Monday, June 23, 2008

Downy Wrinkle Releaser

Dear Downy Wrinkle Releaser,

I've really enjoyed getting to know you again over these past few months. We had a thing in high school for a while, when you were new to the market and your ads were all over daytime tv, but then we fell out of touch. We both had other things going on. You were no longer widely available on drugstore shelves, while I went off to college and started wearing thrift-store t-shirts every day. I thought I had outgrown you.

I never stopped thinking about you, though. Sometimes I would look for you on the shelf at Duane Reade or Google you to see if you were still around, but nothing ever came of it. I even experimented with other wrinkle free sprays, but that's all it was. It never got serious; they were just too expensive. Not like you.

Then fate brought us back together. I remember that day three months ago like it was yesterday. I was meandering down the aisle of the Smart & Final looking for fragrance-free dryer sheets and there you were, just as I had remembered you. It had been a long time, but I couldn't stay away.  bought you and brought you home with me and we've been together ever since. You were there for me on my first day of work and at that conference where I stuffed all my nice clothes into a duffel bag. I really feel like we have something special.

I'm going to say something now and I don't want you to feel like you have to say it back. I've wanted to tell you this for a while, but I was afraid of how you'd react. I know it seems a little fast, but, well, I love you.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser (travel size)
Downy Wrinkle Releaser (full size)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I have a very grown-up appreciation for Newsies. I won't lie. When I was younger, I had a thing for Christian Bale, with his slightly-above-average singing voice and post-adolescent good looks. Who didn't? But now my love of Newsies is a mature love that has nothing to do with the singing, dancing young men I loved so much when I was 12. That would be gross (and probably illegal).

Now I appreciate the artistry of the film. The choreography. The historical accuracy. The uplifting message that a rag-tag group of newspaper boys could take on the establishment and win. This movie is a must-see for anyone who is fascinated by turn-of-the-20th-century New York politics or who appreciates musical theater as an art form.

I just found out that Christian Bale was 18 when Newsies was made. I can now officially say that he is dreamy in this movie. Totally legal.

Newsies (Collector's Edition)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Catch Phrase

I love board games of all kinds. I also tend to befriend competitive people, so I'm always a little scared to play games like Risk and Settlers of Cattan with the people I know. Get together games (Taboo, Apples to Apples, etc.) tend to be a safer bet. More yelling, but less silent seething anger at someone who attacks Australia or corners the market in wheat.

Catch Phrase is the best get together game ever. At it's most basic level, it's a combination of Taboo without rules and Hot Potato without potatoes. The electronic version is best.

You and your overly competitive friends divide yourselves into two teams and sit in a circle of alternating team members and pass around the game (which is roughly the size and shape of a panini). When it's your turn, you read the word or phrase on the screen and try to make your teammates guess it by any means necessary as the game beeps progressively faster in a crazy-making way. When your team guesses correctly, you pass the game to the next player as the beeps get closer and closer together and start to eat your soul. The team left holding the game when the beeps stop is stoned to death.

For example, if the phrase on the screen is "Great Wall" you might say something like "This is a man-made object that can be seen from space," or "This is a miles-long structure in China." Or you could just start shouting "BLANK BLANK OF CHINA" over and over again as the game beeps faster and faster and your teammates grasp for answers: "People's Republic?" "Communist Party?"

Sadly, I can never play Catch Phrase with that group of friends again.

Hasbro Electronic Catch Phrase Game - Second Edition

Monday, June 16, 2008


I am an excellent roller skater. Very few people know this about me, not because I am modest, but because I have had trouble finding ways to work this fun fact into conversation.

boring person at party: Blah, blah, blah, my cousin's wedding.
me: I am an excellent roller skater.

Now imagine, if you will, me at the same party wearing heelies. When I find myself in a conversation that turns boring, I could turn and gracefully roll away on one heel. The boring person would then understand not only that he is boring, but also that I am probably an excellent roller skater (which I am).

Other times I have wished I was wearing heelies:

  • airport terminals without moving walkways (see Charla from The Amazing Race)

  • airport terminals with moving walkways (how awesome would that be?)

  • times when the Trini tries to make me walk up giant hills for exercise (when I get tired, I can just roll down the hill and he'll never catch me)

  • when around children (to make them jealous)

  • when being chased by cops who are not wearing heelies

Did you know that they come in adult sizes? They do. Best thing ever.

Heelys Adult Glitter Skate Shoe

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I am bad with directions. In fact, I am comically bad with directions. It was hard enough in New York, where the streets are numbered and Subway signs tell you you're about to exit onto the Northeast corner of 78th St and Broadway. Now I'm in San Francisco, where streets and alleys are sometimes indistinguishable and most people drive to the grocery store. Not getting lost on my way to the freeway is a constant challenge for me.

