Jan 29, 2011

My New Favorite Weather Woman in the ATL!

I need people like this lady in my life 24/7.  She is one of the funniest people I've come across in a long time and that's high praise indeed if you know me.

Jan 17, 2011

A Smurf Smurfing a Dream

A Smurf Smurfing a Dream, originally uploaded by NJ Toy Geek.

Is it wrong that sleeping is one of the favorite parts of my day?
I'm fortunate that I get to sleep like every single day.

Some of my fondest teen memories were coming home after school and napping in my parent's water bed. The mattress was heated and there were so many baffles built into the liner that it felt like I was floating on air.

I remember they also had this really expensive velvet patchwork quilt that they had bought when they got the water bed. I think at the time that patchwork quilt cost them about $200. It doesn't really seem that expensive now, but when you consider this was the early 80's it really was quite a luxury.

Another fond memory I had was sometimes at night I would crawl into bed with my mom to keep her company when my dad was away on a trip. ( I'd sleep on my dad's side of the bed which somehow made me miss him less and helped my mom get a better night's sleep because she wasn't in the bed all by herself.)

Often my mom would leave the radio on during the night to help her get to sleep. To this day, I can never hear that Led Zeppelin song 'Stairway to Heaven' and not think about that one night I laid next to her for what seemed like a solid 30 minutes while that song just went on and on and on.

In taking this little trip down memory lane, I am left wondering where I would go to buy a water bed? Do they even make them anymore?

Jan 12, 2011

Snowtorious B.I.G.

Mother Nature gave me my birthday gift early this year - SNOW!  In fact, she really went all out with my present 'cause she wrapped up the snow in all this beautiful wind that deceptively makes the snow seem all soft and fluffy when clearly it's not.

Luckily for us, a blessed teen showed up on our doorstep this afternoon looking to shovel out the walk and the driveway.  Now that's the kind of present I'm talking about and it doesn't even phase me one bit that I had to pay for it.  I powered him up with glass bottles of Coke and thanked him profusely in flipping great wads of my cash.

The view out our window this afternoon was pretty non-existent until I saw this dad pulling his toddler behind him in this really cute sled.  The little boy was bundled up in overprotective layers-so much so that I could only see his eyes-and all the padding this little kid was wearing made it seem like if the wind picked him up, well, he'd bounce all the way home.  It would have been a Hallmark moment, but then the dad reached into his pocket for his smokes and proceeded to light up before gathering up the sled's rope and moving on.  I just don't see how you can smoke in a blizzard, but that's just my non-smoker judgmental opinion rearing it's ugly head.

Eventually the snow stopped falling and we decided to take Minnie out for a walk through the neighborhood to see if we could be witness to any fallen power lines, abandoned vehicles or general mayhem taking place around us.  It was pretty uneventful.  But the wind was whipping so badly that we couldn't see anything so we relied on our Beagle Minnie to tug on her leash and lead us safely home. Seriously, she could be a sled dog if it wasn't for her ample midsection.

I'd like to give a special shout-out to DIRECTV for withstanding the inclement weather conditions which allowed me to watch that new Oprah show 'Master Class' so I could learn a little bit more about the great Jay-Z and to the makers of Kellogg's for yet another delicious bowl of Fruit Loops with Marshmallows enjoyed while watching Hova on Oprah's new network. I couldn't have gotten through this pre-Birthday without both of you.

And now, last but not least, Mother Nature for giving me a gift that will keep on giving all season long. (I hope she kept the receipt!)

Jan 9, 2011

Happy 30th Anniversary Duran Duran

Has it really been 30 years? Above is their latest video for their song 'All You Need Is Now' and might I just say how much I still love this band?  I started loving them all the way back in 1982 so I've been a forever fan for 29 years.

Happy Anniversary Duran Duran.  I still love you as much as I did when I was twelve years old.

Jan 8, 2011

Hedgehog - Possibly the Cutest Hog Ever.

A Laugh Is A Smile That Bursts

Jan 6, 2011

Utterly Horrifying - Toddlers & Tiaras

I finally got around to seeing this show and indeed it is the most disturbing thing airing on television.  I know that's a pretty confident statement coming from someone who has never watched an episode of Jersey Shore, but I was horrified last night watching this beauty pageant show.

