Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hidden Gems at Your Local BIG LOTS!

i LOVE designer shoes and handbags and will not think twice about spending $300 on a really great Kate Spade tote. but that does not mean i do not know how to economize. i have no qualms about shopping at BIG LOTS! or the 99 cent store. a can of Spagetios is a can of Spagetios no matter where you buy it. why pay $1.50 at the grocery store when you can get it for 99 cents?

however, perusing my local BIG LOTS! yesterday, i came across some items that i have never seen at my local grocer's.

Example
when people decorate their homes with folksy roosters, do they not know that their decor can now be referred to as "Country Cock?" if i go into a house and it has roosters on the towels, plaques and dishes, i would have no choice but to exclaim, "wherever did you get that cock towel?" or "that cock on your wall looks so lifelike!" sometimes my inner 12 year old cannot be stifled.



Example
salsa con queso in tub. not so bad, really. but the brand name is Bubba Tub. this immediately calls to mind images of some big, slovenly hillbilly in a barcalounger, eating this with off brand Fritos while watching a "Dirty Harry" marathon on the Guns and Ammo Network. actually, i just kind of described my brother.



Example
pork hocks in a jar. why is it that only the most digusting pork parts are sold in clear glass jars? pork rinds, pickled pig's feet and pork hocks are always shown in all their glorious goriness. i guess pork chops in a jar would probably be pretty nasty, too, come to think of it. when i am president of the world, i will put a ban on all pork products in clear jars. you can thank me later.



Example
discount condoms are never a good idea. you can stitch that on a throw pillow right now. what struck me the most about these, though, was the tagline on the box. i know the pic is a little fuzzy. (do you have any idea how hard it is to take these guerilla photographs and NOT get caught? oh how i suffer for my readers.) this multi pack of rubbers is called the "Mambo Combo" and below that it reads "Do The Dance with 8 Varieties of Your Favorite Condoms." i guess for nights when you want to get buckass wild and swing from the rafters, you would use the Salsa variety. and nights when you are feeling a little WASP-y and want to do it missionary style with the lights off, you would bust out the Country Club Bunny Hop style.



Example
Fisher Boy Fish Portions. not even fish sticks, but fish PORTIONS. that's WAY too vague for my tastes. Fisher Boy is not yet a professional Fisher Man, so these are probably made from ALL the crap that he catches in his net. fish, rusty beer cans, used Mambo Condoms, and cigarette butts. the package actually says, "made from minced fish parts." it doesn't specify WHICH parts and that's scary. and i'm pretty sure it's not the breading that makes it Crunchy.



Example
baby clams in a can. and this was not being marketed as cat food. the brand name is California Girl. um, i am a born and bred California Girl and i would not eat that shit on a dare. and besides, when was the last time you saw a recipe that called for canned baby clams? maybe in the Cookbook For Bulimics: Barfing Made Easy, but outside of that, eh, not so much.



Example
check out Kashi's new Jungle Fever line of cereals. are you in an inter-racial relationship AND lacking fiber in your diet? have we got the cereal for you!
i'm guessing this was at BIG LOTS! because it was not a real big seller in the South. call it a hunch.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Getting the Dry Heaves at JC Penney

i have known for a long time that i am not cut out for motherhood, but as i get older, i occasionally question my decison to remain childless. did i make the right choice? should i have had children? would i be a really great mother? yes, no and no, as it turns out.

my goddaughter is 9 and her sisters are 7 and 4 years old. every year i take them back to school shopping. usually, it's a really fun day. we hit all the stores, get a bunch of new clothes and have a great time. yesterday was the annual shopping spree and it started out fine. we went to the mega mall near their house and got most of the shopping done at the first store we hit. so, we break for an early lunch. it's 11:30am and all three girls wanted clam chowder for lunch. and the little freaks ate every last drop. and i had to watch them slurp down that nasty ass swill.

whilst dining, the girls asked me what foods i do and don't like. (my food issues are a whole 'nother blog entry, trust me) so, i gave them the short list of foods i don't eat. now, the middle daughter, who is 7, has been a raging carnivore since she cut her first tooth. she LOVES steak, prime rib, filet mignon, etc. when i mentioned the fact that i don't like steak, the look on her face read, "Do.Not.Compute.Error.Error." you would have thought i said i don't like oxygen. the child could truly not comprehend that someone would pass up a slab of dead cow.

we all finish eating and go to the bathroom for a potty break. i may not be mom material, but i do know that when you have kids in a public place you should make them stop at every available bathroom and make them go whether they have to or not.

