Saturday, February 28, 2009

Boxed out

And we have it. The hobby that's finally going to get ShallowGal sent to the funny farm. (1)

Turning boxes inside out for fun and profit. (2)

Like in life, sometimes there are casualties

It would be a useful skill if, say you have an etsy business and mail stuff. Which I don't. Although that's sort of how I got started, trying to make a box to mail my dad a hat I bought him so it wouldn't get crushed.

Measure once, cut twice (3)

I'm considering starting a box business. Pick-up only. Cause I have no clue how to ship them.

1) FYI, SG is *not* making fun of lunatics. In fact, SG sometimes fantasizes about going to a nice place where she can sit in an Adirondack chair and watch the sun set over the hills. And she gets great pills that help her sleep and meets all these fascinating people that inspire her to write a book. And the entire time SG wears this awesome hat. Kind of a wide brimmed sun hat but made of straw. Not like the kind you'd wear to the horse races. Because that would look ridiculous. And I don't think you get to take field trips to the track unless it's a really hip mental institution. Also, SG is *not* going to group counseling sessions.

2) Except I haven't figured out how to profit from it yet. And truthfully, it isn't as much fun as it sounds.
3) A short list of failed hobbies as portrayed in this picture: photography and carpentry.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Don't get me wrong, my 3 year old's spelling skills are impressive. (1)
It's just I think his cow
(2) looks a little more penis-like than your usual bovine. (3)

1) He can spell ELI and COW. What else does he need to know?
2) He claims that's a picture of his worm. I *just* figured out why Eli has imaginary pet worms. All testosterone that child.
3) Ironically, over at Le other Blog, Marinka was looking for some manparts.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Places ShallowGal DOES want to go. (1)

When SG says "places she'd like to go" you should interpret that as "SG spends hours studying guide books about these place and conducting hourly searches for bargain airfares."

1) Central America

Particularly Costa Rica. As a matter of fact, as she writes this, SG is trying to decide if she would rather fly Continental and spend an extra hour in the air, but transfer in Houston or fly COPA and change planes in Panama. Fact: SG is way more adventurous when not faced with the possibility of being trapped in a Panamanian airport with the posse.

But lately SG goes back and forth on Nicaragua. People say it's like Costa Rica was 20 years ago. (2) You can get a lobster dinner for $6 and rent a luxury tree house like this for $1000 for the entire week.

SG will admit being a wee bit leary of treehouses with pools

But the safety of Nicaragua is in question. Proponents claim it's the safest country in Central America and order you to Google it. But when SG did, she found this State Deptartment advisory:
Although extensive de-mining operations have been conducted to clear rural areas of northern Nicaragua of landmines left from the civil war in the 1980s, visitors venturing off the main roads in these areas are cautioned that the possibility of encountering landmines still exists. Domestic travel within Nicaragua by land and air, particularly to the Atlantic side can be dangerous. Domestic airlines use small airstrips with minimal safety equipment and little boarding security.
U.S. citizens are cautioned that strong currents and undertows off sections of Nicaragua's Pacific coast have resulted in a number of incidents of drowning. Powerful waves have also resulted in broken bones, and injuries caused by sting rays are not uncommon in popular resort bathing areas. Warning signs are not posted, and lifeguards and rescue equipment are not readily available
Gang violence, drive-by shootings, robbery, assault and stabbings are most frequently encountered in poorer neighborhoods, including the Ticabus area, a major arrival and departure point for tourist buses. However, in recent months it spread to more upscale neighborhoods and near major hotels, including the Zona Hippos. In 2008, a U.S. citizen was critically injured in a gang-motivated drive-by shooting that occurred in the San Judas area. Another U.S. citizen was kidnapped and left for dead in the Villa Fontana area of Managua.

And so on. Sounds pretty bad, right? Compare it to the State Department advisory on Rwanda.

Rwanda is a landlocked developing country in central Africa. Although it continues to recover from the 1994 civil war and genocide in which up to one million people were killed, it is currently safe, clean, and well-organized. Economic activity and tourism are on the rise in Rwanda. Hotels and guesthouses are adequate in Kigali, the capital, and in major towns, but are limited in remote areas.
Did you see Hotel Rwanda? (3) And this is better than Nicaragua? ShallowGal might need to think on this one a little longer.

2) Alaska:

Yes, you remember correctly, SG's entire family went to Alaska last year. That trip we took a cruise thru the southern part of the state and visiting Glacier Bay. Next time SG wants to rent an RV and drive thru the interior to Denali and the Artic Circle.

"Wait," you're saying. "ShallowGal, who doesn't leave the house from November to April because it's too cold, wants to take her vacation driving in a state that rarely gets above 50 degrees? ShallowGal, who complained because the Ritz in South Beach didn't upgrade her to a club level room, wants to spend her vacation driving a 30 foot tin can with PCSguy and three kids?"

