I Will Rule The World!

You may already know how I feel about Pinterest. And I can help you understand Facebook. I don’t have a cell phone, so I guess I can’t use Instagram. Which of course means that I now really WANT to. But I’ve discovered a new thing that I want make a part of my life. Klout.

Ever since I started on Twitter, I’ve seen mysterious tweets “So-and-so earned +K for pants-zipping (I’m pretty sure, but it might have been for blogging or dog-walking)! ” And I think “Yay for pants-zipping! And potassium!” Imagine my surprise when I discovered that +K has nothing to do with eating bananas, though there might be a category in there somewhere for best banana bread maker. It all has to do with influence. On the internet. Count. Me. In.

I discovered today that not only can a numerical score tell everyone around me (who follows likes klouts on me, or whatever it is you do) how very important I am, I can also get free stuff! Who wouldn’t want that? I can get stuff like this:

Person of Interest SCREEN WIPES! Person of interest here! SO interested! Is that a TV show?

And oh, my gosh!

Who wouldn't need these? Yes, it might slow down the consumption of my food, but they are FREE! And free is awesome!

I looked around, and there are some folks with a lot of Klout.

I want to be as important as these people! And with Klout, I can at least look like I am!

But it does make me a little sad that Lil Twist barely has enough Klout for those plate-toppers. Poor guy! Or girl. I have never heard of him/her, but there they are on Klout! And I am happy to live in a world where Cher packs as much klout as Bill Gates!

Influence is important, and it must be used with great care. How should I influence the masses? Pants-zipping is already taken. What is left for me?

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Alternate Endings, Vol I

Twilight:

The role of Edward played most convincingly by Severus Snake

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” Bella…so beautiful…so tasty…”

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“Darn it, Edward! What’s the MATTER with you? There goes the franchise!”

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Yes, it's my own battered copy. Sue me.

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*** disclaimer: No rats were actually harmed in the making of this blog. It came out of our freezer. 


And How Am I Doing? Thanks For Asking

As the paragon of diet and exercise, I was recently interviewed regarding my astonishing success in keeping my  New Year’s resolutions. The interviewer was sharp and witty, a hard-hitting journalist. You know. Me. And here, dear friends, is most important interview you will ever read. In the next fifteen minutes.

What steps have you taken to meet your exercise goals? 

I recently brought home an instrument of torture elliptical machine.   The good news is that I have actually used the stupid thing every day.

So what’s the bad news? 

The bad news is that the resistance is stuck on “Summitting Everest.” Using it for longer than five minutes makes me want to curl up and die.

Five minutes? Seriously?  

No, actually. Thank you for asking, although I wish you wouldn’t use that tone. TWO minutes makes me wish I was dead.  Five is the longest I have been able to power through without the heart rate monitor calling an ambulance. Or a coroner.

How do you stay motivated? 

For every 100 reps I do on the elliptical, I get a Snickers bar blizzard from Dairy Queen. You’d think it would get old, but it doesn’t.

Have you lost any weight? 

I’m sorry. I don’ t understand the question. And it really hurts my feelings when you make pig noises.

Are you making the improvements to your diet that you had hoped? 

I’m doing pretty well with this one. I have cut out most of the sugar in my diet. I still have it in my coffee each morning. And evening. And afternoon. I have even eliminated sugar from my morning Cheerios by adding raisins. And chocolate milk. My taste buds will eventually become accustomed to the reduced sweetness over time, I am sure. Did you just gag?

Can’t you just use an artificial sweetener? 

I don’t think so.  Eating artificial sweeteners leaves me wishing I could lick a brick wall to get the taste out of my mouth.

How is work on your book coming? Can we expect some big announcements soon?

I finished reading a book. And it was amazing. It took me a couple of weeks to go cover-to-cover,  but it was well worth the effort. I cried a little, I laughed a lot. That Curious George is one funny monkey.

Aren’t you supposed to be WRITING a book? 

There is no need to roll your eyes. Progress on my own work has stalled a bit.

Any particular reason, or are you just kind of lazy?

Of course, there is a reason:

The anti-muse

 

Isn’t it a little cliche to blame the toddler for your lack of productivity?

Hi, there. Have you ever actually read the title of my blog? Judging from the expression on your face, I’d say no, which is a little weird, since you’re me, but whatever. Blaming the toddler may be cliche, but it’s also true. In hour and a half that I have been finishing my blog post, we have made four trips to the potty, colored two pictures, played “Mommy, watch this!” 437 times moved the living room furniture to retrieve lost trains twice, read three books, and prepared two snacks. And don’t get me started on the “Why?” game.

