Hello favorite people and welcome to KU’s Cool Stuff Tuesday Stationery Show! The National Stationery Show is currently happening at the Javits Convention Center in NYC and since most of you, my friends, aren’t there, I figured I’d show you some of the things that are probably on display there!
We’ve already discussed at length my love of writing, so I don’t feel the need to reiterate, but let me just say that I’ve used stationery from several of the brands here at the store and I love them all. If you need note cards, look no further, people.
Without further ado, have a look at these Cool Stuffs.
Polaroid Notes and Kodachrome Notes are totally cool. They’re a really good shape, too. Small and squareish for a quick note to a friend or family member. ”Hey, thanks for the bottle of wine! It was great and I only got pulled over once!” Or whatever. Just kidding, don’t drink and drive, kids.
Then there are the slightly larger and more formal cards, for slightly larger and more formal occasions.
I’m not sure how or why, but flowers always seem to make things more formal. Much more, “Dear Edgar, thank you so much for attending our little soiree the other night. Your joke about the hippies was so diverting!” Or something. Maybe not that stuffy. Flowers don’t necessarily say ‘stuffy’ to me…
Maybe you’re into matching pens and note cards? We have sweet rollerballs that I’ve mentioned before which have matching sets of note cards and/or stationery. Behold!
And then there’s this!
And what would a stationery discussion be without fountain pens? Nothing! That’s what it would be.
I’m gonna stop now before I really get involved. If you have any stationery questions, I’m here!
I Can’t Think Of Any Good “My Fair Lady” Puns, But Let’s Pretend There’s One Right Here Where the Title Should Be.
I’ve seen exactly two Audrey Hepburn movies. The first, My Fair Lady, was part of our seventh grade music class curriculum. I’m not really sure why. And I must have spent more of the film asleep than awake because I wound up with the impression that Henry Higgins would be executed if he failed to transform Eliza (played by Hepburn) into a London socialite. Is that wrong? I can’t remember. The second Hepburn film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, was playing in the background during a recent date night, so while I certainly wasn’t asleep for half of it, I wasn’t paying very close attention either. wink wink
Clearly I’m no Audrey expert (and, furthermore, evidently I’m a terrible gay), but I do still appreciate her beauty and her cinematic legacy, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of her other films some day. Roman Holiday, for one, looks pretty good, if only because it sounds exactly like a classier version of The Lizzie McGuire Movie. And we all know how much I enjoyed that one. Zero sarcasm, by the way. I really do love that movie. (See? I’m not a terrible gay – I’m just not as devoted to the cause.)
Today, May 20th, is Eliza Doolittle Day, per the fantasy king in the film, which explains why I’m rambling on about Audrey Hepburn. I’m not really sure how you’d celebrate the holiday other than to watch My Fair Lady (or, in my case, to re-watch the parts I snoozed through the first time around). And here’s a song from the film for everyone to enjoy.
Note: I looked for a version sung by cats instead of people, but sadly one doesn’t exist. Must I do everything myself?
Remember in school when teachers wanted the class to do something, all they had to do was promise a pizza party. Those were the days. I’m of the assumption that if pizza parties were still promised for good work, more people would work harder. A “Good Job” only goes so far. Pizza is the ultimate incentive. Ya know, right after money.
History lesson time, k? There isn’t really much to say about pizza history. It’s kind of not a positive when or where it originated. Some food historians, which is a thing, say pressed bread with toppings can be traced back to early Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cultures. The word pizza has been documented as early as 976. The earliest documented recipes of pizzas were actually all sweet, not savory. So the modern pizza as we know it did actually originate in Naples, Italy. It was made basically by poor folk adding tomato to their flat-bread. This eventually gained popularity among tourists.
So there ya go. But who cares. During all that text I ate no pizza. Problem. So do yourself a favor and celebrate the ‘Za right proper with a party. More importantly come to Kards Unlimited and bring us pizza. And now the coolest thing you’ve seen all day.
