Commercialism at its Finest (?)

I think I realized that commercials were starting to get bizarre about a year ago; around the time back to school commercials were starting to air in 2011. The ones that specifically stick out in my mind are the ones from Target. Do y’all remember the dorky music teacher singing about denim? That damn jingle became the ear-worm from hell for me. I could not get that song out of my head until Christmas.

Then, too, was that same year’s crazy homemaker who spent weeks warming up and training for the Black Friday sale at (where else?) Target.

Fast forward to this year’s back to school season…Not only did Target absolutely deface some of my all time favorite 80’s retro songs, but JCP came out with a bone chilling commercial that I found utterly depressing.

It was still early August out here in “go to the beach” country; the free kids’ cuts in August commercial. They showed this adorable little girl swinging across the rings in a swimsuit, with the wonderful backdrop of the beach. But then the angle shifts, and we see the poor thing finishing her journey on the rings and landing, dressed in her new school clothes, in the school yard and grinning like back to school is just the best! (insert gushing voice here) thing ever! Now, at my age, you know it’s been a good, oh, I don’t know? Ten or fifteen years since a back to school commercial really got under my skin, but this one absolutely did.

Yesterday, as I was sucking down coffee with the Hubs and watching Good Morning America, I heard one of the hosts refer to Black Friday as the “annual orgy of capitalism,” and I literally laughed out loud. You see, this girl avoids retail like the plague pretty much from Thanksgiving until after the new year. Shoppers can be scary this time of year, and while I am generally a pacifist, my mouth has been known to get away from me during rare excursions to my local retail outlet. Let’s be honest. There are only so many times a person can be rammed by shopping carts in a single trip to the store before even the most peace-loving person will go off. Folks are just rude during the holidays! Drives me nuts, so I shop online. Safer for everyone that way, trust me.

I think the commercials that tickle me the most are the ones where people are getting cars for Christmas. Cars? Really? I am happy with a new bathrobe, so a car is inconceivable to me. Johnny, on the other hand, is a little creeped out by the talking exclamation point in the Big Lots commercials. This happy little piece of punctuation is a whole lot more realistic to me than the idea of finding that brand new Benz in the driveway with a big red bow on it. Just sayin’

And Target? For Black Friday, they did not disappoint, again this year. There are two that made me want to switch channels as soon as I saw them the first time, and only one got better the more I heard it, because we both laugh at it. The other? The more I saw it, the more I wanted to throw something at the TV.

So, in honor of the season, I present to you these, in order of preference, if you can call it that:

and

Which commercials do you love this time of year? Which ones can’t you stand? I look forward to seeing what everyone else thinks.

Until Next Time….

Thanksgiving…Again. ALREADY???

Who are you and what have you done with my year?  It sure doesn’t seem like a year since I tried turducken for the first time.

So I have a loaf’s worth of bread cubes drying in the oven for my favorite dressing recipe ever…My mom’s. *insert heart shape here*

There is a 15 pound bird thawing in water in the kitchen sink.

There is chopped celery and an onion in the fridge. Now while that may not seem like a really big deal to you? It is to me. I went to the grocery store last night to snag a bird and the rest of the fixins, and there was not one stalk of celery to be had at the local Food Lion. WTH?  NO CELERY? Two days before Thanksgiving?  UNHEARD of.

I went off to work this morning with that nagging thought in the back of my mind. I even DREAMED about it. Who would have thought that some tasteless zero-calorie veggie wannabe would consume that much of my brain, anyway?

I called home and told Johnny I’d stop at the IGA since it’s right down the way from the hospital. You know, that way he wouldn’t have to go out if he didn’t want to. (Do y’all remember what happened the last time I thought I’d save Johnny a trip to the store?) Fortunately, nothing hit the ground (well, except for the loaf of bread I dropped, but it was going to be cubes, anyway), but what should have been a ten minute excursion took well over thirty minutes.

