By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

As I arrived home last night, I found this Box of Boo-filled books on the Big Blue Table, just in time for Halloween!

This stash includes a novel by best selling "suspense thriller" author Dean Koontz, and some other books with generically frightening titles...

... like “The Specter” and “The House” and “The House that Jack Built," which, I can only assume, is the terrifying tale of poor craftsmanship, rodents and malt. There's also these fantastic items, like...

...Prom Nights from Hell, which I think is nothing more than a collection of completely accurate reports on real-life school dances. And what Halloween would be complete without horror staple Dial-A-Ghost?

According to one review, this book is "as if one's favorite crazy aunt has dropped by to tell the kind of convoluted and magical story children really want to hear." My aunt once sliced a dude's face open with a razor blade for swearing at her, so as far as I'm concerned, Dial-A-Ghost has a lot to live up to.

It's the story of a boy in an orphanage who suddenly inherits a giant mansion from family that apparently didn't give a damn about him when they were alive. Enter the evil cousins who will own the place should something happen to our hero. The cousins enlist the help of the Dial-A-Ghost service, where you can somehow order designer hauntings. Of course, there's a mix-up at Dial-A-Ghost and they accidentally send a lovely family of gentle spirits to live in the mansion with the boy instead of the evil specters that the cousins ordered--those wound up at a convent. Madcappery ensues and the reader is rewarded with a few scares, some smiles and their Halloween appetite filled for the year!

Personally, I would rather have some peanut-butter cups. But that's just me.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Basket Case

Normally when I see a big box on the NeighborGoodies Table, I get pretty excited about the amount of random stuff it could contain. But when a box contains only two items, it's usually either very disappointing or very terrifying to me. This one is both:

It contains a yellow, green, red & basket-colored basket along with a (mercifully empty, but totally oversized) tissue holder--complete with grapes painted on the side. I like that they put these two worthless things together into a giant box and placed them on the NeighborGoodies table. Isn't a basket's sole purpose to easily carry other objects around? Why not just put the hideous grape ceramic monstrosity into the equally hideous rainbow basket? Why introduce another vessel into the mix...

...especially one bearing the words "Stuffed Animals" in red sharpie?

I think what bothers me the most about this item is what isn't included: The Stuffed Animals themselves. I can only deduce that this box was emptied of its furry, childish contents before being filled with unwanted basketry and grapeyness. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe if you're grown-up enough to move into a Luxurious Apartment in the Hollywood Hills, chances are you didn't need to bring an entire box of stuffed animals with you.

The worst part is, you just know those stuffed animals are sitting wide-eyed on the unused side of a middle-aged actress's bed as she runs lines from a script of a terrible play she's writing. After she thanks them for being such a kind and attentive audience, she treats them all to a tea party before curling up with her favorites. As she cries herself awake the next morning, the cycle begins again--only this time, Betty Basketcase won't have the ceramic tissue holder to slow her down as she reaches for her Kleenex! Way to purge, Betty!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Holidaze

Greetings NeighborGoodies Enthusiasts! I'm back from my tropical vacation and ready to face the Laundry Room trash once again!

But first, I wanted to thank the kind folks over at Yard Sale Bloodbath for the extremely kind shout-out over the weekend. I’d like to welcome the new readers who sailed over here from the Blood Bath, and I hope you enjoy your stay! For those of you who haven't seen YSBB yet, I highly recommend it!

OK, now on to the NeighborGoodies! I went on a small holiday this weekend, so it’s only appropriate that I’ve found some holiday-themed items on The Big Blue Table.

Upon first glance, these three sheets of wrapping paper, all made by the “Save the Children Foundation," seem like timely and appropriate NeighborGoodies, since Christmas is a mere two months away. But let's take a closer look at these objects...

What’s unique about them is that the artists’ name and the title of the wrapping paper design is on each of the sheets. First up is 1997’s “My Angel” by Elizabeth, Age 8:

Elizabeth's generic "Happy Holidays" message is perfect for any December gift-giving fiasco you may have to endure. However, I do have one question about this drawing: What is the angel carrying?

She seems to be equipped with a wand of some sort—perhaps she’s using it to make those stars that are floating all around her. Or maybe it’s a Halo-er™--A magical stick which gives halos to those who deserve them. I suppose it could also be a Holy Magnifying Glass, used to solve any heavenly holiday mysteries that may arise during the season. That's my vote, since the simplest answers are usually correct.

Whatever the item, Elizabeth gets a solid "A" in my book!

Next up is “Antarctic Christmas” by Julia, Age 7:

This piece from the year 2000 features some festive looking presents along with some frigid penguins donning their gay apparel. Well, at least I think they’re penguins. This one could actually be a snowman, wearing a fake carrot nose and an ill-fitting jacket....

...and a bell.

Why is he wearing a bell? Is he a Christmas leper?

Julia, your message is confusing and your hatred of lepers is outdated at best. I don’t know how Save the Children ever put this yuletide travesty on a sheet of paper, to be perfectly honest.