Fair enough. Any plans to get yourself back on track in the near future?

I have heard that computers and cable are leading kids to grow up much faster than they used to, so I’m signing Squish up for Netflix. A few weeks of Jersey Shore, and he should be ready to move out, or at least get a job, and then I’ll have more time to work.

Wait. Where did you get a cell phone?  I didn’t know you had that. I thought we hated cell phones. Why are you calling Social Services? And why do you have them on speed dial?

 

 

In The Name Of Fitness

My husband saw it first, standing in all its dusty glory at the church rummage sale. A marvelous piece of machinery – a Nordic Trac elliptical trainer. How could anyone let this baby go?  At its unbelievable bargain price, we bought it. There was only catch. Actually, there were three of them; our children. We had too many to get our family and our new machine in the van. We tried to give them all a child away, but there were no takers. I would be forced to return to fetch my prize on the morrow. And so I did. Now you can follow the timeline as my fitness dreams come closer to fruition.

11:00am – Locate treasure. Discover with great joy that it has wheels, so moving it will be almost effortless. Two guys offer to help, so it’s even easier! Whole new levels of physical fitness await.

11:05 - Open back of van. Crane neck to one side, and then the other. This is not a warm-up stretch. This is the slow realization that this machine, which measures five and a half feet tall,  may be too big for the van.

11:07 – Remove 75lb seat from the van in an effort to fit the elliptical. Discover stash of bunny crackers and miscellaneous crumbs sufficient to feed a starving nation. Die of humiliation.

11:08 – Realize that there is nowhere in the van to store the dislodged seat. It is heavy, and now it is also loose.

11:10 - Watch two guys struggle to get the machine stowed in the vehicle. Do not wonder how a lone female will remove it when the time comes. Doubt is fatal.

11:20 - Admit that it is not actually possible to close the hatch at all, and the only way to get it home is to drive with the back entirely open. Be very brave as the machine is secured to the van by the grace of God and a strategically placed bungee cord.

11:25 Rummage through a bag of Goodwill donations in the hopes of finding a red cloth to tie to the open door, which protrudes four feet. Find nothing of the sort. Pink striped polo, it is. Off we go.

11:30 - Try to forget that the only thing stopping the loose seat from leaving the scene is a 150lb piece of exercise equipment that is held in place by a giant rubber band. Gravity is not on our side. Avoid hills and imagine buff and beautiful new physique.

11:32 - Begin to wonder why husband insisted on buying this stupid machine in the first place. Consider looking for new man who likes his woman fluffy and weak.

11:37- Try forget that there is no way to actually get home without scaling hills that make K2 look like a prairie. And there is a heavy seat floating around unsecured in the back.

11:39 - Beg Squish not to throw the toy he is holding onto, even though he asked nicely. Try to describe said toy getting sucked out of the van, never to be seen again. Small son not convinced.

11:45 - Breath sigh of relief as the driveway appears. Elliptical machines really are good for the heart. It never stopped pounding the entire drive home.

Not mine. Know how you can tell? All of my walls have fingerprints. And I'd never work out in front of a window. Like, ever. Got this pic from wikipedia.

 

Stay tuned for Part II:Getting the Ever-Loving, Stupid Machine Into The House And Abandoning It In The Living Room Because The Wheels Didn’t Work And It Was Too Heavy To Move Anywhere Else.

Lost In Translation: Family Edition

"We're going on a hike." Because you've been bad.

“Hurry! We’re late!” : We’ve joined the Slow movement. Take all the time you need.

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“Get down from there!” Preferably by flying.

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“I was eating that!” Help yourself.

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“That was my seat.” I was just warming it for you. Here. Have my blanket, too.

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“It’s time to leave for church.” Please remove your shoes and socks, change into torn pants, and style your hair with my hand-mixer.

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“Are those pants clean?” Did you wear them for less than five day in a row? To play in the mud.

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“The kids are playing together so nicely!”  I wish they’d start another round of “Mom, He’s Looking At Me!”

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“It’s school picture day.” (see “It’s time to leave for church.”)

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“Eat it. It’s good for you.” It will make your ears fall off.

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“Give Grandma a kiss.”  Please lick her face and poke your finger in her eye.

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“Don’t pick your nose!” Unless you plan to share.

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“It snowed last night!” Please strip down to your underwear before going outside. Barefoot.