off to the bookstore where they soak me for another $100. when we walked in i told them they could each get 2 books. somehow, they all walked out with 3 or 4 but i don't mind because i would rather spend the money on books than video games or some crap like that. i've been pushing books on these kids since they were born.

last stop, JC Penney. we grab some tshirts and jeans for everyone and traipse off to the dressing room to try it all on. three kids in one dressing room can be a bit chaotic, but we have a system. after everything is tried on it goes into one of three piles, the yes pile, the no pile and the maybe pile. smooth sailing. i'm starting to think i might not be half bad at this kid business. and then it all went to hell.

the 7 year old tells me she has to pee. and then, before i can even react, she loses control of her bladder and pees all over herself and the floor. she's crying hysterically, her sisters are staring at her and i am paralyzed. the kid is SOAKED. so, i lock them in the dressing room, go to the register and apologetically explain what happened and ask for a roll of paper towels so i can clean up the mess. the teeneage retail bitches behind the register look at me as if we did this on purpose. i don't have time to rip them new assholes, so i grab the towels and go back to the dressing room.

Puddles (her new nickname) is in the corner, still crying. so i am trying to calm her down and clean the carpet. finally, i get it as clean as i can and tell her to take off her clothes and we will change her into some the stuff we had bought earlier. she leaves all her clothes in a pile in the corner and changes. i go to grab the soiled clothes so i can put them in a plastic bag. as i bend over this pile of steaming, urine soaked clothes, i started dry heaving. i have a very sensitive sense of smell and this just threw me over the edge. i run to opposite corner of the dressing room, bend over and make a noise that had no vowel sounds.

"GGRRRRKKKWWWWWWWMMMMMMMRRRRRRPPPPPPSSSSSXXXXXXX!"

even Puddles stopped crying long enough to gawk at me. now, please keep in mind that all of this is taking place in a dressing room. the kind where the walls don't go all the way up to the ceiling. everyone from Toddler Clothing to Housewares can hear me horking up the taquitos i had for lunch.

i BARELY managed to not puke all over the carpet and finally get the clothes into a plastic bag. still heaving a little, i hold the bag out to the 9 year old and ask her to tie a knot in the top of the bag. she's completely grossed out and says, "No way! Have her do it!" and points to her youngest sister. now, the youngest one has a sense of smell like mine. i turn to her and she is completely horrified and shrinks into the corner, shaking her head "no" the whole time. so, i summoned every bit of willpower i possess and manage to get the bag closed.

we go to pay for the clothes we are buying and i apologize profusely to the teenage retail bitches who continue to stare down their noses at me. bitches, you work at JC Penney, get over yourselves.

thinking this is probably a good time to call it a day, we head out towards the side of the mall where the car is parked. as we are walking, one of the carrier type shopping bags bursts open and all over the floor there are 'Tween Jeans and Lemony Snicket books as far as the eye can see. i am pretty much near tears at this point. we gather up all the stuff and manage to cram it into the remaining bags and continue towards the parking garage.

FINALLY, we make it to the car, get everyone buckled in and head towards home. in the parking lot, some bitch cuts me off and without thinking, i screamed, "FUCK ME!" i really do make every effort to not swear in front of the kids, so this was the first time they had heard me curse, and at the tops of my lungs, no less. i turned to the 9 year old and said, "listen, i'm sorry you had to hear that, but i had to clean up urine today. i think i am entitled to drop one F-Bomb, ok?"

as soon as i am done typing this, i will be performing an at home hysterectomy. and next year, they are getting gift cards.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Gamblin' Granny Strikes Again

yesterday, mom, granny and i went to the casinos. granny is a hardcore slot machine addict and we go every couple of months. my granny even learned how to play slot games on my computer. watching my 75 year old granny learn to work a mouse was one of the funniest things i have ever seen. but she did it and now has her own computer at home. i am scared to see what will happen if she ever gets internet. i know she won't gamble online for money, but she will become a walking encyclopedia of free gaming sites within weeks. if she starts her own gambling blog i would not be all that surprised.

granny got her first taste of slot fever sometime in the early 1960's when grandpa took her to las vegas for the first time. they were at one of the western themed casinos and granny was playing a penny slot machine. the machine itseld was shaped like a cowboy and when granny hit her first jackpot, the cowboy's arm shot down and pennies started coming out of it. she thought she had broken the machine and was trying to shove the pennies back into the arm. she stage whispered to grandpa, "Louie! Louie! I broke it!" he explained to her that she had just won. she's been on a tear ever since.

