Posted in Real Life, Shopping, stuff

Cup Wars

You know how you can go years without buying a new travel mug, and then then universe decides to introduce space age travel mug technology, so you find yourself buying not one but two new $25 mugs? Me too.

I didn’t set out to buy two. I could hardly justify one. We were at The Paper Store, the local Hallmark-affiliated chain of gift stores, in July because I wanted to look at their scarves. And there was a sign in the window saying it was launch day for the 2017 Hallmark ornaments but we’re going to focus on the scarves, okay?

The Christmas music playing in the store as I looked for a beach-y scarf almost drove me out, but damned if I don’t love the stuff in that store. Really, their buyer is basically my soulmate. So as I spent 15 minutes attempting to make it from the scarf section to the register, a display of travel mugs catches my eye. Keeps drinks cold for 9 hours! Keeps coffee hot for 3! What is this spaceman technology?? The Corkcicle is expensive for a travel mug and I don’t know if I need a new one. But my old one simply doesn’t give me the staying power these promise. Plus, I have a negative amount of self-control.

Later, a woman in an optometry office sold me on the lid of the Yeti travel mug, which is held by a magnet so easy to remove and clean. Done. Sign me up. I hate cleaning the slider part of travel mug lids.

So which one is better?

Interestingly, the Corkcicle kept coffee hotter longer, but the Yeti has a better lid (specifically the one with the magnetic close that you have to purchase separately.) The Yeti had better lid options – I’m not seeing replacement lids for sale for Corkcicle, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t available.

In the end, I kept the Corkcicle (and bought more) and gave the Yeti to my son. It’s still good, it just came in 2nd.

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Posted in Brain Dump, humor, lists, Real Life, stuff

We’ve Got Pebbles!

I was in the car for 14 of 36 hours this past weekend (took a jaunt to Philly and back for my son to do an audition). I talk a lot in the car, because I like to entertain myself that way, and it keeps the driver alert while driving everyone else in the car crazy.

We should have recorded the conversations – I’d have 75% of a podcast ready to publish. I didn’t start taking notes until Sunday, so missed stuff from Saturday.

Here, in no particular order, are things we discussed on the ride back. Feel free to work them into your own conversations.

– Why did the person who called “not it” for driving through NY get stuck driving through NY both ways? That would be me, for the record. I declare the lower level of the George Washington Bridge a big disappointment because it felt more like a tunnel than a bridge.

– Why are New Jersey drivers worse than any other group on the road? I have never seen so many crazy speeding lane-changers. Like violent swipes from one to another inches away from other cars.

– If you owned a bus company, would you only hire drivers willing to wear catheters so they could do the Boston to NYC route without stopping?

– Is a Lamborghini a practical car? (That was Michael’s claim. I don’t know how he defines practical but he couldn’t answer my “what do you do if you are grocery shopping” question. He said they get good gas mileage. Google doesn’t confirm the claim unless you think 12mpg city is “good.” Also, if you forget how to spell Lamborghini use “Lamb or ghini” as a hint. I don’t know if ghini is a thing.

– Made Tom Google the surgery-free weight loss balloon we saw advertised on a billboard. It’s a big balloon filled with saline. I can’t figure out how to insert a big saline filled balloon without surgery. Tom says the fill it in you. “How do they tie it?” Secretly, I now want to try this method of weight loss, but instead of a saline balloon maybe one with smuggled diamonds. Also, can I just swallow balloons from the toy store to save money?

– The My Brother My Brother and Me podcast makes a joke about Gallagher 1 and 2 and references G1 being a dick. Tom hadn’t heard this (!) so we Googled “Why is Gallagher a dick?” but then we have to exclude the Oasis brothers (also dicks) and Dick Gallagher, a piano player who is probably a dick “because his mom liked the name” to get just the stories about angry racist Watermelon Gallagher.

– Made Tom Google and read me the wiki for the Scarsdale Diet doctor murder. Also made him Google Molly Pitcher to verify our guesses about why they named a rest area after her. I had the correct era, but Michael actually knew a surprising amount about her.

– We talked about a story Michael had from the audition. He’d told people in line around him that you can suck on gummy bears to soothe your throat. The people behind him told him they’d Googled it because they thought he might be trying to sabotage the line. We tried to decide what he would have gained by knocking them out with bad advice when they weren’t directly auditioning against each other. Michael: “Go ahead, Google ‘sucking on a gummy bear’.”

Me: “I don’t have safe search on.”

– Tom and Michael declare the Grover Cleveland rest area on the NJ turnpike honors a Muppet. We ponder if there are human/muppet porn movies but do not search for any because there must be some. It takes at least 20 more miles before I realize they meant Grover the blue Monster and not a humanoid Muppet named Grover Cleveland. Wasn’t there a boy Muppet similarly named?

– What is Peter Pan doing in the picture on the back of Peter Pan busses? Michael proposes Flamenco dancing and I think a magic trick with a quick “look over there!” redirect. Would you know it was a picture of Peter Pan if it wasn’t on a Peter Pan bus? “It’s young Robin Hood!” We didn’t look up the history, but it isn’t clear why Peter Pan = bus transportation. I also wonder what they had to pay JM Barrie for the rights, and if it was worth it (as opposed to just making up a new, non-intellectual property name.)

