Monday, December 21, 2009
And this year, due in large part to my do it later day planner, I really haven't been paying attention. This planner allowed me to spend most of 2009 on the meticulous upkeep of my ability to ignore and postpone even the major issues. Actually, now that the year’s practically over, I’m glad I did most of it later or not at all, because it didn’t feel worthwhile at the time and I’m still having difficulty taking any of it seriously.
The last minute Christmas shopping’s no exception; seems like the closer it gets to that Friday morning deadline, the easier I become to please, and the stronger my desire to just buy something, already, and get back home. Not having really any excess cash this year only helped speed things along, and I’m proud to say that other than a few last minute stocking stuffers, I think I’m finished with the shopping.
I was particularly pleased with this year’s selection for my mother-in-law. We all have at least one nearly impossible to buy for person on our holiday gift list, don’t we? That certain someone for whom purchasing a present is mandatory, but about whose personal tastes and preferences our knowledge is relatively nonexistent, and hopefully can remain a pristine and intact unopened door in the house of life. Last year she bought me a sweater covered with jungle animals, each one sporting a crystal necklace, and it’s in a similar spirit of giving and warmth that I’ll be offering her the holiday tart burner with snowman slide. Will she like it? Do I care?
By the way, the little tarts are sold separately, and taste delicious once they’ve been properly burnt. Shown here: cranky cranberry flavor, which I thought seemed ideal for my special someone. Feels great to be just about done prepping for this holiday!
Monday, December 14, 2009
And last year’s post-holiday clean up was also pretty typical: I’ve got this habit of putting various personal belongings in plastic bags and dropping them off at Goodwill as a lazy woman’s method of housecleaning/hoard-resistance. Then I waste many subsequent hours wondering where these things are.
Result: an additional holiday decorating issue arose the other day: we need a new Christmas tree topper. (Not really, I thought, but better half trods a more well-worn path and was insistent). So, we went to the closest Kmart and had at it, giving up at least ten minutes of hard-earned free time. I voted for this cthulu holiday decorations topper. It incorporates both red and green and works on any sized tree. My vote was overridden, though, and I was not surprised.
Better half lobbied vigorously for this topper with Spock. Yeah, I had to agree, the Vulcan salute with its “live long and prosper” aftermath, is a perfectly sound sentiment for this time of year, but I just couldn’t feel the love. I was ready for a tiebreaker and/or an immediate trip back home.
A few sulky moments ensued, but then we both found this lighted rock ice triple candle topper right in the check-out aisle, and—really, need I say anything else? It was just over the top enough. One of my coolest friends saw it and gasped, “Good gaudy, Miss Maudie!” and I knew I’d hold on to this baby for at least a few more years.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Our time-honored methods of dividing the chores left holiday decorations firmly in my court yet again this year, which meant the theme (eat, drink and be merry, minus the “eat” part) remains largely unchanged. Let’s face it: anything that gets you through a few days of enforced family fun-n-intensity is worth a certain amount of hoopla and hullabaloo. I hung the serene yoga diva Christmas ornament in a prominent place, near Joyous Julie, who’s sure to provide refills on demand. Umbrella drinks and yoga: such an excellent pairing, I didn’t mind the lack of any actual tie-in to Christmas, or any other December holiday.
The wine elf trio turned out to be excellent company for Wine Santa, although I never knew the elves were actually Claus family members. Living at the North Pole and spending all one’s spare time in the manufacture of toys clearly results in a certain amount of in-breeding, a great deal of facial hair and a smattering of alcoholism. It’s par for the course.
Finding this set of wine-themed Christmas ornaments on the same shopping trip (different store) seemed almost magical. And then, finding a great wine sale on the way home from the mall made the entire venture seem cosmically-driven, meant-to-be and practically worthwhile.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
You know how sometimes you start paying attention to a certain topic and before you know it, you're finding it everywhere? It’s kind of like how if you start looking for blue cars, you’re going to see a lot of blue cars. Or you look at the clock one day at 2:12 and then that number combination recurs in other arenas. This is one of life’s more enjoyable phenomena; when it happens to you, be glad you noticed. Don’t get spooked out, it's all good. Maybe someone’s trying to get your attention for very specific reasons, or maybe it’s just a big coincidence.
