Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day at the nail spa. . .

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OK. . . right off the bat I need to pose this observation:

Have you ever noticed the names these nail places have?

I mean. . . come on--this is right out of Business 101: Simple Marketing By Name Association Techniques!

Names like:

Happy Nails
Very Happy Nails
Very Very Happy Nails
More Happy Than Any Of The Other Nails
Good Nail Spa
Sure Good Nail Spa
Sure! Very Good Nail Spa
Better Nail Spa
Best Nail For Price Spa
Gorgeous Nails
More Gorgeous Nails
So Gorgeous Others Will Puke When They See You Nails
You Look Good Nails
You Look Better Nails
Sure You Look Gooder Than Any Other Nails

and I'm sure you get the point by now. . . Oh my! Where do they come up with these names? And the competition AMONG the names is quite funny. . .

Anyway. . . just after Christmas and before the wedding of my son, I took my mother-in-law (whom I'll refer to as 'MIL') and new daughter-in-law to be (whom I'll affectionately call 'DIL') to my favorite nail place--which was: 'Oh My Heavens You Look Very Very Gorgeous And Really Good Happy Nail Spa'

And boy--these cute little Vietnamese women who run the place do not disappoint! No sooner were we in the door than I found myself ensconced between MIL and DIL in the pedicure/massage chairs from HEAVEN! These chairs not only gave us a full neck and body massage--they also whispered subliminal messages of how we must come back within 30 days if we didn't want to look like washed out hags. . . (very clever!)

Next we were treated to the beverage of our choice while our toes were steamed and boiled then deep fried to a rosy pink and marinated with a non-fat vegetable oil. . .

Now before I elaborate further, you must realize that my MIL had NEVER BEFORE set foot in that shop, when one of the Vietnamese workers arrived in the spa to begin her workday there. She marched right up to my MIL and grabbed her by the arm, breaking her out of her reverie and declared: 'You look GOOD today! It long time I see you! You look so good! How nice to see you again. It been long time. You look very good! So GOOD!'

(I think the stereotype runs BOTH ways--to this Vietnamese woman, all old white ladies look alike and she must have mistaken my MIL as one of her customers)

My MIL says to her: Do you really think I look good?

Spa worker: Sure! Sure! You look very good!

MIL: Really?

Spa worker: Yes! Since I see you last you look VERY good! It been long time.

MIL: Yes--it has!

Spa worker (running to back room to take off her coat and clock in, I suppose) OK--I be back and see you later. Have a nice day!

My MIL turns to me and says: Do I look good?

I take a really good look at her for the first time that morning and say: Sure! Sure! Since I've last seen you--you look VERY good!

MIL sits back with a satisfied smile. . .

Next we were treated to manicures, where they not only got our nails in 'really good fine shape' and massaged our hands till they were as 'soft as babies bottoms' but they again were giving us subliminal messages in Vietnamese such as: 'You better come back in 2 to 3 weeks and do this again or your nails will look like disgusting dried up beets' (I was getting the message loud and clear)

My cute lil' DIL was getting the message BIG TIME as she was being talked into a full facial, eyebrow wax, tropic body dip, hair glossing and pulling treatment, elbow relocation therapy and some sort of treatment that was mysterious and secret but would make everyone drop to their knees and bow to the floor when she entered the room on her wedding day. Her eyes were misting up with the possibilities--but she's a practical girl and so she settled on the eyebrow wax.

MIL, in the meantime was in deep conversation with her spa worker--so I had to check it out in case I needed to intervene if she was signing over a second mortgage on her home or something! (Again--you must remember that my MIL hadn't ever been in this nail spa before and she had NEVER in her 74 year old life had her 'brows waxed')

But she decided to go for the brow wax too! (gotta love this gutsy attitude)

Spa worker: You need brow wax!

MIL: I do?

Spa worker: Yes! It been long time since you waxed brows.

MIL: Yeah, it's been like. . . forever!

Spa worker: I do good for you.

MIL: Will it hurt?

Spa worker: No. Hurt maybe a little bit. Not much. Not hurt enough to go to hospital.

MIL: Will I look good?

Spa worker: Sure! Sure! You look good!

So DIL and MIL are lead happily ever after to the 'back room' where no one can hear the screams of agony as the waxing procedure begins. After they both signed consent forms that were dated and notarized, I found out my DIL had never had her brows waxed either. . . so I was a bit apprehensive if they would both be OK and still talk to me after they came out.

They both game out beaming and ecstatic. (those subliminal messages being piped into the room the entire time must have done the trick) Poor DIL was red and puffy around the eyes for a few hours, but doggone it! She really DID look good! MIL game out like the true ole' battle axe she was--with not a mark on her or a hint of redness to show for the ordeal of beauty she just went through.

MIL's words to me: Do I look good?

ME: Yes.

DIL (not wanting to be left out): What about me? Do I look good?

ME: Yes! (where was that spa worker when you needed her--and why was I doing her job now?)

