Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Hunchback of Shik Shak Shok


Why am I wearing a backpack in the kitchen? Well, it goes a little somethin' like this: ♫ ♪ cold coolin' at a bar - errrr...not exactly- here's the story:

We had a busy weekend, which included my belly dance group entertaining at a craft fair. I got all dressed up in my tribal costume:

which included the new headpiece I created (and necklace I purchased at a yard sale for $1!!!) and was feeling pretty good about things until:

A. I came outside and discovered someone had door dinged the Element in the parking lot :-(

and

B. I went home and watched the video and discovered how horrible my slumped posture looked. This is one of the better pictures, but you can still see how my spine curves and my head is pushed forward.
Out of pure vanity, I chose to delete the rest. I've always been plagued with poor posture and was always the kid pulled aside when they did the scoliosis screening in elementary school. I hope to one day stand tall and proud like the rest of the girls and not be the slouched over one who resembles this:

I'm actually in fairly decent shape and lift weights and do stomach exercises to strengthen my core; yet I still look hunched. I also tried the i-Posture and had high hopes until I realized it made a buzzing sound that was hard to muffle. Whenever my boss was around I'd have to clear my throat to cover up the buzzing. That and the issue of it not going off until I was incredibly slumped- and that it required a new button cell battery just about every week- caused me to put it in the drawer where I put all the other stuff that came with glowing promises but did not deliver...

In the meantime I'm researching alternative spinal treatments and am walking around the house with an 8 lb weight in a backpack in order to pull back my shoulders. (I did not make this up. I read it in a posture book.)

Hence, the backpack.

BTW, If you like cold hard cash (uh, yeah!!!), there is a $5,000 cash giveaway you may be interested in here (plus some nice baubles...)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time to Call in the Big Guns

Inquiring minds wanted to know the identity of the mysterious couple surrounded by roaches and termites in the yellow page ad.

Several even offered to call the company to find out. But, there was only one person not really truly up for this mission: dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.....

The Blog Husband!


Whenever I'm too chicken to make a phone call, I coerce talk MB into fulfilling his "blog husband" duties. It took some work, but he surprised me on Tuesday when he called me with the answer. I'm afraid it wasn't quite as exciting as we were all envisioning: The lovely bug-infested couple is the owner's children *yawns*

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Brown and White and Spotted All Over

Props to the two of you who guessed the new addition to my family room: A beanbag chair!!!

Yep. I am revisiting the seating choice of my childhood while adding a little pizazz to our otherwise dull family room. Can you spot the look of unbridled glee on my face shortly after opening the package?

[*Speaking of "spot," that circle is not a bleach stain on the carpet; there is a problem with my camera that I can't figure out; a circle appears on the right side of every non-cropped pic. Ideas?]

This particular bean bag chair is by Fatboy and as you can see, you can sit on it....

Recline on it. (I've created my very own book nook):

and sleep on it. Here the bean bag has been commandeered by the #1 Juggler who is incidentally a one handed juggler until his hand heals after the sprain he got from his snowboard accident last weekend.


These bags are filled and finished in the US (and you know from my previous post that I am a proud flag waving citizen :D ) and the outer surface is Coated-Nylon fabric which can be wiped clean with a damp cloth- which comes in handy when consuming lots of messy foods while watching Olympic coverage.. [It also beats the vinyl fabric that was used in the beanbag chairs of yore - can you say "sweaty butt"???] (the inside filling is made of tiny EPS cylindrical pieces (Expanded Polystyrene Packaging). Oh, and the bean bags are huge (70" H x 55" W)!!

"Carma Stewart" has even coordinated the beanbag chair to match the circular pattern on her upholstery!
But, most importantly the bags are extremely comfy - not to mention funky!

Disclosure: The fine folks at AllModern.com graciously provided me with this beanbag chair to review.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Your "Citizenship Swap-Free Zone"

I was relieved to see that the Canadian team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance competition last night. (I figured it was high time I finally got around to mentioning that I have been staying up late nights watching the Olympics to the point where I am now looking haggard with circles under my eyes.) Ice dancing makes no sense to "the boys" who quickly meandered away from the TV during the ice dance segments, but I am an absolute sucker for ice skating competitions.