So you’ve been dying to have a day to celebrate your favorite aquatic pets? Guess what. It already exists. For realz. Sea-monkey day is May 16th each year. Let’s get it poppin’.
Harold von Braunhut “invented” sea-monkeys in 1957. Since ant farms had become popular the year before, Harold decided to cash in on a similarly simple and pointless pet. He originally called them “Instant Life”, but later changed the named to “Sea-Monkeys” in ’62. Good plan. That was a stupid name. The product was marketed heavily in comic books, where foolish children could mail away some quarters for these oh-so-interesting undersea creatures. That’s what they were lead to believe by the ridiculous ads specifically telling them so.
So as we all know this is how sea-monkeys are marketed to unsuspecting kids. Frankly I’m not sure how they got away with this. “They can even be trained” and “they love attention” are among the great lines from this ad. My favorite are the “Sea-Diamonds” that you can buy from the website, still being sold by the Transciece Corp. The description states that they will toss them around like beach balls and learn to ride them like surfboards. Of course they throw around quotation marks on pretty much every verb. So now to shatter all of your preconceived notions of these delightful aquatic humanoids with families and castles and surfboards, here is what sea-monkeys really are.
They are an artificial breed of brine shrimp. Put into cryptobiosis. The colony is started by adding the contents of a packet labelled “Water Purifier” to a tank of water. This packet contains salt and some brine shrimp eggs. After 24 hours, this is augmented with the contents of a packet labelled “Instant Life Eggs”, containing eggs,yeast, borax, soda, salt, and sometimes a dye. The animals which hatched from the eggs over the previous day seem to appear instantly. Hilarious. But regardless of what they are, kids still enjoy having there own pets that they basically don’t have to do anything for. Also we do sell them at our store as well. Cause they’re fun and ridiculous. Just like us.
On a final note, some mad scientists (slash just regular scientists) have made some arsenic-based Sea-monkeys. Srs. You can get them on Think Geek. Check them out. It’s super funny and real science.
I’ve heard so much about these computer thingies for so long. I thought maybe they were a fad, you know, a passing fancy. But it seems these strange machines are here to stay. I hear they can send mail through space, they can spin their own records, and there’s even an endless book on people’s faces. Amazeballs!!
Well, it’s been a long time coming but here it is. The best blog ever. Because nothing says “Happy Birthday bestie” like a blog. The beauty is… (drum roll please…) it doubles as your present! Yesssss!
An ode to you. Our fearless leader. Our ringmaster. Our maestro. Our Queen.
There’s no excuse for forgetting someone’s birthday card when you work here. Especially when that certain someone is the wizard behind the curtain of KU. Now that’s pressure! It’s a difficult task finding the perfect birthday card for the head honcho of the best card store in the city. It’s like trying to out-wit… well, someone witty.
And so the search began. Allow me to share with you the intimate details of my search to find the best card for the best girl <3
I made my way through the seas of weekend customers back to the ‘Birthday Humor” section and let me tell you, “the sea was angry that day my friends.” I scanned the rows of funny cards until I found a familiar face. Maxine. I thought, “Yes!, She has stood the test of time, she has graced the cover of many a Shoebox card. This must be the right card.”
And then I thought, no, the leopard print robe, surly coffee cup and dog who may or may not be being held at gun point didn’t scream your name.
So I moved on. I put my head down and plowed my way through the millions of customers until I reached another section of cards. I chose the next possibility right away. It was right in front staring me in the face. Ugly butt guy.
I soon realized the removable magnet wasn’t worth it. I could never subject you to this card. Just opening the envelope might blind you for life. No one wants that on their birthday. No one.
And so the search continued. I bobbed. I weaved. I squeezed and slid my way past people. Until I came upon the next card rack. I read and read until I found this gem.
This one was a real contender for a while. Until I remembered that we are “just friends”, even if we don’t always come off that way in staff interviews. Our rich and fulfilling home-lives filled with loving husbands, cute kids and cuddly pets can sometimes get in the way of our “partnership”. And by partners I mean the business variety people. C’mon!
