Musing, Random

Always Listening

I’m writing this post while standing in line waiting to vote because inspiration struck.  I am absolutely astounded at the number of people at the polls for early voting.  You’d think this was another presidential election.  It’s insane.  There must be at least 75 people in this line and it’s not even lunchtime.  The next bit of inspiration comes from the people waiting in line with me.  If there’s one thing I love to do in a crowd like this it’s people watch and eavesdrop.

I adore eavesdropping.  I’m pretty sure this passion started in my formative years being raised in a household full of adults and no other children. I was forever being told to “hush, the adults are talking” and “children are seen and not heard”. The only other thing to do when you can’t get a word in edgewise is to listen or watch the paint peel. The former is a lot more fun than the later. It’s interesting to hear what others have to say especially when they think no one is listening. I ALWAYS listen and there is plenty to be heard.

The biggest offenders are millennial aged women and old people. The next runners up are mothers of young children and middle aged men.  Those last two groups love to have conversations on the phone while standing in line or walking around the store.  I have actually heard one middle aged dude make some hanky panky plans for later while in the shampoo aisle at Target.  Nothing every shocks me but I’m always a little amazed at the types of conversations people will have in public.  I can’t quite understand their reasoning.  Do they think that just because they aren’t near someone they know that it’s safe to talk about all manner of personal issues like the neighbor’s cancer, your child’s bout with lice or your ailing parents’ incontinence issues?

I keep thinking to myself one day just for kicks I will call someone out for the very loud, personal conversation they are having in public. But, doesn’t that make me just as guilty for listening?  Ultimately I just keep my mouth shut.  I have to hand it to some of these people, they sure do provide a lot of inspiration for this blog and serve as a catalyst for thinking.  Maybe these dirty laundry airing folk are a gift from the universe.  The universe’s way of saying, “I know your life is shit but at least it’s not that bad. Listen to what those people are saying about that poor sap.”  I think I’ll just count my blessings.

P.S. –  If anyone is interested, today’s offenders were a couple of old ladies.  They were talking about all their friend’s ailments in great detail.  Dementia, hemorrhoids and heart disease.  You can’t make this stuff up people.

P.P.S. – If the government needs more people to listen in to conversations, I’m your girl. Just call me Alexa or Siri.  I’ll even respond to Hey Google.

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Motherhood/Parenting, Random, Uncategorized

Homecoming

75a7cf508587495cafa7cf790d089863As of last weekend, all the high schools in my area have finished with homecoming festivities; and I am very thankful.  No, it’s not because all the nice restaurants were a madhouse and you couldn’t find a decent cocktail dress within a 100-mile radius. It’s because I can finally go to any grocery store with a floral department or Hobby Lobby and not see the photos like the one attached to this post.

Today’s topic is going to get me de-friended by my Texas bestie but really y’all this is something I will never get used to no matter how long I live in this state.  Now I get that the traditional thing is to give a girl a corsage or flower of some sort before going to a formal dance/homecoming/prom but these Texas mums have moved beyond a flower.  I’m attaching a link here to something I found the other day. It’s a blog post about 50 Gigantic Homecoming Mums everyone has to see.  These things are truly ridiculous.  They are like a car wreck you just can’t take your eyes off of.  High schoolers turn these mums into a competition of sorts – who’s mum is bigger, tackier, has more flair and do-dads, etc.  And let me tell you, these things aren’t cheap.  A small mum is easy $100 with the average mum costing $200-$300.  It’s insanity.

For years I have mentally told myself we have to move away from Texas before my kids get in high school. Now, with high school fast approaching, I’m starting to get worried because we have no prospects for a move. I wonder, will my son have to help foot the bill for this monstrosity? Will my daughter expect to get one of these fugly things and will subsequently want to hang it on her bedroom wall after Homecoming like her peers? I’ve already started campaigning for a move to Florida. It’s about the only Southeastern state we haven’t lived in.

Photo Disclaimer –  I don’t know those girls or the school they attend. I did a Google search for Texas Mums and this was the first one that popped up. Apparently, it came from Pinterest. Whatever, if you find this post and you know these girls and want me to take it down just message me and let me know.

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Random, Weird

Attack Bird

img_1654It’s been a while since I had one of those totally weird things happen to me but this one is just – wow. On the way to the high school where my son does sports camp, there is a stretch of road with about 6 mini farms of about 3-5 acres each. There are signs along the street that say peacock crossing. I’ve always seen the signs but rarely ever seen a peacock in the area. Apparently, I was not coming during the right time of day because for the last two days right around dusk these peacocks have been large and in charge. And, they must know about the signs because they will straight up walk out in the middle of the road in front of a moving vehicle. They have no shame.

