Wanna Play?

Happy Friday everyone — are you as excited as I am about the fact that we have a THREE day weekend?  Anyone got any big plans?

I’m having a ton of fun with Le Clown’s blogroll contest and thanks to Madam Weeble’s Mad Libs challenge yesterday, I’m moving up in the ranks.  However, I’m still getting beaten by a long shot.  It’s ok tho because I’ve met so many interesting bloggers and this experience is helping me open my mind and find my creative voice that has been in hiding somewhere since high school English class!  (which was ages ago).

That doesn’t mean that I’m not still fighting….and if you like, you can help me!  Today’s challenge is posted HERE.  Brought to us by Rollergiraffe, it is a very flattering picture of Mr. Le Clown himself enjoying what seems to be some sort of Panini sandwich.  He is deep in thought.  Can you tell us what he’s thinking??

If you decide to play along, leave a comment on the challenge thread and the “noses” you earn will be credited to me.  It’s all in good fun and it’s really interesting to see what everyone comes up with.  There are so many talented minds out there!  I even vote for my competitors.  It’s so hard not to!

So, put your thinking caps on and join the fun.  Have a great weekend!

Life Before YouTube

My husband is going for a 2 day birthday trip with my father to Las Vegas next week.  Prior to every Vegas trip we have a ritual and that is to watch slot machine videos on YouTube to get the luck vibes flowing.  So last night we were doing just that and somehow we went from videos of the Sex in the City slot machine to videos of some creepy Korean boy band…which my husband found fascinating but I found utterly annoying.

While he proceeded to watch several videos of these guys singing in a foreign language while dancing like Michael Jackson groupies, I was Facebook chatting with my best friend R on my iPhone.  I was grumbling to her about what my husband had just discovered and that led us to start talking about another video on YouTube called the “Skype Laughter Chain” which my son had played for me the day before.  Now, this one IS hilarious…check it out.

You’re probably wondering what I’m getting at here.  Well, I commented to R “How did we ever live without YouTube as kids?” It seems as if YouTube is becoming more popular than cable TV.  I mean, I find that my kids watch YouTube more than the teenie bopper shows on Disney or Nickelodeon these days.  Rockstars and video bloggers are getting discovered and making millions of dollars….and, you can learn how to do ANYTHING on YouTube nowadays.  Want to learn how to play the guitar?  Go to YouTube.  Need to knit a scarf?  Go to YouTube.  Looking for a good Yoga practice? Go to YouTube.  It’s insanity!

But — I’m off track here….I digress…  The response to my question that I asked R, was her saying “Well, we DID make our own commercials…remember??” Then it came back to me.  We too, at the age of around 12, did act a fool in front of a camera and think it was cool.  In my room, with walls of pink, we set up the huge-honker VHS style camera that looked something like this:

and acted out our own “commercials” for household products we found around the house.  I remember one was for Soft&Dry deodorant.  It went something like this…

Cue Camera — I come into frame and say:

“Wow!  That was a workout! (looking distressed and tired…proceed to sniff my armpit..)
“I need some deodorant!’ (out of nowhere a Soft and Dry deodorant stick comes flying into the shot, as I catch it and proceed to apply under my arms)
“AAAAAHHHHH, that’s much better” I say.
The music in my head begins to play and I start to sing some weird jingle that I had just made up about Soft&Dry deodorant while doing some sort of disturbing Bob Fosse style jazz-hands dance.
CUT!

Or how about this one for Sea Breeze facial skin toner (yeah, you remember that stuff….)

Cue Camera — R comes into frame and says:

“I have a date tonight and OH NO! A Zit!” (R looks into an invisible mirror, completely surprised and troubled — makes Home Alone face)
“What am I going to do??  Oh, wait…maybe if I put on some of this…” (R picks up Sea Breeze and pretends to put on zit)
R Looks back in invisible mirror….”Wow!  All gone!  Thank you Sea Breeze….”
R holds bottle close to face in pure Vanna White fashion and says “Sea Breeze….it breezes you /pause/ while you’re on /pause/ the /pause/ sea.”
R then sidesteps out of camera range and waves goodbye with one Miss USA-like hand the way Jacob Marley did in that old Christmas Carol movie.
CUT!

Yup — we did.  We had our own YouTube videos back then.  Rather we should’ve called them You”Tard” videos but it was all in good fun.  Our ridiculousness was not played out on the internet for all to see, however we did hold a “viewing” for our parents.  I still can’t figure out if that was a look of horror or humor on my moms face but R and I thought we were the shit.

Would we have put this craziness on the internet if we could’ve back then?  I dunno, we probably would’ve been a little more reserved.   I have to give it to all of the kiddos out there now who bare everything to the world on YouTube.  They certainly are brave souls — the world has some very cruel people in it.  Have you read some of those comments people write?  It’s scary.

