Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Corny Corn Cob Plastic Bag Holder
Sorry folks! This pattern has been slated for purchse by a publisher. It won't be available as a freebie pattern any longer.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Anyone Left Standing?
Most of my inlaws were here.
I cooked for them. My first turkey. With the stuffing recipe passed down through generations on my mother's side. Keep in mind that these are the french in-laws. That have a very different view of turkey dinners. The 'all meat' view. And I changed the stuffing recipe a bit. I used garlic butter instead of regular. And it was good. Real good. Better than my mom's. But don't tell her.
We had a LOT of food. Since hubby isn't a big turkey fan, we also had a ham. We're eating turkey sandwiches and ham and eggs for the next month.
The kids were spoiled rotten. No, really. They were. If anyone of you out there have anything to do with the invention, construction or distribution of toys.....could ya stop? Before next Christmas, maybe? I'm out of room.
My youngest got the Dora the Explorer talking house. Great. It comes with a little Dora. Then she got some add-ons, like the van and the swimming pool. Each add-on comes with another little Dora.
The Doras are fighting.
I'm not kidding. She throws them across the room. When I tell her not to throw toys, shes informs me that it wasn't her. It was Dora. Yikes. I'm just waiting for them to organize and turn on us.
They have all the My Little Ponies needed to make a great calvary.
The oldest got a TV, a DVD and an MP3. Thankfully, we taught her to spell. But now we may never see her again.
I was spoiled, too. HUbby bought me way to much. At least his birthday is coming up, so I can WIN the 'I love you most cuz I got you the best present' game. Currently he's winning. I got a new watch, a cookie jar, a box of Toffeefee, a giant Toblerone, new socks and a big ass frying pan. (I actually wrote that on my llist. Big ass frying pan.)
My mom got me the Tide BUZZ Ultrasonic Stain Remover.
Tried it yet? You need to. I've been hunting down every stain in the house. I love it. I'll probably mention it. Often. Sorry.
So, now we are resting. The inlaws are gone. The kids will be occupied. And I have nothing more important to do than go blow my gift certificates on boxing week sales and make a big ass snowman.
I hope you and yours managed to survive. But brace yourself.....
There's still New Year's!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
My Christmas gift to all of my fellow bloggers is......
Of my new kitchen! We just finally finished up all the little things like baseboards and such, so now it's time to show it off.
Besides, it's clean right now. For company.
Ignore the unfinished hallway in the background. That's next summer's project.
So, I hope you're all relatively impressed. Considering it was like this once upon a time.
I hope ya'll have a safe and happy Christmas!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
A Tragic Play, by Tara
HUBBY (seeing look of anquish and heartbreak on Tara's face): But I love YOU!
TARA (Now sitting on the opposite end of the couch): Shut up, yarn-hater.
HUBBY: Am I ever going to live this down?
TARA: No. It's going on your tombstone. "Loving husband and father, hated yarn."
HUBBY: You mean years from now, right?
TARA: No, I mean after the horrible accident where you get strangled to death by some stray yarn.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Ok, I embellished the background a bit. It was that or clean the house. So sue me. I didn't feel like cleaning. But isn't the tree pretty? Like my angel? She's Irish.
Friday, December 16, 2005
RSTLN and E
Yes, I am a sucky baby. And No, I am not constantly sick or hurt (although, I did slip off some stairs a few days ago and the bruises are really starting to yell). I can't help it if everything happens at once.
So, I took some cold pills last night. Ya know the kind. One package has pills for daytime, and one has pills for nighttime. Only, if you ever lose the box, you're not sure which is which.
Blue or red? Hmmm.
Hubby was pretty sure the red ones were for night. So I took the red ones last night.
That was dumb. Duh. Red for bright sun and blue for night sky.
But, it was too late. I was up all bleeping night. I had some time to let my mind wander. And wander it did. Down a very long and twisted road.
So, after rehashing the final episode of the Apprentice, discussing with myself the pros and cons of botox, and wondering just what month I would be if someone put me in a calendar, I started to think about New Year's. I have no plans for that night. I don't think I have done anything on New Year's eve for years. I'm not a huge fan of the New Year's parties. Fun, sure, but always so anticlimactic.
Then I asked myself if I would make any resolutions. That started me thinking about the WHEEL~OF~FORTUUUNNNE!!! (pretend I said that in the big booming announcer's voice).
