SHE SAID: Silly Bandz

July 30, 2010

I don’t get it.  I don’t get it in the same way that I didn’t understand beanie babies and pokemon cards, but that’s to be expected since I wasn’t between the ages of 4 – 14 when those products came out.  Ask me about garbage pail kids and cabbage patch kids and I can contribute something positive to the conversation and will attempt a pathetic defense of why those products are better than today’s options mainly because I have to defend my allegiance to ridiculousness, not because cabbage patch kids were the most amazing toy ever invented.  Garbage Pail Kids, on the other hand, I will defend as art and I wish my mom hadn’t thrown them out because they were awesome … but I digress.

What I don’t understand is why the 28 year old man I talked to today was wearing a Silly Band.  Or the 26 year old woman who told me in great detail how she traded her black submarine Silly Band for a glow in the dark shark after turning down previous offers for a penguin and a multi colored kangaroo.  The cross over to the adult market for shaped rubber bands (that people are actually paying money for), amazes me. And no, these aren’t random oddballs or teachers and people who work with kids and thusly feel the need to decorate themselves in the accepted accoutrements.  This is common enough and widespread enough that I feel the need to post on it.

Go to a bar and you will see adults wearing Silly Bandz.  Okay, maybe not at the swanky I-Banker bars in New York, but most bars.  I haven’t checked with the generation above mine, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say they weren’t trading garbage pail kids or wearing slap bracelets any time, much less while out at night.  Are we so terrible in our attempts at interaction that we are resorting to the bag of tricks of a fifth grader?  It has to be something other than that.  And I’m not going to credit the designers of the Silly Band for coming up with something so cool that everyone from age 6 to 60 is jonesing for it.

Maybe by crossing the threshhold of 30 I have decended into the age of incomprehension.  Next I’m going to be telling my son how I walked seven miles each way to school with nothing but newspaper on my feet in freezing weather.  Or how much an ice cream cost with I was a kid.  And he’ll be rolling his eyes and sneaking off to spend his allowance on Silly Bandz.


SHE SAID: Mom, Dad, I’m home!

June 4, 2010

Readers, you have been unaware of some momentous news: from May 31, 2010 through June 4, 2010, both Jeremy and I are living with our parents.

Let’s review some of the facts: Jeremy is 28, I am 31 and we are both living in our parent’s houses.

I should be pouting, but I am gleeful for two reasons.  First, Jeremy has been making fun of me for the entire 2 months I have been living at home.  The comments are varied and some are more witty than others, but they are constant and he has received much joy in their delivery.  Now he is a card carrying member of the parentaly housed club.  Second, I am moving out on Friday.  That’s tomorrow morning.  I can not only see a light at the end of the tunnel, I am being blinded by the light that I have been denied for so long.

Having the option to live at home, is great.  I didn’t want to renew a lease since I knew I was moving in a couple months and my mom was gracious enough to open her doors to me.  I am so thankful.  She has had to put up with my lifestyle and I can only imagine how it has impacted her quietness and daily routine, although not as much as it would have if Lindsey Lohan were to move in with her – which I remind her.  I also had to accept some changes: the whole flavored coffee thing threw me for a loop (I was distrustful of the machine for over a week and switched over to tea while at home in an effort to avoid hazelnut altogether).  I also am used to being asked, “who are you texting?”  every time I pick up my phone in her presence.

But living at home when you’re not lamenting an incoming pimple whilst conference calling your two best friends about what one overheard in study hall, is a bit of a tough transition.  My brother, who lives with his European girlfriend’s parents, tells me I’m being really Euro by living at home. The spin did give me a quick come back to some of Jeremy’s jokes, but the truth is, I’m dying for my own space, as I’m sure my mom is.

There is something immensely humbling about living at home once you’re past the acceptable age – which I so clearly am.  My mother offers to fold my laundry, to be nice, and I feel like the world’s most incompetent loser.  She makes me a sandwich for lunch, and I feel guilty.  I feel like one step up from Britney Spears under her father’s concervatorship.  I feel frozen in time: here as an adult, but defined by the teenager who still haunts the house in cringe inducing photographs.  The Delta Spirit lyric “Your family just knows half of where you’ve been” echos over and over in my head.

I look forward to coming home for visits.  I look forward to my mom coming to visit me in my own place.  And I look forward to the next five weeks of being able to make comments about Jeremy living with his parents from the safely of my own place.


SHE SAID: Case of the Mondays?

June 1, 2010

This is in my top ten youtube videos ever.

I don’t know who made it, or why.  And something tells me that them uniting might be a terrible idea and bad for mankind … but I still love it.  Thank you, producer, for making douchebags mildly endearing.  I found myself almost rooting for them at the end.

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I love denim.  Jeremy might argue that I have a bit of an addiction.  This would be the antibody.

Also, this reminded me of the SNL “mom jeans” skit – “give her something that says I’m not a woman anymore, I’m a mom.”

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I regularly school Jeremy in Trivial Pursuit.  The co-creator has passed away. Hopefully this doesn’t mean a delay in release of the Trivial Pursuit: American Idol edition.

