Follow Janet On Twitter!





Archive for February, 2008

Stupid Buy of the Week

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Welcome to a new series of mine that will document my most idiotic purchases. This is my new effort to curb my reckless behavior. I am a junk addict. I buy WAY too much crap that I will never be able to possibly use and most of it is just plain dumb. I must be cured eventually or there will be no room left in my house, my garage, my closets, under my parents’ house, under our rental, in my sister’s attic and all the other places where my crap is scattered throughout the universe. My stuff addiction must end.

So I’ve figured out a new way to cure myself. Public humiliation. Then I’ll write a book about my addition cure. Sell the technique to others and make millions—yeah! Yeah! I’ll be rich! Then I can buy anything I want!!! Oh. Right. A-hem.

This week’s Stupid Buy? Okay, so I’m in Target and I’m goin’ along lookin’ for new bath rugs and suddenly, I’m in the toy section and there’s a stuffed animal in my hands. It happened that fast. Totally scary. It said, “Buy me, Janet. You want me. I will soothe some deeply disturbed psychological part of you.” So I put the goddamned thing in my cart. Even though there were a cacophony of other voices yelling at me. “Don’t buy that stupid thing! What in God’s name are you doing, woman! You already have no room for your Ugly Dolls, where exactly are you going to put that?” Blah, blah, blah.

Not only did I have voices in my head shouting at me to put it back, my husband was there with an actual voice encouraging me to put it back. But since I’ve known myself forever and my husband for almost as long, I ignored us both. And Frank has little credibility in the Stupid Purchases Department. Especially when he holds the record for bringing home the Biggest Kitchen Appliances in the Universe in Multiples (two popcorn poppers, two crock-pots, two bread machines—big things always come in twos with him). And this day at Target I had to stop him from buying a ten-quart crock-pot. (Yet another crock-pot to replace the other two he’s bought in recent years. He’s searching for the perfect one.) But he’s another column. Back to me.

Short story, before I knew it, the stuffed animal was in my office at home. I had lost the battle.

Oh, maybe I should fill you in on exactly WHAT stuffed animal I recklessly and wantonly bought. You know that character in Shrek? The cat? The one Antonio Banderas voiced. I think the character’s name was Cat. See? I don’t even know the freakin’ character’s name and I bought a f**king stuffed animal in the shape of that dumb cat in that stupid movie. I don’t know why. Okay, obviously, first impulse was “It’s sooooo cute!” You know, those big eyes, cute face, the boots. I have no idea what the second impulse was because the first impulse won. But even I have to admit I sunk low on this one. I now own a dumb piece of material stuffed with polyester in the shape of a cat FROM A MOVIE no less. Nothing original for me. Strictly commercial. There are only 352,498,733 others in existence. Could I have found anything less interesting? I seriously doubt it.

Okay so I get home with it and I’m furious with myself. Not only did I feel like I had a total stupid attack, I finally got a really good look at my new purchase. It looks like it was sewn together by first-graders in art class. One eyeball is lower than the other, the nose… well, that’s just totally messed up. Looks like Karl Malden’s nose. I mean, entirely mutilated. The cat’s mouth is squished on one side; it looks like the cat had a fight with the sewing machine and the sewing machine won. One cheek is half the size of the other. One side of his head is flatter and smaller than the other. It’s a mongoloid cat. Quasimodo Kitty. Developmentally challenged. And I bought it.

At first I reasoned that I would leave it in the packaging and give it to a niece or nephew, some small child. That way I’d be saved. Or I’d bring it back to Target. As it so happened the rugs I bought at Target that day didn’t work in the bathroom the way I thought they would. So I had to bring them back, bringing back the cat would be no problem. Then, suddenly, I don’t know how it happened, but the cat was out of its wrapping and I was stuck with it. I was stumped. What part of me wanted the thing? Why didn’t I take it back? How could it possibly give me comfort?

Analysis (Have you noticed how analysis starts with the word anal?): Inner Child With A Credit Card. Bad, bad, inner child. I must not have had enough crap as a child. Not enough purchasing power. Not enough toys. Not enough education in the practice of self-restraint.

On the plus side, the cat’s fur feels really good. It is cute. And soft. And I figured something else out. Another key to the mystery of why I bought this stupid thing.

When I look at it, I hear Antonio Bandera’s voice in my head.

