Monday, November 29, 2010

Mario Karts of Fire

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and my verdict is that it was "oh ja, pretty good then."  (I have to honor my heritage every now and then, dontcha know.)  My actual Turkey Day was very quiet as it was just me and my parents this year.  The downside was that I didn't get to see extended family, but the upside was that I didn't have to shower or get dressed.  And I didn't have to share the leftovers. 

I had to work on Black Friday, which was A-OK with me as I am not a fan of crowds of rabid consumers in search of what they have been told is a "great deal."  On Saturday, I went out to the farm with my parents to visit my aunt, uncle, cousins and of course my grandfather, the infamous "Mayor of Northfork."  It was an informal day, full of excellent snacky foods, beverages and entertainment. 

The highlight for me had to be the Wii tournament held between me and my 10-year old cousin.  I am by no means a professional or proficient video gamer, and I am also 20 years older than my cousin, so I think he may have taken me for an easy mark.  Our first game was Super Mario Wii, a game that I have only played once before.  Obviously, I was horrible, and I think he found it pretty entertaining.

Then we moved on to MarioKart.  Unbeknownst to my cousin, but beknownst to me, I am actually decent at this game.  This is partially due to my brief training in Diddy Kong Racing for N64 that I received in college, courtesy of some of my male friends.  The other reason is that I own this game for Wii and have been playing it a bit more often than usual as of late.  It is a great stress reliever, and I've needed that with my classes this semester.

After my dismal performance at the regular Mario game, I believe my cousin was expecting to again be able to shame and humiliate me in this new game milieu, but was shocked to discover that this was not to be.  I actually beat him on several occasions and I know that this was not due to him being nice to me as he had not been nice to me while playing the other game.  It didn't take long for him to lose interest in the game once he realized that he was not going to dominate this 30 year-old female video game rube.  Score one for me.

I wish that I had more exciting news to share, but for now you'll just have to settle for this brief tale of my underdog Wii performance.  I hope it inspires you to stay fresh.  Or to drive safely - just watch out for those banana peels!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Running on ice

If I am to remember this day for any reason, it will be for the fact it was the first day of the winter season that my commute has been made treacherous and lengthy because of frozen water.  On second thought, I really shouldn't blame the water.  It is the people driving their cars over, around and into it that causes the problem.  It is days like this that make me really wish that I could utilize that shiny commuter train that runs past my house to get to work.  Someday.

So it is November 22 and we have snow in Minnesota.  Big deal, right?  In fact, we actually hardly have any snow to speak of as of yet.  Unfortunately, what we do have is a far more dangerous form of precipitation:  freezing rain.  Freezing rain is annoying enough in and of itself as it causes my window defrosters to work overtime to avoid the inevitable layers of ice that will otherwise accumulate on my windshield and obstruct my vision.  The sneakier (and yet theoretically more obvious) outcome of freezing rain is the effect it has on the roads.

I have driven in enough Minnesota winters to know never to trust a road, especially when we've had any kind of precipitation.  While we certainly can be generous with our salt, sand and plowing, it is sometimes impossible to tell if these treatments have yet to reach the road I am about to take on my journey.  Woe to the moron who assumes that the road is clear because they cannot SEE anything on it.  Today was a perfect case in point.

My total drive to work is really only about 15 miles.  In very good weather with very light traffic, I can make it to work in about 20 minutes.  If I take back roads in the same conditions, it takes 30 minutes.  Traffic congestion is difficult to predict - it is a fickle mistress.  For instance, it could be the middle of summer with bright sunshine beaming down and no road construction in sight, and there could be backed up traffic all the way up to my freeway entrance (which is not exactly IN the city).

The simple answer is that people can be really dumb.  Especially when they forget that it is more important to arrive to your destination alive and hopefully in tact as opposed to speeding and cutting people off so that you could potentially arrive at work a few seconds earlier... or not at all.