Finally we had our feet dipped in paraffin wax that was a lovely peach bouquet scent, and somehow managed to send subliminal messages to our feet which said that if we didn't come back and do this within 21 days our toes would become full of fungus and fall off. . .

As we paid our bills, oiled, buffed, massaged, manicured, and waxed--and heading out the front doors, my OWN little spa worker said to me: You look VERY GOOD!

Ahhhhh! Those doggone subliminal messages kicked in. . . I was now hooked! I guess I'll be back. . .

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas to one and to all!

Nope! No funny stories. . . No sarcastic comments. . . no complaints or opining . . No treatises on the inconsistencies of life. . . (at least not YET!)

Just a nice little wish to everyone out there in 'Bloggerland' for a very Merry Christmas and the brightest and best New Year ever!

God bless us, everyone!

Below is a link I've provided for your Holiday enjoyment. . . If you click on it--you will be rewarded with a VERY fun rendition of a classic Christmas song. . . ENJOY!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Never ask information from the Starbucks lady. . .

Another cautionary tale and word to the wise here. . . (and all that other 'be forewarned' stuff)

This goes right along with my previous post about being stressed to the gills over my dear son's impending nuptials. . . but anyway here's what happened to me this morning.

So I'm going out to our city's public offices building so I can get my son a marriage license application and express mail it to him so that he and his intended bride can fill it out and send it in and hopefully receive it back in time to get 'hitched' SINCE THE WEDDING TAKES PLACE TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY!!!!

Never mind the fact that dear son calls me last night and asks me to do this. . . as he is now out of state and has forgotten to take care of this one little detail until the very last minute. . . and the fact that I'd rather poke red hot needles in my eyes than go into a government building. . . but I digress!

So I get to the appropriate building (which is a huge complex) and walk in the front doors and see a kiosk straight ahead with a large sign which reads 'Starbucks, Pastries, Information'

OK--they had me at INFORMATION--so I go up to the lady behind the counter and ask her exactly where the room is where I would go to obtain a marriage license application. Now at the same time I am looking around, trying to get my bearings and notice a large set of double doors with some big sign over the front stating: Marriage License Applications and other Important Stuff'

So I am about to tell her a polite 'Never Mind' when she says:

Starbucks lady: You just go down this hall to your left, then wind around for about half a block until you come to the big bendy curve and veer right--then make an abrupt left, go through the terminal to the outcropping and it will be room 160.

Me: But what about those doors over to my right with the large sign that says marriage license on it?

Starbucks lady: No, that's not it. I've worked here for over 11 years--and you want to take the directions I gave you and go to room 160.

Me: OK

So off I go over the river and through the woods basically (dang! Where's that GPS system when you need it?) and after about 20 minutes of wandering I finally find room 160, and ever hopeful, proceed through the doors.

Smiling person behind the counter: What can I do for you?

Me: (a bit unsure at this point) Is this where I would get a marriage license application?

Laughing person behind the counter calling all his coworkers to the front: What, are you KIDDING ME? How could you possibly have missed the big double doors on your right as you came in that had the huge six foot sign that reads: 'MARRIAGE LICENSE APPLICATIONS AND OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF'?

Person behind the counter's coworker friend: And how did you even FIND this place? We've been trying like heck to keep this department under wraps.

Me: Uh. . . thanks anyway. (leaving the room amidst peals of laughter and shaking heads)

Now I have to make my way BACK through the labyrinth and out to the front of the building again---so I once again collect my bearings and head off back in the direction I had come. . . (I hope)

While on the way I encounter a guy who had the same disgruntled look of complete disbelief on his face that I had. He took one look at me and said:

Upset guy: Let me guess. You got information from the Starbucks lady?

Me: Yep. I'm on my way back--care to join me?

Upset guy: Sure. I was just sent to take a whiz in what turned out to be the janitor's closet. I had asked directions to the nearest rest room.

Lady coming up behind with her arm in a sling and cursing under her breath: Wait! Are you guys trying to get back to the front of the building? Let me join you.

Upset guy: No problem. What happened to you?

Lady with arm in a sling: I asked the Starbucks lady for directions on where to get a building permit and ended up on some scaffolding on the south side of the building where they are doing some construction--and I fell off and dislocated my shoulder.

Me: My goodness! (suddenly I did not feel so bad)

As we wended our way back to the start of the maze we picked up two more folks who had also encountered the 'Starbucks lady' and had gotten false information. One of them had been wandering the halls for days and had completely forgotten why she was there in the first place.

Well. . . my self righteous indignation was killing me by the time I got back to the front lobby and the 'information booth'. I marched right up to that Starbucks lady and said: Hey! You might want to make a note of this for future reference to tell people. (pointing to the big double doors right across from her) You can get marriage license applications (and other important stuff) right over there--through those doors--where the SIGN says 'Marriage Licenses And Other Important Stuff'

Starbucks lady: (looking completely taken aback) No way! That is too weird. I wouldn't trust it if I were you. A sign like that is too obvious. I still say it's in room 160.

