22 Sep

Happy Hobbit Day!

So. Tolkien Week culminates today in a celebration of Hobbit Day, since September 22nd is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins's shared birthday. Hobbit Day is unsurprisingly awesome, since Hobbits freakin' rule. You'd think, considering my nerdiness (which can conservatively be described as intense), that I would have been actively engaging in Hobbitry since a young age, but I've really only recently begun to embrace my inner halfling.

And by 'inner' I kind of also mean outer. Like a hobbit, I enjoy food, music, leisure, peace and quiet, food, occasional adventures, food...you get the idea. I even have hairy feet. Though not hobbit-hairy. That'd be kind of weird.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that though Tolkien Week as a whole has been epic and though all of Tolkien's works are worthy of celebration (Seriously, read The Unfinished Tales if you haven't. They're fascinating. Also if you feel like being totally incredibly nerdy (which, why wouldn't you?) read The Silmarillion. Look, I know. But it's awesome. The history of Middle Earth is what makes Tolkien and LotR so impressive.), The Hobbit and hobbits have a special place in our hearts.

Hobbits are easily the most relatable characters in LotR.  In a universe where even the Men are pretty much superheroes, it's nice to have some characters whom readers can see as normal.  In a lot of ways, I think hobbits are what make Tolkien's works the literary giants that they are.  In the same way, the lack of hobbits is what makes so much other fantasy seem hackneyed and trite.  Without the very human and even mundane element the hobbit characters provide, the might of Gandalf would seem run of the mill.  The strength, resilience, and stature of Aragorn would be diminished.  Every non-hobbit character would suddenly be less fantastic.  That's why hobbits rock.  From a literary standpoint, anyway.

From a non-literary standpoint, hobbits rock because they eat 6 meals a day and pretty much just garden and hang out in between meal times.  Who wouldn't want that life?

I know I do.

Check out this year's Tolkien Week Quiz after the jump!


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17 Sep

Tolkien Week 2012!

This is Tolkien Week, and if you know about us then you know we like to go nuts. This year we are celebrating by doing our usual Tolkien Week Quiz! We are giving away The Art of the Hobbit to the person with the most Tolkien knowledge! This is a beautiful book of  illustrations, sketches, and maps drawn by Tolkien himself for his first work of fiction. Most of these haven't been in print before, so this is a real treasure for a Tolkien enthusiast. I know I want one. But, if Tolkien knowledge isn't your thing, you still have a chance to win a $20 gift certificate for anything in the store, just for taking the quiz! We will be doing a raffle from all the quiz entries, so even if you get zero right, you could still come up a big winner! Come into the store to take the quiz, or to just join in on the Tolkien Week festivities! We are listening to his books, so just come in, sit on the couch, and enjoy the works of one of the greatest authors of the 20th century!

If you want to check out some of the previous year's quizzes, then click HERE and HERE. Happy Tolkien Week!

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1 Sep

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: September!

Say, do you remember dancing in September? I sure do. Every year without fail. This is probably the second most exciting month at Kards Unlimited, and if you don't know why, then let me educate you after the jump.


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31 Jul

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: August

August is a great month. I still get really excited for back to school time. I am still convinced I am going to be filling up my pencil case with freshly sharpened pencils and that I have to go try on some new shoes. It's also probably the laziest month of the year. It's far too hot out to do anything other than sit around (watching Olympics!) and sweat into your couch eating ice pops and drinking cold beer a little too early in the day. Just because it's a lazy month doesn't mean that nothing happens. There is plenty to celebrate in August, and I'm going to tell you all about it after the jump!
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1 Jul

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events : July!

July is upon us. You can tell because it's crazy "hot in here". July has many appropriate holidays that celebrate exactly just how "hot in here" it really is, and all the assorted things you eat when it is so hot in here. July is Grilling Month AND Ice Cream Month AND Hot Dog Month. The ultimate trifecta. But let's not kid ourselves. July is all about the stars and stripes. The good ol' U.S.A. Just look at that eagle staring you down! With that in mind, let's see what we are up to this month:

July 1st: Canada Day!

OH NO YOU DIDN'T, CANADA. Looks like they beat us to the punch. Our neighbors to the north slipped this one in a mere three days before our big celebration. If they waited a few days we could have gone dubs on everything, which would have been so much fun! Like two countries holding hands! Alas.

July 2nd: World U.F.O. Day!

I watched the X-Files like cray when I was a kid, so I am a huge fan of this holiday. On this day, everybody across the planet unites in an effort to spot a U.F.O. The gist is that if everybody is watching everywhere at least for one day, and aliens decide to fly around on that day, then we will spot one for sure. Come on people! The evidence is overwhelming! Plus, this seems like an awesome drinking holiday.

July 4th: Independence Day!

USA! USA! USA! This is the day we all came together as one to declare we will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence Day! And Will Smith was there. Weird how it's so close to U.F.O Day, though.

July 5th: Bikini Day!

