Monthly Archives: December 2011

2012 Bring It ON!!

It’s New Year’s Eve, a time of reflection on the past while looking toward the future.  2011 was an interesting year to say the least.  The country is not faring too well, the world gets scarier by the day and now, every minute of every day is filled with election crap.  I’m already sick of it and we have eleven more months of it.  My city has had over six feet of rain this year which comes on the heels of several years of drought.  Fortunately, the rain came steadily over the year instead of all at once, or I’d be writing this from a boat.  It is warm so far this winter.  “They” predicted a double La Nina which supposedly meant 35 plus inches of snow for us this winter, so far we’ve had something like 2/10 of an inch.  We’ll see.

On the home front, things have been less controversial than the rest of the world.  My husband and I are working hard every day.  My daughter survived color guard camp, marching band camp, and marching band season.  Going to all the band events was fun for all of us and we miss it.  My son had his tonsils out and is now an A/B student and very seldom sick.  Removing chronically strep infected tonsils will tend to do that for a person.  We got a new cat.  We kept all of our friends and have not lost any more family.  We got to travel to California to visit my husband’s grandmother and we went to Disneyland while we were there.  I got to see my sister-in-law for the first time in about thirty years and began mending relationships gone wrong.  It’s been a good year.

My dreams for 2012 are simple.  I wish everyone to remain healthy.  I wish for us to be able to continue doing jobs that we enjoy.  I wish for my children to continue on the paths they are on, they are doing a good job of growing up.  I wish to have more time to read and write and work on art projects, in fact, I think that’s my resolution this year.  I wish safety and security and good health for everyone that I love.  I wish for my country to survive and thrive.  I wish for all the bad guys in the world to mind their own business at least and to go away for good at ideal best.  I wish we’d drill for oil so we can tell some of the same bad guys alluded to above to go suck it.  I wish for my husband or myself to win the lottery.  One of the super big ones.  I wish for world peace, not a world in pieces.

Tonight while we all celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, think about those you’ve lost, lessons you’ve learned and hopes you have for the future and remember to keep moving forward.

Happy New Year friends 🙂

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Why Aren’t People Going to The Movies?

**Before I get started here, I have a short disclaimer.  I love movies.  Watching them is one of my favorite pass times.  There are definitely some good movies out there, but they are in the minority.  I’m sure there are perfectly nice people in Hollywood who live respectable lives, but I don’t know any of them personally, and the following is my generalized answer to an article I saw about a decrease in box office receipts and my opinion about why they are down.**

I’m just a little ol’ mom in a fly over state.  I couldn’t hope to possess the panache of your average Hollywood star.  I graduated from high school, I went to college, my family doesn’t make millions of dollars for pretending and I don’t let people film me naked, but I have a few ideas about falling box office in spite of my obvious lack of Hollywood cool.

First, it’s too expensive for what you get.  It’s in the ten-dollar per ticket range to see a movie.  Most movies are not worth five bucks apiece, let alone ten.  The stories are done over and over and over again.  The stories tend to have poorly hidden messages about what we are supposed to believe.  /Happy Feet/ or /Wall-e/ anyone?  The acting is meh, most of the time.  Too many people get naked and/or have out right sex.  I’m no prude, but I really don’t need to see that.  There are too many rude/sexual/adult jokes and situations in a lot of movies directed at kids.  Kids in movies act like undisciplined brats and then real kids think that they should do the same thing once they get home or go to school or hang out with their friends.  Again, don’t need that.  How about looking at movies that ARE successful, or that ARE classic, like /War Horse/ or the Harry Potter movies or /Forrest Gump/ and make more like them, not similar stories necessarily, but quality acting, producing and directing.

Second, the food is too expensive.  It’s something like seven dollars for a large coke.  The can I snuck in in my purse when I went to see Harry Potter only cost me about fifty cents.  Candy bars are about four dollars.  Popcorn, the same.  You get my drift.  Not gonna pay it.  I’m not stupid.  Or rich.

Third, and this is something of a new one for the Hollywoodies out there, we’re just not that in to you.  We watch gossip and stuff about you because we can’t believe you actually live like that.  It’s kinda like watching a train wreck.  We know we shouldn’t look, but it’s so gross and weird that we can’t help it.  Sure, there are some Hollywood-ites that aren’t as icky, but they are few and far between.  They all seem to think they are better than the rest of us cause they live in California and have lots of money, but guess what, they are not.  They are just people.  They are messed up just like everyone else, only on a grander, more public scale because they are narcissistic and can’t stop telling everyone about themselves.  Pretty much the only thing they have that I don’t is a butt-load of money, and let me tell you something honey, if I have to do a fraction of what you folks do for it, I’ll just stay where I am thanks.

