Life Lessons Learned From A Christmas StoryOne of my favorite things about the Christmas holiday is the 24-hour marathon of  A Christmas Story that plays every year on TBS.  Other favorites include bourbon and vodka, but then again, that’s just a Tuesday night at the Newlin household.

I love the Christmas season because it makes it completely acceptable to drink before noon…in my jammies…while noshing on three different kinds of cookies…and watching A Christmas Story, which brings us full circle.

I’ve been watching A Christmas Story for more than a decade and every time I watch it I learn something new.  For instance, I now know that having your Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant is completely acceptable, so long as you don’t order the duck.

I also know that the Bumpkisses are the worst neighbors ever and they really need to feed their dogs more regularly.

I’ve also learned that the ominious threat of “Not a finger!” makes no sense, yet is somehow terrifying when said in a serious tone.

Because it’s that time of year again and we’re all going to binge on our favorite Christmas movie, while eating turkey of course, I thought I would lay out some of the life lessons we’ve learned from Ralphie and his family.

I did the lessons in Gifs because it’s funnier that way and it means I don’t have to write anything after each point, which is also a bonus.

Enjoy the lessons and enjoy watching A Christmas Story at least 5 times this season.  Anything less is simply unpatriotic.

“Not a finger!”

1.  Soap is poisonous if ingested.  It will cause blindness.


http://giphy.com/gifs/funny-80s-old-9SDgfBmYoYUBa

2.  Never give in to peer pressure.


http://giphy.com/gifs/maudit-photoset-maudit-request-PnBq0TolVdhrG

3.  It’s important to get bundled up for the cold.


http://giphy.com/gifs/movie-christmas-winter-11wCtXuvBwoJEY

4.  It’s never too early to start thinking about Easter.


http://giphy.com/gifs/a-christmas-story-30-day-movie-challenge-love-hate-relationship-J172BU0HiKuOs

5.  Ovaltine is one big scam.


http://giphy.com/gifs/transparent-a-christmas-story-13fxOgypGqLdM4

6.  Santa Claus is not nice to the naughty.


http://giphy.com/gifs/a-christmas-story-30-day-movie-challenge-love-hate-relationship-jdaleXLrjjbqg

7.  Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to get your kid to eat.


http://giphy.com/gifs/funny-80s-old-aMO0ZRXuWAGm4

8.  Super glue actually can’t fix everything.


http://giphy.com/gifs/a-christmas-story-the-flintstones-leg-lamp-10UFbWsPdaHKww

9.  Icicles can be very dangerous.


http://giphy.com/gifs/a-christmas-story-peter-billingsley-movie-classics-1mUONUzCUuJbi

10.  A Red Rider BB Gun really will shoot your eye out.


http://giphy.com/gifs/movie-cute-christmas-5zQVnliKItfji

11.  Major Awards are best when they’re Italian.


http://giphy.com/gifs/christmas-boho-a-story-N9bIdFOs3JV3q

12. Never back down from a triple dog dare.


http://giphy.com/gifs/funny-80s-old-TS8UUuamtQpfa

13. The f— word is THE word.


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pantry say about youMatt and I recently visited my parents for the weekend. Their house is always stocked with food, so the first morning I was there I trodded into the kitchen and quietly opened the pantry door.  I wanted to scour for food but also wanted to retrieve the no bake cookies I hid there yesterday.  (They were delicious.)

I stood there munching on my hidden gems, hiding from everyone else, and couldn’t help but look around at what was on the shelves.  I was pretty shocked at what I found.  Here’s a breakdown.

And please note, these are ALL photos from their pantry.  Every.  Last.  Strange.  One.

1.  Three shelves of liquor

Okay, they weren’t full shelves of liquor, but there were three partial shelves of alcohol goodness.  How many shelves were taken up by cereal and fiber items?   One.  However, I don’t think this is a bad thing. It just demonstrates my parents are always ready to entertain and are great party hosts.

This was perfectly acceptable.

2.  Six flasks

This was a bit more concerning, as they are the only two people who reside in their home.  This large quantity of flasks is a bit more difficult to explain, unless they host parties where they encourage guests to hide their drinks. Maybe they are speakeasy themed parties.

That has to be the reason. It’s the only logical explanation.