With all the country-swapping going on, such as the American skater who became a citizen of Georgia in order to compete and her siblings who were also born in the U.S. skating for Japan, it just doesn't make much sense (or fairness?) to me and I'm glad to see some bona fide natural-born citizens winning for their home country. I mean, the skater who became a citizen of Georgia had never even set foot in the country, but was looking forward to visiting it!! WTH. If I am going to swap countries, I think I'd have the good sense to at least go and visit it beforehand. But then I'm crazy like that ;-)

It was interesting that the female announcer (who I guess was a former ice dancer) said something to the effect that if you get the opportunity to skate for another country you should seize the opportunity.

Doesn't citizenship mean anything to anyone anymore? Pride in country and all that???? Maybe I am missing something here or am becoming an "old fuddy duddy." (don't answer.)

But back to the Canadians, their performance was flawless and Tessa is so darn cute and perky. I spent most of the night racking my brains out trying to put a finger on who she reminded me of. I knew there was someone- either an actress or someone from my daily interactions that had the same voice, mannerisms and pursed lips as Tessa. I hate it when that happens!! I was literally waking up during the night thinking about it. FINALLY, on the drive to work this morning I remembered who it was - the girlfriend of someone I see only on occasion.

And now I can move on with my day ...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Juror #184232

Last Thursday was my first time doing Jury Duty. I was a little stressed since it would require a trip to the "big city." But, armed with my trusty new GPS, I arrived at the courthouse by 7:10 AM.

I was impressed with the juror accomodations. It is a fairly new courthouse, so everything was nice and clean with comfy chairs, the goal being to keep us all happy being it was a pain in the butt inconvenience for most. I was eager to get it over with, but I have to admit, in a way it was a nice break from my job, which says a lot...

The woman who was heading up the orientation bragged about how the jury room had some of the best wi-fi in the courthouse. Having brought my laptop, I was eager to check it out. After 6 failed attempts to connect to the internets, I learned from the juror next to me that the system had been out for over a day and that there was a "ticket" in to get it back up and running....This being city government, the translation was: "ain't no way you are getting on your laptops today."

But, there being more than one way to skin a cat, I moseyed on over the room where the desktops were stationed and discovered the internet was working. This was good, because I had decided the best way to fill up 7 hours of nothingness: Deleting the 13,797 emails that were in my Yahoo! inbox. And I'm not kidding on that one. Come to find out all the emails I had been deleting since last February 27th were only getting deleted from the folder (this was for a subaccount) - but not officially deleted from the inbox.

But carma, why didn't you just do a "clear all?" Good question: Because I'm anal and would save emails from months back because they may have had some important info in them, so a "clear all" was out. Which left only one option: going through them one by one. A lesser person person with a big important job and serious hobbies whose time was invaluable would have been overwhelmed by this challenge, but I was not to be deterred and so I began with number 13,797 and ever so slowly worked my way down to 12,300 before getting word over the intercom at 3:00 PM saying that my group was dismissed, never even having made it into the courtroom....

I am happy to report that, three days later, my inbox is now down to a much more manageable number of 9,400.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Monkey Bread Mayhem!

You know why you rarely see a cooking post on my blog? You are soon to find out....

As promised, here is the much ballyhooed Monkey Bread post, with a little a lot of help from my bloggy friend Laura.

It all started a couple of weeks ago. I was reading Laura's blog, while sitting next to VC watching TV. I said, "VC-have you ever heard of Monkey Bread? It looks good." VC said, "Yeah, the girls down the street said they were going inside (from playing in the snow) to eat some Monkey Bread."

I took this as some type of karmic sign ...Which can only mean one thing- I had to try it the next day.

Here's where the trouble began. I was stuck at work, so MB offered to go to the grocery store. I read him the list and was very specific. He called me from the store when he got to the part about the rolls. As you will see, Laura's recipe calls for 18 small rolls. MB could not locate the small rolls, only a pack of three larger loaves. We figured it was likely the equivalent of 18 rolls - riiiiigggghhhhhttt - you'll see how that turned out in a sec..

