27 June 2010

"I know I'd go from rags to riches..." --Carmine "The Big Ragu" Ragusa

I am not a National Merit Scholarship recipient.

There. I've said it. Now you know my secret.*

It's true, my PSAT scores were the stuff of legends. They'd talk about 'em 'round the campfire. My scores were scrawled on the bathroom wall. People would whisper them as terms of endearment while frantically undressing at make out point.** If they were putting images of people on cakes back then, you can bet my face would have been on 9 out of 10 cakes bought.*** Parents would point to me and elbow their kids, saying, "Why can't you be more like L.A.?" Yes, I was both hated and revered. And those PSAT scores were enough to get me in the running for a scholarship of 2500 smackeroos.

But "in the running" does not a scholarship make. You had to submit an application. With an essay. And I... I... well... the truth is, I couldn't be bothered. I had more important things to do. Laverne & Shirley was probably coming on. That Squiggy... *wipes eye and shakes head* ...he kills me.

[True story: Two unpopular girls in my high school performed the L & S theme song, "Make All Our Dreams Come True", for the annual talent show. Not only did they not win, this made them even less popular. When people say, "Oh, go ahead. What have you got to lose?" they have no idea.]

Let's face it, if I had gotten my butt in gear, I could have written the essay to beat all essays. Or at least to beat out the other 49,999 applicants that year. I might have gotten into a fancier shmancier college and had a totally different life. One with a wine refrigerator and a fire pit.

But, no. I took the Boo Boo Kitty route. I was lame.****

Not this time people. I've learned from my mistakes.

CSN Stores has offered to sponsor another giveaway and I'm not gonna squander this opportunity. What kind of vile, disgusting creature would I have to be to throw an opportunity like that away? (*door flies open* "Hello!"--A. Squigman)

Yes, the people that can set you up with a fab vanity are at it again. They're ponying up a $100 gift card which can be used for a vanity... or a fire pit... or a wine refrigerator ... or kids toys ... or fitness equipment ...or so much more! Irritated that you didn't win that All Clad pan I gave away a while back? Don't be hatin'. You win this, you can get one of your very own! You can use the gift card at any of their websites.

But, L.A., you say, I'm right in the middle of a rerun of Saved By The Bell. Don't make me work to get all the dreamy things I so richly deserve.

You know I can't resist you when you whine. Okay, just leave a comment on this post no later than July 4th, 2010. Need a topic? Here: Under what circumstances would you drink milk and Pepsi mixed together?

* Wait, have I mentioned this before? Am I repeating? After four years of blogging, who can tell? Next I'll be talking about standardizing car horns and reviewing Last Holiday.

** Cars with bench seats, people. That's all I'm saying.

*** Even I can't compete with Fudgie the Whale.

**** Were Shirley Feeney and Laverne De Fazio the original Al "Macarena" Gore and George W.? I mean, you knew Shirley was a better influence but you'd rather have a beer with Laverne, am I right? Of course, they both worked at the brewery so they probably both got free beer. Hmmm.

20 June 2010

"With love from me to you" --The Beatles

[Now that's love.]

Green Canary writes about finding her beau's love notes from a previous relationship. Since work is driving me right around the bend, I thought I'd glom onto her topic because, let's face it, originality is so 2009.

So, tell me, purveyors of internet truth:

Should you keep or get rid of old love letters and smoochy cards from ex-canoodlers?

What about stuffed animals?
Boudoir outfits? Kitchen appliances? Jewelry? Cars? STDs?

15 June 2010

"Give a little bit... give a little bit of your love to me" --Supertramp

As the economy gets worse and we start to shoot each other over three piece chicken dinners*, I've been giving some thought to one-on-one giving...

In Jamaica
We usually try to buy souvenirs to support the local economy when we travel, particularly where the standard of living is no where near that of home. We did buy some things in Ocho Rios. We did not buy anything but a photograph at Dunn's River Falls. WAY too pushy.

When we were at the falls, we had a wonderful time climbing them, bought a picture of ourselves with shocked expressions as we were pushed into the freezing water, and then worked our way through a designated labyrinth of lean to shops that we were shepherded into, to get back to the bus that brought us there. It was work. Because it was far from obvious how to get out of the maze and in every direction there was someone calling for you to look at their chotchkies, pulling at you, offering you ganja. It was downright claustrophobic. One effective gambit was this:

Vendor, with carved wooden cup in hand: Hey, welcome to Jamaica. Are you having a good time?

Tourist: Fantastic!

Vendor: Beautiful lady/Big guy, what's your name?

Tourist: [provides name]

Vendor, already carving the name into the front of the cup: Good to meet you, [name]. That's [name] with an A, right?

Of course, once the name was carved into the cup (mere seconds), the tourist felt obligated to buy it.

New Orleans
When we were in New Orleans, we were walking down a street when one of four reasonably dressed, college aged boys asked if he could please have a dollar so he could get beer. I laughed, then gave him a dollar. At least he was honest.

Washington, DC

Here, I'll sometimes pay street musicians and sometimes pay beggars. I find there's a correlation between how happy I am and whether I'll give. The more fortunate I feel, the more likely I am to give. I've noticed the same thing with donations to charitable organizations.

I have grudgingly paid belligerent squeegee guys (the people who stand in the median and start cleaning your windshield while you are stuck at a light even though you didn't ask for this service) not because I wanted to but because I couldn't avoid the confrontation.

And a confession: At times, I've left change in public places, hoping that someone would be happy to come across it.

Which brings us to the questions du jour: Would you give money under any of these circumstances? Would you rather pay someone a) for a service (be it squeegee, music, carving or some other un-asked for thing), b) simply because they need it, or c) not at all?

*Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

06 June 2010

A Quickie

We attend a party on Saturday playing throwback music. On the boombox (yes, boombox) we hear Dexy's Midnight Runners.

Friend: Can you believe he's playing "Come on Irene"?

Hubs: Actually, that's "Eileen". "Come on Eileen". I knew things were going downhill earlier when he started playing "She Blinded Me with Silence".

Me: Actually, that's "Science". "She Blinded Me with Science". I blind you with silence.

Hubs: I wish you did.

01 June 2010

"Just walk away" --Kelly Clarkson

[Who doesn't want helpful advice?*]

It is a long holiday weekend and we are lazy for 90% of it but on Sunday we decide to take a run at Holly GoHeavy, the two-story holly in our front yard. We decide that we will prune her two feet in in all directions. Well, all but the roots. They can stay.

We get the ladder out. We get the loppers out. We get the shears out. We get the heavy duty gloves out. And we go to town. Which is to say, the Hubs gets down to work and I do my usual impeccable job of supervising and picking up debris.

All goes well for 15 minutes. But, alas, we are in the front yard. Read: in clear view of the neighbors. And they are helpful neighbors. Very helpful neighbors. They all have tools to help, which is great! And they can't bring them over fast enough, which is great, I guess... And they all want to stick around... and supervise... which is terrible. How many obnoxious overseers does one job need?**

How does one say, politely, "Please, just go away!"? I wouldn't dream of going into someone's yard and telling them how they should prune their shrubs, much less taking tools out of someone's hand to do it. Oh, yes. It was like that. I finally went inside and left the menfolk to sort out just how fluffy Holly should be. This was totally unfair to the Hubs but necessary in order to avoid a neighbor having a terrible accident with a lopper, if you catch my drift.

Which brings us to the question du jour: What do you do when your neighbors are TOO helpful?

* That would be me.

** That would be one. Yup, still me.