WTF Target… turquoise weiner dog edition

I love me some Target, the numbers in my bank account don’t lie. I’m a Red Card devotee.

But sometimes I think the good folks up there in Minneapolis are trying to screw with us (yeah yeah, let’s see who we get to buy this!) or maybe the cold cold winters just screw with their heads a little too much. Either way sometimes you just want to take their purchasing department aside and offer them counseling.

Like with today’s email blast….  Let’s see what we have here, brightly colored plates that are too busy for my taste, dull monotone bowls that are too boring for my taste, standard issue porch rug, curtains from 1952 and oh yes… what looks like a bright orange paper mache deer – who’s had the shit scared out of it.

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Someone with a highly covented job in the Target purchasing department saw this in a catalog or a design center and said “Yeah!! That’s what the fall decor line is missing.. Scared Orange Deer! People will be dying to get those home!”    

(Note to Target HR department: Stop hiring people fresh out of design school! Yes they are cheap but they have absolutely no idea what they are doing – remember all those god awful high end “designer” children’s clothes that cluttered your clearance racks all spring and no actual child wore ever? Stop it!)

But back to the damn deer  ’cause people, you know I had to click on that shit.

 

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That’s right, it’s part of set with a turquoise dachshund and a pink poodle  – that appear to be as big as the deer (no wait sorry the poodle is actually 3 inches taller) . A bright turquoise resin dachshund and a giant pink poodle! Well at least now we know what the hell the damn deer is so afraid of!

“I really wish I could find a bright turquoise dachshund I’ve been looking for one forever!” Said No Person Ever

I’m even leaving the giant red rooster and the woodland hedgehog nightlight along because seriously people they are trying to sell you turquoise weiner dogs!

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Are you ready for some football is actually a question again….

images (1)On Mondays I talk about the Ripple Effect the Big Tragic Thing That Happened has had on our lives.

Saturday night I realized what a new one was – I have my fall weekends back. I am no longer forced to schedule every thing I do on Saturday and Sunday based on the NCAA and NFL schedules. If I want to go to the mall at 5:30 on Saturday I can (and did) and no one has to have a fight about it.

Saturday night I posted a FB post about watching a particular TV marathon with the girls. A college buddy immediately chastised me in a comment asking why I wasn’t watching our alumni football game.  The answer is simple – I didn’t have to. I had something else I would rather be doing and I was.

Don’t get me wrong – I still love my school and SEC football and the I’m pulling for the local NFL team but I do not have to actually sit in front of the TV and watch endless hours of the game to feel connected or involved –  Which I never felt was necessary and I always resented. I hated that nothing got done, and you could not make plans and that the whole thing just sort of took over like an illness.

At the time of the mentioned FB post I was in fact keeping up with the score of the game via Google. I knew the team was well ahead, as they should have been, since we were playing an early season non-conference team. But it didn’t require me to wipe out my whole night out watching it. Just like I hadn’t spent most of the afternoon watching every other televised SEC game. I had cleaned house, run errands, went to the grocery store and gone out for dinner.  On a Saturday in September. Unheard of. I was not tethered to the TV.

Football is something I do when I want to now. Last week I went to a friend’s house and we watched games together and it was fun. But it was something I wanted to do, not something I had to do. And I did not do it as the expense of something else. And I enjoyed it that much more.

For years I railed at the fact that everything from noon on Saturday to suppertime on Sunday from September to Christmas was ruled by football. I no longer have that problem.

I have my weekends back. Something that was a cause of stress and been a source of discontentment, for me, for years is gone. Don’t get me wrong, we’d always go back in time and change what happened if we could, but we get through the day to day by looking for the little things, the little silver linings that the ripples sometimes bring us.

For me, control of my weekend is a ripple that I’m riding these days.

Let’s Try This Again

I’m all about the fresh starts. My latest fresh start was supposed to happen with the start of the school year two weeks ago, I was going to attack my to do list and tackle all those pesky things I’ve been avoiding around the house all summer. It started off well, we were up, girls were out the door, I sat down for work – then one false move later – I was flat on my back for week. Goodbye fresh start. Nothing got done.

So here we go – fresh off a three day weekend. First of the month, fresh start reboot.

I’m not 100% recovered so it’s going to be a slow start vs the burst out the gate I had planned but so be it. 

Things I’ve done so far: 

  • Written this.
  • Started laundry
  • Picked up around the house before work started

Goals for this week

  • Grocery shop for the whole week, not just one night at a time.
  • Get everyone’s laundry completely done
  • Clean up back to school mess off dining room table
  • Put back all the patio stuff from where I pressure cleaned the weekend (I’m all about the project but hate and will procrastinate the clean up part afterwards)

If I write it all down here hopefully I’ll hold myself more accountable to it.

