Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hoping I bought some good gifts.

I avoided the roads on black Friday, but did my best to contribute to the cause and found I think some good and maybe slightly unpredictable gifts for the family. If you're uninspired at what you can get the siblings that would be useful but not a ton of money, maybe these ideas will help.

Mini Tri-Pod
I bought several of these MODO Pocket compact tripod. Ok, so you may think these are a little silly, after all, just put it on a table or counter or something, but with this, it attaches and can stay on the bottom of almost any camera and you can tilt and adjust where it points, which is the problem I have when I try to just put the camera on a surface to shoot. It folds up flat to the bottom of the camera when you're not using it. For $30 it's a good gift for my brothers and sister - or I think it is.

ePad Lap Desk
This is no way unique, but I used one at a hotel recently and thought - I've got to get me one of those! it's a padded lap desk for your laptop, currently on sale for $39.00 at Brookstone (and this weekend if you order more then $100, they'll send you a $20 gift card). They come in four colors and have handles. It pops your computer up just enough that it's far more comfortable to work even in bed. I got several of these and thought they'd make perfect gifts for my boss, my neice who's in college and one of my team members. I'm actually thinking about going back and getting a few more.

Toy RC Helicopter
Thank you Woot! Today they put these up for $8.99 and just ideal for my nephews who are tweens and always rough to buy for because we don't spend a lot of money on these guys but want to get them something else. Of course this will be gone tomorrow, but Woot has helped me several times find a gift that will be fun with out spending a fortune. I'll be checking them out to see if I find other things I can give as gifts on Woot right up till Christmas!

If I come across some other great finds, I'll keep you alerted, but I'm almost done and it's not even December 1! That is a first!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Santa's Road Kill

'Tis the season and I must confess, I'm a total goon for holiday decorating. I adore it, particularly, the outdoor lights. I think there that subconsciously, that is one big reason I married my husband. He's a big lighting guy, lights concerts, currently lighting director on tour with Smashing Pumpkins - an expert, he knows how to create the effects, do the wiring so that you only have one control yet it won't burn the house down. He unfortunately protests my desire for a major light show, one reminiscent of the planetarium shows we'd go to in high school on Friday nights that were set to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

Last year I saw the video of the house that was completely lit up and synchronized to a score with music from the greats, Bach, Beethoven, Van Halen... and more! And I got excited. I thought, how flipping awesome, this too will be me and I have the perfect person to help me! I would have a great mix, a little traditional, some old school, driving backbeat, maybe even a little Salt n ’Peppa in there – surely they did a Christmas album. I envisioned grid marks and plots and me on the roof with a tool belt and pencil in my mouth. I even considered what I'd wear when the news media came to interview me.

Yeah, dream on. My husband is really very good to me and will usually give me my way if I insist -- to a point. The 40,000 lights I estimated it would take to create my masterpiece were more then he could take. As I was told, "Honey, all I think about is the load out!" So the roof trim is out, so is the music and for the first time ever he did assist me and we have a very nice but moderate display of swags, side walk trim and a seven foot Elmo on a sled, riding down a path of lights that would make any kid in the snow envy. It looks really cute and I do feel a bit of pride when I see cars slowing down to admire our work.

But it's the daytime that gets to me. There seems to be a growing phenomenon that was never around when I was a child, in fact, not even ten years ago! It’s what I like to call, Santa's Road Kill. It's becoming so prevalent I'm waiting for the city to send crews out to "deal with the problem."

Yes, I admit, I do have my one, but it’s unique and my son was an Elmo fan. I will get rid of it as soon as I can figure out how to recreate the face using only my lights. A bit of a light bright application I’m thinking. So I am calling myself out too an offender for sure, but to be true to me, I still have plenty of other traditional strands too.

Unlike other types, Santa's Roadkill occurs in the daytime, and only this time of year. I think it's come about because people have become too damn lazy to do the work. Yes, we're a society of instant gratification, give me a pill to get thin, a patch to quit smoking, give me some nylon with a fan attached and I'm ready for Christmas. And I find it upsetting that people think they can get away with buying a giant blow up snow man or Santa Clause shove it on their front yard and go back to drinking their beer feeling very satisfied they have crated a beautiful and coveted holiday scape.

Oh, and then ones that have three, four, eight of these inflated freaks of the season! What are they thinking? There is no pride to be had, there's no admiration to be gained! What the hell? There was a time when giant blow up things were strictly for use in the privacy of your own bedroom or the occasional practical joke. What happened to those days?

Christmas lights are all about hundreds of extension cords, blown fuses, tangled stands of lights. It's about standing out in the cold and rain at 10:00 at night trying to find the one damn light that caused the entire strand to go out. It's about cursing and yelling, almost falling off roofs and the thrill of the thousand watt jolt from sticking your little finger into an empty bulb socket, because you forgot it was plugged in.

That's what Christmas lights are all about... not these stupid nylon inflatable gimmicks when daylight hits, lay in a lump as if they were discarded lawn and leaf bags, looking like they've lost a war with the bb gun brigade or a bit like Santa's road kill.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Personal Meaning in Mindless TV

So after a fun filled, action filled, business trip, I am happy to be back home, with my little man and looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, with my own pillow! And though I could probably hit the sack, it's just now around 8 and a little too early to go to sleep now -- not to mention, Super G will pitch a fit. I'm just not up for the fight. So Super G plays games on my computer, I watch a TIVO-ed episode of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Celebrity Rehab is the newest on my list of mindless TV, shows I can watch with out really watching. And it's a fabulous train wreck, I mean seriously, these folks that really have so much, great fortune, great talent... or maybe just great luck. Yet they manage to totally screw themselves in ways that are pretty unbelievable. And I find myself thinking wow, how stupid are these people. And you know, you can't fix stupid. But then I think a little more...
My boss and I have had a conversation a few times about how we have it all together, yet... the one thing we can't seem to get a grip on is our food/fat issues. And you know... that's my celebrity rehab moment.
I know I'm messing myself up, I know I need to get healthier, I know I need to do it for my family, for my Super Griff, for myself. I want to be healthier, I know I'll feel better. I want to look smart, sharp and look good for my appearance on the Today show (not that it's going to happen, but a girl can dream). Yet... I can't seem to manage it -- or can't for that long.
I get tired, I lose the will, I get overwhelmed by the weight I need to lose - it's too big, and then poof, it's over. And then I'm in the drive through at Micky D's ordering breakfast.
So these great talents - yet they pee all over all they have... how stupid??? Well, look at all I have, a great husband who loves me silly and makes me laugh, a brilliant, funny adorable little boy, a great house, an amazing job and I'm accomplishing SO much! Yet... I still am peeing all over myself.
I suppose we all have a need for our own Celebrity Rehab... they're not so different. Maybe I too can change.... or do we all just keep using?

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Sometimes I wonder...
At what point did I stop understanding SNL?
How is it Gary Busey is so out of his mind, yet doesn't know? (Celeb Rehab)
The world must be a better place, because when I was a kid, if you stuck a bowl of candy on your porch on Halloween for a self-serve purpose, it'd be gone after 30 minutes. Last night, everyone left out bowls.
How come my son could stay awake for hours, regardless of how tired he is?
How come I'm always tired?