Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Diet Tips for the Devious

I get so sick of hearing folks lament about the calories, as they're grazing at the kitchen counter of a festive gathering.  It's a time to enjoy some of the finer things in life!  Please, there's no need to overdramatize the weight you feel that you're going to gain from that cookie!  Moderation is the key to everything.  Of course, if you're like me and struggle with moderation, here are a few tips for you:

  • Eat while standing, the act helps to burn calories.
  • Indulge in the treats, while in the company of three or more, as calories don't count. (Three is a magic number!)
  • Lick the icing off of the Christmas cut-outs and put the cookie back on the platter.
  • Pick the red hots off of the cookies and just eat them.
  • Take just one bite of every treat and give the rest to the child of an annoying relative to give their kid an extra boost of "energy."
  • If guilt still overwhelms, resort to doing kegels while sitting at the table, drinking your cup of cheer.  (You'll sit straighter and look thinner.)

When all else fails, know that there is always someone who is fatter than you.  Also, I recommend pulling out pictures of your high school years and see how thin you were then, as compared to now.  Know that in another 10 years, you'll be wishing you were as thin as you are now. 

So seize the moment and have that cookie; just don't tell everyone how much you're going to regret the calories.  We're all wrestling with our own inner demons.  Or in my case, this year, I'll be doing my part to create sugar-laden demons, with tip number five from the above list!

Friday, December 20, 2013

How to Alienate People

I'm generally running behind on things, especially when it comes to Christmas cards.  I find it's easier to just wait until you receive Christmas cards and then reciprocate after the fact.  We'll call that my "Golden Rule of Laziness."

Yesterday, I took my handful of reactionary Christmas cards to the post office.  I thought I should get Christmas stamps for them, to give the appearance of "effort" put forth on the project.  I take every morsel of legitimacy I can scrounge together on things like this.

So, there I was, standing in line at the post office, among my slack-jawed peers, who were also marveling that Christmas would be upon us in less than a week.  As is the case often times, I avoid eye contact and try to focus on other things with interest, even if I have zero interest.  There are just some days I don't feel like engaging in conversation.  It happens.

That's when I spotted the marketing poster for the United States Post Office encouraging me to "Send Holiday Cheer," with the seasonal stamps.  "Oh good!" I thought to myself, as I was unsure which stamps would be available this year, so I could peruse that, while I waited in line.

I studied the poster.  There was a gingerbread house, a poinsettia, a celebration of Kwanza and one for Hanukkah.  The ridiculousness of it!  I mean Hanukkah is already done, so that one was out of the question.  Plus, I'm not Jewish.  

Kwanzaa, while I like to say it, I have zero idea as to what it is.  However, a quick Google search lets me know that it is an African celebration that runs from December 26 - January 1. 

Which got me thinking; we sure have this holiday stuff figured out at the end of the year.   Kwanzaa is a full week long festivity.  Hanukkah lasts eight days, so it trumps Kwanzaa by one and Christmas--if you include the entire Advent celebration--lasts between three and four weeks!  The Christmas season is by far, the longest celebration of the bunch, but yet, there weren't any specific Christmas (religious) stamps shown on the promotional poster at the post office. 

Strange that they'd highlight two religions, but not the most prevalent of the bunch here in America--Christianity.  The lack of one featured on the poster, made me want one more, just to be difficult.  I get that way sometimes.  I'm female.  

Further, you'd think in light of the challenges that the US Postal Service has had, that they would avoid putting a promotional piece out there that draws the ire of the Christian faithful, given their numbers.

Regardless, as luck would have it, when I reached the head of the line, a quick inquiry revealed that they still do carry Christian Christmas stamps.  They just didn't feature them on the promotional poster.

Again, it makes sense (not really, I'm just being sarcastic.)  Most businesses will highlight something that will attract the masses in the hopes of securing more sales.  Not so for the post office, I guess.  They highlight the lesser known religious holidays.  Good for them, marching to their own beat!  I'm sure it won't impact their viability.  I mean their business has been increasing year after year, right?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Be Tolerant, Just Not of That Guy

Double standards make me laugh.  Those who beat the drum of acceptance, but fail to accept others when their opinions differ are a huge part of the problem in this country.  Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson gave an interview to GQ magazine and now he has been "indefinitely suspended" from being on the program for remarks he made regarding homosexuality.  The ridiculousness of this whole story is astounding.

I wholeheartedly agree with a comment Phil made in the article.

"We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell.  That's the Almighty's job.  We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus--whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists.  We let God sort 'em out later, you see what I'm saying?"

However, that comment is NOT at all being mentioned in all of the vitriol aimed at the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family.

Why?  Well, because these days, people cherry-pick parts of stories and conversations, in an effort to "stir the pot" of controversy.  Plain and simple, controversy sells--almost as well as sex.  This cherry-picking happens on all sides--liberal, conservative, atheist, religious, you name it.