Cats

When I picked the little one up from a sleepover this morning she begged me to consider taking home one or more of the four kittens that were there, recently born to the yard cat.

I put her of with a maybe. Then I went home, took a shower, laid down on the couch and this happened.

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There’s An App for that: Flash Card Edition, Quizlet

So tech Thursday this week is inspired by A: Homework getting real around here and B: This post over at KidsActivityBlog (which used to be June Clever Nivana but I don’t understand that part) about the awesomeness that is SpellingCity.com

I agree SpellingCity.com is a great big bowl of awesome. We were introduced to it through several of our elementary school teachers. They use teacher accounts to set up the whole year of spelling words – no lost lists or What is this word translations needed. Great iPad app also – for Spelling words, nothing better.

But I don’t think it’s the best for vocabulary. (not bad just not the best)

We have found the most awesome for Vocabulary to be Quizlet.com and it’s completely free for parents (I believe teachers can buy an upgrade account and manage a class with it but I’m not sure about that part)

On Quizlet you can set up digital flashcards for just about anything. (I think the original intent was to create foreign language flashcards but they have now grown beyond that – but that’s one of the reasons they have a killer audio feature) Then they have tools and games to learn the content of those cards and when you’re done studying them you can set up tests to quiz yourself in a variety of ways – matching, true/false, or multiple choice  It will also accurately read the content to younger children.

The same day I saw the other post my eight year old came home with the first set of vocabulary words for the year. So I set up a list and then because it’s hooked into social media – I was able to share that list with other moms and the teacher as well.

Here’s the list so you can see it in all it’s glory

http://quizlet.com/25315280/new

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They also have killer iPad, iphone, and Android apps

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So if you’re looking for a killer site for flash card study – weather it’s vocab, or language, or whatever. Check out Quizlet.

I don’t get paid to talk about the things I like, I just like ‘em.

We don’t do Disney (Channel)

I had already scheduled this to be the topic I wrote about today long before the events Sunday at the VMAs but sometimes something you want to write about just comes together with something everyone else is writing about …

Over the years I have come to hate the Disney Channel. We loved the Disney Junior shows and Kim Possible, and yes I even came to like Hannah Montana. But from the very beginning there have been cracks, there have always been forbidden shows,  the first being – Zack and Cody.

It only took one episode of that show to see that it had no redeeming value and in fact was quite terrible. Zack and Cody took the Eliose story and turned it on it’s ear – two mischievous boys living in a hotel, mostly being raised by the hotel staff. The problem that I quickly found was that the adults were all bafoons, the boys had no respect for adults, after all they are the butt of the jokes, and the moral of the story was more “don’t get caught” than “do the right thing.”

Unfortunately this storyline has been replicated over and over again in almost every show since. Absentee parents, surrogate clowns in charge, overly smart mouthed little children getting laughs for disrespectful and deceitful behavior.  Even if the parents are there, they are treated as idiots, the kids are still the ones in control and respect for adults is non-existent. Alex Russo is a total Be-och and makes no apologies for it. And Charlie’s mom and dad are such clowns that the older sister is more in charge of the baby than the parents. It goes on and on…

We just don’t watch them. This weekend’s Miley Cirus weirdness now has be wondering how terrible they must be for the kids in them as well. The Disney machine takes these kids, bakes them into a format with multi million dollar marketing and the Disney brand – makes them famous for being on their channel and show, and truthfully it has little to nothing to do with their actual talent – I wonder if these kids know it’s Disney, not their talent, that is making them famous. That when they outgrow their roles they’ll be put out like so much trash and left to try and figure out what happened.

The girls used to expecting it all to come easy – turn immediately to the easiest thing to do – get slutty.  Forget the Miley trainwreck, have you seen the latest Selena Gomez video – If you want it come and get it? Seriously? Granted it has better production value than whatever it is Miley has going  on but that must be a perk of hanging with User and Justin. Still – they turned her into video girl wiggly nekkid all over offering herself up to come and get. And just go ahead and move CeCe Jones (Bella Thorne) into the Playboy mansion because it just seems like the logical next step for that one.

The boys – who knows what happens to them. Anyone seen Dylan or Cole Sprouse lately?

I know the child star crash and burn is supposed to be a Hollywood cliche but Disney seems intent of firing as many rounds out of that weapon as it possibly can, and Oprah doesn’t have enough time to put them all back together again. Poor Lindsey ..

