Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Visibily Enhanced

Why can't I make a lasting contribution to the world like this? Oh, yeah, I'm surfing the web all day goofing off. I knew it was something.

TOKYO (AFP) – First came see-through frogs. Now Japanese researchers have succeeded in producing goldfish whose beating hearts can be seen through translucent scales and skin.

Wow. When I was a kid I was impressed by the Visible Woman when I should have been breeding goldfish. That would have been right up my alley, always liked genetic research. Hmm... a clear cat. Someone would pay millions...

Ten Most Blasphemous Fauxarris

It's the end of the year and top ten lists are popping up everywhere, but do take a moment to check out Jalopnik's compilation of the Ferrari masquerade ball. As much as I covet a Daytona Spyder, I've never had the urge to convert my Vette over to a Miami Vice kit. My favorite feature of this article is the Enzo Ferrari Anger Level.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Turtles! They hurt turtles!!! Oh, it's illegal to kill cats or dogs, but not farm animals? I can't imagine the outcry if they killed some horses. Turtles should be a felony. Where are our heroes on the half-shell when you need them for a little revenge? Does Philly* have a signal for Gamera?

*Is it any wonder Michael Vick found a home here??

Everything I Needed to Know About Marriage...

I learned on summer break from Junior High....

Well, specifically, from all the game shows I used to watch on TV.
It was the era of the game show, and my BFF and I could watch them all day. There were tons to choose from and if it got too rainy or hot to be outside, there were all these wonderful friends we could spend time with... Match Game, Password, Twenty Thousand Dollar Pyramid, Jeopardy... the list goes on.

Little did I realize how these skills could help me later in
life when dealing with Al:

The Dating Game

Every question you ask will get a smart-alec reply designed to make you wonder what was so hard about the question in the first place that it can't be replied to in a straightforward manner .

The Newlywed Game

Just answer every problem with 'make whoopie'. It's the only thing written on any of his cards.

Say what you mean, already. Your clue has not been accepted by my authority.

Beat the Clock
Face it. Your deadlines and his never occur in the same epoch. Get over it.

$20,000 Pyramid

Every answer is "Things that Tick Me Off". Stop them.

Wheel of Fortune

This may be the only way to get Al to
do anything - make it into a puzzle: Cl--n Th G-r-g- Oh, buy a vowel already.


Phrasing what I just said in the form of a question is a waste of time. No, I did NOT say you were not going to take out the garbage. I just want it done now, without the commentary.

Hollywood Squares

Whatever you just suggested, I'm going for the block

Let's Make a Deal

The only way anything ever gets done.

The Price is Right

The only way Al will ever see name-brand food in the house.

Family Feud

If if involves family, there's gonna be a feud.

Gong Show If only you could gong your spouse...

Give Me Some Credit Here

Do you bother to read those 'change in credit card terms' statements? The multiple page ones that are in the itty-bitty print authorizing the company to charge 33% interest per month and to only accept payments on odd Tuesdays? Me neither. I just tossed them aside, or if feeling really ambitious, filed them away for reference. Reference that never seemed to materialize.

For some reason, I decided to actually read the one from Victoria's Secret the other day. Ahhh... her secret new revenue source is a one-dollar fee for every paper statement issued. How I caught this was a miracle, but I did. I guess they were banking on the perception that most bimbos can't read, but I'm much more super shopper than super model, so having someone else pay my lingerie bills was not going to happen. Thank goodness this frugal fashionista caught on, since I've now received a second notice with the same fee from another firm.

Be warned! Not going to paperless statements is going to cost you!

Cash-mere Mist Adventures

I guess I now know why it's called Ulta 3 - it took me ultimately three tries to get my Christmas shopping done there.

The task sounded simple - buy Mom perfume for Christmas. She was kind enough to tear out a magazine page with the ad. Now it was up to me to somehow get it 'on sale' or 'at a discount'. Rather than see what a major department store offered, I headed over to Ulta with my coupon for $5 off. I handed the ad to an employee who immediately produced th perfume and confirmed I would also get a free robe with purchase. Fuzzy!

