Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Steph's Christmas Vacation

Well, so far on this trip to visit The Family in The Sunshine State, I have not torn out a tree from the ground, chopped a tree to the ground, or planted a tree. In fact, I have been here almost 60 hours and haven't touched dirt yet. I'm beginning to think something is wrong...with either me or The Family. The Dad keeps referencing finding things when they pack to move again, so I'm a little concerned that my keys to the house won't work if I ever decide to fly down and surprise The Family with an unannounced visit because they will have moved to the Keys without telling me. Oh wait, I actually don't have keys to the house anymore - they took them from me when I moved to Texas years ago. Nevermind. I can't get in anyway!

We did, however, in the extremely long day that is the day-after-Christmas-shopping-day, stop at Lowe's. And guess what I bought?! I know, you are all thinking, what the heck is The Steph going to buy at a home improvement store in Florida when she rents an apartment in Minnesota? Well, it is the day after Christmas...and everything is on sale...and last year I bought a bazillion strings of lights for about 27 cents each at Target, as well as a bunch of ornaments...and I had nothing to put them on this I bought a Christmas tree!

Ta da!

(OK, that's not really my tree, but it's what I imagine my tree would look like if I took it out of the box, but it together and set it up in front of a photographer's background.)

Yes, that's right! While traveling to Florida for Chritmas, I bought a 7 foot tall, unlighted, fake tree. It was $17.25 pre-tax. Now I just have to figure out how to get it back to Minnesota.

The whole tree won't fit in my suitcase. And I already have two bags to check. I have contemplated taking the top of the tree (only) home with me in my suitcase so that next year, just in case I don't get the rest of the tree up there, at least I have the top to illuminate. But I may just settle for hoping my parents drive up to visit me this year and bring the tree with them!! (Hint, hint to The Family.)

Merry Christmas to all! I hope Santa was good to you!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Good Guys Do Win Sometimes... just sucks that the bad guys always think that they are the ones actually winning. But if they only knew...

My belief is that the bad guys always think that they are winning due to their extreme lack of human decency, ethics, morals, reality...I could go on and on, but I left my thesaurus at home.

Seriously, sometimes, I wonder what is wrong with some people. Fortunately, I know enough of the good guys to battle the bad guys...and the good guys know who you are - I return your phone calls, emails, IMs and have beers with you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nighttime TV Commercials

Or more accurately, early morning commercials, are freaking awesome. Even more awesome - early morning commercials for the holiday season sales pitches.

First, you get to take the classic holiday season ads that are timeless...meaning that you can see them any time of the day from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and they have been the same ads for the past 20 years - they just pull the beta tape out of the archives and pay for the ad to be rejuvinated.

Cases in point:
* The Co-Pilot VCR Remote. The VCR setting remote for people who can't figure out their own VCR remote. It has a spinny dial thing on it. I guess spinny dial things are easier than giant buttons that tell you what to do.
* The Clapper. Does it get more classic than that? "Clap on, clap off, The Clapper!" Those people always look so happy, even though their clothes suck. I wish I could be in that ad.

* The Chia Pet. This one has a special twist for 2006...because it's the 25th anniversary of the Chia Pet. So for the first time in 25 years, the ad is a little different. You get a free alarm clock with your special Chia Pet purpose because of the 25th year. It's pretty exciting. The Chia Pet ad has always been the most compelling of the holiday season ads. How can you not be excited about the process...slather the seed mix on, water the Chia Hole, and have a spouting pig or Goofy or peacock. It's rather miraculous that a china creature can grow into a green wonder. I have always been a little curious as to what the greenery in the Chia Pet actually is. To be honest, I have always wanted a Chia Pet. I don't know why I never put it on my list for Santa, since I have always wanted one. Probably because I thought that Santa would make fun of me. But I think Chia Pets are cool and funny. I'm glad that the Chia Pet made it to the 25th anniversary, even though I have never actually known anyone that owned a Chia Pet. And then this year I have seen a new ad...for some women's pajama delivery service. It had some crazy clever title, but I had forgotten it. Upon some web research, I learned that the clever title is "Pajamagram." They deliver pajamas that are either sexy or comfy depending on the look/feel you are going for (although I didn't really notice a difference between the sexy and comfy pajamas honestly). And they deliver them in a matching hat box with lotion and "other things that women like." Oh, and a matching "Do Not Disturb" sign. You could skip that if you just had the PajamaGram sent to her at the Holiday Inn...her room would come with the sign already. Seriously. And you can go here to learn about why a PajamaGram is the perfect gift, in case you don't already know.

