Thursday, December 29, 2011

As Seen On TV

Why is it that each year, as Christmas approaches, every item that you would never want to get and would give away in an instant, [as a white elephant gift, for sure] starts advertising on TV?  The worst items for your home, for your wardrobe, for your spouse, for your get the idea. But are they only useful at Christmas time? You can't use them at other times of the year? My answer to that can't use them EVER.

I mean...who wears Pajama Jeans? Have you ever seen these things? They are stretch pants made to look like jeans. Seriously? I have never seen an item of clothing uglier than the Pajama Jeans...except maybe the free shirt they also give you when you purchase a pair. It's a drab gray, stretchy-ish shirt; with zilch style...a style from I don't even know what era. Who comes up with this shit? And more than that...why would they come up with this shit? And why would they think any of it would sell? I wouldn't even wear the ‘jeans’ if we were back in the '60's when stretch pants were fashionable. I wouldn’t even wear them to bed.  

Do you know one person who owns a Chia Pet? I was quite surprised to see it advertised again this year. I thought it went kaput last year. Wishful thinking. I figure there can't be anyone who actually buys this crap; but they did finally come out with new ones that are a little more current. Not that it makes them any more desirable...but at least we know the manufacturers are not just robots making these things by rote. They actually are alive and thinking...finally. Well…sorta. They have a Chia Obama, a Chia Shrek, a Chia SpongeBob, a blah blah blah...but I think my favorite is just the Chia head...for those who are 'follicly' challenged.

But the worst thing about this damn product? I can't get the f**king song out of my head. Any time I say or think "Chia Pet" I hear ‘Chi Chi Chi Chia Pet.’ Can you hear it now? It will be there, in your head, throughout the rest of this blog. You can thank me later.

Jane Seymour has a line of jewelry for Kay Jewelers. "Come see my 'Open Hearts' collection at Kay Jewelers." [Said with her English accent] Only at Christmas time? Doesn't she sell it throughout the rest of the year? Why would she only advertise at Christmas? And she chose the very chic jeweler...Kay? I think, but I’m not sure...that it just could be the K-Mart of jewelers. Oh! Maybe that's why it's called 'KAY' Jewelers. "K" Mart. Get it? A subsidiary, maybe? And after all these years...can't she come up with a new design? Any new design? It's been the same frickin' design for 15 years already. I mean how many f**king open hearts can you have? Any other collections there, Jane?

You know what's amazing...I actually know people with the Snuggie. Yup...people I know actually do own a Snuggie. Of course, I’m not friends with those people. I just know them. I don’t know if I could be associated with people who have consciously gone out and bought a Snuggie; especially those who leave their homes wearing them and partake in activities…such as this guy.

I’m sure many people have gone out and tackled fishing in their camouflage Snuggie. This way no one would notice them since they blend right in. This way they get all the fish. And on the website…they label it “Designer” Snuggie. OMG…I don’t even think I have words for what I’m feeling about that right now. But just in case you’re interested…they do have a sale going on as we speak.

I will never understand the fruitcake. Although it’s not advertised on TV…why is it that only at Christmas, it’s given as a present. And what is it anyway? Is it really made of fruit? Obviously I’ve never had any. The name alone turns me off; therefore I have never tasted one. But to this day, I don’t understand why it’s only given to people around the holidays. And who in God’s name came up with that idea. ‘Let’s give a fruitcake as a gift.’ Why would anyone think that’s a good gift? I would be embarrassed to hand someone a fruitcake. They would know, right off the bat, it’s a re-gift. Actually, I wouldn’t even give it as a re-gift.

And speaking of re-gifts…I also don’t really understand the re-gift. If I don’t like something, I’m certainly not going to give it to someone else so they can think I’m the one with bad taste. I only give things I like to people I like. I would give something I don’t like to someone I don’t like, but most likely, I wouldn’t be giving that someone I don’t like a present anyway, because I don’t like them.

Some people’s taste amazes me. I would love to know what goes through their heads when deciding what to give as a gift. I like to put a lot of thought into what I am purchasing for a particular person. I want to make it personal and I want them to love it. For the last 25 years I have been wondering about a gift my first husband and I received for our wedding. Not only was it strange, but the wrapping was the tackiest I have ever seen…ever. The present was a mold of a ship captain’s head. Yup…that’s right, our wedding gift was a ship captain’s head that you can hang on the wall. And it was wrapped in newspaper inside a yellow plastic bag. Do you think that may have been a re-gift? Of course, it wasn’t from someone on MY side of the family.

