Bubbles

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If you ever find yourself depressed, sad, lonely, irritated, bummed, unhappy, bored or any of the other negatives, I highly suggest buying a bubble machine.

I recently purchased one for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. I bought it on Amazon for $36, free shipping, bubbles not included. It was a huge hit at her party and although her birthday has come and gone, we still use it all the time.

I know what you’re thinking… and you’re right. The bubble machine was more a gift for me than for her. True. But she really does love bubbles (almost) as much as I do. I simply wanted to entertain her and see her smile. Her smile makes me happier than anything else in the whole world… even happier than bubbles. And since one of my jobs as her mommy is to make her smile, I decided to buy a bubble machine. So, really, it was an investment. I promise it makes perfect sense when you think about it. But don’t think about it too long.

Sure, I could’ve bought yet another bottle of bubbles with yet another simple bubble wand, but I like to think outside the box. Our new bubble machine makes more bubbles in less time than I could ever possibly blow myself. And yes I said “blow myself.” Take a moment… Breathe through it…

OK, now once you move beyond that, you will see the point I’ve been trying to make is that more bubbles mean more smiles. And to this work from home mommy, more smiles mean everything!

In the interest of entertaining our children, we mommies (and daddies) do the strangest things. But isn’t it also in the interest of entertaining ourselves? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Being happy is important. We should do something each and every day to make ourselves and the ones we love happy.

If you’re like me, many things make you happy. Bubbles are just one (or a million) of those things. I love bubbles. You do too, right? I mean, who doesn’t?

I once told my dad that I love bubbles and he replied, “I once met a stripper named Bubbles.” I love him. My dad, not the stripper. And I am simply assuming the Bubbles in my dad’s story was/is a woman, but then I wasn’t the one who met Bubbles the Stripper and I didn’t think to ask. I’m not even 100% sure that Bubbles the Stripper really exists but if he/she does, I bet he/she is/was a very nice person. I think with a name like Bubbles he/she would have to be.

I challenge you to try to walk through a sea of beautiful bubbles (actual bubbles, not a sea of strippers – although depending on your point of view I guess that could be fun too) without smiling. It’s hard to do, maybe even impossible. And smiling is good for you. It feels good too. Doesn’t it?

Lyla and I will be having our lunch outside today. I will fill up and turn on the bubble machine. As we enjoy our time together, there will be bubbles in the background, up above and all around us. There will be bubbles floating high in the sky, up over the trees, down the street and off into town. It will be magical. People will look up and see bubbles floating and drifting everywhere, smile and wonder, “Where did those bubbles come from?”

Some agitated souls may get irritated as the bubbles pop on their newly washed cars or cause them to have to clean their windows and sunglasses. Those people need the bubbles even more than the rest of us. I am doing them a favor.

A few of the highly curious will follow the trail of bubbles to our house, where they will find us giggling and dancing and popping bubbles with our noses. I will invite them to join us. And they will because people who follow floating bubbles do so for a reason. They want to participate in the bubble festivities. They want to join in on the foamy fun. They want to take a moment and forget the stresses in their lives and the worries which have been weighing them down. They want to focus, if only for a moment, on nothing but bubbles and smile and laugh instead. They want to be happy. I may even manage to convince someone to pretend to be a fish swimming and eating the bubbles. Lyla loves when I do that. I (secretly) love it too. It makes us both happy.

On that note, bubbles don’t taste the best, but they’re a world of fun. Ooh, in the interest of making the world a better place, maybe you could invent tastier bubbles… maybe bubble gum flavored bubbles or perhaps blueberry bubbles. I would buy those! Would you invent those for me? I would do it myself but I’m too busy playing with my bubble flavored bubbles.

The moral of my story is simply that the world needs more bubbles.

I am doing my part. Are you?

Happy National Mustard Day!

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I love mustard.

And before you ask… no, not enough to marry it. But maybe just enough to casually fool around. Besides, I’m already married.

But mustard and I go way back. Growing up in Philly, I’d put mustard on my pretzel. Nothing beats Gulden’s (not Golden’s, Gulden’s) Spicy Brown Mustard on a Philly Soft! And you’ll probably think this is gross but I’d often pair the combo with a Yoo-hoo. My mouth is watering.