For now, I’m fine with my little YouTube channel. It hosts a variety of videos on it but you will not see me on there singing, juggling, tap dancing or anything like that.  I’ll leave that to today’s youth, they do a fine job.  YOLO!

“Like” Me or “Like” Me Not..Will You Support My Blog?

Hello blog friends!  Thankfully the office is a bit quieter today so I am able to write today.  Yesterday was a cluster “F” and I think one of the first weekdays I haven’t been able to post in a long time.  I’m breathin easier today and it’s Wednesday so all is good.

Today I want to bring your attention to this clever little “contest” I was entered into so that I can get a spot on the coveted blogroll of the infamous Mr. Le Clown.  If you have been around WP blogland very long, you will surely recognize him:

Oops…no wait….here he is:

that’s better

I found Mr. L’s blog through another blogger’s page and was instantly drawn to it.  He had me at “Dick In A Box”.  The author of “A Clown on Fire” Eric, isn’t so bad either…creepy how much they look like each other isn’t it??

Weird.

Anyhoo– Now, I’m what you call a blogging virgin.  My blog hasn’t been around very long but I’m convinced the Clown is stalking me because yesterday I was invited to participate in his blogroll contest.  Please see the details HERE.

I gratefully thanked its creator for the invitation but graciously bowed out….I am not blog-worthy enough to participate in such a widely recognized battle of the minds!  I tried to get out….but he pulled me back in (yes, that was a Godfather reference).

So this is where you come in.  I would absolutely be forever in your debt if each one of my 100+ followers visited my friend Le Clown’s blog to support me.  Go to: http://clownonfire.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/blogroll-contest/ then look for my entry comment on there…about halfway down.  I’m contestant #12.  Look for this pic:

Just reply to my comment with another comment and write “LIKE”. That will get it counted.  The more LIKES I get, the better chance I will siege one of the coveted blogroll spots.

While you are there, take a tour around “A Clown on Fire”.  Chances are, you will leave with your eyes and brain on fire too but you will have enjoyed your time there, I guarantee that.  Eric certainly is a poetic genius!  (And Le Clown, if you are reading this…no, that wasn’t sucking up…I’m stating fact.)

Thank you in advance, loyal blog followers…this is a race to the finish line and I appreciate all the help I can get!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

Awards of Plenty

Once again I am blushing and thankful that a fellow blogger has recognized me and nominated me for two more awards.  Thank you Jackie @ A Change For a Better Me blog. I think you are much more deserving of the “Inspiring Blog” and “One Lovely Blog” awards than I.  However, I will gracefully and with a smile accept them and pay it forward.

I’m having a real hard time thinking of seven more things about myself but here goes:

1. I started playing piano at the age of 5
2. I played Kim McAfee in my high school production of “Bye Bye Birdie”
3. My hair is 75% gray at the ripe old age of 35….I dye it and blame my kids
4. I believe in ghosts and have seen an angel
5. I hate loud music, especially in the car
6. I’ve ridden an elephant but never been on a horse
7. I hate crowds and prefer solidarity to being around a lot of people

OK– Now to pass it on…sorry but I’m running out of time and am only going to list 5 instead of 15…don’t hate:

Emily Cooks Vegan

Misty’s Laws

Life of Bun

Miss Four Eyes

Me Myself and I

Thank you again for the recognition, I’m truly not worthy of the time you all take out of your day to read my ramblings but I sure do appreciate it!

Travel Tip Tuesday: Vegas Dos and Don’ts

Last week I had a really good idea for Travel Tip Tuesday but I should’ve written it down when it came to me because I cannot for the life of me remember what it was about.  So I decided to go with what I know.

Aaaah Vegas!

My husband and I have been to Las Vegas approximately 15 times in the last 12 or so years.  Our first trip was in 2001 for our 2nd wedding anniversary.  Having only been there once in 1994 with my mom when I was 16, I knew nothing about what to do, where to stay, how to book etc… I booked a package through Vegas.com with airfare on Sun Country airlines and a room at the legendary Stardust Hotel and Casino.

I think this is from 2002…boy does time fly!

Before booking the trip, I had to talk my husband into going.  He told me “Vegas is just for gambling and drinking — neither of which I do.”  I begged him to just give it a chance.  Upon walking out of the plane, it was love at first sight.  We had an excellent trip, learned how to play blackjack, ate some good food, did all the touristy things and vowed that we would be back.  And, we did go back….14 more times!

Another visit

And….another

Over the years we’ve learned a lot of things about Sin City.  What to do, what not to do etc… If you are going for the first time, it helps to know some of these things in advance so that you can be sure to get the most of your money while in town.