In conclusion, I believe I bought the inane stuffed animal due to: unresolved childhood issues, a fondness for soft things, a fondness for Antonio Banderas (who we hope is not soft) and a fondness for the cartoon character. Add a sprinkle of irrational behavior, a dash of hormonal imbalance and there you have it. Motive, opportunity, disaster.

Stupid Buy of the Week Price tag: $ 7.99 plus .66 tax = $ 8.65

On the Stupid Scale From One to Ten: I grade this buy as a five. I can still give it to a kid, it’s soft and cute and I didn’t spend that much on it.

Stay tuned. I will be cured.

©2008, Janet Periat (this is an automatic tag that I can’t seem to stop myself from adding no matter what I freakin’ write these days. Frank always wants to know why my shopping list has a copyright…)

The Bag Lady of San Mateo

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

As I was walking home from Safeway, I caught my reflection in the windows of a bank. I looked like a homeless person. It was cold today so I had on big, thick, cargo sweat pants, a sweatshirt, and a coat over that and a hat. Since every other female I encountered had on high heels, a dress or a suit and a nice jacket—with the ubiquitous cell phone attached to one ear— I swear, I looked like I was getting provisions for my night under the freeway overpass.

I have still not adjusted to suburban living. When I lived on the Coastside, no one I knew dressed up to go to town during the day. Unless we were continuing on to some suburban location. We didn’t bother to dress well because our outfit was sure to be destroyed on the mud-filled journey to town. Normally, we would all show up at the post office in our normal winter garb: jeans with mud stains on the backs of our calves from getting out of the car, muddy mismatched shoes (because in dark forested places, brown looks just like black), shirts with stains on them (again, no light to illuminate the coffee stains) with some huge coat (also with a bit of mud on it). When we greeted each other, no one noticed what the other was wearing. The only time we’d say “Hey, you look great!” was on that off chance one of us was wearing makeup. The rest of the time we didn’t notice anything, we were just happy to see another living human being. (Winter can be very isolating in the forest.)

Now I am surrounded by humans all of the time. And these humans dress up, have super nice cars and actually pay lots of attention to both their dress and their cars no matter what time of year it is. I soooo don’t fit in. I do not get my identity from my car. Which is good because I have a crappy American car, which would mean I was trying to project the image of a crappy American. And considering what I was wearing out in public today, I guess my car fits me exactly. It just doesn’t fit my new ‘hood.

Of course, it’s painfully obvious I don’t fit in my new neighborhood. As I take my daily walks, I notice all the nice houses and nice cars parked in front. The nice people come outside, they are all dressed in new Nordstrom’s clothes carrying their Dooney and Bourke purses or leather briefcases, wearing their Jimmy Choo shoes. They get into their Mercedes or BMW or Bentley or Porsche or Humvee or Volvo and drive off to work. I get up, throw on some sweats and I’m out the door for my morning walk. In all my bag lady glory. I feel like a serf among kings. Even though I’m well aware that my neighbor’s displays of wealth could all be for show and they could be in debt up to their eyeballs. At least, this is what I tell myself.

What’s weird is that I actually really live here. I actually sort of belong here. I was born here and went to grammar school here. And I just bought a house here. Which by definition makes you belong. Of course, my house isn’t the fanciest nor will it be. I don’t get my identity from my house either, so you can imagine what it looks like. No, not a giant Dumpster. Actually, it’s a pretty non-descript rancher. Your basic house. But I still feel like I don’t belong. I still feel like any day now, someone is going to come to the door, identify themselves as the Suburban Image Police and give me a ticket and a map of all the places I should be living. Like under a freeway overpass.

I think some of my issues regard the fact that I walk everywhere. Now that I live within walking distance of everything, I’m walking to the store and the bank instead of driving. We pulled out in our car the other day and a neighbor said, “Hey, I didn’t know you owned a car. I see you guys walking everywhere.” I thought, great. Even the neighbors think we’re poor.

In this town, no one walks by choice. It is assumed you don’t have a car or enough money for a car if you are seen walking (unless you are walking a dog.) So today, while I wore my bag lady outfit and was carrying groceries home from Safeway, I felt like everyone on El Camino took pity on me. “Poor thing, look what she’s wearing—ugh! And she’s actually walking—double ugh! And she’s carrying her groceries—triple ugh! It’s so sad, so very, very sad. I wish something could be done for those people. I hope that woman gets shelter for the night. And I hope all to hell she doesn’t try to sleep in MY driveway.”