When I saw this poor little girl dressed up to look like Madonna while her mother had her dancing to 80's themed music, the very awkward feeling that washed over me can only be likened to that uncomfortable feeling of watching a movie with my parents when someone was having sex on the screen.  Awkward.

These poor little girls.  They're made-up to look like adult women and strut their non-existent 'stuff' in front of audiences that must be littered with pedophiles. (Remember that scene in Little Miss Sunshine with the creepy guys?) How can mothers do this to their children?

What is to become of their childhood?  Isn't it enough that they'll have to deal with their self-perceived shortcomings the rest of their adult lives as they compare themselves to airbrushed stick insect models?  Will they know that their personal worth isn't defined by the size of their latest Coach bag?

These pageant moms need to stop dressing their daughters up like Bratz dolls and start teaching them that beauty comes in many forms and certainly not always on the outside.

Jan 4, 2011

Muppets do MONSTER by Kanye West

The Kindle vs. A Guilty Pleasure

I have lots and lots of guilty pleasures.  For the most part, I tuck my guilty pleasures away because they really are meant just for me and no one else. That's what makes them a guilty pleasure.

One of Kim's Guilty Pleasures
Let's take the movie Grease 2 as an example:

I would be simply mortified if anyone knew that I cry my eyes out everytime I see the scene towards the end of movie were Michael (aka Cool Rider) is presumed dead after he's chased by the T-Birds through a construction zone.  Poor Stephanie--she'll never know that Michael really was the sexy and mysterious Cool Rider all along.  

Wait.  Scratch that.  What was I thinking?  It's Danny and Sandy. Definitely Danny and Sandy.

I got to thinking about guilty pleasures after a morning coffee conversation  with my coworkers Michelle and Marybeth.  I think we began discussing the Amazon Kindle because Michelle's husband ending up downloading a historical book for 50% less on their  Nook vs. the actual book for sale in Barnes & Noble.

Marybeth's Favorite Book!
Marybeth piped up saying how much she loves her Amazon Kindle and I mentioned that I had recently gotten the 3G Kindle as a gift from Spencer although the only thing I've really done with it so far was download free trashy supernatural romance novels and a Scrabble game.  I can't recall Marybeth's exact remark, but she told us how just a few days ago she got to reread one of her most favorite books Ribsy by Beverly Cleary while waiting for her car to be repaired at the dealership.

Now isn't that the cutest thing?  Here before me sat a professional, young married woman confessing her love for a children's book and making absolutely no apologies for reading it on her Kindle when most people would be reading the latest James Patterson book or that insanely popular Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo series.

I think the beauty of the Amazon Kindle or any e-reader, for that matter, is you can read whatever you want and you don't have to be concerned with people nosing in on what you're reading. I really hate that.  "Whatcha reading?" someone will ask. "Oh, I read that..."    You don't have to be like one of those women reading their Danielle Steel books wrapped up in a quilted book cover while waiting for their hair to dry under the heat lamp at the beauty salon.   If so desired, you could quite  easily download and read Mein Kamph by Hitler and then move on to Twilight by Stephanie Meyer without anyone ever knowing.

I respect all guilty pleasures.  They've got to be pretty special people, places or things that make you swim against the tide and carve out that little spot of happiness in your life that you can call all your own.  So I've got that cheesy Grease 2 movie that I bet Michelle Pfeiffer would love to remove from her IMDB profile and Marybeth has got her story about the dog who gets lost in a huge shopping mall parking lot.

So I ask you:  what's your guilty pleasure?  Tell me, it's OK, I swear I won't tell  a soul. It'll be just between us.

Jan 1, 2011

Farewell Pomegranates...It's been POM-Wonderful

I thought it would be appropriate to officially document the end of my Pomegranate season.  Boy, it's been one hell of a juicy ride.

I'm afraid to even consider how much money I've spent this year on my Pomegranate habit, but it has to be at least $200 bucks or more.  The average price I paid at the supermarket this year was $2.50/each or approx. $20 per visit just on this fruit alone.  My best deal was found just a few weeks ago up in North Conway, New Hampshire when we visited a Hannaford Supermarket during a minor snow storm paying a mere $1.99/each for soft-ball size Pomegranates. 

My co-worker Carrie sent me this infographic a while back from that awesome site GraphJam and I think I told her at the time that I was going to print this one out, nicely frame it and hang it in my kitchen.  (Note to self: DO THIS!)

