Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: PURPLE!

Yes, yes, I know it's Wednesday. I've just got a busy few days coming up, so I thought I'd get this up now while I can.

So, I keep hearing that the new fall color is red. Now I love me some red, so that would be cool with me. But then why is it that there is nothing but purple out there? If you had asked me last month what I thought about purple, I'd be all "meh, it's cool and all, but nothing flashy."

Color me excited when I went searching at Nordstrom's for a dress to wear to a wedding and came up with this purple-y goodness:

And this awesome bag, which I didn't buy with any intention of matching the dress and I'm still not sure I'd carry the two together, but how awesome is it?? It's the perfect size and weight. And it was a Nine West outlet purchase for $40, so the perfect price, too! My conscience won't allow me to buy purses more than $50 because I become fickle after a season and they're relegated to my closet.

What's your favorite fall purchase? And don't forget to check out last week's post for my Shutterfly give-away!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are YOU Happier Than You Think You Are?

I found this article on the 9 signs you’re happier than you think really interesting. Sometimes life gets so busy, we don’t think about if we’re really happy or not. Or, maybe more accurately, how happy we are. I know I’m happy to have my husband, baby, family…even my crazy puppy! I am blessed to have a house and a job. But those things take up so many mundane minutes of your life, you don’t think about it. Hmmm…I’m really happy.

Anyway, the signs that you’re happier than you think are:

1. You were a smiley student

2. You have a sister

3. You’re not glued to the TV

4. You keep souvenirs on display

5. You make exercise a priority

6. You have a healthy love life

7. You hang out with happy people

8. You stay warm with hot cocoa

9. You have two best friends

For me some are better than others. I don’t have a sister, but I do have people in my life who have taken that role. I definitely watch too much TV. But I have a few best friends in my life who have been there through thick and thin, and my mantle is full of souvenirs, including these guys (wax animals I got at the zoo on an early date with Scott).

The one that made me stop and think was #7. This is something that has drastically changed in my 30s. In my 20s, I desperately wanted to fit in. I didn’t really find my place in high school after switching schools halfway through. I was a guppie in a huge pond in college. I found my friends and I had people who loved me, but I was always desperate for attention.

My first job in my 20s happened to have a host of new graduates like myself. There was a group of maybe 5 or 6 of us, and they were the “cool girls.” They had a line on all the cool places, all the new drinks, wore only the best clothes. And for once, they liked me. I wasn’t outside looking in, I was part of them. Or trying to be.

To me, it was like something out of a sitcom or a book…I was a young single girl about town! And I got very caught up in it. I never thought if I liked the girls. They liked me, or seemed to, so I bought into the group mentality.

About a year in, two things happened. The first was that we started to splinter within the clique. There was one girl in particular that the other girls would tell me was too full of drama. My intense fear of being the one they talked about next led me to oust her just as quickly as the others.

Then 9/11 came and a few of my friends’ jobs were threatened by the economic downturn. They began talking about our company as a sinking ship and sought to drag me down with their rhetoric.

I didn’t think I paid it any mind, but eventually I noticed I was less happy at work, that I started looking for holes in the sinking ship. And eventually I moved on. It wasn’t a bad career move, but it was definitely motivated by some of the wrong things.

I’m embarrassed to say my desire to be liked continued, and maybe even got worse, after I returned to my childhood town in my mid-20s. I met a girl who I thought was really cool. She just seemed to have a personality, something I just still didn’t feel I had. I just wasn’t sure there was anything discernible about me. But there was about this girl and when she reached out to me as a friend, I jumped at the chance.

I have a confession. When I meet someone I admire, or want to be friends with, I get total verbal diarrhea. I don’t know why I do this. I just start telling my life story without thinking. And it’s obvious that I want someone to lead me. I tend to imprint like a baby duck on a mommy duck…or a random monkey, whoever will lead me.

From day 1 she was very negative about dating and work. I followed her advice to the letter like a good little duckie, and looking back I sabotaged myself in both areas. She filled me with distrust and dislike for other people, and I never saw it coming because she embraced me at a time when I really needed new friends who liked me for whoever I thought I was becoming. Now, of course I was responsible for my own actions. But I let her lead me down a road of such self-protection that I faced the world with my arms crossed. Her approval was emotional currency for me, and I was getting rich!