Note to self: AVOID THE GROCERY STORE ON THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!!!  You would think I’d remember that little detail.  I forgot the injectable marinade I wanted to put into the turkey, but you know what? Too bad. I’ll stick butter under the skin or something…I am so not going back out there.

So the good news is that I’m going to share said recipe with you. While you may not be able to use it this year, you might save it and try it at Christmas or even next year…

Mom’s Turkey Day Dressing

Ingredients:
1 loaf dry bread cubes, cut two days before (or the day before and placed in the oven on “warm” until dried);

1 small onion (diced)
2 or 3 stalks celery (diced)
1/2 stick butter/margarine
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
Turkey giblets & neck

Process:
Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.

Cook giblets, covered completely in water, until done, about 20 minutes. Chop and stir into the bread cubes.

Melt butter, cook celery and onion over medium-low heat until tender. Stir into the bowl of bread cubes. Add poultry seasoning.

Stir in broth from giblets, slowly, until stuffing is moist/wet, but not soggy. 

Transfer mix to a large baking dish (or two small ones) and place in oven with turkey about 45 minutes before the turkey is done. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, then lid off for the final 15 minutes.

Serve with gravy. YUMMMMM!

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So what do y’all think about Black Friday shopping starting so early tomorrow? I think it sucks for the employees. I do 99.9% of my holiday shopping online anymore, anyhow, so these seriously EARLY bird specials and door busters don’t really apply to me (never have, as I avoid retail outlets like the plague during the holidays), but I feel REALLY badly for the people that have to rearrange their family traditions so that they can go to work. As you know, I work at a hospital, and I know that people are going to be working tomorrow. It’s a fact of life that hospitals never close. Neither do police or fire departments. They really don’t have a choice, but retail outlets?

C’mon!  Have we, as a country, been reduced to such a level of commercialism and greed? I know it’s good to have a job, but the holiday season is hard enough on retail employees without taking away their last day of peace before the big C. *sigh*

Ok, I have to go flip the bird, if you will.

To all of my loyal readers, I wish you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Until next time…..

The Good Friday Edition of The Weekly Wrap Up

Image courtesy http://www.homemadecraftsandgift.com. (The blue x’s are courtesy my always mad Photoshop skills.)

So here it is…Our first actual holiday since New Year’s Day. I am waiting for the neighbors’ party to kick into high gear, but it’s early, yet. Only 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Yes, I’m a little late in putting this blog together. Whoops.  Had kind of a rough day. Not feeling too hot, and screwed up dinner. Twice. I tried to recover from botched turkey burgers (they fell apart on the heat, in spite of the binders I put in there) so I figured, I would just break them all up, mix the meat with the rice I had screwed up (don’t ask me how…I never claimed to be able to cook anything correctly since the latter part of 2010), and some cream of mushroom soup. Bzzzt! Wrong answer, but thank you for playing our game. You didn’t really want a burger, anyway. Here, Jules, have a glass of wine and chill out, huh?

Ok, so this week’s wrap up:

I mentioned really cool stuff (ok, and some not so cool) that I found on the Interwebz this week, so I want to follow up on one that I mentioned last night.

I love this youble-thing!

Youble. The online trainer in the cloud and whatnot.  And, yes, I did mosey on over there and create an account. I wanted to take it for a test drive and see if it was all that and a bag of chips. Which, actually, it seemed to be, last night.

