Saturday, December 31, 2011

Finding the Fountain of Youth in the Dollar Store

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I have completely outdone myself.

I've conducted research regarding ways to retain my youthful features.

Stop laughing. Youthfulness is all relative. My features are youthful compared some individual's.

At any rate, I've uncovered a product out of Japan that will train and tighten my cheek and jaw muscles, helping to offset the signs of aging and bring a fresher, youthful look back again to my cheeks!

It's called Pupeko Anti-Aging Mouthpiece Cheek Exercise Beauty Skincare Product. 

I know what you're thinking. How can something that resembles an adult pacifier offset the signs of aging?

It's easy. You simply insert the Pupeko into your mouth, puff out your cheeks or suck them in while breathing through the mouthpiece, and voila!

And there are also financial benefits to this product!  The Pupeko is considerably cheaper than plastic surgery ($40 plus $20 shipping and handling).

But being the Nerdling that I am (not to mention the cheapskate), I examined the Pupeko carefully and determined that I could make my own, more attractive version for a significantly lower cost.

I wasn't sure what materials I needed, but I knew I'd find them at the Dollar Store.

(As an aside, I really should have measured my mouth before I left. It would have saved me considerable embarrassment.)

I had to find something circular that would fit into my mouth. The top to a Silly String can showed potential. I looked up and down the aisle to make sure nobody would see me.  The coast was clear.  I opened wide. Nope.  Too big.

Next I tried on (so to speak) some toddler Tupperware cups. Too big. The Key Chain was too small.

I hit pay dirt in the kitchen aisle. The drain stops were too small, but the silicon baking cups appeared to be the perfect size. I was just taking them out of my mouth when the woman rounded the corner.  "I'm just making sure it's the right size," I said defensively.

I purchased 4 items, costing a total of $4.28, just a fraction of the cost of the original Pupeko.

I'm proud to introduce the Nerdling Anti-aging Mouthpiece Cheek Exercise Beauty Skincare Product.
I am so glad I decided to add the lipstick bag clip to my purchase.  It adds so much aesthetically.  Don't you think?
Plus, now I can do my Anti-aging Mouthpiece Cheek Exercises in public.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hanky Panko

I have to keep reminding myself that she didn’t mean any harm. But she hijacked my damn recipe. My Chicken-Parmesan Bundles.

Let me back up. It was Christmas Eve and my sisters and I were trying to plan dinner. I know this is shocking to you, but I do not have a reputation among the Clyde family as being a stellar cook. So when I made a suggestion for the dinner menu, my sister Linda almost fell over.

“What did you say, Lou?" Linda asked, her chin dragging on the floor. "You mean you can make something other than toast and brownies?”

“Yes,” I said, proudly. “I make this really good meal where you mix spinach with mozzarella cheese and cream cheese, smear it on chicken breasts, roll them up, poke them with toothpicks to keep them from unrolling, and cook them.”

My sister Jean Anne said, “Oh, I’ve had that. Only you don’t use cream cheese. You use ricotta cheese.”

“Have you made it before?”  I asked suspiciously.

“No, but I’ve eaten it at restaurants. A lot.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s cream cheese. I can look it up. Oh, and after you roll them up, you dip them in egg and coat them with crushed up Ritz crackers. They’re delicious.”

“Ritz crackers?” Jean Anne asked in disbelief, attempting to suppress a gag.  Then she reconsidered.  “I know….we can use Panko crumbs”

(Did I mention that Jean Anne is a complete health food nut who weighs about 92 pounds soaking wet? She eats about 20 meals a day, each meal consisting of about 3 ½ bites of something healthy.  She avoids junk food like the plague, although I once saw her eat a Hershey’s Kiss in 3 sittings.)

“Oh…OK. We can use Panko crumbs,” I said, not wanting to show my ignorance, but wondering what the heck Panko crumbs were. I’ve since learned that Panko crumbs are from Japan (big surprise). Apparently,they come from bread that has been subjected to an electric current that gets rid of the crust.