In fact, before our friendship took an abrupt turn, I had met Scott and he later told me that he felt I was not at all interested in him. The truth was, of course, that I was! I liked him a lot, and I saw him as great long-term potential (hey, I was self-conscious, not stupid!). But I had studied Negative Nelly and learned not to tip my hand that way so early on. So I went in thinking I was aloof when in fact I was frosty.

Fortunately for me, our friendship ended shortly after that when I expressed my feelings about a topic she was not at all interested in hearing about…basically, her negativity about relationships and how she approached them. I hadn’t really let go of a close friendship like that before, and I realized how important it was to actually cast people out my life. I tried very hard to keep the relationship and I was rebuffed repeatedly, until I realized how much work I was putting in to a friendship that really hadn’t done anything for me except make me view the world as a rebel force out to get me.

Since that time, I have been very careful to surround myself with happy people. Now, I don’t run around with a bunch of Suzy Sunshines, don’t get me wrong. We have real lives, and so real feelings. But they are people who mostly view the good in life, and in people. And when they face the world, they do so with arms wide open.

So, are you happier than you think you are? Do you agree with this list?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Shutterfly's Idiot-Proof Photo Book Process

Two days after I got back from my solo vacation to Cape Cod with Wee ‘Burb, I got a notice from my favorite photo site, Shutterfly. It was a coupon for a free photo book! I was elated because my mother had taken over 100 pictures a day and I had planned a great book with all the beach and food pictures. What can I say, my mother loves to take pictures of people with food in their mouths. This time, Wee 'Burb was the victim instead of me. Win for all.

The catch? I had 24 hours to complete it. Allow me to elaborate: it took me two months to put together our wedding album, and I still have our honeymoon album half done. I got married two years ago. 24 hours is just…well it’s mission: impossible.

But I’m cheap. So I set forth and decided if it took me all night, I would get this free album!! So I set to work creating backgrounds (Shutterfly has an awesomely overwhelming set of backgrounds) and my book size and all that, and then I noticed something different. They had a storyboard option for the photo book.

You guys, this is genius! It’s like they heard my cries of “how the heck am I going to do this in 24 hours” and they answered with “why, just go ahead and drag your pictures to this here storyboard and we’ll take care of the formatting.”

I like this option so much better than letting them put together the album. I really wanted to pick my pictures, and put them in a certain order. But for me what has always taken time is choosing a layout and trying to fit the pictures into the layout. The storyboard option picks the best layout based on the pictures you put in there. MAGICAL!

You can go back and change things, of course. I like to keep my backgrounds fairly consistent, so I did go back and fix those so they were all the same. But all in all it took me three hours to make a 20-page photo book!

So later when Shutterfly contacted people and asked them to blog about their experience, I jumped at the chance! I know there are a lot of photo sites out there, but of the ones I have tried and experienced, I truly think Shutterfly is the most user-friendly, and tends to offer the most deals.

A week doesn’t go by where I don’t get some sort of code from them, whether it’s free shipping or free photos. I’ve taken advantage of so many, and so far we’ve made baptism and Christmas Photo Cards for Wee ‘Burb (or, of Wee 'Burb, actually). And we’re looking into thank you cards for after Wee ‘Burb’s first birthday, which is COMING UP, I can’t believe it!

I am very excited also to share that Shutterfly has offered some free codes to my readers! To qualify please comment here by October 2nd about a favorite photo you have or what you would most like to order on Shutterfly. I’ll announce the winners October 4th!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Wish the White Coats Would Take Me Away!

I had the occasion to go to the Target Clinic today...they aren't Minute Clinics anymore, by the way. They want you to know that. Signs are everywhere.

Anyway, don't worry, nothing's wrong with me. This is just a "standard" biometric screening my insurance has requested. You gotta love this.

The basic message is "hey, remember how last year we raised your rates like $300 a year? Oh, and then how we added a high deductible? Well, see, we're planning on screwing you in much the same way next year. But we're going to soften the blow by offering you a 'credit.' If you do this biometric screening, you get a $300 credit next year. What? Well, yes, we'll be raising your rates, so you'll be paying what you paid this year. What? Well, yes, we still consider it a credit because otherwise you'd be paying year. You see how it is."

Yes...yes I do.

The biometric screening basically consists of measuring BMI and cholesterol levels. If you don't pass, then you have to participate in health coaching. Assuming you do so to the satisfaction of a health coach (yeah, I don't know what is either. I see a lot of life coaches on reality TV, maybe it's similar?) then you get the "credit."

This is a whole different rant about insurance.