Last night my daughter’s friend mentioned getting a money tree as a gift. I love that idea. I don’t think you can go wrong with that gift. I mean…who doesn’t like money. And nowadays, who can’t use a little extra. They wrapped up different denominations of bills and tied them to branches of the tree. What a great idea. She said her boss gave her a tree worth $100.   

Next year…my kids are going to get that as their gift. It will look something like this…

                                              I HOPE THEY LIKE IT!



Monday, December 19, 2011

Skype Anyone?

I have realized that if you don't really care about sex and physical never have to see anyone in person anymore to have a relationship. If you don't mind that tactile void in your life, our technology has taken care of our everyday needs and companionships.

I was skyping with my daughter the other day, and seeing her on camera, as opposed to just speaking on the phone, gave me such it always does. I love seeing her face and looking into her eyes because it feels like we are right there with each other...except for the fact that she can't just stretch out her hand for a twenty. Works for me. And my house stays so much cleaner. And my food bill is lower and there’s no sisterly fighting…oops…sorry. Got off track a little. But what really made me realize that you can be miles away from someone and still have a close relationship, was right after I disconnected with my daughter, an old high school friend skyped me. We had never skyped before. We haven't seen each other in almost 40 years. In fact, we weren't even really friends until facebook. But through the miracle of social networking, we have become pretty close. It's just so odd. There's so much about social networking that's odd [in a positive light] and that's what made me think about being in the same place at the same time with people. It's really not necessary. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE being in physical proximity to people because I'm a hugger and a toucher and I just love that touchy feely kind of thing. (Hence...why I have a dog...she doesn't put restrictions on my hugs.)

But since I live relatively far from so many of the people I care for the most, I think social networking has rescued, or has the potential to rescue, many lonely people. And it does give you that feeling of immediacy and being in the now with each other.

I mean, who needs a real date? If you don't give two shits about ever having sex again for the rest of your life; never having that man touch you like no one else ever has, with long, deep kisses, his muscular arms wrapped tightly...oh off track once again...then you can just skype with someone at any time and call it a relationship. You can communicate as if you’re right there next to him. And look at how much cheaper it is [well, for him maybe]. It’s amazing. You could go to the movies, hold your phone up to the screen, and have him watch with you, without ever purchasing a second ticket.

You have a built in date! You can eat your popcorn, drink your diet coke, pig out on milk duds and raisinets, maybe a few nachos, and no one is the wiser. Then after, once you wipe the evidence off your face, and try to pick up your bloated body out of your seat, you can discuss and critique the film when it’s over. And he's not aware of how you just pigged out and ate yourself into oblivion. [Although I'm not quite sure how you can manage holding the phone and eating all that with only one hand, without spilling something all over you.] But I digress again.

Then, if you’re not really into him, you don’t have to make excuses about wanting to go home and not wanting to go out for coffee or dessert after; (God forbid going for dessert, after what you just ate in the theater, you porker), or going back to your place for a little hanky panky (although who could have sex after all that crap you just inhaled.) You just say, "Ok, I’ve gotta go now. Can't drive and skype.” And that saves you the embarrassment of not wanting to kiss good night, if in fact, you don’t want to. It’s almost too perfect. And if you really do like the person, then it just builds up the excitement for when you actually are physically together, but still giving you more time with each other while apart. 

If you just decide to sit home at can talk to any person you want for companionship because someone else is always at home on a Saturday night, too. (Aren't they?) You really never have to be alone. Then when someone asks, "What did you do this weekend?" You just say..."Oh, I had a date with 'fill in the blank.'"