In any case, my focal topic in the past few days has been methods of optimizing brain health (let me guess, you were expecting something much more lowbrow, and 99% of the time you’d have been right!). What I’ve already learned is that when you start thinking about your brain as well as with it, the results can be truly amazing as well as strangely serendipitous and uncannily unctuous. Example: this morning I made the mistake of doing a little holiday shopping and had a (meant to be?) rendezvous with this brain food, winner of a coveted creative child toy award and “ideal for networking your right and left brain.”
Enjoying its metallic sheen, hoping for something with the consistency and frangibility of mercury, I picked it up only to discover it was much more like my thinking putty than anything as volatile and erratic as mercury (or a brain). Hoping I’d made at least a few successful neural connections, I returned it to its place on the store shelf. Wonder if I should have made this purchase? Think it could stand in for duct tape in certain emergencies?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
You might be tempted to believe that your best friend, the dog, would also enjoy an extra layer or two. But unless you live in an extremely cold climate and have one of those really frou-frou ultra-sensitive lap-dogs, you can probably reconsider. Don’t forget, someone’s wearing a coat 24/7 and it works better than yours.
Jasper, our product model, is not only uncomfortable in his sweater, he’s somewhat emasculated by its hint of lavender, as well as the subtle touch of argyle. He’s smiling only because we’re holding a large morsel of food in the air. Yes, of course, we gave it to him. He deserved it after this modeling session.
And although he’s slightly more at ease in the laid-back hoodie, he’d still prefer canine nudity, as would virtually every dog. This time we picked up a stick and pretended we were about to throw it, but as soon as the picture was taken, Jasper was rolling around in the grass, trying to remove this article of clothing.
For some reason, maybe because they’re used to collars, dogs don’t seem to mind a bit of jaunty neckwear quite so much. Pepper enjoyed this handsome scarf both as an accessory and a chew toy, and he was the star of the dog park that day. Still, he made it patently clear that if given a choice he'd never wear it again.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Now that Thanksgiving’s over we’ve all taken the dreaded plunge into holiday season, which means the seasonable, yet unreasonable, requests have already been pouring in. Could I bring something to the office party, the church bake sale, the kids’ celebration at school, the “get over here and buy a candle” event that my boss forces us all to attend, the neighborhood pot-luck, and the get-together my reading club thinks I’ll be attending? Absolutely not – what do I look like, Suzy Homemaker over here? Aren’t I going to have enough hassle just getting a few basic decorations in place and maybe a present or two purchased for immediate family members without also having to feed the hungry holiday crowd? Besides, I’m kind of in an enforced period of cutting back on pretty much everything, which means providing party trays and large amounts of sweets and baked goods just isn’t going to be feasible.
However, since I like to at least appear to be participating, I purchased a few party trays featuring incredible inedibles. As I rush in with my (chilled and Saran-wrapped) plates, I’ll look like I was busily cutting cheese and vegetables, and folding meat with the best of ‘em. Then I’ll beat a hasty retreat, hoping no one really noticed who brought what, because these trays don’t contain real food. The good thing is, they’re expensive and realistic, so with a little dusting off I should be able to pawn these off on well-meaning holiday party attendees for years to come; I’m considering them investment pieces. And, as is the case with my foody erasers, I fully expect to find teeth marks on at least one or two items, which I shall chisel off before next year.
Friday, November 27, 2009
In fact, Black Friday is usually when I commence what I like to think of as my annual medquest/medfest. This is a process honed by years of practice, whereby I search for some type of (OTC only, folks) product to soothe my jangled mind, assuage those irrational fears, and introduce a frisson of happiness somewhere into my (very) nervous system. And I’ll admit right up front: it’s usually a medquest, not a medfest, but I have to keep trying. One doesn’t give up a quest, especially not when the reward is that eventually I might find the chill pill of my fondest fantasies.
Here’s the first line of defense in this year’s anti-stress arsenal. I liked the fact that it’s a kit, of course, and that it gives me the option of taking some pills for my stress or a little snort of anxiety relief for things like minor mood swings, stage fright, and that uncool stomach thing (to which I am particularly prone). The option also exists to for me to go hog wild and double-dose myself in four hour intervals, which is pretty much the usual game plan.