I know. It was a bit of an odd transition. But there is logic behind it.
Remember when, in the final puzzle, they would get to pick five letters and a vowel? Every once in a while, some idiot would pick JPMQB and U, but for the most part, everyone else said RSTLN and E. Because they are most likely to be in a phrase. Duh.
One day, the show decided to make those letters standard. Now, everyone always gets RSTLN and E automatically. Then they get to pick 3 more consonants and a vowel. Great system.
Do you see where I am going with this? No. Ok, try to keep up here, folks. It isn't rocket science. Just a bit of sleep deprived logic.
What do we all do on New Year's? Besides drink. We make the RSTLN and E resolutions.
REALLY quit smoking this time
Take a vacation
Never ever drink again
Not that there is anything wrong with the standard (letters or resolutions), but I always wondered if RSTLN and E wasn't screwing up someone's chance to win the WOF puzzle? Because maybe they wanted JPMQB and U. Let's say this is the phrase, with the RSTLN and E taken off:
Some of you already have it, I'm sure. But remember, there's a lot of pressure standing up there. It's harder to concentrate. And they are not all genuises like us.
So, seeing as how our contestant only has 3 consonants and a vowel left, he chooses JPM and U. And he gets this:
Not bad. Most people could get that. I would think. But I'm pretty good at Scrabble, so maybe I'm biased.
BUT, if our contestant were allowed to choose the letters he wanted, he would get this:
Not exactly a slam dunk, but a lot easier to get. (For those of you still scratching your head, you need to watch more WOF).
So, here's my point. Yes, I have a point.
Do you think that maybe the RSTLN and E New Year's resolutions (that almost none of us keep anyway) are keeping us from making the ones we really want to make?
For instance, I'm going to resolve to go shopping more often, buy a LOT more yarn, drink more coffee with friends and learn at least ten more ways to swear in french (it's fun to shock my inlaws, teehee).
My opinion, if it means anything to ya'll, is to scrap the RSTLN and E resolutions and make some new ones. Fun ones. Ones that you can actually keep.
And keep the boxes of your cold pills. They have instructions on them.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
The Stench of Defeat
I am now well on my way to be being fully addicted to Battle of the Blogs at www.blogexplosion.com . I have Utenzi to blame. Curse you, Utenzi, for bringing this game to my attention.
So, I played. I went up against another blog, and won! My first time out! That isn't some nice thing all you Blog Battlers do for newbies, is it? I won on my own, right?
So, feeling halfway confident, I battled again. Guess who took my challange? Utenzi! And then he WON! Curses! And by only one vote, I would like to add.
Now, my housework must suffer. I need more challanges. I NEED them!
So vote for me. Not the the other blog. Because I'm better. Just ask my mom.
So....this is Christmas?
I'm not really sure what's going on. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me.
I mean, I KNOW it's Christmastime. Only ten more freakin' sleeps. And it's not like it's been hard to miss. I've been doing all the Christmas stuff.
I've put up a tree and outdoor lights. I even made a wreath out of pine trees from my own back yard. Very Martha Stewart-y. I've baked cookies and bought a turkey. Made (and ate) a gingerbread house.
I've made umpteen trips to Walmart to get gifts for the kids. I had the required argument with a retail clerk because the ONLY toy that I need to uphold the Santa Claus tale is not there, and NO I cannot wait until after the holidays, and why can't they just look on the computer to see if more are ordered?
We visited Santa at the mall to give him 'the list' (which in reality is too long to consider, but when staring the Big Guy in person is whittled down to 1. a toy cash register, and 2. an animal flashlight....the flashlight being unavailable anywhere in this town and the next two towns over).
We have not one, but two, chocolate advent calendars per child, and we have had to watch every Christmas special on TV for the last two weeks. Even the CD player on my kitchen, which normally only ever plays mommy's boring talk radio, has 2 celtic Christmas cds. These play whenever I cook so the youngest one can spin and dance like a maniac behind me while the oldest one attempts to sing along to the Christmas carols (unfortunately, she got her singing talents from me...and I listen to talk radio all day).
There's snow on the ground and frost on the trees and I have to use my electric blanket at night.
I even have the requisite holiday cold.
But I don't feel Christmasy.