Without further ado, here's Laura's recipe (reprinted with her permission b/c I'm an Ethical Blogger ;-)

Ingredients:
1/2 a bag of Rhodes frozen rolls (about 18)
1 box of cook and serve butterscotch pudding (NOT instant pudding)
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

The night before:
- Melt butter and mix with brown sugar and cinnamon
- Put the rolls in a buttered bundt cake pan. (do not use an angel food cake pan)
- Sprinkle the pudding powder over the rolls.
- Then pour the butter/sugar mix over that.

Here's Laura's photo of what it should look like at that point:
Then leave it on your counter over night and in the morning they should look like this (Laura's photo)...
Now *ahem* compare that to the photo of my Monkey Bread (made from 3 LOAVES) - in the am:

- Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
- Flip over the pan and dump the monkey bread out on a plate/tray.


Here's my Final cooked Monkey Bread (can anyone spot the bundt pan???)
This also may or may not have been what precipitated my decision to run the self-cleaning oven cycle - which then lead to my thinking that VC had passed out and was unable to call me on the phone....

Now do you see why I rarely post my cooking exploits on my blog :D

Seriously though, the recipe, when cooked properly, is Excellent. Thanks Laura, for the inspiration! (If you do decide to make the recipe keep in mind: 3 LOAVES do not equal 18 small rolls)

....and to think but a week ago I was making fun of this misprint ;-) who's the idiot now! (doh!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

hmmmmm....*scratches head*

Can somebody please explain to me what this prom photo is doing in the middle of the termite ad? (I came across this in the local phone book yesterday) No. We don't have termites. Not that we know of anyway.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bossy Rocks!!

Guess who is featured today over at I Am Bossy's site?

Look on her left sidebar under "Bloggers: They're Just Like Us" and you'll see me in my pea green cap - doin' this:

VC and I are still bounce juggling together. We are now up to a record of- I believe it is - 60 catches passing 10 balls. VC likes to tell me that I am a "state record holder" - this due to the assumption that there are not too many other bounce jugglers in our state :D

Heck, if I can be a state record holder in ANYTHING, I'll take it! I'm not fussy.

*you can check out our latest YouTube collaboration here. Be forewarned, my videos are very "campy" - and this one was filmed in wide angle, which is why we appear so skinny!

I Love This New Show!

If you haven't had the chance yet to check out Undercover Boss, you may want to tune in next Sunday at 9:00 PM EST.

It's not your typical reality show with things done for "shock value." On the contrary, I've found myself needing to have a box of tissues handy for those moments when the boss totally "gets" what his employees go through every day.

It is always fun when the employee who is unsuspectingly training the "new guy" comes to the conclusion that the CEO is in no way up to working at the company.

Last night's episode featured the CEO of Hooters. And *surprise, surprise* what a fine human being he turned out to be! (you can see a clip here)

Plus, I thought for sure he'd fire the chauvinistic egomaniac he had running one of his Dallas stores. The guy ooooooozed "lawsuit waiting to happen" yet Coby (the CEO) handled it such that at the end of the episode when his true identity was revealed, he told Jimbo (the manager) that there is no way he would feel comfortable having his daughters work for him - ever. This was quite the revelation to Jimbo - to have the CEO of the company not wanting his daughters to work for him, that the dude apologized and mended his ways.

Imagine if your boss got to spend a week doing your job. Could he/she handle it?

My new boss is essentially getting to do just that on the days I am not there :-) I've never been able to put into words how absolutely stir crazy it can get - and now he is getting to experience it firsthand (lucky him ;-)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Creature Comforts

If you've got a dishwasher that has totally impressed you with its superior cleaning power, please let me know the deets. I have been spending weeks washing dishes that have already been washed in the dishwasher. MB claims he is going to look into the problem, but in the meantime, I'm gonna start scouting out some new ones....So I can stop having to wash all these while running late for work:

and go back to appreciating the convenience a dishwasher traditionally provides!!

While my kitchen has become a source of frustration, the living/family room will soon be getting a new furnishing. Hint: it is something extremely comfy that harks back to my childhood and is incidentally totally funky!! Stay tuned for my upcoming review. Here's the tentative space that it will occupy:

It is something I could possibly fall asleep in. So if you're thinking wooden bar stools you'd be way off base. Nor is it a really, really REALLY BIG PEN ;-)

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No More Big Pens, Please!