Fourth, we are getting sick and tired of being told how to live by the above mentioned narcissists.  We take care of business out here in the real world every single day and we can do it without your do-gooder input.  All that stuff you keep telling US we should do? maybe you should try doing some of it yourselves and leave us alone.  Just because you are in the public eye doesn’t mean you’re super smart, it means you chose a different path than the rest of us that’s all.  And by the way, the adults among us also realize that you don’t look the way you want us to think you look either.  I am pretty sure I’ve passed “beautiful/handsome movie stars” on the street and without the couple of inches of makeup, hair extensions and super-strength spanks, you all look just like everyone else.  That’s why we like people like Sandra Bullock.  She’s beautiful and talented, but she doesn’t spend her life telling us about it and she is not immune to going out in “mom clothes” once in a while.

So, that is my uncool, unhip, regular person opinion about the reasons box office receipts are down.   All my blah, blah, blahhing boils down to one thing.  We’re kinda sick of Hollywood and most of their stupid movies.   Step up your game, give us better stuff to watch, stop charging so much for it cause we don’t think it’s worth it, stop thinking your better than everyone else, and for the love of God, keep your clothes on.  It’s >gasp<  unattractive.

Have a wonderful, normal day 🙂

Is It The End of The World As We Know It?

Well, in a couple of days it’ll be 2012 and that (other than the fact that saying 20 in front of the dates instead of 19, still, after eleven years of it, sounds weird to me) is really no big hoop dee do.  ANOTHER end of the world prediction seems to be the only big excitement we can expect.  Elections, disasters, wars, not my idea of excitement.  End of the world prophecy?  Could be exciting.

All year long we are going to be hearing about people who are battening down the hatches.  Survivalists are going to come out of the woodwork.  Here’s my thought.  If there is going to be a truly apocalyptic event, extra canned goods aren’t going to help.  There will be people gathering in “spiritual” places like Sedona to await the 21st.  Didn’t they see /Independence Day/ when everyone went to wait for the aliens with signs and stuff and the aliens proceeded to blast them?  You NEVER get together in large groups with others when you are trying to avoid annihilation.  Even my Dad who fought in Korea knew that and refused to sleep in the actual camp with everyone because he feared attack.  In fact, he slept in trees like some giant, scary, armed leopard while he was there and obviously he survived.

So, what do I think will happen on December 21, 2012?  I think it might snow.  I think the Mayan calendar ends because they didn’t have time to make another one before they “went away.”  My calendar ends in about two days and I don’t have another one yet, does that mean the world will end at midnight on Saturday?  Probably not.  Am I looking forward to 2012 so I can watch everyone freak out again like they did in 1999 when they thought the world would end or at least be irreparably damaged when it became the year 2000?  Yep.  I can’t wait.  So let your freak flags fly people.  It’ll give me a lot to write about.

Have a HAPPY Day!!  🙂

Another Christmas Past

The Crib of the Nativity at Krohn Conservatory

When I was a little girl, we had a fancy dinner cooked by my Mom on Christmas Eve and another fancy dinner cooked by my Mom on Christmas Day.  It never failed that our dishwasher would break down and ALLLLLL those dishes would have to be hand washed.  By the end of the holiday, sometimes before the end of it, she was pissed off and exhausted.  It was always my Dad’s fault, whether it was or not, although usually it was because for example, on the years that he actually got her a gift, it was ordinarily something fab like a set of pans.  I decided a long time ago that when I grew up, Christmas was going to be different.

My family and I do the standard putting up of the tree the day after Thanksgiving.  I like to have the house decorated completely by the end of that weekend so I don’t have to worry about it and can enjoy the season.  I make lots of cookies over the ensuing weeks, but I like baking.  My shopping is usually done by the second week of December because again, I learned from my elders and I want to enjoy the season.