Our last piece in the NeighborGoodies Museum of Art is this collection of multicultural kids is 1994's “Children of the World” by Laura, Age 14.

Despite its title, this piece does little to promote racial harmony. Aside from two African-American kids and this one quasi-offensively drawn Asian kid...

...most of the children depicted are white. But, to her credit, Laura does promote an unusually high tolerance for kids in overalls and berets:

...and isn't that really what Pre-Halloween Christmas is all about?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rico Suave

On my way out the door the other day to fly from my luxurious home in the Hollywood Hills to a tropical paradise in Puerto Rico for a wedding, I came across this:

Like many of the items on the NeighborGoodies table, I am struggling to find a purpose for this teeny tiny star-shaped item, which looks to be made of some kind of a computer chip ...and it has a little space for a watch-type battery behind it:

The battery inside of it is dead, so I don't really know what its true function is. I can only guess it's some sort of flashy piece of fun one might find on some strung out dude at a rave.

Or it could be a piece of jewelry that Wilbur Q. Nerdington made for the girl he's been silently in love with since he ran into her in the computer lab at school. Of course, he likely chickened out before he gave it to her and just threw it on the NeighborGoodies table, along with his dignity.

Or maybe, just maybe, it was left behind as a tribute to my Puerto Rico trip:

As I sit here, listening to the waves crash outside of the luxury villa in Puerto Rico, please note that NeighborGoodies (and I) will return next week. In the meantime, feel free to browse the archives if you're bored.

If you need me, I'll be over here:

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's on TV?

This may come as a shock to you, but I was not a normal kid. Growing up, I sounded like a record: "What show is this?" "What are you watching?" "What else is on?"

I must have asked these questions and others exactly like them ten thousand times before the age of nine. I was obsessed with television as a child, and now, as an adult (at least in age), I am paid to make sure there is always an answer to those questions. (The answer, of course, being "Reality Shows.")

But one NeighborGoodie has provided me with a completely different answer to the age-old "What's on TV" question:

Apparently, 30 years of dust, dirt and grime from the home of someone who hasn't turned on a television since The Carol Burnett Show went off the air is What's on least, that's what's on the TV in one Luxurious Apartment in the Hollywood Hills.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Inside Edition

Today, the NeighborGoodies Table is filled with Things that can contain Other Things.

(*Other Things Not Included!)
First up, there's this black square plastic item...

...featuring a palm tree and bird design on the lid. I'm not sure, but I think it's a mid 80's jewelry box--possibly from the set of Dynasty. It is certainly big enough for any giant cubic zirconia earrings that were popular during that era.

And there's this Shiny Item which looks like a Christmas tree ornament...
...but actually opens up to reveal a smooth red velvet center!
This piece is perfect for any rings you may want to store, with plenty of room for any fingers they may still be attached to!

Then there's this container that was once filled with 100% Excellent High Mountain Organic Japanese Red Tea Powder...
...but now, for some reason, is filled to the brim with smooth black stones:

And you can store all of them items and more in this fancy leopard-print whore-purse!

Because who doesn't want a sack of rocks...
...especially this close to Halloween!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pop a Cap

The temperature in LA plummeted over the weekend. It was in the mid 90's all week until I left the office Friday night, at which point it was windy and in the 50's. I grew up on the East Coast, so I know I have it easy out here, but a forty degree drop will eff with you no matter where you're from.

In the wake of this cold snap, some thoughtful NeighborGooder decided to drop off some accessories to keep their fellow luxury-livers comfortable:

These two hats--more like bonnets, really--are designed to help you retain a good portion of your body heat. Especially the one made of denim, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, this Hello Kitty hat comes with a matching wallet, so you can stay warm in style!
For the gentlemen out there, there's this filthy Paramount Pictures baseball cap...

...which looks as though it was last used when the wearer was in the forest chopping wood.

There's also this stylish black and white bandanna...

...which is clearly used and likely still soaked with sweat. The bandanna itself is adorned with images of various pissed off looking cats, some with electric tails. I can think of nothing more dangerous than an electric-kitty. When I was growing up, my non-electric cat spent a lot of her free time trying to destroy me. I can only imagine what damage she would have inflicted if she was armed with the capability to administer feline shock-therapy to me and my family while we slept.

Speaking of pets--you wouldn't want your tiny, designer yappy dog that wakes everyone up each morning to freeze out in this cold. No, that would be an absolute tragedy. So you'll want to use this tiny American Apparel doggie sweater:

I'm going to resist the temptation to mock the folks who dress up their pets like a fashion accessory... especially since there are apparently people who like to play dress-up with their home furnishings:

Yes, someone tied a little purple scarf on this dirty, almost opaque decorative vase.

The vase is covered in a sticky film and dressed as though it just got back from a night on the town, possibly with a smartly dressed animal.

... that I see it in print, who among us hasn't had a night end like that? I rescind my complaint.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Shirts off Your Back

Some guy left behind a pretty extensive pile of clothes...
...including many "ironic" t-shirts. Now, don't get me wrong: I'm all for wacky t-shirts. I have quite a collection of them, mostly from

Threadless is good because there are lots of secretly awesome shirts--Shirts that are funny or cool without trying too hard. In other words, they are the exact opposite of the shirts that are found on the NeighborGoodies Table.