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Al and Tipper Gore have decided to get a divorce and announced it via a mass … e-mail?

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A 2 year-old addicted to smoking.  His mother “can’t remember” how it started and is motivated to make him quit because of the cost.  Poor guy.  Seeing a two year old correctly wielding a cancer stick is more than mildly upsetting.  Check it out here.


SHE SAID: Navigating and Directions

May 13, 2010

Gentlemen.  Jeremy.  Let’s talk.

do you have any idea where you're going?

What is it with directions?  And not just directions, but navigating in general.  Not to be too specific as I get too specific, but I went on a trip once with a friend in college, a male friend who had not only gotten into a great school, but completed the necessary requirements and was about to graduate, and he thought the towns were located where the name was written on a map, not where the convenient little black dots littering the map were placed.  I wish a recording of this trip existed.  Because while I was confused and progressively more frustrated at the time, I think I would laugh hysterically were I to hear it played back now.

All stupidity of this specimen aside, his example does demonstrate the refusal to ask for help.  He knew, as we circled around for the second time, that the town we were looking for wasn’t where he thought it was.  It wasn’t, like Hogwarts, visible for a select few.  But still, he refused to say anything, and continued to lead me around for a third time all the while declaring his amazement at our inability to find it.  Yes, at this point you can point out my own idiocy for not grabbing the map and hitting him over the head with it, but I was trying to be patient and a good team player … for once.  Plus, I was driving.  Two hands on the wheel.  Ten and two.

Another time, quite recently while driving in a city, I was given no indication whatsoever where I should steer the car until about twenty seconds after I had passed through an intersection by the gentleman holding the map (it was actually a smart phone with a mapping application, but it’s easier to say map).

I realize these are two specific occasions both bordering on the ridiculous … but the stereotype of a man refusing to stop to ask for directions as he steers his vehicle into the great unknown stems from somewhere and I would love to hear your side having experienced it more than enough.

Yes, we women might take forever to get ready and we might have to ask you a few times what you think of the outfit we’ve chosen and then ask you to carry seven items in your pockets because we cannot fit our license, debit card, extra hair tie, tampon, phone, lipstick and keys into our minuscule/non-existent pockets … but once we get our act together and open that door, we know where we are going and how to get there.  Maybe, while you’re waiting by the door, tapping your foot and reminding us what time the get together started, you could use that time constructively and figure out the route to said destination.  And no, I do not have someone waiting by the door and tapping his foot, he is far more patient and supportive than that, which is why we’re still together and he is still sane.

So what is it?  It must be something more interesting than not wanting to admit you don’t know something.  Is each trip a rite of passage in which you, equipped with a steering wheel, pedal and the sun, are to prove your competence to your tribe?  Do you say nothing and ask no questions because you want us sitting next to you, badgering you about whether or not you know where you’re going so you can crack a beer with your teeth and tell all your BBQing buddies about how your old ball and chain nagged the heck out of you on the way over because she didn’t think you knew where you were going?  Boy did you show her!  Seems like a lot to go through for a remedial story.  Is it some territorial thing?  Would you prefer to be peeing out the window and marking territory periodically while we’re moving along and that’s what’s distracting you?  Is it that you lose interest in the task at hand and move on to figuring out what athletes you should drop or shift on your fantasy team roster instead?  Because, while I get that other topics might distract you (ooh, she’s hot; I’m hungry; oh, I love this song), I’m able to both consider my next nail polish color and figure out how to get from point A to B, and I would expect you to as well.  Or is it that you want to deliver us helpless females, unharmed, to a destination needing no help at all from map, or navigator or smart phone?  Am I missing out on a competitive conversation that happens regularly between men about who had the easiest time arriving somewhere with the least amount of information?

I know we don’t tackle too many of the obvious male and female stuff on here, odd given the name of our blog, but this time let’s dive in.


SHE SAID: Nicknames

May 7, 2010

My mom always said that nicknames meant you were well liked. This theory arose coincidentally around the time I was dubbed “sniffer” and I have a sneaking suspicion they might be related. My nicknames included Fire, Snifter, Brandy Snifter, and Kid Sister. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

I tried to drop my lifelong nickname freshman year in college. I had everyone calling me by my given name, the unused one typed in on my birth certificate, for two whole weeks. It seemed, and still does, like someone else’s name and going by it was kind of like stepping into someone else’s skin, albeit briefly. My brief flirtation with normalcy was cut short when my dad came to visit and let the cat out of the bag. I see people from elementary school who are surprised I still go by my nickname. One of them said, “I thought you’d have grown out of that by now.” It appears I have only grown more and more into it.

I had friends called names that would make my mom blush. Names they would accept as monikers despite me being embarrassed to say the word aloud, much less address someone as such. I have had friends name their significant others something lame and terrible and oh-so-cheesy. I’ve had friends name their or someone else’s body parts, which I don’t really think is all that necessary. I had friends that fought nicknames tooth and nail, a tact which seemed only to make the name stick with more zealousness. And yet, I’ve had friends lament their nicknamelessness.