“What kind of wine would you like with your meal, ma’am?”

“Oh, I’ll have some yummy chocolate flavored water please! And could you bring me a huge vat of mustard for this pretzel? Thanks!”

Gosh, I haven’t had a Yoo-hoo since college. But let’s get back to mustard. This is, after all, a very serious blog about mustard.

I love all kinds of mustard. I’m a huge fan of yellow mustard, spicy mustard, honey mustard, fancy mustard sauces, mustard mixed with interesting ingredients (like Jack Daniels or horseradish or pineapples), mustard seed, mustard powder, the color mustard, Colonel Mustard…

I like mustard on sandwiches, on fish, as a dip or dressing.

My husband makes the meanest grilled artichokes and pairs them with a mustard sauce that will blow your mind (now can you see why I chose to marry him over mustard?).

I have been known to dip raw veggies in mustard AND put mustard on pizza. Why not? It is, after all, delicious and nutritious.

So… Happy National Mustard Day to you and yours. I hope you find a way to enjoy mustard today and every day. If you’re one of those weird anti-mustard people, please do the right thing and find a way to welcome mustard back into your life. This feud has been going on for too long, hasn’t it? Yes, it has. And mustard told me that it doesn’t even remember why you’re fighting. It doesn’t care who is at fault. It just wants you back. It misses you. So, please, do the right thing. You will be happy you decided to take my advice on this one.

By the way, have I mentioned that I hate mayo?

Happy National Mustard Day! Enjoy!

Words

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A good friend of mine recently posted as her Facebook status the question, “What is your favorite word?” What a great question. But in the moment I panicked. I thought, how can I pick just one favorite word when there are so many wonderful words to choose from?

Let’s face it. I love words. Yep, I’m a word nerd.

Not wanting to commit to a single, solitary word at the time, I offered up a few of my least favorite words instead. I couldn’t commit so I deflected. I needed time to think. It felt like I’d been asked to select a favorite child or film or song from the 80s. I mean, there are too many really good ones.

Also, much like sexual positions, doesn’t it kind of depend on my mood?

If I’m feeling happy, I might lean towards words like love or yellow or sunshine. On the other hand, if I’m angry I might drop an F-bomb or 2 or maybe even a C-U-Next-Tuesday. I’m not afraid to use either.

I thought long and hard about my favorites and least favorites. Unfortunately I still couldn’t commit to just one in either category so, rather than force it, I decided to compile a Top 10 list for each.

Here you go…

Faves:

  1. Fuck – It’s the best word to get my point across in any given situation. Fuck you. Fuck me. Fuck the world. Fuckin’ A (old school). Fuck yeah! Fuckedy-fuck-fuck.
  2. Awesome – Because it’s awesome. That’s why.
  3. Mommy – This one melts me on a regular basis. Any sentence that either begins or ends with mommy is a good one. Fact.
  4. Thank you – While technically 2 words, it deserves a spot in my top 10. I use the phrase frequently and honestly believe everyone should. There are infinite reasons to be thankful. We should make it a point to say so more often.
  5. Laughter – Perhaps my favorite activity also.
  6. Love – Who doesn’t love love?
  7. Monosyllabic – I love that a word that means 1 syllable is, in fact, comprised of 5 syllables.
  8. Mulch – Come on, it’s so much fun to say. Say it! MULCH!!
  9. Yay! – Because you can’t say it without the exclamation! It kind of makes you want to clap too, doesn’t it?
  10. Uranus – Did you know that Uranus is currently retrograde? Better eat more fiber!