Yes. Alaska was just that awesome.

3) Croatia:

True story: A few years back, Noa and I were watching 'Where in the World is Matt Lauer' and he was in Croatia. It was gorgeous. Noa was transfixed. Then a few days later, I told the kids to get ready, we needed to make a quick trip to IKEA for a bookcase. Noa went ballistic, I assumed over the ball pit. We got there and she broke down. Cause she heard IKEA but interpreted it in her 5 year old brain as Croatia.

Admit it, you so did not know where Croatia was exactly.

1) C'mon. You didn't really coming looking for this last Thursday did you? Sucker.
2) Which might not be a good thing, because SG wore a lot of blue mascara in the 80s. Bad look.
3) Was it as bad as they say? Cause it sounded really depressing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Places ShallowGal doesn't want to go. Besides Hell. That one's a given.

There's an excellent chance that this will be ShallowGal's most controversial post. Because she's about to dis everyone's favorite vacation spots.

Fact: ShallowGal loves traveling. And planning vacations. Sometimes SG plans vacations she has no time or money to take. And we can talk about those places. Tomorrow.

But first, we need (2) to look at some popular vacation spots that SG has no interest in visiting. Feel free to try to change my mind. (3)

1) Hawaii.

SG has traveled throughout the Caribbean and finds it hard to believe that Hawaii is any better and worth the 10 hour flight. And hello! I can't be the only one who remembers what happened when the Brady Bunch went there. I don't need Vincent Price trying to kill me in a cave over some silly idol.

2) Paris, Rome, London.

To be honest, SG has already been to all these places; Rome was too frenetic, London too touristy and Paris too French. No need to return to any of them.

3) Australia

While SG would love to meet some of her favorite bloggers in person, that hardly warrants this:

What the hell happened to Saturday?

It can take us a month to recover from Daylight Savings Time, you think I'm dragging the posse to the opposite side of the Earth to see a koala? That's what the zoo is for, thank you very much.

Tune in tomorrow (4) to see SG's dream vacations.

1) You can look and look but there's no (1) in the text.
2) I spend hours trying to explain to my kids the difference between need and want. I have no idea why they don't get it.
3)By offering me an all expense paid trip there.
4) Tomorrow. Sure, why not?
Stranger things have happened.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's time for a little game

Q: Can you guess the theme of Eli's birthday party? I'll give you a hint:

Not shown: Kung Fu Panda goody bags and Go Diego Go streamers.

It's "I'm a third child, I'm lucky to have a party at all"

With all the money we saved recycling paper goods from parties past, we invited his preschool class to the nature center this Sunday. There we're going to pet a turtle, make a bird feeder and eat cake. That reminds me, we need candles; there's a bag of them somewhere:

One day someone will explain the purpose of the candle holders to me

Since Eli isn't 6, 7, 9, or 67, 76 or 796 this year, we'll go with the question mark. Even though anyone who came within 100 miles of him today knows he's four. There were 4 matching white candles but I used them on the cake that he and I made together for dinner tonight.

In my own defense, he requested a Christmas fun-fetti cake.(1)

Happy Birthday Eli !

PS: I tried repeatedly to think of a clever way to link to the post about Eli's third birthday but could not. You people are onto all my tricks.

1) I believe the exact discussion went something like this:
"We have a Christmas fun-fetti mix"

"I want chocolate"

"It's fun-fetti or nothing"


Thursday, February 12, 2009

I had a great title for this post but it was too long for the title box. Which has never happened to me before.

Noa's picked up a new catch phrase. She learned it from Jake who used it correctly, although not necessarily kindly:
Mom, no offense but you're kind of a hypocrite.
This attack was leveled when informed that he couldn't check a cookbook out of the library even though I planned to. Being as, I don't know, I plan meals and cook them? And his job is writing book reports and Rachel Ray isn't on the approved author list. (1) Before you rip into me about censorship, know that Jake has unusual and varied book tastes and needs to be reigned in.

Anywho, Noa's track record for correct usage her new favorite phrase is about 30%. There's the occasional lucky hit:

All the other moms wear make-up when they come to school. No offense.

But usually it seems to be a way to just add more words to her sentence. As if she needed the help: (2)

I'd like a cheeseburger with no pickles. No offense. (3)

I think I'll wear my gray shirt today. No offense.

I have 3 pages of math homework tonight. No offense

Which is more like a 25% accuracy rate, but math isn't her strong point.

And trust me, the irony of having a child worried about offending people, is not at all lost on me.

