Photo Phriday: The MTV Jersey Shore Puzzle

July 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Photo Phriday | Leave a comment
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Today’s Photo Phriday is yet another “inappropriate for children but apparently made for children” product.  I was strolling through the aisles of Toys R Us the other day <shudder>, when I stumbled upon this:

 

Inappropriate

C’mon, kids! Let’s do a puzzle!

That’s right, next to the Toy Story puzzle and below the Barbie puzzle was a 300 piece “Jersey Shore” puzzle.  I was horrified.  First of all, what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is Toys R Us doing stocking a “Jersey Shore” puzzle?  Second, if you’re going to manufacture a “Jersey Shore” puzzle, why only 300 pieces?  Isn’t the rule that the fewer pieces, the more suitable it is for younger kiddies?  Are kids who buy 300 piece puzzles also watching MTV’s “Jersey Shore”??  Am I so far out of the “cool for kids” zone that I’m the only crotchety old lady who thinks this is a little inappropriate?      

~ The Prude

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The Kindness of Strangers (Playing Scramble with Friends)

July 2, 2012 at 11:00 am | Posted in Misc. | Leave a comment
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My latest app obsession is Scramble with Friends (a sibling of Words with Friends, but this is a Boggle “tribute” instead of a Scrabble “tribute”).  And when I say obsession, I mean it!  Praised be to Zynga, I LOVE THIS GAME!  Why?  Well, in addition to growing up in a Boggle-friendly family (aaaah memories), I’m pretty sure I’ve found my self-esteem right there on my Droid.  And it’s not about winning every match.

The app has this feature where you can play a random opponent, so to get more playing time (after work and on weekends only, of course…), I tried it and ended up being matched to the most encouraging fella (or so I assume from the username) I’ve ever had the pleasure of not meeting! 

ALB, as I’ll call him for ease of reference, consistently beats me (by a lot), but he is so nice about it!  He’s constantly sending messages like “Great round!” and “Nice work :)” and “You’re doing great!”, despite our point differential which is always weighted (heavily) in his favor.  The guy constantly kicks my butt, but includes praise when he does it, and it makes me feel so GOOD!  He wins with grace and kindness, and if there was such thing as a Scramble with Friends Fairy Godfather, he’d be it!

So thank you, ALB, for being you!  If I knew who you were, I’d send you a real thank you note, but due to privacy measures, you’ll have to accept this blog instead!

P.S. In writing this I realized that I might sound a little pathetic thanking a complete stranger for boosting my self-esteem thanks to an app on my phone, but so what!?!  I’ll take praise where I can get it!  Now, off to happily lose another round…      

Don’t mind if I do!

Photo Phriday: Baby’s First Body Bag?

June 29, 2012 at 8:06 am | Posted in Photo Phriday | 2 Comments
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A few weeks ago I was searching for a birthday present for one of my favorite two-year-olds, so I turned to my trusted source of all things retail, Amazon.com, for some recommendations and reasonable prices.

Since I know very little about what a not-so-terrible-two’s gal might want, I searched for toys with the following parameters:

  • Toys, Kids & Baby
  • Toys & Games
  • Age Range: 2-4 Years
  • Department: Sports & Outdoor Play

And what did it present?  A body bag.

I wish I was kidding.  See the screenshot below:

Awwww, how precious! Baby’s first body bag!

Please tell me this is a Halloween accessory that isn’t as frightening as I think it would be for a child under five… because if it IS as scary as I think it might be, Amazon needs to really work on their search criteria!

Adventures in Urgent Care

June 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 4 Comments
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(To my readers in the medical profession who wish to avoid snarky, unsolicited tips on how to make the experience better for your patients, stop reading and check back tomorrow for a Photo Phriday that is guaranteed to offend someone – they always do – but hopefully that someone is not you!)

I recently had a run-in with this wild bitch and ended up in the urgent care center (in other words: sweet-but-still-being-trained Cadie accidentally gave me a concussion – oops!). I waited and waited to see the doctor (not unexpected on a Saturday), and while the wait didn’t bother me much, what did bother me were my surroundings. Despite my less than optimal state, even I was able to observe the ridiculousness of the situation.  And since I’m nothing if not judgy annoying helpful, I came up with three tips that can make future patients’ visits much nicer…

Tip #1: Remove Patronizing “Art”

As I lay on the crunchy paper lining of the pleather exam table awaiting the poor doc. who got the short straw that weekend, I gazed up at the ceiling and saw this:

Tacky Art

Really?

Yes, that cheap, thumb-tacked poster says “Fragile.”

Infuriating.  

I’m pretty sure that, once you’ve reached the point where you are in an urgent care situation, you know you’re fragile.  I certainly don’t need a reminder.  I also don’t need to be potentially impaled with a thumb tack!  (Don’t think I didn’t notice that one of the thumb tacks was missing!  I had HOURS to stare up at that thing.)

