Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wal Mart - They've got EVERYTHING!

So my son and I are shopping for a toy for my little niece and we happen upon this:

It is WowWee, the king of robotoys, who have brought Elvis back to life utilizing their WowWee Alive Animatronics tecnique. Mini motors and pullies are mounted under the latex rubber skin to give full facial expressions with eyebrows, lips, mouth and eyes moving to give the most authentic re-creation ever of this legendary artist. The King is Dead! Long Live Elvis, the king of rock’n'roll!

The Elvis Wowee Amimatronic is just too weird. Built by the Robosapien people it features the King singing and talking with strange head, lip and eye movements. If your idea of a cozy night in, is gazing adoringly at a twitchy bust of your pop idol mouthing inanities, then this is for you. The rest of us will probably just pop a CD in the tray and grab a sandwich. Watch the frightening video.

I didn't write the above review but frankly, I don't think I could've said it any better. Yes, for just $300 you too, can have a creepy, kitschy, rubber recreation of 'The King' and if you're able to sleep through the night with a thing like that in your house?... Well, you're a stronger person than I.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Can't get that tune out of my head...

I've been listening to Christmas music all weekend... All day Saturday while cooking and preparing for our holiday party and all day Sunday while I wrapped gifts for shipping and addressed Christmas cards.

Since SO much holiday music has filled my head the last couple of days I decided to compile a list of my MOST Favorite and LEAST Favorite Christmas Tunes. Some of you may agree, some may disagree but nonetheless here they are:

Most Favorite
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas - The Drifters version

Where Are You Christmas? - Faith Hill

O Holy Night - Josh Groban

Mele Kalikimaka - Don Ho (It's just so much fun to say, let alone sing!)

Least Favorite
ANYTHING by Celine Dion

Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Fogelberg
(I know, it's mean to dis the guy after he just died and all, but that song is so depressing... Like the line, 'Said she married her an architect, who kept her warm and safe and dry, she'd like to say she loved the man, but she didn't like to lie.' I'd rather not listen to stories about fractured marriages when I think about Christmas. I like his other music though.

It's the Holiday Season/Santa Claus is Comin' - Andy Williams
Is it Andy Williams that sings the song with the lyrics: 'It's the holiday season, so hoop de doo and dickory dock, don't forget to hang up your sock, cause he's comin' down the chimney down.'
(I'm sorry but ANY song with the lyric 'hoop de doo' simply must be put out of it's misery.)

But the very worst, the one song that makes me lunge for the power button on the stereo has got to be...

Christmas Shoes - Don't know who sings it because I never leave the stereo on long enough to find out!
(Yes, the song that regales us with the tragic tale of a man who's disillusioned with Christmas. However, on Christmas eve he happens upon a poor, bedraggled boy who doesn't have enough money to buy his sick mother a pair of Christmas shoes to wear when she meets Jesus in heaven. My son said yesterday (just after he lunged for the power button on the stereo), "What? is there some sign in heaven that says, NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO JESUS!" I have friends who think I'm a cold-hearted bitch for hating this song. Frankly, I just hate the idea of someone concocting a song in order to tug my heartstrings. There are plenty of circumstances people deal with throughout the year that make me want to cry... I don't need some mook with a pen, a piano and a penchant for the dramatic contriving a story to try to make me weep at Christmas... This song is sappy'er than a Vermont maple orchard.)

Now I simply must share the third category I have for Christmas music and that's the WTF? List.
My Christmas 2008 WTF? List is comprised of only two songs but I'm sure you'll agree...

Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey

I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

These are two songs which shouldn't be on any stations play list.

So what are your favorite holiday tunes?... Least favorite? Or another to add to the WTF? Perhaps you'll have some to add to my lists.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Like Watching Barry Manilow Try To Rap...

While Christmas shopping this evening I happened upon two young black guys stocking shelves together. The song playing over the store intercom was 'Closer to Fine' by, 'The Indigo Girls'... Much to my surprise one of the stock boys began to sing along with the music. I think he got about three words from the chorus out when he and his fellow employee busted out laughing... And you know, it just made me happy because lord knows I look just as silly trying to sing along with 'Snoop Dogg's, Drop it Like it's Hot!'

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sparing No Expense?

Despite all of the hoopla over my sons lungs, he and I got a little Christmas shopping done at the mall yesterday...Priorities folks, Pri-Or-Eh-Tees!!!

As we were purchasing a 'certain' video for a 'certain' family member, the cashier informed us that the DVD came with a free movie poster. As the cashier slipped the free gift into our shopping bag, I looked at my son and said, "COOL, We can also give 'certain family member' the free poster too!" To which my son replied, "What you mean to say is, they'll be receiving this incredible $30, limited edition movie poster along with their DVD."