But the point is this: I get in and sign in with the receptionist. The receptionist is wearing the typical khaki pants and red shirt of Target. I can live with this. Until the receptionist calls me in a room and starts putting on gloves. Wazza whah???

Yeahhh, apparently she was a medical assistant and was actually the one to perform the tests.

Then the doctor comes in to read the results. Guess what the doctor is wearing under her lab coat? Khaki and red!

Is it wrong that I don't want the woman selling me Band-Aids to be wearing the same uniform as the woman who is putting a Band-Aid on me after medically treating me?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Teen Mom: The Spank

I don’t normally blog about TV shows because there are people out there who recap and do this way better than I ever could hope to. Also, sometimes it’s embarrassing how much time and thought I put into TV. Like I have dreams and wake up thinking “I could totally write an episode based on that dream!”

Anyway, I definitely don’t usually think that much about reality TV. But do any of you watch Teen Mom? I’m riveted! It’s one of the few reality shows where you’re like “hmmm, maybe they’re too stupid to just be putting on a show.”

The one couple I really struggle with, though, is Amber and Gary. I don’t know what the rules are of putting in pictures I didn’t take, and the idea of being near enough to these two to take a photo gives me hives, so
here's a link to them.

Yeah, they’re not a cute couple. They’re also the most dysfunctional human beings on the planet. Which would be amusing…if they didn’t have a little girl who isn’t even 2 witnessing the window-rattling screaming matches these two get into every day.

As I may have mentioned, I love me some Dr Phil and he says something that has always stuck with me. “When you have a child, you write on the slate of who they are every day.”

Well, if that’s true, Amber and Gary’s kid’s slate is covered in expletives, smeared with Dorito dust.

The screaming and the fighting and the kicking out and the on-again/off-again nature of this doomed pairing is bad enough, but what I witnessed on the most recent episode left me speechless, and seriously physically ill.

Amber had kicked Tubbo out for, oh, the 15th time this season. This time his flagrant foul came because he had the NERVE to get up early for work (it should be noted, I don’t think the man has worked a day in this entire season. Last season he traded in a video game system to get Amber an ugly pink “engagement” ring for $15 at Wal-Mart) and in the process, wake up their daughter.

This won’t shock anyone who has kids…the baby didn’t want to go back to sleep. But, you see, Amber did.

So she screamed at Gary, and Gary screamed back at her, and then the baby started screaming…and that pretty much set up a crabby day for all involved. Especially the baby, who would not stop crying. And who cried harder when Amber continued to yell at Gary later when he got home, saying the months this child was home with Gary, he had clearly neglected to discipline her at all.

Please keep in mind this child is not two years old. Let me set this up with a story. I baby-sat for a family in college who didn’t believe in telling their child no. EVER. She would throw food, she would tear the house apart, she would go near the hot stove…and repeatedly they would catch me saying no and lecture me that saying no would inhibit her creativity.

I tell this story to prove that I have ZERO problem with discipline and saying no. I think it’s one of the most important ways you can keep your child safe and healthy.

But there has to be an age-appropriateness to the discipline, right? I mean, there are only a few things I say no to for Wee ‘Burb. Most of them are safety issues: don’t try to take the bone out of Cous Cous’ mouth, don’t try to grab mommy’s hot coffee cup. The only one that maybe isn’t safety related is when I tell her “no” when she takes her diaper off. Cuz that just bugs me, and often ends up in a mess.

When I say no, about 90% of the time I am greeted with a blank stare. Basically it’s a pause long enough for me to distract her. It’s about as age-appropriate as I can get, I think, for a child who doesn’t speak. Or, you know, really understand words in general.

So I was SHOCKED when I heard Amber yelling at her child to stop her screaming when she finally kicked Gary out. And then the camera went dark and we heard some serious smacking, and saw Amber exit the baby’s room with a satisfied look on her face.

Now I’m not using this as a forum for the pros and cons of spanking. It’s none of my business how people choose to discipline their children. But babies??? I mean is there any common sense reason to spank a baby? They don’t understand, the baby didn’t stop crying! She cried harder.

I’m just going to picture Dr. Drew in his dreamy black t-shirt taking Amber to task at the reunion. Because I have to say, I have thought about this so many times since I saw the episode. It has to be brought up in that forum, right? To at least discuss the intelligence level of infants and their inability to understand real discipline.

