Friday, April 30, 2010

Complaining Can Save You Money

It's been a couple of weeks since I first posted my complaint with soap dispensers. Riveting, I know. Then, a few days ago, I posted the response I received from Colgate. I thought that would be the last I heard from them. Nope. I got a letter from them yesterday. It was just a printed version of the email response. But there was something else inside.
While I had hoped that envelope included a large check - or even an offer to review all of their products to improve them - instead, I found this inside.
Coupons. Lots of them. Probably one for every product they make... including that soap that I'm vowing not to buy again.

Corporate kindness? Maybe. But I almost feel like it's a bribe to just save some cash and accept that you get what you pay for. I might use the coupons. I doubt I'll buy that soap again. It's just not worth the frustration - even with the savings.

Week In Pop Culture

I don't know what's crazier: this story or the fact that someone might actually have the job of telling Britney she MUST wear a bra? Also, if they're hiring, I'm TOTALLY good at remembering to wear a bra, so I think I'm more than qualified!

Bret Michaels is reportedly barely hanging on. If you want regular updates, go here.

This article questions whether the J-Lo train can get back on track. Look at that! I didn't make a single crack about her caboose! DAMMIT!

Russell Crowe makes threats off screen? I AM SHOCKED.

I guess someone forgot to tell Olivia Munn (whoever she is) that if you're gonna represent PETA, you should toss out your leather shoes - or at least NOT wear them to PETA events.

Courtney Love wants us to know she and Gwen Stefani have something in common - her husband's wiener.

I don't know where Lady GaGa ends and Christina Aguilera begins.

Just so we're clear: Lindsay Lohan no longer acts. She just poses for photo ops.

Catherine Zeta Jones has the face of a 30-year-old and the legs of an 11-year-old.

Sandra Bullock is losing her loser husband and gaining an adorable baby.

Because I know you miss her on DWTS, here are some photos of Kate Gosselin and her abs.

That marriage to Tom Cruise is working out SO well for Katie Holmes, she's acting in a TV movie.

A couple of years ago, news that Steve Carrell might leave "The Office" would have made me sad. Now, I kind of hope that means the show will end. It's just not as funny as it used to be. :(

Looks like "Anchorman 2" will not happen. Guess my coworkers will just have to keep rehashing the original. Out of sequence. Forever.

A couple of figure skaters have gone catty - and they're not ladies (not technically).

I guess two pretty people can't make it last forever.

You've probably heard about Time Magazine's Most Influential List. But have you checked out the Least Influential List?

And because I <3 "Glee," I'm sharing this little number with you:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Keeping Myself Honest

I was looking back at this post from 2009 and realizing I did not do such a great job with all of my plans for what was then a new year. The thing that disappointed me most was that I had not read nearly as much as I had hoped. Nerdy resolution? Maybe. Still, totally worth it if the right books come along!
Today, I had an idea.

I would list the books that I've read this year on this blog.

You'll find the two that I've read so far on the right side of the page.

I have also committed to buying a handful of books by pre-ordering them. BTW - if you aren't on the list at Borders, do it NOW. Even if you don't have a Borders in your neck of the woods, you can order online. They send emails with fantastic savings on pre-orders. Even if you have them shipped to you, you can still get the book cheaper than if you paid full price. 

So, how many books can I read this year? I have no idea. If the ones I choose are interesting, I think I can get through quite a few. One a month? That might be too ambitious. But I'll set a goal of at least six books by the end of the year. That's one every other month. I should be able to manage that.

I think.

Check back often to see if I'm adding books. And if you want to know what I think of what I've read, let me know! Also, if you've read something you really liked, please share it with me!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Is This REALLY A Good Idea?

It's no secret that Facebook has some annoying ads. Sometimes, they go beyond that and just get creepy. But one ad is a bit odd.
That's KFC's "Bucket For A Cure." Fifty cents from each tub o' chicken goes to Susan G. Komen For the Cure. KFC wants to raise $8.5 million off this pink campaign. Nice gesture.

But when I click the link to learn more, I'm taken to the Komen site. There, a whole page full of risk factors, among them: weight.

So I go back and look at the nutrition information on KFC's foods. Shocking. No trans fat, but lots and lots of everything else (how else would they make it taste good?).

So, how on earth can you make a difference with your two quarters going to this cause and eating that chicken? I say pass on the pink bucket and write a check directly to the Komen Foundation. Your breasts (and your butt) will thank you.

