Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Swag Ho Monday - Free Corn Stalk

More like Swag Ho Tuesday, huh? But apparently nobody noticed anyway. Either that or you guys don’t know your days of the week, in which case I suggest you go pick yourself up a copy of TheRainbow Dictionary. Well, if you don’t care, then I don’t. I’m phoning it in this week anyway, so joke’s on you! I passed out on the couch last night at 8:30 after carrying 30-something pounds of Kid A up and down a mountain, and I guess I didn’t realize how hard it was on me because now I can't do things like lift my arms or breathe. Also, in bad decisions of the month, I was wearing flip flops when I did it, so that was dumb. So that’s why this post is late. Sorry!

And now, without further ado, I bring you this week’s swag! Try not to pee your pants with excitement! I’ll be honest, I’m quickly running out of free stuff to talk about. If anybody wants to keep me rolling in free shit so I can make fun of it every week, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you need further proof that I’m running out of material, consider this week’s free swag: a corn stalk.

Are you confused? So was I. 

I think one thing you need to know before I explain the rest is that my hatred of deer cannot be matched, except by that of my husband. Nobody hates deer more than Mr. F and I do. When we’re driving down the street and we see those giant fleabag rats grazing in people’s yards, we like to slow down and yell insults at them. “Go away, deer! Nobody likes you!” and “DIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE, deer!” are a few of the things you might hear us yelling out of our car windows. It seems Kid A has picked up our deer hate too. And to that I say, high five, kid. You’re damn right deer suck!

Aside from the fact that deer are ugly gross parasites that spread disease across the land, deer are also assholes because they eat all my plants. We can’t have nice flowers and plants in our yard. As soon as they get planted, no matter what kind of stuff we spray on them or how much hair or pee we put around them (we’ve tried everything) the deer chew it down to stumps. And a lot of the time they look us right in the eye while they're doing it, too. Even if we're throwing rocks at them. See? Assholes!

Wanna know who doesn’t hate deer? Our neighbor. He does hate things like maintaining his property and putting pants on when he goes outside to smoke. But that’s not relevant to the story. What’s relevant is that he leaves piles of corn out for the deer to eat. As if they’re having a hard time getting a meal with all that expensive landscaping in our yard. I figured that out when I was mowing the lawn and I started noticing corn cobs all over the place. It took me a while to put my finger on why my yard was always covered in random corn cobs, but then I got it when I was walking past his yard one day and I saw the pile. 

So that’s how it came to be that I went out to get the mail one day and I noticed a six foot high corn stalk growing out of our lawn. I don’t really know what to think. Actually, I had a lot of thoughts. First, I wondered how the hell it took me so long to notice a giant corn stalk. Then I was surprised that the deer haven’t eaten it by now. I also was amazed that corn grew in my presence, because I’ve been known to have a black thumb. Then I thought about cutting it down, but now I really just want to see if real corn grows out of it, and if we can eat it.

So… I guess thanks? Thanks for the free corn, neighbor?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Swag Ho Monday: Furniture (Junk) Restoration

Does it count as swag if you dragged it out of the garbage? I say it does, and I make the rules around here. It was free, so there. I pulled this beaut off the curb last week. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it as soon as I drove by and then threw my car in reverse to get another look at it. 

 It really is just as shitty as it looks, and it smelled just how you think it smelled. The wood under this fancy orange paint is just crap, and the back was a rotting piece of plywood. I had this idea that I wanted to cover it in book pages because that's what I'm into these days.

Last week, I made some flowers out of book pages for my soon to be cousin-in-law’s bridal shower. I looked through my book collection to see if I could find one that I wouldn’t mind shredding, and the worst book ever written was an obvious choice: Twilight. What a piece of crap that book is, am I right, people? It’s an embarrassment to literature. That’s why I didn’t mind, and even kind of enjoyed, ripping pages out of it and giving them a better life as objets d’art. 

Yeah, I speak French now.

This bookshelf was going to be for Kid A, though. I considered it carefully and decided I didn’t want a bookshelf coated in the worst shame ever to the art of writing living in his room with him. If I was going to glue pages of Twilight to the thing, I might as well just throw it back out onto the curb.

That’s when I had the idea to cover the bookshelf in pages of children’s books. Genius! There’s an awesome used book store in the town where I grew up, and I made a visit over the weekend. I picked up so many great books that I knew and loved as a kid. But then I came face to face with a new problem.

