Thursday, May 28, 2009

Buy This Shampoo (another endorsement for which I will not be compensated)

This shampoo - Loreal Absolut Repair - is AWESOME. If you know me, you know I don't like to spend moolah on myself. Steinvic occasionally says things like, "Please quit using cheap hair stuff on your hair," because my hair is sometimes a disaster and he wisely knows that the cheap stuff makes it worse. (Steinvic, however, has amazingly gorgeous, thick, wonderful hair...grrr...) It's kind of nice that he wants me to splurge on hair stuff, possibly because my hair-bitching is annoying, but probably because he thinks I'm worth it. I'll go get it cut and styled or even colored and then end up doing things to it myself to try to extend the life of that service. Just doesn't work out so well. know my true affection for bargains. To me, it's only a bargain if it's something you use regularly and find a deal. But sometimes, "bargain" extends to making a discovery of an extremely discounted, usually very pricey product you've always wanted to use, but never tried because it was too expensive.

I was at Meijer a week or so ago because I had a gift card (got TWO in the mail for some reason, just $5 off any purchase) and needed a couple things that I can only get there. I wandered past the clearance end caps in the makeup/hair aisle and saw this shampoo...had been $20, marked down to $6. I saw Loreal professional, neofibrine (which I'd read about) and reconstruct on the label and thought, gonna try it. $6 is more than I'd usually spend on a try, but what the heck.

This shampoo is amazing from the first use. After two weeks, my dry, fine, hair has body. It shines. I don't even have to use conditioner - which weighs fine hair down - because the shampoo is fixing the damage. I actually even like my hair today!
So, I'm scouring the Internet for somewhere that has the best price because I may have to start splurging on this shampoo. (They only had the one, lonely bottle at Meijer.) So, what are you waiting for? Go try it. You'll thank me! I mean, if it works on my pitiful locks, imagine what it could do for you...

Does it Really Matter? I Mean...Really?

So...there is a "housewife" (who really isn't a housewife any longer, because she is a single Mom instead now...) on the Real Housewives of New Jersey who apparently has a shady past. The commercials for the next episode of this "reality" show have been advertising the big reveal about Danielle's history since the show ran earlier this week. Apparently, her mug shot is in a book, one of the wives (who doesn't like Danielle) came across it, and decided to tell the other housewives - and the world - that Danielle has a criminal past. And I what? She's a character...
  • She's admittedly had two years relations with some guy she met on the Internet. This is the guy who also stood her up when they were supposed to meet in person. I have the feeling that he was not as Gucci Model as his "guccimodel" screen name suggested!
  • She offers to duck into the bathroom with her current boyfriend, because she's "so bad..." and this is like a totally upscale place.
  • She brags that she was engaged 19 times before getting married to her former spouse/father of her children.
  • She loves, loves, loves money. Wants money. Needs money. Loves expensive things.
  • She claims that she was once a professional dancer.
Now, this 1980s kidnapping-drugs-stripper info is out there. So? Big deal! I mean, isn't what society hopes for anyone who has a "life of crime" or not-so-great living conditions is that they get their cr*p together and have a better, decent, respectable life?

She seems mostly to be just...human. A loving, active mom and who wants to befriend the other wives, though they - for the most part - don't like her. She doesn't work, but she works out and keeps herself up. She lives in a big house with lots of clothes and jewelry and I have no idea what she does all day, but isn't that a life style that lots of people call "living the dream"? (I think it sounds kind of boring, but, hey!)

So, she needs to spin the heck out of this story instead of crying and go, "You know, I didn't want to brag, but I'm a success story. I had a sh*t life and got my act together. I married well, had two beautiful girls and I keep a nice home. I'm even making bank on this show that you people are obviously watching, so take a lesson!" She could even get on Oprah or Dr. Phil if she plays her cards right...imagine the attention!

What a mess... Moral of the story, if you're going on a reality television show and your mug shot was once in a book that is supposedly out of print, make sure it's REALLY out of print! Sheesh!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memories of Memorial Day

Wonderful weekend! I hope yours was, too. Steinvic got home (best part of the weekend!) and suprised me with a bottle of Finlandia - so sweet of him! - and we went out for a bit on Friday to our local. We slept in and lounged on Saturday, and decided we needed to watch Goodfellas and have Italian that evening - great idea! We saw friends on Sunday at our local, and after a good friend of ours came over to cook out and chill for a bit. Monday was a day of just relaxing...excellent!

