Friday, December 29, 2006

The Good German Shepherd

Happy New Year's Eve Eve. I've got nothing to do tonight but KNIT... that's right, folks. I've joined the ranks of chicks with sticks. My friend taught me to knit, and there's no turning back. If I could knit and type at the same time, I'd be in business. Alas, I cannot. So I've put my knitting down. For 30 seconds.

Anyway, I decided tonight was a good time to post one of those random-thoughts entries... lots of little crap about lots of little crap.

I saw The Good Shepherd on Wednesday night. How confusing, to have this movie come out at the same time as this one. Hopefully the German is better than the Shepherd, because although the story was good, the film itself dragged on and on in a convoluted mess of flashbacks and minutae that left me with one overwhelming message to Robert DeNiro: Don't quit your day job. Eastwood, you ain't.

While we're on the subject of movies, when I was in Florida I saw "Babel". Call me crazy, but contrary to the "critical acclaim" I've been hearing about, I thought it was just ok. (I will admit that I was also underwhelmed by "Crash", to which it has been compared. I don't like movies that are obviously manipulative. I like to be moved without being SHOVED, you know what I mean?) That's not to say that it didn't have it's memorable moments. The storyline with the Mexican nanny was intense and I've thought about it several times since seeing the film. Brad Pitt was nice to look at, but I left the theater thinking "So what?"

Speaking of Brad Pitt...have you seen the photos in the end of the year People Magazine showing what happens when you mix Pitt genes with Jolie genes? Oh my...the most beautiful baby evah.


January is going to be TV heaven for me, as The Sopranos will return for its alleged swan song (my prediction: Adriana is not dead. You heard it here first.), American Idol starts up again (am I the only one who HATES the audition nights? Oh sure, William Hung was entertaining, but that was about it. And is he now going by "Will Hung"? I've been curious), and Grey's Anatomy rises out of rerun hell. Edited to say that I just found out that The Sopranos isn't coming back until March. January brings it to A&E, which is kind of ridiculous since it will be censored beyond recognition.

Nip/Tuck's season was way too short, particularly because it was so damned good this year. How creepy was Jacqueline Bisset? The most chilling line in TV script history: "What's the going rate for children's kidneys? I've got two..."

I hope all of the Al Gore naysayers are aware that a big ice shelf just broke off in the Canadian Arctic. I'm as happy as the next clown that it's been almost 60 degrees in the NY area, but I'm also blowing up a few inner tubes to prepare for the impending tsunami. And my next vehicle will be a hybrid, no question about it.

I'm finished with my Invisalign treatment which took 6 months for the top and one year for the bottom, and it's a miracle. My teeth are 100% straight. Amazing what you can do with $6000 these days.

OK, that's it for now. I've got some knitting to do.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Best Christmas Commercial Since Last Year

BMW had to edit out the Nintendo 64 and turn it into some generic "robot" (which kind of dilutes the effect, but clearly it was a licensing issue and BMW can't possibly afford the fees. LOL)

To read the actual story of the "N64 Kids", click here,

Somehow, I'm kicking myself for not having video versions of these two photos!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Kids are Gross!

Which is why they LOVE this book:

Written by my dear friend Joy Masoff, it's a hilarious sequel to her wildly popular

"Oh Yuck!", the Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty.

If you're still wondering what to get those 6-99 year olds on your list, I've solved your problem. (And if you buy Oh Yikes! be sure to read the "thank-you"s... ;)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jobs You Can Have

I love the fact that the Discovery Channel has a show called "Dirty Jobs". One of my favorite pasttimes over the years as been to identify certain professions as "Jobs You Can Have" (in other words, I ain't doing it).

My choices have usually been things like "Yankee Stadium Dugout Cleaner", "Whitestone Bridge Toll Collector in the Dead of Winter", "Proctologist", "Back of Taxi Cab Mop-Up", etc.

Discovery has their hunky host, Mike Rowe, doing one of my favorites: Road Kill Collector, as well as pig insemination and sewer scrubbing. I'm still waiting to see him take on the dugout. Now THAT is a dirty job!

You can buy a DVD of Mike's adventures here or catch him on the Discovery Channel.

Also... stay tuned here for some upcoming contests and promotions related to both Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel...two big favorites in our house.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"Special" People

Are you one of the Special People? If so, maybe you can give me a peek into the workings of your ego...a little insight into what makes you tick.

Who are the Special People?