Am I missing something? Why would anyone, besides a toddler, want crust-less bread? That’s the best part.

“So, do you put spaghetti sauce on the chicken?” Jean Anne asked.

“Yes. Just a spoonful of Prego.”

“Prego?” Jean Anne said. “No way. My friend, Mary, (the chef) makes an unbelievable spaghetti sauce. I’ll make that.”

That’s how quickly it happened. My Chicken-Parmesan Bundles became Chicken-Spinach Pasta-Free Lasagna with Panko and Chef Mary’s Sauce.

My attitude soured as we prepared “my” recipe.

“How long do you cook your recipe?” Jean Anne asked.
“This isn’t my recipe. You hijacked my recipe.”

“But how long do you cook your version?”

“Oh, do you mean my recipe with the cream cheese, the Ritz crackers and the Prego? It takes 30 minutes”

“We better cook it for 40 minutes,” Jean Anne said, completely oblivious to the grand theft entrĂ©e she was committing.

I have to admit, the Chicken Spinach Pasta Free Lasagna with Panko and Chef Mary’s Sauce was pretty good, although not nearly as tasty as the original, hijacked recipe.

But on a positive note, I’m pretty sure I’ll live at least another minute or so longer because of that Panko.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Remembering Root Beer Beetles

They just don't make toys the way they used to.  I'm disappointed that my nephew Shane will never get to experience one of the most unusual, grossest, disgusting toys ever made.

Incredible Edibles.

If you are a child of the 60's, you will probably recognize this amazing novelty, the boy's version of the Easy Bake Oven.

Incredible Edibles was quite similar to the Easy Bake Oven, in that it plugged into the wall and made marginally edible things.   

The main difference was that while girls made cakes and other pastries in their Easy Bake Ovens, boys made insects, snakes and turtles in their Incredible Edible "ovens", which resembled a cross between Adolf Hitler and a UFO.

The gross creatures were simple and fun to make.  You just squeezed "Gobble De-Goop" into the molds and waited for them to cook.   Gobble De-Goop came in 6 flavors: cherry, mint, root beer, licorice, and butterscotch.
The worst was root beer (involuntary gag).

My brother Tom, Shane's Dad, got an Incredible Edible oven for Christmas one year. 

His specialty was root beer beetles.

OMG this is bringing back wretched memories.  Just looking at the pictures stimulates an intense flashback...make that an hallucination.. of eating horrendous, raunchy root beer beetles.  And did I mention their consistency? Gummy, slimy, and  nasty.  Just like you'd expect a root beer beetle to taste. 

Shane would have loved them.

I'm going to have to finish up this blog before I lose my lunch in my high tech toilet  (see posting: Toilet Envy: September 9, 2011)

If you can believe it, Mattel took Incredible Edibles off the market about 40 years ago.  They didn't ask my permission.

There's hope for Shane, yet!  I've discovered the Japanese have their own version of Incredible Edibles...Gummix Jelly Insect Maker Set for Kids' Edible Bug Kit. 

They have a wide variety of insects, including crayfish, stag beetle and sow bugs.  Sadly, they do not sell root beer flavored goo.

Shane will never know what he's missing.

I imagine he'd find a root beer stag beetle absolutely delicious.

I know Tom would.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Romance in the Science Lab

The long-awaited Rollerblade Barbie Hairspray experiment has been conducted.

And it was done right, this time.  As you may recall, I inadvertently used Dry Hair Shampoo rather than hairspray on my failed attempt of last summer.

Not my finest Nerdling moment.

But I was prepared this time.  I inventoried the materials:

Rave Hairspray: check
Poop Freeze (in case the hairspray didn't work): check
New Rollerblade Barbie Rollerblades: check
Underwear: check

I also had water on hand, just in case the fire got out of control.  (I know, call me an optimistic. But one can hope!)

It took several (22) attempts, but eventually Rollerblade Barbie's rollerblades did ignite the hairsprayed underwear!  