I always want to shout, “Hey I live here, I actually own a house and car, don’t worry, I won’t steal from you!” I’m also worried that I’ll run into someone I know while I’m trudging along El Camino with my groceries. “Janet’s homeless? I knew she couldn’t afford that house in San Mateo!”

I think I’ve got image-itis. I never thought about what I looked like before I moved here. If I’m going out now, I wear make-up. I never used to wear make-up unless I was coming to San Mateo and now since I live here, I’m going through Clinique like water. Except for today. Today I didn’t wear any make-up and went to Safeway anyway. I just left on my sunglasses. So I bumped around Safeway in the dark, looking for milk because I was too self-conscious to take off my stupid sunglasses.

I miss the Coastside way of dismissing exteriors. Coastsiders generally don’t judge books by their covers. A person’s interior is what really matters in a small town. Everyone knows who you are, knows what you do and judges you based upon that, not upon what you wear or drive. I remember being at a party where the richest person of Pescadero and the toothless guy who worked on our septic tanks were engaged in conversation, both seemingly unaware of the significance. They lived in Pescadero, they were neighbors, it was all that mattered. On the Coastside people realize how dependent they are on their neighbors. It gives them a feeling of connection and community that those in the overly populous areas do not experience.

Which is the best part of living on the Coastside. But then there’s the trade-offs. Like having reliable access to your home. Reliable access to electricity. Reliable access to water. Not to mention high speed Internet access. Or being within walking distance of seventy plus restaurants. Food delivery. Being able to walk a few blocks, hop a train, then hop on Bart and be in Chinatown in forty-five minutes. Or being able to take any class you want and it’s ten minutes away. Or take a cab to SFO and fly anywhere in the world you want. After twenty plus years of living on the coast, I feel like I’ve been let out of a cage.

So basically, it comes down to this: in return for scads of new opportunities, I’ve given up the freedom to dress casually and not be mistaken for a bag lady. I guess I’m okay with that.

Besides, maybe someday one of these Gucci-clad people will mistakenly hand me some money. Could really help with our new mortgage.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I was kind of joking in this column when I said I was worried about people I knew recognizing me as I walked along El Camino, coming home from Safeway. I mean, San Mateo has 100,000 people in it. Guess what? I HAVE been noticed walking home from Safeway on El Camino by old neighbors from the Coast. And yes, I did look like I was homeless…

©2007 Janet Periat

The Real Truth

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

WARNING: This is not a humor column. But it was a story I wanted to share with you. I hope this posting finds you well, happy and loved.


I’m emotionally wasted. My eyes are stinging and dry from crying. My heart is heavy. But I feel a sense of joy and gratitude I haven’t felt in a long time.

My friend Dany died last Wednesday at fifty-four years old. He lost a seven-year battle with leukemia. They gave him six months, he lasted six and a half years beyond that. Today, at his service, I saw why.

There was more love in that tiny old building that I’ve seen anywhere, ever. The people who spoke, what they said, the service wasn’t somber, it was a celebration of someone very special. While we all cried throughout, it was clear we were celebrating Dany. What he gave to his family and the world around him. His father spoke, his mother spoke, his best friend led the ceremony; another good friend played a song he’d written for him. His wife spoke. His son, Bronson, spoke.

It was after his son spoke that I saw the true heart of Dany Walker. He raised his son to be a man. And today, I saw a boy I’ve known since he was five step into the shoes of an adult. Today, Bronson became a man at twenty.

Quiet, self-confident, Bronson spoke of how recently his father told him that he was ready to face life without him. That he’d brought him up and he’d made sure he’d be okay. He told his son he was ready to stand on his own. That his job was done.

Dany was diagnosed with leukemia seven years ago. He fought with every fiber of his being to stay for six and a half more years. He wasn’t done. Bronson was still a boy, his wife Peggy, needed him. Dany had more to do. So he endured more pain, more procedures and more time in the hospital than is nearly humanly possible. And he did it all for his son and for his Peggy, the love of his life.

Dany and Peggy shared an extraordinary bond. It is rare to witness a love such as these two shared. Rare. They gazed at each other as if they shared a secret; a joyous, passionate secret. They gave off love like a blast furnace gives off heat. Not only do I grieve the loss of this wonderful man, I grieve for the loss of that connection. A connection so rare and so powerful, most people don’t get the privilege to experience it. But Dany and Peggy were blessed.