For the most part, people in Minnesota do what they are supposed to do and exercise due caution.  Unfortunately, there is always the hotshot idiot that thinks that they are above the laws of common sense.

Example #1:  The Overconfident Driver

This driver usually is in some sort of larger vehicle.  Sometimes it is a pickup truck or a van, but more likely than not it is an SUV.  Due to it's large size and potential all-wheel drive capabilities, the driver assumes that they are built to withstand all road conditions that the world can throw at them.  You know, they're tough.  Of course, they also feel quite safe because they assume that all the metal and other materials that are in their behemoth of a car will shield them from any harmful impact.

While this driver may have a tendency to drive too fast or too close to other cars, their most dangerous trait is that they drive over surfaces or substances that would likely not give traction even to a tank and expect that they will A) be able to stop in an instant, B) be able to start once they have stopped, and C) will remain upright.  Sadly, this does not always work out as planned.  I guess the upside to the large vehicle is that you'll have plenty of room to spread out while you wait for the tow truck.

Example #2:  The Jackass Driver

Oddly enough, this driver is usually in a smaller compact car.  These are the people who weave in and out of lanes during rush hour in normal conditions, cutting off others and riding the backside of any car that they deem too slow.  For some reason, this driver sees no reason to modify their behavior in inclement weather.

Honestly, I really doubt that this driver has anywhere pressing to be and I'm pretty sure they're not running late.  I think that they just honestly cannot stand to wait in line and move with traffic.  They see their careless disregard for the safety of themselves and others as a way to assert themselves and rebel against society.  I have a very hard feeling sorry for these people as I watch them skid off into the ditch.

Example #3:  The Inexperienced/Frightened/Liability Driver

I will not discriminate against any age group or gender in this category.  Let me also say that I am not against exercising caution in scary road conditions.  Where this driver gets into trouble is that they have no idea how to operate their car on snow or ice, so they opt to drive 5 mph no matter where they are or how the rest of traffic is moving.  From my experience, this becomes the biggest problem when dealing with stop lights.  It is quite difficult to gauge whether or not I will be able to make it through a light when I'm basically moving at walking speed.  These are the people who really should just have stayed at home with a mug of hot cocoa and a movie.

So I know this wasn't a very exhaustive list, but my eyes are starting to itch and I think that is a clear sign that sleep needs to be in my future.  One last thing - I did create my Christmas list today for my family.  It's not big, and I'm not sure if it's reasonable, but I did discover that the new iPod Nano is pretty sweet.  At least it looks cool on the Apple website.  My iPod has been possessed by battery devouring demons which renders it only useful when plugged into a power source.

Well, I really must go before my eyes explode in to burning balls of flame.  I hope you all have a lovely evening and remember to exercise caution when driving in winter.  And watch out for me.  I don't want to have to pay for any more car repairs for a long time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More than you probably wanted to know about my weekend

Good news!  I just came home from a weekend at my parents' house, and my toilet is working perfectly!  I knew that you were all on the edge of your seats about that one, so I thought I would put your minds at rest immediately.

So this weekend was a fairly productive one both in terms of sleep catch-up and homework accomplishments.  Although I do not have classes this week due to Thanksgiving, I did have a big deadline today for my library simulation project.  After hours spent slaving away on my parents' computer, all the while keeping my mom from her mission of posting pictures of her dogs in Christmas clothing to Facebook, I completed the draft version of my department's repair plan.  Fascinating, no?  I would have to say no to that as well.

After sticking around for a rousing episode of "Holmes on Homes," I took off on the potentially ice-laden streets to return to my modest abode.  There was a surprising lack of traffic, probably due to the fear-mongering news media that convinced everyone that the roads were pure glare ice.  Honestly, the beginning of the winter driving season is always a bit crazy, even here in MN.  It's like people just forget how to deal with snow and icy driving conditions.

