OF LAUGHING AT DEATH
The Christmas tree is up and it's 85 degrees outside. Something is wrong with that. It seems that most places are having a fairly warm winter this year. Global warming?
It was fun picking out a tree. We went to a rather large lot and walked among the nobles and the douglasses. We cheekily felt up a number of trees and inhaled their scent deeply. I can't remember the last time my family had a real tree. I think it must have been at least eight years ago, when I was fifteen. I vaguely remember the dog being chastised for running past the tree over and over again. It was plainly obvious that she was enjoying the tinkling sound of ornaments knocking against lights. It was, however, the shower of needles which my mother objected to.
Our apartment smells really lovely. We got a 6 foot Douglas Fir that looks really sparse right now. We bought a package of colored ornaments but neglected to buy hooks for them. So, except for the tinsle our tree looks bare with the twinkly lights turned off. Ah well.
After erecting the tree and watching Buffy we turned off all the lights except for the tree lights, put on some bad Christmas music and danced. About five minutes later we got in a stupid fight and had to spend at least an hour and a half figuring out what was wrong. I thought he should have been more proactive in a certain situation and he thought that I'd been entirely too negative lately. Which isn't entirely true but I do tend towards the dark side of things. Lately, I've been stressed about the holidays and money things who isn't?
I just got back from getting gifts for the fam-damily. They're all getting plush presents from the County Coroner. Yeah, I know. You wish you were part of my family right about now.
The L.A. County Coroner has a gift shop called Skeletons in the Closet. I've linked to it here. I've been wanting to go and check it out ever since I found that site. The gift shop is actually in the dusty, somewhat dilapidated, government building of the coroner. You have to check in at the desk and they have to unlock the door for you to come in. Man, did I feel like an asshole for showing up and asking for the gift shop.
The idea of a gift shop in the coroner's office is pretty amusing. (And, hey, if you can't laugh at death what can you laugh at?) After all, a gift shop in a hospital makes sense. You might want to buy a teddy bear or some flowers for a loved one. Gift shops in museums are for souvenirs and remembrances. A gift shop for the dead? Well, actually, they feature all sorts of things for the living. Sweatshirts, T-shirts, windbreakers, beach towels (with chalk outline), hats, fanny packs and more. I bought sweatshirts for everybody and T-shirts for myself and my little brother. A hat for me and a hat for T. I also bought a mousepad in the shape of a chalk outline and sent it off to work with T. (the caption on the mouse pad reads, "We're dying for your business").
Unfortunately, the selection was fairly nil. There were people shopping when I got there and more people showed up while I was there. All of the good stuff was cleaned out. I should have just ordered from the website but the experience of going there was worth it. The ladies that run the gift shop are also doing work there. I don't know if they're admin people or what but I had the feeling that they wished all of us would just get the hell out of their office.
I also bought the book they had for sale, Death in Paradise: Inside the files of the Los Angeles County Coroner. It's not a bad book but the editorializing is pretty bad. The facts of the cases they presented in the book are pretty much available to anyone looking for them. So, that wasn't too difficult for them to put together. And, though they have crime scene and other photos in the book, the photos should have been printed on glossy paper for better quality. The only thing this book adds is a little bit of history about the L.A. County Coroner and the history of the job of the coroner through the ages. However, it makes a wonderful little coffee-table book, don't you think?
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