Me: (walking through the big double doors with fear and trepidation and slinking up to the front counter) Is this where I would get a marriage license application?

Person behind the counter: Well, of course it is. It says so right on the door, doesn't it? What, did you think it was in room 160 or something? (chuckles)

Me: (Speechless)

Person behind the counter: (taking pity on me) Look, if you ever have a question or get confused about anything--you can always ask our friendly Starbucks lady.

Me: (Takes the marriage license application and runs for the front door)

The moral of this story?

Stay away from the Starbucks lady. AND government buildings.

(Oh--and now my son who is getting married owes me at least 3 grandchildren, has to live within a 10 mile radius from my house, and pay for a vacation to Bermuda for me and a dear friend. . . and we haven't even talked about what happened when I got to the POST OFFICE to send this thing express mail)


Stressed or Desserts?

What me stressed? Say it isn't so!

Mix the FANTABULOUS joys of the Christmas season and all the cleaning, planning, shopping, decorating, making, baking, taking. . .

And add the ECSTASY INDUCING EUPHORIA of planning for a wedding for a dear son only 3 DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS with all the cleaning, planning, inviting, borrowing, renting, hosting, organizing, shopping, decorating, making, baking, (multiplied to the 10th power)

And viola! You quite possibly may have the mindset that I am in right now. . .

Let me illustrate it for you here:

So what is the only option left to you at this point?

It is, of course, to indulge BIG TIME in desserts (which again I will illustrate for you)

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I believe you can't have one without the other--you know, to sort of counter-balance the effect. At least that's been true in my life. The more stressed I am--the more desserts I will indulge in.

This of course works the opposite way too. The more desserts I indulge in, the more stressed I become! Especially at the poundage I could be adding on my frame.

So by the time this wonderful, magical Christmas/Wedding season is over---I will either become a new stockholder in the company who makes Prozac OR I will become a 350 pound sack 'o lard (with a nice caramel creme drizzled over the top for aesthetic presentation)

The jury is still out. . . .

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Adventures of Sam & Max!

Catchy title, huh? I kinda like it!

Well. . .

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I mean after all, I have the TWO cutest grandsons on the PLANET whom I will refer to in this blog as 'Sam & Max'

I was babysitting them last night and had them all bundled up in the family room watching a Baby Einstein DVD and don't they look cute enough to just CHEW TO PIECES?

Sam is the older, 'brainiac' and mischievious of the two--and Max is the littler, 'I'll follow in your footsteps, but I look so cute I won't get into trouble' kind of guy. Together they make quite a pair and from time to time I'm sure I'll be regaling you with all kinds of scrapes and schemes they get into. . .

Suffice it to say that they are just plain ADORABLE and I couldn't help myself by posting a couple of pictures of them here:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Better Fish Picture

OK. . . This is to my 'DEAR DAUGHTER' and others who have 'teased' my DEAR HUBBY about the 'wimpy fish' picture I posted of him. . .

Honestly! You people amaze me! I wasn't looking at 'the fish'. . . I was looking 'at him'!!!

But--since he is sort of technologically impaired in some areas (and worked for a high tech industry for years--go figure!) he has asked me to post THIS picture of him and his 'fish'.

I gotta tell ya--it's a BIG ONE!

So go ahead! He and I BOTH dare you to call this one 'wimpy'!

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

The art of the 'One-Up'

OK. . . here we go again. Tales from my life which can be words of caution to many of you out there in blogger-land. . .(OK--maybe not many--but at least the 3 or 4 souls who read my blog!)

If you don't know the art of women-talk and the 'one-upping' that goes on in many polite women's conversations---well, then. . . you just don't know women. Let me explain how you must be prepared and able to perform this artful, yet necessary form of conversation if you are to be accepted by ANY group of women on the planet. . .

Here is an example RIPPED from the pages of my own life for your perusal, study and enjoyment. (Note: This is a CAUTIONARY TALE and must be read and studied with great care if you are to fathom what the heck is going on here!)

Last week I went out with my gal pals to an Italian restaurant for our yearly 'Christmas Get-Together' where we mainly pick a place to eat and gab and then exchange gifts of candles, chocolates, or chocolate-covered candles.

No sooner had we begun digging into the food and drink when the merry mayhem of 'one-upping' began. Here is what went down verbatim---and may you learn from this conversation which has been painstakingly recorded for you here:

Gal pal #1: Did you know that a hoard of squirrels got into our attic and chewed through our electrical wiring and we had to call the animal control people to come get them and 're-locate' them? It was horrible!

