Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Neglecting Your Esthetique

I have been searching online for a Father's Day gift for Dave. But the man needs nothing.  I mean, he's got me. What else could he possibly want (besides this shirt)? 

But I was hoping to find something special for him.  I searched Amazon.com, Target.com, Homedepot.com. Nothing.

Then I remembered the Japan Trend shop.


I found the perfect Father's Day gift for Dave.  It's not only unique, but it is designed to pamper the man in your life: The Akaishi Men's Alumi Head Spa.  According to the product description:

Men need to treat their hair well too and should never neglect their own esthetique. This Alumi Head Spa brings the therapeutic benefits of a sauna to your scalp, strengthening your hair and the quality of its sheen. It will clean out the pores and roots of your scalp, all by reflecting and returning the naturally released far-infrared rays from your body back onto your head.

OMG! Dave should never neglect his own esthetique! He needed an Akaishi Men's Alumi Head Spa.

But it was $41 plus shipping.

I know what you're thinking. "Lou, can you make your own Akaishi Men's Alumi Head Spa with materials you buy at the Dollar Store?"

OF COURSE I CAN! And it will be even more esthetique than the Akaishi Men's Alumi Head Spa.

Surprisingly, the Nerdling Alumi Head Spa required only two items from the Dollar Store: an aluminum pie plate and aluminum foil. 

I measured Dave's head when he was in a TV trance, and went to work. Voila!

Except the Nerdling Alumi Head Spa was somewhat boring. Certainly not up to my high Nerdling standards. So I added a mustache, nose and glasses. Fabulous!

I was so pleased with the outcome that I nearly peed my pants. There was no way I could wait until Father's Day. So I gave it to Dave tonight.

Guess what.  

He hated it!

Apparently, tin foil wrapped around his head makes him claustrophobic. 

What a wimp.

Yes, Dave decided to neglect his esthetique.

But what could I do with my prototype Nerdling Alumi Head Spa now that it had been shunned by my wimpy husband?

Let's just say that my creative juices flowed again. With the help of my dryer lint collection, I added hair and eyebrows to my Nerdling Alumi Head Spa. The final touch? A Carolina hat.

And now Kevin has a new play mate. And, for the record, Kevin would never neglect his esthetique.

He wants to look good for Rollerblade Barbie.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Red Flag Confusion

I have learned my lesson. 

 I will never again get a massage at a "spa" located between Food Lion and a nail shop at a strip mall. 

Oh, the red flags were plentiful. The reason I went to the "spa" was that I got a 20% "spa" discount when I paid $45 for Linda's fake nails at the nail store next door.  (The nails fell off within a week.) On top of that, when I called to make an appointment, the number was disconnected. 

But because Kimmy had never had a massage before, and there was a big sign over the door that said "15% off all massages", we chose to ignore those red flags.

The third red flag appeared when we stopped at the "spa" to make an appointment.

There was a woman behind the counter (let's call her " Shanchakita"), who turned out to be our massage therapist. Shanchakita told us we had our choice of appointments. 

We decided to have lunch and then come back. 

At lunch Kimmy asked, "Do you think it's weird that they have no appointments scheduled today?"  

"Nah," I said, my blinders working overtime. "It's probably because their phone is disconnected." 

Since Shanchakita was the only massage therapist at the "spa", we had to take turns. Kimmy went first. While I waited for her, I shopped at the Food Lion next door, and then filled out my "spa" paperwork. 

At the top of the form were several drawings of bodies from different angles, with instructions to circle my problem areas. I circled left front shoulder. The form also asked if I was ticklish anywhere, and I noted that I had ticklish toes. 

Then Kimmy came out, looking somewhat troubled. I whispered to her, "How was it?" She said, "I guess it was okay." 

I entered the massage room. But for the first 5 minutes of my massage, Shanchakita used only one hand. CRAP, I thought! How'd I get a one-handed masseuse?   Kimmy should have warned me!

Her second hand then joined the effort, and I tried my best to enjoy it. But my mind wandered back to its mysterious absence. What her other hand was doing during those 5 minutes? Texting? Combing her hair? Oh, I how I hoped she wasn't picking her nose. 

The massage wasn't horrible. Until she got to my toes. Apparently she hadn't read my form. 

I turned over, waiting in anticipation of her to getting to my sore shoulder. Legs...arms...fingers... Then, "Your hour's up, Miss Lou."  

I could not believe it.  But I got dressed and went to the counter to pay her. I hadn't done the math, but I expected the total to be about $100. 

Shanchakita said, "That will be $150."  What? Even if the massages were full price (which they weren't), it would only be $120.

