Monday, August 30, 2010

That's Disgusting!

I've always been fascinated by the world of advertising. I often find myself critiquing studying a commercial as it plays, analyzing what appeals and the direction the advertisers chose. Sometimes I think they totally hit the nail on the head, drawing you in and making you long for need their product. Other times you can see where they're going, but it really looks like they didn't quite make it. And then there's some--

Anybody see the Burger King chicken sandwich commercial? There's a party and people are dancing. A guy walks up to a girl, and he's got a chicken sandwich in each hand because it's buy one get one free. There's another guy behind him with his hands reaching out, so the first dude looks like he's got four hands. The guy asks a girl to dance and explains that the guy behind him is his extra set of hands because he's holding two juicy chicken sandwiches. So all three start this awkward dance together. The girl comments that this is weird, and the guy with the chicken sandwich whispers that it can get a lot weirder.

Can someone explain to me what an implied menage a trois has to do with a chicken sandwich? Or why I would want to identify myself with these people in order to get my two delicious BK chicken sandwiches? I find the commercial disgusting. Maybe it's just me.

The other commercial I can't stand is the Charmin commercials. They now feature a cartoon bear family with toilet paper problems. The latest commercial shows the child bear trying to clean little pieces of toilet paper off his bottom, but he never quite gets them all. Okay, I get it. Your toilet paper is strong enough not to shred and tear. Do I really need a visual to get that point across? I don't think so.

Where's Mr. Whipple when you need him?

So, do you know these commercials? What do you think of them? Or do you have a favorite that you love to hate? I'm cranky this Monday morning. Share with me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hey, Wait A Minute! It's The Random!

Once again we have that wonderful past time called the Random Dozen. Lid over at 2nd Cup of Coffee asks twelve interesting, provocative and sometimes thought-provoking questions. Those of us that are gluttons for punishment attempt to answer them with wisdom, honesty and an occasional bit of wit. Those of you that have nothing better to do like to be entertained, read the answers, leave a comment (remember last week's answers--I need affirmation!) and then click on the donuts to read some more answers.

Come on! What are you waiting for?
1. What is your favorite Mexican dish?
Cheese. It's on just about every Mexican food, and the more you use, the better it gets.
2. When you were a kid, did you get started on your homework right away after school, or did you procrastinate?
I rarely had homework. I was just that good. 
3. What is your favorite store for home furnishings?
The one that sells furniture sturdy enough to stand up to the antics of our five sons.
4. When you were young, did you like school lunches?
Hey, anything beats peanut butter and jelly!
5. Is religion a crutch?
If my relationship with Christ is a crutch, than I refuse to ever be well enough to walk without Him.
6. In your region, what is the "big" (most popular in the community or state) high school sport?
Sunbathing. We live in Florida for pete's sake. What did you expect?
7. Do you consider yourself rich?
Why? Are you looking for a loan? 
8. Which of these would you have the best chance for success in administering:
B) Heimlich Maneuver
C) Changing a flat tire
I'm gonna go with changing a flat. I've never been trained in any of the three, but if I fail in changing a flat, at least I won't kill anybody.
9. Which dance would you prefer to learn & why:
A) Salsa
B) Hip Hop
C) Waltz
D) Swing
Okay, I am so incredibly NOT graceful that the mental image of me doing any of the above is just--really bad. Seriously. Stop giggling.
10. What's the worst news you've ever delivered to someone?
The first day I taught high school I told each of my classes, "My name is Mrs. Boyd, and I will be your English teacher this year." It was the worst news they'd every heard.
11. Name something you learned in college that had nothing to do with classes or academics.
I learned how to do the splits. I can't do them anymore. 
12. New variation on an old question: If there's a song in your head that just won't get out, what is your favorite (or most repeated) line in that song?
I don't actually have a song going through my head at the moment, but there is a song that my kids sing about a magical elf who lived in a rainbow tree. He lived downstairs from a flatulent dwarf who was constantly having to pee. Now aren't you sorry you asked?
Okay, if you've recovered from that mental image, leave a comment and run off to read other random dozen answers. And if you can finish the song from #12, well you have a sorrier life than I do.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Alpha Female

One would think that, as the only female in the house, I rate special consideration and attention.

One would be wrong.

Oh I'm not one of the guys. Thank goodness. But I'm not really the Queen Bee either. At least, not in the eyes of some members of our family.

Like this one.

This is Sonny, our six-year-old Lab/Shepherd mix. He is the most intelligent dog I've ever seen, and as you can see, he has a high cool factor as well.

Sonny sees himself as third in line at our house, right after Indiana and Luke, who is his master. I'm somewhere further down the totem pole in his estimation, and therefore he doesn't always see the need to put my wishes first. Since he's a guard dog, he considers me out of line when I wake Luke up in the morning. He gets between me and the bed and growls and barks fiercely to protect his master. 