(I must explain here that we live in the Northwest where these kinds of critters are revered and honored and so they would not be outright killed by 'animal control folks'. Instead they are quarantined, until they learn to fill out the necessary forms and then put BACK where they were captured from--only THIS time they are actually documented)

Gal pal #2: That's nothing. My son carries a pet python around his neck. He even takes it shopping with him--as the snake has extremely good taste and was very helpful in picking out new curtains for his apartment. He says it's a 'chick magnet' and was able to land a wife in very short order. (However the snake never recovered after they removed the girl from it's clutches--so they ended up settling on a dog when they set up house together)

Gal pal #3: Well MY daughter and son in law went camping in the Utah wilderness and had several mountain lions invade their campsite while they were asleep in their tent. It was awful--the lions took over their picnic table and set up their own card game, put out the campfire and used their own propane grill they brought with them, and then had the audacity to poke their heads in the tent and ask if they had any extra batteries as they couldn't get any of the flashlights lying around to work.

Luckily my son in law was 'Johnny-On-The-Spot' and had his cell phone with him and called his sister who was camping with her family just a short distance away--and she came with her trailer--backed right up to the tent--and my daughter and son in law crawled out of their tent and into the back of their trailer, just in the nick of time! These mountain lions had brought some acoustic guitars with them and were just setting up to sing a round of Kumbaya. What a nightmare!

Gal pal #4: That's NOTHING! We were camping just a few years back when we were awakened to the sound of our dear little 2 year old daughter screaming: "Go away, bad doggies! Get BACK! Bad doggies! Go AWAY!"

We stumbled out of our tent to see our beloved 2 year old girl fighting off 10 coyotes with a small twig she found from the bush we set up her tent next to. We would have intervened to help--but you have never been around her when she's angry or upset--and it's NOT a pretty sight. She was holding her own pretty good and scared them so badly--that the ones that didn't just drop dead on the spot from shock will need therapy for years.

Gal pal #5: Well, we have a bunch of feral cats that run across our property and they have grown tired of mice and small rodents. (or perhaps they have gotten them all) They used to lay small birds, and mice on our doorstep at night, just to show us what they had done and how they had taken care of our problems. But now when we come out on our porch in the morning, we find all kinds of things! We found a stray pizza delivery guy laying there once, the Avon lady--and even a milkman! And we don't even drink milk!

Gal pal #4: (she just can't HELP herself--she is not about to be outdone) Well--my dear hubby takes the CAKE, ladies. I came home from an exhausting game of Bingo one night to find him pretty smug and sure of himself. He was so proud and cocky and just CROWING with delight--cuz he bagged a MOUSE right in our HOUSE! All by himself! With a cast iron skillet, no less! He was gonna bring out the shot gun--but he decided that he would give the critter a sporting chance and use a 'smaller' weapon.

He had left it for me under the kitchen sink--right where he 'smashed' it and wanted me to see it before he mounted the head in the family room. I mean the 'rack' on this critter had to be at least 3 inches between it's little ears! He was practically CRYING he was so excited about it.

So I obligingly go take a look at the 'mouse' my husband managed to kill and just looked at him and said: 'Great, dear hubby! You have just killed your dear daughter's hamster!' (We had been looking for that thing for weeks since it got out of it's cage and figured it had gone out into the great outdoors and suffered some horrible death out there in the 'wilderness') But instead it had managed to live indoors and suffered a horrible death at the hands of my husband--who was wondering why it didn't move when he opened up the cupboard under the kitchen sink to throw something away and saw the little thing (WITH NO TAIL) staring up at him on its hind legs with its big brown eyes and sort of chittering a happy 'You found me! You found me!'

That's when dear hubby did the only sensible thing he could think of at the time--grab the cast iron skillet off the stove and plotz the darn thing into the next world!

All gal pals stare in complete silence and utter consternation as THIS story cannot be 'one-upped' They all turn to me as it was MY turn to give my own 'animal tale' and anti up.

Me: Uh. . . I fold. . . as I don't have a darn thing to say. Besides. . . dessert's here!

Oh. . . the SHAME OF IT! I came home and actually asked my husband if he could take me to an alligator farm to get a pet--or at least take me camping in some forsaken part of the world that is only inhabited by lions, tigers, and bears--oh my!

Until then, I am frantically searching the internet for good animal/pet stories and committing them to memory so I will be TOTALLY PREPARED for the 'one-up' party next year!

(Unless, of course, they pick a new subject!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Kill with kindness. . .

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OK. . . maybe it's because 'tis the season. . . or I was in an exceptionally good mood, or the chocolate truffles were kicking in. . .WHATEVER the reason--I decided to BE NICE and PLAY FAIR with this situation--and dear hubby said this was 'blog worthy' so I'm posting it here for your perusal and enjoyment. . .

Here's the story:

I sell stuff on Amazon as well as eBay and take pride in my quality items and excellent customer service. (OK--that was a shameless plug, but so be it--IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!) Anyway. . . I had an apparently rare CD listed on Amazon that was in MINT condition, it had been opened and never played and I described it as such and listed it several months ago in about the 'middle of the pack' as far as pricing goes, since mine was in better shape than any of the others listed. (in other words, mine wasn't the LOWEST priced, nor the HIGHEST--but like baby bear in the Goldilocks story. . . 'just right!')