I feel qualified to comment on this particular topic, because I have a close relative who is openly gay.  His sexual orientation doesn't make me love him any less, nor do I judge him for it.  Just as Robertson said, it's not my place to judge.  Nor is it in my genetic make-up to turn my back on any human in need--whether homosexual or heterosexual.

But now, because this reporter inquired about some topics that he was seeking to get the Duck Commander's opinion on--knowing full well that he would get an earful--A & E, the network that airs "Duck Dynasty," has indefinitely suspended Robertson for his comments.

Do you honestly believe that A & E really didn't know what Phil's opinions were on this particular topic?  I knew, even before GQ magazine published the article.  Anyone who has watched the show can connect the dots for where Phil Robertson's thoughts lie on most subjects, based upon his demeanor and comments made on the program.

What many probably DIDN'T know, was that Phil believes it's not for him to judge, as illustrated in the quote above from the article.  No where in that interview, does Phil say that he wants to "take action against homosexuals."  He merely doesn't agree with the lifestyle.  And when asked about a subject, isn't he entitled to his opinion?

Further, why have we become a society that cannot tolerate opinions?  

If you don't like someone's take on something, you're more than welcome to offer an opposing opinion and have a dialogue about it or even ignore it all together.  But dropping a hammer of punishment for expressing an opinion?  I think it's out of control and incredibly one-sided.

Schools preach about tolerance and acceptance, but yet, we fail to illustrate that the knife needs to cut both ways.  We should be tolerant of EVERYONE who has a differing opinion other than our own, not just those high profile differences, like being gay or lesbian or have a different skin color than our own.  For every acceptance of "pro" there should be a tolerance for a "con."

Perhaps we're all too worried about sexual orientation and skin color, when in reality we should be more concerned with the thickness of our own skin--or lack thereof.  It is NOT for us to judge.  In this day and age, we as a society, are way too sensitive.

I challenge everyone to practice biting their tongue or sitting on their hands for a good five minutes before speaking or typing a retort to something someone says or writes that offends you.  I always ask myself, "What will this accomplish?" prior to responding.  It forces me to think things through before acting.  If I had a nickel for every time I typed something out on Facebook and eventually backspaced and chose not to post a comment, I'd be one rich woman.  

People are going to have opinions.  It's actually a right we have in this country.  Bananas, huh? You are going to have a different opinion from time to time with others.  We are that proverbial melting pot.  So whether you think someone's an asshat for their opinion or you completely agree with them, those differences are what makes this country the best place to live.  Diversity is not one-sided.

You don't have to agree with Phil Robertson, but you should respect his right to speak his opinion.  Whether or not you think it makes him look foolish or smart, it shouldn't matter, as we ALL have the right to our opinions.

In the end, with regard to this particular topic, we're all just helping create more buzz for GQ magazine and the A & E Network, and isn't that what they wanted anyway?  Congratulations, like me, you just became a part of a viral marketing campaign and they're laughing all the way to the bank.  Insert golf clap here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sweet Victory

I used to complain about American Idol, when they would run over the broadcast time to announce the winner of their title.  It was pure hell for those of us who DVRed the program to watch it without commercials.  The Voice on NBC did that last night.

Fortunately, I wasn't nearly as upset with The Voice, as I have been in the past with American Idol; mostly because for once, a reality talent show actually had three quality finalists.  I would've been pleased as punch for Will Champlin, Jacquie Lee or Tessanne Chin, no matter which one picked up the win.

Let's face it though, it wasn't a huge surprise that Tessanne won.  If you followed iTunes sales, you could easily see that she had TWO of her songs from the final competition night in the top 10 from the time that broadcast ended, until the reveal show began on Tuesday night.  Further, she sang Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," flawlessly.  That just doesn't happen.

But Tessanne and her new title are not really the reason for my writing today.  I need to know if, like me, you were mesmerized--and not in a good way--by the Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera duet.

I get that Gaga's thing is crazy fashion and wild looks.  I'm fully aware that Christina has become the Dolly Parton of pop, when it comes to wigs.  At least, I assume she's been sporting wigs, as I find it hard to believe that her hairstylist can change her hair that drastically several times during a live show, but I could be wrong.

Regardless, the duet the two performed was akin to watching visions of sugar plums dancing in children's heads.  Seriously, the pair resembled two balls of cotton candy twirling about on the stage.  When your hair and outfit distract from the vocals, I think it's time to reevaluate your ideas of fashion.  I can't even remember what they sang, or what I thought of it.  All I can think about is white cotton candy and how much cotton candy disgusts me.  It's way too sugary!

