Friday, July 31, 2009

About Face

Pretend play is a big deal in our house. Rarely a day goes by when someone isn’t wearing a mask, cape, crown, or a wig (and that's just Dan and me). It is no wonder we are crazy about face swapping. It is the virutal, photoshop way to put on a costume. I first experienced trying on another person's body when we were given a card by a Showtime friend. He designed it so that my face is on a well-endowed woman sipping tea, and Dan is mowing the grass naked while smoking a stogie. Welcome to the suburbs. >>>>> For our Seven Year Hitch Party invite, Dan was Tom Ewell and I was Marilyn. Then we discovered jib jab which allowed us to insert pictures into videos of us doing a square dance, tango, or striptease. See Hoe-down in box at the bottom of this story.

Now with all the face swapping sites, grown-ups can play virtual dress-up with oodles of options. Try on various superhero bodies. Trek yourself into a character that actually talks. Mad Men yourself onto the set of of the tv series. Get eaten by a shark in frenzied waters. (By the by, DISCOVERY’S SHARK WEEK starts this Sunday at 9p.) Try on celebrity hairstyles. Or, if you are lucky, someone will swap you up and send it your way. Dan make me into a Fembot yesterday. I love that man!

Face it, we all need as many ways to have fun as possible. If you find yourself stuck inside on a rainy summer day, here is a list of a few sites that will entertain. Send me any other links that are not listed and forward along your face swap pictures & videos. I'm starting a web site for Workin' That Skirt and would love to have some eye candy.
  • http://areyoubotornot.com/verify/?dest=builder_standalone& Turn yourself into a speaking robot
  • http://www.amctv.com/originals/madmen/madmenyourself/ - Mad Men
  • http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/frenzied-waters/ Click on the jar closes to the right side of screen and put in your story (or a friend) about your “own” shark attack.
  • http://bebe.dmimusic.com - Promotion for new Bebe jeans of three, hot girls dancing.
  • http://www.instyle.com/instyle/makeover/# Try on new hair & makeup.
  • http://hairmixer.com/?gclid=CPaEuYzFgJwCFclL5Qod1jqE9A Check out a new hair style.
  • http://www.facedub.com/?gclid=COSH3vHEgJwCFdZD5godhziW_w - Swap your face and body!
  • http://www.bodyswitcher.com/ - site to put your face in hundreds of celebs bodies or on the cover of magazines.
  • http://www.trekyourself.com/?mId=29977449.3 -
  • http://www.news3online.com/spread.php - You for president.
video
http://sendables.jibjab.com/ - send videos, greeting cards

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

?4U

Have you ever texted inappropriately? Here’s a call to put down your fingers when in the car. I am a vigilante on this issue and am taking it to the streets. On a recent road trip, inching along the highway, the guy next to me was typing on his phone WHILE DRIVING. The other day in DC, a teenager had her left leg up under her bum and was typing a note WHILE DRIVING. I held up my homemade sign on each occasion -– "QUIT TEXTING."

July is "Cell Phone Courtesy Month." It was designated by Jacqueline Whitmore, author of Business Class and “authority on business etiquette and protocol.” She cites a few rules I love: "focus on driving", “avoid cell yell” and “learn to vibe.” http://www.etiquetteexpert.com/cellphone.html.

Some people seem to have lost their manners when it comes to using the cell phone. We were in the backyard yesterday and there was a lot of scwalking coming from a yard a few houses over. My son asked me, “What in the world is all that noise?” I looked over and realized that there was a pool man holding a cell phone with the call on speaker. It was disturbing our swingset screaming! Juxtapose that to my friend who before she popped inside said, “Excuse me, I have to make a call to a doctor. I’ll be inside in a few minutes.”

Using the phone inappropriately is not only annoying, it is downright dangerous. One in five drivers text even though they know it is wrong, according to AAA. That is frightening! A recent report by VA Tech shows that texting while driving, TWD, it is as dangerous as drunk driving. For more information on the VA Tech Institute driving study, go to http://www.vtti.vt.edu/whats-new.html#driving-distraction.

It is against the law to DWT in 14 states and the District. The cops are pulling people over and the fines range from $500 in Maryland for writing, sending or reading a text to being convicted of a 3rd degree felony if there is an accident that causes bodily injury or death in California. After seeing the Texas bus driver crash on the highway and the reports of the CA train collision that killed 25 people, it convinced me to keep my phone in my purse while I’m behind the wheel (unless I use my headset).