Monday night a whole flock started across the road when I was about 50 yards from them. I had time to stop and slow down to allow them to pass but I swear the last one in the group gave me the side eye. I swear I was waiting for it to come bang on the hood like Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy and scream, “I’m walking here.”  I sent a text to a girlfriend or two asking if I should let my inner southern redneck shine and just run over it and bring it home for dinner. We even pondered if the meat would be white or dark and if it would taste gamey. I resisted the urge to mow it down. Last night, I came through at a similar time and I’ll be damned if those peacocks didn’t wait until the car in front of mine was right on them to start strutting out into the road. They were just hanging around, loitering, bold as brass waiting on cars to pass. And, they did not get in a hurry to cross.  Those damn birds sashayed across that street like they had all the time in the world and nowhere to be.  I wonder what they would have done if I had yelled, “Knees to chins y’all! We ain’t got all day.”

Personally,  I don’t know how I feel about these birds. On the one hand I just want to rev my engine and ram one but on the other hand, I don’t want to kill someone’s treasured pet or screw up the front end of my car. What a conundrum. But, I’d be willing to bet they taste just like chicken.

P.S. If anyone has any information on peacocks – how they taste, how they behave, anything I’m wildly curious and don’t feel like looking it up on “The Google”.

Photo credit:  My kid took the photo while hanging out the window with us driving slow. Damn thing was probably going to charge the car had I slowed down any more to get a clearer picture.

 

 

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Musing, Random

Grown Up Crush

erik estaraDo you remember your first celebrity crush? Mine was Erik Estrada. He played Paunch on the 1970s cop show, CHiPS.  I was four and completely obsessed.  One time I threw an epic fit in the middle of a store over a poster of him. He was wearing a gold lamé speedo, a 1,000 watt smile and nothing else. The incident went down like this. I was scream-begging at the top of my lungs for said poster of a half-dressed man old enough to be my father while simultaneously ratting my mother out to the masses about her Elvis poster on her closet door. She was screaming back at me about how inaproriate it would be for me to have said poster. She would later drag me out of the store and give me the beating of a lifetime for acting like a dumbass in public. To this day I still say that beating was worth it even though I didn’t get my poster. I made my point, stood my ground and fought the good fight.

Fast forward 10 years and my walls are lined with Teen Beat pages.  Can you guess who I had on my walls?  Let me think.  River Phoenix for sure. Kurt Cameron. Kieffer Sutherland even though he was old. Definitely Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise. Yeah, they were old too but they were hot.  My 13-year-old girlfriends and I were just SO sure at some juncture we would move to L.A. and meet one of these dreamboats and they would magically fall in love with us.  Ah, the delusions of youth.

Now, my girlfriends and I are well and truly middle-aged and to my knowledge, none of us ever met and fell in love with a teen heartthrob. Although, one girl did marry a guy that had a hit country song. Does that even count?  But, I admit I still have a few celebrity crushes.  No, I don’t have pictures on my wall.  I may or may not have a Pintrest board labeled eye candy –  you know for inspiration when times are hard.  The funniest thing about being a grown up with a celebrity crush is who I fancy and my kid’s reactions to it.  Just the other day we were watching Thor and I just blurted out, “Man, he’s pretty.”  I was talking about Chris Hemsworth and it totally offended my kid’s sensibilities.  “Don’t you love Daddy?”  “Is Daddy not good enough for you,” they blurted.   While I was highly amused by their level of loyalty to their Father, I was also struck by their abject horror at the idea of their mother having any sort of feelings for someone other than their Dad. You could just see the wheels turning in their heads. How can this be they seemed to be asking themselves.  And, while the muscle-bound yumminess of Chris Hemsworth is very nice, I also love the everyman like Tom Hanks.  Speaking of Tom, he is a true grown-up crush in every sense of the word. He’s not someone you want to ‘be with’ (insert eyebrow wag here). He is the kind of guy you want to have coffee with or walk on a beach holding hands with.  This is no illicit roll in the sheets. No, sir. This is normal everyday stuff. It’s funny what flips your switch in your middle age.

So, dear readers, how many of you have celebrity crushes? Who was your first crush?  Do your kids know? Are they horrified? I hope so. It’s kind of fun to shock the kids. I try to shock mine every chance I get. However, it will probably come back to bite me in the form of my kids ratting me out in public but it probably won’t be over a guy in a gold lamé speedo.

Photo Credit: Just some picture I lifted off the internet in a google search. No copyright infringement intended. I get no money off of this. I’m doing it for free. Blood/Turnip you know the drill.  I’m just sorry I couldn’t find a picture of him in a gold lamé speedo.

