Apr 27, 2008

Mother Goose and Grimm Gets Me

Courtesy of Mother Goose and Grimm cartoon archives. Special thanks to Patty G.

One of Those Days

Did you ever have one of those days where you could do absolutely anything and you end up doing nothing? Yesterday was one of those days. Spencer was working and I had the whole day to myself and I ended up doing nothing.

The day started off with potential. I plunked my fanny down on the couch and watched the last episode of LOST. I drank two full mugs of coffee hoping the caffeine would stimulate me to get my day started, but instead all it did was cement me deeper into the couch to watch Friday's episode of Battlestar Galactica. Then I watched two episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force...are you starting to see a slacker pattern developing?

My hopes for the day were to work on the computer and then maybe (just maybe) take down the Valentine's Day decorations because the last time I looked the calendar was dangerously approaching May 1st. Instead I retired back to the still unmade bed and did some reading which tired me out so much that I took a nap. I woke up a little while later and moved back into the living room to aimlessly surf the channels landing upon an interesting show on The History Channel about the 1000 plus miles of tunnels under Washington DC's sewage system. (What is it about poop that fascinates me so?)

Eventually I became bored and went back to bed for another snooze. By this point I was loathing myself because the day was quickly getting away from me. Spencer and I had tickets to see harpist Deborah Henson Conant perform at The Center for Arts in Natick, MA and I just wasn't in the mood to leave the house to go find this place for the 8pm show.

Doing nothing all day really does amount to something if you're not careful. What it amounts to is guilt over wasting a perfectly good day (and half the blessed weekend) feeling sorry for yourself because you don't want to do anything except sit and stare.

Around 3:30 I started to get motivated. I cleaned up the kitchen table and hung up jackets that were strewn across chairs. I put sneakers away in the closet and loaded up the dishwasher. I folded my Linus blanket on the couch and made the bed. By the time Spencer got home, the house was tidy and I was making him some Ooodles of Noodles soup.

Unfortunately this better late-than-never burst of activity couldn't shake a bad mood and I had to admit to him that the day didn't go so good. But I rallied and we eventually found our way to Natick for the 8pm concert.

The performance was amazing and I was glad that I finally managed to climb out of my self-imposed fog. Having to be somewhere without the possibility of dodging it is a good motivator. I've heard that if you're in a bad mood you're supposed to plaster a smile to your face and eventually you'll feel happy.

I think Saturday was too overwhelming for me. I had so many things that I wanted to achieve that I ended up doing nothing. It makes perfect sense. Inactivity = Inactivity. Laziness begets Laziness.

The beauty is that there's always tomorrow. I plan on doing some good things today like going out to lunch, doing some grocery shopping, returning a pair of pants to Steinmart and finally taking another nap. The only difference is this time the nap will be well deserved.

Forget the Price of Stamps...

For a mere $695.00 you can buy a GPS Mail Logger that will track the whereabouts of a letter.

The tracker is a fourth of an inch thin that can be placed inside of an envelope and sent through the US Post Office. It's purpose is to track the exact location, speed and altitude of your letter.

I'm not quite clear on what would be so important that you'd spend $700 bucks to know where it is at all times. It brings to mind that an evil genius who wanted to send me a letter bomb would know the precise instance that I blew myself up opening his envelope. This device also brings new meaning to certified mail. Dare I say you'd have to be certifiably insane to spend this much money when you could buy a sturdy laptop or 2 gaming systems for the price of one GPS Mail Logger?

Regardless, just don't forget to weigh your envelope and add the extra postage if you're going to use a GPS Mail Logger. It wouldn't be so fun if the letter was returned to sender.

Apr 16, 2008

I'm All for Cartoon Violence

This is how I get sucked into video games. Case in point: Great big bulging eyed chickens that are just so damned cute that they make me want to shoot them.
I tried playing Endless Ocean on the Wii tonight and I was bored silly. The fish weren't that interesting and I had no desire to hone up on my marine biologist skills.
I'm sticking with the chickens.

Good Stuff in the Middle

I love Starburst candy almost as much as I love Skittles.

