Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Pictures's Worth 1000 Words

Believe it or not... we just had Christmas. We're were not able to connect with my folks over the holidays so we all just got together these past five days, had a relaxed visit and finally exchanged Christmas gifts.

Buying gifts for my parents really sucks. It stresses me out every year because they have everything they need already... and then some. As you know they are moving (yes, still) so the last they need is more junk. We attempt to buy them unique things or things that get used up (like theater tickets), but that is nearly impossible.

Well, this year kicked some Santa ass.

One of our neighbors had us for dinner a few months ago to meet their new son. During the visit, we noticed a sketch hanging on the wall. It was a hand-drawn picture of their last house. Larry & I just turned and looked at each other. Light bulbs went off. The perfect gift for a couple who was moving out of their house after 32 years.

The artist, Catherine, turned out to be a local DC woman. She borrowed two color photos and began work. After three weeks and a couple phone calls for some detail explanation of the house, she was done. I cannot tell you how impressed we were. The best part was that it cost less than $300.

Catherine is definitely taking on more business and is glad to work with people from out of town. She'll also have the drawing framed if you'd like. She works with pencil drawings and watercolors. And she's the sweetest woman I've ever spoken with.

I won't post her information here, but you can email me to get her contact info. These are great gifts for parents or wonderful for yourself if you want memories of the homes you've lived in. (She also showed me how she chronicled a family business that had grown over time. ) The ideas are limitless.

So without further waiting....the house I grew up in.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Admitting Ignorance=Help from Friends

Thanks to Chag and Kelly who know have perfected the Hygiene Chronicles redirect. You both are the best!

This is what I love best about our blogging community.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

iPod headpohones 80% off

My favorite bargain blog on the Internet is Want Not.

She's found these iSolate earbuds which you can take home for less that $13. Choose the orange or the blue, and after you add them to your cart, you can use coupon code ISOPHONE to take $20 off, making them just $9.99. They ship for just $2.85, which brings your total for a pair of $50 headphones to just $12.84.

(FYI-Handhelditems.com takes PayPal too.)

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Admitting Ignorance

OK, someone help me with an HTML problem.

I own www.hygienechronicles.com which I used have balance my blog and American Idol updates. Since I've closed shop on the AI updates, I want to take that domain and make it point directly to the blog. Then you could type either the current URL or the purchased domain. Simple, right?

Can anyone help an ignorant guy over here?


Monday, February 19, 2007

Mistaken Identity

The other week, my son was with his moms walking through one our biggest malls here in DC. The mall constantly getting additions to it and there have been announcements of another addition with over 1000 condos and office space.

Two years ago, the latest wing was added to the mall, which included a Victoria Secret. It was unveiled right around Valentine's Day and the store windows became a local sensation. News stations came out and filmed the shoppers' reactions, which as you can imagine, went from embarrassment to laughter to disgust.

Well, it's Valentine's season once again and the Victoria Secret display is back. Mannequins with wings on their backs, clad in leopard skin tops and panties loom from teh front windows. The sensation isn't as big since it's the third year, but nevertheless, it still causes some little boys to comment.

"Mommy, look."
"Yep," she said. "That's a display for clothes at that store."

Long Pause.

"Wow, are those the Cheetah Girls?"


Thursday, February 15, 2007

MISSING: Bloglines (Part II)

Who says I can't dump a companion quicker than you can say Goggle Reader?

Bloglines.. is history. I tested out Google Reader thanks to the recommendations of some kind and faithful readers. I have to say in just a week, I love it.

Truthfully, it was a bit difficult. In theory , Bloglines will help you export your listing, but the button is neatly tucked away in the bottom left hand panel (under all your blog listings). Took me ten minutes to locate it since they said it was at the top. It'll convert your blog list to an OPML file which Google Reader can then import. And if you've created different categories for them, it will preserve them as well.

It has a lot of features that are so much better, the best of which is that it's a helluva lot easier with a bigger font size than Bloglines. Another great thing is that you can read a post and still keep it "unread" if you want to go back to it. That helps identify which posts you'd like to go back and comment on later.

See ya Bloglines. Wish I could say it's been fun, but you gave up on me first.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Key Word Searches

So what are you searching for and instead ending up here?

postal creed word
The ‘word’ is shovel your freaking sidewalks when it snows for these poor guys.

hurt rubbing me
pain feels me too.

hamburger helper no milk
Actually, no hamburger either

always scratching my hot, sweaty feet
Hmm, this could be why you’re all alone reading my blog on Valentine’s Day.

glenn close peeing
I’m sure she poops too.

gay enema explosion
This is the 10th time it’s come up on my keyword search. Seriously, why would anyone want to find this?

dirty suzie - condom cube
The sequel to Dirty Diana: Pubics Cube?

daddy second massage
OK so who has the tape recorder in our bedroom? (just teasing)

chrissy ellis
I’m not sure who you are, but you are now fully engrained into my blog.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

See Me, Touch Me, Feel Me

I know I promoted the hell outta the Arbonne products last month, but I'm going to add to that review a little.

