Thursday, December 30, 2004
- Gift cards may be the "hot" new present these days - but once again, as with spaghetti, gunpowder, umbrellas and the compass - the Chinese had 'em first. Behold this collection of ang pao (or hong bao) "Red Envelopes," a lovely traditional way to give the gift of moolah wrapped in the color of good fortune. [via No Milk, Please]
- According to Livescience.com, "feral, non-native camels" may soon overrun the Aussie Outback, a la the rabbit problem of old. Hmm. I can understand small, portable organisms like zebra mussels or water milfoil hitchhiking their way to foreign lands, but how on Earth did camels become feral in Australia? Unable to afford shipping them home, did bankrupt traveling circuses release them into the desert to fend for themselves? Are camels magnificently fecund? Somehow, "f****** like camels" just sounds too absurd (and awkward) to mention. At least they aren't Lake Michigan's Frankenfish.
- This year we lost Ronald Reagan, Fay Wray, Jerry Orbach, the VHS tape format; and soon the school milk carton will join them in passing. *sob* Remember picking up your lukewarm, sodden milk carton from the wet steel cafeteria serving table that reeked of canned peas and Clorox™? Vainly struggling to pull open the mushy paper 'beak' before the end-of-lunch bell rings? Tasting the milk, and realizing it's a bit "off" - then sticking one of those tiny plastic straws in and burbling a billow of milk-bubbles out of the carton onto the plastic tray? No? What school did you go to?
- What're we doing New Year's Eve? Not sure yet, though it will likely involve cooking Indian food and rented DVD's (no, I didn't mean that I will be cooking the DVD's). I've attended a few Burlington, VT First Night Celebrations over the years, though they tend to be frighteningly cold for outdoor events, but Edinburgh's Hogmanay parties sound like they'd be a blast. And, I really like Cindy at EclecticEveryday's refreshing ideas for ringing in New's Year's:
No way the little ones are going to make it to 12 PM? No problem! It’s always midnight somewhere! Consider celebrating New Year’s in London (7 p.m.) or New Year’s In Rio de Janeiro (10 p.m.). Plan your evening using the location as a theme – Brit Comedies videos or DVDs to add some quirky humor to the evening, or exotic Brazilian appetizers.
What’s New Year’s Eve without champagne? If you’re going to have some bubbly, be sure to include some festive options for the kids. Sparkling ciders and grape juices are available in a myriad of flavors at most groceries stores. Break out the blender and whip up some alcohol free daquiris – kids love the fruit flavors combined with the ice-slush texture. Be sure to serve their drinks in "fancy" glasses – little details like this make a world of difference to young party-goers. You can get safer, plastic versions of glassware at most party supply stores.
Another great beverage idea is a do-it-yourself milkshake bar: Put out a number of candy and fruit bits for the kids to select from, and whirl them together with some vanilla ice cream.
Borrow an idea from Chinese New Year’s celebrations, and create custom fortune cookies. Cut strips of paper ¼ inch wide and 1 inch long, and carefully write or type on fortunes. These can be encouraging "The New Year holds much promise for You!", funny "Your friends will think you look great with purple hair!" or bizarre "Seven kangaroos can’t be wrong!" Tuck the strips into pre-made fortune cookies, or make your own.
Kids bouncing off the walls? Put that energy to good use. Stop by the packing store and buy a few yards of large bubble bubble wrap. Spread it out on a hard surface – a wood or tile floor – and let the kids go wild. They’ll love jumping up and down to pop all the bubbles. Be advised that grown-ups also find this activity addictive – be careful to get enough bubble wrap to keep everyone entertained. [read more]
- And last but not least, the Blogger's Code of Ethics, from Cyberjournalist.net