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: Case of the Wednesdays?

March 23, 2010

Despite lugging my laptop along with me on my trip, the internet was broken.  To find other means of getting on-line was just too taxing, or, rather, I didn’t feel like driving 25 minutes to find some wi-fi so I could post on Monday morning.  I didn’t have internet for 4 days – the longest stretch I’ve done in years.  But, four books and 36 miles of running later, I’m back.

_______

Lamebook.com.  I’m both awed and upset.  Awed at the amount of lame/weird/personal stuff people advertise on facebook and upset that while Jeremy and I have mocked our mutual friends who share too much, we didn’t think of starting up a site like this.  I highly recommend the relationship section.

_______

Apparently this is the new thing to do as a teenage girl.  I’m so glad this stuff wasn’t around when I was in high school.

_______

What would you do for five dollars?  I can’t think of anything right now, other than correctly load your dishwasher.

_______

My friend came up with the term “bonsai’d” for when you’re getting pigeonholed at work and are allowed no upward movement, etc.  I am pretty psyched about the chance to use this phrase in conversation soon.  Until then, I think I might submit him for entry here.


HE SAID: Grocery Shopping

December 29, 2009

I excel at many different aspects of my life.  But for everything I excel at, there is something I suck at as well.  The thing I suck at the most, is probably grocery shopping.  I go about once a week, and pick up more or less the same type stuff every time: some salad fixings, bread, a rotisserie chicken, cheese, a few apples and bananas, some soup, maybe a frozen pizza, and some form of a snack (this week it was mint milano cookies, last week it was chewy chips ahoy).  Ok ok, none of you giving a flying eff, but the point is, the things I need is not exactly extensive, and yet somehow I manage to screw it up each and every time.  I mean, I even screwed it up writing this blog, I usually pick up some thin spaghetti and pasta sauce as well.

People tell me that I should make a list.  Clearly, as exemplified by my stupidity above, that would do me absolutely no good.  If I make a list, there is no way I’m deviating from it once I get to the grocery store, I simply don’t have that mental capacity when it comes to food.  Get me on a tennis court, and I can go from plan A to plan B to plan C, get me in your local Shaw’s Supermarket and I’m like an eight year old that wanders into the middle of a movie, I have no frame of reference.  At least if I go into the market without a list, I have a fighting chance of somehow ending up with everything I need in my cart.

Ok, now that I’ve got most of the food I need, I’m ready to head to the checkout lines.  This is always a complete shitshow.  I usually have just enough food where using the self-check just is too much of a pain in the ass.  Besides, most people that use them seem to turn into Ritards once they have to scan their own items.  There should be a general IQ test that screens people before they use the self-checkout (a bit hypocritical, I realize, given I can’t even properly shop, but at least my issues aren’t holding anyone else up).

With the regular lines, the issue seems to be a lack of baggers.  Maybe it’s due to the economy, but I feel like up until about two years ago everytime I bought groceries, a bagger would bag them.  Now it’s more like a 50/50 shot.  Bottom line is I, like most people, can bag my own groceries.  The difference is, I am not nearly as experienced and thus much less effecient at it.  So are most other people, and as a result, the lines get clogged and my fudgesicles start to melt.  Oh yeah, I probably forgot to mention I get fudgesicles too.  Eff it, to anyone reading I’ll pay you to be my personal grocery shopper.


SHE SAID: Holiday Commercials

November 15, 2009

294709-main_FullHoliday Commercials stink.  I concur.

But it’s kind of a given.  Even more so given the current economical state.  Everyone and their mother is trying to sell sell sell and get in the black between the traditional consumer mad dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve (although apparently that margin is now ten days before Halloween and Christmas Eve).  It’s a tiny time frame, I would imagine these people are under a ton of pressure, and the result is ads that are all too frequent airing too early in the year.

Toys, home goods, big box stores, oh my.

Recently, I feel like the amount of jewelry ads airing mid November astounding.  The forced, vomit-inducing cheesiness that runs rampantly on these ads is insulting to everyone, from the actors to the unsuspecting viewers.  If someone ever actually used the phrase “he went to Jared” to announce an engagement … if that’s the best they can come up with, that’s depressing. Although Kay, while normally anger inducing with the “every kiss begins with k” catchphrase, managed to come up with this one, which makes me laugh almost every time I see it.  I’m still waiting to see DeBeers moment of cripplingly forced, generic, gender stereo-typing, lame excuse for a romantic moment this season, but I have no doubt it will make me change the channel when I do.

Why does my mom expect all five of her grown children to be sitting in the living room come Christmas morning?  Thanks Lowes.