I talked myself out of blogging this a few times, because I didn’t want it to devolve into the inevitable “to spank or not to spank” issue. It just made me realize how much more selective I have become, and probably will become, in what I can watch. I used to devour Dateline and 48 Hours and all those juicy crime stories, and now I find myself turning the channel the second it has anything to do with a child. So maybe I’m just oversensitive now that I’m a mom. But it left a bad taste in my mouth and I really hope it’s addressed at some point.

Have you ever seen a TV show that has made you think afterward, even when it’s generally a silly one you watch for fun?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Workout Wednesday

So while the walking workout isn’t over, the two-week period is, and I have to say the 2nd week went better than the first. I stuck much closer to the 1600 calorie mark recommended and did 15-minute Jackie Warner videos instead of their recommended weights. Overall I lost 4 pounds in a week! Which means if I had two weeks doing it right I probably would have lost the promised 10 pounds.

Today was rainy so I decided to take advantage of my Comcast On-Demand and did a new workout video. With Nicole Eggert! I had to watch it, it was just too much to ignore. Let me just say this: girlfriend has not cut down on her tacos and wine since Celebrity Fit Club.

She works with trainer Steve Marasca, who I have to say I am not a fan of. I’ve done one of his other videos and I find him really boring. And all he ever says is “good stuff.” He also takes about 20 minutes between moves.

So, yeah, anyway, Nicole isn’t looking so hot. Although on the cover of her video,  she looks like she’s back in Baywatch shape. Or, you know, a power user of PhotoShop. I’m thinking the 2nd one, but who am I to judge?

I mostly noticed beyond her horrible outfit, she had some huge thighs. Not fat…because let’s be honest, Nicole Eggert being “fat” is like me on a very good dream day. But she clearly had insanely muscular thighs. And I found out why! Apparently, Steve only knows how to do lower body moves. Or he likes to watch Nicole’s butt while SHE works out her lower body. Either way, there was hardly any upper body workout.

So while my thighs are killing me, I was unimpressed with the workout as a whole. It won’t be a repeat saved program on my On-Demand.

Do any of you use On-Demand for your workouts? Who’s your favorite trainer?

Friday, September 10, 2010

How I Became a Polygamist

I’ve crossed over to the dark side. Done what I swore I would never do. I’ve become a polygamist.

When I tell people I am a football or baseball fan, my dad will quickly correct me and tell people I am a Patriots and Red Sox fan. And this is totally true. I typically only watch football games that may affect the Patriots’ standings, and I almost never watch a baseball game that doesn’t influence the Red Sox in some way.

I’ve long held the belief that liking more than one team in a league is sports bigamy. I knew plenty of people who declared themselves Twins fans right up until the Red Sox started going for the first World Series win, and all of a sudden Sox hats were everywhere. I can live with being a Cubs fan and a Red Sox fan, but in the end, you have to have a preference. You can’t neutrally clap for both teams when they come head-to-head in an important match-up. It’s sports bigamy.

And if that’s sports bigamy, then fantasy football is sports polygamy. I found a sports bar here that will play all the Patriots games, and I always have to get there an hour before game time to get any kind of seat because of all the fantasy football people showing up with their laptops and cell phones, ready to make a trade at a moment’s notice. I want to scream “you are not a real GM. You do not have a real team! Your decisions affect nobody!”

I never understood how they could come dressed head to toe in Vikings gear, and yet be rooting for Green Bay or the Bears. It’s just not in me to root for anyone except the Patriots…and whoever is beating the Jets or Indy.

So how did I become one of them, these sports polygamists? I’ve turned down multiple offers to join fantasy teams. But a friend of mine caught me in a weak moment a few weeks ago and said her league of girls was short two teams. Would I be willing to join for $25 so their league could go forward? I sighed and said sure, figuring I’d just pick all the Patriots players and be done with it.

Well, apparently you can’t do that? The stats and algorithms and other dorky scientific theories that go into this “hobby” (or whatever you call it) say you don’t want a team of all one team because, you see, then the bye weeks leave you scoreless.
This is already more thought than I cared to put into this whole thing. But the other problem? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very competitive. And the idea that a bunch of chicks, most of whom I know for a FACT had their husbands choose their teams for them, beating someone like me that actually KNOWS football was just too much to bear.

So I recruited my other Patriots-loving friend into helping me design a team that could win, but also would not require me to root for anyone at all involved in the Patriots’ standing. And that started a week of actually reading Fantasy Sports magazines (something I had incessantly mocked friends for only a year ago) and doing mock drafts, and…well all sorts of stupid stuff that makes me embarrassed to be a sports fan right now.