I'm not sad or depressed or angry at the world. I know I'm away from my family, but that's not new. And my family is all in Mexico, anyway. And I have had to pay out a lot if money lately for all of my lemons (the van, the dog, the house, etc), but it's not like we are starving. I even have friends coming over with their kids on Christmas eve for a little party. Im excited about that.
But it just doesn't feel like Christmas.
I wake up in the morning and think, "Huh, it's Thursday....again." The thought doesn't even enter my sleepy brain that I should get up and get some more work done on getting the house ready.
Maybe it's the upcoming Canadian election. Around here, people are putting more effort into putting up election lawn signs than pretty lights. And I'm very political. I don't talk about politics here, in this blog, because....well...I come here to relax. Not get worked up.
Well, I don't know what it is. And I'm not sure that analyzing it will help. I'm just venting. And whining. Ya'll put up with so much of my whining.
Maybe I just need to stir my coffee with a candy cane.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Just a Few Questions....
I'm also just playing around with this Cafe Press crap. It's not like it's my new job. I don't plan to get rich off of it. I just can't help making pictures and putting them on things. Call me crazy. (If you choose to call me crazy, try to say it in the "Oh, that Tara, she's just so crazy she's cute" kinda way. As opposed to "That $@#! chick is crazy!" kinda way).
I designed the Trailer pillow as a Christmas present for my mom. She dreams of giving up her big house, accounting firm, sports car, jacuzzi tub, fancy parties with chafing dishes, country club membership, etc etc etc, so that she can live full-time in a trailer. I know parents always want their kids to be more than they are....do you think she is lowering the bar waaaaayyy down so we can accomplish that?
So, anyway, I just have a few questions to ask ya'll:
1. Is anyone else enjoying the little sidebar elf as much as me? It's OK if you're not. I won't be mad. Not everyone is into elves. I get it. I'm just wondering.
2. Are you all ready for the holidays? I don't really care. It's just that that's what everyone keeps asking me whenever I leave the house, so I assume it's a required question. Don't answer.
3. What should I make for dinner?
4. How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn't live there?
5. Is the Cafe Press thing really lame? As in, am I totally wasting my time, or could you see the odd person finding my designs witty and worth purchasing? Not that there is a lot to go on, yet, but I have some great ideas. I'm working on a few. In fact, if any of ya'll have any ideas, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Can someone test my email for me? ~ email@example.com ~ I'm not sure I'm getting them. I need to twiddle with my junk mail settings. Oh my. That almost sounded dirty.
7. If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? Sorry. That one just makes me giggle.
8. Did anyone watch the Amazing Race last night? Did you see the part about the 'two popular Canadian sports'? You non-Canadians didn't actually believe that weird log rolling thing was popular, did you? It's totally not. In fact, I never even heard of it before. Curling, yes. We admit to curling. And even if you don't play, it's fun to drink while watching. But log rolling? Give me a frickin' break!
Ok, I'm done. Answer none, some or all. Whatever.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Coffee Cup Art
I jumped on the bandwagon. I am nothing, if not a bandwagon whore.
There isn't much yet, just the one design. But I have OODLES of ideas for more. I'll be updating often, so look for the link on my sidebar whenever you get really, really bored. And have extra cash hanging around.
I just bought myself a fridge magnet. I'm so good to me.
Monday, December 12, 2005
I don't want a lot. Just a few things, really. I know you are busy, but if you could see your way to at least considering a few things from my list. For Christmas this year, I would like:
~Yarn. That's at the top for a reason. I need yarn. Need it. But you're Santa. So you know.
~Anything from Hickory Farms. I don't know why, but nobody ever gets me that. I love that stuff. Except the crackers. They always seem a little stale.
~Crackers from anywhere but Hickory Farms.
~For people to stop inventing stupid things that make no sense. Like a cordless electric can opener. It's so you can move around with it and put it in a drawer when not in use. Great idea. I've had a 'cordless' can opener for years. And it doesn't even need batteries. Oh, and have you heard about the new toothbrush with an on-board computer? Isn't that crazy? I mean, you live with elves and you probably haven't heard of something so nutty before. Not that there is anything wrong with elves. Is there?
~Tolerence for stupid inventions. And elves.
~The off button for my three year old. I know it's around somewhere, but I just can't find it.