Were they really using the flasks to sneak liquor into places?  Maybe, but then again, how many times do you need to smuggle in enough liquor for 3 times the number the amount a normal person would need?

Soooo many places are buzz kills and don’t allow you to bring in liquor, so you have to hide it like teenagers going to prom. And maybe my parents wouldn’t have to smuggle in liquor if the establishments would sell enough for either one or two times your body weight.

Maybe I could get on board with this finding.

3.  One large Ziploc bag of mini bottles of liquor

I suppose this is a backup in case the six flasks of liquor are discovered in a strip search while going to the local cinema. I suppose it’s good to have an alternate plan.

I can say one thing about these people… they’re prepared.  (And may also need to be placed on a liver transplant list more as a precautionary measure.)

4.  Two fans

Fans in the kitchen closet is not what I expected to see. Normally fans are stored in a basement or hall closet.  Not at the casa de mi parents. Those fans are stored in the kitchen cupboard.

Sadly, this makes sense to me.  If they are consuming three shelves of liquor, they’re probably hot.  They need a fan and can’t be expected to share, so a fan for each of them makes sense.

And why would they keep the fans in the basement? That would be too much work to go to the basement after kicking back some cocktails. It’s just asking for an injury. Come on. They’re my parents so you have to assume they’re at least a little accident prone.

This is exactly why the fans are stored with the liquor. I’m actually kind of disturbed that I’m so easily able to follow their logic.

5.  Ten boxes of Jell-0 mix

jello

This isn’t as strange as the other items at first glance but I looked closer. What I noticed were the flavors. Notice anything? That’s right. THEY’RE ALL LIQUOR FLAVORS! There’s margarita, daiquiri and pina colada Jell-o all right there next to the Progresso.

I didn’t know they even made these flavors of Jell-o, but why do my parents have these flavors, and why is there no pudding? Didn’t they know the Jell-o brand also made pudding?

I felt I owed it to my parents to ask about the flavors (and also to see if they had pudding). I assure you that my mom responded with the following after being asked why she had alcohol flavored Jell-o.

Because everyone loves Jell-o shots.”

She said it as if I was a complete moron for asking such a ridiculous question.  As if I was the one with a cabinet full of fans and liquor.  And yet, she had a point.  Who doesn’t love a Jell-o shot?  No one.  That’s who.

Maybe my parents are on to something.

6.  Six containers of peanut butter

JifBefore I go any further, allow me to assure you this peanut butter was in no way laced with liquor.  I checked.

Once again I had to question my mom on the need for such a large quantity of peanut butter and the varying brands.  I could tell she wa growing tired of my questions, but she responded that the generic peanut butter was “for the birds.”

I had to clarify if she meant the peanut butter tasted bad, or if it was  literally “for the birds.”  Apparently the answer was both.  It tasted bad and my mom “wasn’t going to give the birds the name-brand peanut butter.”  (Another direct quote.)

This was said as one of her dogs walked by in a hand-stitched doggie sweater.  I.  Sh*t.  You.  Not.

So in actuality, the two generic peanut butter containers were for the birds, and the two large Jif containers were for them.  The small snack size peanut butter containers were for when a small snack was needed.  I suspect it’s because a bag of almonds couldn’t fit in one’s purse when it was filled with flasks and Jell-o shots.

At this point, I stopped looking at items in the pantry.  It wasn’t so much because there weren’t other strange things on the shelves, but more because I was out of cookies and wanted to find some pudding.

 

How wineries are just like strip clubsMost adults have spent at least one day and/or night of their lives experiencing the debauchery of too much alcohol and too may scantily clad women dancing to bad music.  Oh, and they’ve also been to a strip club too.

Wineries and strip clubs are a lot more similar than we’d care to admit, and not just because both typically result in a marital argument and someone sleeping/passing out on the couch.

Since it’s the season for wineries, and it’s always the season for strip clubs, I thought it would be a perfect time to point out the ways wineries are exactly like strip clubs.  Exactly.

1. Everyone ends up dancing to hair bands from the 80s

From Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” to Erasure’s “Respect,” you’ll rock out to jams from the best decade ever.

2. Bad decisions are made at both places.

One involves an entire block of cheese and the other involves blocking out the memory of that one less-than-attractive dancer.

Reason #3 for why wineries are like (1)3. Someone ends up showing their ass…or boobs…or both.