They ended their time together much in the same way they started it. Holding each other, loving each other. It was just the two of them, alone in their bedroom. He was weak, his sturdy frame reduced to a mere eighty-five pounds. Peggy held him. He said, “I feel a string, it’s pulling on me, pulling on me.” She said, “No reason to stay honey, you go on.” A minute or so later, he died, right there in her arms. Peggy was so grateful to be there. So grateful to hold him to the end. So grateful she’d been able to have seven more years with him. So grateful for every moment she got to spend with him.

Funerals are for the living. They are a place to mourn, a place to celebrate, a place to reflect on our own lives. The service today slapped me in the face. I’ve been brooding lately; dealing with some childhood issues in therapy; my husband has been out of work for some time, our savings are dwindling; we’re scared. But what I saw today reminded me that all my fears are meaningless. What I realized today is that none of the things I’ve been worried about mean anything. What I realized today is that I have what Peggy and Dany shared. My connection to my husband is amazing. He truly is a dream. He’s strong and capable and funny and witty and charming and he loves me like no one else ever has. No one looks at me the way he does. No one but him.

And today, I got to go home with my husband to our home. Peggy went home to an empty bed; a closet full of Dany’s clothes; drawers still full of his things. A home full of memories, a home they built together. While the son is down the hall tonight, the other rooms are filled with relatives from out of town, shortly, everyone will return to their lives, leaving Peggy to pick up the pieces of hers. She’ll return home after work and Dany will not be there. On her birthday, he won’t be there to cook her a fantastic meal, tell her how much he loves her. She will live out her life without Dany by her side. While I believe eventually she’ll find companionship, the new man will not be Dany.

But I still have my Frank. Frank will be there when I wake up and when I go to bed at night. He’ll be eating all my chocolate, making faces at me on the other side of the glass when I’m cleaning the windows. He’ll be there to hold me when I get a rejection letter from a publisher. He will be there.

And I am so very grateful. So incredibly grateful. All my problems lessened today. Today I realized that I have no problems.

It’s a perspective I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to go back to taking things for granted. I want to realize how special today is. I want to feel grateful when I take my daily walk with Frank by my side. I want to feel grateful even when he pisses me off and I feel like clobbering him over the head with something. I want to realize how special and wonderful every day is with him. How lucky I am.

And I want to thank Dany Walker for waking me up to the Real Truth: there is only one real thing in our world. It is our connection to others. Period. All the rest is bulls**t.

My love and prayers go out to Dany’s widow and his son, step-daughter and son-in-law; his parents and family and friends; to everyone who was blessed enough to have the man touch their lives. And I want to thank Dany for being such a great friend to me; such a great father to my friend Bronson; such a great husband to my friend Peggy and such a great person in general.

If only all of us could have such a legacy.

©2008, Janet Periat

A Hopeless Unromantic

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

My husband is not a romantic. Every holiday where he is supposed to buy me something causes him great stress. Take Valentine’s Day. Which happens to be today. He woke up this morning upset that it was Valentine’s Day. He wants the whole holiday to disappear. He informed me that he hadn’t got me anything and he hoped I was okay with it. I wasn’t, but… what could I do?

Since we’ve been married now for 16 years (our anniversary is tomorrow), I know he loves me. He shows me this everyday when we wake up. As soon as he sees that I’m awake and we meet gazes, he lights up and beams a thousand-watt smile at me. He is the only one in the world who has ever looked at me this way. Not the dozen or so suitors before him, nor my ex ever looked at me this way. Frank, no doubt, loves me dearly.

However, the man absolutely HATES buying me things. Loathes, despises and abhors buying me things. He hates Valentine’s Day, Christmas, my birthday and our anniversary. In the weeks preceding any of the aforementioned holidays, any reference to the holiday makes his body grow rigid. His handsome features harden; his shoulders droop; a blackish cloud forms over his head. He heaves a sigh, then faces me, hands folded in lap. “Please outline your exact expectations for this holiday,” he requests, looking like he’s ordering his last meal before his execution.

Since I am used to all this loathing— but still want presents despite his decidedly glum approach—I normally tell him exactly what I expect. I have no idea why he can’t figure this out. We’ve been together for TWENTY BLOODY YEARS. Yet, with each holiday, he treats it like it’s a whole new form of torture I’ve devised for him.

