Thursday, 29 November 2007
I know Oprah is famous for her "favorite things", but not all of us can afford an LG HDTV refrigerator. Although I will never post gadgets, clothes, or sporting equipment, I managed to post an array of unique, unseen, and underappreciated items.
2008 Holiday Shopping List
1. For the perpetually lethargic friend -
Multiple Choice Correspondence $24.95 @ knockknock.biz - Snail mail is almost completely extinct...email is too easy. Here's something that has the convenience of today's busy schedule but maintains the charm of tangible correspondence...and it's so fun!!!!
2. For the geek
Keyboard Organizer $25 @ Keyboardorganizer.com - It's no iPhone, but a REAL geek can appreciate a peasant's gadget too.
3. For the multi-tasker
Life.doc $28.49 @ Amazon.com
I've seen this as Life.xls, but xls doesn't include even half of the following!
-In Sickness & Health
-Dollars & Sense
-Home Sweet Home Life.doc provides the template. You provide the information. So go ahead, give yourself peace of mind. Get started today! 120 pages plus accompanying CD-ROM
4. For the mother who seems to have everything
Children's Artwork Jewelry $89 @ Totally Out of Hand
5. For the poor college student
Pajamas and tees $39.99/set @ David & Goliath - This is the only time in your life that you can wear Pajamas in the morning, noon, and night...and then again the next day.
6. For the professional diva
The Smokey Eye Kit $42 @ Sephora Okay, she may not USE this every day, but she will have fun playing around with the brushes...they're just good to have and excellent quality.
7. For the families with schedules in overdrive...or for those who hate to cook
Meals Delivered @ http://www.food411.com/meals_delivered.php
Take your pick from several meal delivery services. You can order by the plate (2-4 servings) or meal plans such as this "Christmas Bundle" offered by Magic Kitchen:"This is such a hectic time of year! Give yourself a break with these five easy (and delicious!) meals for two or four. This bundle provides 10 or 20 individual meals.
- Almond-Crusted Salmon with Buttered Carrots, Saffron Rice and warm Apple-Raisin Strudel
- Apple-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, French Green Beans with Mushroom and Cream Sauce, Crispy Latkes and Carrot Cake
- Chicken Ana Luisa, Fresh-cut Corn Medley, Mashed Potatoes, and Ricotta Cheesecake
- Pesto Lasagna with Red and White Sauce and Chocolate Ganache Cake
- Beef Tri-tip au Jus, Broccoli and Cauliflower in Cheese Sauce, Stuffed Baked Potato, and our light but luscious Lemon Loaf "
@ My Green Bistro for vegetarian options:
8. For the hot mom you are dating and her 6 year old kid:
Gregory Calendar $43 @ Charles & Marie - Mom will use it to keep track of soccer practice and your dinner date and the kid can connect the 30 or 31 dots to make a new picture by the end of each month.
9. For the empty nesters
The Ultimate Protection Portfolio $58.74 @ SuzeOrman.com - Your retired folks can now have peace of mind once they fill out the appropriate paperwork and now they have something to do between Monday and Friday.
DURABLE WATER-RESISTANT CASE
INTEGRATED ORGANIZER – The Integrated Organizer takes the guess-work out of knowing where you’ve put your most important information: Filing System, Identification and Storage Pockets, Receipt, Tax Preparation Checklist, Emergency Contact Cards.
LIBRARY – A ten-book library corresponds to the ten file folders in the Protection Portfolio. Each book includes worksheets, and checklists to ensure that you’re thoroughly prepared for the “what-ifs” of life.
