Netflix description is as follows: After her stuffed rabbit opens a portal inside her dresser, Alice (Kristýna Kohoutová) crosses over into a world of puppets and dead animals in Czech director Jan Svankmajer’s bizarre adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s children’s book, considered a classic of surreal cinema. Svankmajer gives the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat equally warped makeovers via stop-motion animation and stark cinematography. I, who love dark imagery, was left feeling bored at times, at other times I thought I might’ve been tripping, and at points I felt anxious bordering on motion-sick due to the extreme use of stop-motion effects. Overall it was a creepy film and not one for children, though it had no rating. Do I recommend it? Sure, a little avant garde grim fairy-talety never hurt anyone.

Here is a clip:

#3 I just completed a drawing I call “The Wicked and the Clever”, which is currently for sale.

Here is a closeup of the detail:

Detail of "The Wicked and the Clever" by Sarah McNabb 2011

I invite you to check out the full Monty and read about its rationale at FamousAfterIDie.com. Enjoy!

Haiku Wednesday: Bad Taxidermy

This post is dedicated to another website that I find both entertaining and unsettling: Crappy Taxidermy. These photos are all from this delightfully horrifying site.


Rabid Ol’ Yeller
Dive bombing all of us.
Get my rifle, son.


Disturbs me so much
Texas Chainsaw Massacre…
Scots and goats don’t mix.


The eye in the sky,
Canon raven zooms in.
Nevermore, my head.


Big-headed Tigger,
You look like you are gonna
Come out of the booth.


Dogs playing poker,
Rico Suave playing gin,
In his deer fashion.


Smiling stiff doom,
Toothy decor for your room.
I’ll club you myself.


Campfire Ghost Stories

I’ve recently been sucked into a show on the cable channel BIO called “Celebrity Ghost Stories“. I’m not prone to watching these types of shows, but I’m kind of addicted to this one. Based on my history, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

When I was a kid I loved spooky, macabre stories. My tween years were spent immersed in Stephen King novels between episodes of Tales From the Dark Side, Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, and Friday the 13th: The Series. I enjoyed Edgar Allen Poe and before him Alvin Schwartz, author of such gems as “In a Dark, Dark Room“, “Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark”, “More Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark” and “Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones”. I want to lead off this post with a story from one of his books, which I remember to this day called “The Green Ribbon”. The narrator’s voice alone makes me want to hide under a blankie.

As an adult I don’t subscribe to the traditional idea of “ghosts” but as a young kid my friends and I were always on the lookout for them. It took awhile to make the connection between slamming doors, open windows, breezy days, and the idea of vacuum – we were convinced it was ghostly stirrings. And there was always a nagging suspicion that all dolls, especially the blinky-eyed ones – were pure evil and moved around at night. I know that was the reason why I sent my creepy doll to my Grandma’s house when I was 7. I wanted no part of it. Ghosts, devil dolls, poltergeists, axe murderers – all fell into the “serious threat” category as a kid.

The movie The Children of the Corn (heck, the movie poster alone) kept us at a respectable distance from the cornfields we lived next to, in tandem with the understanding that summer camp was out of the question (the fix was in with that Jason Voorhees fella). Summer months meant being on the lookout for hauntings because fall and winter provided too many turkey-filled events chock full of glad tidings, sledding, and marshmallowy mugs of hot chocolate to make any paranormal associations (with the exception of The Shining).

My friends and I loved thrilling each other by exchanging tales which we were CERTAIN were 100% true. Slumber parties and campfires in the woods provided occasions for that yarn-spinning goosebumpery whose only opportunity to shine occurs in that narrow window between “just-enough-understanding-to-be-credulous” and “enlightened-by-science-disbelief”. Ages 7-11 would be the most emotionally intense as far as supernatural paranoia, I’d say.

When I was 11 I attended a slumber party at which I was exposed to (for the first time) a game that I thought was cool, so I CLEARLY remember being upset and shocked as I got chewed out by my parents at the mere mention of “Ouija Board“. I was yelled at because it “wasn’t a game” and “didn’t lead to good things”. I was shocked by their reactions. I haven’t played with one since. Odd that the nervous kid in me walks the fence on whether or not I’d play if the chance ever presented itself again. I think I probably would.

However, the Ouija Board issue surfaced years later.

When I was in college a good friend came up to stay with me in Chicago. She said in the weeks after her stay she was in the presence of a girl who’d often play with the Ouija Board by herself. When my friend found herself in a social situation with this girl (a friend of a friend), in a casual capacity, she called “bullshit” on her silly board-playing. So, the girl played the ‘ask-the-board-anything-and-see’ card. My friend (who was not touching the board or the planchette) asked “Where did I go for spring break?” I was told that C-H-I-C-A-G-O was spelled out.  She asked it “Who did I stay with?” I was told it spelled out S-A-R-A-H. I was to understand that there was not familiarity between my friend and this girl – that she couldn’t possibly know these things. Now, because I wasn’t there I can’t vouch for all the situational nuances, but at the time I wasn’t happy about my name being dropped and got a few chills. I guess that’s why one episode of “Celebrity Ghost Stories” piqued my interest as it pertained to a Ouija Board incident as told by actor Michael Urie in (Season 2, Episode 14).