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Musing, Random

Closing Time

img_1217“I don’t wanna grow up. I’m a Toys R Us kid.”  I can still sing every word of the song even though I haven’t heard it in years.  I’d be willing to bet at least half of you can too and immediately started singing it in your head when you read that line.  According to news outlets, all Toys R Us stores close their doors today, Friday, June 29 2018.  If you go to the store’s website you’ll see the picture on your left.  When I was growing up, half of your Christmas or birthday presents came from Toys R Us. You always begged for a gift certificate or you just took the money you got in cards to the store and spent it  You would have sold a kidney for a real shopping spree.  The idea of being cut loose in that store for 10 minutes was the stuff of many daydreams. I know I had my fair share of items from Toys R Us.  My Cabbage Patch Kids came from Toys R Us and I still have them.  I still remember test driving my first grown-up bike down the aisles of  Toys R Us. My children’s baby furniture, stroller, and car seats came from their affiliate, Babies R Us.  While my kids have outgrown most toys, I still managed to go in a couple times a year.  It had become a tradition to walk the aisles and make a Christmas wish list now that lookbooks are pretty much a thing of the past. I’m not sure what we are going to do now. I guess we’ll walk the aisles of Walmart and Academy Sports.  I’m pretty sure those stores will survive the rest of my kid’s childhood but what about their kids?

I have said for years Amazon is nothing more than Sears was back at the turn of the last century.  It’s low cost, one-stop convenience shopping.  In 1918, one could order ready made clothes, toys, furnishings for your home and even the house itself from Sears.  It came complete with plans and materials shipped by railcar – assembly was up to you.  Today, Amazon is doing the same thing only instead of opening a catalog we open up an app. Low cost retailers like Walmart and Amazon have not only killed the mom and pop stores but also highly specialized stores like Toys R Us. And, we only have ourselves to blame.  We the consumer are so focused on low cost, more for our money and above all convenience that we have sold our souls to the lowest bidder.  We’ve all done it.  Show of hands, how many times have you been in a real store to find the item you are looking for is sold out or more expensive than you thought so you immediately look for it on Amazon or some other low cost retailer (cough Walmart)? I know I have.  And, stood there in the middle of the other store, using their free Wifi and ordered it from their competitor.  Yep, I’m guilty.  I’d wager a guess most of you are too.

While most in my age group are sad to see Toys R Us go, I doubt any of us will think much about it until Christmas comes around and we are scrambling for a toy. I’m curious to see what brick and mortar institution will be the next to fall. My money is on Sears and JC Penney.  They’re barely hanging on as it is.  Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder what’s next in the world of consumerism.  I have my doubts Amazon will be the retail superpower Sears was for 100 years.  In our fast-paced culture, I’ll give Amazon another 20 or 30 years tops before something bigger and better knocks it off the top of the heap. Forty or fifty years for a company started by some guy selling books out of his garage isn’t too shabby.

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Musing, Random, Rants

Breaking Up

img_1016I’m a lot of things but a quitter isn’t usually one of them.  I rarely broke up with anyone back in my dating years.  It took me forever to break up with Ikea.  I loved Ikea but Ikea didn’t love me back.  I adored all of the cheap, cool things with weird names. I didn’t mind you could get lost in the parking lot, nevermind the store itself.  I didn’t even mind putting everything together with that crazy little hex key wrench and cam locks.  Actually, I’m really good at it.  But, I had one too many instances of being stuck in the store trying to wrangle some impossibly heavy box only to come home and find a broken piece.  Then there was the whole return process.  After standing in line for 45 minutes I find out I can only get a replacement piece if they happen to have one in the back. Or, I would have to stand in another line to get a refund or I could just wait and just keep coming back in hopes they would have said piece because there is no way to order online and they won’t call you to let you know the piece is in.   It was after one of those instances I said, “Ikea, I’m breaking up with you. We are done.” And, I haven’t been back since.  Unfortunately, I fear another store is about to get the same treatment, Target.

I have to say my break up with Target has been a long time coming.  About five years ago they changed the cut of their Merona chino shorts. These were the best shorts ever. They fit so good and came in every color. They were just perfect. They were just the right length and didn’t ride up or do weird things – like I said perfect.  After the change, I was able to limp along with the ones I still had and found a few pairs at Goodwill.  So, that crisis was averted for a few years but alas all of my old pairs are worn out.  Now, I’m on the endless hunt for cute shorts that fit. Then came the whole gender and bathrooms thing. Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less about who was in my bathroom all I ask is that you courtesy flush and don’t ask for a square.  When all that blew up I just wished my local Target would clean the bathroom and stock tissue. I even went as far as telling the service desk, “I don’t care who you let in the bathrooms just please stock toilet paper.”  The poor girl behind the counter looked thunderstruck.  Still, I gave Target a pass because they always had cute things. Let’s face it, Target rocks for Halloween and Christmas decorations. But, in the past few years, I just cannot get over the changes.  In trying to make themselves seem more edgy and hippy and distinguish themselves as different from other discount retailers (cough Walmart), Target has missed the mark.  Their store makeovers are horrible. You can’t find a thing. They’re laid out weird. They don’t even look like Target.  And, everyone knows all that remodeling means higher prices.