This is not specific just to women. People at both places tend to be equal opportunity flashers.

4. You leave both with regrets.

…and with something sticky on your hands.

5. Neither have enough restrooms.

…which is why someone always ends up “watering the bushes.”

6. Both places have bottle service

One just costs a little more and comes with a lap dance.

7. You don’t want to be barefoot at either place, but you always end up that way.

It’s a phenomenon no one can explain.

8. The ride to and from the location is always hazy.

This is probably for the best because both are off the beaten path.

9. Someone always leaves in tears.

It’s usually a woman.

Reason # 10 wineries are like strip10. There’s a constant danger of stepping in vomit.

The only difference is the strip club vomit has remnants of the day-old buffet.

11. You end up spending much more than you intend to.

It always seems like a good idea to buy an entire case of wine because you might “need it later.”  You also typically feel bad for the previously mentioned ugly stripper, so you do your best to fund her college education via tips.

12. You’d prefer to forget what transpired there, and you usually do.

Alcohol is a beautiful thing because it makes you do stupid things and then makes you forget said stupid things. It’s why it’s so wonderful.

Now, get to planning your day trip to the wineries followed by your night trip to the strip club.  It’s family fun for everyone and you’ll barely notice you’re in a different place.

Cheers!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Where else you can find me this week

The Fat Girl’s Guide To The Pool

Top 10 Excuses To Get Out Of Exercise

What Marriage Vows Really Mean

If Humans Were More Like Dogs

A Helpful Guide For North West On How To Deal With A Horrible Name

A Guide To Packing For A Weekend In Las Vegas

Matt and Lisa on the trail

Before we got too sweaty from our hike.

My husband and I are in Seattle for a mini vacation. He was smart enough to know my head would explode if I remained in the bowels of St. Louis much longer, so he planned this trip.  I suspect it’s because he knows I love Starbucks and Frasier, both of which are located here.

So far, I haven’t found Frasier’s apartment, but we still have a few more days.  (Now that I’m in Seattle, I really do hear the blues a callin’, tossed salad and scrambled eggs.)

Since we are lazy and getting fat from all the food and alcohol nature lovers, we decided to go for a hike on one of the many trails in Seattle.  I scoured the internet for the easiest trail I could find and off we went in our sweet rental car.

Did I upgrade to the 2013 Hyundai Elantra because I’m a baller?  Yes, yes I did.

While on the hike, my husband gave some great insight into the sights and sounds around us.  It started when we came upon this lovely old shack.

The B52s were nowhere to be found.

The B52s were nowhere to be found.

Instead of commenting on the beauty of the building, my husband commented on it by stating “And that’s where the rapes happen.  It’s like the love shack, but a lot darker.”

I will never be able to listen to that song again.

After I recovered from his…ahem…insightful comment, we continued the walk and found a small waterfall where we stopped to take a photo.  As we were leaving, we noticed a beautiful bench carved out of wood.

Walking up to admire the handiwork, my husband saw this and made the following comment:

This is why we need to continue teaching cursive in schools.

This is why we need to continue teaching cursive in schools.

That Daniel is a real dick.”

Yes, yes he is.

We then proceeded to continue down the trail where I ultimately had to water some of the plants in the woods.  I’m such a humanitarian.  That has nothing to do with the story, but I felt compelled to share it with you.

Sidenote:  Don’t slam two bottles of water and a Starbucks coffee before going on a nature walk.

As we continued on our hike, my dear husband commented on the beauty of the trees.  “Isn’t it cool how the trees are so tall and go up and then umbrella out with branches at the top?

Look at that umbrella.

Look at that umbrella.

That’s called a canopy,” I responded, offering him a nugget of knowledge.

I didn’t ask for a f@#$ing nature lesson,” he smirked.

Noted.

Look at that face: nothing but insight.

Look at that face: nothing but insight.

We continued on our walk, discussing what to do during our remaining days in the rainy city.  He suggested taking a ferry boat up to Vancouver.

I reminded him we couldn’t do that because we didn’t bring our passports.  Much like his insightful comment on Boise, Idaho, he responded with this gem:

I don’t think you need a passport to go to Canada.  It’s Canada.  It’s not a real country.  Plus, we’re taking a ferry.”

I wasn’t able to get out of him why the mode of transportation into a new country mattered, but apparently it did, at least to Matt Newlin.