– how much do we hate the car’s GPS? Her alternate route suggestions to avoid traffic generally add time. She also says “Traffic jam ahead” when there is either no traffic jam ahead, or when we are already in the middle of it. WE KNOW.  I named the GPS lady Suzy because the car is a Subaru. A frequent response to her announcements is “Shut the hell up, Suzy!” The biggest flaw is that she seems to treat many highway exits as anti-turns we must be warned to avoid, especially when there is an exit-only lane. I understand you don’t want people in a turn-only lane if they aren’t turning, but that feels like a thing the driver will handle: if you tell me to drive 30 miles to my next exit, I will spend thirty miles NOT taking every exit that comes along.

– How difficult would it be for a kitten to play ragtime on an upright piano? The song “Kitten on the Keys” feels misleading in this respect. I don’t think a kitten has the body mass to depress the keys that quickly. Tom realizes it’s a player piano or nickelodeon, not a piano. So it’s a REALLY misleading song title.

– Discussed the relative merits of Peter Tork as a singer.

– If you trip and fall and rip your arm open on a cruise ship mini golf course, how much of it is it your fault for not being able to lift your leg over the sides of the hole?

– Changed the rules for Spotify Search Roulette. Use Gong Show guidelines of 30 seconds per song, then anyone can say “skip.” Each rider gets two vetoes – you can each use one “skip veto” per song. If there is a second Skip request after you veto the first one, you have to skip! Related: while the songs are awful, the search term “auntie” results in the most interesting song titles and band names I’ve ever seen while playing this game.


14 hours driving to and from Philly plus an hour each way to see a concert Saturday night means we are all car seat-shaped and spent too much time in rest area bathrooms. But it was a good trip and I’d do it again tomorrow if I had to. (Unfortunately/fortunately, we won’t have to, at least not this time.)

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Posted in coolness, Podcast, stuff, The Internet

Is it time to Podcast Again?

I’m down to zero web hits a day. I learned there was a WordPress setting I’d never noticed that hid my site from search engines, which is kind of the opposite of what I want. I’d like to be the top hit for such classic search terms as

“Not Goonies, the other one” *

“How to cook dinosaur meat” and

“The best Jody in the universe”

I had a video podcast in 2008 that was wiped off the face of the earth when I stopped paying for the mac.com account that hosted the files. Apparently. It’s okay, because nobody needed to see me sitting on my bed talking about how many pairs of green pants I owned. [Newsflash: Too many! 2017 update: None at present!]

Maybe that’s a GOOD thing to podcast. Maybe that minutiae (or as we call it around here, “thought pebbles”) is what will help someone choose life. Chose to get up and fight the good fight. Make the donuts. I think anyone reading this because they wanted to know what the other movie was that wasn’t the Goonies (Shit, I don’t know, I didn’t even see that one. Are you thinking of Stand By Me? 12 Angry Men? Little Mermaid?) would also need a podcast by me because clearly I am going to improve your life.

I will have to get on that.

*I swear to God, this came up when I typed “not the goon”** in Google. The results are all about The Goonies. Not the other one.

**It’s complicated

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Posted in Brain Dump, Real Life, stuff

Going Deep

Not Jack Handey-like Deep Thoughts, just a little interlude to unload my brain.

Not that we don’t all obsess with death, because I know we do, but I have as of late been thinking about it more than usual, and it has been dragging me down. If I still had all my girl organs I would say I was deep in PMS-land, but those have been dust for two years now.

I used to avoid posting certain things here because I knew my aunt was reading my website and she sort of became my primary audience. So I filtered a lot of thoughts and language. But we lost her last summer and that makes this a “safe space” again, but that is small comfort. I adored my aunt. She was everything wonderful (I can say that based purely on my own interactions with her. If she ran some sort of underground “Racists for Kitten Murder” group, I don’t want to know.

My endocrinologist died in April, and I just learned about it. I’m feeling a bit bereft with this one. I really liked the guy. Our last appointment was over the phone, so I didn’t get the in-person experience (which was great). I felt like a friend. I knew all his issues with the medical establishment and insurance companies (he went cash-only years ago). My prescriptions were fairly complex combinations of new drugs, and compounded drugs to meet precise amounts per his unofficial studies of how different treatments helped or hindered himself and everyone in his practice. He observed trends and solved problems I didn’t know were related to my thyroid. There isn’t possibly another person who will treat my symptoms the way he did, and now I have to face a future where I could spend the rest of my days being mildly symptomatic again. Living like that isn’t fun. I wish he’d taken my needs into consideration before allowing himself to die (I can only assume he was taken by illness, he was actually well past retirement age.)

We’re getting old. My parents are still alive, thank God and my mother’s ferocious insistence on controlling every bite of low fat, low sodium, small-portioned food my dad eats. As I ease into the age group that gets a discount on coffee at McDonalds, and the realization hits I’m never going to be the toast-of-the-town ingenue, the center of attention. Maybe I can still pull off the wacky matronly type, but I am getting into the invisible years (women of a certain age, especially if they aren’t thin and sexy, become invisible.)

I guess I need to ponder my remaining days, and how best to use them. I’ve become somewhat obsessed with RV shows and record several to the DVR. I watch the tiny house programs, knowing that I could never survive in 300 square foot shipping container, or use a composting toilet (I mean, maybe I could, but the idea scares me) but do think it’s cool to just take your shit with you wherever you go (literally). I still have to work another 20 years, if I want a chance at not dying in poverty, so maybe I won’t hit the road quite yet.

Is this is my midlife crisis? If so, good news, everyone! I’m going to live to be 104!

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