In 1946 western Europe was celebrating the first war-free summer in years, and a French designer named Louis Reard unveiled the bikini on July 5th to celebrate. He named it after the famous atom bomb test that took place at Bikini Atoll a week earlier. Talk about dropping a bomb! The swimwear was banned from beaches along the Mediterranean, but it was such a huge hit, especially among men, that the ban was eventually lifted.

July 6th: International Kissing Day!

You can go kiss crazy on this day. We all know that kissing is awesome, and we could all use the practice. This is the day to celebrate kissing for kissing's sake, not as a formality or a prelude to "other things."

July 9th: Town Crier Day!

Here Ye! Here Ye! Before Gutenberg and mass-printed material, before newspapers, before Facebook and Twitter, people got their news from people who rang bells and shouted things in the street. It's fun to imagine what town criers would be like now. "LOL. Come look at this funny picture of a cat!"

July 10th: Teddy Bear Picnic Day!

Grab your favorite teddy bear and have a picnic today! Just the two of you! Sounds like a really fun, happy holiday, but when you see it actually happen it will make you sad. Teddy bears don't actually eat anything anyway.

July 15th: Saint Swithun's Day!

  • St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
  • For forty days it will remain
  • St Swithun's day if thou be fair
  • For forty days 'twill rain nae mare

Personally I prefer my magical, weather-predicting holidays with fur and buck teeth, but this seems to fit Great Britain's shtick better.

July 27th: Barbie in a Blender Day!

You would think this is a holiday about smashing female stereotypes that are forced on girls. However, it's actually a celebration of the victory of an artist over Mattel in court. I think the gist is that you throw Barbie dolls into blenders.

July Birthdays:

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31 May

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: June!

June is one of those months that people just look forward to all year. It's sunny and I have my BBQ BLAZIN' pretty much every day. The holidays for June reflect this laid-back enthusiasm.

Firstly, June is National Iced Tea Month, and I wonder why? Nothing cools you off faster on a hot day than a tall glass of iced tea. The taller the better, that's what I always say. Here at KU we drink Manute Bol-sized glasses of iced tea by the dozen all summer long, but we go especially nuts during June, because you know...holiday. I suggest you do the same. We have crazy amounts of delicious tea here at Kards Unlimited, so stop in a let us get you outfitted for some iced tea adventures!

June 1st-2nd: Heimlich Maneuver Day!

This is a day to celebrate the Heimlich Maneuver. If you haven't received the extensive emergency medical training that I have, the gist is when someone is choking you maneuver behind them, get a good grip, and thrust furiously.

The good stuff

June 2nd: Pencil Day!

I used to be a big pen user. I almost never used pencils, but I have seen the light. Pencils are freakin' awesome. If you are a pen user you should give pencils a shot today. Make sure you are using a premium pencil, though. Those half-plastic, cheap, crappy pencils just don't cut it. I suggest a Dixon Ticonderoga...or any Dixon pencil, really. I prefer a hexagonal, cedar, yellow body, with a HB #2 lead, and I use a long-point pencil sharpener. Seriously...try it. You well never go back to the dark side. Plus, nobody can make you join the "Pen15" club. "Pencil15" just doesn't have the same "zing" for those jokers.

June 7th-10th: Superman Week!

Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, idiot, it's Superman Week. Who doesn't love Superman? Well, besides villains and evil-doers... At Kards Unlimited we think he's, you know...super. If you want to read another hilarious article by someone with too much time on their hands, check out this article about what would happen if Superman actually slept with Lois Lane.

June 15th: National Flip-Flop Day!

I refuse to celebrate this holiday, because flip-flops are lazy. The only good use for a flip-flop is avoiding athlete's foot in the dorm shower, and even then I would rather just deal with the athlete's foot, or wear regular shoes in the shower. But we should be seeing lots of action from Mitt Romney on this day. Get it? Flip-flop? OOOOO Timely-political-joke burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrned!

June 16th: Bloomsday!

The snootiest holiday of the year! Also known as "I Am Better Than You Day". This is a holiday where people talk about a book that they haven't read, James Joyce's Ulysses, which is set on June 16th.

June 17th: Fathers' Day!

Finally! A real holiday! Compared to Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day is a breeze. Find a funny card, maybe one that talks about "farts", get some hilarious gifts about drinking, and you're done! Dad's are easy that way.

Nobody knew who they were, or what they were doing.

June 20th: Summer Solstice!

This is the longest day of the year, at least for us here in the north (Winter is Coming). We celebrate by doing nothing. Unless you are a druid, in which case it's the greatest holiday of the year! Also, congratulations on the whole druid thing.

June 21st: Go Skateboarding Day!

For those who skate, this holiday is pretty self-explanatory. For those who don't, use this holiday as a chance to say "radical" and pretend you are awesome enough to actually go skateboarding. I will be doing the latter.

June 22nd: Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Most dogs are pretty lazy. Many dogs are incredibly hard-working, but there are few enough of these that we call them "working dogs". My dog hasn't worked a day in his life. I would bring him to work, but if my dog "did his business" here my boss would get a frowny face.

June 24th: International Fairy Day!