That super-sweet thought is applicable for the interview that followed the performance, as it was a love-fest between the two women, who apparently never met, prior to doing this duet together on the show.  It's swell that two rich women, who sing for a living are incredibly smitten with one another.  How refreshing to find out that Gaga is down-to-earth and REFUSED to come on the show, until she could be assured that Christina would perform with her.  I'm not sure how I would've caught some Z's, had I not heard those nuggets.  I can't help but think, had they not gushed on and on about each other, we MIGHT have been able to squeeze in the announcement of who won before the DVR shut off where the broadcast SHOULD HAVE ended.  

Despite the fact that I had to whip out my iPad mini to search for who actually won, it didn't bother me.  I knew Tessanne had pulled out the victory.  And I dreamt of white cotton candy, with extra long eyelashes that would not stop talking.  I may need therapy.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Bright Idea, Or More Government Intervention?

Start hoarding your incandescent light bulbs, because as of January 1, 2014, the government is pulling the plug. Thanks to 2007 legislation that set minimum efficiency standards for light bulbs, traditional incandescents will soon be phased out and replaced with CFL and LED bulbs. The looming deadline has many Americans stocking up at stores like Home Depot, whose six-month stockpile is rapidly dwindling. But contrary to popular belief, 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs won’t be entirely discontinued as of January 1- manufacturers will just be forced to improve them so they draw less wattage. Consumers will find the newer, energy-efficient bulbs take some getting used to- not only do they give off a different-colored light than traditional bulbs, but they’re also a lot more expensive. The trade-off, of course, is that they last longer and consume less power. So are you into this because it's the "green" thing to do, or is this yet another case of the Government telling us how to live? Share your thoughts with us: johnandjacklyn@kicks1063.com

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Meet The iPotty!

Here’s something you may want on your holiday shopping list...or not! Meet the iPotty by CTA Digital, a training toilet with an attached iPad stand. It won the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s TOADY Award for Worst Toy of the Year (TOADY stands for Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children). Forty-five percent of people voted for the iPotty, saying it distracts children during toilet training and “reinforces unhealthy overuse of digital media.” Runners-up included Monopoly Empire, which features advertisements, and a Play-Doh app. Is this not the most ridiculous children’s toy you’ve heard of? Or do you think this is a smart use of technology? Drop us an email: johnnandjacklyn@kicks1063.com

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's Perfect For Me!

Sure, you can get your iPhone 5s in Apple's own gold finish, but so can just about anyone else with a few hundred dollars to throw around. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, you need the Apple Solid Gold iPhone 5S. Instead of the typical gold finish, this one comes in solid, 24-karat gold covering the edges, top, bottom, and back. $3,300 is the cost. Now, if a solid gold phone is on your Christmas wish list, but you're not an Apple iPhone fan, that's OK -- because for $2,500 you can own a 24-carat gold HTC One Android phone.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tasty And Approved By Your Dentist!

In the spirit of all the holiday treats that may not be really great for our teeth, I ran across this product and thought I'd share it with you: Cupcake flavored toothpaste! It's made by the Archie McPhee company, and they describe it as, "Brushing your teeth with real frosting kind of defeats the purpose, but with this Cupcake Toothpaste you get all the fabulous flavor of frosting without another root canal! Just put a dollop on your brush and after a few minutes of vigorous brushing your whole mouth will feel frosted! Each tube contains 2.5 oz of potent paste." Each tube is just $5.00, and you can go to this link if you want to order some. I'm not sure about this one, though. I'm just too used to my toothpaste tasting like...toothpaste! I bet the kids will like it though! What do you think, would you be willing to give it a try if you have trouble getting your children to brush their teeth? Drop us an email johnandjacklyn@kicks1063.com.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Good, The Bad And The Ugg-ly!

If you thought Uggs were over, you thought wrong! It seems the much-maligned furry boots are set to make a comeback this holiday season. They were the fourth most popular gift searched for on Google Shopping on Black Friday, and the number one fashion item. Other top trending gifts included video game consoles (which came in first), tablets (second), Beats by Dr. Dre headphones (fifth) and the Barbie Dreamhouse (ninth). Here's the full list of the Top 10:

1. Video game consoles (Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One) 2. Tablets, 3. Minecraft Legos, 4. UGG boots, 5. Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, 6. Fitbit, 7. The North Face, 8. Rainbow Loom, 9. Barbie Dreamhouse, 10. Nike Air Jordan Retro sneakers

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

First Pics from Fifty Shades Of Grey!

Here they are! The first photos of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan filming Fifty Shades of Grey have been released! Don’t worry, the pics are safe for work. The two were snapped filming a scene in a Vancouver coffee shop. Click here for a peek. If you've read the book, we're interested in knowing if you think they both look the part? Are you excited for this movie? It also appears there may be two versions of the film released, one R-rated and slightly less raunchy, and the other an NC-17-rated romp that will do justice to the book’s sexual content. Now let's be honest here, which one would you rather see?