Taking On A Giant

Last week, I wrote about my frustration with soap dispensers. Exciting, I know. But I was frustrated. Then, I realized that the right thing to do was to contact the manufacturer. It's possible they don't know people aren't happy with their product, right?

So, I grabbed this particular soap dispenser, Googled the brand and found out it's made by Colgate. They have a customer service section where you can heap praise or get nasty. I chose to type my response right down the middle. I sent two comments. The first, had no UPC code (because my beef was not necessarily with this one container - it's all of them, even the ones I haven't bought), so I guess I should not have been surprised that I did not get a response in the one working day promised by the site. So, I sent a second one, this time, carefully typing the UPC number so I'd get a response. I explained everything as nicely as possible as I had in my earlier blog post. So, late last night, I got this response in my inbox:

Thank you for contacting us. We're glad that you had the opportunity to try Softsoap Kitchen Fresh Hands Liquid Hand Soap.
Our Packaging Engineers are constantly looking at ways to improve our product containers and labels. The soap left in the bottom of the bottle is not counted with the ounce size provided on the bottle.  We appreciate your comments on our packaging for Softsoap Kitchen Fresh Hands Liquid Hand Soap.
We hope you will continue to rely on our company for quality products and services and that you will contact us again if you need additional information or have any further questions.
Victoria Smith
Consumer Affairs Representative
Consumer Affairs

Yeah. I feel SOOO much better now!

All I wanted was them to accept that their product is not user-friendly. Maybe they'll fix their pumps. Maybe they won't. This is one customer who is NOT sticking around to find out. I will not buy their soap again.

Sorry to get all serious on you. But I feel SO much better getting that off my chest. Now, I'll go back to hunting celebrity news and other silly things to share with you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Week In Pop Culture

If you cheat on your wife, you should not be surprised when you go to into the territory of your former mistress/current girlfriend and are taunted. Wasn't me - I was working.

As much as I would HATE to see "Mad Men" go, if all the loose ends are tied up, I'd be OK with that.

What!?!? James Bond on hold? Unacceptable!

Valerie Bertinelli shows Kirstie Allie what a REAL loser can do.

Oh, Mariah Carey! Marrying your boy/husband a third time is only going to make it that much more expensive when you divorce!
Joan Collins would be a nightmare travel partner.

If Heather Locklear ever offers you a ride, just say no.

Jon Bon Jovi has lost his shirt.

Charlie Sheen really knows how to show the people at his hit show how much he loves them.

I rarely love a remake, but I might check out this one with Helen Mirren.

I haven't liked Donald Faison since "Clueless." This is not helping.

I'm not sure what Doug Reinhardt does for a living, but I think spending more than $10 on Paris Hilton is too much.

LOVE Salma Hayek. Her shoes, not so much.

Finally, I'm leaving you with a picture of Renee Zellwegger. If you know what's going on with her face, please let me know. I want to NOT have that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm All Lathered Up

I am a bit of a hand washer. I'm not one of those people who takes a quick swipe of soap, rubs my hand together like I'm working in a NASCAR pit crew and then rinses. I mean, I scrub in like it's surgery (only I rarely get elbow-deep in suds).

So, let me explain how frustrating it is when the liquid soap dispenser just stops working. I tried my best to take a picture to show you what's bugging me.
It's a little hard to see here because the soap container is twisted, but the pump does not reach the bottom of the container. What happens is, with about half an inch of soap left, you cannot, no matter how fast or furious you smash the pump, it will NOT reach the last bits of soap. You have to take the top off, tilt the container to the side and wait for the soap to drip out of the opening.

Why don't the soap makers understand this? Are they just focused on the soap itself (color, texture, scent) and what the container looks like? When you put a pump in a product - whether it's soap, shampoo, lotion, etc. - you expect it to make things easier. You do not expect to have to yell curse words at the soap because it will not leap into the pump no matter how hard you hit it.

Yes, I could go with a different style of soap - bar soap would probably be easiest. But the thought of touching a bar of soap with my bare hands grosses me out. I have to try not to think about what was last on the soap because I know those cooties are being transferred to me, wherever the soap sits, and, of course, the soap itself. But I buy the dispensers with the pump because it seems like one of the cleaner options. If they can't fix the pump problem (and why not, dammit?), then they should put a warning on the package saying you'll have to work a lot harder to get the last of the product. Otherwise, they're just jerks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

When I Win The Lottery...