But if we are going to do a High Fidelity type list, as my co-writer is so fond of doing since everything seems to be rateable in his book, my favorite nicknames of the peer variety in no particular order are:

Log. One of my good friends was called Smokey after alerting the authorities to a fire. Since I was already called Fire, we got a kick out of the link. Our third friend, wanting to get in on the action, suggested we call her spark or flame. Smokey decided that no, Log was a much better idea.

FurPud. A guy I knew, called Pud by all who knew him, moved out West and dropped the nickname in the move. When some friends came to visit him, he reminded them that they were not to call him Pud since he didn’t want it catching on out West. His Eastern friends discovered, however, that his Western friends called him Furball, due to his extensive body hair, and when they all got together, Pud/Furball became Furpud.

Pearsie. When I was growing up, my best friend’s parents called his brother Pearsie. They said it was because he had looked like a pear when he was born. It always struck me as incredibly sweet, maybe it was the way they said it, and I remember it fondly to this day.

Kat-breath. I don’t know this woman, she’s a friend of a friend. But all her friends call her this both behind her back and to her face. Seems a bit … too specific. I hope she’s not a close talker.

America’s Guest. He came. Sometimes invited. He bummed a ticket, invite or twenty off of you. He was adored, stayed too long and entertained everyone the whole evening. Again and again and again.


SHE SAID: Superstition

April 15, 2010

I was heading out of town recently and at the last second, a black cat went screaming across the road right in front of my car.  While relieved I hadn’t hit it, I started thinking it might be a bad sign and it did make me wonder – if I had hit and killed the cat, would that still have been bad luck?  Since, technically, it wouldn’t have been able to complete crossing my path if I had been able to … stop it.

While not the most superstitious of people, I did spend one soccer season exposing myself to numerous potential infections and social spurning by refusing to launder my socks for the entirety of the season.  We lost in the state finals and I’m pretty sure I lost my faith in being superstitious somewhere around there.  Other than it being somewhat cool, in only the way it would be in the early years of high school, that my socks were formed to my calf and could stand on their own without any support or help, I had dedicated a lot of time, risk and general nastiness to superstition and without the somewhat instant gratification I sought, I wasn’t able to commit more long term to the notion.

But years, perhaps decades, later, I was wondering if I would regret not nipping the cat were I to have an accident or some unfortunate event occur later on that day.

Where is the line between healthy superstition and overt obsessive compulsive disorder?  How many times would we have tolerated Nomar Garciaparra adjusting and readjusting the velcro on his batting gloves for it to be diagnosed as superstition and when would that number have convinced us he was suffering from OCD?  At what point do I stop thinking my son’s resistance to stepping on cracks in pavement is endearing and start worrying that he has a bit of an issue? The line is fine, and the gray area is wide.

And if there is a line between superstition and compulsion, where is the line between superstition and desperation?  After my father passed away, my mom started seeing a lot of cardinals and now she believes that their presence or visibility in her life is my dad’s way of staying with her.  He passed away in the Spring and so there were a lot of cardinals around, but I also know that during important times in her life since his death, she has often seen a cardinal.  Is that the desperation of looking for a sign that someone we love is still active in our lives?  Or is that maybe something more than coincidence?  superstition, belief, flailing for a sign … call it what you will.

I feel more comfortable heading off into something unknown or risky, or even something I’ve done a million times but still want to do well or have go successfully when I can control some aspect of it.  When I was in high school, I was sure that controlling the skankiness of my socks was going to determine the outcome of the game.  It was a small contribution and one that brought my teammates much consternation during long van rides, but I wanted to believe that I had some control other than my performance on the field.  Nomar, having no idea what pitch is coming towards him or how the outfield is going to handle his hit (despite being an incredible player and being able to control a lot of that) felt that tightening his gloves a certain number of times was going to affect his performance.  My son probably feels more comfortable, more at ease, when his foot is squarely in the center of a piece of tile or pavement.  And my mom, devastated from the sudden loss of my father, needs to feel that he is still with her, because after choosing to live your life with someone, who wants to live it without them?

I understand that my considering killing the cat, even though it was after the fact, is insane and twisted.  But, I guess my point is that while some are more superstitious and compulsive than others, I believe we all have our little rituals.  And who wants a cat’s unintentional travel path to determine whether or not they are going to be in a massive 25 car pile up later on that day!?


SHE SAID: Case of the Mondays?

March 1, 2010

Whole new meaning to safe sex…

How much more entertaining would this guy have made sex-ed class?

Thanks, Pascale for sending this on!

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Molson Gold-en

For some reason, the IOC is pissed that the Canadian women were celebrating in public after winning the gold medal in hockey.  They are investigating.  Apparently they were tipped off by an AP reporter who called to tattletale and ask for a comment.

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Zoolander 2

The long wait is over – it’s in the initial stages. And Owen Wilson has agreed to come back as Hansel.

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Play

5 imaginary movies about your favorite games as a kid.  No, Life and Clue, the obvious ones, aren’t in here.

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Olympic Athlete Profiles

The Onion profiles some of this years Olympians.  Thanks, Dan.