Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things I do not plan to do on vacation


(if you hear about one of those incidents this week where passengers are stranded on a runway for hours and hours, until one of them goes completely berserk and crawls through the ceiling panel in the bathroom and then leaps from the cargo hold ... that would be me. though this is definitely not in my plans.)


I will be leaving tomorrow morning for a week's vacation. Yay! I love vacations.

I really need a break from my hectic life of laundry, online poker, and trying to influence the outcome of the Senate Finance Committee hearings on health care reform by the sheer power of my mind. Just yesterday I squinted my eyes and shot powerful thought rays at each Senator just before they voted to increase my premiums by 400% which should make my monthly payments approximately a bazillion dollars a year. Two bazillion if I want prescription coverage.

Anyway.

I plan to have a lovely time. And I plan to NOT do the following things:

1. Exercise.
Most hotels thoughtfully provide work-out rooms, so guests who are awakened at 6 a.m. by the construction crews hammering on the walls in the adjacent room will have something to do. Not me. I'll get up at 5, break all the treadmills, and sit in the lobby drinking coffee and eating dwarf-sized muffins.

2. Shiver.
My number one goal in life, other than spoiling my grandbaby, is to stay warm. I think I am the only tourist who owns fleecy hooded sweatshirts from Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Laguna Beach.

3. Think.
This one should be no problem. My brain automatically shuts off as soon as it hears we are going on vacation. On our last vacation I forgot how to turn my cell phone on so I spent most of the trip fretting about my broken phone until we found a t-mobile store thank god where the teenage sales guy fixed the problem in two seconds flat by pushing the right button and making me feel like a complete idiot, which of course I am. But only when I'm on vacation.

Have a great week!

~~~

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fantasy Shopping League


(half off? you just scored 100 points!!)

My hubby belongs to a Fantasy Football League. It sounds like lots of fun, except for one little thing: I don't like football.

I've spent hours (ok, minutes) trying to learn the rules and I've strained my eyes trying to follow the ball and I've wracked my brain trying to understand why one 250-pound person running directly into another 250-pound person might possibly be considered a good idea. It's no use.

Football does not pass the Needles In My Eye Test.

But shopping! That's another story. So I have decided to start my own Fantasy Shopping League.

Sunday was my first day. It went really well!

~ I found a $40 sweater at Macy's, on sale for half off - Yes, shopping fans, that's 100 points!!
~ I tried on a super-cute dress that was full price at $129 and WALKED AWAY without buying it. Add 500 points!! Yay me!!
~ And joy oh joy, I discovered that my favorite J.Jill store is back in business, after closing down a couple of months ago - Gimme 1000 points!! Boo-ya!!

I think I'm on to something here. Whaddya think, girls? Want to join my league? Meet me at Willow Bend Mall in North Dallas next Sunday at noon and I'll show you the ropes.

~~~

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The recession is over!



(we're in the money! ok, we're in the pennies. but it's a start.)


I saw a story on MSNBC this morning explaining that the recession is over. How do they know? Because sales of blue jeans are up.

That makes no sense to me.

When I buy blue jeans, it means that my one and only 8-year-old pair of Gap Totally Out Of Style Boot Cut Jeans have either:

A. Shrunk drastically because my dryer is apparently making everything smaller except my hips

OR

B. Developed a hole in the knee which might be stylish if I was 18 but would just be tacky at my age.

So how will we know when the recession is really over? That's easy.

Sales of the following products will soar:

~ Charmin Ultra Toilet Paper. Yay! No more cheap-o see-through Toilet Paper which dissolves on contact with anything including air.

~ Folger's Black Silk Coffee. This is truly good stuff but for some reason it costs extra. I can't wait to buy it again! I might even be nice in the morning. Don't count on it, but I might.

~ Bunny slippers. When the recession is over we can all relax a little. Bunny slippers are the perfect place to start.

Mark my words. These are the products to watch. On the other hand, if sales of Kroger brand extra-thin-sliced-nearly-see-through- but-guaranteed-never-to-mold white bread start to reach new heights - look out. There may be trouble ahead.

~~~

Monday, September 21, 2009

My oh so glamorous life


(light of my life)


I lead such a glamorous life. I hesitate to even tell you about it, because you will immediately compare it to your own drab little life and go green with envy and pray oh please oh please that you could have my life instead of yours and probably hate me forever.

But it's a chance I have to take. Because, I'm sorry, I have nothing else to blog about at the moment.

So here is just one day in my oh so glamorous life:

5:45 a.m. - I wake up even though technically it is the middle of the night for normal people.

5:46 a.m. - I turn on my laptop and a little screen pops up from a program I installed 6 months ago. It wants me to register the program online, which I don't want to do. So I check the box that says "Do not remind me again" knowing full well that it will remind me again tomorrow and the next day and the next day, until I finally throw my computer through the window.

5:47 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. - I drink massive amounts of coffee, write financial marketing projects, and do an amazing amount of laundry considering it's just my husband and me and neither one of us leaves the house all that much.

Today was a bit of an exception. We were babysitting our little 2-year-old grandbaby, and she wasn't feeling well. So she threw up on me several times, giving both of us quite an interesting scent, then curled up on my lap.

I felt her warm little body relax as she fell fast asleep.

I stroked her cheek while checking her forehead to make sure she wasn't running a fever.

I covered her with a blanket so she wouldn't catch a chill.

And I tried not to breathe too deeply.

It wasn't glamorous. It wasn't terribly productive. But all in all, it was a good day.

