Friday, September 30, 2011

Could someone please silence my rooster?!

Ever wake up in the middle of the night -- and just can't fall back to sleep, like this chick?

[To see the short commercial -- of a woman being awakened in the middle of the night by a rooster, who then follows her to work -- click on where it says "YouTube." You will then be able to watch the clip on YouTube.]

Happens to me all the time, but not usually five days in a row, and it's killing me. (And no amount of meditating or breathing exercises seems to work. As soon as something wakes me -- hi honey! -- my brain clicks into gear and I cannot silence that darn rooster.)

I'd try medication, but after hearing all those disclaimers (which make up most of those ads you hear for Ambien and Lunesta), I'm pretty sure the "cure" is worse than the problem.

So, any ideas, people?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And The Best Use of Coors Light Award goes to...

During Hurricane Irene, we here in the Northeast were hit pretty hard. Indeed, that first Monday, 82 percent of my town didn't have electricity (and running water in most cases) -- and many of us were without power for six days. Fortunately, we were enjoying a bit of a cool spell, and the spouse and I figured if we kept our refrigerator and freezers closed, and added ice, our food would be okay for a couple of days, maybe more.

But after a couple of days, even if you put your perishables in a cooler filled with ice, you begin to wonder, is my food really being kept cold?

Sure, sure, you can check the temperature with a thermometer. But what fun would that be? Also, it's really hard to read a thermometer in the dark.

Fortunately, you don't need a thermometer. That is, you have a bottle or can of Coors Light with Super Cold Activation!

True story: While listening to the local radio station a few days after the storm, a woman called in saying she had a great easy tip for knowing if your food was being kept cold during a power loss. Her tip? Insert a Coors Light with Super Cold Activation into a cooler with ice and periodically check it. If the SUPER COLD and COLD strips are blue, your food is okay. If not, you need to add more ice.

She also recommended having at least a six-pack of Coors Light around, in case you had more than one cooler -- and a six-pack of a beer you would actually want to drink, in the event you got thirsty.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The joy of...


I don't care how great the Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop is. No woman gets that excited about mopping the floor. And I say this as a woman who was genuinely excited when the spouse got me that Eureka Cordless Quick-Up floor sweeper for Valentine's Day.

Equally problematic, at least for those of us who were big fans of the movie Risky Business and still fondly remember the scene where Tom Cruise dances around in his tighty whities (back when we didn't think he was crazy -- just crazy cute), that woman is no Tom Cruise. (Sadly.)

You want women to get excited about mopping, Shark people? Show some really hot guy mopping the floor.

Nicely done, Pine-Sol.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book recommendations for fall

Leafed through a lot of books over the summer, and have included the best of the lot below as my fall reading suggestions. As per usual, I have listed books in the order I read them and linked the titles to the listing on Amazon, where you can find a longer summary, customer reviews, and purchase the book. Starred (*) books are favorites.

Btw, I am still looking for a book that will make me laugh (that is not written by Chelsea Handler, of whom I am not a fan) -- that is also well written with well formed characters. Bonus points if it also contains a little (or a lot) of romance.

Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren. Nineteen-year-old aspiring actress (and call girl) from New Jersey takes a gig in Brunei -- and discovers she's part of a modern-day harem. Not your grandmother or mother's harem story. Or maybe it is. (Never been in a harem. Not sure about my mom, though, who was a model back in the day. Hi mom!) Considering the crummy jobs and pay I've had, harem girl didn't seem like a bad way to go. Amusing.

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell. A collection of Gladwell's New Yorker pieces. All thought provoking. Learned a lot from reading this (about dogs and their owners, hair color, ketchup, investing, Ron Popeil, the pill, and more).

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee. A beautifully written novel about two British ex-pats in Hong Kong who wind up having an affair, a wealthy Chinese couple, and life in pre- and post-World War II Hong Kong.

The Reef by Edith Wharton. A book about morality and class and duty, set in England and France -- i.e., pretty typical Edith Wharton.

Still Life by Louise Penny. A well-written mystery that takes place in the fictional village of Three Pines in Quebec. The writing and the detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Montreal Surete, reminded me of Agatha Christie (whom I adored). If you enjoy mysteries, check out Still Life -- and its many sequels.

How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life by Mameve Medwed. For Antiques Roadshow fans, flea market goers, and anyone who has ever felt lost and horribly wronged and finally got it right.

*Sisters of Fortune: America’s Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad by Jehanne Wake. A fascinating, eloquently-written biography about four extraordinary American sisters -- 19th-century landed heiresses and the granddaughters of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (Maryland), one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence -- who take London (and Paris) by storm in the early to mid 1800s. Highly recommend (as did the New York Times Book Review).