So bad for my kids to watch – bad for the kids in the shows.

Just Bad.

Two weekends ago I spent a day at Hollywood Studios in Orlando, much of which is dedicated to Walt Disney’s legend. After watching all that history about the man and his dream, and how the whole Disney brand was inspired by the time he spent with his daughters, I’ve got to think he’s rolling in his grave at the Disney Channel mess.

Bad. Just bad.

 

 

Rethinking my iPhone addiction

I love my iPhone. I’m no Apple junkie, in fact I kind of loath the MacBook that I inherited for work and only use it when I have to. Admittedly part of that is comfort, I’ve spent decades mastering the PC so relearning even the simplest thing like how to backspace with a key that says delete when here is no actual delete key – not so much fun.

But I’ve been an iPhone lover from the start – I’ve loyally upgraded every 2 years as my contract allows. I’ve even sort of weaned myself from my big heavy DSLR in favor of iPhone photos. Sort of.

My daughter understandably begs for an iPhone of her own. Right now she uses my old 4 as a glorified iPod touch. But money being what it is and the fact that she’s 11 and prone to loosing things – I am not about to get into another pricey data contract just so she can be like mom.

Enter Metro PCS.. she’s had a crappy it’s-only-a-phone phone with them for a year or so that she took with her to practice and church or where ever she got dropped off so she could call me if needed. The no contract and cheapo less than $50 phone was just what we needed at the time. But not surprisingly it died or more specifically the battery died about a year into it. So with middle school coming up and the year of being responsible phone-wise I agreed to an upgrade.

They are running a special for $40 a month, unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled) and deals on entry level smart phones. So I bit – and I got her the LG  Optimus F3 for less than $100 and off I went home to set it up.

Having never dealt with anything Android I figured again I was going to be in for a bit of a learning curve and like the Mac/PC experience I wouldn’t love the new toy as much. But much to my surprise the whole thing was crazy easy, even kind of fun,  and the Google Play store or whatever they call it had every app she uses on her iPod plus some.

In fact there’s nothing I do on my iPhone that I haven’t found the same or better app for on the Android. And hers has a expansion slot for an SD card so I can control the size of the memory with an relatively inexpensive memory card. Endless room for One Direction songs and videos of cats …. I’m starting to get it now.

So her monthly cost 1/3 of mine (granted I’m grandfathered into unlimited unthrottled data) and her phone is 1/3 the cost of mine. And there is not a contract so it can be upgraded or replaced without drama anytime? And it’s just as good? Just as cool? In some ways better? What??!!??

Time for me to rethink the iPhone I believe. Maybe even my iPad…

I’m due for a new iPad at the end of the year through work as part of a contest and I’m already lobbying my IT boss into letting us choose the kind of tablet rather than getting the Apple gift card by default.  That Nexus 7 and 10 are looking pretty cool…

Nothing in this post was sponsored – this is just me telling the story of how I spent my own money and how I felt about it.

Flat On My Back

photo-2This week was supposed to be about me having my schedule and life back to myself after summer break being over the kids.

Monday morning went off like a charm – took the little one to the bus, took the big one to the bus. Came back and settled into a weekly conference call update to learn what had gone on during my week of vacation.

A few minutes into that call I decided that it was a little warm in the room and stood up to adjust the thermostat and RIP… there went my back. Massive spasms up and down both sides. I’ve been flat on my back ever since.

If I lay down I’m fine, then I can get up and walk a bit and be fine. But I don’t dare sit. Sitting is evil. Sitting makes me feel like I’m going to break in half.

This has only ever happened once before, last spring. I was putting away pots and pans and the same thing happened. That time I ended up also aggravating my sciatic nerve during the recovery which was worse than the back pain at times. So note to self: Avoid that!

I’ve already taken a huge step I hope in preventing this again. I insisted on getting a new work chair. I was in a glorified conference room chair and now I have an actual adjust it 10 ways computer chair that is rated for 6-8 hours of sitting. (Did you know office chairs get rated for sit time?)

Anyway – resting it out is the method of choice unless anyone out there has a better idea.

Grand way to start my “year”

My Yearly Manifesto

I spent some time on New Year’s Day reviewing last year’s manifesto and deciding what to edit/change/work on. Heading into 2013 there is still much change and disruption on the horizon so most of the changes I made were subtle.  Many of these words are talismans for me throughout the year. Words like Brave and Shift, and I will continue to hold onto them in 2013. Others evolved, Forget became Forgive. That will be a challenge.

