Sunday, December 04, 2011

Celebrating my mom's birthday

This intense and soulful looking man is Chaz Dean. He has a line of haircare products, sold on one of the shopping networks, that has completely captivated my mom. It's rather pricey, and when she hit this latest financial bump in the road, her Wen was economized away. So I was happy to find two new and sealed bottles of the cleansing conditioner (her favorite product) on eBay for her birthday gift. One of them was even one of 2011's special 2011 holiday scent: vanilla mint. I'm confident this part of my gift was a hit with her, and I'm glad.

Another portion of my gift to her -- a pair of $10 giftcards to Olive Garden -- were less so, and it makes me sad. Here's the deal: Whenever I buy giftcards, I always include the a portion of the receipt so just in case there's a problem when it's redeemed, there's proof that the card was activated. I bought these Olive Garden cards at Walgreen's, so it was Walgreen's that I taped to these cards.

As she examined the giftcards, holding them under the table lamp, I said, "I got two $10s instead of one $20 so you can use them separately and together. I know you enjoy going with your friend Shirley and with your granddaughter." My mom will be at the mall with Shirley and my niece will be home for Christmas soon, and I know visits to Olive Garden will be on her mind and her already thin budget. She thanked me.

As I was leaving, I made reference to Olive Garden and she said, "But I thought those giftcards were for Walgreen's!" She was fixated on the black and white cash register receipt on the back, not the glossy, brightly colored logo on the front? Didn't she hear me when I mentioned either using them separately or together, with either Shirley or my niece? I mean, who enjoys trips to the corner drugstore with friends and family?

It's this evidence that she doesn't get stuff anymore that makes me sad. I hate it that my mommy is getting old. (She will be 78 this week.)

Christmas Meme

Purloined from Kwizgiver.

1. Worst Christmas song? "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"
2. If you were a Christmas character, who would you be? Mary Bailey from It's A Wonderful Life.
3. What type of decoration should stop being made? Voice-activated Santas, the ones that startle me as I walk through Walgreen's 

4. Tastiest holiday treat? Anything with cinnamon

5. Favorite pop culture/stereotypical Christmas icon? Scrooge

6. Know how to make cookies/brownies/cake from scratch? Now I do

7. Ever cut your mouth on a candy cane/candy? No
8. What other culture would you like to experience Christmas with? London. I'd like to see if there's still a Dickens-y vibe.

9. What kind of pattern/pictures do you like on your wrapping paper? Small, so that it's still pretty on smaller packages.

10. Will you make a Christmas picture for your blog/website/profile? nope

11. Three best things about Christmas? The decorations, the music, the contagious and charitable spirit

Point. Click. Give.

This made me happy. I was able to donate a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever to the annual Today Show Toy Drive … WHILE STILL BAREFOOT AND IN MY PJs! How cool is that? All I had to was click here and I was at the Amazon Wish List.

I chose this book because my nephew is such a fan of the series and because I like giving children books. But I almost chose the mini NBA baseketball.

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Blue Memory Meme, Part One

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1) If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say? We're all alive! It's a gift. Now do something with that gift.
2) If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be? Hillary Rodham Clinton. She's from here in suburban Chicagoland and look at the life she's had! I have so many questions for her (plus she considered my all-time idol, JBKO, a friend.)

3) You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? Hot Springs, AR, so I can visit the spa at the Arlington Hotel again. It's a perfectly charming little spa in a historic old hotel, right next to a beautiful national park. Not great, mind you. But I always enjoyed my stays there and for some reason my times there keep popping into my head. 

4) What do you think about most? Two of my friends -- the ones I have imaginatively christened My Best Friend and My Oldest Friend. I think of him with longing because he's such a comforting presence in my life. I worry about her because she is frequently so troubled.

5) You have the opportunity to spend a romantic night with the music celebrity of your choice. Who would it be? The Boss. A fine figure of a man at 60.
6) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? None. I am not crazy about many of the things that happened to me, but they all helped make me the woman I am today. And I like me!

7) What's your strangest talent? Wiggling my ear.

8) What would be a question you'd be afraid to tell the truth on? This one.

9) Ever had a poem or song written about you? No. Though a lover once told me that he wished he had written Bob Dylan's "Emotionally Yours" for me. I hope that was about the impact I had on him, and not a yearning for royalty checks.

10) When is the last time you played the air guitar? Never.

11) Do you have any strange phobias? No. I think fearing clowns, air travel and squirrels is completely understandable.

12) What's your religion? In a macro sense? Christian. In terms of the worship services I attend, I'm a Unitarian Universalist.

13) What is your current desktop picture? This.

14) When you are outside, what are you most likely doing? Walking somewhere, while wearing headphones.

15) What's the last song you listened to? "Let It Snow" by Michael Buble.
16) Simple but extremely complex. Favorite band? The Beatles. The Fab Four. The Lads from Liverpool. The Moptops. The Maestros of the Mersey. (If you had to ask, you don't visit here often.)
17) What was the last lie you told? "Thank you. Got it. I'm watching it now." Last night my mom told me NBC was rebroadcasting It's A Wonderful Life, and no, I didn't watch it.

18) Do you believe in karma? Yes.

19) What is a saying you say a lot? "The thing of it is ..."

20) What is your greatest weakness; your greatest strength? My greatest weakness? I'm like a dog with a dirty sock -- I don't let go. My greatest strength? I'm very loyal. I often think these traits are two sides of the same coin.

21) Who is your celebrity crush? Oh, good goobies! My mind is like a motel! Most frequently I dream of the aforementioned Bruce and Mark Harmon, my TV Boyfriend.

22) Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: heart. "Everybody's got a huh-huh-hungry heart."

23) How do you vent your anger? I can have a sharp tongue.

24) Do you have a collection of anything? Books.

25) What is your favorite word? Gubernatorial. One good thing about living in Illinois, the Land of Blago and George Ryan, is that word comes up a lot. Unfortunately, often in indictments.