You should see me on roadtrips. My husband, who we'll call the Trini, likes to drive, which means he has to navigate at the same time. I'll hold the map, sure, but relying on me for directions is like relying on Gwyneth Paltrow to name your kids.

So how have I survived? How am I back at home right now given that I have, in fact, left my house in the past week? The answer to these and so many other questions is TomTom.

In fact, here is a list of questions to which TomTom is the answer:

  • What is the GPS device on my dashboard that tells me exactly how to get places in a soothing British voice?

  • Which GPS device plays nicely with Google Maps and lets you download extra voices (celebrity voices, no less)?

  • What did I buy, on sale, before I even owned a car?

  • What did the Trini get for Christmas last year?

  • What did he recently try to take away from me in order to make me learn my way around my own city?

  • What did I have to steal from the Trini's dresser when he was asleep and hide in the Trivial Pursuit box in order to avoid learning my away around?

I love my husband, but I think I might love my TomTom more.

Seriously, though, I did the research, and the TomTom One 3rd Edition is the best entry-level GPS device out there. You don't need text-to-speech unless you're vision impaired.

Also, if you're vision impaired, you probably shouldn't be driving.

TomTom ONE 3rd Edition

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mighty Magnets

I love Mighty Magnets. I know what you're thinking: "$9 for magnets? Really?" But seriously. These are the only magnets you will ever need. They are super strong. Below I've listed some of the ways Mighty Magnets get used in my house, as well as some other possible scenarios in which they might be useful.

  • Holding ALL the Bed Bath & Beyond 20%-off coupons you've been hoarding (you do know they don't actually expire, right?)

  • Keeping your spouse busy while you get ready on a Saturday morning (Mine spent about 20 minutes searching for magnetic things in our apartment. The doorknob? No. The drawer handles? YES.)

  • Sticking to-do lists on every metal surface in the house

  • Messing with the contents of multiple floppy disks at once (remember floppy disks?)

  • Seeing if the pin in your knee is magnetic (not recommended)

  • Seeing if the plate in your head is magnetic (highly recommended; send pictures)

  • Creating your own makeshift metal detector and combing your backyard for unburied treasure

  • Making a compass out of magnets and something metal next time you're lost in the desert

Bonus points because these things could literally save your life.

Square Peg Mighties Magnets 6 Pack

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hanger Strips

I am both messy and an impulsive shopper. This was a lethal combination when worked at The Container Store, where I could get 40% off of all the storage and organization products I thought I needed. I used to spend entire paychecks on devices to help me fold my clothes and organize the lids to my pots and pans. Don't get me wrong, I love most of the products I bought there. It was just a very expensive place for me to work.

Still, my favorite thing in the entire store cost $1.99: Hanger Strips. I never understood why hangers cost so much money. Seriously, how many people actually spend $6.99 on a plastic hanger? (Answer: you'd be surprised.) To me, a hanger is a hanger. I buy white plastic ones by the box and replace them when they get lost or stepped on. The problem is that women's clothing is complicated. There are all sorts of tank tops with little straps and slippery things with wide necklines and strapless garments that you're supposed to hang by little loops sewn into the lining. They require expensive hangers. A classic example of the man keeping me down.

Then I discovered these little foam strips that adhere to my white plastic hangers and keep my fancy lady clothes from slipping into a pile on my closet floor. Brilliant. I steered countless other women toward this solution (that's what we called products at The Container Store) instead of letting them buy expensive grippy hangers with clips and hooks.

Maybe later I'll write about the awesome device I bought to help me fold my clothes.

Self-Adhesive Non-Slip Hanger Strips

Great, Cheap Curly Hair Products

I don't brush my hair. Maybe I shouldn't admit this on the internet, but I have very curly hair and brushing it leaves it frizzy. It reminds me of when I was 8 and my mom used to brush all the curls out of my triangular puff of hair (I was thinking of posting a picture, but I've shown this blog to all of my coworkers and I'm not ready for my boss to see photos of me in a tap-dancing costume).

Anyway, the fact that I don't brush my hair leaves me with buildup on my scalp. Too much information? Perhaps. But if someone had told me 

how to deal with my curly hair when I was 8, maybe I would have gotten to french kiss a boy in middle school like all my friends. Anyway, now I'm married and have great hair. Shiny, bouncy curly hair. The kind of hair that makes old ladies stop me in the grocery store to ask me if this is really my natural hair. And I use dandruff shampoo. Specifically, Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff shampoo+conditioner in one. Then I follow it up with Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioner and L'Oreal Melting Gel. I never brush it, and I try not to run my fingers through it as I apply the products.

Please feel free to discuss how great my hair is in the comments section. And if there are any awkwardly tall 12-year-old girls with frizzy hair reading this, it gets better. I promise.

Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1
L'Oreal Studio Non-Hardening Melting Gel
Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Conditioner