If you're living east of the Mississippi, you know that global warming isn't taking over the world just yet. I hate cold, so it's been rather brutal for me. Add to the fact, that I walk about a mile home each night from the Metro. While I wear a hat and gloves, I just don't like wearing a scarf so my face is exposed for those 15+ minutes.

It's no secret I'm a facial product whore and tend to rotate between items. On Tuesday, I returned to the Arbonne moisturizer. As I mentioned, this applies thick and takes a good five minutes to absorb into the skin. But with the cold, I noticed something I hadn't before...my face was as moist at 2:30 PM as it was that morning.

Crap, is this sounding like a 'mom, how do lose that not-so-fresh-feeling' commercial. I don't mean it be, so just keep reading.

Seriously, my skin felt great all day and then as I walked home, the bitter cold that blasted my face (while my partner rides home on heated seats), didn't hurt so bad for that long, dark mile home. Hmmm, I think bitter could be applied many different ways in the above sentence .

The next day I applied it again and was so excited about its effects. I ran up to a co-worker and made her feel my cheek. "It really is soft," she said. I was in product heaven and wanted to share the good news with everyone. Three more innocent victims were required to rub my cheeks as well to feel the moisturizing power of this lotion.

Next, I ran into the office across from me. She's our HR director and a good good friend of mine. In an excited voice, I tried to be funny. "Hey , is it sexual harassment if I ask you to rub me?"

She paused for a moment and looked up from her desk. "I guess that all depends on where and for how long?"

Perhaps there are some things we should just keep to ourselves.


MISSING: Blogline Blogs

Every once in a while, I'll think to myself, "Hmm, I haven't read much on (fill in your favorite blog here). I wonder when the last time he/she wrote anything?"

And then I'll go to my bloglines account and....the blog isn't there. Seriously. In the past month, I've found that three blogs just disappeared from my list, the most recent being Cynical Dad (who btw, lists a song of the day and I have no idea why--I'm so behind the times.)

I'm kind of mad with Bloglines for this mysterious occurrence. Hey Admins of that site, I rely on you to manage the 80+ blogs I read. RSS feed is crucial to my survival. (There's no waste of drama in this family.)

But worse yet...and you'll think me silly... I'm embarrassed. I wonder how long I've been missing their posts; a week... maybe two? What major events happened that I should know about? OMG, did they wonder why I didn't comment? (Then I actually worry more if I'm transforming into a 12 year old girl who's worrying that her friends aren't IMing or linking her in facebook.)

Anywho, the major point of the story is my disappointment with Bloglines. I've realized that I need to keep better tabs on the overall number of blogs that I watch and discover earlier when one is missing. Kind of a pain when the whole reason I subscribe is NOT to have to pay attention to blogs in that way.

Do any of you have this same problem?


Sunday, February 04, 2007

The City that Never Sleeps

Prior to all this birthday celebrating, I was actually in NYC on business. My goal had been to write about it on the Saturday I returned, but that day sort of catapulted me into a week of chaos.

My company had a conference for three days in New York. I was lucky enough to stay the Crown Plaza Times Square, which for a theater buff, is like Mecca. The meeting had all to do with endowments...not those kind... financial ones.

As the head of marketing and membership, it's important to network at these events. During the days, my boss and I mingled with the members. And in the evenings.... well what else happens when you are two blocks away from the TKTS booth? These are the times one thanks the Gods for a boss loves theater more he does.

This was the first real trip my boss and I did together. We had been at our annual meeting in Hawaii last summer, but it was on the heels of my starting the job and his taking a four-month paternity leave. We'd only worked together a few weeks since he'd been out for all that time, and so the two of us didn't really get the chance to bond much.

That changed in NYC and I felt like we got to know each other better and even bccame friends outside the work place. We laughed, we had great meals and we saw musicals.

The first on our list was Company. A Sondheim classic done with a new twist. Similar to last year's revival of Sweeny Todd, the cast played its own instruments. I was leery of the idea and given that this show is weak on staging, hadn't expected much. What a pleasant surprise to watch the chorography of actors/musicians walking about and performing together. Seriously, I was a never huge fan of this show, but the outstanding cast, the cute lead of Raul Esparza and some overall powerhouse numbers such as Sorry-Grateful, Another Hundred People and Being Alive made this a fantastic performace.