I forged ahead determined to find the perfect birthday card.
This was a funny one..
but I thought the helmet made you seem too special-ed.
This one killed me…..
but I thought you’d think it was a hint that real porn may be arriving as a birthday gift for you by mail. I didn’t want you to be disappointed when nothing arrived so I thought I’d just steer clear of that whole dilemma.
I was struck with the genius idea of a simple card with a quote on it. “That can’t miss!” I thought as I elbowed some more customers out of the way to get to the right spot. I read quotes by Shakespeare, Balzac, various important presidents and let’s not forget the many inspirational quotes by that mysterious but popular historical figure, “Unknown”.
I liked this one….
but then thought better of it when I saw the Kards Unlimited version of it….
But it was missing a certain je ne sais quoi. And then it dawned on me. I couldn’t give you a card without glitter on it!!!!! Jeez. So I fought my way through the mob all the way up to the front of the store to check out the hand-made cards. And there it was, glittering loudly for all to see….
While the LARGE number of candles seemed appropriate and the sentiment rang true, it wasn’t quite right still. Too traditional for someone with your weirdo flair. This one seemed more up your alley…
I found I had altogether too many questions about the skull, the pipe and the bottle of blood in this card so I opted to wait on this one too. But really.
So after careful consideration and many paper cuts, I took my mountain of cards to the couch and sat down to made some decisions. I came up with a little something I like to call an EPIC-NOVEL BIRTHDAY CARD! I cut up all the cards and pasted them together to create a one-of-kind-birthday message just for you. Here goes.
Drink today and drown all sorrow,
ugly butt guy.
I know that I have someone who sees life a lot like I do
Someone who shares the same values and dreams the same dreams.
Your porn’s arrived.
May all your birthday wishes come true.
Time to get a little crazy,
Ugly butt guy.
You are the beer in my bong.
The older I get the fewer people I actually like.
You are truly the zig in my zag.
Happy Birthday friend. Sorry about the mess on the couch:)
It’s Children’s Book Week! Here at the store we have several books that were favorites of mine when I was a child and several more that either didn’t exist then or that I didn’t know about when I was a kid and that I’ve come to love as an adult. Let me tell you about them!
First, the classics from my childhood. I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents as a small child and one of the books I loved for them to read to me was The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack. First published in 1933, the book chronicles the night and day that Ping, a domesticated duck, spends away from his family and his subsequent return to them. Between the endearing story and the soft, colorful illustrations, it’s no wonder that this eighty year-old story continues to be popular today.
Another early 20th century classic that was a favorite of little me was Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina. Based on a folktale, Slobodkina’s 1938 classic is about a peddler whose wares are stolen by a troop of monkeys while he naps and then returned to him when he throws his own cap on the ground and the monkeys follow suit. Though the main body of her work is in other media (she was a prolific abstract expressionist, working primarily in oils, but she also produced collages of various materials as well as paintings and sculptures), Caps for Sale is Slobodkina’s best known work and continues to delight young readers.
The last of my many favorite childhood books I’ll mention is Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. I have been fascinated by almost all forms of poetry for most of my life and one of the earliest introductions I had to the art form was the work of Silverstein. His clever rhymes, musical rhythm work, and charming line illustrations have held their value for me and Silverstein, like the others, is still a mainstay of children’s literature.
On to the newer books!
First is Jon J Muth’s Zen Shorts. Muth, who studied stone sculpture and brush painting in Japan, gives three traditional Zen and Taoist stories life in interactions between the characters of three young children and a panda, Stillwater, who is their neighbor. Muth’s watercolor illustrations leave nothing to be desired and the story is an elegant and politic introduction to Zen thinking.
Another new favorite is Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen, by Nancy Wood. This is a completely charming book which ignores the gravitas of the Creation story and turns it into something little kids will be much more familiar with, a family cooking project. Timothy B. Ering’s illustrations really bring the story to life; his renderings of the creative couple are adorable. One other thing I can tell you from experience is that reading this book out loud in a Scottish accent takes it from great up to the epic level. Just something to think about.