So today I'm another year older :D I'm expected to say how much wiser I've gotten and how much I enjoy getting older since I am so much more at peace with myself and comfortable in my own skin. But I don't like to lie.

Plus, the morose side of me sometimes fixates on the Pink Floyd line "one day closer to death." Bad, bad. Refocus. Refocus. On the positive side, I have two guys who love me and who spent some time in the shop downstairs decorating what I believe will be a fancy ice cream cake. Hoping no lead shavings made it in the mixer along with the icing mix.

Went ahead and ordered this little baby for my gift:

VC and I took it out for a spin yesterday and listened intently as we drove to the same grocery store that we normally go to - as if we didn't already know how to get there with our eyes closed...

Why did I order my own gift you ask? To avoid a repeat of the year I got this:
A Really Big Pen. An eleven inch pen. The picture doesn't do it justice. Trust me. Up until this point, I had thought it was the younger of my two guys who picked it out. Come to find out that was not the case. The big guy picked it out all on his own, coincidentally the same year that I received these for Christmas.

Which is why I no longer take any chances leaving the birthday gift to chance :D

All in all I think it will be a good day...

P.S. to the person who developed sudden onset arthritis coupled with laryngitis since you had someone else sign your name to my card and would not get on the phone to wish me a happy birthday -- "You cut me deep, Shrek. You cut me deep." But when are you gonna learn you can no longer control me with your silence....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Combating the "Lazies"

This being my return post from the shortest break in recorded blog history, you'd think I'd be coming back with a bang!! Actually, it's more like a sputter.

Remember my occasional bouts of hasty decision making? Well, on Sunday I purged all my photos and notes for future blog posts. Oh yes, I did!! (surprised to hear that I actually keep blog notes considering the caliber of my posts ;-) ??? me too!)

Which only left one usable photo. This one:


I always love to find banana casings plastered to the side of the garbage disposal motor.

Am I the only one who can take the time to put things in the kitchen garbage can - that is located under the sink? The boys like to just fling everything in there which leaves plenty of gooey messes and chewed gum for me to properly dispose of. That's why I get paid the invisible "big bucks" I suppose....

Now quickly put this lame post out of your minds as the much promised Monkey Bread posting is in the works...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Break-ing is Hard to Do!!

Day 2 away from the blog and I'm already missing it. Did I mention another one of my flaws is making hasty decisions???

I have finally caught an awesome break, as my new boss has graciously hooked my laptop up to the interwebs and told me I'm free to mess around on it (when there are no customers or other work, 'natch). That and the fact that one of my pieces sold the other day at the gallery (a small bowl- small-but still a sale!) , has put a slight spring back in my step!!

Part of what was weighing me down was that I was unable to blog during the day and was having to stay up late nights to keep the blog going. Plus, I didn't mention that I made a little promise to VC that I would only blog during school hours or after his bedtime, since I don't want him to recall his teen years as having to look at the back of mom's head while she spends hours making the blog 'rounds.

So where do I go from here? I'm back, although I will not be posting as often until I feel a little less overwhelmed with things- and finish with the taxes - ugh.

The blog is my only "creative outlet" at this time - and I'm a creative creature by nature- which explains a lot of my quirks. Cutting off that outlet was like losing a part of myself. There are plenty of other parts that I'd rather lose instead, i.e. the bump in my nose.

There are still forces outside my control that have been eating away at me that I will just need to learn to accept and not let them rain on my parade.

Feeling a little like the Boy Who Cried Wolf *insert sheepish look* and hoping that those of you who have not already removed me from your reader will welcome "Carma Sez Lite" into the fold.

Your comments on my previous post mean more to me than you will ever know *insert teary eyes*

xxoo
carma

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And So It Goes

Looking back at my previous post, I've decided that I do not do "angry and bitter" well...

I'm exhausted.

Which means it's time to take a bit of a break to reconnect and find the joy that has been missing from my activities for a while now.