At least, he used to.

I'm not letting a dog call the shots in this family. I held his gaze and loudly and firmly told him who was boss. It took awhile, but Sonny now acknowledges that I have some say so. I'm kind of like the Vice President. You show some respect, but you know they really can't do anything.

If I annoy Sonny, which happens occasionally, he will avert his eyes in a clear signal that I'm the leader. Then he goes and sits in his bed and maintains a low grumble, while watching me out of the corner of his eye. He's such a teenager.

In spite of our power struggle, I've tried to make friends. I talk to him, but he ignores me. I pet him. He tolerates me. I'll try to play keep away with his toys. He'll play for a while, but then walk away with the disdainful air of a ninth grader looking at a seventh grader. It's all about status with him.

However, there's one area where Sonny knows to turn to me. I'll be sitting in the living room in the evening when I suddenly feel eyes on me. Sonny will be standing across the room, staring at me with an unblinking gaze. If I ignore him, he'll come sit at attention near my chair, always with that same stare. No response from me makes him finally nudge my arm with his nose. Then I'll sigh and comment to Luke that Sonny has needs. As soon as Luke gets up, Sonny will race for the door and wait impatiently for Luke to follow.

I don't know why Sonny won't simply go to Luke for his nightly constitutional. Luke takes him on regular walks, plays with him and is general inseparable. But for some reason, that night time duty must be pointed out to me. Not that he'll go out if I personally open the door. He refuses. He just wants me to point the job out to Luke.

I think he's being passive-aggressive.

What do you think?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Looking On The Bright Side

I aged a whole year this week, which is very hard to do. I absolutely hate that my age keeps climbing, although I understand there's only one other option for stopping that.

But if I have to deal with the agony of growing older, I still get to enjoy some privileges of age. For instance ...

1. Birthdays are rarely celebrated all in one day. I haven't actually had to cook a meal since Sunday.

2. Your friends are more concerned with wishing you a happy birthday than they are with getting a piece of cake at your party. At least, they pretend to be. : )

3. Cards and presents are received for several days before and after your birthday. (It helps to know more people than a twelve year old would know.)

4. Kids feel a let down when they get clothes as gifts. Adults actually get excited about it.

5. Kids have a party, with maybe a clown. I got a pedicure with a couple of friends and dinner at Olive Garden.

6. Kids gets Legos and Nerf guns. I got earrings and a Books-a-Million gift card.

7. Kids get a birthday dinner at McDonalds. We went to Logans.

8. Kids still have a bedtime on their birthdays. I stayed up as late as I wanted. (I regretted it in the morning, but let's ignore that part.)

9. Kids can't order things online and then call them "an early birthday present". I can. I did.

10. Kids can't motivate or guilt everyone around them into doing what they want by saying, "But it's my birthday!" Not that I would do that.

All in all, except for the age thing, it pays to get older.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Deep Random

Sometimes you have to dig deep to really get to the heart of a matter. I think this week's random questions are like that. Fortunately, I'm not that deep a person, so I'm still going to go with the humorous look at things.
You know the drill. Read. Comment. Click the donuts. Read more. Comment more. Copy and do your own. Don't forget the comment part. That's especially important to me because of #12!

1. What is your favorite fair/carnival food?
I don't think it's the type of food. Fair/Carnivals are about the quantity of food. And how deeply it's fried. And how much you're going to regret that you ate so much when it keeps you awake that night.
2. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Hey, I'm all for holding onto things. The safety bar on the rollercoaster, the railing on the stairs, the waistband of undergarments that are a little too loose. Sometimes you can't hang on tightly enough!
3. What is your favorite gift to receive?
One that's given to me. I've tried receiving gifts that were meant for someone else, but ... Awkward!
4. When was the last time you tried something new?
Why mess with things if they're working?
5. What is your favorite and least favorite book genre?
Memoir, Mystery, Political Intrigue, Romance, Humor, Historical Fiction, Historical nonfiction, Chick Lit, Self-Help, Other
I love suspense. Nothing like a good puzzle with lots of twists and a little life-threatening danger thrown in. My least favorite is self-help. If I have to help myself, why are you writing a book about it?
6.Silver or Gold?
Both spend well. But if we're talking Olympic medals, I'll take a gold, please.
7. What makes you sigh?
Some of the questions on the Random.
8. If you didn't know how old you are, how old would you claim you are?
Knowing how old I actually am has absolutely no bearing on the age I claim to be.
9. Would you break a law to save a loved one? To protect a loved one?
It depends on the law and the loved one. Third cousins don't rate a felony.
10. If you had to teach something, what would it be?
Listening to your mother. It's such an underrated, but obviously needed trait.
11. You're having lunch with 3 people whom you respect and admire. They begin to criticize a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. What do you do?
 I'd join in and dish some added dirt to spice up the conversation. Unless they were talking about you, of course.
12. Which of the 5 Love Languages is your prominent means of experiencing love?
Quality Time
Physical Touch
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
I'm gonna go with Words of Affirmation, and you know what that means! Leave some comments, or you'll be dealing a serious blow to my mental well being!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I was going to write a funny post yesterday about the struggle for authority I go through with our dog. However, I was interrupted by a bout of food poisoning. Nothing horrible, but definitely not the best day of my life either.