The hike was several miles but after about 2 miles we were bored and sick of hiking so overwhelmed with nature we needed a break…and a margarita.

We learned a lot that day.  Matt learned tree terminology and I learned never to go into a dark shack with my husband or with a guy named Daniel.  He’s a dick.

 

ambushed.jpg<<<<<<<I’m re-posting this one, as it happened over Christmas, but it’s one of my all-time favorite stories, and it’s such a funny memory.  I think you will enjoy, assuming you like pubes humor.

If you don’t like humor about pubes, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog anyway…

ENJOY!>>>>>>>

Beautiful, right?

Beautiful, right?

Yes, I realize that brilliant graphic above and the title of this post isn’t how you spell “ambushed.”  I was trying to give you a hint as to what this blog post would be about, and I wanted to do it creatively, because I’m awesome that way.

Hopefully you can look past the spelling and look to the hilarity of the story.  You should, because the story is amaze-balls.

And before we go any further, how awesome is my drawing for this one?  I did it on Paint and it only took me an hour.  I’m so talented.

Every year, Matt and I go to Mexico to celebrate the Christmas holiday.  By “celebrate” we mean we lay in the sun all day, drink fruity drinks, and occasionally look at each other and say “Oh crap, its Christmas!  I totally forgot!”

We don’t go to Mexico because we don’t like Christmas; we just don’t like cold weather, or obligatory functions, or any kind of holiday that requires purchasing gifts.  (If you have a job and/or a bank account, you can buy yourself a gift.  I’m not waiting in line to get you a gift card to Starbucks.  FYI.)

drinks on the beachThis year was no different and we spent the holidays lounging on the beach, silently passing judgment on people as they walked by. (Sometimes not so silently, depending on the quantity and potency of the cocktails.)

We don’t do this to be mean, but mostly just to entertain ourselves, and because there are some seriously freaky people in this world…or at least in Puerto Vallarta over the holidays.

A few days ago I was scanning my surroundings, just taking in the scenery.  Okay, so what I was really doing was looking around for the waiter on the beach to check on the status of my refill of my Bahama mama drink.

He was nowhere to be found (probably/hopefully because he was making me another drink).  Instead of finding the waiter, I found something far better.

A young woman, probably in her early 20s, was walking up the beach from the water.  She was skinny and wearing a tiny bikini.  As I looked at her, I noticed something on her crotch area.  Immediately, I suspected she somehow got seaweed caught on her leg while she was in the ocean.

Because I’m a super caring person (and because I wanted to check on my drink status), I decided to get up  further investigate.  I figured if she had seaweed on her lady parts, she would probably want to know so she could remove it.  It’s the least I could do.

photo credit: jenny downing via photopin cc

photo credit: jenny downing via photopin cc

Oh god, how I wish it was seaweed on the inner parts of her legs.  If only….

As I approached, I realized it wasn’t seaweed, but rather an explosion of pubic hair coming out of her bikini and crawling down her legs.

I say it was crawling because I swear it was alive and quite mobile.  I saw it swaying in the wind and immediately imagined what it would look like when she was in the water.

The movement of it would most likely be confused by a snorkeling 10 year old as a different kind of seaweed.

It looked like it was busting out of her bikini bottom, as if it was trying to escape the constraints of her tiny cotton suit.  I could almost hear it gasping for air, or at least for a good shampoo and conditioner.

Naturally, I alerted my husband immediately.  I feel like this is one of those obligations a wife has to her husband.

In addition to honoring and cherishing, blah blah blah, I think there’s something in the vows about promising to alert your husband at the sighting of out of control bush at a beach.

photo credit: •●pfaff via photopin cc

photo credit: •●pfaff via photopin cc

If it isn’t in the vows, it should be, because that’s the kind of stuff that can break up a marriage otherwise.  I’m a caring wife that way.

Matt’s reaction was similar to mine.  He was horrified and happy, all at the same time.  We were both completely intrigued and decided to try to get a closer look.  Who was this creature who felt so uninhibited as to display her female whiskers.

Also, we wanted to make sure we took our camera to capture a photo of this remarkable sighting.  After all, I’m a journalist and this was just the kind of investigation you, my readers, depend upon.