~~~

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seriously terrible Halloween costumes

Attention all parents!! If you haven't already bought your child's Halloween costume, you are almost too late!! The Christmas departments are up and running in all the stores. Get a move on!!

Here are a few costume suggestions for parents who either
a.) waited too long and now have no good costumes to choose from, or
b.) secretly aren't all that crazy about their children.


Suggestion # 1: UPS Man
(seriously. does it get any more boring than this?)


Suggestion # 2: Postal Worker


(warning: do not buy this costume if your child already has anger issues)



Suggestion # 3: A Two-Headed Monkey



(this is kind of a cute costume but personally, the 2-head thing kind of freaks me out)


Suggestion # 4: A Nerdy Little Golfer



(do you want your child to get beat up in nursery school? this outfit should do it)


Suggestion # 5: A Peeing Puppy



(mommmm! can you unzip my costume so i can use my hydrant?)


Of course, if you insist on dressing up your little darlings in one of these costumes, the least you can do is to buy one for yourself!



(i dare you.)

~~~

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tasty treats, Texas style


See those yummy treats? What do you think they are? Donuts? Fritters? I'll give you a minute to guess ...

Ok, are you ready?

This is Texas, remember. In fact, this little treat is the 2009 winner of the Big Tex Choice Awards at the Texas State Fair. The award winning recipe is for ...

Deep Fried Butter.

I don 't get it. Why bother with all that breading and frying? I think I'll GRAB A STICK OF BUTTER AND EAT IT. Then, just before my cardiac arrest, I'll visit the booths where they're selling Fried Coke, Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Chicken Fried Bacon. If there's time before the paramedics arrive, please stuff a hunk of Texas Fried Cookie Dough into my mouth. That way I won't get hungry on the way to the hospital.

Yee haw!

~~~

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How to be a cool Granny


(guess who calls the shots - and chooses the channels - around here?)


I love, love, love my grandbaby. But let's face it, gals. Who wants to be known as a "grandmother"?

They say 50 is the new 40. I say Grannies are the new BFF's.

Here are my rules for being a cool Granny:

1. Dye your hair. This is a must. Gray hair only looks good on those models in the J.Jill catalog. And most of their stores are going out of business. So what does that tell you?

2. Get a Facebook page. Post status updates at least once a day, using clever "texting" techniques like this: Off 2 the mall 2 C my peeps! OMG big sale @ Chico's!

3. Program a cool station into your car's radio. If you're not sure which one is cool, look for one with the word "kiss" in its name. Sing along loudly.

4. Train your grandchildren right from the start to call you "mom" any time you are out in public. If you walk fast enough, people just might buy it.

And last but not least, 5. Keep telling your grandchildren over and over how much you love them. Keep the kissing and cheek pinching to a minimum. And keep at least $20 cash on hand at all times. They will think you are the coolest person on earth.

~~~

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why I Am Concerned About You, Dear Readers


(i LOVE stat counter!)


I use a neat little service called StatCounter. You should try it!

StatCounter lets me know how many visitors I get each day. For a while there I was very excited to see lots of hits on my blogs! But then I realized it was counting my own visits, which often total 20 or 30 a day because I love to admire my own stellar writing skills. Plus I need to check for spelling mistakes just in case Huffington Post stops by.

Anyway.

StatCounter also lets me check to see which keywords have brought people to my blogs. I am very concerned. These keywords are a little disturbing.

Here are some of the actual search terms. Honest. I am not making this up. My comments, of course, are in red.

"texas where exactly is it?"
Down here! In the middle. See that big state with all the weird politicians? That's us.

"When I squeeze my calf fat comes out."
Well what do you know? Sylvia was right after all.

"I found out all my friends hate me. What to do?"
Gee, I dunno - find some new friends, maybe? If they hate you, they are probably not your friends anyway. Helloooo ....

"HOW TO NOT CARE PEOPLE ARE WATCHING ME."
People might not watch you if you WOULD STOP YELLING AT THEM.

"Somebody is watching me find out who the hell he/she is"
Let me know when you figure it out. I certainly don't want him/her watching me.

"The CIA is watching me right now."
Me too. Gotta go.

~~~


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How to launch a new career. Or not.