I also got, as back-up plan A, a straight shot of Anxietol 7. It works on stress, anxiety and depression, relying heavily upon two highly active ingredients, one attempting to keep me relaxed, capable of learning and free of menstrual pain (how are they so certain I’m not a guy?) and another which is an adaptogen, which, you know, basically helps with adapting. That pretty much covers all the bases, huh? Plus, they’ve finally taken care of the nasty side effects well known to users of Anxietol formulas 1-6, such as facial muscular tics and the inability to sleep with one’s eyes closed. I don’t know about you, but I am a total sucker for any product that ends with the cherished “it all” sound, because of course I want to rid myself of as much anxiety as possible.
Then it occurred to me that MoodFix might also be helpful. It improves mood fluctuation, which doesn’t really mean I’ll be in a better mood. But it does mean I’ll be in a different mood, so at least I won’t know what to expect, and sometimes a quick change is close enough, or at least better than nothing.
My sincere hope is that by the time the holidays are over I’ll feel ready to emerge from my soothing druggy cocoon. But at the moment it feels like I can’t get in there quickly enough.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
And, hey, even if lighting wasn’t the culprit, no harm done by attempting to brighten your day, right? This year, in a rare burst of almost-experienced good cheer, I went out and got some holiday lights. They’re not just for Christmas any more, you know. Oh, no, they’ve come a long way, baby, as if anything hasn’t.
I started with myself for a change. Usually I am not the kind of person who lights herself in any way. However, if you look at my spankin’ new turkey t-shirt (below) you’ll notice the forest seems to be backlit. I figure if I pin the turkey body light somewhere in the region of my right collar bone, it may appear to be the shirt’s light source. I know, I know. Pretty elaborate stuff, but really, it didn’t take as long to come up with the concept as you might think. Truth is, as soon as I read in the ad copy that I could expect extra goodies with my order, I was incapable of resistance. I am so weak that way! And I won’t ruin the surprise – I’ll just say that my extra goodies certainly lived up to the $1.99 price tag.
In the front window I just hung
a Thanksgiving window decoration that supposedly looks like a turkey. Maybe not from across the street, but once you get up close you can tell that it’s a turkey, or some kind of bird, right? Eh, it can look like abstract art for all I care; it’s too late now because getting this guy into the proper position took almost half the morning and now I’m vaguely cranky and have to get back to cooking duties. In other words, I’m leaving him there for at least a week (he’ll still be out there in February, mark my words.)
But the obvious focal point is going to be
the beautiful turkey lamp. This guy looks great—warm and welcoming, he greets your friends and family with “classic gobble grace,” whatever that means. Maybe he’ll remind them to consume their meal in a similar fashion.
Here’s to you and yours! May you all be enjoying a bright and wonderful holiday together, having a fabulous time, and making new memories that will remain eternally tinged with classic gobble grace.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
After a couple of days I was resorting to extreme grooming techniques. I try to keep myself pulled together even during the difficult times. The back pain was becoming exquisitely unbearable, preventing me from thinking about anything else, and that was before I cut off part of my big toe.
Luckily the Sacro Wedgy came to my rescue. Kind of like a comforting (male or female) hand down the back of one’s pants, Sacro Wedgy’s there to provide just enough of a strange annoying sensation to distract you from your back pain. Then you’ll relax a little, and the pain level really will decrease. It also kind of makes you walk funny – and, of course, people will notice when the product is in use, so we’ve color coded them for both men and women, which made sense at one point in the design process. I’m already seeing and feeling the difference, and the wedgy is worth the wedgie.
The new Thanksgiving shirt was clearly worth the pain and almost any amount of monetary sacrifice, and I’m sure that woman from the store is hurting even more than I am. My facial expression may not be believable, but I’m experiencing about all the thankfulness I can muster at the moment.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Unwanted hair growth…it’s an under-discussed issue that plagues most of us, particularly as we age. And virtually every method of hair removal has dramatically increased in price, been noticing that? It’s not cheap to be depilated! Disposable razors have been putting some significant nicks in my hygiene budget, and I’ve heard from my Nair-using friends (and my even richer laser-removal-at-salon friends) that they, too, are making sacrifices elsewhere in order to maintain their hairlessness. And of course we’ve all seen the television commercials for new hair removal methods, with their emphasis on the danger and pain we subject ourselves to with each hair removal technique.