Earlier on Sunday, we did go to the Taste of Cincinnati. We hadn't been for a few years. This year, it was along Fifth Street, by Fountain Square and I have to say...don't like it. Being near the Square is always nice. But the one, long, stream of slow walkers - and even stoppers - down the center of the street was frustrating. Slow walkers, stoppers and - bless them - stroller pushers should all go up on the sidewalks. That way, they can take their time and not block the road for the normal walkers and fast walkers.

But that aside, we had fun. We always have fun! But here is where you might think we're insane - we didn't eat anything. No, really. We did have some drinks, but we were pretty hot and had a good breakfast so...we just didn't see anything that called out to us. Eventually, we ducked into Rock Bottom Brewery for a "real drink" (there was no vodka to be found at the Taste this year) for me and a real ladies room, as opposed to the portalets (which actually turned out to be 100x nicer than the loo at RBB). We shared an appetizer there, so...we did eat at the Taste but not at the Taste.

I wish that Steinvic had been to the Taste when it was still as I Dad took me a number of times when I was a kid. Spacious, lots and lots of music, very non-commercial, tiny portions for $1 or $2...that was key as you could try lots of different things. Now, it's like crazy busy and giant portions, higher cost. It's still cool, because...hey, when else can you walk around downtown Cincinnati with a beer! And we love going downtown. So...we'll for sure be back...we're sure his son would dig it. And hey, next time, you should come along...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fabulous Friday

TGIF! And a long weekend with Steinvic to follow. And the weather is phenomenal. And it's payday. What else could anyone want?!

My big project o' the week was painting the hall/foyer/stairwell area and it's finally finished! Looks lovely. It really is amazing what a nice coat of paint can do.

So, I'm headed out the front door this morning and the LARGEST mosquito I've ever seen smacks me in the face and dizzies on into the house. I didn't even know what it was at first, but I look over at the landing and see this giant mutha. Now, I'm flipping out because a) I'm trying to get out the door so I won't be late, b) I don't want this thing in the house because it's nas-tay and I think it might kill us in our sleep and I have such a horrible reaction to bug bites of any kind and c) guess where this b*tch has landed? On the freshly painted wall!!!

How do you whack a mosquito without jacking up the paint job you've spent hours perfecting? Very carefully. RIP, mosquito... no mess, no reminders.

And, speaking of whacking, what did I say? Bless those New Jersey Real Housewives...the husbands may really be livin' life slightly Soprano Style!

Anyway, for the weekend? Hopefully, a little bit of this. If you've never been because you think it's just music and food and beer and crowds and that doesn't appeal to you...stay home! Seriously...imagine a really professionally put on festival, in the heart of Cincinnati, with some great bands, sunshine and taste-size portions of some very yummy local food. If you're from here, avoid the stuff you can easily get anytime - in other words, if you get a slice of LaRosa's while you're there, you're missing out. Go for the restaurants you've heard of but never tried, or those that have won some of the Best Of awards. Same goes for the's a big deal for anyone to get to play this event, so listen to something new...Fun times!

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! See you on Tuesday...

p.s. Yes, I am aware that the truck in the featured masterpiece, Attack of the Killer Mosquito,(another five-minute work of art, brought to you courtesy of my warped brain and the creators of Paint) strikes an odd resemblance to a previously discussed truck. The similarity is purely coincidental...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why Buy It? Make It!

I kind of dig the Ed Hardy sunglasses...some of the clothing is a little over the top, but I think the shades are kind of cool, so long as they don't have a ton of rhinestones on them.

But here's the deal...I don't wanna pay $175 for sunglasses for myself.

So, for the last few months, I've been on the lookout for sunglasses that I could use to make my own groovy shades. And last night, I found a pair...usually $14.99 on sale for $9.99. Sweet!

I found some Ed Hardy Temporary Tattoos a few months back when I first got this idea. The whole pack (about 50 tattoos in all) was about $5.