Walking while texting is also a problem. A recent study in England indicates that 1 in 8 people has been bruised, fractured or cut while walking and texting. I bumped into a pedestrian the other day on the way out of a movie while checking my email. People are so distracted on the streets in London, street lights and sign posts are padded to prevent injury. Check out the video on You Tube. >>>

One final request on the use of cell phones. I ask you to consider a most important rule: Love the one you’re with. It is just plain rude to talk on the phone while at dinner, or out for drinks, or at the beach/pool, or on a date. Excuse yourself, make your call, and focus your attention on your people, at least for the rest of this month. Mawh, Mawh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pulling An All Righter

Ever had one of those days when you wake up and even though it is not Monday, it feels like it is? A fog would not leave my head and has stuck with me. It’s a holiday hangover, a daze from having too much fun last weekend at our mini Hamptons vacay of riding the waves, shooting darts at Murph’s, eating lobsters, and chillaxin’ with our friends. I’m paying the price and learned a few things on how to survive good time grogginess.

You're crazy to run errands on a day when you're depleted. After a trip to the grocery store, I put Gigi in her car seat and the groceries into the trunk. I rolled the cart a few feet to the buggy station and turned around to find a man peeking into our car, saying to his friend, “Look, there’s a baby in the backseat.” I shouted, “It’s OK, I’m right here.” He proceeded to tell me that I could get a fine for leaving a child in the car and that I could go to court for child neglect. I smiled, said thanks, and went on my way.

Do not shop on a detox day. My eye glasses broke for the third time this year and I went to the frame store. The salesman who helped me replace the frames was there and I relayed that my specs are being held together with super glue. "This is a great opportunity to replace the old ones and go Grand Dame," I said as I tried on some fabulous Chanel eye dudz. He proceeded to say in an exasperated tone, "You are hard on glasses. I told you how to take them off your face with two hands. We have never had this problem. We don’t carry frames that fall apart.” I smiled, said thanks, and went on my way.

Forget about money matters until you have recovered. At the bank I put my name on the customer service list. A manager-type pulled me out of the line to review my account. My goal was to get the bank to dismiss a line of credit overdraft charge on my business account for an 80¢ bounce. In order to get the pay off amount, he told me to go to teller line. I waited with two kids in tow, ten people deep, and was informed by the teller that the tellers can not get pay off information because they do not have internet access. Teller lady said to wait in the customer service line again! Do you feel my pain yet? In the customer service line, I noticed a bank phone and decided to head over and call for my balance. The manager-type approached me and tried to hang up the call! He said he wanted to help me! After I went kookoo for cocoa puffs, I smiled, said NO thanks, and went on my way.

If you have a headache, get a babysitter. Our kids have the good-time-groggies too; they are exhausted, whining, and fighting A LOT. Their behavior indicated quiet time was in order. David Dean disagreed and put up a fight. I asked him why he was angry and he told me that the way I was acting was teaching him how to behave. Oh, my aching head signaled to let this one go for now. Our amazing babysitter Daniella arrived so I smiled, said thanks, and went on my way.

R
eplenish with something that brings you joy. This is a tool from The School of Womanly Arts taught by my friend Regena Thomashauer. www.mamagenas.com Do something pleasurable every day, especially when the blues are playing their song. Chocolate seemed like it could provide a quick attitude adjustment. Cake Love had lots of options – German Chocolate, Chocolate Butter cream, Red Velvet, Almond Toffee. I chose Cynthia’s Syn, which is a chocolate cupcake dipped in chocolate genash, topped with peanut butter cream icing, drizzled with caramel. The baker pulled the cupcake out of the frig and wrapped it while saying they recommend waiting to eat it at room temperature. I smiled, said thanks, and ate it on the way.

The best cure for what ails you is to have some more of it - hair of the dog**. To top off the insanity, our minivan had to be taken to the shop for $2,000 worth of repairs. We are a one car family until it is fixed so I picked Dan up from work. He noticed that it had been a rough one. My spirit was depleted of all the "fun" we had imbibed over the weekend but Dan helped me smile at the craziness of being accused of child neglect and being berated by a salesman. Laughter was the hair of the dog I had been missing all day. Like cures like. I smiled, said thanks, and thought, "tomorrow is on the way."

P.S. Upon returning home, there was a message from the eyeglass man who called to let me know they are replacing my frames again. David Dean said he was sorry.