In truth, the flames never got anywhere near the intensity of the fire in the photo above.  

We did not have to call 911.

In fact, I'm not sure it is necessary to use the plural "flames", when describing the outcome of the experiment.  There was really only one flame, and it somewhat resembled a birthday candle found at a mosquito's birthday party.

But it was a flame. So it counted.

We attempted, unsuccessfully, to replicate the experiment this afternoon.  And we learned an important lesson.  

Excessive hairspray ruins Rollerblade Barbie's rollerblades.

But all was not lost during today's experiment.  You see, a budding romance developed on the driveway.  

It turns out that Barbie finds Kevin to be much sexier than Ken. 

Kevin wasn't so sure about Rollerblade Barbie.   

 She would not leave him alone.  

He found her somewhat stalkerish.

Then there was the whole "Kevin, do you want to borrow my rollerblades?" thing.

Obviously, they didn't fit.

But Barbie was OK with that.  

You know what they say about the size of a guy's feet.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Moving Out of Order

Robert's Rules of Order make me giggle.

I can't help it!  It's either giggle or groan and giggling's way more fun.

I was at a board meeting today that was completely overflowing with attorneys.   I think one of them was named Robert. 

"I move that we blah blah blah blah blah for blah blah in blah blah until blah blah.  Pursuant to blah blah, I move that blah blah blah at blah blah," Robert declared.

Another lawyer replied, "I second the motion."
Madam Chair said, "All in favor say 'Aye'".
 "All opposed say 'Nay'".
 "The motion stands."

Then Robert reconsidered. "Upon second thought, we were in executive discussion when I made that motion.  I move that we end executive discussion so I can re-make the motion in peon mode."

A third lawyer replied, "I second the motion to re-make the motion."

I groaned.

Madam Chair said, "All in favor say 'Aye'".
 "All opposed say 'Nay'".
"The motion stands."

We apparently entered peon mode and Robert said. "I move that we blah blah blah blah blah for blah blah in blah blah until blah blah.  Pursuant to blah blah I move that blah blah blah at blah blah".

I replied, "I second the blah blah".  (Not really, but I wanted to.)

There were more moves in that 1 hour meeting than in a month of  Body Jam classes! 

Which gave me an idea.  I jumped up on the board room table.

"You want to see a motion?!?!" I said.  "Watch this!"   I started pumping and moving my hips and began singing "What you gon' do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk?"

"I move that we remove Lou from the board room table", Robert said, in a panic. 

"No!  I move that you let me move!" I screamed!  I started singing my Gypsy strip song, "She can uh.. she can uh.. she can uh uh uh..."

That's when the meeting was adjourned and my day dream slash fantasy ended.

Too bad. I was having a stinkin' good time.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Blind Leading the Blind

There are times when not having reading glasses with me is an inconvenience (such as when I'm at a restaurant and I have to rely on my kids have to read the menu to me.)

Then there are the times when not having reading glasses is more of a tragedy. 

Like last night.

I was dropping off Linda at work when I remembered.  "Crap! I have to shop for the Giving Tree gift! Linda, read the tag to me, OK?"

Linda rolled her eyes and read, "She wants Body wash, deodorant, XL pajamas, and diabetic candy. Elderly."

I do my best Giving Tree Giving when I personify my givees.

I named her Gladys. Gladys is a lot of fun. Bingo bores her; she much prefers poker.  Gladys wants to smell nice for George, the handsome widow who lives down the hall from her at the nursing home. Gladys hopes that George will sit next to her at movie night.

I decided to shop at WalMart, not because WalMart sells body wash, deodorant, XL pajamas AND diabetic candy. I decided to shop at WalMart because they sell reading glasses (so I could read the price tags on the body wash, deodorant, XL pajamas and diabetic candy).

I picked out cucumber melon and strawberry breeze body wash for Gladys. I got some Dial deodorant. And I found some absolutely fetching pink pajamas (with size-18 font price tags). 

George will not be able to resist Gladys in that luxurious lingerie.  Just saying.