I found some in the pack that I liked and affixed them to the sunglasses, same directions as applying them to skin.

I let them dry then carefully applied two coats of clear nail polish.

And now I have my own, very groovy, Ed Hardyesque sunglasses. And they cost about $10. What do you think?

Meanwhile, something has happened to my gmail account. I can't access it. I click the directions for when you've forgotten your password.

That prompts an e-mail link to my other e-mail account, and I go out there and click that.

It sends me to a window which asks me to answer my temporary question in the box below. Here is the kicker - my temporary question asks: "temporary question?"

What the heck? That isn't a question! So, I can't answer it, right? No idea what to put there.

So, I click the link that says, "if you can't answer the question, click here to reset your password by an e-mail sent to your alternate account."

I do that and the whole cycle starts again! The p*sser is that this was the account I used in conjunction with my new phone, so now, no e-mail on my phone. Can't figure it out...maybe I'm not cut out for this much technology! Sigh...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I've Got the Fever...

We had the best weekend. We did home things and car things and still managed to get up to the art museum and to our favorite neighborhood. We walked and talked and dreamed outloud our hopes of living there one day. We cooked out on our newly jazzed up patio. We slept in. It was a wonderful weekend...and thanks to Steinvic for treating us to zippy car washing kits, a new hose, and decor for the patio - so appreciated!

Doing a bunch of good outside stuff has struck me with home improvement fever. AND, I found myself with an entire evening, unbooked. This is a rarity in my life, though I'm not complaining. So, I stopped at Home Depot and bought some paint for the hallway/foyer/up-the-stairs area of the house.

I got home and was early enough and I had to have a walk. So I laced up and started out the door, planning a quick walk. Funny thing is, my feet took me a different direction and I ended up taking a GIANT walk. I still made it home by seven.

I watered everything I'd planted on Saturday. Love watering!

I started a healthy pizza (no, really, it was! Single serve, home made, only the good stuff.) in the oven and began taping the edges and baseboards while the pizza baked, thinking that if I finished that part last night, tonight I'd actually paint.

I took a break and ate my pizza. Sighed. It was about 8:00. I had to start painting...couldn't wait for today!

While I only finished the little hall, the foyer and up onto the landing, I have to say, WOW. It had been white and even that was old and smudgey from the previous owners (yes, we've lived with it for almost five years this way!) Now it's a creamy earthy light tone, like a chai-latte, and it's lovely. I got to a stopping point around 9:30.

So, I'm sore but so happy to walk down the stairs and not think, "Ugh," which is literally what I've thought every time I've reached the bottom of the stairs until this morning.

It's coming together and is finally starting to feel like home. I know, it takes me a while. Tonight - up-the-stairs...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Could be one of "those" days...

...but I'm not allowing it to! You know the kind of day I'm talking about, right?

The kind of day where your hem is mysteriously no longer in your pants. I noticed my hem was out this morning as I was dressing and there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it, save for wear the pants in and fix them once I got to my desk (if you don't have a sewing kit in your desk drawer, you simply must get one, or some heavy duty double-sided tape, just for this occasion.) Call me a Garanamiles kind of girl, but I lay my clothes out the night before, including shoes, socks and underwear. I have to do this, or I can't get out of the house on's complicated. Steinvic understands! It takes me too long to make decisions like that in the morning. Thus, I was stuck with hemless pants. But they're all fixed now, and fabulous.

It was also the kind of day where I forgot to apply deodorant. I am wearing a lovely black top that I didn't want to get deodorant on as I dressed, so I put the top on, thinking I'd put deodorant on after, and realized I forgot as I was driving in. (Because the invisible solids? Not so invisible.) I mean, I'm thankful I remembered, because I pulled into Meijer and got some deodorant and even put it on while I was sitting at a traffic light (no, no one was around) so, I'm good there, too.

So really, so far, this has been a day of saves, so I can't complain, right? Right! I'm actually very happy and content and ready for the weekend. Happy that it's Friday and that Steinvic will be here this afternoon...