I failed.  Just FYI so you don’t get all excited about seeing a photo of an untamed bush, and then you get disappointed when you don’t find it.  Part of you knew I would fail because I’m not really that great of a journalist, and I think posting photos of a stranger’s bush might put my blog into a porn category.

I’m not ready for that kind of traffic yet, so for now, you’re going to have to use your imagination.  Plus, this isn’t that kind of blog.  I try to keep it classy, people.

As we got closer to her, we confirmed what we already knew.  It was an overgrown forest between her legs.

No, it wasn’t a forest, it was a goddamn jungle.  Perhaps she wasn’t capable of trimming or removing it because it was just too strong…like maybe it was the Hulk Hogan of pubic hair.  I wondered if it wore a bandanna and called everyone “brother.”

bush.jpg

Please note the image is an artist rendering.  It’s not an actual photo.

I could only imagine what kind of sheers would be needed to slay that dragon down south.  Perhaps that’s why it was so out of control.  No razor could tame it.

No blade would step up to the task.  What she needed was Arthur from Disney’s beloved “The Sword in the Stone.”  Perhaps he was the only thing strong enough to tame that mane.

*Of note:  Arthur is also known in the movie as “Wart” which poses an interesting question about whether the massive bush was hiding something more serious…like herpes.  It also demonstrates my uncanny knowledge of Disney movies and characters.

Perhaps the only thing that would knock out a mass of hair that size would be a fire.  But then again, if she used that method, she would have a burning bush, and I don’t think that’s what Moses was talking about in the Bible.  However, he was in the dessert sand, so perhaps there’s some truth to this theory…

We approached cautiously, careful not to alarm it. I couldn’t help but say “It looks like she has two dead animals plastered to the sides of her legs.”

I bet two dead animals would smell better than what she’s got going on down there,” was my humble husband’s response.  I suspect he wasn’t wrong.

Blond Boy Crying

We followed her flowing fringe until “Miss Bush” arrived at her destination.  Unfortunately, it was not the salon for a wax.  Rather, she met up with her “friends” who were lounging on chairs on the beach.  The reason I use the term “friends” so loosely is because anyone who lets another person go out in public with pubic hair like that, is no friend at all.

Am-BUSHEDBut her friends got what they deserved, because she began talking to them while continuing to stand…while they continued to lounge in their chairs.  This provided a front row viewing of the lady mustache she was sporting.  (I just made up that term “lady mustache.”  Let’s make that a thing.)

It was obvious by their faces that her friends were aware of the vagina wig.  (There’s another one! “Vagina wig” is pure gold!  I can’t stop with creating these slang terms!)

But funnier than the faces of her friends staring down the barrel of her beard, was the face of the clearly traumatized 14 year old boy standing nearby.  I’m completely serious.

Matt and I had to stifle our laughter at that poor, tortured soul who was horrified and wanted to look away, but couldn’t find the strength to turn away from the lady sideburns.

(That’s it.  I’m going on the road with this act and all the names I’m making up for a woman’s bush.)

I wanted to comfort the poor lass, and tell him not all women’s genitalia looked like the base player from Guns ‘N’ Roses.  (Slash may have been an ugly dude, but he knew how to stroke that guitar.)

I also wanted to give him this month’s edition of Playboy to show him what classy pubic hair look like, but Matt left it on the plane for an uncomfortable stewardess to find.  (He finds this prank hilarious.  He also likes to whip it out in the middle of the flight and make the person next to him extremely uncomfortable.  And I’m talking about whipping out the Playboy magazine, not something else, you perv.)

It was at that point that we decided to go back to our lounge chairs and stop staring at the freak show of frizz.  It was starting to look angry and I swear that thing waved at me as we walked by.

We returned to our lounge chairs stunned and scarred from what we just viewed.  We knew we would never be the same, and for as long as we lived, the Mexico Christmas vacation of 2012 would forever be known to us simply as “Bushapalooza.”  We’re having t-shirts made.

Ulta-BeautyI guess I really spilled the beans in the title of this blog post, so you pretty much know my big news.  I guess it’s also not surprising that I spilled the beans, as I spill pretty much everything.

It’s also probably not surprising that I referred to beans in this post, what with all my fiber issues and such…

MOVING ON!

I went to BlogHer 2013 in Chicago a few weeks ago and had a blast.  For those of you who don’t know blog-speak, BlogHer is a national convention with over 5,000 bloggers and tons of free shit.