At the checkout I was told the coupon was not good on fragrances. What? Free robe is not good enough - can I have those slippers to go with it? No, that's another gift set for $35. I don't think so. Won't any coupon work? Only these, says the girl, holding up a coupon I have never seen before offering even more off the item I am trying to purchase. Why didn't I get one of those? Oh, that's only for customers who spend over a certain amount. Miffed, I take a pink robe and fragrance anyway.

Drive all the way home to - you guessed it! A coupon that arrived in the mail that day. I need to have a little chat with the local postmaster as to why my coupons are always so late. Reading the fine print reveals it is 'not good on prior purchases'. So that means I need to return what I have.

Return the items in one store and have to 'wait for the manager' for authorization. What? Perhaps I'm not the only irate customer this season. I'd ask her to repurchase it right then with the coupon, but I don't feel like pushing my luck.

I wait another day and try another store. Score! They accept the 20% off your purchase coupon and give out a robe. Whew! Saving $10 is hard work. Got ripped off by about 40 cents as the two towns have different tax rates (7.75 is just ridiculous. These suburbs can't wait push into the double digits and be like Chicago and its other wanna-bes.)

Moral: Wait for your coupon.

There Go My Dreams

...of being a Kirkus Reviewer.

Everyone harbors some little secret dream job, or the fall-back plan B if the day job doesn't work out. What better for me than the feared Kirkus, arbiter of smack-down snark for the publishing industry?

I've long thought Publisher's Weekly just a cheerleader for book sales and several others of just phoning it in; quite possibly as a reaction to the struggles of the book business. But not Kirkus.

I've met authors that are absolutely terrified that a bad review from them will impede sales. Did they have that much power? Doubtful. If other review sources saw merit it a work, I don't think it would have that much impact in the grand scheme of things. I've never spoken to anyone who said they were solely guided by Kirkus, and thus, they have gone by the wayside. How sad.

Where else will I get witty rebukes of calling a 400-page slog an 'insult to trees' or the encapsulation of someone's inner journey set to paper as 'better left unexplored'? Or the simply dismissive 'wretched drivel'?

I for one, applauded Kirkus for their contrarian stance in an era of participation trophies. Meghan Daum said it much better than I ever could here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Can the Economy Get any Worse?

Apparently, not much.

OSWIECIM, Poland - Thieves stole the notorious sign bearing the cynical Nazi slogan Arbeit Macht Frei - German for Work Sets You Free - from the entrance to the former Auschwitz death camp, cutting through rows of barbed wire and metal bars early yesterday before escaping through the snow.


Uh, how much money was spent on this research?

According to the W.A.T.C.H. - "World Against Toys Causing Harm" -
top ten most dangerous toys of 2009 list,
the X-MEN ORIGINS SLASHIN' ACTION WOLVERINE figurine is unsafe. Wow, who would have guessed?

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! The Wolverine action figure, sold for children as young as four years old, is marketed as an “indestructible combat machine” with a “[s]lashing [u]ppercut!” Wolverine has rigid, pointed plastic claws sporting three 1 1/2” protrusions on both fists. The right “pop-out” claw retracts upon impact, whereas the left claw remains rigid and unforgiving upon contact. Incredibly, there are no warnings on either the box or the toy itself.

Another dangerous toy: The Stick. I'm just sayin.

Why Pets Bite Us

Sunday, December 13, 2009

But We're Good Now, Right?

The phrase "Too Little, Too Late" doesn't even begin to cover this one:

NEW YORK – Members of one of America's oldest Protestant churches officially apologized Friday — for the first time — for massacring and displacing Native Americans 400 years ago.

"We consumed your resources, dehumanized your people and disregarded your culture, along with your dreams, hopes and great love for this land," the Rev. Robert Chase told descendants from both sides. "With pain, we the Collegiate Church, remember our part in these events."

The rite was held in front of the Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan, where Dutch colonizers had built their fort near an Indian trail now called Broadway, just steps away from Wall Street.

Hmmm. Who got the last laugh?

Wish I'd Said That!

We're not saying President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize was undeserved, but would it really have surprised you to see Kanye West rush the stage?
Chicago Tribune