Based on the life of Edith Bouvier Beals and her daughter Edie, Grey Gardens tells the story of their rise and fall as a prominent family in the Hamptons. What makes this magic is the incredible Christine Ebersole who has the role of the matriarch in Act I (taking place in 1941) and then the daughter in Act II (1973). The music stays true to style for both periods and trust me when I say, Act II makes you feel all the creepiness that comes along with two eccentric women who eat cat food. Not only were there great songs Another Winter in a Summer Town and (I swear) Jerry Likes My Corn, but we sat two rows behind Christian Slater (my new brush with fame).

Our third show, Spring Awakening, is being hailed as the new RENT. While I loved the two previous shows, this one is the most innovative of them all. With music written by Duncan Sheik, the show actually features audience members sitting in bleachers on the stage amongst the actors (who are there when not performing). There is a great rock-n-roll feel to the show and it would be an understatement to say I was about 20 years older than their target audience. One Warning: To say there is a lot of sex portrayed on stage would be an understatement. I'm pretty comfortable watching just about anything (as my firefox porn cache will tell you), but it was awkward sitting next people in their late 60's while a young boy, dressed to be 12, masturbates under his nightshirt as four "12 year-old" girls sing around him. OK, more than awkward. But, I definitely recommend the music.

The highlight of the trip however, was meeting one of my favorite bloggers: Two Okapis. He & I became friends last year and finally got to meet up for lunch. We'd hit it off online and meeting for the first time only proved we'd been right. After 2+ hours of chatting and lunch, he finally had to be back to work and I had to hit the TKTS booth for that night's show tickets get back to our membership booth. I am constantly amazed how this world connects people from different backgrounds & locations and makes them friends.

Luckily, I'm heading back to NYC in May for more theater, more friendship and to perhaps meet other bloggers from the Big Apple.

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The Rest of the Week

Sorry... I feel like I've been gone for ages.

I didn't share this with all of you, but I actually was sick on my birthday. I woke up that morning, emailed my boss that I was staying home and did that post about the big snow. Then I went back to bed for another 6 hours. Pathetic, I know, but there is something to be said for being in your PJ's all day on your birthday.

Not sure where I caught it from, but by last Tuesday night, I was just wiped. The worst part was that Larry was getting antsy about my birthday. It was quite obvious that he had something planned. He'd told me to be ready at 5:30 after work and he would pick me. He even made arrangements to have our dogs let out and fed that night.

By Tuesday night, I hinted that I wasn't really feeling festive and perhaps we could alter plans or pick another night. "Nope, we can't pick another night," he said.

Mid-day on Wednesday, he called me at home to see how I feeling. "Lousy," I said. He just chuckled, "Well, be ready by 5:30."

You can only guess how un-birthday'd I was feeling. I surmised that he had bought theater tickets. My favorite musical, Into the Woods, is running at a local theater. Since he wasn't letting me get out of the evening, that must have been it. "Fine, but freaking let me out of dinner. I'm sick." I thought. He must be reasoned with.

I got out of bed at 5:00, showered and dressed for theater. Preparations began in the shower about how to cut out dinner and just save my energy for the play. I rehearsed the words over and over in my head.

At 5:30 on the nose, the door opens. Larry comes back into the kitchen and has this shit-eating grin on his face. "How's the birthday guy?"

"Umm, sick," I say as I wipe my drippy nose with a tissue.

"Are you excited about tonight," he asks and then walks out of the room back to the front door.

I begin my rehearsed speech. He comes back in, obviously not listening. A minute later he leaves again and I begin getting angry. He returns and says, "Are you ready for dinner?"

You know that look on your face when your spouse isn't paying any attention to what you are saying? That was pretty much happening in our kitchen, but with snot and a really red nose.

"I think we'll all have a good time," he says.

"Are you not hearing anything I am.... WE?"

And with that, my parents walked around the corner. My totally-not-paying-attention partner had flown them in to celebrate my birthday.

Thankfully, we had changed restaurants to something a little more suitable for an ailing son. My folks just smiled for most of the dinner, ecstactic to be a part of the night.

Luckily, they stayed for two nights. I was still not feeling good the next day, so between that and my folks being in town, it just made more sense for me to stay home and enjoy the visit.

They left on Friday morning. I went to work as well. That evening, Larry & I had dinner and just collapsed. It had been a great and exhausting week.

I looked over. "Thanks for everything you did this week. Please tell me we're done."

"We're done," he said. "Until you're 50."

God help me.

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