I’m serious.  There is literally lots and lots of free shit, including vibrators and lube.

I’m not kidding.

ULTA Beauty was a sponsor of BlogHer, and somehow, the lovely women at the Richards Group Advertising Agency found me and thought I was funny.

I know.  Ree—-dic.

They had me shoot a little video, which I thought was just for fun, so I agreed. (I’m sure that’s what Farrah Abraham said about the sex video too…just for fun.) I figured they wanted the video for the sole purpose of laughing at me and making fun of my inability to use eyeliner.  They wouldn’t be wrong if that was their reason.

Apparently they liked my video and showed it to Wendi McLendon-Covey who thought I was funny.  Allow me to say that again, people, WENDI-MCLENDON-COVEY THOUGHT I WAS FUNNY!

Obviously she pitied me and my inability to use eyeliner.

You know who she is. She was the busty cop on Reno 911 and the sex-crazed mother in Bridesmaids who complained about her semen-infested home.

bridesmaids-photo-ellie-kemper-melissa-mccarthy-wendi-mclendon

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Since she loved me and wanted to become my best friend thought I was funny, ULTA asked me to interview Wendi for their ULTA Beauty LOL marketing campaign, which is all about embarrassing beauty moments.  Naturally, I’m the perfect person to talk about embarrassing moments, so it was a perfect fit.  I know nothing about beauty, but I guess they figured I could wing it.

I met Wendi and did an interview with her, which was fun and exciting.  There were sound guys and cameras and a boom mic and everything, so you know it was legit.  THERE WAS A BOOM MIC, PEOPLE!  That’s the big time.

My interview was edited down to a 30 second clip that will be used for ULTA’s social media for their Beauty LOL campaign.  Cool, huh?  It’s a good thing they edited it because in our conversation we discussed key parties and having a stroke.  I’m not kidding.

It’s hard to believe she’s even funnier and more beautiful in real life than she is on camera, but she is.  She’s in a new show this fall called The Goldbergs.  It’s about a family in the 80s, so you know it will be hilarious.

For now, I hope my video with Wendi and ULTA will hold you over.  Please feel free to share this and splatter me all over the internet.  This is the one video I’m actually happy to share, and one that won’t result in indecency charges being filed against me.

DISCLAIMER:  I know I look horrible in this video.  They say the camera adds 10 pounds but I’m pretty sure the camera they used added at least 100 pounds.  

 

photo (83)

From left to right:
Driedonmilk.com
lisanewlin.com
adayinthewife.com

I attended BlogHer again this year, and I was not disappointed.  I learned a lot including the fact Queen Latifah has some rocking biceps and Wendi McLendon-Covey is even funnier in person.

Cha. As if that was possible.

I took quite a bit away from the conference, including some great swag bags and a few embarrassing pictures I will promptly burn.

In addition to those, I took away memories of a great time and great friends.

For those of you who missed this year’s BlogHer, I’ve compiled a list of a few things I overheard this year at the conference.

These will make you feel like you were there, although it won’t give you the full experience of answering sex questions and winning Trojan products only after spinning a wheel.

You’re going to have to experience that in person next year.

Yes, this is really driedonmilk.com wearing a plastic measuring cup we got for free.  You're supposed to use them to measure your cup size, but we used them as hats to mimic ANTM poses.  That's what everyone uses them for, right?

Yes, this is really driedonmilk.com wearing a plastic measuring cup we got for free. You’re supposed to use them to measure your cup size, but we used them as hats to mimic ANTM poses. That’s what everyone uses them for, right?

“We really bonded over sizing each other’s boobs with measuring cups.”

“I loved Queen Latifah but didn’t see her crown anywhere?.  Do you think she is related to the Royal Baby?”

“Sorry, my vibrator is in the way.”

Did you visit the butt paste people yet?”

“Do you mind if I plug my iPhone, iPad, and laptop into this one outlet?”

“Is this my lube or is it yours?”

“Did you notice the Bearded Iris is neither bearded nor is her name Iris?”

Yes, it's a wheel of Trojan products.  And it was awesome.

Yes, it’s a wheel of Trojan products. And it was awesome.

“How am I going to fit all this toilet paper in my suitcase?”

“I’m going to swing by the Coca Cola booth and blast my abs really quick before this next session.”