This year, my daughter was in a Christmas band concert which was fun and my husband was travelling a lot, so we didn’t do as many “Christmas-y” things as we usually do, but it was still nice and relaxing.  My son had his Christmas Cub Scout pack meeting, which included Santa and a cake raffle, which sent us home with a cake.  Again, low-key, but fun.  The week before Christmas, we went to the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park near Cincinnati, Ohio and looked at the beautiful flowers and plants and Christmas displays and visited the Crib of the Nativity located on the premises.

I have been going to this Crib my whole life.  There are no longer live shepherds standing guard, but there are still sheep and they still wear big bells that clank in that certain way that sounds like Christmas to me.  The inside of the display is beautiful.  It is a typical Nativity scene, but there is a live donkey and a live cow.  It is peaceful, it is quiet.  It reminds you what Christmas is all about.

On Christmas Eve, we have our parents over for dinner.  We only have the Moms now, but that’s ok.  I make a ham and a few side dishes.  The table looks pretty, I have lots of candles and Christmas lights around the house, so it looks pretty too.  We eat dinner and then have cookies and peppermint hot fudge sundaes for dessert.  After dinner, my kids open their gifts from my husband’s side of the family and we sit around and talk for a little while until my husband takes the Grandmas home.  After that, we get the kids to bed once Santa gets into the US.  We track him on NORAD you know.   My son sleeps on the floor in my daughter’s room.  They talk and bond and all is good.  Santa comes and the next morning everyone is happy.

I purposely don’t overdo the “Martha Stewart” stuff at Christmas and I very easily could, I’m crafty and arty and design-y, but I’d rather my family have happy Christmases.  I don’t want my kids to feel awkward because someone (their mom) is overworked and exhausted.  That is not what Christmas is for.  On the big day, my husband goes and picks up my mom who lives literally three minutes away, we open gifts, have a nice breakfast, most of which I prepare in advance, and then we have a jammy day.  The kids play with their new stuff or sort new clothes or whatever they choose to do.  I usually read one of my new books and my husband floats between all of us looking at what is going on.  It is peaceful.  It is quiet and happy.  Mom goes home around one or two in the afternoon, and we continue with what we were doing.  This year we watched /Annie Get Your Gun/ and we snacked.  I don’t make a big dinner.  I make sure to have lots of yummy snack stuff and we graze.  It’s fun.  We are all relaxed.  We are all happy together.  Nobody gets mad.

If you find that your Christmas is not making you happy, step back a bit and find a thing or two you can do without and get rid of it.  It’s not about everything being perfect.  It’s about everyone being together.  It’s about everyone being happy and relaxed and remembering that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.  It doesn’t matter if He was born in June or October or on December 25th.  That’s when we celebrate it.  Enjoy the quiet of Christmas Eve.  Wonder at the stillness of the night.  Try to make it, so that when you are an old person and the Ghost of Christmas Past takes you on a journey, you won’t see any sad, distressing scenes, but rather you will see pictures of a happy family spending time together.

God Bless Us Everyone 🙂

White Elephant “Gift Exchanges” Suck

Here I go again, being controversial.  Who the h-e- double hockey sticks invented the White Elephant concept and why do we continue to perpetrate this assault on gift giving, feelings and general human decency?

In case you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, a White Elephant “Gift Exchange” is a way to get rid of crap you have in your house that someone else might like.  A willing participation in re-gifting if you will.  You take your crappy thing and everyone else takes THEIR crappy things and you sit around a table or in a circle or something and draw numbers or whatever, which correspond to the pile of crappy presents in the middle.  You then get your supposedly crappy gift and some dead beat down the row can then “steal” it from you if they like your crap better than their crap.  “It’s all in good fun!”  “Oh ho ho ho, how fun!”  “This is sort-of exciting and FUN!!”  These are examples of the stupid comments you will hear at one of these super fun events.  Except here’s the problem and no one but me has the cojones to spell it out for you.  It’s not fun.  It sucks, it’s sort of mean spirited and again, it’s not fun.

Let’s pretend for a minute.  Your husband buys you a beautiful, I don’t know, bracelet let’s say and you love it.   You fasten it on your wrist and twist and turn said appendage to watch it sparkle in the light.  You are happy.  You get to keep it.  Forever.  Now, let’s make this a “White Elephant” situation.  You get your beautiful gift, it is waaaay more than you expected it to be, you thought he’d get you something crappy, but it’s not, you love it.  Suddenly, in your peripheral vision, you see someone else that your husband had to buy a gift for, say his secretary.  The problem is, he bought HER a fruit basket because he doesn’t love her.  She makes his copies.  You make his children.  Anyway, suddenly this secretary comes out of left field and says, “I think I’ll steal THAT thank you!”  She removes your beautiful bracelet from your hand, gives you her crappy fruit basket and whistles Dixie as she saunters away, only to have the bracelet stolen from HER on the next round by someone with a shake weight.

