Photo Phriday: Cards That Say Too Much

January 11, 2013 at 8:45 am | Posted in Photo Phriday | 3 Comments
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It has taken me a while to get through all the email I’ve received over the past month, and like most folks, I prioritize by subject line and sender, so most of the “Holiday Greetings” emails I’ve received have been put on the back-burner   Earlier this week I opened one of these long-neglected e-cards and was shocked by what I saw. Shocked!

This vendor (who shall go unnamed), designed and sent this particularly graphic card to clients around the globe including yours truly.  Witness:

Awkward Holiday Card

Eek!  Am I the only one who sees something a little non-PG in this holiday greeting?

Wouldn’t want to be the one who okayed this mass mailing… And the real shame of it is that what they’ve done – making a donation to help those impacted by Sandy – is overshadowed by our reactions to the card’s imagery.

Coffee and Crushed Dreams: The Keurig Ad Katastrophe

January 3, 2013 at 11:23 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 3 Comments
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Maybe it’s because I’ve always been harsh about ridiculous commercials (cough cough Chico’s cough cough) or because I’m a mom-to-be (g-d willing) and extra sensitive about this kind of thing, but the latest round of Keurig commercials is driving me batty.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of Keurig brewers (I even requested one for xmas a few years back, and fought the man in my old job to get one at work, too), but I’m not a big fan of squelching the imagination of children – even children acting in commercials.

Don’t know what I’m referring to?  This series of advertisements features two adults and a kid; one adult asks, “How does Keurig always have my favorite coffee?” or “How does Keurig brew such a great cup of coffee?”  The kid launches into an imaginative explanation of the magical world inside the brewer, and the adults says, in effect, “No you moron, I just push a button.”

Witness:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbuR-Lwu8vQ)

And what’s worse?  These are the company’s holiday commercials!  The ones designed to get us to want to buy the latest brewer and either gift it to friends/family or keep it for ourselves, to make us identify with these fake people and want their lives, or at least want to start our day with the same kind of coffee they’re drinking.

Granted, this isn’t enough to make me give up my beloved k-cups (even though I’m a decaf only girl now – sigh), but it is enough to get me to blog rant.  Come on, people!

Sometimes a Cigar is Just an Innuendo

December 28, 2012 at 9:19 am | Posted in Photo Phriday | Leave a comment
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Last week the hubs and I spent some time in the Nutmeg State visiting our families and came across today’s Photo Phriday gem… Does this bring back Clinton-esque memories?  It did for us!  But who knows – maybe to “that woman,” a “cigar” is just a cigar…

Cigar Bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky

Sometimes a cigar is just an innuendo

Practical Pregnancy Advice

December 19, 2012 at 10:20 am | Posted in Family, Pregnancy Fun Time | 4 Comments
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There’s a LOT of advice out there for those “in the family way” – from the best position to sleep in (on your left side, apparently) to what not to eat (while still eating almost everything in sight) – you could Google your every move and still not find all the info available.  But even with the overwhelming amount of advice out there, there are some very practical things I wish someone had shared with me before I found out the hard way.  For example:

The Wet Badge of Pregnancy: When leaning over to wash your hands, reach for something, etc., be sure to wipe off the counter area that your belly will touch before you reach out (because your belly will touch it!).  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a wet line across my midsection and had to walk around with water (or tomato sauce…) cutting across my protruding belly.  Not attractive, especially at work when you’re trying to appear professional.  (And yes, “trying” is the operative word here).

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Strangers Know Best!  Or so they think.  And they’re not afraid to tell you.  Everything.  Last week I was in line at the grocery and a TOTAL STRANGER approached me to let me know that “claims” that cocoa butter lotion like Palmer’s helps with stretch marks is a BALD-FACED LIE perpetuated by corporate America.  True story.  I didn’t even have any lotion in my cart!  Her recommendation?  Gotu Kola supplements.

Ohhh-kay.  First of all, lady, I certainly don’t want to discuss anything about my pregnancy or the evils of corporate America in the middle of a grocery store with some strange gal who lacks boundaries.  And Gotu Kola supplements?  We’re in Stop & Shop!  I’m exhausted, my back is killing me, my feet hurt, and even grocery shopping feels like a herculean effort.  The last thing I’m going to do is follow a random stranger’s advice, hunt all over the greater Boston area to find a supplement that my doctor hasn’t approved that may or may not help with stretch marks.

So ladies, when some wackadoo approaches you in the grocery or any other public place – and trust me, a stranger will approach you – do what I do and pretend you don’t speak English, or you’re about to yak.  Works (almost) every time.

And speaking of stretch marks…

Stretch Marks are Horrifying!  No one, NO ONE, tells you this, but it’s true, and it’s also true that it is okay to think that.  Yes, they’re natural.  Yes, they’re unavoidable for those who are susceptible to them.  And yes, in the grand scheme of things, they’re NO BIG DEAL.  But this blog is about being honest, and honestly, my stretch marks startle me every time I catch a glimpse of them.  It looks like my baby is trying to claw her way out – like she’s either auditioning for the next Alien film or she’s so miserable in there she’ll do anything to get out!