Although the idea of opening up a hat box and being surprised by pajamas and a sachet is exciting, if my man ever bought me pajamas in a round box and got overnight delivery, I might have to get him a kick in the groin. ***Note to self: send this blog post to all boyfriends in the future.***

Ahhh, early morning holiday season ads, does it get any better for comedic value than that?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Geographic Confusion

I can't figure this one out. Tonight, an Imax theater production entitled "Hurricane on the Bayou" is making it's world premiere tonight at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul. I can't figure out WHY. Here's a list of things featured in the movie and whether they appear in Minnesota or in another, more logical, place where they could host the premiere:

Lousiana or Florida: Check
Minnesota: ______

Lousiana or Florida: Check
Minnesota: ______

Lousiana or Florida: Check
Minnesota: ______

Lousiana or Florida: Check
Minnesota: ______

Lousiana or Florida: Check
Minnesota: ______

Jazz Musicians:
Lousiana or Florida: Check
Minnesota: ______

Hmm. Seems like St. Paul was a great choice for the debut. Or maybe that's just me!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Drivin' Along in my Automobile

I had to drive out to White Earth Reservation yesterday for work, and returned this afternoon. Along the way I did what anyone else would do after spending 9+ hours within 24 hours driving in a black Dodge Stratus with an endless supply of CDs through mindless snowy cornfields with scarcely a gas station to be found before the little arrow was pointing at "E" - I thought.

Mainly, because I was driving near the glory that is The Birthplace of America once again, I thought about Minnesotans. And mainly, funny and unique things said by Minnesotans. As a disclaimer, remember I love Minnesotans...they just don't realize how unintentionally hilarious their regional isms are.


When I first moved here nearly three years ago, I went to the local grocery store to get some essentials, including a 12-pack of Coke. I wandered all around the stupid store, looking up at the identification signs, trying to find the soda aisle. Finally I gave up, and asked a friendly store employee where I could find soda. He was slightly confused, and I had to repeat what I said. Then he said, "Oh, right here," and pointed up at the sign which indicated the aisle contained water and "pop." "Pop??" I thought "pop" was slang or regional...I didn't realize it was an actual term to describe carbonated beverages. Hmmm.


Then one time, a couple of people mentioned that they were "going to 'Essay' to get a pop" and asked if I wanted anything. Since I had absolutely no clue what they were talking about because I thought an essay was a piece of writing...or in this case was obviously someplace really popular that I didn't know about yet...and "Pop" was what we called one of my grandfathers when I was growing up...I said "No, thanks" because I didn't know what to ask for. Apparently...properly translated into real-people talk, they said "We're going to the Super America gas station [S.A. - not "essay"] to get a soda, want one?" Hmmm.


A phrase such as "It's about 4 hours away" serves as an answer for two different questions, according to Minnesotans, when you are inquiring about geography. Yet, to me, it doesn't actually answer EITHER question:

Q1) Do you know where Duluth is?
A) Yeah, it's about 4 hours away.

No - that doesn't tell me where Duluth is - it tells me how long it takes to get there. Basically, it narrows Duluth's location down to a gigantic circle. Is it in Iowa? Wisconsin? Near North Dakota? Close to Canada? HELLO!?!

Q2) How far away is Duluth?
A) Oh, it's about 4 hours away.

Once again, NO - that doesn't tell me how far away it is. It could be 120 miles away, but traffic sucks or it could be 240 miles away via straight interstate...apparently Minnesotans think that distance is measured in minutes rather than miles.


And finally, Minnesotans leave pronouns off the end of sentences. Example of conversation between The Steph and The Minnesotan:
The Steph: I'm going to the mall.
The Minnesotan: Is Bob going with?
The Steph: ***silence***
The Minnesotan: Ummm...hello?
The Steph: OH - you were done speaking?

Another example:
The Steph: We are going to the soccer game this weekend.
The Minnesotan: Can I go with?
The Steph: ***silence***
The Minnesotan: Well....?
The Steph: Well what?
The Minnesotan: Can I go with?
The Steph: With what?
The Minnesotan: With YOU!
The Steph: Well finish your sentences!!
The Minnesotan: I DID!


Yes, 9 hours well spent.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Headin' To AZ!

The Gators are getting the chance to compete for the national championships!

Go Gators!