My point I guess is that the world is a tough enough place already, yes?  Gas prices change when the wind blows too hard.  Duke Energy sends you bills that require you to take second mortgages on houses.  Your credit card company raises your interest rate because they are being regulated out of business.  Your kid comes home from school swimming in germs because people don’t want to keep their sick kids home and before you know it, the whole household is spewing from every possible orifice.  It rains and rains and rains, then it snows for months.  I imagine you are getting the picture.  Then, you go to a Christmas party to have a smidgen of fun in the midst of all the CRAP and participate in a gift exchange, and when you get there, you find out that no matter what you get (sometimes the stuff at white elephants is really not all that crappy and you actually WANT what you got) you’re probably going to have it stolen from you.  That’s why I don’t go to certain areas of town after dark because I like to keep my stuff.

So here’s my suggestion to everyone with any remaining humanity in their souls in this hard knock world.  The next time someone invites you to a party where the gift exchange is a “White Elephant” don’t go.  Rebel.  Tell them the truth if you can, lie if you cannot.  “Oh, I’m sorry, I just cleaned out all my crappy stuff and I don’t have one single thing I could participate with” or “I’m sorry, I don’t participate in group sanctioned theft.  I don’t like getting gifts and then having someone I may or may not like steal it from me and then have to listen to everyone talk about how “fun” it is.  It’s not fun.  It sucks.  It’s sort-of mean.”  See?  I told a lie first, and then the truth.  The truth felt sooooo much better.  Oh, and one other thing.  NEVER do this with children.  They NEVER forget it and somehow in their twisted child minds, they blame YOU for it even if it wasn’t YOUR idea.  I’m still hearing about an item that was stolen during one of these super fun events ten years ago.  PLEASE, if you get nothing else from my stories, get this, stop the carnage.  Just say NO to the white elephant.  Be strong.  Be a rebel 😉

New Orleeeeens

Cool NOLA balcony

I have travelled a lot in the United States.  I’ve been to big huge glistening cities and lazy beaches.  I’ve lived in the high desert of southern New Mexico and spent hours exploring the adjacent mountains.  Of all the places I’ve been my favorite is New Orleans.

I always wanted to go to N’awlins as the locals call it, but it wasn’t until my daughter was about 18 months old that we finally went.  We stayed in a hotel that had previously been an apartment building on Rampart St. which is the north edge of the French Quarter.  Everyday, we’d put the baby in her stroller and we’d walk.  We had discovered that parking in the Quarter was both precarious and costly, so we just walked.  We’d walk down to Cafe du Monde and have beignets and cafe lattes every morning.  Then we’d wander the French Market or just walk up and down the streets and look at everything.  We got our picture taken with a guy painted gold who freaked me out just a little and I took a picture of a little boy who was tap dancing with a bike wheel spinning on top of his head.  We saw fortune tellers and artists set up around Jackson Square.  We saw bums and runaways.  For a couple of years after the trip, every time my daughter saw pictures, she would point and say “ORLEEEENS!! I wanna go back to Orleeeens!!”  It was amazing.

For the last two years, we’ve gone to NOLA for spring break, and she has not disappointed.  We’ve seen people walking around in Mardi Gras costumes, we’ve gone to The Presbytere, a free museum near Jackson Square that will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about Mardi Gras.  We found a state park office on Decatur St. that is in possession of the cleanest, safest bathrooms in the Quarter.  We tend to walk waaaay out of our way to get there too, believe me.  We ate popcorn alligator at The Gazebo Cafe right at the edge of Latrobe Park.  We ate on a restaurant balcony overlooking the Joan of Arc statue near the French Market.  There was a storm moving in, and the clouds were spectacular, but I had a hard time fully appreciating it because I was so afraid that the balcony was going to collapse.  It didn’t collapse and the food was great and I want to go back again.

We also went out to Bayou Coquille to see what a real swamp looks like.  It was full of amazing wildlife, like alligators that like to lay right next to the wooden boardwalk, which is a really quick way to cut your walk short I might add.  We saw huge turtles, ok, just one and it was in the mouth of an enormous gator, but I digress.  We also saw snakes and frogs and weird bugs.  We heard an owl hoot in the middle of the day.  We saw cyprus trees and their weird little knees.  It was amazing.