What if someone told you there’s yet another alternative? How about teaching your brain to balance your hormones while you sleep, therefore ridding yourself of this issue forever? And what if doing so didn’t take any particular effort on your part other than listening to a guy talk for a while? Better yet, this program works on both sexes, targeting separate problem areas based upon hormone level and content. That means smoother legs for most of you ladies, less back and ear hair for the gentlemen. Nasal hair? Not any more! Let Steve be your unwanted hair growth whisperer – you’ll be glad you did!
Friday, November 20, 2009
It’s getting to be that time of year again, isn’t it? You knew you were feeling busier lately than you’d been in, say, mid-July, when everything was kind of in a hazy, summery soft-serve mode. Then September arrived to pick up the pace, and you probably managed to keep in step. But it just so happens that the exact moment when people start thinking about holiday plans usually coincides precisely with an abrupt acceleration of their workloads, stress levels, and internal clock speeds. This week felt like a game of Wild Planet Hyper Dash to me; how about you? The game challenges one’s coordination, math and teamwork skills, overall speed, ability to create mnemonic devices and/or acronyms, knowledge of commercial lyrics/arcane trivia, and patience. It also leaves you a little breathless, with a rapid heartbeat, an adrenaline overload, and a healthy amount of self-doubt. If you’re going to stay on top of things in this, our modern world of today, you’ve got to be able to handle, or better yet, enjoy that sensation of being overburdened on as many levels as possible. Wild Planet Hyper Dash is only trying to help. Ready?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Without thinking, I took a swig. And time stood still. My eyes bulged at the effort of swallowing, while my throat demanded an immediate and quite forceful ejection of its contents, which it took almost superhuman efforts to override. Meanwhile, I could feel a warm viscosity seeming to coat my entire esophageal tract. Once I stopped sputtering and gagging, I read the label on my juice box. What had I just done to myself? I’d ingested some honey-consistency lemon-flavored thickened water, that’s what I’d done. It claims to have a true water taste that you’ll enjoy, but that’s only if you like your water roughly the consistency of nearly-gelled Jello, with a touch of lemon—which believe me, only adds to the thickness, somehow. I kept expecting to spit out pulp, or something…maybe an alien baby. Product is also available in nectar consistency, but what that means will have to remain a mystery; I’ll never be trying any.
Don’t think I’ll get the job, either. I couldn’t stop doing this involuntary shuddering and making little scraping movements with my teeth, trying to get my tongue from feeling as though its thickened water coating was permanent, a sensation I’m still trying to shake. Next time I’ll be sure to ask for the unflavored, water-consistency water.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Which witch? was so much fun! You tried to get yourself out of the haunted house made of cardboard…it was a “real,” three-dimensional house, crafted with such intricacy that I often found myself feeling as though I were really inside. I guess I was easy that way. Our family always got a little too rough with the whammy ball down the chimney part of the game, and then arguments tended to break out, which means my cardboard mansion is kind of flattened and bent and doesn’t much resemble the cover. I treasure it nonetheless.
And who didn’t love Strolling Bowling? Much to my surprise, this game is still on the market, keeping up with all of today’s fancy electronic devices. Trust me, kids, Guitar Hero has nothing on this game. See, the ball has little feet, and it “walks” over to the pins. Talk about a fast-paced game of skill and action! Plus, get it? Strolling bowling? Great, great game. Kind of. Okay, we never really played with it.
On the other hand, we were cuckoo for Odd Ogg. You rolled one of the little balls his way, trying to aim beneath him, or at least between his hands. Hit him in the right place and he’d move forward, but if your ball gave him “the bad touch,” he’d move backward and stick out this big red tongue and give you the raspberry. The concept of a toy that would mock you when you made a mistake—why more companies didn’t follow Ideal’s lead will always be beyond me! Playing with Ogg was one of the best rehearsals for real life I ever experienced.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
A two-pack of personal debris removal systems! What genius came up with this idea and a half? Imagine each step a clean sweep, enabling you to walk backwards on a beach and leave no footprints, or to have the cleanest sidewalk on your street. And just picture what you could do with “the plow,” those of you in colder climates!