But I’m getting into entirely different territory here.

I have recently come to the conclusion that the ads I like are the low budget local ones that I catch every once in a blue moon when the urge to watch a back to back of the Wheel and Jeopardy strikes me.  They are way more entertaining and genuine than anything else out there, especially the dreaded holiday ads.


SHE SAID: Wal-Mart

June 11, 2009

walmart_facebook[1]I cannot stand Wal-mart.  While I would love to claim that this aversion stems entirely from their corrupt health care policies for their workers, their crappy business dealings in the quasi name of getting the consumer the best deal possible while running the supplier into the ground, their lame ads with the smiley face, and their quest to stifle the “Mom and Pop” businesses at all costs be they monetarily or morally based, in actuality it stems from my one experience inside a Wal-mart and is healthily and legitimately supplemented by these other reasons.

I’ll make it quick.  I was shopping for one item.  The store was huge, low on stock, and crowded as hell.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit I do not always handle crowds well, but this was out of control and I believe it was all because the Martha Stewart Bedding Collection was on sale (before she went to jail).  Not only was it next to impossible to find what I was looking for, but the staff was out of a horror movie: zombie like, completely listless and totally inept – no one knew what direction to point me in and everywhere I went were nearly empty white shelves juxtaposed with people in a hurry who were being rude to each other so they could buy shit they didn’t need at low low prices.  I never found what I was looking for, developed a distaste for Martha Stewart bedding and I lost a lot of faith in mankind that day.  Thank you, Sam Walton.

I am not an anxious person, but I stood in the parking lot on the verge of a panic attack, and vowed to myself that I would never set foot in another Wal-mart.  I’ve never vowed that about anything before or since.  And 10 years later, I’ve upheld that promise.  I have never sent anyone in for me, and as far as I know, there is nothing in my house from Wal-mart.  And yes, that makes me sleep better at night.

We can find the same stuff elsewhere and I think it is our moral responsibility both as consumers and as humans, to pay maybe a little extra to support the business that is supplying the product, and also the business that is presenting the product; the hardware store and the maker of the drill.  I get the low prices concept and how it has worked for Sam Walton, his heirs, and the Wal-mart family, but it is costing the consumer (maybe in ways that cannot be immediately surmised) more than we are saving.  And yes, it is also a clusterfuck that overwhelmed me in its disorganization and ineptitude.

Side note: I love getting my teeth cleaned, brushing my teeth and flossing my teeth.  More so than most.  And I have a certain floss I adore that is next to impossible to find.  My hygenist informed me exstatically the other day that it was available at Wal-mart.


HE SAID: Wal-Mart

June 11, 2009

Geeze, what’s with us and our bitterness since we have started posting again.  First me with my plane antics, now you with Wal-Mart.  But I can’t harp on you for hating Wal-Mart, because I hate it too.  However, I have purchased things from there before and that fact does not keep me up at night.

I have over 150 DVDs, and I’d say about 20 of them came from the $4.99 bin at Wal-Mart. These include both Point Break & Aspen Extreme, so I think I did well there.  I also bought a pair of velcro sneakers there to complete a costume in college once.  And I’m sure there were a few other purchases during my camp years to change my rustic cabin into a second home, complete with a fan, TV and Nintento 64.

That being said, do I do my general shopping at Wal-Mart, absolutely not.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve even been since my last summer at camp five years ago.  However, as heinous and evil as I find that place, I also believe it is a necessary evil.

To me, Wal-Mart is no different in our culture than McDonalds, another place that I have stayed away from, especially since moving to Vermont.  What many people don’t realize about McDonalds is many people eat there because it’s all they can afford.  People need a certain amount of caloric intake a day to survive, and unfortunately even the cheapest of groceries are still more expensive than McDonalds.  It’s the same concept as those that shop at Wal-Mart…you can’t ask someone to go buy a winter jacket at the local mom & pop shop for $200 when they can get one at Wal-Mart for $59.99.

I really can’t believe how serious this post has become, but unfortunately in thinking about this it seems as though our culture has become reliant on institutions such as Wal-Mart and McDonalds.  Boy is that depressing.  It’s easy for me, along with lots of people I know, to talk about how easy it would be to do away with Wal-Mart by simply not shopping there.  I wish it were that easy for everyone, but the simple truth is…it’s not.  I hope that one day our culture can change…I hope to see my friend, I hope the Pacific Ocean is as blue as it is in my dreams, I hope (I hope that you understand the movie reference here, and that I used it because I am no longer as depressed as I was while writing this post).