After reading those, I decided I had zero interest in sitting through a draft with a bunch of strange chicks, so I set my team up for Yahoo to pick it for me. By setting it up, I mean I excluded all Jets, Indy, Buffalo and Miami players. And then took a few tips from the “pros” in the magazines, and rated a bunch of players for Yahoo to pick from.

So color me surprised when I rated 30 players for Yahoo to pick from, and somehow I ended up with Ben Roethlisberger as a benched player and half a team with a bye in Week 8. What about the algorithms, Yahoo??

It remains to be seen how this goes, but I am already regretting my decision to become a polygamist. If you see me at the sports bar, feel free to shout at me that my team isn’t real and my choices mean nothing. I’ll gladly shout my agreement.

For those of you who care, here’s my team:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Cute Tees & A Great Deal for You!

A few years ago a family friend had a baby shower and indicated a preference for organic baby items. I did my typical Amazon search and found some rather boring oatmeal numbers, and ended up buying a very simple blanket. I had heard from other people that they had given up, too, and purchased books or toys.

The times, they are a-changin’! More and more websites are geared toward those who are particular about what fabrics they want their child to wear, and so now you can find blankets, toys, all that good stuff in eco-friendly fabrics.

Mostly, though, I love to get unique baby items, and now that the aforementioned showered baby is a toddler with her own little personality, I like to respect the parents’ wishes of a green gift, but also reflect the child’s “style,” such as it is when they’re still in training pants.

Enter Puddlefoot, which has an ADORABLE collection of eco-friendly tees with hilariously cute veggie designs. Here is what Suzi MacDougall, the awesome creator of this site has to say about her products:

Every tee is made from 100% cotton and printed with Phthalate free inks. All these details ensure a tee that is soft and stretchy with a wonderful vintage feel! Our long sleeve tees are hand dyed with eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes and come in sizes NB - 4/5T (coming very soon).

And here is what I bought!

Suzi had wrapped it up so cute, but I had to open it and see. The shirt feels amazingly soft and stretchy (I don’t know what your experience has been, but some of the lesser organic shirts feel kind of stiff to me). And the colors are just so vibrant and sweet.

So I want to say here, I was not asked to do this review, nor paid. I contacted Suzi and asked her if I could feature her here and help her sell these adorable items, and reach her goal of 800 fans. In return, Suzi has given me a special code so you all can get 5% off your order through the end of September. So just enter code STEPH5 to get the discount.
Also if you take a picture of your wee one in one of her creations, you get 20% off your next order! I think I’ll be buying some for Wee ‘Burb and taking advantage of that deal!

Monday, September 6, 2010

These Shoes Were Made for Walking

I mentioned in this earlier post that I was doing a walking weight loss program. Here's the plan!

The Challenge: Lose 5 Pounds in Two Weeks

The Plan: Walking for Weight Loss by Prevention. Note: this plan is designed to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, but it requires a 1600 calorie diet. While that’s not impossible for me, I am working toward sustainable weight loss and in the past when I’ve restricted this way, it’s backfired and I’ve gained weight back and been frustrated. So the 5 pounds is my amendment to this goal.

My (Not So Willing) Accomplice: Since I walk Cous Cous every morning to avoid any further dresser destruction, I figured I would just incorporate this routine into our existing routine. Here’s how she feels about it.

What I Like: This fits into my schedule because I was already walking Cous Cous every morning for a half hour, and then spending my lunch hour doing an exercise video. So by making my walks more aerobic, I’m not taking any more time. And in fact, with the weights only taking about 10-15 minutes, so I’m saving time by getting it all complete before my work day starts. This has resulted in a lot more energy during my work day, and a lot more relaxation at lunch.

What I Dislike: The weights don’t feel as if they’re doing much for me. I don’t think that particular part of the program is enough for more weight loss. Although it may be just that I have difficulties following pictures of exercises, I usually need to see them done in front of me.
Week 1 Results: Um, not so great. I didn’t lose any weight. BUT, in fairness, I didn’t gain any weight and since we went to the state fair and ate this:

Curliy Fries with Bacon and Cheese
Gator Sausage on a Stick
Deep Fried Gator

Bacon on a Stick

Maybe the fact that I didn’t gain is a good sign.

Changes for Week 2: I am going to do some heavier weight programs after my walk, using a Jackie Warner video I already have. Hopefully this will add some needed intensity to reach my goal. And of course, no more deep fried alligator!

