February 2009 Archives

There Can Be Only One

The auction for the Tree Brain Tiki Mug has begun.

Forgive the recap, but for those who are new to this-- a crazy fungus that looks like a big orange brain grows every Sept. on the tree in front of my house. We like to celebrate its arrival here on the site and it has also inspired our giant theoretical rock band.

Tiki Mug superhero, Henrik Van Ryzin of vantiki.com, agreed to sculpt a tiki mug in the tree brain's honor. He made two -- one for me and one to be auctioned off.

The time for the auction has come.

This is a special 1-of-2-of-a-kind piece of art. It was even the star of its own featured video on YouTube. Sure we're in a recession, but why put your money in a bank for 0% interest when you could put it into a pretty mug?

Additionally, the owner of this mug and I will share an everlasting bond, as he or she becomes my Tiki Brother or Tiki Sister FOR LIFE. (Or until one of my shitty kids breaks my mug.)

In 2006 a Jackson Pollock painting sold for $140 million -- and you can't even fill it with pineapple juice and booze.

Click here for the auction and to read the mysterious native legend of the Tree Brain Idol.

The TJ's Song

Fantastic homemade video and love song to Trader Joe's (mostly on a cell phone) by Adam's friend, Carl.

Stevie's Home! (My Traditional Valentine's Love Tip)


A long time ago when my wife was my girlfriend and we were LIVING IN SIN, a tradition was born. I'd like to now share it with you all.

I came home from work one day and found her in front of the computer. I said "Hello," and she barely grunted back. I don't even think she looked up.

Half-jokingly I responded, "Okay, we're gonna try this again." I walked out the front door and came back in a few moments later...

"STEVIE'S HOME, STEVIE'S HOME!!! YAY!!!" was the new over-the-top cheer I was greeted with. It was accompanied by a hug and kisses. And I loved it.

What began as a joke quickly became an ongoing practice that continues to this day in our house: The person who is home first must make a small fuss when the other person gets there.

Does it sound silly? Yes. Do I promise that it will set the tone for a nicer evening just about every time you do it? Yes.

The world is full of douchebags, guys. Take 3 seconds out of your precious day to make a fuss over each other. Do it like you mean it. Do it as a goof. Just do it a lot.

I'm promise you'll be glad you did.

(For those who'd prefer to cleanse their palette of the preceeding sweetness, the following profanity has been provided for your convenience: fuck my balls.)

The Missing Quarter

Proving once again why you're all so wonderful, Henrik received an email from a Sneeze reader (Meg?) requesting the traditional quarter for size-reference on the Tree Brain Tiki Mugs.

Señor Van Tiki has happily complied.

Interesting Find

Angelcat writes:

Hey Steve,

Found a Garfield comic from 2001 that conclusively proves that Jim Davis went forward in time and used a sneeze reference in his comics...

Just thought you'd enjoy that!


That is a great find, but it does bring up an important question. Why the hell is Angelcat digging through Garfield archives?

Freshly Baked Brains

Just in from VanTiki Headquarters, Hawaii:

Aloha Steve -

Just unloaded the kiln, and the mugs look great! I snapped a few quick shots of the still-hot mugs on the workbench. I'll shoot up some proper photos once things have cooled down a bit. I figure you can pick which one you want after seeing a good photo set. Thought you deserved a quick peek after waiting forever for these fellows!


Now my wife and I must choose the one that will come live with us. I'll keep you posted when Henrik puts the other one on eBay.

Go check out all of Henrik's amazing mugs right here.

Mahalo to your mother.

Aloha from Van Tiki Island

Things had been quiet with the Tree Brains Tiki Mugs for awhile, but they have suddenly sprung back to life with new vim. (I realize you don't often see "vim" out there on its own without "vigor," but today's the day. Vigor, PLEASE!)

My genius tiki mug making friend, Henrik, is back to say:

Aloha Steve -

Hi, I'm Henrik. You may not remember me, but several years ago you expressed interest in a tiki mug.

Seriously - I feel terrible about the snail pace that these things are moving in. Ever since the bisque firing I've been unhappy with the way the brains fit - and that led to me kinda leaving them on the shelf for a spell. Today I decided enough was enough, and that it was time for me to grab the brain by the.. um.. stem? I re-sculpted a new brain for each tree, and hopefully these "custom fit" brains will work out better. I already love the way they look.

I glazed the mugs up yesterday and they are currently cooking away in the kiln. I'll have photos of the success/failure tomorrow!


PS - these mugs are freaking GINORMOUS. It has been a while since I picked them up - and the brain only adds to the effect!

If all goes according to plan, these 2 mugs won't explode in the kiln and then one will go to me and the other will go up for auction on eBay where the winner will become my Tiki Brother or Tiki Wife.

If you missed it, here's the mesmerizing time-lapse video of the mugs being made which was featured by the kind folks at Boing Boing and YouTube.

Check out all of Henrik's insanely great tiki mug creations at VanTiki and be sure to get on his free mailing list!

Raisins 2008


On Christmas Eve 2006, I decided to do a little test to see how excited my 3-year-old would be to receive a tiny box of raisins as compared to his other more pricey presents.

He was not pleased to see the tradition continue in 2007.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from my now 5-year-old upon receiving this year's traditional box of withered grapes.

For starters, his classic response from 2007 ("RAISINS?!! HE GAVE ME RAISINS! PUT THIS BACK IN YOUR FOOD!) had practically become a catch-phrase around the house with him. He knows the quote so well, and has jokingly repeated it so many times, I was predicting that this year he would just say it halfheartedly and move on to the next present.

Not to mention that on Christmas Eve I heard him and his older brother, (who we'll call "Lux"), actually discussing the possibilities of raisins as a gift!

Lux: "What are you going to do if Santa brings you raisins again?

Raisins: "I'll give them to you."

Lux: "Great! I love raisins!"

Given all these factors, I decided to shake things up a little and give him a big 1 1/2 pound canister of SunMaid's finest.

Here are 3 audio clips, complete with a handy transcript. (Clips 2 & 3 were a follow-up from later that morning.)

If the flash player is giving you problems,
here it is as an mp3.

--CLIP 1--

Raisins: Look at this present I got! This one's so big!

My Wife: You need some help?

Raisins: OH MY! (unwrapping) I think I'll get -- HEY! (to Lux) Look what he left me for you! He gave you--

Lux: (laughing his ass off at the big tub) A big box...

Raisins: A giant box of raisins.

Lux: Thank you, Santa!! I always wanted --

Raisins: I got a box of raisins, and I'm not saying it! (referring to the 2007 quote).

--CLIP 2--

Raisins: Only I'm not "ex-psyched" about the raisins. I'm ex-psyched about the toys I got.

--CLIP 3--

My Wife: (to me) Now you did it.

Raisins: Daddy thinks raisins are toys.

My Wife: Are they?

Raisins: NO!! THEY'RE NOT EVEN TOYS!! (taking off down the hall toward his room) RAISINS ARE A SNACK! NOT A TOY!!!!

Oh, well. I have no doubt he'll be totally ex-psyched when he's 6.


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This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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