Here is the key:  use caution.  Pay attention to traffic.  Do not ride the tail of the car in front of you.  Allow extra time for stopping.  Do not attempt to weave in and out of traffic at insane speeds.  Simple, right?  You would think so, but no.  Believe me, I have had my fair share of spin-outs and loss of traction, but I can honestly say that I was never going more than 10 mph when they happened.

So this week is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.  Normally, this is one of my favorite holidays as it involves good food, seeing family, and a day off of work.  This year, it will be a little different.  First of all, there will still be food and I still get the day off of work.  However, the only family I will be seeing are my parents and their dogs.  Not that I have a problem with this because it means I can spend the day in my pajamas if I wish and do not have to share the scalloped corn with my cousins.

Despite the fact that we are celebrating with a diminished crew this year, I have been given the responsibility of creating a "salad" for the meal.  It is likely that I will have to assist in other dishes, but this item is specifically mine.  I have pondered different options such as the always popular "finger-cookie fruit salad" or jello salad.  But some part of me is saying that I need to go for the gusto and bring something new to the table.  So, this week I will begin a quest for a new and exciting recipe to test out on my parents.  I will let you know how it goes.

Also on my list of responsibilities for this week is a drawing sequence for my brother, who happens to by my newest follower as well.  Apparently, his girlfriend's dog attempted to smother him for tricking her into giving up her spot on the bed.  This dog is part ninja and she is completely black in color, so I am anticipating a bit of a challenge for my artist's rendering, but I will experiment and come up with a solution.  I do have school work in the midst of all these extra curricular activities, so we'll just see how well I can balance it all.  At least my toilet is working properly, right?

Looking back on this entry, I realize that I really don't have a theme.  Crap.  Well, it is almost 11 p.m. and I really want to get to bed, so you'll just have to deal with it for now.  I really should get back to my old story-telling entries, but I imagine that those will pick up after December 16 when the burden of school work is finally off my back for a couple of months.  Until then, you'll just have to accept that my entries are going to be unfocused and incoherent.  He he.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Toilet Whisperer

Now for a brief update on my vermin situation!  It appears that steel wool is the magic answer to all of my mouse infestation issues.  I can only hope that my fragile sense of security will not be broken by finding several new mouse corpses in the next week. 

Of course, it is just the way of the universe that as soon as one aspect of my homeownership saga comes under control, another begins to veer off course.  This time around, it is my toilet.  Don't worry, I didn't do anything to it.  I think.  But last night when I flushed, my toilet gave forth an ungodly noise that literally shook my floors.  Thankfully, everything drained normally and I didn't have any backup.  It just sounded like a mouse armed with a jackhammer was trying to work his way out of the pipes.

In order to remedy this problem, I had to put on my thinking cap.  The first and most obvious choice would be to summon a plumber.  But this is for wimps.  Actually I am more afraid that the plumber would come in, look at the toilet, find nothing wrong and I would be stuck paying for nothing.  To avoid this scenario, I decided to take a step back and assess the full situation.

First of all, I had not flushed this particular toilet in more than 24 hours as I had stayed at my parents' house the night before.  Also, the outside temperature has started to rapidly drop as it is late November in Minnesota.  Now, I have lived in my house for over six years, and in those six years, the temperatures have certainly been lower than they have been of late.  When the house was first constructed, there was an issue with freezing pipes that were fixed through the construction company adding insulation through my garage.  But again, six years with colder temperatures and nary a growl from my toilet.  Whatever.

As I stood there pondering my options, I started to realize that my feet felt a bit cold.  Now, if you know me well, you know that it takes quite a bit to make me admit to feeling cold.  My coworkers can definitely attest that I prefer cold to heat in most situations.  (Heat makes me crabby.  Of course, what doesn't, right?) 

The fact that I noticed the cold rang a bell of significance in my head and I went down to check the thermostat.  I had thought that I had set it to 65 or 66 degrees, but it was in fact at 63 when I checked.  I am well aware that 63 degrees is well above freezing, but keep in mind that my bathroom sits above my garage and my garage is never really at the same temperature as my house. 

