Manscaping, metrosexual, and man Spanx, oh my! Sara Blakely, the genius behind (no pun intended) Spanx undergarments has dipped her toe into the roiling waters of male vanity (http://www.spanx.com/home/index.jsp) . Her newest pitch is men’s undershirts made to, “firm the chest, flatten stomach, improve posture and support your lower back”. Neiman Marcus is among the first retailers to carry these, but I have a feeling that this product,like her others, will take off simply on word of mouth. Why do P90X or pass up those tongue scorching chicken wings and chili fries when you can just suck it all in with an expensive undershirt?
I was flipping channels the other night when I couldn’t fall asleep. The clicker stopped on The Weather Channel and they were featuring a story about Whistler Mountain in western Canada. It was much more exciting than it sounds, really. I had spent my honeymoon many years ago in Whistler and the area’s beauty is beyond description. We drove from Seattle north, winding through the mountains along logging rivers and primordial forests. I thought the view couldn’t be any more jaw dropping, but we would come around a bend, and it would take my breath away again and again. I even ended up going salmon fishing on a smelly boat in 20 degree temperatures. Love makes you do stupid things apparently.
Jerry Springer is back. No, not refereeing a salacious, chair throwing melee with baby mama drama. No, this time around he is approaching TV with thoughtfulness and grace….HAHAHAHAHA. Just kidding! Who would want to watch that (um, me)? Jerry is going to be the host of a new dating gameshow premiering next month on the Game Show Channel (GSN), called “Baggage”. The show will have three contestants carrying suitcases of varying sizes to demonstrate their issues they carry into a dating relationship. The first show includes (and I am not making this up), a shoplifter, a control freak, and a woman who gets advice from psychics. If I were the guy who is the potential date “prize”, I would run as far and fast as I could!
As a speech therapist and all around word nerd, I have a love/hate relationship with language. “Ain’t” carelessy dropped into an otherwise educated conversation is akin to nails on a chalkboard to me. There is a great site, Martha Brockenbrough’s blog http://grammatically.blogspot.com/ , that always leaves me shaking my head at the posted spelling and puntuation fails. I know I sound like a grammar snob, but it goes with the territory of being a SLP (speech language pathologist, not street legal performance or super long play). However, if you think spell check is merely an annoying suggestion, you won’t probably won’t appreciate the humor on that blog, so don’t bother.
I know my mom loves me. I also know she wants good things for me. But sometime what she thinks is good for me, I don’t necessarily agree with. Case in point, the innocuous brown Amazon package that arrived at my door this week. I have recently joined a book review for bloggers ( http://booksneeze.com/join ), and assumed this was the book I had been waiting on. Wrong. I ripped open the corregated cardboard wrapper to reveal this on the jacket (and I quote),”There’s a reason the media has dubbed matchmaker Rachel Greenwald “The Wife Maker.” Yes, she’s responsible for over more than 750 marriages, but more important, she has solved perhaps the biggest dating mystery of all time; when you finally meet Mr. Right (or even Mr. Potential), what can you do or say to guarantee he will call back?” This was definitely not the book I had ordered. I threw it down on the counter and backed away like it was a venomous snake. “Have Him at Hello” just lay there and acted all innocent with it’s appealing pink name tag title and sunny yellow border. It looked like a cheery get well card, but I knew better.
My friends run the gamut from reserved to dancing on the tables (you know who you are and I have the pictures to prove it), with most falling somewhere in between. I enjoy myself with both, depending on my mood at the time. I have a few friends who talk so much, I can just sit back and listen for a good twenty minutes before they take a breath and I can respond. Sometimes I run into acquaintances who talk all about themselves each time I see them, never really asking you anything, but I consider this a personal narrative, not a conversation. But then there are certain friends that go beyond chatting about work or favorite books or even how our kids are doing (how they are really doing, not just the social niceties we tell most people). These friends are like finding a bit of shade on a hot August day or an unexpected ten dollar bill in your pocket. Let me explain.
Ever since I was little, I have wanted to be on Jeopardy. I know, as my brother would say, “Nerd alert!!” I loved to watch the show and seemingly pull the answer from thin air- “Turkey! Allspice! Georgia O’Keefe, Alex!” My parents were concerned I had a geek’s version of Tourette syndrome. Games like Wheel of Fortune left me unimpressed and often shouting at the TV contestants, “It’s Tea for Two, not Tea for Tom, you idiot!” But I digress. My parents have always encouraged me to try out for the show if the opportunity ever arose (probably to shut me up). My friends are always amazed that I am a fount of useless trivia and they too foolishly encouraged me. So I did a little research and found out you can apply at certain times of the year to take the test online as a prerequisite to appearing on Jeopardy. My guess is that they want to screen out the folks who freeze like deer in the headlights or anyone from The Jersey Shore (I’ll take self-tanners and bump its for tree thousand dollahs Alex!).
I had let Archie, our Old English Sheepdog, out while I poured a big cup of coffee to kick start this grey and rainy Sunday morning. No one else was up yet, and I always relish the quiet before the chaos. That was not to be this particular morning. As I was stirring my half and half into my daily dose of awake, I heard the thump-thump of Eric’s footsteps coming downstairs. “Oh well” I thought, “good bye quiet, hello breakfast.” I set down my cup to hug Eric good morning and it dawned on me that I hadn’t heard Archie scratch at the backdoor, his m.o. to let me know he wanted back in. I pulled the door open and looked around the yard, searching behind the large oaks and Leland cypress trees. No Archie. Then the gate caught my eye, swung wide open to the world outside our backyard. Archie was gone.
NBC recently launched a series based on one of my favorite 80′s movies, Parenthood. ( http://www.nbc.com/parenthood/) I started watching a few weeks ago and have totally become hooked. The storyline centers around the Braverman family and the siblings,spouses, children and significant others floating in and out of their lives. The dramedy includes intersecting story lines about a child diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, working mom guilt, a single mom with two difficult teenagers and a Peter Pan brother who recently found out he has a child. This newly minted dad was asking his older brother for advice, while cleaning up the mess his son made in his very cool car. “How does this work? What is parenthood about?” he asks searching for the upside of being a dad while wiping up vomit from the leather seats.
I looked out over my back yard and sighed. After I had cleared the remaining leaves and sticks the winter had deposited, there were large, bare spots of Georgia clay with a few clumps of grass dotting the muddy, red ground. The pots that had last summer held my tomatoes and herbs had only the skeletal frames of the tomato cages remaining. It will be several more weeks until the hardwoods that fill the back half of my yard unfurl their new green leaves enough that I cannot see the house behind mine. The spring and summer yield a secret garden when this happens, leaving my little piece of earth fenced in by leyland cypress, maple and oak trees. I can wear a floppy hat, grubby clothes and floral gloves, morphing into a living, breathing garden gnome, and no one will see me except the dog. My boys refuse to make eye contact with me when I dress like this, but they will get over it when they taste that first summer tomato!