I suspect my digestive system is in tip-top shape and really I've only ruined a couple dish towels and t-shirts with the juice splatters.  My thanks go out to all my friends and family who have supported my unnatural habit by purchasing me pomegranates or pomegranate-related merchandise since mid-October. 

I begin 2011 with ten stained, but well-worked fingers and many pleasant memories of seeds gone by.

Spogs...Who Knew????

Happy New Year to ME! I have, just moments ago, hit the proverbial jackpot and/or discovered my Holy Grail: I finally found those little liquorice-flavored jelly buttons that are part of the Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts.

My good friend and former co-worker Jillian has family in England. She visits them a couple times a year, but one of the best things about her trips is she gets to bring back Cadbury chocolate.

What you may not know about Jillian is she has a Celiac food allergy which prevents her from eating Gluten. Britain is much more progressive than the United States in labeling the ingredients on their food packaging so she's become quite the connoisseur on what she can and cannot eat. If you know Jillian then you know she can eat lots and lots of Cadbury chocolate, but only if it's made in the U.K. In fact, she buys so much Cadbury chocolate when she visits England that she's actually paid a penalty of $50 at the airport for having exceeded the baggage weight limit and once threw her back out lifting a piece of luggage out of a cab coming back from England.

Jillian first brought me back Liquorice Allsorts from England that tasted amazing because they were extra chewy and very fresh. (Ever snack on Good 'N Plenty's that have gone stale? If so, you'll understand why freshness is very important when it comes to eating liquorice.) Another time she brought me back a Cadbury Curly Wurly which is the British version of the now defunct Marathon Bar which was available in the United States in the late 70's.

One time she brought me back Walker's Nonsuch Licorice Toffee and I ate the whole bag in one sitting because I had never tasted something so infused with rich flavor and creamy texture. So these ended up being my two favorite treats that she always brought back for me when she visited her family in England.

Back in October I sent myself an email with links to a few online retailers that sold the toffee because I was loving it so much that I didn't want to have to wait until Jillian's next trip to England. (She had recently accepted a new job and I didn't think she would be traveling anytime soon which meant I was on my own to fend for my British sweets.)

As I've been on Christmas break this past week, I've had lots of time to catch up on emails wasting away in my in-box. It was only this morning that I decided to do a little web surfing for a state-side supplier of Walker's Liquorice Toffee after reading that reminder email I sent myself three months ago.

Scrolling through a list of Liquorice candy, I suddenly and quite unsuspectingly came across a listing for SPOGS on this site called Sweetstall.com. I nearly missed it. I was sweeping down their list of available liquorice and was almost to the very end of the page when I spotted the candy I've been looking for years. Instantly my mouth watered seeing those little blue and pink jelly buttons and yeah, you could say my heart skipped a beat. The description was as follows: Spogs, an aniseed flavored jelly sweet with a coating of tiny balls of aniseed flavored candy. Spogs can be confused with Jelly Buttons, but Spogs are a better quality. These sweets are the ones found in the Liquorice Allsorts mix.

Talk about an OMG moment! I instantly added several packages to my shopping cart and proceeded to check out, but there was a problem: I couldn't figure out how much the shipping was going to cost to send my goodies to the United States. Sadly the site didn't have a conversion applet from U.S. dollars to G.B.P (pounds) and I would have had to enter my credit card so I could find out the estimated shipping charges. This made me uneasy because of a past experience buying a Little Britain birthday card for Spencer which cost me an enormous amount of money to ship and I simply couldn't make that same mistake twice.

I began looking for an online retailer in the United States. I searched for quite a while and could only find one retailer that sold Spogs, but they were out of stock. But I couldn't give up and was determined to buy those Spogs.

In the end, I found several international sellers on EBAY. (I really should have checked there first and I'm not sure why I didn't because you can find practically anything on EBAY. That's what makes it such an amazing site.) I found a seller named Recycled Radios located in The United Kingdom who was selling three packages for 1.10 GBP which is approx. $1.72 each. All totaled, my purchase cost me $17.75 including shipping from the U.K.

Obviously the shipping was the most expensive part of the purchase, but this is my test run for SPOGS. If they are exactly as promised and taste as amazing as they do in the Allsorts collection then 2011 is already off to a great start.

Happy New Year everyone.