Clearly this is not the case.  Obviously the red gashes have nothing to do with Baby L-ski’s state, other than to indicate that she’s growing (thankfully) and I need to make more room for her!  But I’m super self-conscious about them, even when I’m alone.  And it’s okay to feel that way, dagnabbit!

Worrying About How Much I Worry… Should I be Worried?  Around the middle of my second trimester, I started thinking.  Okay, okay, it was more than just thinking; I started worrying, particularly about silly things.  For example, a few weeks ago I was up all night worrying that both our cars were too small to have a baby and a dog, and that there was no way we would be able to fit everything for both of them in our little sedans should we need to travel for a weekend.  I was up all night long considering what our next vehicle should be, when we could swing getting a new one financially, and if it should be Andrew’s or mine that we replace.

In the morning I was exhausted and cranky, and shared my concerns with the hubs.  His response?  “It’s going to be okay.  We will figure it out, and if we have to travel before we get a new car, we can always just rent one.  And next time you think you’re going to worry all night long, just wake me up and we’ll talk it through together.”  He was absolutely right and totally logical, and that made me worry.  Why was I worrying so much?  Was something wrong with me?  Should I worry about how much I worry?

The short answer is: Sarah, don’t worry about it.  Worrying (to a certain extent) is, apparently, totally normal.  So as long as your worries don’t interfere with your life or become debilitating, you probably don’t need to worry about them – even though it’s natural to worry.

And those, my friends, are some of the nuggets of truth I wish someone had shared with me early on in my pregnancy.  I may be taking my factinis virgin these days, but I’m still serving ‘em up!

Photo Phriday: Game of Thrones

November 9, 2012 at 9:24 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor, Photo Phriday | 2 Comments
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Today’s Photo Phriday gem is brought to us by one of my colleagues at Dark Water Fowl.  As he pulled into our office parking garage this week, he had no idea he was entering a throne room!

Witness:

Toilets on parade

As he said, these porcelain soldiers were lined up and ready for battle!

You could get lost among all those loos…

Water closet?  Try water garage…

<Insert more potty humor here>

Baby L-ski is a…

October 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Family, Pregnancy Fun Time | 6 Comments
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Is it tacky to announce our little one’s gender on my blog?  Maybe.  But it’s also the fastest way to disseminate this information, so you’ll have to excuse this uncouth post if you want the dish.

It’s a mystery no longer!

Predictions have been pretty even – at last tally, 45 percent of our friends and family (well, those who are involved enough to want to make the prediction, that is) said boy (the blue faction), 50 percent said girl (the pink faction), and 5 percent refused to make a prediction (the party pooper faction).

It is with great joy that Andrew and I announce that we are having a GIRL!!!

All those who voted PINK, go buy a lottery ticket.  Seriously.  Go.  And we won’t say no if you throw a portion of your winnings Baby L-ski’s way for instilling in you the confidence to play a game with such lousy odds.

Pregnancy, Part One

September 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor, Pregnancy Fun Time | 8 Comments
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As you know, I’m fairly open about sharing news and life milestones, but for some reason, I felt REALLY awkward telling people about my pregnancy when it was time to share it.  Has any other mom-to-be felt this way?  Am I the only who couldn’t quite figure out a way to let people know?  Or who was content with people eventually figuring out that my belly was more baby than brownies (for a change) without my having to say it out loud?

Let’s just say I wasn’t quick to post ultrasound photos to Facebook… (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”)

But now that my pregnancy is “Facebook official” (thanks, mom!), I can blog about it freely and share my experiences thus far with a bun in my oven (icky expression).  Andrew and I are SO excited to be parents (g-d willing), but as you can imagine, there’s been a fair amount of awkwardness over these past 16 weeks, too.  Here’s a slice of the silly aspects of pregnancy thus far…

In the Dark with Morning Sickness

Because I work at a software company, the ratio of men to women is pretty skewed, so, despite the four stalls, the ladies room often feels like a private potty.  The plus side of that is, mid-first trimester when I spent a fair amount of time hovering over the porcelain throne, I could bank on being alone in there and easily hiding whenever I had to toss my cookies in the office bathroom.

However, this privacy also had a downside.  In an effort to save energy, the bathroom lights are on sensors, and after a few minutes without detecting movement, the lights shut off.  No windows, no night lights – it is pitch black in there when the overheads are off.  I can’t even begin to tell you how awkward it is to be locked in a bathroom stall in absolute darkness, on the verge of ralphing, praying you don’t miss the toilet while trying not to touch anything!

It should have been an event in London – I’d have won Olympic gold!


Photo Phriday: The Drinking Age in Rhode Island

September 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Married Life, Photo Phriday | 3 Comments
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Last weekend the hubs and I took a mini-break in the Ocean State.  We relaxed, went to a minor league baseball game, saw Providence’s famous Water Fire and learned that in Rhode Island, 21 is only the suggested drinking age.  Witness:

The “drinking age” in Rhode Island is “21”…

So basically, if you’re under “21” you “can’t” drink so don’t even try it (unless you have a fake “I.D.”).