~If you can't get me the off button, booze would be great.
~Money. Lots of it. Great big gobs of it.
~Not world peace. That would put my husband out of a job. So, maybe, almost world peace. Everybody can get along, except for the odd minor skirmish where nobody actually gets killed, just a black eye or two. But a big enough fight to require soldiers. In Disneyland, maybe. So the families can go with. And live in a big Disneyland tent city with random soldiers from all over the world and their families. And all the moms and kids can go on rides and shop on Main Street for cheap Mickey Mouse sweatshirts while the soldiers keep Donald from finally snapping and killing Goofy. Gosh, Santa, that would be great.
~Did I mention money?
~A maid. Full time. A live-in would be fine, but only if she is really really ugly. But efficient. And smells nice. And yes, she will need to do windows.
~Tim Horton's large coffee with 3 cream and 2 Sugar Twin. I know that it would require making a Tim Horton's actually stay open on Christmas day, but is that really so much to ask? Gas stations stay open. Even movie theaters. Why not the one place in Canada that sells the coffee/crack we all need so desperately? Are we really supposed to sit calmly through squealing kids and wrapping paper messes and relatives and under/overcooked turkey and piles and piles of dishes and way WAY too much chaos without a Tim Horton's coffee? WHAT KIND OF A CRUEL AND TWISTED WORLD DO WE LIVE IN?
Oh, and a steeped tea for my husband. He takes it with cream.
~The Ghostbusters to come to my house. But maybe not on Christmas day. There's too much going on then. Do they have gift certificates? That would be OK.
~A sea lion. I always wanted a sea lion. They are so cute. The way they balance things on their cute little fishy smelling faces.
~Don't get me a sea lion.
~An extra 2 hours per day with which to play on the computer completely guilt free.
~A Corvette. Please? I really want a Corvette.
~Maybe a bit more yarn. Or better yet.....get me a sheep. She can help keep the yard mowed, and I will have an endless supply of wool. Seriously. I want a sheep. I would call her Yarn.
You see, Santa, I don't really want a lot. It's not like I am asking for completely impossible things, like my 11 year old to stop acting like she's almost a teenager, or my husband to buy me flowers, or my Mom to stop guilt tripping me for taking her grandbabies far away, or the ability to play the violin.
So, please? Could you get to work on a few of those things? That would be great, thanks.
P.S. Say hi to the elves, those cute little buggers.
My daughter is adding her letter. She's only 3, so she can't write yet, so she is just sending you a picture.
Personally, I find her list to be totally unreasonable, and she really hasn't been all that good. You should concentrate on my list, more.
Friday, December 09, 2005
The Armpit Zit Story
I have not been very forthcoming about the problem I am having with my arm. I owe ya'll a story.
But it's gross. If you like gross, you may enjoy this.
It all started early last week as, well, for lack of a better word, an armpit zit. Possibly an ingrown hair, but ya'll know what I mean. Especially the girls. It happens. It was my right armpit. But then they go away.
This one got bigger. And bigger. And a LOT painful. The pain was radiating all down my side. And to the tips of my fingers. By Thursday morning, I was at the doctor. It's a cyst.
He had a cool name for it. I wish I could repeat it. Supersomethingorotherbutdefinatelymedicalsounding. He apologized that it sounded so scary. I told him it was OK, and that it sounds a helluva lot better than 'armpit zit'. He gave me some meds and sent me home. He said if it doesn't go away, he will schedule a surgery. Yikes.
It was probably about 3 inches across at the point. Don't ask me circumfrence. Do I look like a damn mathmatician? It was big. And the pressure from it created bruises. All down my side and the inside of my arm. And swelling. I couldn't put my arm down by my side. It just stuck out, like I was leaning on an invisible wall. Hubby had the kids calling me 'Robot Mom'.
So, as I lay dying on the couch, waiting to die of an armpit zit, I asked hubby to please, please, not put that on my tombstone. He told me to 'save the drama for my mama.'
My mama is in Mexico. She'll get the drama later. Diluted drama.
The party on Friday night helped a lot. Ok, it was the vodka that helped a lot. Amazing stuff, that vodka. Has anyone told the doctors about it yet?