"How does that work?" I asked, not wanting to insult Shanchakita's intelligence. "Aren't they $60 each before the discount?" 

"Yes," she said. "That will be $115."  

Clearly, Shanchakita was not a member of her high school Math club. 

"20% of $60 is $12. So the first massage would be $48, right?" Shanchakita looked at me suspiciously, not sure about my crazy calculations. "And 15% of $60 is $9. So the second massage would be $51, right?"  

Shanchakita nodded, very slowly. I added, "$48 plus $51 equals $99."

"So we owe $99."

 I gave Shanchakita my credit card and she swiped it. She then looked blankly at me and said, "It doesn't work." 

 "That's because your phone was cut off!" I told her. Then I regained my manners and said, "Should I pay at the nail place?" 

So we took a big gulp of oxygen and entered the nail solon, with its noxious vapors. Their phone had not been cut off, so I paid the $99 (plus a pity tip). 

Yeah, the red flags were all around me. 

I should never have gotten that massage. 

But then again, it is unlikely that, as a result of this experience, Kimmy will be spending her hard-earned money on expensive massages.

I'm a stinkin' Parental Genius!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Brainless Billboard

I had to look twice. Which was difficult, as we were on the way home from Grease last night,
driving 65 mph on I-126

"Did you see that billboard?" I asked Dave, a complete waste of my Laryngitic voice, since Dave is a marketer's nightmare: immune to all forms of advertising.

Of course he hadn't seen the billboard.

I was stunned. I must have been seeing things.

At the risk of over-generalizing, I thought billboards were designed to make you buy something. For example, when a traveler aged 50 or older is looking for someplace to stop for lunch or dinner, he or she looks at billboards.

(Of course those younger than 50 will look at their Smart Phone or GPS.)

OK!!! I apologize to all my techno-savy readers over the age of 50 who have just been insulted by this complete over-generalization. (Even if it is true.)

And although it may seem excessive, the 250 billboards stretching from New Jersey to Florida along I-95 alert a boatload of travelers to South Carolina's crown jewel of tackiness: South of the Border.

The billboards increase in density as one approaches our very own mini-Las Vegas oasis. And by the time a traveler has seen his 145th billboard, he has been mysteriously brainwashed, only to awaken hours later, finding himself eating a hot dog and fries in a sombrero-shaped building, holding a Pedro Lives shot glass he has generously purchased for his next door neighbor.

But advertising for a hysterectomy on a billboard? 

Come on!

"Oh, Dave! Pull over! I want to get an hysterectomy!" 

"Come on, Lou. The Brewers are on in 15 minutes. Can't you wait?"

"But it's a Da Vinci hysterectomy!   It sounds like it's a combination hysterectomy-tummy tuck!"

"Okay. But they'd better have a drive-through."

I think the media buyer who spent the client's money on this placement should be fired. 

Or laughed at. 

Even better yet, given an hysterectomy.

Especially if she is a he.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nudged out of the Way

It came out of left field, metaphorically. Seemingly out of nowhere.


Technically, it came from upstage.  From behind the curtain. 

And I was minding my own business. An innocent victim dancing to the curtain call music. I'd already taken my bow when the unexpected happened:  the horrific happening.

I was hit by a car.  

But not just any car.  A red convertible. On prom night.

Can you believe it?  I was mowed down by Greased Lightening.

Lucky for me I was wearing my roller skates.

You see, rather than rolling over me and crushing me to the ground like a dead squirrel, Greased Lightening set me in motion.

I headed stage right.

Which reminds me of a question on a Georgia written driver's test that I took about a million years ago. It was multiple choice.

Q. What should you do if a pedestrian steps in front of your car when you are approaching an intersection?

Option C. was "Gently nudge the pedestrian out of the way with the front of your vehicle."

I'm not kidding.

And that's what happened tonight. Greased Lightening was approaching the intersection and I apparently stepped (well, danced) in front of it. 

It nudged me out of the way.

And you know what?

I think my neck hurts.   

I need a lawyer.

I wonder if my prom dress will fit tomorrow night if I'm wearing a neck brace.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Multi-tasking Miracle

I will concur that the Wine Necklace is a functional piece of jewelry. In fact, it's the most utilitarian accessory since the advent of the cell phone rendered the watch obsolete.

Sure, you can carry your Chardonnay around your neck, eat appetizers and chew gum at the same time.

But it's a pretty ugly piece of jewelry, in my humble opinion.

I know what you're thinking. Can Lou make her own version of the Wine Necklace that is not only functional, but attractive?

Of course I can.