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Just Another Sunday Morning Breakfast... Yeah Right!

So yesterday we're sitting together as a family enjoying my husband homemade waffles and I decide to ask the following question:

"So, what's everyone got planned for today?"

I secretly wished that if each family member had their own agenda, I could spend my time catching up on the numerous holiday chores I've been adding to my growing list. If not, perhaps we could achieve conquering the list together... A lovely thought, dotcha think?

Yet, not 5 minutes after I asked the question my son clutched his chest and said, "Oh No, my chest... It REALLY hurts... Just *gasp* like last time.!" Last time was in May when he had complained to us about chest pain. It was after an entire day of us informing him it was most likely just gas and he should take another Tums, we ended up in the E.R. I finally got the inkling that something could be wrong during the wee hours of the morning. That's when we discovered that 30% of the poor boys lung had collapsed, aka Spontaneous Pnuemothorax... Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. Neither, did I want to believe it yesterday as he clutched at his chest... And being the 'Mother of the Year' that I am, I said, "Oh come on, surely this is just a gas pain or something, I mean you couldn't have ruptured your lung just eating waffles?" My husband said to me, "Maybe you should call the doctor." I began to disagree and argue that maybe we should just wait a half hour and see how he is, but instead I called the doctors service all the while making mental eye rolls. However, by the time the doctor on call got back to us (which was really soon) my son was growing more distressed and me along with him... Especially when the on-call doctor was adamant about getting him to the emergency room.

Sure enough, a 1/2 hour and an x-ray later the results were in that my son had experienced his second episode with a spontaneously partial collapsed lung in less a year. Thankfully, this episode righted itself on its own while we were in the hospital. He didn't have to be 'Tubed' this time and he only experienced a 10% collapse. It goes without saying that I NOW believe my son KNOWS what it feels like when his lung collapses... This I avow, I'll NEVER doubt him again!

So today was spent getting more x-rays and seeing a thoracic surgeon. We were told that after his first collapsed lung, the chances it could happen again were 30%... Now that he's endured a second episode his chances for a third go up to 90%. Since it would be a travesty for the poor kid to walk around OR even do something as seemingly innocuous as Eat Waffles and have his lung collapse it's been recommended that he have surgery to rectify the problem. I can't say I'm thrilled to think about my son going "under the knife" but he's thrilled he won't have to worry about spontaneously wicked bouts of chest pain.

And as for the rest of the week... I've learned my lesson, I'm not planning to ask ANYONE in this family what their plans are.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Warm & Fuzzy Feeling...

SO, It would seem I'm not the only Procrastinator out there...

Here I was worried about offending the blog reading world (or at least the 5 or 6 people who stumble upon this insignificant corner of the web) with my pissy rant on those evil do-gooders who get everything accomplished by December 1st...

But what ho?... Quite the opposite occurred and I was showered with praise and yes, Love even (thanks Stacie, I think I love you too in your new kick ass boots!)

So as Lime put it, 'Crastie's Unite, at least at some point when we feel like getting around to it.

My day isn't going to be spent accomplishing much of anything. The family and I are headed out to see 'Trans Siberian Orchestra' in concert and then enjoy a leisurely dinner together.

Maybe tomorrow I'll plan the menu for the Christmas party next week, Get those Christmas cards filled out and sent off, Finish the shopping, Start the process of finding boxes for everything and getting them wrapped, vacuum the stray Christmas trimmings off the carpet, Clean, Cook, Bake all that shit... I'm sure I can get to it tomorrow.... or the next day, or the next, or the next, or.....

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

When Holiday Efficiency DOESN'T Pay Off...

You know 'em, You hate 'em, You wish you were one of 'em...
Those irritating folks who manage all of their Christmas tasks sometime right after Thanksgiving. They say things like, "Oh, my shopping?, I finished it in July." ... or ... "I sent my Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving."... or ... "There were no lines at UPS when I shipped my packages last week." They say all of this with great arrogance and leave you feeling like the worlds worst procrastinator.

Today my friends... Today is the day the procrastinator can point their passive little index finger (or middle finger depending on your level of angst) at Mr. & Ms. Punctuality and say, "HA!" For today my ass-dragging little friends, as I drove across town, I came upon a UPS truck apparently the victim of a major engine failure as the entire front half of the van was completely melted off. Having extinguished the blaze at least a dozen firefighters were off-loading the charred remains of Mr. & Ms. P's productivity.

This is not to say I don't feel badly for the recipients of the toasted goodies which they sadly won't be receiving this year, but c'mon... It's only human to feel some sense of victory for my lethargy.

