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September 30th, 2009

At any other time of year, someone who was wearing a pumpkin for a head would be wrapped up in a nice white shirt, strapped in, and taken to the loony bin. However, since the festivity and the smell of hot spiced cider will soon be in the air, it is somehow allowed. I would go as far as to say that it is applauded. One such pumpkin head is Jack. He is on a quest to find the very best Halloween adventures.

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I don’t know if this qualifies as an adventure, but for the majority of grade school, my family lived in Wisconsin. We were looking forward to Halloween because we lived in a sprawling subdivision, placed smack dab in the middle of some cow farms and a little town. There seemed to be an infinite number of houses to collect goodies at. I spent the years of birth through the end of first grade in a big city, so was picturing the moon being out and my sweatshirt or jacket under my costume. It was a huge culture shock to discover that Halloween was during the day! I am not talking about an after school 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM Trick Or Treat. Halloween was moved to a Sunday, and from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM in the afternoon, at that. How could they do that? Well, they did, and everyone seemed to participate.

rubik.jpgSome people were not home and they left baskets on the front porch and asked us to be honest and only take two each. Then there were the dads who handed out candy to the kids, and “ice cold brewskis” to our parents who were wandering around after us. One set of parents even had the grill going and were dishing out brats. I try to explain to people that life in Wisconsin wasn’t all about cheese, brats, and beer, and the next thing I know, I have yet another story that is just about that.  I should get some sort of demerit for perpetuating the whole Wisconsinite stereotype.

This is my costume from way back when.  Of course, I found a picture of a pumpkin and put it over my head because myself at that age would have never consented to being featured on any website.  Yes, I still don’t know what shade of green that paint would have been considered.

I had trouble getting through some columns on porches.  My friends, other third and second graders who were dressed “as themselves,” or went as hookers or punk rockers had the right idea about porch navigation-friendly attire.

You can Buy Halloween Costumes Online or in a Halloween Store Near You to go on your own Halloween Adventure and/or you can vote for me in Jack’s Quest to let the old pumpkin head know you found my story ever so mildly entertaining. It is so mild that you’ll need lots of cayenne pepper and sea salt, of course.

Halloween Adventure - Jacks Quest

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September 25th, 2009

talbots2.jpgI spotted this skirt online recently, and it made my imagination run wild like things usually do. First I had a rather unpleasant flashback to when I was fourteen years old. I was completely mortified when my dad bought my little sister a Happy Meal.  That doesn’t seem so bad does it?  Well, some may argue that it was terrible because it was years before the “healthier options” at Mickey D’s and she was probably getting well filled with preservatives.  The really bad thing was that she ate it at PIZZA HUT!  That was the time frame when the Hut was still using red and white tablecloths, hence the tie in with my memory.

I tried to point out a sign that said “No Outside Food or Beverage,” but I could only find a sign about taking a fresh plate up to the salad bar.  Drat, not even the Law could help me.   Being a teenager is hard enough, but having your baby sister eat something from one restaurant at a completely different restaurant is the equivalent of being put in the stocks, 18th century style, in the town square, or dying right then and there.

Of course, there are much happier thoughts and memories.  Fashion wise it reminds me of the large scale flannel shirt I had in the late 80s.  I loved that shirt, except for some reason it was made to tie.  Why would you want your midriff showing in the fall and winter?  I have no clue.

I think that I should buy some of these and it should be my signature look for the whole theme of this blog.  However, I will have to stop wearing it when I get into the Cougar years of life.  I have a ways to go, so maybe the term will be thankfully gone by then.  I could be walking my dog in the park, and see some young men having a picnic.  I could lay on some really creepy pick up like like, “Hey boys, the picnic’s over here…”

Thankfully, I am in love with a great guy who is of an age corresponding to my own, and I really feel that when the time comes, I will bypass the whole Cougar experience because I don’t need to meet anyone.

This skirt is available at Talbots. Not sure if it is in their store, but it is online. I have a shirt that has a similar pattern. No, I would not wear them together. That would be a bit much.   I just was surfing around in my spare time and pretending I had won a shopping spree.   Actually, that is not quite true.  I didn’t have any spare time at all.  I am totally ADD and have way too much to do, but was distracted by bright objects.

talbots1.jpgIn fact, I was very surprised it was from Talbot’s.  There was a freestanding store in Marblehead, Massachusetts, which is a very “old money” water side town in the Boston area.  Ever since I popped into that store, I always got the impression that the shop had classic clothing for sure, but it mostly appealed to the well heeled slightly older woman.   I really have been changing my tune lately.

talbots3.jpgRecently, they launched a campaign based on a cliffhanger video where a young woman confesses her unnamed indulgence in a church confessional. It was recently revealed that the woman’s red chair confessions were her new found addictions to Talbots. They have long seemed to be a fairly conservative company that took few risks, but they seem to be working on capturing a younger demographic. I am all for more young ladies wearing classic lines rather than doing the whole trollopy look. It took me a couple years to know that is how I looked.  That was when I thought “curve flattering” meant wearing something so tight you would have thought you were wearing a space bag.