This is me being optimistic. I know that I will win the lottery. It WILL happen someday. And when it does, this is how I plan to show up to collect my big check:

Photoshop Magic Courtesy of Adam Higgins

Yes. That's "me" in a wet suit with an LBJ mask. I'm on the beach because, well, that's where I demand the lottery people deliver my check if I must do that whole "dog and pony show." And when the reporters ask questions, here's how this will go:

Reporter: How did you choose your winning numbers?
Me: Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.

Reporter: How are you going to spend the money?
Me: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

Reporter: Are you going to travel with your winnings?
Me: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

Reporter: Do you plan to do some charity work?
Me: I am not a crook.

Reporter: Are you planning on giving any real answers?
Me: Read my lips - NO NEW TAXES.

And if that doesn't make people think twice about asking that crazy woman for cash, well, you should know that if my lottery jackpot doesn't come calling soon, I just might go all "Point Break" and form my own "Dead Presidents" gang.

Week In Pop Culture

Heidi Montag appears to have plastic skin, so, um victory for the plastic surgeon?

Conan's going to TBS and he'll bump George Lopez. Guess what? No bad blood.

Jessica Simpson looks a lot like her hair gay.

What in the Kelly McGillis is happening here?

Bret Michaels fans never got to see him at San Antonio's Sea World - he had to have emergency surgery (not STD-related - allegedly).

Britney Spears reveals the worst kept secret: She's photoshopped like mad, y'all.

Justin Timberlake might be a douchebag.

David Beckham eats pretzels.

Larry King is getting divorced. AGAIN.

Mel Gibson is ditching his baby mama.

I ♥ Kathy Griffin, but could have lived my entire life without knowing she's a) vajazzling and b) getting a pap smear near a pool.

I know girls do drastic things after a break-up, but I think buying boobs might be a bit much.

Celebs strip down (but keep full hair and makeup).

Not that I ever thought Steven Seagal was a great guy, but this makes me think he's a creep times two!

If you've ever wanted to know what a desperate-for-love 40-something smells like, here you go.

RIP, Dixie Carter. I will always love your Julia Sugarbaker.
And go here to see some of her best moments.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Peeved

That is not me. But that is how I sometimes feel.


You see, I have had it with a handful of phrases. Here they are and why they bug me:

My thing is...
First of all, I don't want to know about YOUR THING. Ever. Second, if you're saying it, whatever words come out of your mouth belong to you unless otherwise specified. Useless babble. If you use this phrase often, there's a good chance I tune you out as soon as you get to the word "thing." Stop it.

Really? You're going to tell me the TRUTH? I'd rather you just lie to me! That's how I feel EVERY time someone uses that when giving an answer. Call me naive, but I like to think most people are being truthful. If this is your "go-to," leave it out. Just let me know when you're going to lie to me.

I was going to say that!
Were you? Prove it! And I don't mean by repeating everything I'm saying half a second after it comes out of my mouth. I want actual proof that you were, in fact, going to say it. Otherwise, just nod in agreement, please.

Gee whiz!
That - or any 1950s phrase - has no place in my life. Unless you're being sarcastic about something, then, by all means, bring it on! If you cannot resist the urge to go all "Beave" in conversation, then perhaps you should check out urban dictionary for some modern catch phrases - or find a way to travel back in time to a place where those phrases are cute.

You know what I'm saying?
If you're saying something and giving a little "wink, wink, nudge, nudge," I am willing to bet my future lottery winnings that I will ALWAYS know what you're saying. Knock it off, creep!

I am certain I left out a few phrases. Feel free to share your own peeves in the comments. (Note: if you call me a peeve, I will punch you)

Monday, April 12, 2010

THIS Is Entertainment?

I am a pop culture junkie. If you've read my blog, this is not news to you.

I love movies, music, books, magazines and video games. I'm not a hard-core video game junkie. I have a Wii and I play silly games. I don't do those shoot 'em up games - they make me nervous and my hands get all sweaty and the controller slips out of my hands and BOOM, I'm dead. I came across this new game for the DS and at first was a bit intrigued.
I liked the movie. It was like a new take on "Heathers" (one of my faves). But a few things struck me as not right.

First, I really don't care that Lindsay Lohan is not on the cover of the game. Yes, she was the main character in the movie (which was her best work - also, it's the only movie she's been in that I've seen). But, let's face it, anyone could have played the new kid taking on the popular kids in school. It's a theme that has been done a million times (possible exaggeration).

Second, take a look at the game's description:
Rumors. Lies. Intrigue. It’s High School. Based on the hit Paramount movie. Follow the misadventures of Cady from Jingle Bell Rock to the School Prom. Go up against plastics, jocks, art freaks and mathletes, as you work to play the cliques against each other and become the high school prom queen!
Oh. So the PLAYER gets to be the MEAN GIRL. Now, had this game been released six years ago, when the movie was out, it would be totally relevant. Maybe even a little fun.