It took till about Wednsesday this week until the pain started to go down. And the pills were running out on Thrursday. So, I went back to the doctor. Who then told me it should have been opened up and drained. Ick. But, now it is too late. Sigh. So, I got more meds. Stronger meds. Meds that cost about 3 times as much as the old ones, so they'd better mother effing work!
And that was yesterday. We'll go from there. The pain is mostly gone, but the large and hideous bump is still in my armpit. If anything, it almost looks worse as it gets better.
I know, I'm so pathetic. There are much worse things to go through. And it's not life threatening. But it HURT dammit. And nobody in my family got up off their rears to help me clean or cook. Not without yelling, anyway. And hubby just kept acting like I was a drama queen. Meanwhile he would coddle and coo over the poor dog who had his ear surgery weeks ago. And my youngest, who is at the age where she thinks that 'poo' is the funniest word ever, is making endless jokes about the smell coming from my armpit (there's no smell, this is an odorless bump). She's just lovely. Such a little lady.
Where was I going with this...oh, ya. I'm pathetic. Sorry about that. But it HURTS!
Anyway, it's getting better. So I promise I won't keep bitching and moaning about my arm. Other things, perhaps, but not my arm. Unless I end up needing surgery. Then you'll never hear the end of it. Unless of course you just stop reading. Because who wants to read a blog that is nothing but whining?
Since I don't want ya'll to stop reading, and since I have not only been whining, but babbling as well, I am stopping now. Sorry. Oops. Ok, stopping.....now.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Important Message From B.A.D.K.
This is a very important message, especially with the upcoming holidays. Please, if you or a loved one will be knitting this holiday season, pay attention.
I feel compelled to speak on this cause, having been a recent drinking and knitting perpetrator/victim. I've been making The Poncho. It was going well. It felt fine. The colors are great and the tension seemed perfect. I was only going to have a few drinks. What could go wrong? Inertness, apparently, is what could go wrong. How was I to know that booze and/or pain medication could make me not want to get my ass up off of the couch and get the pattern way on the other side of the room? Jocelyn wanted to know how long it takes to make this particular pattern. Well, Jocelyn, a heck of a lot longer if you get tipsy and don't read the pattern.
You see, the first stockinette stage of the pattern calls for a width of five inches before moving onto the next stage. In my stupor (funny how that word sounds like 'stupid'), I choose to not double check that number on the pattern. I was cozy. There were good shows on TV. I knit all the way up to TEN INCHES. Now my poncho will be, at least, five inches too long. Frogging is not an option. I will just have to muddle through. At least my knees will be warmer.
I know. I KNOW. This story is sad. But it must be told. There have been too many drinking and knitting 'accidents'. The statistics are staggering. At least 1.4 million knitting projects are maimed or destroyed every year, at least half of those are meant to be Christmas presents*. We can't just sit by and let this continue. Knitting under the influence cannot be tolerated any longer! This isn't crocheting, people! We can't just yank it out to the mistake and then keep going. And those needles are sharp. Does someone you love need to lose an eye before you take away the yarn? It's up to all of us to make a difference!
Please, for the love of yarn, don't let your friends knit drunk!
This has been a public service message from Bloggers Against Drunk Knitting (B.A.D.K.).
*All drinking and knitting statistics provided are most likely entirely made up off of the top of my head. But it could be true.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
While I Still Can...
So, I am doing a random Meme thingy today. Because I don't want to rant and rave about my daughter. Or my own stupidity. Or how I feel like crap on a cracker. And I still have the use of my arm. So there.
20 Years Ago (1985):
I was in grade 5. It pretty much sucked. I was picked on a lot. I blocked most of it out. I do remember stirrup pants and long sweaters, though. And that was the year we had our first sex ed class. Fun.
10 Years Ago (1995):
I was working at a record company full time, even though I don't listen to music, so I could support myself and my new baby....and the deadbeat dad. Oh, and the deadbeat roommate that the deadbeat dad brought in. It was so sweet the way they would look up from their video games long enough to wave goodbye as I trudged off to work to feed their sorry asses. I loved how they always ate all of the food during the day, so I never had to worry about crazy things like getting fat. Sigh. How much do I miss those days? I DON'T!
5 Years Ago (2000):
I had just become engaged. NOT to the deadbeat. New man. Good man. Great man. I worked for an office supply company. It was a great job. All those pens. And the paper. Sigh. I DO miss those days a little.