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“When you’re finished with that, put it back.”  Under the couch.

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Attention Impulse Shoppers (and kids!), Amazon Wants YOU!

If you received a Kindle Fire that was purchased for the holidays, you may have until January 31 to return it. If you know someone who purchased one, especially if it was for a child, be sure to share this information with them, as there is a new policy that may be a deal breaker. I posted about my frustration about Amazon’s credit-card only policy. It stinks. But this one is scarier.

Now that lots of people have brought home that awesome Kindle Fire for the holidays, a brand new policy has been implemented. Downloading free apps now requires that users enter some form of payment. Of course, your account won’t be charge for the free stuff.  And it can even be a gift card, so long as it has a balance of at least $.01. But here’s the problem. This new policy means that users who would like to download free apps must activate 1-click payment.

What this means for parents is that the device you put in your kid’s hands would now be connected directly to a payment method without the added step of password protection. They click it, they buy it. And it bothers me.

The timing of this policy is interesting, I think. It wasn’t on their site three weeks ago when I was first considering returning my Fire. But with only two weeks left for holiday shoppers to return the goods, it has made its magical appearance. And I’m not okay with it. Yes, you can usually return the things that were bought on impulse or by accident, but dealing with customer service can sometimes take hours. And it can take several days for the money to be credited to your account again.

One of the concerns I initially had with the Fire was the 1-click payment. If you check reviews, some users experienced what amounted to identity theft when their device fell into the wrong hands and someone simply changed the shipping address and had a nice spree. Amazon did respond and create a way to disable 1-click. But now users will have to reactivate it if they would like to take advantage of free apps.

The important thing is for users to decide if this new policy is a deal-breaker. There are workarounds.  If you choose to keep the device, you can:

Purchase an Amazon gift card to connect to the account. I contacted Customer Service because the smallest increment I could find was $50. You can purchase cards for as little as $1, but you may have to contact customer service in order to do it. I couldn’t find a way through the normal links.

Disable 1-Click after you download the free apps you want.  This may be a hassle. You’ll have to reactivate it each time you find new apps you want to download.

But there’s not a lot of time to decide. There are only a couple of weeks left for holiday returns. Good luck.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Why My Mom Doesn’t Let Me Garden

I am useless in a garden. I am easily distracted and way more interested in the fauna than the flora. I dig a scoop of soil and watch disinterred earthworms squirming uncomfortably in the sudden sunlight like slimy vampires, and I gently tuck them back in. I study the beetles emerging from underground and puzzle at how they can be so shiny when they’ve been buried in the dirt.  And then I find this guy, seeing and hoping not to be seen, and am filled with wonder at the miracle that is the natural world. Plant a flower? Thank you, but I don’t think I have the time. I’m looking right now.

.What do you see?

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Can you see me now?

Beat Those Post-Holiday Blues

There is no fun left in my life.

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Today is Epiphany. Three Kings Day. El Dia de los Reyes. The Wise Men have found baby Jesus and have presented them with their gifts. It’s all over for another year. It is common to feel a bit of a let-down after the anticipation of the holidays has passed, and that’s where I come in. Here are some ways to keep the spirit alive all year long.

 

1) Don’t think of it as laundry. Think of it as gift wrap for your body. Now isn’t it more fun to fold your undershorts, er,  I mean garland?

2) Your letter carrier is Santa Claus, delivering surprises the whole year through. Got a new seed catalog? You’ve been GOOD! Yay! Visa bill? You’ve been bad. See how fun this is?

3) Speaking of Visa bills, what better way to keep the Christmas spirit alive than by paying for that XBox all year long! It becomes the gift that keeps on giving. Or taking, really, at 15.3% APR, but who’s counting?

4) Think of dust as snow in your living room. We have just had a blizzard. I’m sipping my hot chocolate and watching the kids make dust angels in the floor.

5) You’re not grocery shopping. You’re buying gifts for your entire family. Gifts that will keep them from starving, and not-starving is the best gift of all!

6) Who says ugly sweaters are just for Christmas-time? It’s still cold outside, right? Pull out that monstrosity and wear it to the office. Who knows? You may just start a trend!

7) Need those kids to behave? Elf on a Shelf losing his effectiveness? Up the ante. Buy an original Weeping Santa. When the kids ask why Santa is crying, tell them that he wouldn’t if they were only a little better behaved. If you really want to get their attention, choose one with a weeping puppy. The kids will appreciate your commitment to raising them well.

Happy Holidays all year round, friends!