Can you believe that the spike heeled boots are something they have there?  I would expect to see some sensible loafers and basic pumps, but they have me surprised here.  I am going to have to get out more often.  Oh, yeah, they have a website.  I am going to have to stay in more often.

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September 25th, 2009

I wonder who was the first person to wake up and say, “Let’s paint over the paneling the dining room!” Did they get bonked on the head before they thought that? Boy oh boy, what fun it is to paint dark chocolate brown paneling. Just watch your money go down the tubes with cans and cans of Kilz. O f course, they do that silliness on those design shows where they surprise someone or do something on a $32 budget. I guess it is just all about instant gratification and not giving half a penny about having to rip them out down the road, but being even harder with all of the paint and filler you put on the.  Imagine what is sitting behind those panels.

Right now, my parents are going through that dilemma in a “new to them” home that was majestically built in the early 1900s, but then was renovated in the decade of harvest gold and sunset orange. It is awash in the majesty of toothpaste colored and gold crackled Marlite walls and the occasional random installation of a dark brown panel here and there. You know, those little walls that are too small to put a big picture on or do anything else with? They have made the decision to just paint over those.

tilepaint.jpgSo, you can use regular old interior paint on paneling, but did you know that there is actually Tile Paint for the other end of the decorating nightmare form the past? Yes, you too can quickly cover up an unusual decorating choice quickly and efficiently.  I think the green looks good, and don’t know why that Thing Addams is covering it up over there.  (Question: Was “Thing” considered a pet so took on the last name of the family, or was he adopted and therefore an Addams on the Addams Family Show.  Maybe he didn’t have a last name?)  Ronseal makes it, and it has the comforting words on each can of “It does what it says on the can.” The literature also states:

Ideal for tiled areas around sinks, baths and cookers and domestic shower areas. Not recommended for floor tiles or tiled work surfaces.

Aw, darn it! I was hoping to surprise them and have their kitchen with “antique space constraints, then stuffed with giant appliances” completely painted over. I guess they have to replace the floor tiles. I can not paint scenes from their lives on them.  However, you can do your whole tub surround if you wanted to, or that weird half wall in the kitchen. Firstly, I would get a dumpster, and then I would get to work. Since it dries in an hour or two, I’d have it as good as new in no time.

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September 24th, 2009

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I am not a morning person, especially if I have to get up at a time my brother so delicately calls “the butt crack of dawn.” Luckily, that I can rest easy and wake up after the sun is shining. A few mornings this week, however, I have had some early appointments. I’ll rise but I won’t shine. That’s what I say.

These mugs are enough to wake anyone up in the morning. Their bright mod-ness dares anyone to pour their orange juice or coffee in the cup, not on the counter. They are a true remedy for zombiedom. Maybe they are the long awaited cure for seasonal affective disorder. Two actually match as a pair. Ah, young cups in love. The other two don’t, but they sort of coordinate in a bizarre way, picking up a little yellow or green from the figure 8 handled china mugs.

Add a little mod into your morning, and snap these up on Etsy while they last. For only $10 plus shipping, you can have all four. Look at them again…are you awake yet?

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September 22nd, 2009

grover.jpgI remember watching “This Is Your Life” style segments on Sesame Street. Of course, I am not old enough to really have seen the original “This Is Your Life.” Of course, on Sesame Street, they ask Grover to guess which of the mystery people is his Grandmother. Of course, its pretty obvious. One of the choices had her hair in a bun.  Oh, and she was blue with a pink nose.

Grover could have taken after the other side of the family.  It never said whether Grandma Monster was his maternal or paternal grandmother.  For all we know, the other side of the family could have been green monsters.  Maybe Grover just took after Grandma in looks, and the rest of the family were circus clowns.  We will never, ever know.  Maybe she influenced Grover’s decision to get a job as a Waiter.soup_or_sandwich.JPG

While back in the day trotting out long lost people or at least people you wouldn’t expect to see on the show with you was a wholesome and heart warming time had by all, today its fodder for the Jerry Springer Show (It is funny that the show is off the air and people still use it as a noun, adjective, and verb). It always works out that someone doesn’t really doesn’t want to see someone.  Alternately, they are happy to see the person, but the person has a strange secret that they were better off not knowing.

springer.jpgIt seems to me that if a talk show can find someone, the person looking would be able to as well, unless the person didn’t want to be found.  Of course, if a talk show gives them money to wear a wig and glasses to wait on the seeker to see if they recognize them, maybe they could be enticed.  Overall, I find that most people who want to be found by someone are easily found by retracing your steps.  If their parents still live in the town you both grew up in, you probably can just give them a jingle.