But it's not 2004. It's 2010. Bullying is in the news. Here are a few examples:
Nine teenagers have been charged in connection with the suicide death of South Hadley High School student Phoebe Prince, 15, who took her life after she was bullied by other students at her school.
JOSHUA, Texas (CBS/KTVT/AP) Bullying may have claimed the life of another student. Jon Carmichael took his own life Sunday after some say he was bullied by bigger classmates.
HOUSTON - "I thought I lost my child, and my child is my life," said Yamshannta Robertson, with her voice trembling in disgust, in front of her home on Friday, March 26. What happened to Robertson's 8-year-old child is unforgettable. The second-grader was tired of it. He said he had been pushed around by bullies for months. Then after someone pulled down his pants and embarrassed him in class, he jumped out from the second floor of Blackshear Elementary school on Wednesday, March 24.
Nothing funny there. So why the game? Why now?

Is it to allow those bullied kids to strike out in a way that doesn't harm them? That hardly seems productive.

Is it to get a bully to act out in a game instead of in real life? Not likely.

Look. I admit to being a bit bullyish at times. Being nice doesn't always get the job done. But I have never done anything to turn people against others in such a way that you'll see in those headlines or in a movie or even a game.

What's the harm in a video game? Plenty. It could be the start of a bad habit. I think any parent who lets their kid play that game needs to have a serious discussion about bullying with the child. If he or she has been a victim, report it. If your kid's the bully, stop her before things go too far (assuming they haven't already).

"Mean Girls" the movie is entertainment. A game that encourages you to be the bully is not. I guess I just became one more villain for the player to take on: skeptical adult who questions the motive behind a little old game.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Week In Pop Culture

What's new, pussycat? Oh, ANOTHER reality TV show.

Nicollette Sheridan is dishing about her final days at "Desperate Housewives." It's way juicier than any plot on the show!

I thought these two would be together forever.

I'm not a doctor, but I've watched enough medical shows on TV to believe you can get an upper respiratory infection from smoking crack.

I've established that I'm on Team Coco. So when I saw this, it made me smile.

Halle Berry is usually trendy, but I seriously hope this does not catch on.

Ugh. Gisele.

Allow me to get into the mind of Pamela Anderson. "I want to look hot. No, really hot. Like I've been in a sauna with full makeup all day. Yeah. That's it."

Jennifer Hudson wants to be able to bounce quarters off her butt. Um, I'm pretty sure that's NOT why God gave us butts.

Now, you can dress like a Lohan (cocaine not included)!

Here's what happens when a Kardashian is foiled by her own dress.

And I'll leave you with this video I think might border on child abuse. From the song, to the dance to the fact that this boy doesn't have pajamas that actually fit him - it's all a mess, yet I couldn't look away...

Monday, April 5, 2010

We Can't Pay Attention, But We're Still Rich & Famous

I'm surfing the internet this morning (look, it's what I do, so get over it). I come across this story on CNN:
19 Celebs Who Have ADHD
I click on the link, which takes me to a Parenting website. The list includes some big names:
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Will Smith
  • Jim Carrey
  • Howie Mandel
  • Pete Rose
It lists their accomplishments. What is the point of this? If you're asking that while reading this, stick with me. I have a point.

I guess it just means that parents - and kids who are diagnosed with ADHD or ADD - should not use it as an excuse. Kids can go on to do great things. Don't let a label define them. Medicate or find activities that keep them focused. Encourage them. Find patience (I know that may be easier said than done as I'm looking for mine and I don't have kids).

Can you imagine what the world would have missed if any of those people had let that diagnosis define who them? Instead, they found a passion, followed it and focused on it - and more. We should all be so lucky!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fun With Photoshop

I have very limited Photoshop skills. So when I saw this in Glamour magazine, I was super jealous.
It took me a few minutes to spot the changes made to some of these people. So let me show you the individual pictures.

When I first looked at this image, I was instantly drawn to the Angelina tattoo on Jenifer Aniston's well-sculpted arm.

I cannot imagine there ever being a time that she would a) get a tattoo where everyone could see it or b) would want one even remotely similar to her ex's new lover.

I think Jen is a girl who loves to be in love. I don't think she's sitting around wishing to be Angelina. The only person I think wants to be Angelina is Megan Fox. Don't think she's not trying to be her. As soon as she stops the incessant crazy talk, she just might stand a chance.