If only the elderly would be more open to learning all the technology we have at our fingertips. Think of all the ways they could keep their brains stimulated and keep active. If their families couldn't visit them too often because of their busy schedules, or because they're too f**king selfish to think of their parents there all alone in the assisted living places, [where they're actually probably more active then three quarters of the people half their age]...they could take 5 minutes to skype and say hi. And look how much grandma would have to look forward to without nagging at her family to come see her, or instilling that guilt that so many parents try to do to their kids without actually thinking that's what they're doing. Well, maybe 'thinking' isn't the right word. Trying to 'mask' it behind something else, I would say is more the case. But's a win-win for everyone. The grandkids don't have to sit there bored out of their minds, for God only knows how long...they can just pop their little dirty faces in the camera and yell, "hi gramma" and the adults can talk for a few. How much easier and better can it be? The grandparents don't have to worry about leaving early to avoid all the traffic, because as we all matter what time they leave, they will for sure hit traffic. And then if they are stuck in traffic...oh my god...what if they have to pee? Or run out of gas so they need to get gas first but what if there's no gas station close by that may be 3 cents less than they can get at home, so they travel 20 miles out of their way to save 30 cents, although they just spent $5 traveling to find the cheaper gas station. So this way...everyone is where they want to be and no one can f**king complain about it. Geez. (Wow...I just got worked up more than I realized. I'm exhausted, and I didn't even have to visit anyone yet.)

Of course, there are always a few downfalls to skyping that sometimes get in the way; especially when you haven't seen someone in a very long time and plan to "meet" on camera. There's always that lovely camera angle that makes you look like you're eating your nose. Your nose could be the size of a peanut, but yet...there it is...making an anchor like shape on your face in conjunction with your mouth. It looks like a fat carrot hanging down covering half your top lip, if your head is the least bit tilted downward or the camera is up too high. If the camera angle is too end up with the chin that looks like the length of California. Always attractive. And if you keep your head get that rolly polly neck thing going with the rippling effect.  So look like this:

And you probably would never hear back from that 'friend' you haven't seen in 20 years.

And if you are hanging out in your pajamas or other comfy, clown looking clothes, no make-up on, hair piled on top of your head in some big lumpy moppy thing, or hanging down all stringy, hoping no one, and I mean no one, would ever see you...

...then you hear that distinctive skype ring and think...oh shit. It's someone you really want to speak to. Do you pick up? I've sat debating long enough where it finally stopped ringing. So I ran into my bathroom, quickly dabbed on a little make-up, changed my shirt, [because no one can really see you below the shoulders if the camera is set up right], brushed my hair, and called back that person. "Oh...I see you just called. I didn't hear it...isn't that strange? I must've been downstairs."

Then there is the fib. Well, another fib. You tell the grandparents that their grandchildren aren't home at the time of the skyping, because you know the kids would rather not talk, so you help them out. But you didn't make them aware that you were saying that, so they walk in, in the middle of your conversation. "I thought the kids weren't there?" [Said with that sarcastic let's instill the guilt tone]. "They must've just walked in."  Oops.

But the advantages far, far outweigh the disadvantages. It’s been unbelievably exciting to reconnect with so many friends after all these years and not only audibly, but visually. Although I have to say, sometimes maybe we are better off just leaving the visuals to our imagination. If you notice, you have that choice on skype…Answer with audio only. Answer with audio and video. Those skype inventors…they knew what they were doing when they came up with that option…they must’ve had some dog ass ugly friends and family. Oh sorry…did I say that out loud?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stranger Things Have Happened

I will never understand how people can pass you on the street, look right at you, and act as if you're not even there. Not a smile or a nod or a hello. Seriously? Maybe I’m overly nice, (well, duh) but I would never pass someone without some form of acknowledgement. Even if it's one of my various phony smiles.

I mean, we’re both occupying the same space for that one second in time. We’ve made a connection. How can you not recognize that person you’re sharing it with in some form of communication? It's just not right. 
I live in a gated community...but we have no gates. (We would have gates if it was an actual gated community). It’s a small development, with a pool and recreation area located in the center of the complex. Everyone is out and about all the time, almost like a Stepford neighborhood.

They’re either gardening, pushing their kids in strollers, watching their older kids playing ball in the streets, or gossiping about God only knows what. If you’re outside at all, you know the people on your street. You see them all the time. You would think there would be a sense of camaraderie of sorts.