It's good to be happy! In fact, someone should advise the yentas on The Real Housewives of NYC about being happy. Ask me how or why, but I, once again, got sucked into this addictive, mindless weekly 'reality' show, just like I did with the "real housewives" of Orange County. (Now they've started The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and I've watched the promos for this and those chicks actually scare me! Like in the wake-up-with-cement-boots-on kind of way...geez!)

I am a smart person. A creative person. I am very busy. So, what in the name of bitchy broads am I doing watching women who have obviously got serious untreated emotional issues and anger management problems, sit around in their expensive clothes and over-the-top jewelry, fight about who said what to who, when and why? As Pee Wee Herman once wisely said, "I DON'T KNOW!!!" but I really need to stop.

I watched both - I'm confessing here - BOTH episodes of the post-season recap and I am really ashamed of myself. Two hours of my life, gone forever, spent listening to one long cat fight. Please tell me I'm not alone in this...I need company in my misery to make me feel like less of a loser. It wasn't even entertaining and yet I watched. It was more like that car accident that everyone else feels compelled to gooseneck over...but I'm usually the one to keep my eyes on the road out of respect.

Maybe I watched it for an instant dose of superiority. I might not have money, but I know how to act! Especially in public! If you watched it, too, weigh in here so that I feel like less of a loser... If you didn't, feel even better about yourself!

And please, above all, have a good weekend...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Palm Centro = Tha Bomb

I have been whining about my cell phone for almost as long as I've had it. It doesn't even have a brand name on it, so I can't even share that with's a "free phone" that Verizon gave to us when we signed up for the Family Plan a few years back.

I truly am glad to have a cell phone at all, but I used to have a magnificently beautiful, wonderful, functional Nokia with my last carrier. I switched to Verizon for a number of reasons (don't tell me that you won't restore my maiden name without a copy of my divorce papers, you nosey BANK didn't even need that) and had to give up that phone. Since money was especially tight, we were happy to have the free phones.

They worked fine for all of us, but at some point in the year, Steinvic's acted up and his cousin graciously gave him hers, which I think is an LG, because she'd recently upgraded. Steinvic's son hasn't complained about his, but bless him, he is a grateful kid who generally doesn't complain about anything. And, he just wants to be able to text and talk with his pals, and for that, the free phone is fine.

But for me? I've been lamenting over the multipurpose fantabulousness I enjoyed with my Nokia, so we've been phone researching. I mentioned this to Steinvic's sister-in-law who busted out with "you can have this Verizon-ready Palm Centro I won in a raffle if you want it" because she just got new phones for her and her daughter.

So, this post is about how cool Steinvic's sister-in-law is and how much I love this phone:

  • She is awesome and I'm trying to think of something wonderful to do to thank her since she will not accept money for it.
  • This phone actually lets me access the Internet and e-mail, which rocks since my home computer died.
  • This phone doesn't seem to drop calls, and the speaker phone on it actually works.
  • It has Google Maps on it.
  • It's cute.
  • I like the keyboard on it and can text much easier.
  • It reminds me of my old Nokia as far as feel goes. (can't find a photo but this is close)
So, what should I do for her? Steinvic suggested a gift card, and that is a possibility, but I was thinking of something more... I don't know. Some exotic flower blubs that will greet her year after year is something I've been thinking for the last day or so. I may have to research that.

In the meantime, I'll be taking calls in style...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Perfect for a Friday Afternoon

Ever so often, if you're lucky, you'll stumble upon a Web site that makes you laugh until it hurts.

Through a post on Dlisted, I found Awkward Family Photos and then had to log off that site because I could NOT quit giggling.

(I am at work. I am, like, one of two people in the department this afternoon, save for my boss, who has an office about 20 feet away from my cube. Uncontrollable giggling right now is NOT a good idea!)

If the photos and captions don't get you, the comments will. Good gosh, so freaking funny...

p.s. If you choose to click on that Dlisted site and he has posted something kind of nasty, I am not taking responsibility for it. I adore the site and Michael K is hysterical, but on some days, the filter between his brain and his fingertipsonthekeyboard must be airing out somewhere outdoors, because dude says precisely what he thinks, uncensored. And sometimes, it's kinda bad. Just be warned.

Credit where it is due...