I surmised that this could perhaps be a contributing factor to the cacophony in my pipes, so I caved in and moved the thermostat up to a balmy 66.  Eek.  Slowly but surely, the heat in my house increased to the point that my outer limbic regions were not numb.  At this point, I was nearly dead on my feet tired, so I went to bed.

This morning, I groggily approached the bathroom and cautiously attempted to flush the toilet.  On some level, I think I was prepared for disaster, but it wasn't to be that bad.  True, there was some slight gargling, but not at the level of the previous night.  Just to be sure, I flushed again, and sure enough, on the second try there was no vocal accompaniment at all. 

So now I have to wonder, is the problem fixed?  Did I really fix it with my own common sense and ingenuity?  Or is it just lying in wait to explode all over my house in a triumphant, "I told you so" moment at the least convenient time possible?  We'll just have to see! 

That's all I have to say about that.  Maybe someday I will tell you about my epic battle with the garbage disposal (I have yet to declare victory).  My iPod has been giving me crap lately, and I'm afraid that it is not much longer for the world either.  On the other hand, my mom has been asking me about my Christmas requests lately, so maybe I can work something out there.  Or maybe she will just let me have one of her FOUR iPods to use as a substitute.  True story.

By way of an update on my previous HP themed entry, I have yet to get the review on last night's midnight showing.  I did get a call from the theater about two hours before showtime, but I wasn't keen to speak to anyone at 3 a.m., so I will just have to wait.  I hope it was awesome!!!

On another exciting note, I have one week off of classes for Thanksgiving!!!  Yee-haw! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do you feel the magic?

Now that my wallet-finding euphoria has worn off, I have found myself quite busy so far this week.  I completed my writing assignment for one class, but I am already having to think about the subject of my final major writing assignment for the same class.  Meanwhile, I continue to face the daunting task of working at a real job while keeping up as a manager in my fake/simulation job.  The fake one is proving to be a lot more work and stress.  Go figure.

In the midst of all this paper-writing job-delegating fracas, something magical is about to happen.  Can you guess?  Hint:  the word "magical" was specifically chosen as an adjective.  Got it yet?  Hm.  Maybe this will help - da dum de da dum de daaa dum, da da de da de dum....  (Sing this part.)

No luck?  I guess I can tell you.  The first half of the final Harry Potter segment comes out this week.  You are probably assuming by now that I am a big fan of Harry Potter.  This is true.  However, I should probably make a careful distinction.  While I wholeheartedly love the BOOKS, I am not always as enthusiastic about the movies.  My father, on the other hand, has clearly chosen the movie adaptations as his favorite (and only) source of HP magic.

I should probably also clarify that I am not a die-hard fan.  This sort of lifestyle is best left to the experts, like my friend Mary.  Little Mary will be standing outside the theater on Thursday night to watch the midnight release showing of part one of "The Deathly Hallows."  Just in case the excitement overwhelms her, she will be taking the day off on Friday to recover, so I will sadly have to wait for her recap until Monday.  To illustrate Mary's die-hardedness, I will tell you that her current phone ringtone is the theme song to HP.  Lest you think that she pursues this lifestyle alone, I will also tell you that her boyfriend is a big time HP fan himself.  They recently purchased a HP 2011 calendar to keep track of their mutual engagements.  Is that true love or what?

So the real question you're asking now is probably whether or not I intend to see the movie.  Honestly, I do not know yet.  Although I have read all of the books (several times), I have yet to see the fifth and sixth movie installments.  I don't know why - they've always done a decent job with special effects and the acting is actually OK.  I guess I'm one of those weird people who get a little skittish about destroying their personal mental images that were created upon initial reading of the story.  Once I've seen the movie version, I have a visual that may not match with my own version, and this can be a bit traumatic. 

Yes, I am 30, and yes, I should be able to get over it.  But still. 