When I tell him what I want (which are usually surprises or I might as well go buy myself something, a card and sign it for him) his face falls, he sighs and he jots down some notes like he’s filling out a tax form. He nods, miserable, throws the note aside and dives into a search on the Internet on one of his favorite topics to cleanse himself of the unpleasantness. Then I don’t know what he does. But on the morning of the occasion, I find nicely wrapped gifts waiting for me. Or nothing and a wad of excuses about how he had no time to shop, the stores were too busy, the dog ate his wallet, etc, etc. and another wad of promises that he will get me something. The present shows up eventually. He’s never let me down without “permission”. But he still treats the whole thing as if he’s getting a root canal without anesthesia.

What is wrong with him? How bloody hard is it to go to a freakin’ store—since we are mere blocks from ALL of them—and pick me up something?  Every holiday he asks what I want as if he’s just met me. I tell him the same thing every year. Look at my office. Hard rock, skulls, a freakin’ dirt clod in the shape of a heart, dude. Anything. Ever heard of FLOWERS?

I have to give him credit, he used to bring me flowers weekly. I was very touched by this until he told me why he bought them. Because there was a guy who had a little stand at the exit to the parking lot where he worked. He got them because the man practically threw them in the car as he was driving by. What the hell was he doing, telling his wife that the only reason he bought the flowers was because he drove right by the stand? How can he be this dense?

But my Frank is an honorable man. He never exaggerates the truth. He doesn’t believe in platitudes. He doesn’t believe in little white lies to make me feel good. He always tells me the unvarnished truth. While it works great for communication on large issues, it SUCKS for romance. What would cause any man to tell his wife that the only reason he bought her flowers was because he couldn’t avoid the seller?

I am astounded by this aspect of my husband. Sure, I get it. I understand he doesn’t want to be railroaded by some large corporation and blackmailed into buying me some stupid Valentine crap. He is a corporate rebel like I am. Which is why we get along so well. But Frank seems to go way out of his way to avoid being romantic. He seems to think our relationship is above and beyond all these petty displays of affection. What counts is that he loves me, nurtures me, supports me and listens to my rambling monologues about the pros and cons of dying my hair colors not found in nature. And I agree, I think the media hypes Valentine’s Day and makes it a Guilt Fest for Guys. A National Day of Emotional Blackmail. Buy me those freakin’ diamonds, buddy, or you don’t get any.

Okay, granted, Frank is in almost all ways, a great husband. He brings me icepacks for my injuries when I fall off my scooter, he formatted my books and put them online, he does the laundry. These are all huge pluses. But come on. Who else is gonna get me a freakin’ Valentine? No one, that’s who. Now that I have a husband who considers himself above these tacky holidays, I don’t get Valentines or chocolates or flowers unless I put a gun to his head, tell him what store to buy them, the exact size box, everything.

This year, I really wanted a box of Godiva chocolates for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a box of Godiva chocolates. I’ve bought them for my mother, but no one has ever bought me any. So I asked Frank for one. You’d think I asked for a freakin’ gold-plated Humvee. His brow furrowed, he frowned. “How much are THOSE?” he asked acidly. Then he went on a tirade about what a ripoff Godiva was and how over-priced their chocolates were. How pretentious. He glumly agreed and threw the catalog I handed him onto a chair and turned back to his computer, muttering about how stupid Valentine’s Day was. Lucky for him, he got sick for the two weeks preceding Valentine’s Day. Two days ago, I let him off the hook. He looked like he won the lottery. He practically danced all the way to his office. And he was still sick.

I still can’t believe how blind he is to this stupid need of mine. I. Write. Romance. Novels. Yet this tells him NOTHING? People who write romance novels are hopeless romantics. All the heroes in my books buy their girlfriends and wives lavish gifts without being asked or railroaded into it. They actually enjoy it. They like making their women happy. They do it for the sheer pleasure of seeing their lovers happy. They don’t need a gun put to their head. They anticipate the holidays; they don’t even ask what she wants. They observe her and can tell what she’d like. They bring her flowers spontaneously. Jewelry. Cars. And this is all within six months of the relationship. All my heroes are romantic fools.

Unfortunately, these men only reside in my imagination. I honestly don’t think they really exist outside of romance novels. I think the idea of a romantic male is a myth. And, I do really get this. I know if I put real men into my books, my novels would never freakin’ sell and no woman would want to read them. Heavy sigh.