All I needed was the candy.

There were bags and bags of sugar free candy. I tried to picture Gladys. Would she prefer chocolate or hard candy?  

What would George like?

Then I had a practical thought.  Is sugar free the same thing as diabetic candy?  I didn't want to send Gladys (or George) into a diabetic coma. 

There was small print on the back of the bag.  Enter the reading glasses. 

I compared the candy description on the back of the bag to what was written on the Giving Tree tag.  It was then I noticed a critical demographic element that Linda had failed to mention when she was reading the gift tag to me 45-minutes earlier.

Gladys was an elderly man.

Shut the front door. 

I wasn't shopping for Gladys.  I was shopping for Herman.

I exchanged Cucumber Melon for a more manly version of body wash.  Old Spice deodorant replaced the Dove.

And the pajamas?  One thing's for certain.  Herman would never wear pink pajamas. 

Gladys would never give him a second look.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Masquerading Hairspray

When Linda broke the news I was shocked.  It did not seem possible.  How could I make such a critical error?

But the evidence was overwhelming.

Barbie was standing right next to the hairspray in the photo. (see posting: The Barbie Doll Experiment June 14, 2011)

But it wasn’t hairspray.   It was dry hair shampoo, masquerading as hairspray. How did I miss that yellow writing on the can?

It’s no stinkin’ wonder my experiment failed!   I couldn’t get that training bra to catch on fire no matter how much hairspray…make that dry hair shampoo I applied to the training bra. 

I even added dryer lint. 

To make matters worse, I completely unsparked my Barbie roller blades that day with all my fruitless attempts at creating a fire.  The blades twirl freely today, unencumbered by any friction.  No sparks.   


And I'm relatively certain that Barbie’s laughing at me in this picture. She apparently knew I was using dry hair shampoo, and not hairspray.


Yes.  I’m a failure.  And you know who’s to blame?

Me.  I guess I didn’t bring my reading glasses to Food Lion on my hairspray shopping trip that day.

But being the responsible Nerdling that I am, I have located a vintage Rollerblade Barbie on and have placed an order for her and her dangerous, sparking rollerblades.  When she arrives, I will properly conduct the experiment using REAL hairspray (Dave Berry recommends Rave).

You're welcome.

And if the hairspray doesn’t work, maybe I’ll try some Poop Freeze.  I understand that’s quite flammable.

In the meantime, I have to get busy.

I’m going to wash my hair.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Studying the Spasm

It was wrong of me.

I know it was. 

But I couldn't help it.

You see, I don't know what a back spasm looks like.  The character I'm playing in Rumors has back problems and I have to perform several back spasms on stage.

So when my colleague (let's call him Harold) mentioned that he will be needing back surgery, my ears perked up

 "Really!" I said, trying to control my excitement.  I crossed my fingers.

"Have you ever had a back spasm?"  I asked non-chalantly.

"I have them all the time," Harold said.  I took a deep breath.

"Just last week I had a major back spasm when I was out shopping with my wife.  It hurt like hell."

I jumped out of my chair. 

"What did it look like?  I mean, how did you move your body. Can you show me?  Was it like this?" I said as I spastically shoved my shoulders back and stomach out.

Harold shook his head, "Actually, it was more like this" and he demonstrated hunching of the shoulders and folding his body forward.  "The pain was like a knife and it spread across my ribs.  It was awful."

If Harold was expecting pity, he didn't get it.  My smile widened.

"How about this?" I asked, as I attempted to imitate poor Harold's back spasm.

"Well, I wasn't smiling," Harold said.  "It was agonizing." 

I think Harold was beginning to get annoyed.

So I told him about my play and how I wanted to win an academy award for back spasms.  

"Let me try one more"  I insisted.  "Please?"

Harold politely started to leave my office.

I thought of something else.  "Harold!  Wait!!!"  I called after him.


"If you have a back spasm while we're working, would you mind giving me a call?  I'd like to watch."

I didn't quite catch his response.