OK--so move forward to today--and I get this LOVELY inquiry from a potential buyer:

I will copy and paste it here without any incriminating evidence of who this lovely person was:

"I'm interested in your CD but I have serious reservations. Why would you foolishly price your CD for less than half the price of the other sellers yet claim it's in better condition? That doesn't make sense. Seriously, what's really wrong with it?"

OK--just to make mention here that I've sold hundreds and hundreds of items on Amazon and have 100% satisfaction feedback rating to date. . . and I was a little 'miffed' by the tone and the accusation of this question. . . but I always take a deep breath (and a Valium) before I send off a hasty retort. . . sooooooo I went back to look at the 'item in question' and sure enough! My CD was now HALF the price of all the other CDs!

Well, spank my bottom and call me Rosy! I quickly priced it to match all the other sellers---so now it was DOUBLE the price---and then I wrote back this VERY NICE e-mail to the 'potential buyer' which I will share with you here. Because this is a valuable business tip for all of you who must work with the 'general public'. . .

Note: You cannot outright KILL them--it's still against the law in most states. But you CAN be overly kind, which is sometimes just as good.

Here is my response, which my dear hubby calls 'A CLASSIC' and one for the record books---as well as required reading for all Business 101 majors. I will copy and paste it for you here:


I appreciate your concern and question when buying a rare CD of value. I would be happy to answer your question. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the CD--it is exactly as I stated in the description.

When I listed it several months ago--there were quite a few that were priced in the same price point range that I had my copy listed for. So it did not seem so 'foolishly priced' as you put it, at the time. (Mine was not the lowest priced at that time, either.)

But apparently now, that I have gone back and looked---it does seem ridiculous compared to the other sellers' price points. So I have made proper adjustments.

Thank you for pointing out to me my error. Perhaps now mine will sell, since it no longer seems 'too good to be true.'

There are those nice folks, such as yourself who point out discrepancies and like to buy at true value---and there are those who will sit back and say nothing and just snatch up those good deals and get away with a steal when they can. I am so glad you are one of the former.

I'm a collector and have bought a truly magnificent collection of interesting as well as rare CDs and items over the years--and do this to help supplement my family's income---so I am not always quite so savvy about pricing.

Thank you very much for the tip--and have a great holiday season."

That was my response! WONDER WHAT HE NOW THINKS????

It looks to be a promising season of buying and selling this year FOR SURE! And all the 'nice folk' are coming out of the woodwork to do their annual mayhem.

I hope I can survive this season--and as Tiny Tim would say: 'God bless us, everyone!'

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Do Elephants Really Have Memories?

OK. . . this is a question that MUST be answered, since the phrase 'memory like an elephant' has been used ad nauseum.

I don't usually like these heartwarming stories, but this one is truly interesting...and after all. . . it's the season for heartwarming stories anyway!

Here goes:

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teen aged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant....

Think about THAT the next time you hear someone say the phrase 'memory like an elephant'!!!

Now go out there and HAVE A NICE DAY!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

BLACK FRIDAY. . . The ecstasy and the agony!

OK everyone. . . got a question for ya. . . Did any insane person brave the weather and the ungodly hours to experience the thrills, chills, and spills of the event known as BLACK FRIDAY????

I gotta tell ya--after last year trying it--I WAS HOOKED! I had a friend tell me how she and her dear hubby go every year (loading up on Starbucks hot caffeine first to get all the needed adrenaline rush) and hit the sales and make mega finds. . .

So of course, I became intrigued by the idea myself. Now I consider myself a pretty savvy shopper---so I dutifully researched all the Black Friday sales in my area online and mapped out exactly where I wanted to go and when. . . and bundled up but GOOD and headed out in my trusty SUV and bagged bargains galore! (That was LAST year)

This year--I was ready once again to rise at the INSANE hour of 3:00 a.m. and hit the stores with a vengeance. After last year's lesson of what people are capable of doing to each other with (a) too much coffee in their system (b) still being half asleep (c) as well as totally hung over from Thanksgiving feasting. . . I suited up in full-plated body armor, spiked gloves, a can of pepper spray, and a wicked looking stick--just to be safe. I was NOT going to be shoved down some lonely isle where the only things on sale were the employees who were too afraid to come out and man the registers!

It was BITTER cold this year--and waiting in line for the first store to open for nearly 40 minutes was a test of sheer endurance and fortitude. . . but I managed to shuffle in with the rest of the frozen human pop sickles when they finally opened the doors at 4:00 a.m.

THE RUSH TO GET STUFF AND MORE STUFF WAS ON! By the time I got through the doors, no shopping carts were to be had. . . So I had to carry the 3 mattress pads and bedding, karaoke machine, 7 piece luggage set, bath towels, digital picture frames, and keyboard up to the register and out to the car on my own. I felt like a Sherpa loaded with 2x more than my body weight trying to make it up Mt. Everest. . .