STATE OF THE ART INTERACTIVE PROGRAM – This state-of-the-art program includes audio of Suze literally walking you through each step. You simply have to answer clear cut questions, and then the correct documents are selected. The program has over 50 essential documents including the four must have documents that Suze feels almost everyone should have:
- Revocable Trust
- Advanced Directive and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Credit Cards, Records, and Debt
- Important Personal Documents
- Auto/RV & Boat
- Personal Insurance
- Social Security
- Estate Planning
- Home Ownership
10. For the latch key kid or the occasionally irresponsible adult
Pushbutton key safe @ Amazon - Lanyard keys aren't cool. Stores up to 2 keys Great for after-school access for children, family, emergency access
11. For the black & white party entertainer -
Bodum Paula Espresso Cups and Saucers $29.99, @ Amazon, No Words required here...how cool!!!
12. For the non-reader who really wants to be a reader (great pick for the misters)
Book - Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance (Paperback) $11.90
13. For the fiancee who's almost never at his place...because he's at someone else's place
DaysAgo digital day counter $9.99 @ Amazon for his refigerator- No more of this conversation:
"Is this Pesto?"
"Er,...that's spaghetti sauce...from that one time I made you dinner back when I was trying to get you to go out with me"
14. For the frugal bordering alcoholic
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Thursday, 08 November 2007
I saw a movie that left me feeling like poo poo.
There are sad movies and dramatic movies and suspense/thriller and horror movies, but these types still don't trigger the poo poo effect. The poo poo effect leaves you with a knot in your stomach, almost on the verge of an upchuck reflex. It's a mildly unpleasant and/or uncomfortable feeling and to relieve the symptoms, you need to watch another movie...and when i tried that, I got a DOUBLE DOSE of the poo poo effect because this other movie was just like the other one.
Without giving away the ending or plot, here's a list of movies to avoid to dodge the poo²:
This is one of those movies you wish fell asleep before catching the ending...you won't be the same for a while after watching this one.
FRIENDS WITH MONEY
It's like intruding on 3 rocky marriages and being in the room while they fight. Really, can I stay out of this one? It has a little comic relief. Consider that a laxative.
Besides the grade C casting and the fact that Marisa Tomei's character is mouse-ie and annoying, this early 90's flick is sometimes hard to watch...you know, when you swith the channel because you don't want to see or hear what happens next...but you have to watch this one because it really tugs your heart somehow.
When you say it 5 times fast, it sounds like something else. But if you want to be a grown up for 2 and a half hours, it's an excellent underrated flick.
Yes, Stepmom! Don't laugh - it's a great flick with excellent casting and even better performances, this movie gets me every time. You don't want to fill anyone's shoes in this one, but you'll feel an ache for and from each character.
AMERICAN HISTORY X
This may yield the "oolti" effect too. Very disturbing and real, but a must-see.
WHERE THE HEART IS
Any man won't survive this movie without complaining. It's very much a men-are-bastards movie. Save it for a girl's night so that you don't inadventently exhaust your anger towards your man.
THE GOOD GIRL
This might be the only Jennifer Aniston movie where she doesn't play "Rachael". I haven't met anyone that's actually seen this. I've been waiting 4 years for someone to see it so we can talk about it. Also starring Jake Gyllyenhal....? (Try that word in a spelling bee!) This movie also has some very surprising comic relief characters.
Steve Buschemi...and that other guy i a bunch of movies...can't remember his name..you can IMDb it. Starring Frances McDormand too. Based on a true story? That's what gets me.
Monday, 05 November 2007
it's really tough to make a veggie meal and keep it healthy and balanced. actually, i don't think i can make a GOOD stick-to-your-ribs dinner without the participation of at least one of my two best friends, Boca and Morningstar. After cooking for a few years with those two on my side, i don't know how I would cook without them. What if they get discontinued or go out of business? I'd have to change my entire game plan for the rest of my life. It's like training an athlete in football all through high school and college and then having him sign with the NBA.
even if i were a meat-eater, i'd still eat the faux-meats...It saves so much time, and so convenient, and soooo like the real thing. Why would you want to spend your time making the real stuff?
here's tonight's RUSH twenty-minute menu that worked out pretty well and even got an A plus stamp from the Mister...