Anyone who thinks fairies aren't awesome just isn't paying attention. They are like tiny, sexy, magical bugs! There is such a large variety to choose from! Also there is the added bonus that they are TOTALLY REAL and I want to live on a mushroom with one.


June Birthdays:

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7 May

For the Moms with the Green Thumbs

So your mom (or any lady you'll be celebrating this Sunday) likes to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. Maybe has her own garden or maybe she just likes to throw a little water on a plant in the windowsill from time to time. No matter what her pleasure we've got something for her! Check out the slideshow!


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1 May

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: May!

It's that time of the month again. You guessed it! Time to learn all about


May is one of my favorite months, because it is just jam-packed with some of the best holidays of the year, so let's jump right in.


May is Get Caught Reading Month. I'm not sure why you "get caught" reading…Maybe because you are embarrassed by what you are reading. Seeing as how "Fifty Shades of Grey" is so "hot" right now, I think this is a timely holiday. For more reasons than one, because May is also National Masturbation Month! So when you do get caught, you know…reading…you can use your book to hide your shame.


Heeeeey Macarena!

May 1st: May Day May Day!

This is one of the most prominent pre-Christian holidays. It just feels like the sort of holiday hobbits celebrate. Although I think I have seen "The Wicker Man" far too many times for this holiday not to creep me out. I see people dressed up like druids, dancing around the Maypole, and I feel certain that the next thing I know I will get stuffed into a large wooden statue filled with farm animals and burned alive…to death.


May 1st: Batman Day.

We are always all over Batman Day. We sell a ton of awesome Batman comics, as well as fun Batman products. Since Pittsburgh is the new Gotham City, we are extra excited this year!


May 4th: Intergalactic Star Wars Day!!!

May the Fourth be with you. This is both an awesome play on words and a celebration of my favorite movie of all time. I will probably spend the day swinging my sweet lightsaber around and practicing my Twi'lek dialects. Then probably hit the Mos Eisley Cantina to have a frothy, smoking, blue milk-like beverage and get my arm chopped off. I hear it's taco night!


Did I mention frosty?

May 5th: Derby Day.

In case you have been living under a rock, Derby Day is when they run the Kentucky Derby. Which means you get all gussied up in spring clothing with either a large fancy hat, or a jaunty hat (for the gentlemen!), and drink delicious frosty mint juleps out of frosty silver cups while you watch some of the most expensive and well-trained animals in the world compete in the first leg of the Triple Crown. It's sort of like the Royal Wedding, but you get to do it every year.


May 5th: Cinco de Mayo.

This holiday is on the cinco of Mayo every year. This is not Mexican Independence Day (which is September 16th) but it still commemorates a major step on the way to independence. A good way to think about this holiday is as the Mexican St. Patrick's Day. This means that here in the Estados Unidos, we celebrate the same way we celebrate almost every holiday: By drinking.

May 7-13th: Children's Book Week.

Time to celebrate the magical books from your childhood. There are so many good ones that we need a week to celebrate this. Children's books are our introduction to reading, as well as the fact that there is a world that exists beyond what we can see. We certainly have the best selection of children's book in town, and we are always eager to talk about them. You are never too old for children's books, so stop in and pick up an old classic, or try something new!


May 12th: Limerick Day.

On this day we celebrate the birthday of Edward Lear, who popularized the limerick in his Book of Nonsense. This is a five-line poem in AABBA structure, supposedly invented in the Irish town of Limerick, which was also once known as "STAB CITY." Sounds like a charming little town! Being from Stab City, limericks are best when they are crude and vulgar:

Joy, I said. Jump for it.

  • The limerick packs laughs anatomical
  •  In space that is quite economical,
  •  But the good ones I've seen
  •  So seldom are clean,
  •  And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

You're doing it wrong.

May 13th: Mother's Day!!!

This is the big one. The one day a year where you show your mom some respect for giving up her entire life for you. So I think the very least you can do it get her a card, or which we have approximately one jillion. If you want my advice, you may want to get a step above and buy her a ton of actual gifts, of which we have approximately one jillion, and then take her out for a nice brunch (with champagne!).



May 14th-20th: American Craft Beer Week.

I celebrate this all the time. Its sort of like having National Breathing Oxygen Week, but that doesn't mean we should take it for granted. You should use this week to support your local brewery. Honestly people, its not that hard. Just drink beer! I'm getting a head start on this right now!


May 16th: National Sea Monkey Day.

Sea Monkeys are the easiest pet of all time. They are just tiny little brine shrimp in a packet. You just add water and BOOM! Instant pets. Sea Monkeys are one of the few animals that have been to outer space.


May 18th: National Pizza Party Day.

This should be a mandatory national holiday. Buildings and offices should be closed. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is more important than a pizza party. Plus, this falls right in the middle of Craft Beer Week, so: Party. Bonus.


May 25th: Towel Day.

  • "Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you should know where your towel is at all times. It is the most useful thing a hitchhiker can have. This is good advice. Carry a towel around all day to show your appreciation for Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


May Birthdays:

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