So here I am, on a Valentine’s Day with no card, no flowers, no candy, no nothing. Tomorrow is my anniversary. Yet another day without any recognition. We will be going out to lunch, that will be nice, but unfortunately, I will have to do without a gift—you aren’t going to believe this. Frank just walked in and handed me a chocolate rose.

Now I can’t even complain about him. See? He bought me that just to torture me. Just to negate this whole column. This is what’s wrong with marriage. Right when you have them pegged, right when you’re sure you have them proven wrong and unjust, they turn around and surprise you. Jerks.

Now I feel like a total ungrateful selfish bitch. Probably because in the scheme of things, complaining about Frank not buying me stupid crap IS ungrateful and selfish.

This is the seamy underside of marriage. It messes with your mind. You get all caught up in these stupid made-up holidays and someone tells you that your mate is supposed to shower you with meaningless gifts and that will prove his love to you. I blame society! I blame the advertisers! I am not selfish, I have been brainwashed!

All right. I’m going to go eat my chocolate and hope I don’t choke on it. Stupid Valentine’s Day. Now I really hate it. And tomorrow is our anniversary. My present to Frank will be NO MORE SILLY EXPECTATIONS.

‘Course a small token of appreciation for sixteen years of marriage wouldn’t be a bad thing…

©2008, Janet Periat

When The Chips Are Down

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I buy stupidly expensive potato chips. We all have our vices. However, I just discovered that, for some reason, I have been buying the hype about my premium potato chips. Before today, I believed that somehow my chips were not only tastier and better made than average potato chips but classier. I believed that the sophisticated manufacturer of my chips didn’t waste bag space on useless advertising slogans—their sales techniques were understated and refined. Just like their customers.

Which, I have just realized, makes me an idiot not only because I’ve wasted good money on one of the cheapest vegetables on the market but because I have succumbed to the pretentious chip manufacturer’s stupid marketing pap. Just now, as I was stuffing my face with their chips, I actually read the bag. The last time I was this disappointed was when I was seven and found out that Captain Kangaroo was neither a real Captain nor a real person but some actor named Bob (I’d already figured out he wasn’t a real kangaroo—I was quite an astute child).

On the front of the bag of my expensive chips, under the title and the sumptuous picture of tantalizing chips, is a box with this proud proclamation stated in large letters: 25% MORE CHIPS. On closer inspection, below this wonderful news that I’m getting a bunch more chips, is this statement written in very small letters. “Than Our 6 OZ Chips.” Uh. Wait. It doesn’t say 25% more for the same price. It just says 25% more than 6 OZ Chips. Which means I didn’t get a bargain at all, I just paid more for a bigger bag of chips. This is the manufacturer’s big sales pitch. It’s a bigger bag. Priced higher. This is their huge news flash.

I feel so let down. I expected more out of these people. I expect Nabisco to be lying to me and making ridiculous claims about their products. “Now! Cheesier!’ I expect Frito-Lay to be splashing their bags with ludicrous marketing nonsense. “New! Different Packaging!” But I expected more out of my high class snack purveyors. I eat their fancy schmancy chips and pay their fancy schmancy price with the idea that they are selling me a better product. They don’t need to resort to using inane sales techniques on me, their target customer, because I am refined, sophisticated and classy. I buy their pretentious potato chips because I am a gourmet snack connoisseur. In more common terms, I am a snack snob. Basically, I buy expensive beer and expensive chips because I can’t afford an expensive house and an expensive car. Buying gourmet chips is the way I get my self esteem. And now the manufacturer has failed me. They’ve crossed a boundary. They have now fallen in my eyes, I might as well be eating Doritos. (Which I eat on occasion when I feel like slumming. Also because Doritos are so frickin’ tasty even though they contain more chemicals than a hair treatment.)

On second glance at this bag, I am now feeling humiliated. These chips aren’t understated and classy, they are showy and dishonest. “Exotic Vegetable Chips” they proclaim. Exotic? Potatoes? This is like saying Velveeta is a “Rare Imported French Cheese.” The use of the word “exotic” is an outright lie. Parsnips (also in the bag) are not exotic, they are commonplace and cheap. Tawdry, even.

Now, after closely studying the copy on the bag, I am past humiliated, I’m on a downward spiral. I think I might need a snack chip intervention. Here’s my new favorite part of the sales pitch on the bag:

“Our chips combine the beautiful colors and delicious flavors of the earth’s own vegetables into the perfect accompaniment for most cuisines.”