20-Minute Meal: Passport to White People Food
Mashed Peas (vegetable group):
1 bag frozen sweet peas
2 T milk
1/2 T butter
salt and pepper
Boil peas until tender and then mash/puree in food processor or manually. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper as you mash. Ta-da!
Morningstar Parmesan Chicken (Chick'n) (fake meat group - not on the food group Hierarchy yet):
Make according to box directions. You can slice it into strips if you want to make it look impressive.
Spicy Lemon Spaghetti (Carbohydrates)
Spaghetti, or orrechiette cooked al dente
Olive oil, salt and pepper and cayenne or chili oil if you have
Lemon zest (if the word 'zest' intimidates you, the translation is to lightly grate lemon peel (just the yellow layer, not the white layer underneath)
Parsley, basil, or something green that you grow in your backyard (not the green stuff growing in the gladlock container in the back of your fridge and not the stuff you put in your special brownies)
Directions: Mix everything together...pretty straightforward. Shortcut: leave out the green stuff
Chocolate Soy Milk (Dairy group and Dessert group)
Directions: Pour in glass.
Stay tuned: Holiday gift list is coming soon!
Friday, 28 September 2007
That's typically a Biz saying, but I'm referring to Target's new treasure in the dollar bins. The dollar bins are packed this season with The Office-themed products such as pens, magnets, notepads, and magnetic notepads. The products feature star favorites such as Michael, Jim, Pam, and of course, D-W-I-G-H-T Determined, Worker, Intense, Good worker, Hard worker, Terrific. Jim and Dwight steal the spotlight with stressballs and post-its. If you have a preference for Michael, there's a mug available that says "World's Best Boss".
Whatever you decide to pick up, it's enough to stir up some talk at the next water cooler convention Monday morning.
Make sure you flaunt your I♥Jim mug.
Monday, 24 September 2007
The cat is out of the bag. I tried to keep it a secret. I tried to surprise the Mister with a weekend trip to Albuquerque. Someone at his work leaked a hint and Mister put 2 and 2 together and so the secret is out. The good news is that I don't have to shut up about it anymore!! So, time to GAB!
Albuquerque hosts the largest balloon festival in the world, the International Balloon Fiesta, every fall. Well my curiosity was tickled and I booked hotel and airfare for that weekend...Oct 5-7.
Hot air balloons are such an interesting concept...almost defying the laws of physics. What if that was the common mode of transportation? "Hey roshbosh, wanna grab dinner? I'll be there in five....hours." I just can't imagine traveling in an itty bitty woven basket to get to work...at least I won't get a speeding ticket. And where would we store these ginormous vehicles? A big balloon garage? And what about mass transportation? What would a hot air balloon bus look like? a giant bubbly caterpillar? What about traffic jams or busy intersections as a result of balloons colliding and a build up of onlookers of a helium drug bust...I can see someone flicking the bird, a real one...
I want to start the season right...by asking for forgiveness.
Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I bought an expensive coat that I do not need and should not buy to protect me from the three weeks of mild Texas winters.
....but it's so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's what I read about repentance:
"Repentance is more than a change of mind or feeling sorry for one's sins. It is a radical and deliberate turning or returning to God that results in moral and ethical change and action”
Returning! Returning??? No, God, Please...no!!!! Father, I only ask that you fail to include the return/exchange form in the delivery package so I can have a reminder of my sin and realize how damaging it can be to my bank account.
Only then, will I learn.
Friday, 14 September 2007
Yahoo! Green was recently launched as part of the yahoo family, in effort to fight global warming and to educate readers about better choices we can make to save the planet.