Do you use any programs like this to spur your weight loss? Do you tend to follow programs exactly, or adapt them to your needs?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Nostalgia

Since Scott was away from Wee 'Burb for two weeks, he's been plying her with presents since he's been back. He has raided the Classic Toys section at Target, and I'm not going to lie, it's possible I am getting far more enjoyment out of these toys than Wee 'Burb:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bite Me, Apple!

I finally decided to resurrect my iPod a few months ago. I had used it only occasionally since I started working at home. Previously I had used it as a little sanity in an insane office space.
But when Scott went back to work, it became my job to walk Cous Cous. Nobody decided this intentionally: it was decided when in a month, she ate Wee ‘Burb’s yarn doll, some paperwork, and (the last straw) part of my nightstand drawer. A…a nightstand drawer???? It was a simple choice: either she heads to the pound, or she’s walked in the mornings.

So, walk we do! A few months ago I tried to load some new songs on to my iPod and discovered none of the computers or cords in my house would accept it, meaning I couldn’t load or transfer songs. I shrugged it off and figured I would deal with it later, maybe ask for a newer one for Christmas.

But this last week I started a walking workout program (more on that in another post), and I needed better walking music to get through the half hour workout. So I decided to make a trip to what I like to think of as Douche Central: some people call it the Apple Store.

I can’t stand these stores. I walk in feeling like I should be frisked and surrender my Blackberry and go in some back room where everyone chants “iPad is king, iPad is king, download my apps, download my apps.”

There’s some weird tech cult that I do not understand, and my ignorance to these ways is apparent any time I enter the store.

So I talk to the woman who accosts me with her iPad the second I walk in the door. She’s not even listening to me, she’s just staring at her iPad as if it will translate what I am saying into Apple language (wait...they don’t do that, right??).

I explain to her that I have tried the troubleshooting techniques she’s mentioned, and she suggests I make an appointment with their “Genius Bar” and bring in my laptop. On my THIRD time saying it is not a laptop issue, she finally sighs and swipes around on her iPad to pull up the Genius Bar schedule.

I should say here, the Genius Bar (I want to take a shower every time I write that) is like 12 feet from her. And the HUMONGOUS screen shows the order of people waiting to meet an Apple Genius is right over her head. But her iPad tells her nobody is available for my piddly little problem until 1:30. It’s 11:30.

She tells me there’s another Douche Central “not far” in Uptown. She starts telling me I can totally get there in like 15 minutes. Um, I used to live in Uptown. I know she thinks I’m some suburban rube because I told her I wasn’t interested in driving 30 minutes again to make another Genius appointment. Anyway, the bottom line is, you can’t get there in 15 minutes unless you’re in a helicopter. And she’s made my appointment for 11:50.

I make it there at 12:00 and am greeted by another iPad, who tells me “One of the Genuises will be with you shortly…or is it Genui?” Hardee har…shut it, Face Pubes.

I’m told to wait on a bench. I should say here, in these stores the Genius Bars are elevated about 20 feet. The benches are practically on the floor. Remember when you grew up and your parents would be like “oh they’ll all be working for you someday?” These are those kids. We’re not working for them, necessarily, but we are going to bow before their ability to get us mobile entertainment at our fingertips.

The Genius who is here to help me looks like (I’m dating myself here) Brian Krakow from My So Called Life after 10 years of hard living. Actually, he looks like what would happen if Brian Krakow and Mikey from American Chopper mated…and spent a lot of time drinking in his parents’ basement while watching SciFi and CartoonNetwork anime marathons.

He also refuses to look me in the eye, though he is not armed with an iPad, he’s just clearly not familiar with looking at feminine eyes that aren’t attached to an Avatar.

After looking scornfully at it, he takes my little Shuffle back to a room and comes back with a cord. Plugs it in, and all of a sudden I hear “DING!” and see “Stephanie’s iPod” on the screen. I just…what????

I look at him, sort of accusingly. He says he didn’t do anything. I don’t believe him. I have the same cord at home, I tried it, I got nothing.

So, now it’s almost 1:00 and I’ve wasted two hours to find out there’s nothing wrong with my iPod. Feeling discouraged, I go home and search for my cord that matches his. I want it on the record: I had tried this cord before.

Put it in the computer. Ding! WTF??????

I’m positive he did something in the back room. Maybe it was all the chanting? Or maybe he was just sitting back there giggling “watch this, I’m going to reset it and reconfigure it and then go out there and tell her it was like this the whole time.”

Whatever it is, Cous and I are walking in style!