I love my job, but as a freelancer part of my job is to search for new jobs all the time. So I send out resumes from time to time, while secretly hoping that Huffington Post will discover my political blog and pay me wildly extravagant sums of money for ranting about anything and everything.

Anyway.

A while back I applied for a freelance job through CareerBuilder.com. Apparently, without meaning to, I also signed up for their Random Weekly Job Search Email List. They now send me helpful job listings every week.

Here are just a few of the jobs for which they apparently think I am qualified. My comments are in red.

Texas/Mexico Sales Representitive. Find, call, sample, quote, close sales and negotiate blanket orders from new customers are the key skills we are looking for.

I could definitely help this company with their spelling and sentence structure. Not so sure about the rest of the job, though.

National Sales Fraud Mitigation. Base pay $89,000 - $130,000 per year. This person will utilize Microsoft CRM for tracking and generating all prospects and generate $1 Million in newly signed revenue within our key target verticals, Internet Retailer 500, travel and entertainment clients along with other CNP prospects.

Dang. $omething about thi$ one i$ very attractive. Unfortunately I have no idea what the heck they are talking about.

Temporary Halloween Sales Pros. We offer a generous salary, great working environment, and some of the most incredible advancement opportunities in retail. Party City also offers a comprehensive benefit package including medical, vision and dental insurance, paid time off, tuition assistance, 401K, Associate discount and much more!

Now you're talking! Party City sounds like an awesome place to work! For one month out of the entire year I could have medical, vision and dental insurance!! I am truly excited.

Thanks, CareerBuilder! I can't wait to see what you come up with next week.

~~~

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How To Be Creative


(my brain, which is hard to keep inside the box even if i try, which i usually don't)


I subscribe to a wonderful blog by Kate Harper, called Greeting Card Designer. Kate is a phenomenal designer, with a terrific line of cards at Target that feature quotes by children (as well as many other terrific cards that I wish I had thought of first).

Kate often posts links to other wonderful blogs. Today she sent her faithful readers to the Outlaw Design Blog, where there is an article called "10 Ways to Beat the Hell Out of Creative Block."

First of all, I love this title.

Second, there are some great recommendations here. If you are ever at a loss for blog topics, or you have another creative project to work on, these tips might help. Here are a few of the ideas, which of course are more fully explained in the article:

  • Change of scenery
  • Work somewhere else
  • Brainstorm with others
  • Go eat
  • Work 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off

I have one other suggestion: Look at your creative task sideways.

This is a concept I stumbled upon quite by accident.

I am often called upon to come up with headlines for various promotional projects. A client might say, "We would like to send out a postcard to attract some new savings accounts. A new bank just opened down the street, and we want to stress the fact that we have higher rates."

At first I would just look at this straight on, which resulted in headlines like:

Bigger is better

or, if I was really short on time:

Our rates are higher

Pretty boring.

But then I learned to look at topics sideways. Why would people care that you have higher rates? Because they will make more money. Why do they care about that? Because it makes them feel smart and successful. So I might write a headline like:

XYZ Financial: Where it's easy to be a financial genius

Better!

Or I might use a cliche but suggest a "sideways" graphic:

Graphic: A picture of several people in a row, facing backwards, showing only their shoulders and heads
Headline: We're head and shoulders above the rest

I like to take a sideways approach to my blog posts as well. Rather than just telling you what my childhood piano recitals were like, I posted an "invitation" from my piano teacher. (It was pretty funny. Here it is in case you missed it.)

In fact, this post is one of the least sideways posts I've done! So you might want to stand on your head or something while you read it.

Otherwise you might not recognize me.

~~~


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Duggars expecting # 19. What took so long?


(move over, jumping-jehosaphat. we gotta make room for one more.)


I have never seen TLC's 18 Kids and Counting, a reality show about the Duggar family and their 18 kids. But an article in today's paper caught my eye.

There was a lovely picture of the family, with Mom holding a very small baby and 17 other well-groomed children standing around smiling. Or 17 very small mannequins. It was hard to tell.

Anyway.

The headline was:
Better keep counting: No. 19 on the way

Yes, happy news! Turns out the happy family, which has 18 children under the age of 21, including two sets of twins and an 8-month-old infant, all with names that begin with J, is expecting a new bundle of joy. The 42-year-old Mom has been pregnant for approximately 144 months, or 12 years of her life. And now, she will give birth once again.

I can just imagine how I would react to the news of # 19. The word "ballistic" comes to mind. Also "raving" and "lunatic" and "vasectomy."

Here's what Mrs. Duggar had to say:

"And lo and behold, I was just pleasantly surprised that (the pregnancy test) was positive. I was just jumping up and down going, 'Thank you, Lord. Here am I - 42, thinking my baby days are over - and you've blessed us with another one.'"

Yup.

That's pretty much what I would have said.

I'm glad to see her sense of humor is intact.

~~~

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