Several weeks ago I was watching the CBS Sunday Morning episode that featured a segment on Chuck Williams, the founder of Williams-Sonoma - who at 94 still goes to work every day. He said something that made me take pause: "If you love what you do, then the world will fall in love with you."

Continuing on my present course, the world ain't even gonna fall in "like" with me.

My activities have become more like "chores." It's time to make some changes, which means you will be seeing a little less of me around here for a while. (For those of you who follow me on Twitter, I will continue to be posting my frivolous banter, interspersed with occasional bouts of wisdom and tons of wasted contest tweets, which may or may not be a good thing ;-)

Thank you friends for bearing with me while I recharge.

xxoo
carma

Saturday, February 6, 2010

One Bitter Blog Post

In reality, this is at least my second or third bitter blog post.

Several events this week have caused me to pause and think how unfair things can be. We tell our kids this over and over, but let's be honest, it really sucks sometimes.

I think VC handles disappointment much better than me. Thank God. Because we all know how well I handle other things, like self-cleaning ovens.

I got the ultimate blog diss the other day when a potential affiliate advertiser declined to appear on my blog, which would have essentially amounted to FREE ADVERTISING for them!! Doh!

I've been "smarting" from some other things (that cannot be mentioned on the blog) and then I tuned in to twitter to see all the happy tweets emanating from Blissdom: "where are you so-and-so, let's meet up" "(blank) is the most funniest person ever" "(blank) has the best business card ever" or overused quotes from songs, i.e. "I have a feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night" and so on....

Which only brought me to the conclusion that I am on the fringe of this big bloggy clique and will forever be on the fringe and that if I can't get someone to appear on my blog *for free* just how crappy a blog is this?????

Fist pump to my fellow fringe bloggers! Middle finger to uppity affiliate marketers! (note: I'm only referring to the uppity ones) As I slowly hammer another nail in my bloggy coffin....

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's All Been a Bit of a Blur

But my lifelong goal of having my picture in a local free publication that is featured in stands outside the grocery store has come to fruition!!!!!! Please hold the applause.

My instructor, who was in full focus is featured in the front of the pic. Do you think it is a good idea I took my time doing my makeup?

So far no one local has recognized me. I'm not gonna mention it to anyone and just wait and see....Perhaps if they squint their eyes really tight they can make out that it is me!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Thing I Do Really Really Well!

And it's called Catastrophic Thinking! Here's an example from yesterday:

I was expecting a call from VC. 10 minutes went by; Then 15. Starting to worry. Called home a couple of times; No answer.

Waited 5 more minutes. Called a neighbor. No sign of VC. Remaining calm but getting concerned.

Remembered I had set the stove on "self-clean" earlier in the morning and the house was not vented, i.e. windows all shut.

Mind starts churning. Picturing VC at home passed out on the floor. Unable to call. Possibly brain damage has already set in. It's almost 45 minutes past call time.

Call another neighbor who says her child was already picked up by her dad at the normal time; starting to panic; ask her in high pitched voice if she can check on VC. Two seconds later her child walks in the door; mom was mistaken. This means VC should be home any minute.

Breathe huge sigh of relief but dial phone and VC still does not answer the phone. Mind starts thinking: OMG. He DID walk into the house and seconds later passed out from the fumes. Call two more times; FINALLY, an answer. My "Little Bugaboo" is alive and well :D

I ask him if he smells any fumes and he says that the house just smells like cinnamon (from Monkey Bread- story to come) I tell him to air the house out anyway, you know, just in case the cinnamon smell is really noxious fumes.

Whether he is 4 or 14 or 44 my reaction will still be the same (assuming I don't go on medication before then ;-)

But, take a look at my spankin' clean oven!!!

Note to self: Never use self-cleaning oven again when not at home. Or dryer. Or any other appliance that is mechanical in nature. Buy only hand-operated appliances in the future. Start looking on ebay for washboards and washlines and a woodburning stove. Wood burning - what, am I insane!!!! Fire!! Clearly, the only solution is to take up a raw food diet like Gwynnie Paltrow.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Obligatory Kid Playing in the Snow Pictures

Will I still be able to post these kind of pics when he is 22? or will I need to recruit MB??





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