“You’re the only non-grandma I know who can rock blue hair from the Windex booth.”

“Do you think I could get another pedometer?  Mine had an unfortunate drowning death in the women’s restroom.”

“Good God, these swag bags are heavy!”

“This was the greatest time ever and I can’t wait to do it again next year!”

Above all others, I heard the last quote the most.

Thanks to BlogHer for another great conference and another great year of fun.

Check out all this free swag!  We hit it big at the Wheel o' Trojan!

Check out all this free swag! We hit it big at the Wheel o’ Trojan!

 

overhear at blogher

 

 

 

Lisa and Matt birthday 2013As you know, my husband and I went on a romantic trip to Vegas.  (Constantly being propositioned by overweight men to  engage in sexual encounters with others is romantic, right?)

Fortunately for me, I had my husband’s random comments to keep me entertained and keep my focus away from the men in thongs and wedges on the Strip. (I don’t need to be reminded that a 45 year old guy looks better in Spandex than I do.)

Because I know how much you love these nuggets of wisdom from my beloved, I jotted down a few of his musings to share with you.  Enjoy.

Tour Guide

photo credit: otzberg via photopin cc

photo credit: otzberg via photopin cc

Matt:  “That’s the Luxor. You can see the beam it shoots up in the air all the way from space.

Lisa:  “Really? From space?!”

Matt:  “Well, maybe not from space, but it goes pretty high.”

Scholar

Lisa:  “Is that book good?

Matt: “I haven’t started yet. I was kind of hoping to wrap up this conversation you’ve got going.

Film Critic

Lisa:  “Meredith Baxter Burney was in a million Lifetime movies.

Matt:  “I don’t know who that is.

Lisa: “She’s the mom from Family Ties.”

Matt: “That’s her? She’s always either getting raped or getting the shit beat out of her on Lifetime.

Beauty Scout

photo credit: viZZZual.com via photopin cc

photo credit: viZZZual.com via photopin cc

Matt: “Look at that chick.”

Lisa:  “What’s wrong with her?”

Matt:  “She looks like she’s seen some shit…like a brick wall.” <Then made hand gesture smashing his hand to his face>

Bully

Matt:  “Are you crabby? Did that hurt? Want me to call the wambulance? I’ll call 9-1-wah.”

Travel Agent

photo credit: Whirling Phoenix via photopin cc

photo credit: Whirling Phoenix via photopin cc

Matt:  “People come here from all over. Some come from Boise. Some come from Idaho.”

Lisa:  “Um, Boise is in Idaho.”

Matt:  “What’s the other place in Idaho?”

Lisa:  “There’s lots of other places in Idaho.”

Matt:  “As far as I’m concerned, it’s all Boise.”

 

photo (75)My husband I just went to Las Vegas for a “vacation.”  I use the term loosely because my idea of vacation is chilling by the pool, reading a book and silently judging the women who think they look good in a thong bikini.  (They don’t.)

Vegas is the opposite of that, with the exception of women in thong bikinis.  There’s lots of those.  There’s also lots of men in thong bikinis too.

Vegas doesn’t discriminate.

I’d never been to Vegas so I didn’t know what to expect.  When I arrived I was overwhelmed and wish someone would have prepared me for the shit show I was stepping into.

Because I’m good to you like that, I’ve made a list of a few things you should know if you are going to Vegas.  I’d like to prevent others from experiencing the horror that was my first time there.

Here it goes…

1.  There’s shopping.  Lots and lots of shopping

photo credit: Marshall Astor - Food Fetishist via photopin cc<

My favorite indulgence!
photo credit: Marshall Astor – Food Fetishist via photopin cc<

I’m a fan of capitalism and free market, but Vegas is ridiculous when it comes to shopping.  Not only are there shops and stores everywhere you go, there are people on the street corners hawking everything from water bottles to free cds of their music.

Right, like the guy in the street with the stinky pits and the nasty teeth is going to be the next big music star.

Wait. Is that how Kid Rock was discovered?

Vegas doesn’t just slap you in the face with commerce, it punches you in the nose and then the stomach, and while you’re keeled over in pain, it gives you an atomic wedgie….and then it charges you for the experience.

Make sure you bring cash; not only for the shopping, but also for the alcohol you will need to numb the pain of the sucker punch to the wallet.

2.  Penny slots aren’t actually penny slots

My winnings!