*The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. If you enjoy Edith Wharton (and/or Henry James), you will enjoy reading The American Heiress, the fictional story of one Cora Cash, American heiress to a flour fortune, who marries an English duke. The story takes place in Newport, New York, and England in the 1890s, and despite the book's length (around 440 pages), I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read.

I also read several "historical romance" novels -- by candlelight -- during the six days we were without electricity (thanks to Hurricane Irene), none of which I'd recommend, though they helped me pass the time. Just curious: Is there such a thing as a non-formulaic, well-written romance novel or romantic work of historical fiction? 'Cause I have yet to come across one.

In addition, I read the much ballyhooed memoir by chef Gabrielle Hamilton, Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, which I LOATHED. But if you are a fan of Anthony Bourdain and/or grew up in Manhattan during the 1980s and 1990s and did your share of rebelling and drugs you may like it (as the spouse did).

For more book recommendations, click here (which will take you to a list of all my "Book Nook" posts -- just scroll down).

To let me -- and my readers -- know about a book you enjoyed reading, please leave a comment, by clicking on "Post a Comment" at the bottom of this post. If you don't have a Blogger/Blogspot blog, just leave your Name (no URL necessary) or a nickname. You can also click on Anonymous.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You gotta kiss a lot of frogs...

before you find your Prince Charming.

Or you can save yourself the time and trouble and Grow a Prince.

I don't remember who gave me Grow a Prince (part of a series of Collectible Magic Growing Things*), but it is one of my favorite gag gifts -- and I keep it near my side always (just in case the spouse gets out of line).

I particularly love the package copy (click on the photo to get a larger view) -- and the callout: "Grows 600% its size!" (Guys, you wish.)

Like the package says, "It just might be a fairy tale come true (or maybe you'll just kiss a really cute frog)."

And just in case things don't work out with the spouse or my inflatable prince, I've got a backup...


*I may have to get Grow a Therapist.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy, mateys, and shiver me timbers, it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day (again)! Argh.

For those of you land lubbers (like I -- or should I say, aye?) whose Pirate is a little rusty, there is a free course on how to speak Pirate. (Who knew?)

I have also included this short instructional video on Pirate speak, titled The Five A's.

And for all ye hearties who have Facebook pages, go to yer Profile page, scroll down to the very end of the page, to where the copyright (c) line is, along with the language. Click on the language (in my case, "English (US)"), and then select (click on) "English (Pirate)."

Finally, for you swashbucklers in search of a wench on this day, might I suggest the following Pirate pickup lines?
  • Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
  • I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.
  • Pardon me, but would ya mind if I fired me cannon through your porthole?
  • Well blow me down?
  • Prepare to be boarded.
  • They don’t call me Long John because my head is so big.
  • Wanna shiver me timbers?
  • I’ve sailed the seven seas, and you’re the sleekest schooner I’ve ever sighted.
  • That’s the finest pirate booty I’ve ever laid eyes on.
  • That’s some treasure chest you’ve got there. May I plunge your riches?
Here's to finding buried treasure!

[H/T to Dave S. for reminding me of this important day. Ahoy there, Cap'n Dave!]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kitten Wars

Not such a long time ago, in an office not so far away, there lived two kittens....

No doubt timed to coincide with today's release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray comes "Jedi Kittens Strike Back" (aka "Kitten Wars")...

the sequel to "Jedi Kittens" (aka "Kittens with Lightsabers"):

Clearly, the force is strong with these two kittens. (Hey, they're a lot cuter than those stupid Ewoks.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do chicks dig guys with gray hair?

Contrary to what those Just for Men commercials would have you guys believe, chicks do dig guys with gray hair.

Don't believe me? I've got two words for you: Anderson Cooper (whose new afternoon talk show is creating quite a stir, or maybe it's just Anderson's abs).

Not convinced you say? What about George Clooney, who is clearly not afraid to let his gray hang out -- and has zero problem attracting attractive women.

Granted, not every guy can pull off gray (or is George Clooney), but is gray or graying hair really a problem, ladies? Do you find guys with gray or graying hair really less attractive?

And guys, do you really see gray or graying hair as a problem? (Maybe it's because I watch a lot of baseball and football, and listen to too much sports talk radio, but graying hair -- and baldness -- seems to be right up there with losing one's house, bad credit scores, and possible bankruptcy.)

