O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

Sorry for the blog hiatus. We haven’t been up to a whole lot of anything lately and thus I’ve been lacking my usual blog fodder. And I still don’t really have a lot to catch y’all up on except maybe to just say that Derrick is still working, I’m still sitting around at the house, but I have had a couple job interviews recently so I’m really hoping for a good outcome, but so far I don’t have anything to report. We have some plans at least in the upcoming weeks though, so maybe I’ll have some cool stories about our lives to share with you soon enough.

BUT, in the meantime, I was feeling like two weeks was a long time to go without posting, so I’ve been racking my brain for some clever and witty blog idea that will so delightfully entertaining. Unfortunately for y’all, you’re stuck with this post instead…

In case you were wondering, the title is a line from Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 5). And this line applies not only to that whole Hamlet-seeing-his-father’s-ghost-and-swearing-his-friends-to-secrecy-thing but to, you guessed it, the bay area. I mean, I think every town and city has its own quirks, its own charms, things that make it endearing. But out here it feels like there is just an abundance of weird stuff.

Exhibit A:

Why is this woman walking a chicken?

(But don’t worry…at least there is a law that prohibits people from walking their elephants down Market Street unless they are on a leash.)

Exhibit B:

Shouldn’t PETA or the SPCA be all over this guy for coloring his poodle?!

I could probably go on all day finding pictures of the truly bizarre things that one might encounter while in San Francisco, but let’s move on to other examples of how weird this place is.

Weird places exist like the Musee Mecanique–a family owned collection of coin-operated things like these little treasures:

A quarter will “buy” him a drink!

The best (creepiest?) part of all these things is that they all still work! So of course when Derrick and I were here (when Derrick was only out for the summer a few years ago) we paid a quarter to operate the French Execution. Hilarious but disturbing. Because why do machines like this even exist? And why does someone/some family collect all these strange contraptions that probably would be better if they were lost to society?

On the other hand, it may be weird, but this sound like a worthwhile excursion: The Banned Toy Museum. First of all, I didn’t realize there were enough banned toys from which to start a museum. I imagine this place kind of being like the Island of Misfit Toys from Rudolph,  including such gems as this (I remember seeing commercials for this toy):

From the Banned Toy Museum website:

Sky Dancers were a Barbie inspired helicopter-like flying toy. Placed on a mechanical base, once the cord was pulled, the Sky Dancer would twirl high into the sky.

The hard plastic Sky Dancer’s propeller-like wings flew rapidly in unpredictable directions, hitting users and causing temporary blindness, broken teeth, face lacerations, and one mild concussion.

Galoob recalled almost 9 million Sky Dancers in 2000.

I know it probably makes me a bad person for laughing at stuff like this, but I’m serious, check out the website to see their top 10 banned toys and read why they were banned. If you can make it through without giggling at all, well, then I guess you are a much better person than I am. But if the museum is anywhere near as entertaining as I found their top 10 banned toys page, I see this being a worthwhile adventure for me and Derrick. I guess it is located next to the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia, which has over 900 pieces of PEZ history. Not planning a trip to the Bay area anytime soon? Don’t worry, my PEZ aficionados, it’s your lucky day…you can view a number of their exhibits online!

Moving on, does anyone else besides me find it strange that these are chilling in San Francisco?

No silly, that’s not a buffalo…it’s an American bison, obviously (Actually did you know that the name buffalo refers to the ones found in Africa and Asia called Cape Buffalo and Water Buffalo, but we still call these guys buffalo?)  But these bison are in the Golden Gate Park (in the Buffalo paddock…can we please just get on the same page about what to call these creatures?)  for your viewing pleasure. I think we can all agree that while this is also kind of cool, it is still odd that a little herd of bison resides outside the city.

It isn’t just San Francisco that is a world of strange…down in San Jose sits the Winchester Mystery House. Sarah Winchester, who I think was crazy, moved out to the Santa Clara Valley and started building a house. She paid for workers to continuously be building the house for 38 years straight in order to confuse the evil spirits of people killed by Winchester rifles so they couldn’t get her or something like that. Or she consulted with spirits supposedly to get plans on how to build the house. I’m not sure exactly, but the end result of her craziness is a house containing 160 rooms (although reportedly there were at one time 500 to 600 rooms, but she tore down and remodeled rooms a lot as part of her confuse-the-spirits thing) and all sorts of bizarre staircases and windows and strange passageways. Putting all the weird motivations of dear old Sarah aside, I feel like the house itself must be an interesting site to see.

Heading down a little bit from the bay to Santa Cruz, we encounter “The Mystery Spot” described on the website as a “gravitational anomaly” I don’t really know what that means or what one is supposed to feel when they are standing in an area where there is a gravitational anomaly, but for $5 I intend to find out when Derrick and I finally make it down to Santa Cruz.

With all the weirdness, I think we will have to make sure we still are able to do/go to/see what I consider “normal” things like baseball games or the beach or the zoo. Or the fall fashion affair at Santana Row in San Jose where  for $30 you can drink cocktails while shopping at super fancy (pricey) stores like Gucci and Kate Spade and a whole lot of other stores I haven’t heard of probably because I will never be able to afford them. Because sipping cocktails and watching fashion shows and shopping at designer stores is normal, right?

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2 thoughts on “O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

  1. Casey and I are planning our visit (figuratively… and hopefully soon literally), and want to see the Winchester House!!! 🙂 ps, Casey said you were right on both accounts, spirits told her how to build it AND she was keeping spirits confused. AND she was a recluse and so never visited many of the rooms… apparently, Casey thinks this house is awesome. 😀

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