But now it's Tuesday, and I'm not blogging about the dog because it's my birthday and I want to think happy thoughts. nostalgia. Some sad thoughts.

Happy thought:  I'm much better today than I was yesterday.

Sad thought: I am nearing my mid-forties. (I got depressed just typing that!)

HT (Happy thought, duh!): I have a great family that loves and cares about me.

ST (Sad thought, obviously!):  Not all of my family can be with me today.

HT:  I think I'm going to be getting some great gifts today!

ST:  I still have to go to work.

HT: I don't have to cook tonight!

ST: I'm not supposed to eat cake. (We'll see!)

HT: Indiana was the first one to wish me happy birthday this year--at midnight. (Good thing I was still awake.)

ST: My book isn't published yet.

HT: I just made another connection towards getting it published.

ST:  I'm still nearing my mid-forties.

HT: I know all the guys in my life will give me a good day because I have reminded them enough times that it is my birthday today. I'm not one to wait and be disappointed that no one remembered. Why set yourself up for that kind of agony?

ST: Yup. Still in the forties.

HT: Indiana is older than me. By a lot. : )

ST: Not everything in my life is what I wanted it to be by this age.

HT: If I'd already achieved everything I wanted, I'd have no reason to reach forty-five.

ST: I've already reached forty-four.

Anybody else getting dizzy yet?

HT: I have great friends all around the world. Even though I've not physically met all of you that read my blog, our cyber visiting back and forth has made you truly a part of my life. I love you all!

ST: What if no one comments on my post today?

HT: What if I have more comments than I've ever had before?

How about it? Want to give me a birthday gift? Want to make sure my age doesn't depress me too much? (No pressure here!) Leave a comment. Even if you've never left one before, isn't my birthday a good time to step out of lurkdom? Come on! Show me you're there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Summer Without Random

We missed it. We pined for it. We worried it would never return. But after a long hiatus, the Random Dozen is back!

Most of you know how this works. For the uninitiated, read the questions and follow #1 in your responses. Leave a comment. Then click on the donuts and go to Lid's at 2nd Cup of Coffee to find more blogs that answer these questions. You could even copy the questions and answer them on your own blog. If you did, I would read them. No, seriously. I would. So what are you waiting for?
1. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
Recently.  I've also laughed until juice came out my nose. I've laughed until other unpleasant things have happened as well, but I don't feel like sharing them here.
2. If you found $10 today, what would you do with it?
Spend it. (Free money, duh!)
3. Do you volunteer anywhere?

I volunteer for most of what I do. If I got paid for everything, I'd have enough money to pay someone to blog for me. Or at least to read all the other blogs that I follow. *GASP* Did I say that out loud?
4. What is your favorite summertime veggie or fruit, and how do you eat it?

As with any other food, I eat fruit and veggies with my mouth. It's so much easier than shoving them up my nose. BTW, I'm fond of the kumquat and the loquat because I like saying kumquat and loquat. I have no idea what they taste like.
5. Is your social sphere (circle of friends) small, medium or large?

I prefer not to categorize my friends by their size. That seems awfully shallow to me. 
6. When was the last time you attended a family or school reunion? How did that go?
I graduated from a very small school. My graduating class could have a reunion if I happened to run into the other graduate at the store.
7. When you're feeling blue, what is the best way someone can cheer you up?

Hand me some Midol.
8. Have you taken a vacation this summer?

I took a wonderful one. I left the kids behind, but reluctantly took the husband.
9. What is the most unnecessary item you carry with you all the time?

The extra weight. And yet, in spite of it being completely unnecessary, I somehow find that I carry it with me everywhere. I should do something about that.
10. What is the best summer flick you have seen so far?

Let me scroll through our Netflix queue and I'll let you know.
11. Describe a perfect summer day.

A picture's worth a thousand words ...

12. Please a share a favorite photo from the summer so far!
... and two Random Dozen questions!

Okay now leave your comment and then go link up. What are you waiting for?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sidewalks and Shaving

Two of my friends informed me this weekend that they wanted to take me out for some fun because my birthday is next week. They were going to surprise me, but they thought I might want advance notice so I could shave my legs.