I also ate the first oyster of my life in New Orleans.  My husband had been there on business and took us to a restaurant called Drago’s.  They had oysters on the half shell that were encrusted with parm cheese, breadcrumbs, butter and various spices, then broiled on a platter together.  We, kids included, ate so many and kept ordering more, that we couldn’t eat any more.  Oysters are generally like slimy little phlegm balls, but not these.  It’s the only place I think I’ll ever be able to have them.  We also ate at a place called Tommy’s that had me eating another thing I hate.  Bananas.  We had some kind of caramelly, wonderful, flaming banana dessert there and I couldn’t stop eating them.  The food in New Orleans is unbelievable.

I could go on and on and on, but blog entries that get too long tend to lose people, so I’ll stop, but next time you are looking for a cool, weird, live and let live kind of place to go on vacation, give The Big Easy a try.  It’s awesome and kids love it too.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

I Still Like Paper

I am about to write the most controversial blog entry EVER!  I still like paper.  I prefer paper bags (they make great barf bags when lined with a tall kitchen garbage bag), I prefer actual books, I prefer actual address books and I like scrapbooks that you can hold in your hand and flip through along with actual pictures that you have to store in a box.

I am a serious bookworm.  People come in my front door, look at the bookshelves lining my entry hall and murmur in admiration (ok, it’s probably disgust, but I prefer to think they are admiring my giant brain) “WOW that’s a lot of books.”  To which I proudly respond, “And that’s not all of them, I just don’t have enough shelf space.”  I am on the verge of demanding a move to an old Victorian mansion with a library just so I can get out all of my books, and then sit by the fire on windy, rainy nights in my wing chair with my brandy.  Ok, I don’t really drink much either, but to say I’d have a giant glass of coke, which if you’ve read earlier posts you’d know I have an “issue” with, makes it all less dramatic.  Anyway you get my point.

I also enjoy printing photos.  When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to sit with my mother’s giant box of family pictures and study people who were long gone by the time I was born.  There is something less viscerally satisfying about clicking through pics on the computer.  My kids also enjoy sitting with a stack of pics or a stack of scrapbooks and reliving things they remember.

The address book is another one of my “things.”  When your “smart” phone, or computer or Ipad craps out with your Christmas card list on it, and I whip out my handwritten, paper address book and get everything done while you are still trying to “restore” what you lost, I ask the question, “who’s smart now?”

I have to say that I do have a computer. I have a NOOK because I realized after a very tiring trip to Hawaii, that travelling on a plane with five hard-back books is not a good idea.  I have an Ipod which I’m pretty sure is my favorite possession, and I want an Ipad.  I am not technologically ignorant or unable to function in the modern world.  What I am, is harder to influence with marketing.  I don’t want to spend my life with my eyes glued to a screen.  I want to open a book and feel the paper, and hear the swish as I turn a page.  When the electricity goes out and I have forgotten to charge my device, I can light a candle and read my paper book.  I want to hold pictures in my hands and remember the people and events depicted in them.  When my computer crashes, I’ll be less sad, because I’ll have physical copies.

So friends, embrace the paper.  It is made from a natural, renewable source and is easy to recycle, so don’t bore me, I mean regale me with environmental issues.  It makes a satisfying crinkly noise and when left unopened for a while, a book issues a lovely musty (ok, it’s probably mold, I know…) smell when you crack it open.  Perhaps most importantly, last, but certainly not least, if you don’t like cleaning buckets or trash cans or carpets when someone has the upper end version of a stomach virus, a nice stiff, brown paper Kroger bag makes a fantastic, disposable barf bag.

Have a happy day!!  🙂

Meat vs Veg

Cattlemen's Steakhouse Fort Worth Stockyards
Cattlemen's Steakhouse Fort Worth Stockyards

Before this post goes any farther, I feel the need to include a disclaimer.  If you are a militant vegetarian, you may want to stop right now.  If you are a normal person who is a vegetarian, or a meat lover, read on…

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I was accosted by an occupy the meat case weirdo while buying a roast.  It was fairly mild, the standard, “How can you eat a “being” with a face?” cliche, to which I responded, “One bite at a time honey, one bite at a time” as I sauntered away with my roast tucked into my cart.  The following is what I REALLY wanted to say but did not have the time or energy for.