3 Years Ago (2002):
Between the 5 years and 3 years part of this Meme, a lot happened. Got married. Hubby went to Afghanistan to be a hero. Meanwhile, we had the new baby. Almost as soon as he got home, we were posted across the country. So, this time 3 years ago.....I'm pretty sure I was unpacking. And maybe having a drink to relax.
Last Year (2004):
I was sitting in about the same spot I am now. Oh, except my office was blue, but now it's green. And it's another new house. And there was another tour to Afghanistan in the past 3 years, too. Not me. I didn't go. I don't like the heat. The hero I married. He has a thing for the sand, I think.
I was working retail last Christmas, but that's about the only big change.
This Year (2005):
Same as last, but no job. And this time the tour to Afghanistan is upcoming, not past. Not sure when, but his name has been put on the list.
As for the rest, my intro tells ya what this day is like so far.
Next Year (2006):
Who the Hell knows. This is the army life we lead. It would be nice if we were still here, in this house, but I doubt it. We could be anywhere.
10 Years From Now (2015):
Well, after I win the lottery and buy ya'll a car........just kidding. Sorry. That was mean.
At some point in the next 10 years, I would like to go back to school. I don't know what for. That depends on where we are, I suppose. Otherwise....well, the mstery is all part of the adventure, isn't it?
Monday, December 05, 2005
But that's ok. That's all forgiven. All of it. Even the little pouty lip she gets when I dare to give the 3 year old a time out for biting her cousin. It's all OK. She can say and do whatever she wants.
Cuz she bought me YARN.
Not just yarn.
She got me everything needed to make the sweater on page 20 of Patons Next Step pattern book.
I got 5 balls of Patons Dive in Frosted green, a set of 10 mm needles and two 4 1/2 inch stitch holders. Oh, and a pretty little carrier for all of it. She actually forgot some yarn (five balls of Patons Shetland Chunky), but I won't tell her. And since she gave me a discount card for Lewiscraft, anyway, I can get the yarn I still need for cheap.
I love my Mommy-in-Law. She gets me.
I'm also working on a new knitting project. It's The Poncho free pattern from Coats and Clark. I'm about a third done. Which in itself is surprising. Since I have been crippled and feverish most of last week (I'm starting to feel a lot better, by the way). I just may actually finish this one. Or, I may have just jinxed myself. We shall see.
Friday, December 02, 2005
"Hey, you wanna smoke a joint with me?"
"No thanks, I'd rather not."
"Ok, more for me."
Some pressure. The closest I ever got was when I was airbrushing for 4 hours straight in a non-ventilated basement. I'm pretty sure I had the munchies that time.
But I may have misjudged.
I think I was a teensy bit stoned last night.
Whatever the doctor gave me for my arm.....wow. Nice. It didn't last long, but it was neat-o. When I closed my eyes, I got dizzy and felt like I would black out, but I didn't. And the colors! Wow. Like I said, it didn't last long.
And then I got to spend the rest of the night in pain and discomfort.
I liked the stoned part, better.
I'm still not giving ya'll the arm details, cuz it's pretty gross, and involves drainage, but it's starting to feel a bit better. And, according to the doctor, I can drink at tonight's party with the meds he gave me.
Woohoo. I may not like the illegal drugs, but the legal ones are GREAT!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I won't go into the details, but I have a little issue with my right arm. It's fine, but it hurts, and I may need surgery. But not a big one. I know. Very mysterious, am I not? But trust me. You do NOT want the details. In the meantime, I can't really raise my arm much, but I can use my little mousey and make cute little pictures.
So, here's how it works. If you want random elf jokes for your sidebar (and who the heck doesn't?), just right click on the cute little joke telling elf, choose Properties and copy the ENTIRE url for it. Use that URL to place the picture in your sidebar.
Easy, yes? Don't change the size or anything. If it's too big, sorry. It's 86 pixels wide, so it should fit most sidebars. And the jokes will change on their own every day or 2.
NOTE* This will only work if you use my URL. If you change it to your own photo server, the joke won't change. You'll just get the same lame joke every darn day 'till Christmas. Don't worry about my bandwidth, I have oodles and oodles of it. I pay extra so I can do crap like this.
Oh, and just like the Christmas Spirit, the little elf buggers off after the holidays.