Confession: I do not exactly know who this Justin Bieber kid is. But I'm familiar with his hair. Oh, and Zac Efron's hair is also on my radar.


Not because I think it's cute. It's totally annoying!

Do teenage girls really swoon at stinky teenage boys who have hair in their eyes (and it's probably sweaty hair, too - hold on, I'm gonna go throw up)? It just looks dirty. And high maintenance. I'd like to think this is why The President (if he sees this photo) will not get any ideas about a makeover. Keep it short. A shaggy world leader will not impress anyone - even Scooby Doo.

I would ♥ to meet The Queen! The real Queen - though I'd definitely settle for Helen Mirren.

But if these two douchebags get to meet HRH before me, I just might move to Canada. Or report them to TSA as people who smuggle cocaine in hidden places. They fly commercial, right? I mean, Heidi had to have blown every penny of her reality TV earnings on new boobs and that 40-something face, right?

And Spencer? I would totally not put it past him to be practicing his own Photoshop skills so he could say things like this really happen to him and his "wife." That's right. I do not for one second believe these fame whores are legitimately married. As soon as the cameras go away, they're splitsville. You heard it here first, kids.

This one threw me for a minute. I was like, "Definitely not her hair. Looks like those cheap extensions she peddles with her gayfriend."

Then I was all, "Shiny dress? She'd so wear that. It makes people look at her and think, 'Buffalo don't have wings!'" (That sound you heard was me being disgusted with myself for watching that "Newlyweds" show and being able to quote it even though it hasn't been on TV for years)

Then, I realized what was faked in this photo: Boobs McGee is flat chested! I am certain that if Jessica Simpson's creepy dad saw this, he would cry real tears. But you know what? This is the best photo in the bunch. Jessica actually looks better without those ginormous (um, natural?) breasts. Jessica, if you're reading this, please consider a reduction. I think it would do wonders for your non-designer career (Oh, and send me some of your bags - I think they're kinda cute)!

If you know me even just a little, you know I'm, well, gaga for GaGa. Seeing her with that eye contraption (no way that's just make-up) with her super-blonde hair on Hillary Clinton's body - well, that's all kinds of crazy!

I mean, Hillary has had some hairdos...

At some point, she might have worn her hair like that (though likely darker).

But there's NO WAY she walks around looking like she was pinned down by a tranny at the MAC store who wanted to "try something different!" (BTW, if you EVER hear those words by a dude trying hard to look like a lady at the make-up counter, just say no - unless you're leaving the mall for a drag show)

Also, this photo looks like it widened Hillary's hips. I thought she had slimmed down a bit. Whatever. Girl's rocking a pantsuit - oh, wait. I get the irony! Hillary always wears pants, Lady GaGa is allergic to them!

Oh, Glamour! You're hilarious!

Now, who wants to teach me how to use Photoshop?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Week in Pop Culture

Ladies, in case your wondering, Gerard Butler appears to be a booty guy.

Aaron Eckhart might give up movies to work behind the camera.

Lindsay Lohan apparently thinks you do coke through your feet. And she decided to defend her crazy ways on twitter.

Luke Wilson thinks he's better than those AT&T commercials. I just wish he'd get out of the contract so I don't have to forward through those dumb ads.

The guy who wrote "Battlefield Earth" has apologized for the film. I'm not sure I'm ready to forgive.

Teri Hatcher is launching a website to help ladies. I'm assuming it's BYOB - Bring Your Own Botox.

Because he hasn't been relevant in a decade, Ricky Martin decided to announce what the rest of us already knew.

Also desperate for attention: these girls.

WHAT!?!? Miley Cyrus has never had acting lessons? This is me. Acting shocked.

Stephanie Meyer is sucking me in with another vampire book.

You might have forgotten about Charlotte Church. This might refresh your memory.

Still not sure why Mischa Barton is famous?

Irony alert: Madonna does not want her teenage daughter to dress whorish.

If you haven't seen Cameron Diaz doing her best Daisy Duke, here ya go.

Sad. Elizabeth Taylor says no more surgery.

Maybe Cher should back away from the plastic surgeon's office.

Anna Paquin says she's bisexual.

Something you don't hear about every day: an actor gets fired from a film role for refusing to do a sex scene.

The Hoff is giving Germans a reason to vacation in Vegas.

Charlie Sheen might love cocaine more than acting. Although I could be reading that wrong.

I'll wrap up the week's notes with a singer falling down on stage - because as long as no one gets hurt, it's funny.