2013 Manifesto

New TV Season Planning Session

Yes, I’m a TV Addict.. I also read more books a year than most people thing possible so don’t be all judge-y. God Bless the DVR.

So I sat down to make a comment back on Miss Zoot’s blog entry for the new season and I realized once you start doing research about what you’re going to say, it’s not a comment anymore, it’s a blog entry so here it is.

Shows I’m Dying for To Start:

Dr. Who: Some people plan and train and run marathons. Instead I plan and watch Dr Who marathons. Over the summer I planned out and executed a full on Dr Who marathon in where I re-watched every regular episode and special from the first six seasons. It finished up about 2 weeks ago and have been experiencing withdrawal. Pond Life has at least launched this week to get me by.

Season 2 of The Newsroom: Ok, I know season 1 just ended this week but OMG, I’m dying for a new season of this already.  Yes I love the anti tea party political ranting as much as anyone but what I really really loved was the scene where Maggie screams at a whole bus load of Sex In The City Tourists about what being a single working girl in NYC is REALLY like.

Downton Abby: Which doesn’t start for some time now dammit. They better figure out a way to get Sybil back from Ireland or I’m going to be very disappointed. To me her relationship with the family personifies the old ways vs. modern times struggle that is the most interesting thing about the time period.  How she went from being an early suffragette and then insisting on a nursing career – to running off to get married and have babies – I don’t understand.

Old Friends I’m Happy To Be Spending Time With Again

Big Bang: I have adored these geeks since the second they aired the first show. I loved how they finished up last season with the small wedding and sending Howard into space. Can’t wait to find out what happened up there. The one thing I will say is that Sheldon is sitting dangerously on the edge of becoming a joke that’s no longer funny. They have taken his character to such an extreme that he’s in danger of becoming “Joey” from friends – a weird cartoon hanging out with other wise likeable characters. Don’t believe me – go back and watch shows from early seasons – Sheldon wasn’t as weird as he is now.

Whitney – Admitted;y I did not like this show and particularly the character of Whitney at first. Honestly I kept it on the DVR because  Alex is just so damn cute and likable and Roxanne cracks me up. However, after having let a bunch of episodes pile up on the DVR I watch a bunch back to back and she grew on me.  Or maybe she got more likable. Who knows but if I hadn’t watched so much marathon style and started liking it more I would have dropped it this year.

Suburgatory: This wins the award for best show you might not be watching.. if I ever had to go back in time and be a teenager I would model myself after Tessa. She just rocks. And her Dad is hot. It’s The Office /Scrubs – but for Cul De Sacs.

Standards:

The Good Wife (I aspire to be as cool and calm as Alisha), The Mentalist (my one exception to my hatred of cop shows), Cougar Town (Yes I’m the one person who watches this), Modern Family (Of course), Gossip Girl (Guilty Pleasure), Hart of Dixie (Just to see Lemon’s vintage clothes)

Shows That Are On The Bubble with Me:

Grey’s Anatomy – seriously a plane crash? Either the writers are completely out of ideas or the entire cast was up for contract renewal and they had to wait to see who got deals.  GA has turned into Party of Five without the cute precocious kids. My commitment to tuning into the guaranteed lack of joy has almost run out.

How I Met Your Mother – they seriously need to start wrapping a few things up here and moving things along. The writers are showing signs of knowing that – which is surprising. It’s time to get on with the big reveal. We know and love them enough to learn who the girl with the yellow umbrella is and watch Ted fall in love with her. Without her Ted is starting to feel sad and desperate and at this rate he’ll be 50 when he has those kids.

New Shows That Will Get A Chance

Go On: And only the because they showed the pilot during the Olympics and I watched it and found it to be better than I expected. We’ll see if they carry it off, grief can only be funny for so long.

Emily Owens MD, it does star Meryl Streep’s daughter so how bad could it be.

The Carrie Diaries: Teenage Carrie Bradshaw – I’ll either love it or hate it.

Shows Haven’t Even Aired and  I’m Already Ignoring/Protesting/Hating

Revolution: So evidently when the electricity went out 15 years ago, our cast of characters made it a priority to loot all the clothing, hair product, and lipstick they could get their hands on because they still have a strong supply. Seriously, just look at the images that have been released for that show and ask yourself you – even you are a bad ass freedom fighter warrior chick/dude – 15 years in a dystopic world with no electricity, would you dressed like that and would your hair look be so awesome?

The New Normal: Looks like some at jerk at NBC said quick we need a “Modern Family”  and some hack wrote up a version of it. A better show already exists, without Ellen Barkin trying to pretend she’s Archie Bunker.