And, while we are at it lets discuss fashion. Target used to be my go-to for clothing and shoes. They had cute basics that were good quality for a fair price.  I never went into that store without buying something to wear.  Now, everything looks like grandma’s curtains. All those floral patterns, dusty pinks, and mustard yellows have me thinking it’s 1993.  Where are the acid washed jean overalls and tight rolled pants?  Honestly, who is in charge of buying?  It’s horrible. Okay, let’s play devil’s advocate and say this is the height of fashion and I’m just out of touch. That is entirely possible and plausible but nothing fits!!  I mean nothing.  Everything is ill-fitting and the fabric is paper thin.  I don’t know who Target is using as a clothing form but they must be some sort of mutant.  I know it’s not just me.  I have heard others say this too.  And, sizing, forget about it.  They are just suggestions.  My daughter and I went shopping a few weeks ago and came out with kids size large and ladies size medium all for her.  Those are two very different sizes. I went in today looking for basic solid t-shirts for myself and to check out the new Disney offerings.  The medium, large and extra large were all the same width but got longer as you went up a size. That is insane. The damn thing looked like a sausage casing no matter what size I tried on.  It just got longer. A medium should be smaller all over compared to a large or extra large not just longer.

So, I have just had it with you, Target.  It pains me to say it but Target run, we are SO done.  We are breaking up.  If you can get over your middle age crazy and find your way back to your old self I might take you back but as it stands now we are over.

P.S. – The photo credit goes to me. I snapped that picture in my Target’s parking lot. Looks nice, doesn’t it?  Don’t let it fool you. It’s a shit show in there.

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Random, Weird

Instant Boobs

IMG_0969.jpgI finally did it.  I took the plunge into the world of Youtube. A lurker no longer, I am now poster.  Lawd have mercy what have I done.  HA!  For those of you not in the friend loop, here’s the backstory.

My family and I were on an outing this weekend and found a Daiso store.  Located in California, Washington, and Texas, Daiso is essential a Japanese dollar store.  Everything at Diaso is priced between $1.50 to $3.00.  I have never seen anything more than $10.00.  You can literally find anything here – candy, underwear, a teapot, cute pens, you get the picture.  So, my 11 year old daughter and I are looking at the toys and party stuff and come across this – Instant Boobs.  Let me tell you it got awkward real quick.  We quickly left that aisle to find my other kid and husband but I could not stop thinking about these instant boobs. I was so intrigued I went back and bought my very own pair. And, since unboxings are all the rage on Youtube, I made my very own unboxing video.  In fact, this was my very first foray into producing Youtube content. So please, pay no attention to my lack of skills. I am, after all, over 40 have no business using technology.

In case you haven’t seen it and are interested, I’m linking the video here.

So now that you’ve seen the video you know what an epic fail these boogers were. Leave it to a kid to figure out how things work.  My daughter, who was equally as intrigued as I was, decided to figure out what was inside of these things and what it is made of. If you watched the video you’ll note I said it feels like there’s some packet inside, like the silica gel ones you find in shoes.  Guess what? I was half right.

22E96047-1CA1-4319-B955-6B4B6A15473AAs shown in the picture to the left, there is some weird packet inside. Upon further inspection of the item and reading the box, this packet is full of citric acid, baking soda, and water. Now why in the world there’s a packet of citric acid, baking soda and water inside is beyond me.  Someone with some knowledge of chemistry/science please chime in and enlighten us.  The outer portion is nothing but a balloon and they do indeed have a sticker on the base so you can put them on your body. But, as far as I can tell, much like real boobs, no about of squeezing will make these suckers bigger.

You know, I’m not sure what I expected for $1.50 but I can tell I have gotten more mileage out of this item than I ever expected.  I’m still laughing at the pictures on this package. I don’t know what’s funnier. The fact that the person on the package is a dude or that he’s wearing a tie around his head instead of around his neck or that he’s just so damn excited to have a pair of boobs of his own that he can squeeze to his heart’s delight.  It’s all just so hysterically funny.  What’s next? An inflatable penis so that women can write our names on a snow bank?  I’d pay $1.50 for that.

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