First up, we've got "The King of Ink" t-shirt...

I'm not saying this t-shirt is lame... but while doing research on it, I found out that this logo is from a short film. The film's website offers little insight about the movie itself, other than this one-liner: "Brought to life by a freak accident, tattoos seeking a purpose for their new lives search for their mythical leader--The King of Ink."

I'll admit: That sounds kind of like a cool idea for a short film. But other than this sentence, there's nothing else on the site about the movie. Is it a comedy? Adventure? Coming of Age? Or is it so lame that it defies genre altogether? The two available clips are nothing more than short, unimpressive flash animations that repeat themselves over and over again.

I'm worried that someone from the cast or crew is the NeighborGooder who dropped this shirt off. Or, more likely, someone from the building got the shirt by attending a screening of this stink-ink film to support a friend and immediately needed to get rid of the evidence.

While they were at it, they cleaned out the rest of their shit-shirt collection:

This one says, "Sometimes I like to run around in my underroos for no reason." Here's the thing, hipster: It's not funny. You can't just refer to something from childhood and expect to get a laugh. Everyone thinks that because Family Guy has constant references to pop culture past and present, it automatically gives them permission to just put a word like "underroos" on a shirt and expect to be treated as clever or creative. The problem, of course, is that Family Guy is fucking hilarious, and you are not.

I'm talking to you, Dane Cook.

Here's another one:

I think you've figured out by now that I'm a nerd. But guess what--most of the people wearing this shirt think it's cool to heart nerds after beating the shit out of them for 12 years of grade school and high school. Oh, now suddenly you heart nerds? Because back in the day, I'm pretty sure you tried to flush my fucking head down the toilet. Love you, too, assface.

And then there's this thing:

Here, we've got all six Village People re-imagined as Easter favorites, Marshmallow Peeps.

Village PEEPS?

hmmm... actually, I'll admit it: I like food-related comedy, so I'll let this one slide. But I still wouldn't wear this thing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In the Bag!

Welcome to NeighborGoodies! First, a little piece of business:

It has come to my attention that a certain corporation has apparently banned their employees from reading NeighborGoodies. And, while I'm irritated that this company has taken this action, I will say that I'm also kind of excited that NeighborGoodies got enough attention to be banned anywhere.

And so, a big shout-out to all of you people who suddenly can't read the blog over at the Cintas Corporation who, I'm told, are secretly in the process of changing their slogan to be: Cintas: Because Uniforms Mean No Fun!™

And to think, I was going to get some NeighborGoodies uniforms made there. Oh well...

For those of you who have been banned--and even for those of you who are just lazy--you'll notice a new box to the right, where you can subscribe to have NeighborGoodies emailed to you whenever there's a new post! So, you know--feel free to sign up!

Moving on: Today, we have a collection of bags that give us a window into a NeighborGooder's troubled soul:

These six very different bags all seem to represent a woman in search for herself. We can follow her journey through life via these sacks of memories.

Back in Grade School, she loved her cartoons--specifically her PowerPuff Girls:

And what's not to love? Three adorable, scrappy young girls out secretly fighting crime....

....but our lonely NeighborGooder identified with Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup in a way that her peers just couldn't understand. While they were all out playing Duck, Duck, Goose, our heroine was busy referring to herself as Bunny, the fourth Powerpuff. Her classmates mocked her for drawing Powerpuff-related doodles in her notebooks as she fell behind in her classes--and withdrew from the world via the Cartoon Network.

In High School, she found other outcasts just like her. Girls with names like Raven, Banshee & October who never quite fit in either. To better blend with her new group of friends, Bunny dyed her hair black and began going by the name of Moon. To express their individuality, these ghoulish gals began shopping at stores like Hot Topic, where they'd purchase unique bags that matched their outrageous personalities:

These hardcore, punk rock purses were likely filled with eyeliner and cigarettes, and were used to show everyone that Moon and her gothy friends weren't part of The Crowd, even if they were forced to wear a stupid Cintas Brand™ school uniform like everyone else. Moon was more than a girl in a plaid skirt--she stood on her own, dammit, and didn't need to be popular. She had friends now. Friends who understood that it rules to cut yourself while listening to Veruca Salt!

Once High School ended and her goth friends shed the eyeliner and the razor blades, Moon once again found herself at a loss. Needing income, she took a job answering phones at a hip dotcom, and began showing up to work carrying these stylish messenger bags:

These bags said, "Sure, I'm going to work--but I'm not boring! At least I don't work someplace that forces us to wear Cintas Brand Uniforms™!" Once the dotcom bubble burst, Bunnette Mooney (as she'd come to be known) ran off with the young, hot and now-broke CEO of her company to helped him launch a new career in office supplies. These days, she carries a more serious business bag for her laptop and papers...

...although something tells me she's probably still cutting herself on occasion.