Tip #2: Tick, Tick, Tick

We expect to wait to see a doctor, but for heaven’s sake, don’t emphasize exactly how long we spend alone and uncomfortable in those dingy little exam rooms! In other words: having a clock in the room is fine, but please consider one that doesn’t loudly tick away every second we’re stuck there!  Especially for those with head injuries, migraines, etc…

Tip #3: Utilize Appropriate Recognition

To distract myself from the patronizing artwork and the sound of my life ticking away, and to relieve the call of nature, I ventured down the hallway to the W.C. and saw this on the wall:

Congrats to…?… on…?…!

Yes, that IS a blank certificate of achievement recognizing no one for nothing in particular.  On the bathroom wall.  Hellooooooooo!  Does anyone else consider this bizarre?? 

Editor’s note: apparently one of the symptoms of a concussion is being overly emotional… so… yeah…  

Photo Phriday: Of All the Starches in the World…

June 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Posted in Around Boston, In The Kitchen, Office Humor, Photo Phriday | 4 Comments
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Mmm, culinary awkwardness!  Today’s Photo Phriday is compliments of the usually-on-task café in Dark Water Fowl’s office building.  Notice anything odd?

This pairing just ain’t kosher…

How about a nice pilaf?

Of all the starches in the world, why they chose Israeli Cous Cous to pair with pork is beyond me!

Photo Phriday: There’s No Wrong Way to Eat at Reese’s

June 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Photo Phriday | Leave a comment
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I love all Reese’s candy – heck, I love most things involving chocolate and peanut butter.  What I don’t love is when people toy with my emotions, like when they make me think there’s said flavor combination involved in their completely unrelated businesses.  Take, for example, this barber shop I recently passed:

 

What?!?

What does hair cutting have to do with the heavenly candy treat?  And, for that matter, what is a “special Boston-style hair cut?”  Shenanigans, people.  She. Nan. I. Gans.

~Sarah

P.S. Apparently I’m in the mood to talk about hair styles this week!  New topics coming soon…

Just for Manly Men?

June 6, 2012 at 9:50 am | Posted in Misc., Office Humor | 2 Comments
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As someone who has been highlighting and dying my hair for nearly two decades (no one is perfect – I was meant to be blond, not a deep brunette), I feel I’m qualified to comment on “follicle hue manipulation.”  When my girlfriends – or even random gals; I rarely hold back when it comes to complements – are looking particularly hair-model-fabulous, I make a point of saying so!  Lately, however, I’m at a loss on whether to complement, or even acknowledge, these color changes. 

Is there a chapter in the Man Code about dying your hair?

Why?  Because more and more often, it’s men who have been updating their do’s!  Those “Just for Men” commercials aren’t lying (for better or worse), and men throughout my tangential social and professional circles have jumped on the colorist bandwagon – even those who used to object to the amount of money people spend on “staying young” and preserving their looks!

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not judging.  Far be it from me to look down on hair dyers.  (Okay, okay – sometimes when the dye job is really bad or really obvious, I do judge – but it’s not gender-dependent!).  It’s just that when I say “I love your hair color” to a chick, she’ll take it as a compliment, but older dudes trying to deny the aging process by adopting metrosexual trends of focusing on cosmetic updates after decades of trying to convince us and themselves that they look distinguished with gray hair?  Well, I’m at a loss. 

I don’t want to embarrass anyone by calling out the change, but I also don’t want to seem insensitive by not mentioning anything at all (because you know that when we ladies get salon treatments, you had BEST complement it!).

What’s a detail-oriented gal to do?

Naturally blond on the inside (no jokes, please),

Sarah

I’m THAT Mom

May 17, 2012 at 10:38 am | Posted in Family, Married Life | 2 Comments
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As many of you know, the hubs and I recently adopted a beautiful little girl (of the canine persuasion).  It has been about a week and a half since she joined our family, but I’m afraid to say that I’m already “THAT mom.”

(Act surprised).

I admit it: I’ve gone on a few online shopping sprees, but as package after package arrives at Chez L-ski, I assure Andrew that I’m only getting “what we need.”  From toys to treats, food and water bowls to a crate, a dog bed to a harness, these are all important doggie supplies.  Andrew agreed: this was not frivolous spending, I was being responsible.

And then a few days ago, he opened one of the boxes and found a Halloween costume for Cadie (it’s a really cute bumble bee costume, but I understand how that might be “beside the point”).

“Really??” he asked.

“It’s not as extravagant as it seems,” I protested.  “It was on clearance AND I had a gift certificate!  It didn’t actually cost us a cent!”

But I admit that I may have gone a little too far in my doggie retail therapy.

The good news is that I think this bodes well for my future/potential children.  They always say you are worst with your first kid, so my current behavior is probably helping my first human child!  Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Say what you will about me, but I haven’t gone THIS far with Cadie. Yet.