Anyway, in honor of this big moment for HP lovers everywhere, I will share a picture that I drew for Mary a few weeks ago.  It was in response to an article I read that blamed the HP series for glamorizing the use of owls as pets in India.  Apparently there has been a rise in black-market sales of owls and in their use in black magic ceremonies.  Personally, I think owls are pretty cool, but I realize that fictional owls or even the trained ones used in the movie would not persuade me to keep one as a pet.  They are much better left to their mysterious ways in their natural habitats. 

Sorry for the sidetrack.  However, when you see the drawing and see the writing on Harry's scarf, this should help explain my artistic choice a little better. 

I know he doesn't say SHAZ-ZAM, but I like to say it, and I'm the artist.  So deal with it.


There is going to be a costume contest at the movie theater where Mary and her BF are going to see the show tonight.  The prize is $500.  This is what we are hoping to do:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

All hail the fortune cookie!

First of all, I should tell you that I feel very guilty about blogging right now.  It is Sunday night and I've been out of town for the weekend, so I SHOULD be jumping into my piles of waiting homework.  Not yet!  I have a more important story to share with you!

For those of you who are not my parents, you may not be aware that I have a tendency to be a little absent minded when trying to remember where I leave my possessions.  Typically I am able to successfully retrace my steps and find missing objects before anyone is aware they are gone, thus saving myself a great deal of embarrassment.

However, every so often an object goes missing that simply stumps me.  Case in point:  my retainer.  I had braces in my adolescent years, until age 15.  After the removal of my braces, I was fitted for and given a retainer for my upper teeth.  I diligently wore this retainer to bed throughout high school.  I even brought it with me to college.

If my memory serves me right, my retainer officially went missing when my family went to stay with my aunt and uncle in Minneapolis for Christmas during my freshman year of college.  I maintain that it somehow fell out of a bag and into the street by their house.  Others may beg to differ.  All that I can say for sure is that I packed it and it never showed up at their house.  Sadly, it has yet to resurface, so I fear that my theory may have been correct.

Now for my latest saga.  To set the scene, I should explain a couple of things first.  Although I pay most of my bills electronically nowadays, I still do maintain a checkbook for the odd chance that I need to write a check to someone personally or send money for a gift of some kind.  Unfortunately, my checkbook does not fit in my normal wallet.

My solution to this problem is to keep my checkbook in my older, larger wallet.  For a long time, I carried BOTH wallets in my purse at all times.  This proved to be a pointless and weighty ordeal, and I later decided only to bring the big wallet with me when I KNEW that I was going to be writing a check. Perhaps this is faulty logic, but whatever.

Sometime in mid-September, an instance of this nature occurred.  I had ordered something (makeup, I think) and needed to pay someone by mail.  I brought my big wallet with me to work so that I would remember to write out the check and drop the check in the mail while I was in town.  This all went off without a hitch.

About a week or two after this day, I had my car accident.  Suddenly, I was forced to pack up my car and drive around in a rental for 16 days.  For most people "packing up the car" would be pretty simple; take the garage door opener, CD's, sunglasses, etc.  For me, not so much.  I tend to carry a lot of "crap" in my car with me.  By "crap" I mean my duffel bag of gym clothes, my umbrella, a lunch bag, snow boots, a rain coat, coffee mugs, folding chairs, another pair of snow boots and an indeterminate number of reusable shopping bags.  So...

In my frenzy to transfer my worldly belongings from one car to the next, I did not pay much heed as to what was actually in some of my bags.  It wasn't until about one week into my rental car usage that I started to think about getting my checkbook so that I could pay my insurance deductible if and when my car was ever fixed.

This is when my slight panic started.  I could not find my checkbook wallet ANYWHERE.  I searched my bedroom, my loft/office, my work office, my bedroom at my parents' house, but it did not show up.  I started to wonder if I had somehow left it in my car, so I bit back my fear and told no one, but I did closely monitor my checking account to make sure no checks cleared.  There was no activity, so I felt a cautious sense of calm that the wallet was likely somewhere in my possession.