Because it was late, and I was tired, I only checked out the cardio-dance module for about ten minutes before it took me down for the count. 🙂 What can I say? I am fat and out of shape. It happens. This morning, before I got all hoarse, snotty, and achey, I tried the “On the Floor” module. Ok, for about ten minutes. When they say “on the floor,” they aren’t bullshitting you. Now, this module is not for you if you cannot put pressure directly on your knee caps, be it from falls or being knocked to your knees after being hit by an exceptionally large dog. This is why I went back to cardio-dance. Oh. My. Gawd! Pain! Sweat (lots of sweat)! I am talking cleavage and and EVERYTHING sweat. THAT was a workout…Once I got it to keep streaming. I initially tried to do this in the spare room/office on an old *ahem* WinXP machine that is relatively close to the wireless router. Now this machine is normally slow, anyhow, but the video was jerky and halting, so I said to heck with it and sucked it up and braved the early April chill and went out to the studio, where the Mac is hardwired to the router and tried again. This is where I found out that the Floor module was not going to be for me. So ten minutes in, I switched, and got through ten minutes of warm up in cardio-dance, at which time the stream stops. I start it again and it starts from the beginning. Three times. So we reboot the router and there are no further issues, and I burned a butt load of calories, which is good because my butt could use a little less something. I am giving youble.com 5 out of 5 stars right now. I signed up for the two week free (yes, you read right – FREE) trial, and if I can continue to love this, I will give up my $30/mo. gym membership for a $9.99/mo youble membership.

I love this site. Please visit and tell me what you found that YOU can’t live without!

Zulily. OMG…I LOVE this site. I ordered from this site, and I’ve pinned on Pinterest from this site.

I am not usually a shop-a-holic (I am a workaholic), but I found this on a Facebook sidebar last week and forgot to share it with y’all. I actually ordered a really cool black and white scarf, some earrings, and…OMG…what the hell else did I order?  Something cute, I’m sure.

Today they had some of the cutest danged flip flops (WITH arches, I might add) that I have ever seen, and if I wasn’t flat broke, I would have ordered a couple of pairs.

The thing is, they have daily deals and short term deals that allow you to purchase at a fraction of the retail price, and they tout it by marketing to moms. You can select what you view by gender and age. REALLY!

The only problem I am really having with this site is that I can’t purchase clothing. I have seen some of THE cutest tops and sundresses ever, for under $20.00, and of course, I can’t buy any, because I have NO idea what size I will actually be wearing in six weeks.

Do you know how hard it is to NOT shop for your upper body when the clothes are so cute you can’t stand it, but you’re not sure if you will be a medium or a large?  It’ll be ok, tho. It’s going to be worth the minor frustration.

On a side note:  Yes, I am still smoke/nicotine free.

No, I am. Really!  On Monday evening it will be three weeks. I haven’t cheated, I haven’t put a patch on, nothing like that. (I really want new boobs, y’all. It’s just THAT important to me!)

Ok, so what else has happened this week?

OH!  Right…the work husband and I actually SPOKE the other day. After having blogged (and had nightmares) about the situation, I finally sucked it up and sent him a message via Facebook that I didn’t know what I’d done to upset him, but hoped that whatever was going on was because of that thing that went down between his boss and me. Turns out that’s exactly what happened. We’re cool. We just can’t play like we used to, apparently. He has his instructions and needs his job, just like I need mine. But for the record? Let me just say how PETTY I think it is when a butt-hurt manager takes out his feelings of whatever on his staff due to his blackballing of the admin support he is going to eventually need just because he got mad?  And was wrong? Dude. Get over it and get a life. I won’t need you, but you might need my staff or me to type something or arrange or schedule something?  I’m not hurting, here. Especially since I found out you told the guys to stay away from me. Rock on, sir, rock on.

Beyond that?  I have made new friends in the blogosphere, whose URL’s and titles I am going to simply HAVE to share with you, because they are just too good to miss:

My Convertible Life – This is a fellow Solara convertible driver from my neck of the woods whose blog I can’t seem to stay away from.

Cloud of Lace – Just an amazing blogger who appreciates the finer things in life…and good recipes, which I will try as soon as I recover from the botched turkey burger fiasco. Go check her out. She is AMAZING!

Snarky in the Suburbs – This lady is another one of my heroes. She has brass balls, I swear!  That is all I’m going to say, except that you really need to read the series of blogs about Undercover Snarky and how she handles a bizarre PTO situation. Appealing to moms and snarksters everywhere!

Ok, so on that note, since I am in a foul mood, as I’ve still not had a burger (I canNOT believe I am trying to lose weight whilst not smoking…I AM nuts…), I’m closing for now.

Until Next Time…