- The people who get to park at the curb, illegally, outside our local bagel & coffee place, so they can walk two steps to the entrance instead of the rest of us, the Unspecials, who have to park in the parking lot and take the, oh, 30 steps to the entrance. The Special People's car usually blocks traffic in one direction or another, but that's ok! The Special People need to stay warm and dry.

- The people who drive in the breakdown lane on the highway. Sit in traffic? Not they! I've nearly "met" a few of these Special People as I was exiting the road, because silly me didn't think that someone was barreling up a lane that's not really a lane!

- The people who also don't have the time nor the energy to exit the highway with the rest of the Unspecials. So, while the rest of us might be slowly making our way to the exit ramp, the Special People zip up the middle lane and squeeze their way into the front of the line. I'm sure they would say "pretty please" if they thought anyone could hear them.

- Special People on Foot do this same maneuver in NYC subway stations during rush hour, when throngs of Unspecials are waiting in a long line to board an "up" escalator. The Specials will scoot up to the front and inch their way in front of someone, usually a blind person, but only because Specials have to get to work WAY earlier than the rest of us.

- Special People park in handicapped-only spots, because they ARE handicapped in some way. They have no Humility Bone.

So, if you are a Special Person, please enlighten us. How does it feel? How did you go from being Unspecial to Special? If you're just one of the rest of us, please share your Special People stories. I'm sure there are many.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Are You a Cheapskate?

Original airdate...August 2005

Just turned on The Today Show, and they are doing a segment called "Cheapskate Week". I have to admit that watching this, featuring people who do things like fill their own jelly donuts, make diaper pails out of popcorn tins, and bring ziplock bags to the movies to divide up popcorn... makes my hair go on fire.

One of my ex-husbands said I would "go across the street and around the corner to avoid a sale", and he was probably right. I've only been to Wal-Mart twice (and couldn't wait to get out), don't comparison shop, and am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for". I know it's irrational at times, but hey...I've never claimed to be a completely rational person.

Why this visceral aversion to bargains? As with most of my other neuroses, I have to blame my parents. As children of the Great Depression, they turned penny-pinching into an artform. My mother made a lot of our clothes, and in doing so made them about three sizes too big so they'd fit for several years. This explains why, in most old photos, we look like refugees from Uzbekistan. She also made clothes for my Barbie doll, which was great except for the fact that she didn't want to have to buy special snaps (you know, the right SIZED ones), so the clothes had closures as big as Barbie's head.

Getting a greeting card from my mother meant (and still means) receiving one that had been previously sent to her, with the inside cut out. Better yet, on their anniversary my parents would go to the nearest card store and pick out an appropriate sentiment for each other. Rather than purchase the cards, they would exchange them on the spot. And put them back.

All of the food in our house was "Brand X" or awful store brands like "Ann Page" and "Krasdale". Although my father loved ice cream, the best we got was Breyer's Neopolitan, or maybe a Cookie Puss cake from Carvel for a REALLY special occasion.

My father loved electronics and gadgets of any and every kind (we had air-conditioning before anyone else), but I still remember the "brand names" that graced them all... Setchell-Carlson, Bonsonic, Royce Union... some of which, I think, fell off the back of a truck. Since he was a mailman, our house was FILLED with tiny versions of many products (free samples that had been addressed to houses that didn't exist). We used miniature cans of Rite Guard and Arrid Extra Dry, ate from little packettes of Carnation Instant Breakfast, and read magazines that had a big square cutout on the cover. Occasionally we'd score big and get someone's 8 free records from Columbia House, if they moved away before it was delivered. And there was Joe the Dented Can Man, my father's favorite place to shop for canned food.

I guess it's all about priorities. My parents did manage to raise three kids on a postman's salary (although my mother also worked or collected unemployment most of the time), and we always had new cars that they paid cash for. They never had credit cards until they retired and we never felt like they were strapped for cash. (Then again...who knows? Maybe my father was secretly working in "waste management", if ya know what I mean.)

Still, while I appreciate their efforts, it has left me with a psychotic disdain for sales and bargains.

So... fess up. Are you a Cheapskate? Are you the child of a Cheapskate? Or are you, like me, the Anti-Cheapskate?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What? Me Crazy?

Ok, ok.... I couldn't have been more wrong about Daniel Craig!

I saw Casino Royale last night and it was great. Fun, funny (hilarious at times), action packed, wonderfully scripted and shot, and best of all...the surprising new Bond. Best since Connery, indeed.

There are lines from this film that will live forever...

Bartender: Shaken or stirred?
JB: Do I look like I give a damn?

Don't forget to shop Amazon through my fun little store! If you're going to Amazon anyway, pick up some ideas from me first!