Note: No UPS men were injured in the events leading up to this post. However, there's one big brown truck that's headed for the scrap heap.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

A Partially Pre-Lit Christmas

Saturday was 'Holiday Decorating Day' for our family... It went something like this:

Husband and daughter make their way into the depths of the crawl space under the basement stairs in order to retrieve the countless boxes of holiday decor. With happy hearts they carry said boxes to the staging area (ie. living room, family room, kitchen and all areas around said locations.)

First things first, my husband, daughter and son work on removing the artificial Christmas tree from the bonds of its massive box. The tree goes up in three separate pieces and as it's assembled the whole family works to spread the wire branches with precise uniformity.

After all the tiers are in place and the branches well spread, the tree gets plugged in to reveal half of its pre-strung lights have failed. This is when the two engineers (husband and son) take over. Looking at bulbs, checking fuses, removing bulbs, replacing bulbs... Then a decision is made... Let's head out to the 'Depot' and grab some lunch on the way.

Following a quick burger & fries at the 'King' we 'pardon' and 'excuse' our way through the crowds in the Holiday department at the Depot. Everyone in our family intent on trying to find the perfect solution to our half lit tree woes. I say, "Let's just buy more strands of lights." Son, who for some odd reason believes there's an endless supply of ready cash available from a mystical leprechaun living under my bed says, "I think we should buy a whole new pre-lit tree." Daughter, spends her time searching intently for new lights to match the new colors of her bedroom to decorate her own personal tree (wretched excess?... Sure!... More crap to clean up after the holidays?.. Definitely!) Husband, spends his time searching out unique solution and finds it in the Light Keeper Pro! All this whilst my son (who I finally manage to convince that the leprechaun has packed his bags and moved back to Ireland) and I argue over his new brainstorm of purchasing several new packages of lights, because his plan is to remove all of the pre-strung lights from the tree by manner of cutting the dead strands off the tree and then restringing the entire tree with new lights... He thinks this should take about 10 minutes to achieve. Once again, all I wanted to do was buy a couple of strands of lights and just toss them over the dead areas of the tree... BUT NO, that would look just plain awful... Tacky in the very worst sense... How incredibly offensive it would be to have a tree with dead lights buried beneath the brightly lit ones... OH, WHAT WAS I THINKING????

Fast forward to two hours later... The scene involves my husband, my son and my daughter on the floor together 'neath the tree... They have an assembly line of sorts going... Systematically removing each light in a strand on the tree and replacing it with a whole new bulb from a new pack of lights they purchased. The $17.95 we spent on 'The Light Keeper Pro' was apparently absconded by its creators leprechaun, as it didn't really help relight much of the tree, as small part, but not much.

Eventually with sore fingers and great perseverance the three of them managed to get the majority of the tree lit... Sure a section was unlit but as my son put it, "If we just turn the tree a little in this direction, you can hardly notice it." At that point I was like, "Ya, sure, whatever."

Later, the same evening our friends came over and following dinner together we sang carols and decorated the tree... As is tradition, once the tree was fully decorated we turned off all the lights in the house and admired the 'mostly' glowing tree in all its splendor... And as they say, "It was good."

Last night, as we milled around the house doing what families tend to do, all the lights on the top 1/4 of the tree blew, right along with my Christmas spirit. Because now, not only do we have a once again, half lit tree, but we also have a myriad of boxes filled with various holiday trimmings which we never had time to get to, laying all over the main floor of the house. Not only that, but none of the outside decor was attended to, so that's still laying all over my living room. I guess today, instead of getting anything else accomplished, I'm going to find myself alone with my half-lit tree, trying to muster enough Christmas spirit to get all this other crap sorted and displayed. My husband tells me it's hard for him to understand my negative attitude towards this whole situation... He says, "Didn't you see us all working together as a family?" "The kids completely involved in the process of getting the tree lit?"... "It was wonderful to have them so much a part of the tradition of the holidays"... "Isn't that what you always wanted?" Well, ya but the tree still looks like crap... And for some reason it's really, and I mean REALLY affecting my holiday spirit.

It hardly goes without mentioning (but I will anyway) that one of the pre-lit boughs I bought for the banister a couple of years ago has blown in the same fashion as our pre-lit tree and really, at this point, I could give a shit.

By the way, any comments you may have about how fortunate I am to even HAVE a tree, a banister, a house... Just keep those to yourself... I'm currently wallowing in self pity, loathsome attitudes and downright cranky Scroogy Grinchness... And to top it all off it's really windy outside today and there's nothing I hate more than WIND... Oh, that and half lit Christmas trees.

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