Finally, and perhaps, most adorably, there’s Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Little Pea. This book is near and dear to my heart for a number of reasons: like Little Pea himself, I was a picky eater as a child (still am, actually, but not as badly), I think it’s the world’s cutest thing, and also because anthropomorphizing cute vegetables is the best thing in the world. Little Pea is the main character of this story and it’s about how he hates to eat candy for dinner every night and all he wants is some spinach for dessert. It’s wonderful.
So there you are. Six children’s books to love and cherish and read to the kids in your life at every opportunity. Instilling a love of reading and literature is important and grows more so every day. Though our culture is becoming increasingly paperless (even I have a Nook, though I still prefer real live books), that doesn’t mean that it’s containing any less words. This blog is a perfect example, I guess.
Nation, today we celebrate the birth of a man. But not just a man, a patriot, who maybe the greatest American that America has ever had the pleasure of birthing into her amber waves of grain, Mr. Stephen T. Colbert.
Her purple mountains are where the action is.
Like any true American, I’m sure you admire, and aspire to be this man, but before you get ahead of yourself, let me lay down some truthiness. These are just some of the mere accomplishments you’d have to achieve in order to even be in the running.
1. Have a new species of spider named after you.
2. Have a NASA space station treadmill named after you.
Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill
3. Sponsor a U.S. Olympic team.
Even if it is Speed Skating
4. Have a flavor of ice cream named after you.
5. Have your DNA preserved in space.
6.Have your own comic book/character.
Tek Jansen: Defender of Freedom
Yeah. All that. And this list is super minuscule in the over all achievements of Colbert, the greatest American. I could go on and on, but the Ameri-cone ice cream would melt and the cake would go stale. Happy Birthday Stephen!
You know what I don’t get? Why do we sometimes call the abdominal region of our bodies the stomach, when the stomach is, in fact, just one of about a katrillion different organs (clearly, I’m no biologist) crammed into that disgusting, moist, dubious space within all of us that somehow keeps us alive? Just food for thought. I also bring this up to remind you all that HUMANS ARE GROSS.
But besides being gross, humans are also proud creatures, which is how I imagine the art of belly dance may have first developed all those thousands of years ago. In our current cultural climate, it’s hard to believe that anyone would willingly put her stomach (by which I mean the abdominal region, rather than the organ itself) on display. Unless, of course, she’s one of the scant few humans sporting a six-pack who also has priorities that rank higher than (a) spending 2 hours at the gym at least 5 days a week and (b) slowly starving oneself to death. Then you can imagine she’ll be showing off that rockin’ bod at every opportunity: beach outings, trips to the grocery store, board meetings, you name it. But, hey – that’s certainly any gym-goer’s hard-won right, and I won’t hold it against her.
Anyways, please excuse my meandering – from this point on it’s a straight shot home. Promise.
May the 12th marks the annual celebration of World Belly Dance Day, of which I’m a fan primarily for two reasons: (1) I enjoy awkward, oftentimes unnatural expressions of the human body (i.e. belly dancing, pretending to be a cat, pretending to be a cartoon cat, pretending to be Japanese cartoon cat, etc.) and (2) The belly dance is a statement of pride for one’s own body (and for the human body, in general), and I like that very much.
The dance originated many years ago in the Middle East but has since gained popularity around the world, especially in Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada. No idea why. World Belly Dance Day is celebrated throughout the world by public performances, conferences and technique classes, although (surprisingly) no such events are scheduled to take place in the Pittsburgh area.
Still, you can sometimes catch a belly dancer or two at the local hookah joints, and perhaps they’ll even have something more flamboyant than usual scheduled to mark the occasion. Hey everyone! I have an idea! Let’s all grab a friend, a pair of castanets, and some form of flowy, see-throughy garment and meet each other there! Or, you know. Maybe not everyone has to come but a few other people would be nice. I’d feel awkward if it was just me sitting alone watching a girl’s torso shiver and shake in my direction.