Least Faves:

  1.  Lover – Ick.
  2. Bestie – Unless we’re 16 and splitting a BFF charm, do we really have to be besties? Can’t we just be really good friends?
  3. Ants – I don’t like ants. The word makes me itch.
  4. Rape – This is one of those words I feel gets thrown around too lightly. It’s a serious word for a serious matter. And, in my opinion, any alternate use is reducing the severity of the offense. For example: While you might not enjoy paying your taxes, the government is not raping you so get over it.
  5. Moist – Unless you’re describing cake, it’s probably best to leave this one alone too (OK, even if you’re describing cake!)
  6. Finger – Even when used innocently, this word strikes a vulgar chord.
  7. Phlegm – Ew. Even the word sounds phlegmy. Doesn’t it?
  8. No – I like yes much better.
  9. Pecker – Can we please resolve to leave this word in the 70s or 80s or wherever, whenever it was born? Every single time I think it has died, I lower my pecker guard and then someone manages to bring it back to life and smack me in the face with it (so to speak). In a nutshell, if I never-ever-ever again hear some idiot refer to his own penis as his pecker, it will be too soon. Ugh.
  10. Flan – Thanks to the warm, oozy, day-old flan I was forced to consume back in high school Spanish class on the same dreadful day I coincidentally came down with a rather volatile case of stomach flu, the look, the smell, the thought and, yes, even the word flan still gives me the cold sweats.

Thank you to Jennifer Sexton Riviezzo for the inspiration to blog about this!

Word!

April Fool

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Today, we celebrate two groups of people: Those who prank and those who get pranked!

Admittedly, I have fallen into both categories. Here’s my advice…

  • If you don’t want to get pranked, this may be a good time to cash in a vacation or sick day. There’s no shame in hiding. I’ve done it.
  • Even if you love a good prank, keep your guard up. You may have planned the best prank ever, but it might not matter if they get you first.
  • Try not to hurt anyone. Before you go yanking a chair out from under someone or wiping out the back of a knee, please be sure they aren’t suffering from a previous injury or disability. You don’t want to cause permanent physical damage, and you will look like the biggest A-hole on the planet when you find yourself being sued or serving prison time for a poorly planned April Fool’s joke. Remember: it’s not nice to use your friends’ allergies against them! Sure, it’d make a great story but is it really worth it??
  • Consider the consequences. Certain people may not want to play along, and others may not take a prank in the good nature it was (hopefully) intended. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings… especially someone who has serial killer potential. I’m just sayin’. I highly doubt the Dahmers and Bundys of the world are very good sports.
  • Above all else, always remember that whoever you prank will definitely prank you back! And, we all know, payback is a five letter word that rhymes with witch (need another clue? it starts with “B”).

If you still want to play, keep in mind that truly great pranks tend to take time and patience to plan and pull off. And, you get extra credit for originality. You don’t want to be the guy (or girl) who pulls the same old pranks year after year. Whoopy cushions are fine, when used sparingly (say, every 5 yrs).

These days, money is tight for most of us so why not take a peek around your home and get creative. Typical household items make great pranks and they can save you cash. Think of all the fun you could have with any or all of the following: aluminum foil, plastic wrap, flour, duct tape, baby oil, Crisco, diaper rash cream, Jell-o, super glue, food coloring, pickle juice, the possibilities are endless…

Much like theme costumes at Halloween, theme pranks can be fun too. Why not develop a theme or pull the same prank on everyone at your office? Cover all your coworkers’ keyboards in powdered sugar or Saran Wrap their phones. It’s slightly less risky than going to war with one person since people tend to take things better when they’re not alone. On the other hand, you might manage to piss off a whole company, and that has its downsides, too. If you can get involved in a group prank, they’re great because you can share the credit and the blame (the latter being more important obviously).

It’s probably not a great idea to prank your boss or the head of your company (unless he or she is a prankster too, or really deserves it!), especially in this economy. If you decide to do so anyway, take a few extra steps (1. Clean out your desk  2. Draft your companywide goodbye email  3. Consider scheduling a consultation with an employment rights attorney). I wonder how many folks will wind up in the Unemployment Line post April 1?

If you’re still not sure who to prank, I highly suggest pranking friends and relatives, not because they are easy targets necessarily or because they deserve it more than coworkers or complete strangers, but because they are more likely to forgive you. Pranking your mom may not make you look cool to your friends, but part of her job is to love you unconditionally (even if you’re the jerk who super-glued her tush to the toilet!). And, there’s something to be said for that!