Escargot and potato chips, anyone? I’d love my satay and curry with a side of potato chips. Sushi and potato chips, always a great combo. Filet Mignon with Béarnaise sauce, asparagus tips… and potato chips. I’m sure everyone who is shelling out a couple hundred for dinner at a fancy restaurant would be thrilled to see their entree coming out with a big pile of potato chips next to it. Not only are these chip charlatans liars, they are DELUSIONAL. Svengali bastards who hypnotized me into believing I was a better person because I bought their stupid chips. I hate them.

Even the ingredient list is pretentious. “Ingredients: A seasonal mix of root vegetables…” What? What season are they talking about? These chips are available all year round. Liars! Wasting perfectly good words hyping the stupid ingredient list! Am I supposed to feel better now for paying four bucks for a bag of chips instead of two? Because they’re using high falutin language fit only for a five star chi-chi restaurant? These are chips, people! Just potato chips! Chips that used to boost my self esteem, but now, after actually reading the bag, have made me feel like a fool. I am now in a self esteem deficit, just from buying a bag of chips. I think I’m going to get myself a lawyer. These people must pay. If some moron sued McDonald’s for serving hot coffee that was actually hot, I can certainly get some money for emotional suffering from buying hoity-toity potato chips in packaging riddled with lies.

I have decided to write my own copy for this particular bag of chips. Ripoff Chips—Overpriced Pretentious Potato Chips In Fancy Schmancy Packaging. 25% More Hype Than Other Brands! Ingredients: Plain ol’ potatoes, parsnips and some other common root vegetables that are cheap to buy and cheap to process but because we have hyped them so well we have convinced a bunch of deluded people who get their self esteem from buying overpriced snack foods to pay up the butt for stupid potato chips enabling us to retire to our own private South Seas Islands. Stay tuned for our next product: Florida Swamp Condos or Water-Based Luxury Dwellings For The Sophisticated Buyer. Free waders included in every sale!

Damn… I finished the bag. I’ll be right back. I have to go to the store for chips and beer. Uh… you got a fifty on you?

Banner Ads Will Never Appear Here

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Okay, so I’m all screwed up on vernacular. I just changed my last post because I finally realized that I had been referring to a blog element as a banner ad and that’s not what I meant. I meant, a clickable link to another blog or blog portal, that may or may not have graphics involved other than just a text link. The one I was referring to was Technorati’s banner link thingy.

I personally have a case against those stupid banner ads they annoy us with on Yahoo. You have to wait for the dancing Weight Watchers snack cake to stop dancing to get your mail. I hate those things. They tortured me with the dancing guys, the surprised office worker, all that animated CRAP that makes me want to punch advertising face. All I want is my mail. AO HELL does the same thing. Oh, you want your mail? Well, you have to pay! Muahahahaha!

So, don’t worry. No banner ads here. Just clickable link thingys to websites and blogs I really like.

Thanks to Brian Hines for waking me up!

Blog Links Vex Me

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Sometimes such a simple thing will make you feel incredibly stupid. Like starting a blog. You know those click-through banner link things (like for Technorati and other blog portals) normal people have on their blogs? They shouldn’t be a problem to stick up there, should they? Well, they aren’t to most people. But then again, as I am figuring out, I am not most people.

Banner link-things vex me. I’ve read all kinds of postings how to do them, and somehow the information doesn’t quite match up with what I see when I go in to post on my blog. I think technology makes these leaps forward about oh… every minute or so. If you step out to take a walk, when you come back the technology is suddenly incomprehensible. Instructions are given to people with the assumption of a certain knowledge base. Basically, techie people are assuming the user has been keeping up with the minute-by-minute advances. In my case, this assumption is wrong. I feel like a second grader being dropped into the middle of a graduate computer class at Harvard.

I blame my Luddite-ness on my husband. (See my book How To Make Your Life Suck, Chapter One, Avoiding Accountability for tips on how to blame others for your problems.) For twenty years, when I ran into a problem with my computer (which when I tried to do anything other than using Word or send an email), I would go “FRANK?! Could you come in here? I don’t get this! This f**king thing is f**ked up!” And Frank would dutifully come in and magically make my computer work.

So now I know nothing and I started a blog and have a website. Which seems extremely short-sighted on my end right now.

The guy who built my website, Justin Knupp, is going to try to help me with this link thingy problem.

I pity him.

Site maintained by Laideebug Digital
Laideebug Digital