HOW could I ruin these books???
I couldn’t cut these books up! I was standing in the store with my arms full of books, and all of a sudden I felt really Hitlery. 

Then I had another genius idea that immediately made me feel better. I’d cover it in comic book pages! YES!!! Perfect! I called Mr. F to ask him if he had any comic books he’d be willing to spare. He was not in the mood for my shenanigans though. I think he’s getting a little sick of my stray furniture habit, honestly. Back to square one.

The other option, which was kind of what I was imagining in the first place while I was shamelessly shoving this garbage into the back of my car, was to cover it in vintage-looking book pages. Enter, The Rainbow Dictionary.

This book is the shit, you guys. It was exactly perfect for what I was looking to do. It was $3, it’s chock full of retro illustrations in primary colors, and on top of all that, it is a freakin trip. Also, I did not feel a weird emotional attachment to it, so I was totally okay with ripping its pages to shreds.  Especially because they spelled ‘cookie’ wrong.

What is this, Canada?

So here’s Kid A’s new bookshelf! It’s technically not finished. I just rigged it together for the purpose of this story. I still need to nail the back on (new piece of scrap plywood from Home Depot for 50 cents), and I think I want to put on a few coats of polyurethane to make it shiny and make sure it lasts.

Here are some close up details. Once again, please excuse my subpar photography skills. 

Subliminal messaging.

One of my favorite pages. I like the picture.
I have to be honest, it looked a lot cooler in my mind. I don’t hate how it came out, but I’m not super thrilled with it. It was a big pain in the ass, too. One of those projects that you regret starting almost immediately but you already mentally committed so you drag yourself through.

Now, onto the best part. You need to know just how crazy this book is. Just by looking at it in the store, I knew there would be some kick ass old school terminology in here. And sure enough, I got what I bargained for. First of all, the author of this book seemed to have some weird preoccupation with his mother and with kittens. I would say about 85% of the example sentences were crafted around one of the two, or both. It was weird. Also, this:

Well, jeez... that's... dark.

Oh. I, um... oh. Okay.
 So that’s it. Another Swag Ho Monday in the old-fashioned, mildly racist books!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Swag Ho Monday: This Jersey Shore Promotional Postcard Thing

A couple of months ago, my mom and I took a tour of the Jersey Shore house, because we're stronger than the storm. It was weird and I was kind of embarrassed, but we had fun and I won't act like I wasn't all kinds of excited to take a picture with that duck phone.

You know... this phone?

Cabs are here!

After the tour, I bought Kid A a ridiculous shirt from the Shore Store, because why not? My purchase came with this poorly made marketing postcard thing. At the time, I wasn't really sure what the point of it was. Little did I know, only a few short months in the future, its purpose would become crystal clear.

For once, it's not my awful photography skills making this blurry. The image quality was just that bad.

The front of the card shows a picture of the Jersey Shore cast looking comically serious. I'm thinking maybe it was supposed to be some kind of mafia thing. Or something. I don't know. It has one of those QR code things on it, which I'm convinced are just complete bullshit that was made up by some MBA in his stupid office with no windows in an effort to justify his useless job. Nobody really knows the point of them, but they just keep quiet because they don't want to look stupid in front of their other douchey MBA peers so everyone does this lame dance pretending like QR codes are the coolest technology of the future. Has anybody ever actually scanned a QR code? Be honest.

The back of the card has this lovely treasure map that takes you to the store where you got the card. Sooooooo, yeah. It also shows the location of some other store in case you want to walk a couple hundred feet and buy another tshirt and/or pierce something.

Thar be mildly offensive tshirts, mateys!

A couple of weeks passed and I forgot about the card. I was on my way to a friend’s birthday party. I was running late, as usual, because I made a million pounds of these tiny, delicious bourbon meatballs, and on my way down to the garage, this happened:

Most of them fell UNDER the stairs.

My rage was compounded by Kid A yelling “MA! You gonna clean up those meatballs?” from the top of the stairs as I was scooping up a few hours’ worth of work off the nasty floor and wiping the sticky sauce off the walls, trying to keep the profanities under my breath.

I did a pretty good job cleaning it up considering I was in a rush and I had a two year old heckling me the whole time.

Fast forward to today. Swag Ho Monday, and not a single swag of note to write about. I came across my coveted Jersey Shore Promotional Postcard Thing a few days ago. Over the last couple months I kept seeing it and kicking it under different pieces of furniture in my house. I knew deep down that I had to figure out its true purpose, but… how?