** Origin and derivation from Wikipedia: HAIR OF THE DOG - The origin of the phrase is literal, and comes from an erroneous method of treatment of a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the dog in the bite wound. The use of the phrase as a metaphor for a hangover treatment dates back to the time of William Shakespeare. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898): "In Scotland it is a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound will prevent evil consequences.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dreamweaver

A crazy thing happened Saturday night "as I closed my eyes and climbed aboard the Dreamweaver Train." I dreamt that someone stole our Scooby Doo minivan. It was such a clear vision: I was sad that we were violated but happy to replace it with a sporty car. However, "on the bright side of the moon," I missed the automatic sliding doors, the spaciousness, the DVD. It was 4am and I took a peek out of the window to make sure that our minivan was still in the driveway. There were 2 police cars in front of our house, cops in the yard with flashlights and a search dog. Zoinks! They were on a man hunt for four men and at least one of the crooks was in our Mystery Machine van when the police arrived!

These brazen burglars went on a rampage. They broke into a neighbor's property using their garage door opener, hid on my friend's front porch, rummaged through my car and my next door neighbor's car, and fled in a stolen Lexus going 110 miles an hour toward Chevy Chase in a 30mph speed zone. Finally there's justification for those the speed cameras that take my picture regularly.

Oddly, the thieves left our GPS system in the Scooby van but they took my flex flop cosmetic bag. I can't blame them for thinking it is special because it's the best invention for women since lipstick. A friend of mine gave it to me so that I would always have my portable flip flops and be on-the-ready for a pedicure. The police officer said he found it in the my neighbor's back yard. The irony is that bag is bejeweled with the word "RELAX."

"
Ruh-roh!", I can't relax. Being around a crime scene makes me uneasy. We have a false sense of security in our quaint town of Kensington, especially given the statistics that a house is burglarized every fifteen seconds in America, according the FBI. I went online to get some home protection ideas. Obviously a security system is the best but there were a few intriguing options: door & window squeelers and a safe room. The site No-Nonsense Self-Defence suggested creating a less extreme area than the one in the movie Panic Room with a solid wood door, a cell phone or internet in the room, reinforced door frames, safe bolted to the closet floor, and a Fox Police Lock (see picture at right). The site is hosted by Marc "Animal" MacYoung who has written at least 14 books such as Street Safe and Effective Offense. He even offers a parenting solution to having a safe room: "putting it bluntly teenagers do stupid things now and then. And if they do stupid things with not nice people, them having a safe room is a very good idea. If nothing else it also gives squabbling siblings a means to end the fight." http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/saferoom.htm

Having a dream and awaking to the scene-in-reality is bizarre but "I believe we can reach the morning light." Maybe I have a supernatural gift. A few days ago I pledged to pay more attention to my intuition and wrote about it in a blog entry that I decided not to publish because it seemed too "Sylvia Brown." IF I am on a dreams-come-true roll, I hope to "cross the highways of fantasy" to win the Mega Millions. "In that astral plane", we'll have a safe room in a beach house that we private-jet our friends and families to visit.

* lots of quotes from the song "Dreamweaver" by Gary Wright

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Fireworks Go "Boom Boom Pow"

The skies are blazing. Fireworks are filling the air. It’s Independence Day! We will be eating Maryland crabs at the beach. Until moving here I never realized how tasty they are. Those little critters have a built in can opener to help you pop the top and get to the meat. It is nature’s art direction.

There’s a show on TV about a different sort of art direction. Take a look at an episode from Mad Men, which is about the NYC advertising world in the early 60’s. All the women are objectified – the secretary who had to wear a tight shirt to show off her rocket-bra supported chest, the wife who had to have dinner on the table at 6p and look like she was going out for cocktails in her full-skirted dress. In the clip to the right, the new girl is getting advice on how to "fit" into the agency. The experienced gal tells her to “always be a supplicant.” A supplicant is someone who is humble, a beggar, a bum, a have-not, a dependent. That is the way it was and it's no wonder the women were crabby!

While running today listening to BOOM BOOM POW, I realized how lucky we are to have the ability to do what we want in this country. Trying not to sound corny, we have freedom. We have choices that women in the 60’s did not have. We are no longer begging or dependent. We can chose to do whatever career we want. We can decide to be a stay-at-home-mom, work full-time or work part-time. We can choose to not have kids. We can decide to not get married. It’s all ok. We’ve come a long way in just fifty years! We have our independence, our boom boom pow, let the beat rock!