The best part about this product is that it’s actually an empty box, because there’s no such thing as Kleen Stride, although we fully believe there should be. And $7.99 isn’t really so bad for an empty box…although, again, we’re going to have to hit you with a large-ish shipping and handling charge, because empty boxes require twice the man-hours and effort.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Mmm, you smell like you just got back from a beery lunch at the local sports bar, with a strong base note of stale cigarette smoke, a dash of devil-may-care insouciance (spicy, yet unobtrusive), and a slight hint of yesterday’s unwashed armpit as an unexpected clincher. After all, it’s casual Friday, at last! You may have questioned the dress code at work, unsure of what exactly was meant by “business casual,” but there’ll be no doubting your olfactory selectivity. Available soon: Couchbound Saturday, the first of our weekend scents.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
My birthday comes first, and I’m a few months older than she is, which she never fails to flaunt. On my birthday I found this
in the mailbox. No note, but I knew exactly who was responsible. She thought she was so clever. Toss these “parts” in some water and they grow 600%. “Look, there’s even a new liver, just like you need,” she shrieked. “And it’s your size!” (I thought it was a brain, and that it was her size. We’re still arguing over that.)
Anyway, I figured I’d show her who had old parts!
This morning when she got in her car, the long bra was waiting for her. No note, but she’ll know. And she’ll claim not to have tried it on the next time I see her, but she’ll be lying. It fit, too, didn’t it, birthday girl?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
You may have thought the days of being able to purchase anything for a penny were long over, but you were wrong, my friend. In 2004 you probably would have parted with about $13 for a bike accessory as cool as Spokey Dokes Sparky Spokes. (said it out loud, didn’t you?) The green plastic spark alone is worth at least a dime, not to mention the snazzy rhyming product name—and you haven’t even seen it in action! This baby is 16.1 pounds of fun, folks! That’s why we’re going to have to charge you $12.99 for shipping & handling. But the product itself costs only one cent, which we think is pretty tough to beat. Call within the next twenty minutes; you know we can’t do this all day.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Flair Hair = truly irresistible. My weakness for faux tresses is apparently endless, and this particular brand really appealed to my inner Guy Fieri.
Yeah, him. He heartily approved of this purchase. But if you’re not blond and into the flame thing, like me & Guy, don't worry. Flair Hair is available in a variety of colors and visor styles, as well as children’s sizes. The hairdo, however, is non-negotiable. If you’re going to wear a visor, this is de rigeur. Perfect for those days when you’re just a little short on time and taste, Flair Hair! Allow it to take you to places you’ve never even envisioned.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I’m practically beside myself with excitement, because today I learned about miracle fruit. It turns sour to sweet! “Lemons become lemonade!” trumpets the ad copy, then whispers, “Sound too good to be true? An internet search will confirm that this is for real.” Lo and behold, they’re telling the truth! Wikipedia even informs us that the fruit may work by distorting the shape of sweetness receptors on our tongues…for up to 60 minutes! This is going to be life-altering. I can’t believe no one ever told me about these beneficent berries.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
This bobblehead doll claims to be Darla Hood. You know, Darla from Our Gang/Little Rascals, although facially it's probably equally close to Lucy Van Pelt of Peanuts fame. There’s even a hint of Natalie Green from Facts of Life, isn’t there, around the eyes and nose? And no, I did not know Natalie’s last name offhand; my brother was the big fan of that show, not me, so I gave him a mobile shout out. He’s also an excellent, practically encyclopedic, source of information if you need or want to reminisce about Full House, but he’d never admit that, and you didn’t hear it from me.