After getting to the car, I had to strip down to my undies and dry off all the sweat with the bath towels I just purchased. (needless to say--I won't be giving them as Christmas gifts this year!)

Then it was on to the next store. . . again--I only came in with a couple of things I needed to get--but the deals were so doggone good--that I ended up with a new blender, waffle-maker, toaster oven, George Foreman grill and a player piano! (not to mention the digital camera, X-Box 360, laptop and Harry Potter gift set that were just too good to pass up)

After 3 more stores and hiring a U-Hall trailer to cart and unload all the goodies at my home. . . I was completely exhausted and bankrupt by 9:00 a.m.

That's when I got the phone call from dear daughter. . . "Hey, mom! How about coming with my mother-in-law and me to the Expo Center for the world's largest Christmas bazaar? We'll pick you up in 10 minutes!'

ME: 'Do I need to wear body armor for this event?'

DEAR DAUGHTER: 'Uh. . . I think it's optional this year.'

ME: 'Is it going to be big and crowded and completely overloaded with so much stuff that your head will implode from just looking at it?'

DEAR DAUGHTER: 'Of course.'

ME: 'OK--count me in. . .'

So from 10:00 a.m. until the late afternoon I went on another shopping frenzy with dear daughter, dear daughter's mother-in-law AND I brought along a dear friend for support (as I was just too doggone hot and tired from lugging around all that body armor)

I got off pretty easy at the big 'EXPO EVENT' I only came out with a bag full of cleaning supplies, cookware, a mop, broom, massage chair, and something that I couldn't quite identify that was stuck to my arm. . .

Sooooo I guess I can chalk up another year of success with BLACK FRIDAY shopping madness. . . (at least I completely cleaned out the checking account!) And Heaven knows it was just gathering dust from not being used as effectively and efficiently as it could have! Why in one fell swoop we are now back to all ZEROS again! (so at least it's balanced for the time being!)

OK---my question still stands. . . Is anyone else out there as crazy as I am for the Black Friday Sales ritual. . . or is it just me? Please post your experiences and share them with me so that I will feel that I am not alone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bad day at work?

Ahhhh. . . the proverbial BAD DAY at work conundrum. . .

Do you ever think no one's work day could POSSIBLY be worse that the one you are now having? Do you find yourself 'one-upping' the person at a dinner party who has just described a horrific day at work, with your own tale of woe? (you know, much like the women whose childbirth stories get more gruesome and catastrophic at the first-time-mom's baby shower)

well. . . LIGHTEN UP! I have a 'Bad Day At Work' story to make you smile--and rethink even your WORST day at the 'office.'

Here it is in all it's glory. . . (this comes from a friend who shared it with me) I thought it was SOOOOO GOOD I am putting it on my blog for you 2.7 faithful blogger friends of mine to read and enjoy!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Have a great laugh, and the next time you have a bad
day at work, think of this guy...

Rob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana. He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. Below is an e-mail he sent to his sister. She then sent to The X, 103.2 FM in Ft. Wayne, IN, who was sponsoring a 'worst job experience' contest. Needless to say, she won.

Here is the e-mail:

Hi Sue,

Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all.

Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job. As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I
wear a suit to the office. It's a wet suit. This time of year the water is quite cool. So what we do to keep warm is this: we have a diesel powered industrial water
heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose.

Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it several times with no complaints. What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose and stuff it down the back of my wet suit. This floods my whole suit with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi. Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse. Within a few seconds my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit. Now since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't stick to it. However, the crack of my butt was not as fortunate. When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into my butt. I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with 5 other divers, were all laughing hysterically.

Needless to say I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make 3 agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling 35 minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression. When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass helmet. As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for 2 days because my butt hole was swollen shut.

So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt. Now repeat to yourself,

"I love my job, I love my job, I love my job..."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dad or Dog?

OK. . . this is too funny not to share with the 2.7 bloggers out there who are actually READING my blog besides me.

The other day I had a conversation with my college son on the phone and we were talking about all kinds of stuff. . . when I started talking about the dog.

Now I need to mention here that we have a 14 year old black lab/terrier mix and even though he is getting 'up there' in years (for a dog) he is doing quite well and may just end up outliving all of us.

So before I share this conversation I had with my son--I have to let you know that I was talking about THE DOG. What my son heard on the other end of the phone line was 'DAD'. . . so while he thought I was talking about HIS DAD---I was actually talking about THE DOG.

Here's how it went:

ME: Hey! Did you know we found a cyst on his neck the other day?


ME: Yeah--it was kinda big and hard.

SON: No way! How's he doing?

ME: Well. . . things like this happen when they get older. You can't really see it--but you can feel it when you pet his neck.

SON: Oh my gosh! How does he feel?