Yahoo! Green has a design contest for their URL Icon, the image preceeding the URL as shown here:
Submit your design and Yahoo! will award the winner with $20,000 for the environmental non-profit of your choice. These were some of my favorites:
Take a virtual road trip (gasoline-free!) through Yahoo! Green and calculate your Carbon Footprint and see how it compares to the average American. I'm too embarrassed to share my "Green Number", but I assure you it's much higher than the average American. Fortunately, Green offers a number of ways to save CO2, visually disecting every room of a house and identifying opportunities to save. The solutions range from selecting energy efficient appliances to choosing better construction materials for your house. One of the solutions, is reducing the consumption of animal products. I'm not going to shove vegetarianism down your throat, but I will share something I learned recently (as in 5 minutes ago), that may influence the choices you make at the grocery store or the next restaurant:
Methane and Vegetarianism
By far the most important non-CO2 greenhouse gas is methane, and the number one source of methane worldwide is animal agriculture.
Methane is responsible for nearly as much global warming as all other non-CO2 greenhouse gases put together. Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.
With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority. Methane is produced by a number of sources, including coal mining and landfills—but the number one source worldwide is animal agriculture. Animal agriculture produces more than 100 million tons of methane a year. And this source is on the rise: global meat consumption has increased fivefold in the past fifty years, and shows little sign of abating. About 85% of this methane is produced in the digestive processes of livestock, and while a single cow releases a relatively small amount of methane, the collective effect on the environment of the hundreds of millions of livestock animals worldwide is enormous. An additional 15% of animal agricultural methane emissions are released from the massive “lagoons” used to store untreated farm animal waste, and already a target of environmentalists’ for their role as the number one source of water pollution in the U.S.
The conclusion is simple: arguably the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products. Simply by going vegetarian (or, strictly speaking, vegan), we can eliminate one of the major sources of emissions of methane, the greenhouse gas responsible for almost half of the global warming impacting the planet today.
That's right. To paraphrase, our luxurious lives of shiny accelerating SUVs, hot half-hour showers, Vegas nightlife, and juicy burgers...
will be drowned by melted glaciers as we approach the end of the world, brought to us by the farting of cows.
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
No words need to be said about how "We Will Never Forget"
I wanted to take this opportunity to honor the troops defending us for the last 6 years. Let us not forget the sacrifices they make.
Sponsor a Care Package for the troops (containing sunscreen, disposable cameras, prepaid international phone cards, travel size toiletries, nonperishable snacks, playing cards, compact discs, the donor’s personal message of support and other items donated by or purchased from manufacturers)
Here's an excellent article I found. Please please read it:
Six years ago today, the world tilted on its axis. Some very basic things changed in the way we look at each other, talk to each other, and deal with each other. Some of those things are good... some bad. The three words in the Candle & Ribbon images still resonate today, but for very different reasons. Sacrifices continue to be made... but Justice and Peace seem to have eluded our grasp.
The Library of Congress preserved a copy of this web site in October of 2001, as a way to record the thoughts of everyday people in the post-9-11 world. By now, I would like to have shelved this site, pulling the plug and taking it offline for good.
But... more lives are being lost even now, in the name of the fight against terrorism. Some battles are well-aimed. But a disconnect has been proven between 9-11 and the largest armed conflict in our world today.
All one can ask of a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman or Coast Guardsman is that they obey orders, and do their duty. And so many have done well more than their duty for so long now.
But the least we can ask of our civilian leaders is that they give those orders with intelligence, with wisdom, and in good faith... without deception, without political or ideological agenda, and according to the will of the people who elected them. This is the way that civilian control of the world's most powerful military was intended to be, even at the writing of the Constitution. To honor these principles is to honor the men and women who serve their country in uniform. To issue orders formulated under any lesser standard is to dishonor their sacrifice.
Today, the Candle & Ribbon images commemorate not only the innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001, but also all of the lives lost since, in subsequent senseless terror attacks, and in military action, both well-meaning and misguided.
From the innocence of everyday people at work or traveling on a beautiful fall morning, to the nobility of a service member accomplishing their mission with honor and courage, there are lives that deserve to be remembered today, and always.
Put a candle on your web page and bring a little more light into this still-darkened world.