I digress, as always. This is the version of Darla they were clearly aiming for, the people at the bobblehead factory. And they at least got her outfit right…sort of. I’d never envisioned this as a teal jumper, but, hey, artistic license, whatever. Still, the doll just doesn't say "Darla," does it? She was way too cute and much too cool to end up as a cheesy bobblehead.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Imagine my surprise when the UPS truck drove away, the dog barked herself breathless, and then a soft, nutty smell permeated the house. Curious, I opened the front door only to find a greasy-looking box that looked like it had seen better days. For me? Actually, no, it was for the former occupants, but I often allow myself the illicit joys of playing finders-keepers with any mis-addressed postal deliveries that come my way, especially packages like this, redolent of some exotic yet oleaginous travels. Imagine my further surprise when I opened the box and found what appeared to be a big chunk of…fat? A lifetime’s worth of earwax? Maybe some kind of clay? I wasn’t sure how to react, but my gag mechanism was.
Took me a while to learn that I was the (proud) recipient of two pounds of raw shea butter. You know, shea butter, an ingredient currently being touted as an excellent moisturizer and therefore included in many products, much like its relieved precursor aloe vera. Shea butter is kind of cool to play with, because it melts instantly into your skin as soon as it becomes body temperature (which, where I live, doesn’t take long). So you can’t make little figurines out of it, but you can make it magically disappear. And now, instead of buying those pricey shea-butter-containing products, I just cut off a little chunk of this and toss it into the mix. Okay, it may be a little rancid on one edge, but since mine was free I can’t complain.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Tonight we’re planning some at-home fun and mayhem (sorry, kids, this one’s for ages 12 and up only). We recently picked up this really fun game, A Look at Alcohol & Tobacco, and can’t keep ourselves away from it! It’s a good thing an answer key’s included, because after a few hours, no one seems to care how much an ounce of alcohol is, or how many belong in “one drink.” (we love those quotation marks; they know us so well!) We also enjoy taking a look at tobacco, which seems to complement our alcohol quite nicely; they make an attractive pairing.
The morning after we play this game usually finds us spending lots of time in the bathroom and praying fervently to our St. Vivian figurine. Vivian’s the patron saint of hangovers—you knew there had to be one, didn’t you? Actually, she has a bit of an “I told you so” expression on her face, but we’re willing to turn to anything for assistance in difficult moments. We hollowed ours out and stuffed her with aspirin, so now she’s kind of the Pez dispenser of hangover patron saints; please go with whatever works best for you. And please shut the door quietly on your way out.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Money’s tight these days, and I’ve been practically saintly in the parting with cash department, pinching every penny and picking up the ones I find on the road. And yet, you know how it goes. Some products just cry out for purchase regardless of finances, and I often find myself ponying up even when I really should be clamping down. Alas, there was just no resisting the urinary track decoction; I was rendered completely powerless in the presence of its no-nonsense label and fancy packaging. This stuff resolves dampness, eliminates turbidity, opens the water passages of the lower burner, and tonifies the kidneys. All that for only $29.95?! Who could resist? What solidified the sale, however, was the fact that this product possesses the ability to relieve that uncomfortable sensation in my hypogastrium, as well as my dizziness and feeling cold. Sometimes a product really does live up to its grandiose and impossible claims, and this is one of those times. My urinary “track” even sent me a thank you note, although it insisted on some spelling correction. It’s feisty that way.
Monday, October 26, 2009
And we know those parts are pretty much all super-sized; you're a good, solid specimen. This product’s particularly for guarding your burly elbows. Please don’t say they aren’t burly, because we’ve been following you around and even taking some clandestine from-behind photos, and not only do we think you’ve got burly elbows, we find your calves to be rather buff. In fact, your shoulders are also mighty fierce, and we mean from just about every angle—have you been working out? You’re looking good, my friend—as good as a living large dad! So don’t forget to protect those elbows. They may look burly, but they have a sensitive aspect that people don’t see at first.
Wear them with your brawny pants
because those legs of yours are also looking massive, strapping and thickset, and don't forget your
colossal t-shirt, for those commodious upper arms and your ample chestal region. After all, your clothes should match your bodily proportions and possess that bigger than life quality that you’re oozing these days. At least one in three of you, that is.
By the way, if any of these product combinations are ordered within the next fifteen seconds or so we’ll be pleased as punch to wrap them, at absolutely no extra charge to you, in the
hunky torso gift bag and include a fan letter. You’re on fire this week, your largeness!