If you fall prey to a prank, I hope it’s all in good fun and that you are able to appreciate it. If you are the prankster, I wish you luck! Hopefully, whoever you prank will be a good sport, laugh gracefully and wait until next year to unleash their wrath of revenge. You can always move away or switch jobs between now and then.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

A Wii for me? You shouldn’t have!

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In addition to flowers, cards and candy, my husband got me a Wii for Valentine’s Day. I’d wanted (dropped hints, begged and practically drew a treasure map for) a basic Zumba DVD. Being a good man, he naturally went the extra step, getting me the Wii and Wii Zumba. Even though he claimed they were from our 1-yr-old daughter, I knew better.

I was immediately grateful and blown away by its extravagance. Admittedly, I was a tad intimidated. I’m technology-challenged and have been since birth. I was convinced I’d break it trying to remove it from the box. So, once he removed it from the box and properly installed it for me, it was on! And, it has remained on ever since.

It started with Zumba, the original reason for the gift. I loved it from the very first Calypso and wanted (needed) more!! So, we bowled a round. That was fun. He won the first. I won the second. Best two out three? OK! Before we knew it, we were 100 pin bowling with matching shirts! Then, out of curiosity, we checked out Wii boxing. The rush of adrenaline got the best of me, and I knocked out my opponent in the third round. I kicked his Wii ass, and it felt so good! An old friend said, “You can take the girl out of Kensington, but you can’t take the Kensington out of the girl.” If you’re from Philly, you will understand.

Now, in addition to Zumba, bowling and boxing, I’ve been partaking regularly in Wii basketball, tennis, golf (I’m good at Wii golf, like pre-sex scandal Tiger Woods good), skydiving, badminton (honestly, I just like saying ‘shuttlecock’), fencing, various water and air sports, Frisbee, cycling and even baseball (the sport I hate most in real life).

I have had to come to terms with the fact, rather quickly, that I’m currently addicted to Wii.

And, so is my husband.

Seriously, he and I may need to go to Wii counseling or have a Wii intervention. I wonder if they have a Wii patch for this sort of thing? It’s spiraling out of control, and more than just a Wii bit.

It’s not just about us. We live on the top floor, and I feel bad for torturing our neighbors below. I recall past years when we did not live on the top floor, when we had noisy upstairs’ neighbors. We were at their mercy. Back then, I’d find myself wondering out loud if those people had built a bowling alley in their living room. That’s what it sounded like. Of course, that was long before the Wii’s time. Now, suddenly, we are those people! And, thanks to Wii, we (or wii) actually have a bowling alley in our living room whenever we feel like bowling… Our poor neighbors!

But not just a bowling alley, we also have a dance floor, hockey rink, boxing ring, tennis court, among other things. For over a week now, wii’ve been bowling, stomping, dancing, boxing, jumping, and even wave running above them… every… single… day… and night!

Through this experience, I’ve learned some new things about myself and my husband. For example, I had no idea that he was so good at tennis! Nine years, and you think you know someone. Also, I rediscovered that we share a similar competitive, adventurous spirit. I’ve always known that, but it’s nice being reminded. And, clearly, I’m not the only obsessive one in this relationship. He loves the Wii just as much as me, probably more. The Wii was, after all, his idea. At one point, he even thanked me for “letting” him keep it.

In learning about us, I’ve also figured out why it’s called a Wii.

Here’s my Top 10:

  1. It makes you say, “Wiiiiiiiiiiiii!”
  2. After playing non-stop for six hours, I realized I’d better stop to go wii or I might wii my pants.
  3. Whenever I leave the room, hii tries to sneak in a quick solo game, proving this Wii was not just a gift for mii.
  4. Wii want (NEED) more Wii games ASAP!
  5. Playing as a team, wii rock!
  6. Playing against each other, wii are waaaay too competitive!
  7. Wii go “Wii, wii, wii, all the way home to play our Wii.” It’s kind of sad, really. But, it’s winter. Ooh, Wiinter!
  8. After playing all night for four consecutive nights, wii really need to get some sleep.
  9. Wii are way too old for this. Please pass the Ben Gay.
  10. Wii need help… professional help… and perhaps a second Wii controller.