You'd probably think it's because the outer wrapper is bright yellow which is my favorite color. But really it's because I love the process of eating Starbursts. I truly appreciate that each fruity flavor has its own color-matching wrapper. Every flavor gets equal representation. Since Strawberry (Red) is my favorite flavor, I play a little game with myself as soon as I tear open the package. I dump out all the individually-wrapped squares and separate them by flavor saving Strawberry for last. I guess I consciously do this because by the time I finish enjoying their chewy goodness-the red ones will be there as the final savory prize. Somehow it sounds really OCD telling you about it, but to my mind it's just a way of prolonging the pleasure of eating the candy.

You can only imagine my excitement when I discovered Starburst GummiBursts are coming to town! I first read about it on the very reliable CandyAddict blog which is my primary source of all things sweet and tasty. (This, of course, doesn't count those rare personal yet spastic moments of excitement when I find a new candy in a store that I haven't read about first online. )

I think GummiBursts are supposed to be like eating Gummy Bears if the bear's tummy was full of honey. No matter. I just can't wait to try them.

What's even more exciting is CandyBlog reports that GummiBursts are Gluten-Free. Too bad my friend Jillian who painfully suffers a Celiac food allergy won't be as excited about them being Gluten-Free because she's more of a chocoholic. Still... Celiac is Whack and I'm always on the look out for things she can eat. Good thing I don't know any Vegans because CandyBlog reports that the gelatin contained in the candy is of "...indeterminate origin." Dare I wonder if horse hooves were involved?

I'm really looking forward to finding these GummiBursts because I'll be able to buy two bags and display them proudly in my overflowing candy dish at work. I will take great pleasure at my visitor's surprise when they pop one of them in their mouth. "Ooo," they'll say. "That's different. I wasn't expecting that!" and then POW--I'll lay out another surprise: Hubba Bubba GLOP

I bought some for my co-worker Sue and the first thing she said was how much her daughter is going to love it. The packaging is a little odd and the shape of the gum is sort of egg-like. Once you bite into the outer hard candy shell your tongue is assaulted with a gel-like substance that you'd think would maintain its flavor while you chew the gum, but sadly does not. Still... new gum means new fun in my book.

Lately there's been a real resurgence of liquid-filled candy. Just a few months ago, I experienced the nostalgic treat of discovering Freshen Up gum for sale in a lonely gas station up in Vermont. I noticed they had Freshen Up in cinnamon so I instantly wiped out their entire inventory for the tidy price of fifty seven cents per package. Upon trying it, another co-worker of mine remarked that the gum had probably been sitting on their shelves for a few years because it tasted stale. Hmmm. Imagine the irony of Freshen Up gum not being so fresh?

Regardless, I'm always on the hunt for new and and limited-edition candy. Most of the time these new concoctions are tremendously satisfying and rarely disappoint. Be it the chase for the next new flavor or texture, it's really the promise of what comes next to satisfy the cravings of my sweet tooth. My love of candy is a self-imposed spiral of gluttony that only me and my dentist Dr. Scanlon can fully appreciate.

Freakin' Geek

Here at work we have a community bulletin board where folks can post things to sell or ask advice, etc.

This morning the following was posted for sale:

See photos. Hand made coffee mug with corset (?) design on one side and poorly drawn snowman (?) on the other. Best offer.

Moments later someone posted a response:

It's not a snowman...it's the chemical structure for caffeine!

So I looked up the person who posted the reply and determined he worked as a Design Compliance Engineer to which one of my sardonic co-workers replied, "Freakin' Geek!"

Apr 8, 2008

I'll Get Right To The Point

From Victoria Mason's site:

I used to try to save perfect pencil shavings. They looked so beautiful, especially if I'd sharpened a couple of different colours. But they'd never keep. I'd try to keep them whole for as long as I could but they never lasted for very long. Now I can make ones that do keep. And you can even wear them around your neck.

When I saw this pencil shaving necklace, I just about yelped. There is actually someone on this earth (besides me, of course) that actually appreciates a perfectly intact pencil shaving.

I was trying to remember when I started loving pencil shavings and I guess I'd have to travel all the way back to elementary school. Maybe it was first or second grade...but I distinctly remember that the only time I was allowed to leave my desk was if I needed to go sharpen my pencil.

You remember the kind I'm talking about, don't you? The mechanical pencil sharpener that was mounted on the wall and had a silver canister to contain the shavings and you had to really crank that sucker to get a fine point? God, I loved sharpening my pencils back then. It was the only time in grade school when it seemed like I was in control of doing something on my own without the permission of the teacher. I could just get up, walk to the back of the classroom and sharpen my pencil. As I cranked the handle, I could stare out the window to see if anything interesting was going on outside and I have to admit that the noise I made sharpening those pencils was secretly thrilling.