Chico’s So Slimming Jeans for the Already Slim

August 27, 2012 at 9:26 am | Posted in TV (The Boob Tube) | 19 Comments
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As you know, dear reader(s), it’s been a while since I last blogged, so you can bet I have some pent-up inconsequential angst to share.  Today I’d like to take out my irrational wrath on the Chico’s So Slimming™ commercials. 

So Slimming Jeans

Wow! Chico’s So Slimming(TM) Jeans make skinny women look skinny!

As a gal with fairly obvious love handles (I wouldn’t want love to just slip away – it needs something to hold on to!) and who has been pretty open about battling my own personal bulge, I’m the target audience for such slenderizing apparel*. 

You know who doesn’t need said minimizing pantaloons?  The lady dancing like a fool in their commercials (which air CONSTANTLY, I might add). 

Click here for one of the ads I’m talking about…

I can practically see this little dancing diva’s hip bones!!  Honestly, Chico’s, let’s get real.  Advertising slimming jeans on a skinny lady does NOTHING for your target customer except perhaps generate resentment. 

You want to prove these pants are worth their weight in advertising claims?  Put a REAL woman in the pants!  And for Twinkies’ sake, quit perpetuating the stereotype that even the healthiest of women could still stand to lose a few lbs. (or at least appear as if she has lost that last pesky ounce – that she’s sure everyone notices – thanks to these miracle pants)!  Enough!       

Shame on you, Chico’s!

 

* Though granted, perhaps a decade or two too young for this particular brand.

The Three Little Bricks and The Big Bad Microburst

July 25, 2012 at 8:24 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | Leave a comment
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My dear Factinis readers:

Today’s post is a special treat for me because my friend (and reliable Factinis commenter) Erika will be occupying my usual soap box!  So, in addition to helping with content (of which I’ve been embarrassingly negligent of late), she’s also making me feel better about my own life!  Let’s face it: a lot of crazy stuff happens to me, and knowing that it happens to other people, too, makes me feel a little more normal.  Or at least like there’s a community of abnormality out there that I’m a part of…  So without further ado, I give you Erika’s true tale of commuting madness!

I should start this guest post as my hostess so often does, with a snapshot into my life at work. I have on my desk, along with a pink feather boa, a plastic dinosaur and a veritable rainbow of fuzzy craft bears, a plastic model of the Weinermobile. While all these objects have stories behind them, I blame office gossip for the Weinermobile. You know how these things happen, right? A perfectly innocent event gets warped by the rumor mill and suddenly everyone at work wants to know how you got into a car accident with the Weinermobile.

oscar mayer weinermobile

The perfect desk accessory?

I didn’t. Yes, it was a car accident, and yes, it did involve processed meat, but it wasn’t nearly so dramatic as it sounds. A simple rear-ending by a sausage truck is all. I tell you this for two reasons. One, because I know you’re all mature enough not to snicker by the imagery of sausages and rear ends, and two, because it sets a nice context for what happened eight years later. A.k.a. last week.

Picture if you will a lovely summer evening in a town just north of Boston. And then, just as you’re settling in to enjoy the story, strolling down the country lane (okay, it was a major commuting route) on your way to meet your wife for dinner at your favorite Indian restaurant, imagine yourself up to your knees in water, suddenly caught in a dramatic torrent of wind and rain complete with downed trees and sizzling power lines. Do you panic? Of course not! This is all well and good because your clothes probably needed a wash anyway and hopping fallen branches while trying to dodge the falling sparks from the urban jungle above is kind of like a video game. And who doesn’t love a good video game at the end of a long hard day at work?

I hope you didn’t think that was a rhetorical question. The answer, as it turns out, is “my trusty steed.” Apparently my being drenched, nearly swept away by wind and rain and narrowly avoiding electrocution wasn’t enough for Mother Nature. No, she looked down on me, released a cackle of thunder, and said to herself, “I’d better get her car involved too.” So, when my wife and I went to the nearby parking lot to retrieve a bag from the vehicle, we discovered a pile of bricks surrounding it. Unlike similar scenes in Super Mario World, however, there were no gold coins or feathers of invisibility or extra lives awaiting us. Just a crowd of people staring up amazedly at a hole on the roof of the jewelry shop. Yes indeed, microbursts are all fun and games until someone loses a windshield from a falling chimney.

To be honest, I’m not sure if the odds are better for falling chimneys than for rogue sausage trucks, but either way, I’m concerned about what’s going to show up on my desk once my co-workers get wind of this. So to speak.

So what say you, dear reader(s), what WILL show up on our guest blogger Erika’s desk in the weeks to come? A big bad wolf, huffing and puffing? A wind-up Dick Van Dyke doll that sings a certain tune from Mary Poppins? Santa Claus with a little gray rain cloud over his head? We can only guess… but I’m sure she’ll report back with the answer!

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