ME: It doesn't really bother him at all. He runs around happy like there's nothing wrong. I wouldn't have even known about it if the neighborhood boy hadn't pointed it out to me.

SON: Well, are you taking him to the doctor.

ME: No. Dad says he doesn't need to go--that you get things like this when you get older--and we can just wait and watch for any changes since it doesn't seem to bother him.

SON: Well, do you think that's wise?

ME: I've left his care up to your father now--and he has always been pretty healthy and happy so I'm going to trust his judgment on this. . .

SON: Well, OK---but a cyst? Man, that doesn't sound good.

ME: No--and it feels kinda weird too. You can't really see it--there's so much hair on it. But he's really happy and otherwise healthy. He's running around right now!

SON: Mom, I can't understand why you are so calm about this. . .

ME: Because it's really not a big deal. . . it's just a normal thing that happens as they age.

SON: It doesn't SOUND RIGHT--I don't think it's normal.

ME: (Now I know that this son loves his dog--so I call his father to explain to him that it really IS OK)

THE DAD: Son, it is not a big deal at all--don't worry about it.

SON: (completely bewildered. . . makes some excuse to get off the phone)

The next day son calls back. . . (and remember my son still thinks I'm talking about his DAD--and I'm actually still talking about the DOG)

SON: Mom, I've been thinking about what you told me all night and I just wanna say. . .

ME: (Interrupting) Hey--we just found out that he's going deaf too. He doesn't hear the doorbell anymore--and if he doesn't actually SEE you, he won't come when you call him. But I'm told this also happens when they get older.

SON: (getting a bit huffy) Mom, I really think you need to take dad in to see the doctor. I really don't think it's just a little thing--and now if he's going deaf too--my gosh, WHY AREN'T YOU UPSET???

ME: Why do I need to take your dad to see the doctor?

SON: (Becoming even MORE agitated) BECAUSE OF THE CYST IN HIS NECK! And now you tell me he's going deaf?

ME: (completely flummoxed) You think I was talking about DAD?

SON: Yes--I've been up most of the night pretty worried. . .

ME: (Laughing hysterically and speaking incoherently) Just a minute. . .

ME: (Calling 'the dad' in question and putting my son on the speaker phone and explaining the conversation of the previous day about 'finding the cyst')

THE DAD & ME: (peels of uncontrollable laughter)

ME: Hon, it was THE DOG I was talking about, not your father. . . although he is also running around pretty happy and won't come when you call him either.

SON: (laughing too) You guys are SICK!

THE DAD & ME: Actually we're fine. . . (more laughter)

ME: (after regaining composure) Sorry you were worried that I was so cavalier about your father's condition--but really. . . he's OK and your dog is OK. . .and I gotta run, cuz neither one of them can hear that the doorbell is ringing. Perhaps I should start looking for cysts on your dad as well. . . can I call you back later? (Uncontrollable laughing again)

SON: (relief in his voice) Yeah. . . OK! I guess I should know better--I still say YOU GUYS ARE SICK! (hangs up)

Sooooo. . . After telling this story to a few select souls, it was suggested I put it on my blog---because after all. . . as one friend put it, 'That's good stuff right there!'

And you just can't make this kind of stuff up!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hey it's MONDAY!

Call me weird--but I just LOVE the beginnings of a new week!

The world is filled with possibilities--and I have high hopes for all the things I want to accomplish this week. . . (doesn't mean that I will actually GET to all of them--but a girl can dream, can't she?)

Happy Monday to everyone!

Oh! And check out some of my favorite links. . .

This one is to my shop on Amazon: (just click on the logo)

The next one is to my shop on (just click on the logo)

And once in a while I put up stuff on eBay too. . . Just look for items by:

I love buying and selling on Amazon, eBay, and . . Click on the links if you DARE! And watch out--because it can be addicting!


Saturday, October 13, 2007


All right. . . who else out there has a 15 to 16 year old learning to DRIVE?

Sheesh! This is my 4th go around with this (last child) and so you'd think I would become an expert by now. . .

Alas--I am MUCH OLDER and much more prone to nausea, panic attacks, extreme emotional overload, and SHEER TERROR!

Saturdays are the 'designated days' for my son and I to 'practice driving'. . . (well, HE'S the one practicing the driving part)---I'm practicing holding on to the dashboard and door handle for dear life, keeping my eyes OPEN WIDE, and head craning around on a perpetual pivot to spot vehicles, curbs, walls, sidewalks, pedestrians, pets, flag poles, and any other thing we could possibly hit--AND of course I'm practicing keeping my sanity and my swearing down to an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM!

I tell ya. . . dear ole' dad has it easy! He has somehow managed to just pay the car insurance each month and complain about the 'upkeep' on the cars---while I am in the WAR ZONE each and every week trying to keep little Billy from killing anyone including himself. . .

Oh--and don't let me get started on the TAKING OF THE ACTUAL TEST!