DO:

  • Check the Las Vegas convention schedule prior to your trip.   Huge groups flocking to the area will cause airfare and hotel prices to be higher than normal.
  • Try to go during the week, Sun-Th.  Hotel/Casinos offer their best rates on these days.  Weekend rates can be nearly triple and if it is over a holiday weekend…even higher.  Off peak times are good (don’t go during spring break, Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend etc…).
  • Sign up for players cards at every hotel/casino even if you don’t play much there.  You will get future offers for discounts, show tickets, food etc..
  • Learn how to play.  If you are new to the world of casino gaming, look into lessons.  many of the casinos will offer free lessons during off-peak hours and allow you to practice with “play money” before taking a chance on the real thing!
  • Try the $20 trick at check in.  Many of the hotel front desk agents would be happy to upgrade you for a little extra cash in their pockets if it’s possible.  Stick a $20 bill between your ID and your credit card to where it is noticeable to the clerk.  Be nice and say “I’d really appreciate any upgrade you might be able to do for me…” If they can, they will.  If they can’t, they will look disappointed and turn you down.  No harm done.

    $20 trick at the Bellagio got us this view

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  Las Vegas is a busy, busy place at all hours of the day.  Keep your purse close to your body (I wear mine across) and gentlemen, don’t keep money in your back pockets.  Thieves are everywhere and you might not even notice until you are already a victim.

DON’T

  • Let your cabbie take the tunnel to the strip.  This is called “long hauling” and it is not allowed.  Tell your can driver to take you to your hotel “no tunnel”.  If they argue with you or do it anyway, then tell them you will be contacting the Las Vegas Taxi Cab Authority to report them.  They will shape up right away.
  • Think you can smoke everywhere.  A lot of places now are non-smoking even in Vegas.  Obey the signs and only smoke in designated areas.
  • Try to hail a cab in Vegas.  It is illegal, you are not in New York City. Cabs cannot stop in the streets to pick you up.  Find the nearest hotel and wait in the taxi line for one to pull up.
  • Think she is THAT into you…for the guys.  Women of the night are prevalent in Las Vegas.  They are like vultures waiting for their next meal.  If she seems too good to be true, she probably is.  And hold onto your wallet!
  • #1 don’t in Las Vegas: Don’t go to Vegas expecting to go home a winner!  Those ginormous, glittering monstrosities weren’t built on winners.  You are there to have fun.  If you win, then even better but if you expect to win you will be disappointed and ruin your experience.  We’ve been close to 16 times and are still waiting to win THE BIG ONE.

    They are fun but dangerous!

    I read a blog recently where someone absolutely loathed and hated their time in Sin City.  To each his own I guess.  My husband and I really enjoy going there.  We enjoy the lights, the sounds, the crowds…even the smells of Las Vegas. There is just something about it that keeps us coming back.  Yes, we even took our kids….once.

Say what you like about me taking them, but they had a blast! (2009)

If you have any specific questions about LV, don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’d be happy to help where I can!

Aloha in T-Minus 15 days and Counting….

That’s right.  In 15 days I will be on a plane heading for paradise.  I already have vacationitis and really can’t think of much else than the ocean breeze and sand beneath my toes.  I haven’t been to Hawaii since 1995 and my kids have never gone.  We’ve scrimped, saved and sacrificed this year so that we could take this trip – Hawaii is expensive!!

My aunt (my dad’s sister) and her family live in Honolulu.  They have lived there for many, many years.  My father worked for American Airlines so when I was young, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Hawaii a handful of times.  My last visit was right after high school graduation in 1995.  My God, that was 17 years ago….I feel so old!

Now that my kids are older, this seemed like a perfect time to take them.  I’m not sure that they are as excited as we (the adults) are quite yet but it might just be because they don’t know what to expect.  Or maybe it’s just because they don’t go to work every day, go shopping, pay the bills, do the housework…and everything else that we adults look forward to escaping on a much-needed vacation!

I plan on blogging live from the trip each day with pictures (that is the plan anyway) and I will try to tweet pictures throughout the trip as well.  I can’t wait to share Hawaii with you and our experiences there.  We will be there for 5 days and are trying to cram as much in as possible because who knows when we will be able to afford going back!

 

Muppet Monday!!

To honor my love for Jim Henson and the Muppets, I’ve decided to make Mondays “Muppet” Mondays.  Each Monday I’ll feature a favorite video, story or character from the muppet world because who doesn’t need to smile on a Monday??

My love for the Muppets started when I was still a toddler.  My mom said that no matter what I was doing, as soon as the Muppet Show theme song would come on I would stop dead in my tracks and stare at the TV, not moving a muscle until the show was over.  I have the cutest picture somewhere of me when I was about 2 standing up in my playpen watching the Muppet Show.

So, in honor of the Muppet Show, here is a montage of favorite scenes!