When I finally regained possession of my car, I searched every square inch.  I even got up in the middle of the night to instigate a second and third search.  Nothing.  I even searched my guest bedroom on the hunch that it would turn up there due to the fact that my smoke detector fiasco had also been solved by a random trip to my guest room.  I finally gave up, assuming that it would probably turn up someday when I was packing up to move out of my house.

I was resigned to my own absent-mindedness, when I received a sudden piece of inspiration.  A couple of weeks ago, I had Chinese food for lunch.  As is the custom with Chinese food, I was given a fortune cookie.  For some reason, I decided not to have my fortune cookie that day.  Later in the next week, I was having a craving for sweets and decided to break out the fortune cookie.

In my experience, my fortune cookie fortunes are rarely of any use.  They are usually more or less observations about life rather than specific predictions of the future.  However, this time around, it was better.  My fortune read, "Your lost item will be found within the month."  My instant assumption was that this item would be my wallet and checkbook.  At this point, I broke my cone of silence and told my coworker about my search, and then showed her my fortune.  I'm sure she was skeptical, but I was sure that this meant good things were in my future.

I have since kept that fortune on the keyboard of my computer at work to remind me not to worry, my wallet will be found soon.

Now is where it all comes together.  Tonight, I arrived at home carrying a ton of dirty laundry and more than a little stress over the assignments of the coming weeks.  After dropping off my duffel bag of clothes, I decided to take a look for the wallet, just for fun.

After a brief search of my office, I decided to take one more attempt in the guest room, although I had no recollection of bringing my wallet in there at any time.  Can you guess what happened next?  No?

Well, in my guest room, there is a bed and a dresser.  I had actually gone through the dresser on a previous occasion in searching for my wallet and turned up empty handed.  This time, I took a step back and actually looked at the items sitting on TOP of the dresser.  Everything seemed the same as usual, but I then realized that my miniature Harley-Davidson motorcycle (a gift from my grandfather) was actually sitting on top of something.  When I looked closer, I knew I had hit the jackpot.  My wallet was there, under the mini-motorcycle box.

So what have I learned?  1 - Never give up looking for your "lost" items.  2 - Always trust your fortune cookies.  3 - My guest room always holds the solution to the problems that keep me up at night.

OK, enough of that.  Back to work!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So I started out with a purpose...

As predicted, I have now entered the time of the semester when all my waking thoughts start to center around my assignments and the gnawing suspicion that I will not be able to complete them all successfully by the pending due dates.  I keep thinking to myself that if I can just get through this ONE more assignment, I can relax and focus on the rest, but obviously that is totally misguided and insane. 

The light at the end of the tunnel for me is the propect of over a month of break from classes and homework.  Never mind that I will be working full time throughout the entire period!  Who knows what I will do with all my free time? 

Last year, in a fit of frenzy, I decided to become a master baker and work my way through the Betty Crocker Cooky Book.  Oh, and I decided to blog about it.  I made it through maybe 4 or 5 different cookies before classes resumed and I lost the will to bake.  The fact that many of the cookie varieties were odd and somewhat disgusting may have also played a part, or maybe I just got tired of buying shortening.  I can safely say that I have not baked anything since that time. 

I'm sure everyone is excited to find out what free time filler I will take on this year, but I have a sneaky suspicion it may just be my old standby, knitting scarves.  Lest you think I sound like a really crafty gal, I should inform you that scarves are the ONLY thing I know how to make.  I've often dreamed of sharpening my skills and going for hats or even socks and mittens, but alas, my initiative has been lacking. 

Then again, there is always the possibility that I will take up winter sports.  As a person of Scandinavian descent, one might imagine that I would have a proclivity to activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  Again I say alas, my lack of coordination has made this plan a bit difficult.  Snowshoeing works best, but cross-country skiing is a tear-laced tantrum-inducing fiasco.  My aunt and uncle have a chalet-style cabin up in northern Wisconsin that is located on some really nice ski trails, so maybe that is in my future.  (Stop laughing, Mom.)