I cannot take complete credit for the design. I found a pattern on the internet. I carefully selected fabric from my immense inventory of incomplete sewing projects and got to work.

(Forgive me as I slip into song, to the tune of Old McDonald) 
"A Snip snip here. A Stitch Stitch there. Here a thread, there a thread, everywhere a band aid."

And voila!

But something was missing. Sure it was attractive. Way more attractive than the one above. But it needed something.

A mustache.

So, not only is the Incognito Nerdling Wine Necklace as functional as the original Wine Necklace, allowing you to carry your Chardonnay around your neck and eat appetizers and chew gum at the same time....

It also acts as a disguise.

Except for one problem.

One teeny, tiny usability issue.

When I tried to drink out of the glass with the mustache against my lips, the wine poured down the front of my shirt (since the mustache is at the far side of the wine glass rim.)  Oops.

Then I had my a-ha moment.

I can have my hands free Chardonnay and a mustache disguise without the Wine Necklace.

All I need is my Wine Rack.

And for those readers who have no idea what my Wine Rack is, read the posting to the left: Test Driving the Wine Rack.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Take Two Aspirins and Terderize the Tongue

Maybe I was being overly sensitive, but I thought the pediatrician was a wee bit excited about Kimmy's diagnosis.

Now that I think about it, it was not unlike the reaction from that Health Fair nurse a few years ago.  It was midway through the afternoon, after scores of boring, healthy employees had stopped by her station for a finger prick.

"OOOH!" she said excitedly! "It looks like we have a sugar problem here!" Then realizing her faux pas, she turned her expression to one of concern and asked me soberly, "Has anyone ever spoken to you about diabetes before?"

I was stunned. Diabetes? OMG! That's life altering. Diet altering! I like my carbs and candy way too much to be diagnosed with such a serious disease.

Then I remembered my recent, mid-afternoon snack. "Um, I ate candy corn about an hour ago. Would that have influenced the results?"

Nurse Ratchett raised an eyebrow.  "How much candy corn?"

"About half a bag," I said, adding, "I love candy corn."


But,  back to the excited Pediatrician.  When Dr. Pinkner looked into 3-year old Kimmy's mouth, his voice rose an octave. "Did you see her tongue?"

"What about her tongue?" I asked, beginning to worry.

"It's black," he said.

"She's got Black Hairy Tongue!"

I was speechless. How does one respond to such a diagnosis?

"It's very unusual, but easy to treat. All you need is a toothbrush and Adolph's meat tenderizer."

I looked around. "Am I on candid camera?" 

But Dr. Pinkner was so wrapped up in his remarkable diagnosis he didn't hear my question. "Would it be OK if we take pictures of her tongue? It's the first case I've seen."

"Is it contagious?" I started examining my own tongue. 

"Hey Sheila, go bring in Dr. Gunther. He's got to see this."

And Kimmy, who always enjoyed being the center of attention, proudly stuck her tongue out to a parade of curious doctors, nurses and receptionists. 

We should have charged an admission fee.

I filled the "prescription" (the toothbrush and Adolph's meat tenderizer) at the grocery store on the way home But lucky for Kimmy, Dave stopped me before I began to tenderize her toddler tongue.

"Doesn't Pepto-Bismol turn your tongue black?" he asked me. "I've been giving it to her every 4 hours"

I grabbed the box.  

He was right.

I didn't want to burst Dr. Pintner's bubble, so I never told him about the misdiagnosis. 

Besides, Kimmy was a celebrity of sorts in that clinic. 

The only problem was all those damn Paparazzi.  They were relentless.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Brain Fart

“So, why was Katarina…uh…um…”  I began to stutter.

 “What?” asked Linda.

Crap! What was that word? I certainly wasn’t going to confess my brain fart to my 17-year old daughter, who has no empathy for my occasional senior moments.

“So, why was Katarina prohibited from leaving her home?“
“Mom, what are you talking about?”

My mind kept searching unsuccessfully for the word.

“What did Katarina do that caused her parents to constrain her to her house?"
“Mom! Speak English!”

Come on brain!!! Think!!!

“She isn’t allowed to leave the house for the weekend, right?”  I tried.
“Oh, right.”
“Why not?”
 “I don’t know.”

Then it came to me. After 4 minutes of ineffective lumbering around the lobes of my brain, the word appeared, like a stranger at my front door. “Hello, were you looking for me?”

"GROUNDED!!!" I practically screamed the word.

I said to Linda,"I thought Katarina was grounded".  
"That's all,”  I added casually.

But on a positive note, there’s nothing like a brain fart to help hone one’s acting skills.

I’ll give Meryl Streep a run for her money by the time I hit 65.