My winnings!

Don’t be fooled!  Remember #1 above where I talked about how commerce bitch slaps you?  (I hope so, as it was only a few lines ago.  If you’ve forgotten, you should probably see a doctor about that.)

Although the penny slots say they’re a penny, they’re big fat liars with their pants on fire.  While it’s true they take pennies, it takes 40 of them for one spin of the slot, or in this high tech world, a push of a button.

There is no other option other than to bet $0.40 a spin.  Maybe if you’re a high roller you can afford such ridiculousness.  I, however, cannot, partly because of item #3.

3.  Everything costs a million dollars

These nachos, a margarita and a mojito at the pool cost $70.00...BEFORE TIP!

These nachos, a margarita and a mojito at the pool cost $70.00…BEFORE TIP!

Want a small Diet Coke fountain soda?  That will be $5.00 plus tip.

What about a small bottle of water?  That will also be $5.00 plus tip.

Neither comes with a happy ending.  Believe me, I asked.  For that price, I’d expect at least a butt grab, but the waiter was NOT on board with my advances.

Before you come out to Vegas, might I recommend taking out a second mortgage on your house just to pay for dinner and drinks?  And don’t eat too much, as that will force you to go to the restroom.

Although Vegas charges you for every single indulgence, they can’t seem to put anything other than 2-ply toilet paper in the restrooms.

You probably have to pay extra for additional ply.

4.  Bling is everywhere

bling at pool

This is an actual photo of someone at one of the pools in Vegas. BLING!

Make sure you pack your sunglasses because it gets extra bright when the sun reflects off the sequined bikinis at the pool.

I’m not sure if it’s a requirement in Vegas that all women be adorned with glitter, sequins or rhinestones, but I suspect it is.  From teenagers to grandmas, nearly every woman sparkles with the finest rhinestones Hobby Lobby has to offer.

Here’s a tip:  Pack a glue gun with extra glue sticks.

You can make a killing offering to glue fallen sequins back on outfits.  You should probably offer to glue the legs shut of some of these sparkling women, although I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near their jackpot.

You will NOT come out a winner, I can assure you.

5.  There aren’t free drinks on the casino floor

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pablito_garza/8360706964/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pablito_garza/8360706964/

Contrary to popular belief, you aren’t served free alcohol while you’re gambling.  They make you pay for that too.  (See #3 above.)

Come to think of it, perhaps they give out free drinks, but only to people betting more than $0.40 a spin on the Airplane! slot machine. (The slot machine is just as much fun as the movie, although it doesn’t say “Surely you can’t be serious,” when you bet the minimum. Wouldn’t it be cool if it did?)

That’s all the tips I have for Vegas virgins.  The irony of that sentence is that no one in Vegas is a virgin.  No one.

If you’d like one final overriding tip, might I suggest you go somewhere else for your trip and avoid Vegas all together?

Yes, I might.

Things you should kow before going to Vegas

how to play vegas bingoMatt and I have birthdays that are 3 years and 3 days apart.  Judging by my lack of crow’s feet, you know I’m the younger of the two.

I’m also a liar.

Every year we do something special for our birthdays, which usually involves a vacation.  No matter what we do, an iced cookie cake is always involved.  We take our birthdays far too seriously not to include cookie cake.

This year we went to Vegas to celebrate.  It was my first time there and judging by what I saw, I will most likely never return.  I know they say “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” but much of what happened in Vegas continues to haunt my nightmares.

As I repeatedly reminded Matt, “Vegas is not my jam.”  (Grape jam, however, is totally my jam.)

photo credit: vsmoothe via photopin cc

photo credit: vsmoothe via photopin cc

It takes forever to walk anywhere in Vegas and with 100 degree heat and not a beer in sight, it makes for a long afternoon (for Matt, as he has to hear me complain.)

To make the trip more enjoyable, I decided to make a game out of the freak shows we saw.  I created a Vegas Bingo card, and Matt and I tried to find all of the items on the card.

I’ve included our Vegas Bingo card below, complete with the color key so you can know the degree of difficulty for each item.  For those of you that are color blind, I’m sorry you can’t see the color scheme, but you should easily be able to figure out which sightings are more rare than others.

So here you go:  Vegas Bingo, Lisa Newlin style.

vegas bingo key

Vegas Bingo