Let me know your thoughts via the Comments.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You can learn a lot from driving teens

At the risk of divulging a big secret (and drying up a key source of juicy information), it often seems to me that my daughter and her friends think there is some kind of invisible, soundproof barrier between the front seat and back seat that prevents all conversation from being heard in the front seat, and, as a result, often talk about things they probably wouldn't talk about at, say, the dinner table (which is even more amusing, to me, because I drive a Mini Cooper, not a minivan).

Whatever the reason for their (often uncensored) chit chat, I am grateful for the opportunity it has given me, over the years, to learn about aspects of my daughter and her friends' lives that they might not normally share with a parent (even one as hip as I am*) -- even more so now that they are teenagers.

So what exactly can you learn from driving teenage girls?

Without divulging any personal information (concerning my daughter or her friends), following are some samples gleaned not only from my back seat but from the top secret back seats of other Russian chauffeurs (aka soccer and basketball moms who have sworn me to secrecy):
  • What music they like (names of groups, lyrics and which ones have the hottest lead singer);
  • How they are doing in school -- and which teachers they like/don't like;
  • The latest teenage fashion trends and where they like to shop;
  • Who has a potty mouth or is always getting into trouble; and, perhaps the most invaluable...
  • What boys they like, who is dating whom, and what they say to each other (girls will often read aloud texts they receive/send to boys while chatting with their girlfriend(s) in the backseat)
(Note: I dread the day when I hear these girls discussing who is sleeping with -- or performing sexual acts on -- whom, which is hopefully many years down the line, but you never know.)

So what have you learned from schlepping your kids and their friends? Let me know via a comment.

*That would be sarcasm, just one of the many services I offer.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best ice cream flavor ever? Introducing Schweddy Balls!

Christmas just came early, boys and girls!

In case you hadn't heard, in honor of the famous Saturday Night Live skit (see below), Ben & Jerry's has just introduced Schweddy Balls Ice Cream, a new limited-batch flavor with a vanilla ice cream base, a hint of rum, and loaded with fudge covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls.

Mmm... balls.

So, will anyone be able to resist Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls? I don't think so. Though as the ice cream is a limited-batch flavor, if you want to suck on some Balls, you better hurry. They'll only be around for a few months.

[Note: This clip is even funnier if you only listen to the audio.]

Happy Season's Eatings, everyone!

Good times, good times.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Should a Democrat challenge Obama?

If the Democrats want to retain the White House in 2012, should they consider running someone against Obama? And if so, who?

I've been thinking a lot about this, as apparently has CNN's Jack Cafferty. Not that another Democrat -- including Hillary Clinton -- would do any better under similar circumstances. (Bill Clinton, maybe, but probably not Hillary.)

But still, like a lot of people who voted for Barack Obama back in 2008, I am frustrated and disappointed with the Obama administration, for a lot of reasons, including not focusing on job creation from the get-go, as well as President Obama's seeming inability to stand up to Congress and letting the debt ceiling debate get way out of hand.

That said, I am not frustrated or disappointed enough to vote for any of the current crop of Republican presidential contenders -- though if a moderate Republican candidate with specific, concrete, actionable ideas for getting Americans back to work, improving education, and controlling health care spending while not leaving millions of Americans, including children, without decent coverage, emerged, I would seriously consider voting for said Republican.

But what about another Democrat? What if a Democrat (or Independent with moderate fiscal but liberal social leanings) emerged to challenge Obama, someone with executive experience, and a solid track record of accomplishments, who wasn't beholden to corporate interests and wasn't afraid to fight fire with fire? Would you vote for that person? And do you know of any such person?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Because I don't have enough to worry about

Cleavage wrinkles?! Are you kidding me? But, hey, when I see cleavage wrinkles being discussed in the pages of The New York Times and on The TODAY Show (albeit by Kathie Lee and Hoda), you know it's a serious problem -- albeit not so much for us (flat-as-a-) board members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

But apparently cleavage wrinkles are a big -- or as they say in the bust biz, a Double-D-size -- problem. And not just here in the good ole U.S. of A.

Fortunately, to address this pressing problem, a whole industry has popped up, with products like the ChestSavers' bra, Decollette Pads, and I do not even know how to describe this product called "Kush Support" (pictured above right) -- cleavage porn? And that's not including all the countless creams or cremes out there which women are willing to pay $100/ounce for (or more).


All I can say is, I'm glad this is one problem I don't have to worry about. All of you big-busted gals have my sympathy.

And speaking of big-busted gals, if any of you have tried any of these cleavage wrinkle busters, do leave a comment. :-)