I thought about killing a bug with it. Bugs suck, right? But then I started to wonder about what I was becoming. What was I, some kind of monster? Am I really reducing myself to killing innocent creatures to get a cheap laugh? What is this, some kind of snuff blog? I was down in my basement when I had this revelation. I was about to give up and start looking for another piece of swag to review when I remembered seeing something gross a few weeks ago, acknowledging it, and then ignoring it like a slob.

A meatball! A petrified, slightly hairy meatball, sitting on the floor right next to the bottom basement step. EW, right? Who the hell wants to touch a gross old floor meatball? It was at that precise moment when the stars aligned and I realized the true destiny of the Jersey Shore Promotional Postcard Thing. It was time to clean house and stop being a disgusting slob in denial.

I took some action shots so you can feel like you were right there with me.

This one really is my crappy photography skills.

What would I do without you, Jersey Shore Promotional Postcard?

Bravo, cast of the Jersey Shore. Your finest performance yet! A million thank yous guys for being there for me in my time of need.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Swag Ho Monday: Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum

Do you know what sea bands are? Those little wristband looking things that are supposed to help with motion sickness by pressing on pressure points?

image from some UK costume website. what do you suppose this costume is?
Did you know Sea Bands also makes anti-nausea gum, "for travel, morning sickness, and chemotherapy induced nausea relief"? I did not, until someone handed me a pack. I was immediately excited about it. I don't typically suffer from motion sickness, I'm not pregnant, and thankfully I'm not undergoing chemotherapy. So why would I care about this gum?

Emetophobia is clinically defined as “an intense, irrational fear or anxiety pertaining to vomiting.” To which I reply, "Shut up, it's not irrational. You dick." Here is where I will confess to you some of the ways my intense fear or anxiety pertaining to vomiting affects my life:

I have panic attacks about flying. (So what? Lots of people are afraid of flying, right?) Yeah, well, I'm not afraid of the actual flying. I'm fine with flying. I'm not afraid of the plane crashing or anything like that. I'm afraid the person next to me will reach for that barf bag, the mere sight of which makes me break out in a cold sweat, and I will get their puke germs.

I spend the months of October to May in an almost constant state of stress, worrying that the flu germs will get on me. When I was pregnant, I woke up every single day and thought to myself, "Shit. This is the day the morning sickness will kick in." And I freaked out. A lot.

I used to step over all of the places in our house where my brother threw up. I had this kind of subconcsious map in my head. There's a spot in my parents' house in front of the bathroom that I still step over out of habit.

I won't put myself in situations that increase my odds of being anywhere near the possibility of puke if I can help it. Even if it means missing out on fun. You will never see me on a cruise, a roller coaster, or on a playdate with a kid who once met someone who had a stomach virus.

Okay, so maybe it is a tiny bit irrational.

That said, I have these little coping mechanisms that help me get through life without dying from extreme idiocy. One of them is ginger. Ginger anything. I was so excited to have this Sea Band Ginger Gum when I was on a plane a couple weeks ago. The rational part of me is well aware that chewing on a stupid piece of gum is not going to do anything when that guy next to me starts yakking up his breakfast in that tiny little bag and I have to just sit there and deal with it. But the part of me that feeds this fear says to me, "Heeeeeeey! It says anti-nausea on the package! You're safe if that guy starts barfing all over the place. I promise!"

As far as the actual product goes, the gum has about as much flavor stamina as Big League Chew. You get about three chews before every single speck of flavor has gone on to a better place.

image from hickoree.com
At least with Big League Chew, you could still blow huge bubbles with the giant flavoless blob for a good long while after the flavor was lost. With Sea Band Ginger Gum, you're just stuck with this tiny little wad of gum that you can really only chew with your front teeth. And let's be honest, when you're already looking kind of stupid for covering your face and panicking when the guy in the seat next to you reached for the Sky Mall magazine (ohthankgoditwasn'tthebarfbagTHANKGOD), do you really want to be sitting there chewing a miniature piece of gum between your front teeth? Still, it's ginger flavor (for two seconds) so I guess it still counts for vomit protection power.

So there you have it. Sea Band Anti Nausea Ginger Gum: actual gum? no. gross. Irrational vomit fear crutch? yes, totally.