Photo Phriday: Lost In Translation

May 11, 2012 at 9:18 am | Posted in Photo Phriday | 2 Comments
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Ikea, for those who avoid pop culture and reasonably priced, ready-to-assemble-furniture, is a powerful brand.  So powerful, in fact, that according to the Twitter wisdom of @davidgate and #FactsWithoutWikipedia, “In 1983 Sweden changed the colours of their flag to Blue and Yellow after the phenomenal success of the IKEA brand.”

Personally, I love Ikea.  And nearly everyone I know has purchased an Ikea product they can’t pronounce because the Swedish brand, staying true to itself, doesn’t rename their products in local dialects.  And usually that’s fine.  But sometimes it can be a little awkward, which brings me to today’s Photo Phriday.  I recently got the following email blast from Ikea – can you spot the faux pas?

(Hint: think like a slang-spewing teen boy)

Ikea: affordable prices, lack of cultural intelligence. No wonder that woman is hiding!

If you don’t know what the name of that faucet translates to, I congratulate you!  You’re not missing anything, other than an embarrassing moment and uncomfortable mental image.  However, if you do have a burning need to discover what this slang means and lose a little part of your innocence (not worth it*), I’ll refer you to “Urban Dictionary,” but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

* Seriously, you can NEVER go back to not knowing this, so click wisely, dear reader(s).  And remember, I don’t recommend it!

Puppy Love!

May 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Family, Married Life | Leave a comment
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On Sunday, Andrew and I welcomed Cadence (or Cadie, as we call her) to the L-ski family.  A sweet, beautiful, tiny Black Lab (she’s less than 40 lbs.!), Cadie is about two-years-old and was rescued from a shelter down south and brought into our lives by New England Lab Rescue.

I’ve wanted a dog for years, so when we saw her sweet face, we fell in puppy love and immediately decided to adopt her.  We knew she would be a lot of work, but we also know she will be worth it.

For those who love dogs, or for those who just want to chuckle at the craziness of our first 48 hours together, here’s a sample of what we have learned about dog ownership so far…

Ensure closed doors are really closed!  Yesterday I took Cadie out for her first morning walk as a member of our family.  She was energetic and happy, did her business like a champ, and I was feeling pretty good about our second day together!  Until she ran away…

I’m sorry I ran away and got your shoes muddy… but wasn’t it a fun morning? Huh? Huh?

After our walk, I brought her in the house, took off her leash and started to remove my shoes when she darted through my legs and managed to squeeze out the front door, which I thought was closed!  Apparently, she got to it in the instant before it clicked firmly into place, and I felt like a grade-A rhymes-with-glass-bowl.  I got in the car to circle the neighborhood and Andrew sprinted through yards until he caught up with her (she was happy and wagging her tail, assuming this was as fun for us as it was for her) and brought her home.  Phew!  I’m pretty sure this makes my husband a super hero.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch – unless you’re our dog.  When Andrew raced out to “retrieve our retriever,” he was in the middle of making his lunch, so naturally the two pounds of sliced turkey, bread, etc. were unguarded on the kitchen counter.  I say “were” because the second he brought her home, she darted into the kitchen, jumped up on the counter and brought a week’s worth of lunch supplies down in her slobbery (yet adorable) mouth.  Andrew, once again acting as super hero, managed to get the food away before she ate it (and it gave her a tummy ache), but we had to throw it away due to floor cooties and doggie slobber.

Sittin’ pretty!

Some dogs, like some people, make a list and check it twice. I understand that dogs are prone to “mark their territory, tinkle-style,” but apparently Cadie is fastidious about tasks like this.  On Sunday, she peed in her crate twice, and peed in the house by the back door twice, and… you get the picture, and I’ll spare you the details.  The good news?  Consider the territory marked!  The bad news?  We need more paper towels and cleaner.

The health care debate in Washington is incomplete!  That’s not a plug for or against Obamacare or any political statement.  But after my first vet bill (Cadie had an ear infection, needed to get a microchip, various vaccinations and tests, etc.), I am starting to understand the pull of pet health insurance, because if this is a sign of things to come, Andrew and I may need to start the Ramen regime.

(I’m kidding – of course we budgeted for vet bills, within reason, before agreeing to adopt).

I could go on and on about our new pup, but I don’t want to be one of “those mommies” so I’ll summarize by saying we’re head-over-heels in love with this little mischievous pooch, and have signed up for training classes to ensure we three remain in love for years and years to come!  And we’ve give her a new nickname; henceforth we shall refer to her (in certain circles) as “the Devil Dog,” both because she’s as sweet as the Drake’s cake and because she’s a troublemaker we love to love.

Happy tails to you!

My new people are exhausting! (And yes, I’ve been spayed)

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