But then for some mysterious reason we stopped using the wall mounted pencil sharpener and everyone had to bring their own little plastic one as part of the Back-To-School supplies. I kept my red sharpener in a pencil pouch and managed not to lose it for the entire school year.

My mom didn't appreciate it when I used her eyeliner pencil sharpener on my Number 2 Ticondergoda graphite pencils. She didn't find it funny when I'd proudly show her the results of a little game I'd play with myself to see how many turns I could execute without breaking a pencil shaving. (It's not exactly a skill you'd list on your college application, but back then I had creative talent. I also suffered from being an only child so it was up to me to make my own fun whenever possible. ) I'd later torment my mother at the dinner table because I loved to peel the labels off of jars in one steady pull without ripping the label. It was all about the positioning of the glue and where I started the first pull...but I digress.

Confessing this now makes me feel like a complete freak, but knowing that only makes me love Victoria Mason's pencil shaving necklace all the more. She gets me.

It's the rest of the world I'm worried about.

Apr 6, 2008

What Are Words Worth?

Spencer passed along a website to me this morning called FreeRice. It was meant for my friend's dad Leo Coleman who is a ESL (English As A Second Language) teacher. I'm sure Spencer thought it would be a useful link for his ESL blog called Write-Write-Write.

The FreeRice site is pretty addicting. The premise is you're presented with a word and a handy button next to the word to hear it's pronunciation. You are given four choices of the word's meaning and if you get it right, the UN World Food Program donates 20 grains of rice on your behalf. (The site gives new meaning to the benefits of playing with your food, doesn't it?)

Under the Options section, you are presented with various choices of how to play this word game. You can determine your vocabulary level, be quizzed again on a word you get incorrect or reset your Total Rice Donation back to zero when you start the game again.

If you're in the mood for a little light distraction today, why not visit FreeRice.com and help feed the world.

No pressure or anything.

Apr 5, 2008

Don't Be A Piece of Shit!

This is hilarious. My favorite part is Jimmy and Richard shopping at the grocery store.

Thanks For Your Dough

It's not often that you're lucky enough to be around someone who inspires you to do good things in your life. I'm fortunate to work alongside Heather Andrews who leads by example as a fellow dog lover.

I met Heather nearly three years ago when I joined Bose Corporation and I'll always remember sitting down in the cafeteria in a "Get To Know You" meeting and listening to her explain her personal goal of becoming a dog trainer after watching Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer Show.

As time passed, I watched Heather lead by example. She took evening courses and volunteered at the Baypath Humane Society. (In fact, I even visited there myself a few times during lunch to walk some of the shelter dogs. I paled in comparison to Heather's skill at handling the dogs, but recognized that dogs were her absolute passion and I couldn't beat myself up because she was so good working with them.)

Heather ended up adopting her third dog Max from the shelter when he was just a puppy. (He's the Big Galoot sitting on the right of the picture above). I remember going there with her and Cindy to see him before the final adoption and thinking to myself that you had to be a special kind of person to handle the dog Max would later become. Aside from his cuteness and goofy personality, one could see that he'd become boisterous and perhaps a little too hard to handle in the hands of the wrong owner. To no one's surprise, Max became part of Heather's pack very quickly.

Heather has donated Bose products in raffles to support the shelter and even went out of her way to gather donations for the shelter such as food, toys and blankets from her co-workers. That means she had to lug bags of "stuff" from the fourth floor of our building all the way down to her truck whenever someone brought a donation. That's a lot of work for one small woman.

Heather even saved a beautiful neighborhood dog named Bruce whose owner didn't have the time to properly care for him. She walked the delicate path of intervening on behalf of Bruce with his current owner and eventually found a new home for him. I don't know many people who could genuinely do something so bold. Imagine finding a determined woman on your doorstep trying to talk you into giving up your dog so he could have a more fulfilled life!

My purpose in telling you these little tidbits about Heather is that I'd love to hit you up for some dough. Won't you consider making a donation to help sponsor Heather in Baypath's 8 Annual Dog Walk at Hopkinton State Park on June 1st? Your generous donation will be put towards a no-kill shelter's operating and animal care costs.

Visit here to make your donation.