Science points out that it is most likely the psychological underpinnings that cause a player to move the planchette with their own hands. I’ve read the debunk reports and there’s plenty of evidence against any authenticity. The skeptic in me disbelieves that the Parker Brothers Company is actually in cahoots with the “other side”, but the wide-eyed 11-year-old in me shivers and secretly wonders if they are.

A Tale of Technology Fail

The subject: this outdated coffee machine. It doesn’t even know what’s about to happen.

Two fellow grad students, Katie Holland (a professional media gal) and Amelia Noyes (a fashion blogger) decided to inspect the flaws of the machine and assess its technological failings. It couldn’t just be me.

3 out of 2 grad students agree that this machine is technological fail.

Looking beyond the shiny 1980s colors of the machine, the choices were more fit for the nursing home demographic than the grad student sect. Why would this relic of a machine continue to operate here? Seriously, are we being Punk’d?

Why get Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee when you can have…Maxwell House.

Just when you thought the machine couldn’t get more outdated or odd, it showed us this little doozy as a choice of “Complements”. I don’t know about you but I couldn’t get any whitener. (I’m here all week, folks.) A small corner of my soul died when I saw this option.

Half and half and creamer are so 2010. All the cool kids are using “Whitener”…wait, what?

Any indicators of where the coffee comes out? No. Any indicators of when the coffee will stop coming out of wherever it will come out of? No. Awesome. Let’s do this, then. It is almost like the physical option of hitting the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on a Google search.

It would be more successful if we could “Select Compliments”. I’d choose “You’re so pretty!” and “You’re hilarious!”

When I said the coffee machine was in 1980s colors, I skipped the fact that the beverage names were actually throwbacks from the 1970s. Chocolate Trance? Suddenly I feel like throwing my keys into a bowl or running my toes through lime shag carpeting…or maybe pushing a pin just a bit further into a Voodoo doll that looks like Juan Valdez. With exactly 0% chance of entering the trance that said product promises, the name doesn’t really sell me on the confidence that I’ll be able to get home alright after drinking it.

Is a trance really what we should be in right before class? Should be called “Straight A Latte”

Yeah, you know this puppy hasn’t seen the business end of a scrub brush since the Reagan era. DEE-LISH!

No signs indicate that a paper cup comes down from this chute on its own. Communication fail!

Let’s play The Price Is Right! What would you guess that the retail value is of a medium sized paper cup full of hot water and inferior coffee grounds that refuse to dissolve no matter what? If you said, $1.25 – you’re right! (DING, DING, DING!)

Even if it were 1.25 pesos, it would still be overpriced.

The gates of hell never tasted so mediocre and bland.

Mmm. I hope some of the disgusting gudge crusting the machine will end up in my cup!

If this machine had its own Twilight Zone episode, it would be that possessed item that speaks to its patrons saying, “Tell you what – if you can you keep holding that hot cup in your hand you can keep your soul, but if not, well…”

With no cardboard holders one is certain to burn their hand.

My constituents agree that the buildup of excitement to this momentous purchase did not quite reach the crescendo of flavor they expected. And they, like myself, will never be the same again.

Failure never tasted so piss poor.

Every step of the transaction was a fail. The way the machine looked, the way it failed to communicate, the way it failed to provide feedback and real creamer and cleanliness that 1st world countries demand out of their inferior coffee machines. It was all for naught. But we did learn one thing. The garbage can’s mouth was big enough to slip that whole brimming cup into. And that couldn’t be just coincidence.

The End.


April 24, 2011
Categories: Curious Goods . Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Author: Famous After I Die Art & Digital . Comments: 13 Comments

The Creepy Company We Keep

In 2005 my husband and I received a frantic emergency call at 9:00pm from our friends Tom and Colleen. We needed to check eBay stat!
What we saw put us into such hysterics of tearful laughter that it was imperative that we have this item. The intrinsic humor value was too high to pass by.

The two of us couples won the auction and split the $175 price tag with the verbal agreement of joint custody. And soon Gary the gaping mouth mannequin boy arrived.

To the “waste-of-money” chortles of both of our families, Gary’s presence has endured through two households, two weddings, Christmases, Halloweens, and various other photo opportunities. He is a giant, posable, dressable conversation piece.

When my husband and I had first visitation of Gary, we’d kept him in our living room, I’d walk into the living room from the kitchen, let’s say, and nearly pee myself because I’d forgotten about him being there – this happened 10x a day. Countless times has Gary been the pawn in practical jokes: often being quietly placed in the rooms of sleeping house guests and posed in the front room windows. Through the years his quiet bravado, sassy tilt of the head, and uncanny ability to maintain the same weight has kept us all enamored and intrigued. He’s a friend and a confidant.

Click Here To Friend Gary on Facebook!

The four of us responsible for Gary realize that his acquisition speaks more about us all then it does him. And he has served as a sort of friend litmus test as well; because hey, if you are too cool for school to hang with Gary, the rest of us probably aren’t for you, either. So this post is dedicated to that creepy mannequin art that offers jolts of surprise, laughs, raised eyebrows, and photos year after year.

Gary Lights Up the Neighborhood at Christmas

Gary Loves All Things Latin, Too
Guidance? Right This Way

Hes a Real Cut Up at Halloween

He is a HUGE FAN of Bob Marley
Gary is a Certified Zombie Survivalist and Lounge Pants Enthusiast
The Life of the Party
An Entertainer at Weddings
If you think Gary would make a good addition to your circle of friends, I’m sure he’d be delighted if you friended him on Facebook