Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day at the nail spa. . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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. . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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'!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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. . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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!'