I walk my dog at least a couple of times a day and see my neighbors on a regular basis, but I can’t tell you how many people totally ignore me when I pass them. I just can’t figure out why anyone would choose to do that. There's one family where the entire family acts as if I'm invisible when I'm right in front of them, as they walk by with their dog. I smile, they don't. I say hi, they don't. Then when they get to the house next to mine, they have a full blown conversation with the dad, in his driveway. Are you f**king kidding me? I had originally thought that they treated everyone the same, until I witnessed them laughing and cajoling with the dad and his family. Pretty frickin' nervy, if you ask me. Well, you didn't ask me, but I'm telling you anyway.
The same thing happened with this guy who walks his dog by my house every day. I see him when I'm out with my dog or just when I'm outside my house doing whatever it is I'm doing. He either keeps his head down or looks straight ahead, knowing full well I'm there, but keeps walking. Sometimes he looks at me without even a curve of his lips in an upward movement, like he's looking right through me. It's mind blowing.

Then one day, I was standing there talking with one of my friendly neighbors and he starts having a conversation with her. And still doesn't acknowledge me, even after I said hello. Really? I'm starting to get a complex. I'm like the nicest, friendliest person I know. What is going on? Why don't these people see that?
There is a special connection with the people who live in the houses on either side of you. At least there should be. They are like family. They are like sisters because they’re so close to you; right next to you; side by side. They are your siblings and the houses surrounding them are like cousins. And the houses on the other streets are like cousins once removed. But we are all from the same family. The ‘Non-Gated Community’ family and family should acknowledge each other. Even if you don’t like each other, be cordial. You're distant cousins for God's sake. Aside from just being the respectful thing to do…you never know when you may need that person in an emergency. Why wouldn’t you want to be nice? It's hurtful.

Have you ever gotten into an elevator and you are all alone, but on the next stop someone comes in, looks directly at you, and doesn’t even nod? Seriously? Did they not see me? I mean I'm right here. I'm right smack in the middle of the elevator in their line of vision as they walk in, and they act like I'm Casper. Then we stand there with the musak playing, or whatever it's called now, all fidgety and uncomfortable, acting like there's no one else in our space. C'mon people...I'm right here. Give me something.

I especially don't understand it when you have something in common with others and they still don't acknowledge you. I've been in doctor's waiting rooms the size of my closet, practically on top of the other patient waiting, and not a word. I'm ready to go sit on their lap and ask them to tell me about themselves but I contain myself. That may not be legal. Or at the very least, moral. But we have something in common, besides waiting an inordinately ridiculous amount of time to see the doctor. We have ailments. Why not discuss them to pass the time. Although I have to tell you, I did sit next to a very nice man who proceeded to tell me how his medicines are giving him a ton of gas and causing him constipation, which is giving him hemorrhoids that are really itchy. I responded, "Thanks for sharing" and the entire doctor's office, which was filled with about 20 waiting patients, cracked up. I think they were aghast that this man was divulging this deeply intimate, personal info to me, a complete stranger, within 5 seconds of us communicating and they were relieved that I said something. It didn't make him stop though. He proceeded to tell me ALL his problems but luckily he was called into the examining room shortly after. That loosened up the tension in the waiting room and people began to chat, which was very nice. A little too much information from that guy maybe, but nonetheless, it was better than sitting in that uncomfortable silence.

The veterinarian's office is a place where you would think people would be the friendliest. We all have a love for pets. Although I'm beginning to think some of these people would prefer not to have their pets at all...or shouldn't have them. But it's a built-in conversation piece; a common bond. As soon as I walk into the vets office, if a dog comes up to me, I pet it and practically drool all over it cause I love dogs so much. But some of these people are so rude. They pull their dogs away, even though I've made it perfectly clear that it's fine if they come up to me, yet they give ME a dirty look. I'm sorry...was I humping your dog and didn't realize it? Don't give ME the look. I'm the one being friendly back. Why wouldn't you love another dog lover? Well, maybe 'love' is too strong, but at least be cordial. I just don't get it. While I'm waiting I will try to stir up conversation asking questions about their dog but get one word answers. So I don't continue because I don't want to be annoying, (although if you ask my kids, I'm like the most annoying person on the planet...and proud of it!)

Maybe I'm just a chatty, friendly, annoying person. Or maybe too many people aren't. People walk around like they have blinders on. I don't understand it. Don't get me wrong...there are a ton of wonderfully, nice, welcoming people in this world. Strangers who do acknowledge your existence, just in passing. Strangers who do have conversations with you even though they've never seen you before. Strangers who just want to say...let's be strangers together...just for this moment in time.
Aren't there?