Does this entry have a point?  Maybe not.  Oh wait, here it is: for the next month, I am going to be busy. Not too busy to blog at all, I am sure, but perhaps to busy to be clever or funny about it.  But you never, know, my best ideas come when I'm procrastinating, so this could really be the Golden Age of blogging for me.  We'll just have to wait and see!

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to Dress Your Baby

I would like to take this opportunity to first comment on a very noticeable and yet vaguely alarming trend in baby fashion.  That's right, you heard me correctly.  I said BABY fashion.  You may be thinking, "what does she know, she doesn't have a baby!"  This is true.  It is likely to remain true for quite a while, which means that by the time I am able to accessorize my own infant, fashion trends will likely have changed.

Unlike me, many of my friends have opted to get married and start families.  With the spread of Facebook, it has become increasingly easy to spy on people and look at how the cool babies are dressing these days.  While I am generally a fan of fun and cute baby/toddler/kid clothing and have been known to go overboard in places like BabyGap and Gymboree, I am always drawn to the soft, fluffier side of things.

In my observations, it seems that parents have long struggled with making the gender of their baby obvious to strangers they meet in public places like malls, restaurants, zoos or night clubs.  After all, there is only so much you can do with clothing, and when babies are bundled up in carriers under layers of blankets, their heads are sometimes the only thing visible.

To combat the potential gender confusion, parents have tried many different accessories, usually aimed at showing the femininity of the baby, unless the baby's older sister has interfered and put some of her dress-up clothes on her baby brother.  (I may speak from experience on this point.)  Back in the 80's and 90's the fashion item de rigeur was a little bow or flower that was glued to the baby's bald noggin.  I was always a little weirded out by the thought of putting adhesive on a baby's head.  This is likely due to the intense warnings I was always given about the fragility of baby's skulls and the dangerous "soft spot." 

It seems that modern society has also caught on to the potential issues involved with putting glue on a baby's skin and has opted for a more natural route.  I am referring, of course, to the elastic headband that is usually accompanied by a fake blossom or bow of varying size.  Some of these flowers/bows are of normal/actual size and don't look wholly incongruous on an infant's head.  For some reason, several of the designers and parents have opted for flowers/bows that are actually close to or bigger than the size of the child's head.

Here is an example of what I mean:

Alarming, no?
 In these cases, it is not so much the fact that the baby is wearing a headband or flower that disturbs me, it is the ratio of baby to accessory that seems a bit indecent.  It almost suggests to me that someone is trying to compensate for the fact that they feel their baby is not as cute as it should be and therefore needs an overwhelming amount of pretty/cute assistance to make people find it adorable.  While I certainly cannot say that all babies are created equal on the cuteness scale, I don't think that they need adornments such as this to increase their appeal. 

For me, baby outfits that are humorous or fit in with a theme are much more interesting.  I have therefore taken the liberty of designing some baby fashions of my own.  Feel free to utilize them if you want to work up a prototype, just remember, I expect to be credited both in name and in cash.

Design #1:  Guerilla Baby

I don't know what it is about camouflage that I find so darn cool, but I do.  I also think that baby headscarves are the next big trend.

Design #2:  Mommy's Little Shopping Buddy

It's pretty simple:  women love handbags and they also love babies.  Why not combine the two?  Think of the potential designer options!!!!

Design #3:  Day of Destruction

What is better than Godzilla?  A BABY dressed as Godzilla!!!  As an additional suggestion, if you have twins, dress the other child as Mothra and let them battle it out, baby-style.  It would be epic.

Design #4:  Super Stealth Mode


Who wouldn't want the protection of a tiny infant ninja-warrior?  I know I would!  For those who may have concerns about giving weapons to babies, please know that the nunchuks pictured here would be made of super-safe plush material that in no way could be a choking hazard. 