There is a new site called MyLife that promises to find people that you lost track of.  No, it probably won’t help you if you are trying to decipher orphanage records.  It also won’t replace the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist, either.   For the uninitiated, the dude that sings the You’re Beautiful song is the type of person you would see there.  You know how it goes.  He sees her smile on the subway.  She’s with another man.  He won’t lose sleep, because he’s got a plan.

With MyLife, you have to know the actual NAME of the person.  None of the stuff like: “You wore a striped sweater. I asked where the pickled kippers were at Kroger’s. You made a face.  I want to see you again. I want to marry you.”   The site sifts through different social networking sites and other sites where users create profiles.  In other words, these people don’t mind letting others know they are out there, you might just not be a member of all the sites to be able to know that they were there.  Since you do a name rather than a location search, you can potentially find someone who has moved across the country.  I actually looked up a girl who was my best friend in 8th grade.  We’ll see if she wants to talk to me.

It is not just a search.  When you sign up for an account, you start with your email contacts, your school affiliations and other criteria.  It suggests people that you might know, sort of like the Facebook “People You May Know” tool, except it is not for people on Facebook.  Maybe this is part of a new movement to snuff out class reunions.     With the site, can connect with all the people that you actually wanted to talk to, and have no awkward small talk with people who stuffed you in a garbage can, or that you stuffed in a garbage can.

That’s it.  I will form The Committee Against Awkward Reunions. The last class reunion I went to really stunk anyways.   It was the class reunion of my ex and I went as his guest.  He told all his classmates about how he was going to ask me to marry him, and then the years rolled by after that.  Don’t do that to a girl, okay guys?  It doesn’t matter how much you want to impress your friends who already have wives and beautiful children. Women have ears and aren’t zapped by one of those Men in Black flashy things when they leave the reunion.  You are on the record. If CAAR (The Committee Against Awkward Reunions), someone would have swooped in on my behalf.

Oddly enough, it also tells you who is searching for you.  No other site does that.   In other words, if someone calls you up and tells you someone wants to tell you a secret on a talk show, you will know who it is.  Isn’t that convenient?  I think people are a bit more forthright being forced to use their real name, instead of names like HotGirly2335 on the different sites.  Apologies to anyone whose parents that actually named them HotGirl2335.  I guess we could call her “Five” for short.

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September 13th, 2009

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Recently, I had the pleasure and the honor of sampling the new Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Dove Promises.  It was sort of a “Happy International Peanut Day to Me.”  Promises are very dangerous, as their bite sized dimensions make it very easy to justify “just one more.”   My handsome assistant and I thoroughly analyzed the product and the packaging in depth.  On first bite, we decided the it was not an equal marriage between peanut butter and chocolate.  The peanut butter definitely wore the pants in that relationship.  Truth be told, I tried to get several slow bites out of something that was meant to just be tossed down there.   When I actually ate it as nature intended, putting it behind the teeth and down the gums, I will say that the ratio evened out.  The chocolate and the peanut butter were more equally balanced in the tasting sensation.

dove.jpgThe packaging is equally as impressive.  My handsome and more mechanically inclined assistant was quite impressed by the embossing situation.  “Did they have ‘Dove’ written on the chocolate and then the packaging machine wrapped the foil around it so tight that the wrapper was embossed with what was on the chocolate, or did the machine that did the wrapper emboss both?”

I shook my head.  I really was not sure how to answer his question, but we both decided that we would like to see the machine so I can resolve our curiosity. Of course, that would be a really tall order and it probably would never happen.  I am sure we’ll be revolving it around in our minds for some time to come.

On the inside of every wrapper, there is a saying.  It’s like a fortune cookie, but no cryptic missives about looking for snakes in tall grass, or informing you that you like Chinese food.  You could potentially use them as conversation openers.  In fact, I was glad to see the “Share a Chocolate Moment with Someone You Love,” and “Be Playful With Your Love.”  It gave me the perfect opening to infer some important words to my handsome assistant that I was waiting for the right less painfully awkward moment to say.  So, thanks Dove Promises for making a potentially loaded moment pretty carefree and drama free.  I owe you one, big time Dove!

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