nowadays, the slots are much more complex. on some there are 20 paylines and bonus rounds and all kinds of other bells and whistles. i just dump my money in, hit "spin" and hope for the best. not granny. no, she understands all the paylines and winning combos. one day she was explaining them to me in great detail and i looked at her and said, "other grannies teach you how to make cookies and sweaters. you are teaching me how to gamble."

her response was to look at me say, "you can BUY cookies and sweaters. THIS is fun. now, if you hit payline 14, that means....."

so, yesterday at the casino, we are all doing our own thing and we check in with each other every hour or so to see if anyone won. i play video poker, mostly. that's my game. i even have my own favorite machine at this particular casino. everytime i play it, i win a nice chunk of change (anywhere from $70 to the most i ever won which was $1200). i love this machine so much i have named it "Baby." i get very possessive and upset if i see anyone playing it and i lurk until they leave. hey, Baby is MY machine, dammit.

sometimes i take a break and go play the regular slots. but i usually end up getting so irritated at the people around me that i leave and going back to video poker. you see, some of the neanderthals that play the slots seem to think their hands contain magic powers. while the reels are spinning, they run their hands over the video screen. back and forth, back and forth. and i can see this from the corner of my eye and it just irritates the fuck out of me. i don't know what kind of voodoo bullshit they think they are doing. and honestly, we are playing penny slots here, people. no one has ever won BIG MONEY on a freakin' penny machine. save the santeria hocus pocus for something that matters. like the Lotto.

and speaking of the people at the casino.... oh dear lord, "trashy" doesn't even begin to describe some of these assholes. i desperately wanted to take pics, but i was afraid they would kick me out. and my granny would NOT take kindly to being kicked out of a casino. that's like ex-communication for her. and she wouldn't leave with me, either. oh no, she would deny knowing me and would stay and make me sit in the hot car until she was damn good and ready to leave. i would be like one of those dogs left in the car on a hot summer's day and i would get brain damage from the heat and no one would even come break a window on the car to rescue me. needless to say, i didn't take any pics. but if i had, i would have had material for Fat Girls in Skinny Clothes for weeks! i saw enough size 24 girls crammed into size 14 pants to last me lifetime, thank you very much. *shudder*

the people that really scare me are the gambling addicts. you can always spot them by the sweat on their brow and their shaking hands. and if you can't see them, you can smell them. they reek of Eau D'desperation. you KNOW that they have just put this month's rent into that slot machine and if it doesn't pay off they are going to have to sell Junior off into white slavery.

my favorite are the people who learned everything they know about poker from Celebrity Poker Tournament on tv. once, while playing video poker, i overheard a lady ask her husband, "is that the river?" what the fuck, lady? this is VIDEO poker! there is no "river" and there is no "turn" - go back to playing keno and leave us serious players alone.

i won a little, i lost a little, but i made my money back at the buffet. i probably ate my body weight in guacamole. and given the price of avocados today, i think i came out ahead in that deal.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Crap You Couldn't PAY Me to Wear

mom and i went to the Camarillo Outlets today. i wanted to go to the Aerosoles store in particular because there is a pair of shoes i have been wanting and they are $65 retail and i knew i could get them cheaper there. we braved the crowds and the strollers and a-shopping we went. why does every family seem to have a double stroller? i swear, some of those people didn't even have kids. it was like Stroller Derby 2005 trying to walk thru that place. next time, i will wear a helmet and elbow pads for protection.

so, in my quest to save $20, i ended up spending about $300. but i got some great stuff. at the Maidenform store alone, i dropped $65. but, i swear i needed more panties.really, i did. and i have never once walked out of a Skechers outlet empty handed. today was no exception.

many of the stores in this outlet are higher end names such as Coach, Mikasa, and Versace. but, as you are about to see, money DOES NOT equal good taste. we saw stuff today that i wouldn't give to my worst enemy as a gag gift.


Example
YABBA DABBA FUCKING DO! obviously designed by betty rubble after a 3 day bender, this vest was a plush faux fur nightmare. retired grandmothers in florida would deem this "a little over the top, dear."


Example
because, really, nothing says CLASS like a gold lame, high heeled sneaker. my favorite detail is the security tag. i really don't think they have to worry about these bad boys getting shoplifted anytime soon.


Example
is it a kayak? is it a shoe? i don't know, it's just butt ugly. (that cute little leg belongs to my mom. i love that she is willing to model for my art. what a mom!)


Example
how many Muppets had to die for this? somebody call PETA! this is an outrage!! i mean, WHO, tell me WHO looks at that shoe and says, "yes. finally. the perfect shoe. my search is over. it shall be mine."

trust me, the stuff i bought is WAY cuter.