Okay, did that statement make you do a doubletake? Possibly wonder about my hygiene habits?

Me too.

Now for the record, I do not save shaving for special occasions. I take care of that little task often enough that I've never been tempted to braid the hair on my legs. Turns out they wanted to take me for a pedicure. I can't wait, and I have no problem with being hairless that day. (On my legs, anyway.)

Also yesterday, we pulled into the church parking lot before Sunday School, and the rather sad state of the church yard reminded me that we got another letter from the Yard Nazis Homeowners' Association about the state of our own yard.

"Boys," I said. "You're going to have to take care of the yard this week. We got a letter from the HOA saying we have a lot of weeds growing out of our cracks."

Another doubletake? Sad to say, I didn't even catch what I had said until the boys erupted into hysterical laughter. Then they agreed that the HOA was taking their responsibilities way too seriously and were crossing the line into personal issues.

Just to be clear, we have weeds in the cracks of our sidewalks. None of us personally have weed issues.

Although, if we did, I wouldn't want to know.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What Time of Day Do You Want It To Be?

I used to be a night person. I could stay up half the night, and still function well the next day. But no matter what time I went to bed, I did not function well in the morning. I still don't. I move slowly. I think slowly.

The problem is, I'm not a night person anymore. I'm longing for bed well before 10:00. I don't get there often, but I still long for it.

Even then, I still don't like getting up early. I don't function well in the morning.

There are good things about being an early riser. There's that aspect of having the whole day in front of you. There are all the things you can accomplish with an early start to the day.

Plus, there's the beauty of the morning. How inspiring is it to sit with a cup of coffee and watch the daylight increase. (I'm not saying watch the sun come up because that's a little too fanatical for this non-morning person.) But I do like the early morning, watching a mist rise off the pond behind our house, and the sunlight stream through the trees.

Unfortunately, even if I enjoy the scene, by the time I'm through with it and ready to start my day, I feel like I need a nap.

So now that I'm not a morning person or a night owl, what am I? I think I'm someone whose day got even shorter than it was already!

So tell me--morning person or night owl? And why?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Now I've Seen It All

There are somethings at Walmart that you expect to see. Kids screaming. Shelves empty of the one item you need. People wearing sleep pants, flipflops and a t-shirt.

Seriously, why is it necessary to roll out of bed and head straight to the car and go to Walmart? Is it really so much trouble to pull on actual street clothes first? I never see people in pajamas at Target. Or Kohls. I don't even see people in pajamas at McDonalds. Why is it okay at Walmart?

But that's something you see all the time. I'm talking about something I saw recently that I've never seen before. I actually saw a store employee stop in an aisle and ask a customer if they needed help. The customer didn't ask for help. The customer didn't stand in the department for 10 minutes, hoping an employee would show up. The employee didn't brush by the customer without a glance. He actually stopped and offered help.

I had to do a doublecheck that he was wearing Walmart blue and not Target red.

Now I have truly seen it all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Building My Self Esteem

"How Do I look?"

Ever ask someone that? If you ask a female, she will generally tell you that you look good. She might even comment on the hair, the dress or the shoes. Females know that when you ask that question, you're looking for validation. You're also wanting to know if everything is put together right. Is your slip showing? Is your hair sticking up on one side? Females help you feel confident, and they correct obvious mistakes.

Males respond with brutal honesty. And since I live with seven males, I hear brutal honesty almost all the time. Once I was putting on lipstick while driving. Nicky was sitting next to me, watching carefully.

I smiled at him. "How do I look? Nice?" (Sometimes you have to give them a clue.)

"Sure." He said. "But did you notice you have a little bit of hair right here?" He touched his upper lip.

I send out verbal birthday clues to the males in my family. I see no sense in waiting until my birthday shows up and then being disappointed the whole day because no one remembers. So I recently made an announcement while driving with the four guys in the picture.

"Two weeks from today is very special guys. Know what it is?" After I finally got them to realize it was my birthday, "and how old am I going to be?"

I ask that second question to make sure they either get it right, or err on the side of youth.

Their answer? "Sixty."

That trip was on the way home from the grocery store. I got irritated when I realized I'd forgotten to buy a box of hair color. (Hmm! Maybe that's why they said I look sixty!)

Luke made an effort to be complimentary. "You don't need to color your hair, Mom."

I pointed to my temples where four weeks of gray showed. "You don't see this gray hair?"

"No," Luke answered after hesitating. "It just, you know, blends in with"

Great. So I look like I'm going bald?

The guys keep me humble. I'm just not sure how much more humility I can take.

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