I guess if I'm going to bash the evil truck driver who tried to kill me a few weeks ago, I should give props that the company actually replied to my e-mail. Here it is, with no editing:

"As you mentioned, XXX is committed to the safety of our employees,communities in which we do business and live, and the motoring public... Wewere able to identify and review your compliant with our driver... Ourdriver was familiar with the area in which the incident occurred but wasunable to provide any details of the incident... The driver stated that hewas unaware of running anyone off the road and that if he did is was notintention and wanted to make sure that we apologized for him... Thank youfrom bringing this incident to our attention and we apologize for anydistress this incident may have caused..."

Okay, I'll give them credit for replying, for apologizing and for - if I believe what they're saying - talking to the "driver" (aka, Murderous Freebasing Thug) about "the incident."

But am I supposed to find comfort in that he was unaware that he ran me off the road? I mean...I know my car is small, but come on! He had to have seen me...

Anyway, at least they didn't ignore me. Maybe the driver will be more careful from now on...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Catch Up Post

I was going to start this post by saying, "I've been busier than a..." and then I thought, "than a what?" This made me google the phrase and there are some giggly endings to that sentence out there. However, what made actually laugh was The Urban Dictionary's definition of "busier than a two-peckered billy goat" which was "Incredibly busy in an aggressive fashion." Yes, yes...that is exactly what that means. The definitions on that site get me more than the slang does...

So, yeah, I've been busy. Had some delicious down time this weekend...Steinvic came home on Friday and we actually slept in on Saturday morning. How awesome was that?! I mean, I've had tons of fun running around and doing things the last two weeks, but I'm definitely feeling it. We watched The Big Lebowski on Saturday - AWESOME movie! Steinvic bought the 10th Anniversary Edition for me as part of an anniversary gift to me...we celebrated five years last month. (Best five years of my life, and that's a fact...)

Recovering from the Austin trip, both physically and fiscally, and enjoying thinking of the fun we had and people we met. I like Austin and I think we'll go back there some day...

And we celebrated my sweet Grandma's 91st birthday on Sunday. Her actual birthday was yesterday and I went to visit her at the community. I knew she'd have a full day of phone calls and visitors, but it was her actual day, I was free, and I just couldn't let it pass without giving her a hug and a kiss and telling her how proud of her I am. She knew I was coming...

I walked in the door to the main hallway on the residence floor and a man (his wife resides there) was pushing my grandma down the hall in her wheelchair, from the dining room. When I walked in, she was about three feet from me. She looked right into my eyes and I just felt it...she had no idea who I was.

A nurse (who my Grandma happened to have as a student a zillion years ago when my Grandma taught first grade) said, "Look who is here to see you!" And I was like, "Hi, Grandma!" And finally she just said, "Oh!" and it was like it registered...

It's not that my feelings are hurt...I'm not that sensitive...not like she was intentionally not recognizing me. I mean, I talk to her every day of my life, see her every single week and had just seen her the night not recognizing me is like her not recognizing her own hands. It doesn't make sense.

The man who was wheeling her - total sweetheart - just patted my shoulder and said, "I'll turn her over to you..."

I said, "Are ya okay, Grandma?" and started wheeling her down toward her room. The nurse just kind of rolled her eyes and smiled at me like, "What was that about?"

Grandma said, rather indignant, actually, "I didn't recognize your blouse."

No...that isn't it. This happened once before...a year or so ago, and it felt the same it was a flicker of something coming, as though there is something there that we're not seeing all the time, or that she is fighting. Because her mind really is her most precious possession. She is educated, smart, remembers EVERYTHING, works crosswords and word games daily, plays Scrabble and wins. She is proud, so very proud, of her mind and has often said to me that if she can't be the way she is (with it) she doesn't want to be here any more.

I'm praying that she was just tired from an exciting day, or that she really was just focused on my blouse. I'm hoping that's it because I really don't know if I could handle watching her mind desinigrate. The body is one thing that we can count on failing, and we can predict just how it will crumble. But the mind? I don't know how I could watch her suffer.

So, I asked the nurse on my way out, "What do you make of that?" She said, "I don't know. I've never seen her do that before..." and then she had to take a phone call.

I'm so lucky to have my grandmother. Really nothing more to say...