To conclude, let's all agree that having your own little living fashion plate to display to the world is an awesome responsibility.  Just consider it one of the many fringe benefits of being a parent.  Have some fun with it!  One day you will wake up and they will not only NOT let you pick out their clothes but they will reject any and all suggestions you make about their fashion choices as uncool.  Carpe diem!


I just had to keep going - the ideas are still coming!

Design #5:  Drink Up

I know wine always puts ME in a better mood!  Just to be clear, the wine glass in the bambino's hand is shatterproof plastic.  I would never endanger the lives of children - they are the future!

Design #6:  Perk Me Up

Yay!  I should warn you, this cup of coffee will NOT fit in your car's cupholders.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Let's Get it Started

Can you believe it?  It is already November 4 and I am just now writing my first entry!  Wow!  Here is the part where I wish I could tell you that the reasons for my absence are totally legit and that my time has been way more beneficially occupied.  Sadly, I am not both a liar and a procrastinator.  There is only room for ONE major flaw in this person.

So I am now (quickly) approaching the time of the semester that gets a bit "crunchy."  I have a discussion/presentation due in a week and I have another assignment due on the following week.  Meanwhile, the as yet undefined "game" assignment for my other class continues and I need to pick a topic for my big huge hairy final paper in management.  True to form, I am following my predetermined cycle of preparation.

1.  Acknowledgement. 
This occurs at the beginning of the semester when I first read my syllabus and later listen to my professor go over the same document.  I make a mental note of all major due dates and get a little freaked out about how much crap I need to get done in the next few months. 

2.  Planning.  Like a good little student, I take my syllabi and enter all assignments and due dates into my Google Calendar.  This way, I reason, I will be able to plan for the future.  I assume that I will use this information to start on projects way before they are due, thus relieving my last minute stress.

(P.S. Google - you're welcome for the free advertising!)

3.  Defer, defer, defer.  The semester starts, and it isn't so bad.  The big assignments are really a long way off, so I take more time to do other things, such as blog.  Or watch episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" on DVD. 

From my favorite episode, "The Nightman Cometh"

4.  Realization.  Once my first big due date arises, I earnestly attempt for about one hour to get some stuff done early.  After the hour has elapsed, I suddenly recall that my true motivation and skills don't work unless I'm reeling towards the last minute.  I give up, go play with puppies and watch HGTV. 

I do love me some Holmes on Homes...

5.  Completion.  In the last 48 hours before the due date, I rally my brain troops and finish up my work.  True, it may not be my best work ever, but my grades don't usually suffer for it.  Although this is not the last assignment I have due for the semester, my brain claims victory and will temporarily shut down from all academic thought.


Steps 3-5 repeat themselves throughout the semester until I am actually, finally DONE.  Typically I have about a month or so between semesters and I take this time to really let my brain atrophy.  It's pretty nice. 

Unfortunately, now that I am approaching the halfway mark in my grad school education, I must start to consider the looming change that everyone is expecting when I graduate; I will need to change careers.  The prospect of this is both thrilling and terrifying.  I have been at the same company (in various roles) for almost nine years which equals pretty much all of my 20's.  My reasons for staying have been a bit unrealistic at times, but the fact is, I like the people I work with and the company has been very good to me over the years.

However, given the fact that I am spending a great deal of (borrowed) money on training for an entirely different occupational field, I have to face the fact that my days at this job are limited.  How, limited, I do not know, but I've decided that now is as good a time as any to prepare my resume.  I am embarrassed to admit this, but I have not done a resume since I took this job nine years ago.  Thankfully, I have only been with one company in that time, so it should be fairly simple, right?  Aside from the fact that I've worked in at least three different departments with varying and broad duties all along.  This might get complicated.

So if you happen to think of me in the next few weeks (as I'm sure you will) and wonder about my dearth of entries, know that I will either be deep in the throes of steps 3-5 on my list or agonizing about how best to jazz up the fact that I gained a lot of important skills from my job in the past decade.