That is another can of worms that I dare not open at this time. . . Suffice it to say that little Billy's older brother, Bobby not only had to take his WRITTEN permit test TWICE--he ended up taking the WRITTEN exam to get the actual driver's license THREE TIMES--and the DRIVING PART of the test TWICE! (that should have been a clue that maybe he just wasn't cut out for driving) This fact was certainly drilled home when Bobby ended up totaling his older brother's car while taking his buddys out for a 'spin'. . . He didn't get three miles from the driveway before mayhem hit. . . (and let's not even tally what the OLDEST brother did to his sweet lil' mom's car after HE learned to drive. . .)

Soooo. . .what the SNOT am I thinking? Do I even dare go through this again? Somebody give me STRENGTH!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ahhh! Don't ya just LOVE the fall?

Yep! The autumn season is definitely upon us. . .Don't you just love those cold, crisp mornings? (although I could do without all those gray clouds and rain)

The wind blowing through the trees. . . the leaves turning all those gorgeous colors. . the crunch they make under your feet as they cover the ground and sidewalks. . . time to get out those sweaters and sweatshirt. . . heat up the hot cider and hot chocolate and munch on cinnamon rolls and warm cookies as you bask around that glowing fire. . .

I love living in the northwest where we experience a definite change of seasons and fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of year. . . Living close to the high school has me waxing nostalgic when I hear the marching band practices. . . and hear those cheers and screams of victory coming from the football field on Friday nights. . .

It's the ushering in of what I call 'the caloric holidays'---so one had best gear up so to speak--as you are about to embark on the biggest non-stop food fest of the year!

Of course, I am referring to the start of the Halloween season--which is already upon us, I might add--as I've already bought my Halloween candy for the kiddles, and have been munching on it for weeks already. . . (which reminds me--I will definitely need to buy a few more bags before the end of the month as these will definitely be COMPLETELY GONE and permanently attached to my thighs well before then!)

Next on the list is the Thanksgiving season--which jumps right in there with Halloween--and definitely not to be outdone as far as the FOOD INTAKE goes. MAN! I have already started preparing lots of practice dishes which are copiously sammpled by me and other family members--under the pretext of trying out every possibility for just the RIGHT traditional touch when the BIG DAY is actually upon us. I mean--who can pass up all the pies and cookies and tasty delights that the bakeries have on display RIGHT NOW. I am only doing my part when I consume these delectables before the expiration date says they are no longer safe. . .

And then--we have the Christmas season--which we all know really begins the day after labor day! I mean--come on! The stores are already partially decorated and selling Christmas 'home decor' as well as putting so many things on sale with the idea that you will purchase these items as gifts for 'someone on your list'---yeah--RIGHT! I am proud to say that I always purchase tons of items to have on hand as gifts well ahead of time with every intention of carefully wrapping and sending them off to loved ones far and near. . . but then again--these are such good bargains--and many of these items I personally cannot do without---and didn't Whitney Houston teach us that to love ourself was the greatest gift of all? So after I end up using/keeping these wonderful items--I am right there in the thick of it--suited up in full body armor (which is also flame-retardant), elbowing, shoving, biting, and clawing my way through the the other last minute shoppers to make absolutely sure I've gotten everything!

Oh--but I digress! The worst part--(nay, actually the BEST part) is the FOOD! Glorious food! The mother-load of treasure troves of indulgence when it comes to food--is to be had at Christmas time. . . and after Halloween and Thanksgiving. . . I mean, come on! Who are you trying to kid??? What's one more lil' indulgence--or two. . . or three. . . or thirty? Besides, you can always start over with the new year, can't you? Isn't that what New Year's resolutions are for?

And speaking of New Years. . . . well that just rounds out the list. . . because after you are literally ready to POP after Christmas--you can't stop without celebrating with a BANG and a ZILLION calories the ringing in of the NEW YEAR! Have you ever been to a party or gathering at New Years where there WASN'T a ton of food and drink involved???? Good grief just thinking about all this has made me gain a pound or two--and I think I might have just developed a cavity. . . SHEESH!

By the way. . . Did I mention that I JUST LOVE FALL????

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today I begin my adventures in blogging!

Hello, one and all!

I have no idea where this will take me---but the first step is to begin, right?

So I am jumping in with both feet and attempting to put down on paper (nay monitor) the tales and adventures of these crazy events I call 'life'. . .

I could have as well titled this blog 'Showmethejustice by Showmethesale' for many times I have been left to scratch my head in wonder at the inconsistencies, the ineptitude, foibles, and follies of men and women as they plunder in and out of my life. . .

Today is a good day---it's only 8:35 a.m. in the morning--so nothing much has happened yet! (this can be good or bad, depending on how you look at things)

And so begins my adventures in blogging. . . hopefully I have not disrupted the space/time continuum or reversed the polarities or imploded a black hole or something by my venturing into this unknown territory!

Let the adventure begin!