First of all my veggie friend, do you realize that plants are alive?  You are eating living beings.  Plants come from seeds, just like animals.  Plants eat, drink and grow, just like animals.  Plants participate in respiration just like animals.  They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.  Do you realize that every single time you pull a plant from mother earth for your selfish eating purposes, you are suffocating every animal on the planet including yourself?  Plants are grown by evil, big agriculture in overcrowded conditions where they are sprayed with pesticides and stinky poop fertilizer.  They are genetically modified and exploited for their nutritive value.  Just because carrots don’t have mouths does not mean that they do not scream when you chop them up with a huge sharp knife, or even worse, eat them raw with your ripping teeth.  Plants can’t talk or look at us with soft brown eyes, but we DO know that if you talk to your houseplants, they grow better, so are you SURE they have no consiousness?

Second, isn’t being veg supposed to make you less aggressive and kinder and more understanding and stuff?  What makes you think it’s a good idea to walk up to a complete stranger and berate them about their food choices?  I would never come up to you and suggest that your pasty complexion might be the result of low protein or iron levels and that perhaps you should have a HAMBURGER.  It’s none of my business what you eat.  If you want to eat only leaves that have naturally fallen from trees so that you do not kill what I think I have established to be living beings, knock yourself out.  I don’t care.  Like I tell all the little tattle-y kids I teach, “Stop worrying about what little Johnny is doing and take care of yourself.  If you are doing what YOU should be doing, you wouldn’t notice that little Johnny is poking holes in his giant eraser instead of reading his packet.”  In other, more simple terms, mind your own business.

Do you realize that human beings are the only animals on earth who feel guilty for their basic living needs?  Get. Over. Yourself.  Just because you can think doesn’t mean you should die rather than eat or breathe or turn on a light.  Let’s all just get along.  I might be a meat eater, but I seem to be a lot less testy than some of the veg peeps out there.  Tolerance folks.  Not everyone in the world is just like everyone else.  That is one of the things that makes the world a wonderful place.  We all look different, we all like different things and we all eat different stuff.  Leave people alone for God’s sake.  I think the world would be a much nicer place if everyone just minded their own business and took care of themselves and quit worrying about what everyone else is doing or not doing or what everyone else thinks of them.  Who cares?  Just take people for what they are.  You can go home later and think “weirdo” to yourself, but do you really have to make people feel bad because of what they are?  I know and love some weird people and a lot of people know and love me and I’m pretty weird if I say so myself.  Relax friends, and if you find it hard to calm down, I find that a nice filet accompanied by a salad, baked potato and a nice yeasty roll make my life better.

Have a wonderful day and maybe a burger… 🙂

I Love The Mall and I Will NOT Be Ashamed

I went to the mall yesterday.  I needed to get a new coat and a couple of Christmas presents and a tuxedo shirt for my daughter to wear with her  band uniform.  Before I go any further, do you know that a stupid tuxedo shirt retails for 75.00???  Seriously.  I got some discounts, so it only cost me 50$, but this weekend, I’m going to the thrift store.  I kept my receipt.

So anyway…I went to Macy’s.  Now, I LOVE Kohl’s and Target and JcPenney and Walmart et.al., but there is something special about the mall.  Maybe it’s the shiny Christmas decorations and the music, or maybe it’s the smell of expensive THINGS, I’m not sure, but the mall is kinda heavenly.  In fact, I think it should be capitalized.  The Mall.  Yep, that seems more right.  They have more beautiful clothes. Real leather shoes. Real leather purses, wallets and belts.  Wool coats. Sparkly jewelry.  Martha Stewart homegoods. Lancome.  If you want really good makeup, go to the Mall.  “They” can tell you that Walgreen’s makeup is just as good, but you know what?  “They” lie.  “They” tell you that, so that when you are broke and have to buy your stuff at the drugstore, you feel better about it and you know I’m speaking the truth.  I bought expensive face powder and got a sample of some kind of collagen face cream stuff, I’ve used it twice and I swear to you, as GOD is my witness, I look better all ready.  I’ve been using some Fructise stuff from Walmart for the last several years and it has done NOTHING.