1) And, hey, no offense taken. Hypocrite is far from the worst thing ShallowGal got called that day.
2) No offense Noa.
3) According to a recent poll, pickles are the most easily offended condiment.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The 'holy smokes I haven't blogged in a week' edition

Once I read this book. Well technically I read the title of a book. It really made me think. The author makes the bold claim in her title that No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 ideas for your blog.(1) That's why I've been gone for a week; I didn't want to bore you. Plus I've been busy over at Secret Spineless Whine. And just a wee bit sad because Eli is going to be four on Friday and then I'm all out of babies. Bottom line: it was for your own good. SG was no good for anyone.

Now that I've blown all my excuses in one wad, I'm going to share with you the conversation I had with Noa today after school. Which is basically the exact same conversation that we have every fucking day. Ironically about what Noa ate right after lunch. Does anyone care about that?

Noa: I'm Starving. Can I have a snack?

SG: "No, you can't. (2) Fine. This once. What would you like? "

What do we have ?

"We have the same things we always have. How about some fruit?"


"You sure? I have those oranges you like, or maybe some blueberries." (3)

What else is there?

Yogurt. Cheese. Turkey. Oatmeal. (4)

Are there any pop tarts?

Have there ever been any pop tarts?

Yes ! That one time on vacation.

Well that was a one time only thing.

Is there cereal?


What kind?

I don't know. Go look in the pantry.

Never mind, I'm not hungry.
Three kids times three meals + 2 snacks a day times seven days. I told you. It was for your own good.

1) It should be appended to say "unless your name is VUBOQ" because he makes really cool lunches.
2) I make the same "joke" every single time, so I'm not exactly blameless in this debacle.
3) SG is both a fruit whore, spending easily $50 a pop at the produce department and a fruit pimp.
There was a well thought out fruit prostition joke there at one point and I'm leaving the footnote open in case it pops back into my brain.
4) It's not that I don't buy junk food, it's just PCSguy and I hoard it for ourselves.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ShallowGal discovers a cure for Alzheimer's Disease

An article on AOL news today, caught ShallowGal's attention; it claims that drinking apple juice can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.(1) Ironically, SG has been working on a cure of her own.

You see ShallowGal swung by Sunrise today to visit Alzheimer Grandma. (2) All the residents were sitting in a circle in their chairs and wheelchairs. The aide put her hands together in a prayer motion and motioned to be quiet. ShallowGal is familiar with most of the World's major religions and isn't aware of any that worship on a Tuesday morning, but hey, live and learn.

The woman leading the service was colorfully dressed and enthusiastic. She led the mostly sleeping congregation in several prayers and a rousing rendition of Amazing Grace. And, oh yeah I almost forgot, she did the entire thing with her hand shoved up the backside of a giant ostrich puppet.

Not just a regular ostrich puppet either. This two foot tall bird was wearing a jaunty crocheted beret and a large fanny pack to store his Bible. And when the service was over, Oliver (3) kissed each resident on the top the their head and reminded them that they were G-d's favorite child. (4)

So here's my idea: Maybe, just maybe, if we remove ventriloquist ministers from the Alzheimer units, there will be just a little less chaos in those poor people's minds.

Lets see if Tropicana wants to study that.

1) This study may or may not have been sponsored by Tropicana.
2) I swear this isn't going to become one of those dying Alzheimer Grandma blogs that are flooding the internet today. But AG is back in Sunrise under the care of Hospice. Thank you all for your kind comments, tweets and e-mails.
3) Who said to me "But you can call me Ollie." He also had a middle name that I missed and no bloody way I was asking him to repeat it.
4) But when I try to pick a favorite child everyone gets all worked up. G-d gets all the breaks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Will Blog for Swag

ed note: ShallowGal cannot take any credit for the title. It was originally written by SG's former IRL BFF (1) for a joint blogging venture before (2) she got sidetracked by her conservative agenda. We aren't holding that against her, but we also aren't linking to her new project. Hey SG? Passive aggressive much?

It recently occurred to ShallowGal that she needed a swag policy. Because let's get one thing clear; SG started blogging solely for the swag. The creative outlet, awesome friends and sense of community were certainly nice perks but ultimately SG is all about the free crap.

So all you captains of industry, listen up ! If you want a critique of your wares go ahead and send them. ShallowGal and posse (3) will check them out and if we like it, write up a review. If we don't like it, we won't say anything. So you can pretty much be guaranteed no bad press on

Which considering SG has been known to review movies she hasn't even seen, is a pretty good deal all around.

The flip side: ShallowGal's readers are very smart, and just a wee bit suspicious. So when there's no review for, say, an iphone or a Wii Fit, they'll have no choice but to assume you sent it to me and it sucked. Fair enough?

Hey now, blackmail is such an ugly word. Here at ShallowGal we prefer incentivized. Or for the conservatives coming over here to gawk: misunderestimated.

1) Apparently SG is really 13 and texting her blog from her little pink phone
2) b/4
3) if appropriate. SG will also do review grown-up swag sans the posse.