One other good thing about the Mall?  In these dark days of slow economic collapse, stores like Macy’s are starting to offer deals that make them seem more like Kohl’s.  I got a 145$ wool coat for 54 bucks.  It was a one day sale and if I had gotten there before one, I could’ve used a ten dollar off coupon and only paid 44$, but you get my point.  Do you know what they did with my cheap coat?  They left it on the hanger and put a plastic garment bag over it and tied the bottom.  They didn’t wad it up and shove it in a crappy plastic bag.  My other clothing purchases were likewise folded and placed nicely in their bag, again, not grabbed in a pile and shoved in, actually honest to God folded in a nice little package.  By the salesperson, not by me.

And oh yeah, speaking of crappy plastic bags,  the department stores at the mall have shopping bags.  You remember those from your childhood right?  Large PAPER bags with little twisted paper handles that you can put multiple purchases in?  Bags that will stand up on their bottoms when you are paying for something else without sliding over and spilling your goods all over the floor?  Bags that make you feel kind of cool and excited?  Remember those?  They still have them.  It’s kind of the bag version of a restaurant where you sit down and eat THEN pay as opposed to the places where you stand in line, pay first and THEN get to eat.

My point in talking about this I guess, is that although people will tell you that buying “stuff” is bad and selfish and all that bossy crap, buying “stuff” is actually fun.  It is even MORE fun when it is on sale, and when it comes from the Mall, and when  you take it home in a real, honest to God shopping bag.

Happy consumering friends !! 🙂

It’s Official, I’m Addicted to Coke

Before you get all excited, this is not a drug addiction admission.  I am not trying to get a spot on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew or take up an hour of Dr. Phil’s time with an emotional, suburban mom is a coke-snorter episode.  No, I am addicted to Coke, the Cola. It is a jones that is mighty powerful.

Last Friday, I went the entire day without consuming any soda.  I’d been trying to kick the habit.  One day at a time, God give me the strength and all that.  On Saturday, my kids were volunteering at a local history museum and my husband and I went out to Christmas shop.  We had eaten breakfast at home and I drank water.  We went to the shrine of cheap capitalism and purchased some plastic toys that will no doubt feed an entire Chinese family for a week or two and were then on our way to our next stop, the shrine to all things pet related, when I started to feel weird.  I couldn’t sit still.  I felt like my insides were squirming around and I felt slightly sick to my stomach.  I then noticed a slight headache starting in my left temple.  I felt like my respiration was speeding up and I broke into a clammy sweat.  Suddenly, I had an uncontrollable desire for Coke.  Cold Coke with ice.  And a straw.

I told my husband that I needed a coke.  He is very accommodating, so he said, “They have Cokes in the cooler thing at the shrine to pets, we’ll get you one there.”  “NO!!” I almost shout, ” I NEED ONE WITH ICE!! AND I NEED IT NOOWWWWW!”  Being a super smart engineering type, he wisely pulled quickly into the nearest shrine to hamburgers and unhealthy kid’s meals and ordered me a large Coke.  My hands were shaking as I unwrapped the straw and stuck it through the environmentally incorrect plastic lid on my equally environmentally incorrect coated paper cup and took a swig.  I immediately stopped shaking and sweating and I moaned like the Bundy’s used to do on /Married With Children/ when they’d sit down to eat.  I took another drink, moaned again, completely involuntarily I might add, and realized that my husband was staring at me.

“What?” I innocently inquired.  “You really like that Coke don’t you.”  “Why yes, yes I do.  In fact I like it so much that I now feel completely wonderful and ready to shop for the rest of the day.  I realize as I sit here swigging Coke-a-Cola, that I am completely addicted to it and this must be what a drug addict feels like when the drug they’ve just injected hits their system,” was my reply.  We shopped the rest of the afternoon, came home and hid everything and I felt just peachy the rest of the day.

I know that soda is bad for me.  I know that it destroys the enamel on my teeth, keeps me slightly heavier than I should be and takes money that I could be buying books with, but I don’t care.  I know that you can supposedly clean your toilet with it because of the bubbles or something, but frankly, I think that is an urban legend.  If its not, maybe the bubbles will clean out MY pipes.  I don’t know, and I don’t care.  I love it’s sticky, bubbly, sweetness.  I love how cold it is.  I love how it smells and I love the fact that unlike wine, it goes with any kind of food.  Life is for living and you must have a few joys in it, or what’s the point?  So, here I am, laying out my weakness to the world.  My name is Holly and I am a coke-colaholic, and I don’t want to get over it.

Have a happy day!! 🙂