On my To Be Reviewed Stack!

On My To Be Reviewed Pile!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

James Ellroy and Black Dahlia

I watched a show on Netflix (Feast of Death) recently about James Ellroy.  He talks about his mother's murder and the effect of her murder on him, how he grew up, the emotional abuse his father laid on him.

He also talked about the Black Dahlia case.  He's like so immersed in it, he knows it inside and out.

During the show, they had him and some LA detectives having dinner together, talking about his mom's case, and a writer friend of Ellroy's was there, and made his argument for who he thought the killer of the Black Dahlia was.  

There was a thread you had to closely pay attention to, and at any point the cops could have lost that thread, but damn if it didn't make sense.

You should definitely watch it on Netflix.

I'm reminded of that show now, because I'm watching Mysteries at the Museum, and Ellroy is doing his thing about the details of the Black Dahlia's death.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Naturalizer Shoes -- Horrid Customer Service

I won a pair of shoes following 3 weeks of constant advertising on a blog. They refuse to honor the prize & give me the shoes. On April 7th, the blog started a contest wherein they would advertise the heck out of Naturalizer through all forms of social media (twitter, facebook, blogs, email sign-ups) for 2weeks. In return one winner would win a free pair of naturalizer shoes.

On April 21, I was notified that I had won the free shoes, and supplied my info.

On May 1st, I receive a UPS package from Naturalizer with a card that says I'm entitled to a free pair of shoes with a coupon code. I placed the order on May 1. By May 10, I hadn't seen a change on the website as to the status, and called Customer Service. I was told that I had to wait 10-14 BUSINESS Days before I should be "concerned."

I called on Fri, May 18 to be told that my order was cancelled on May 9th. I was told the money was refunded to the credit card. I explained I did not have a credit card used for the purchase, I had a promo code. They said they'd get a new promo code sent to me within 24 hours.

On May 21, I called again, and after being on the phone with them for a half an hour, I was told that sometime in the next week I should get a new promo code. Meanwhile I've had nasty interactions with whoever runs their Facebook account, basically telling me to get over it. Naturalizer received 2 weeks of free advertising on twitter, facebook, and blogs and had over 165 entries to a contest, and now they refuse to honor their obligation of providing the shoes.

Since Naturalizer refuses to honor their commitment, and give me the shoes I won by way of free advertising, I have filed a complaint against them with the Better Business Bureau.

I would suggest any bloggers that are thinking about doing a contest with them, think long and hard, as they refuse to honor their commitments, suck up the free advertising, and then don't provide the winner with the shoes as promised.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

As I sit here, Mother's Day Eve, I have a few thoughts running through my head.

One, as the last 2 mother's days, I miss my mom.  I have a great step-mom that I know loves me and my boys as if we were her blood.  But I can't help but miss my mom.

As much as a pain she was, as much as she screwed me up as a child, and later as an adult, she was my mom and I loved her.  And the fact that when I was pregnant, she snuck up here from Williamsburg to buy a house so she could be with me and the boys when they were born, was really touching.  Taking her to her first sonogram where she could see the boys kicking inside me, see their hearts beating, look at my little bundles, I still remember that.

and when it was decided that I needed to go back to work, having her quit her job to take care of the boys for me was a godsend.  I was able to go back to work knowing that the next best thing to me being there was taking care of my babies.  That she would never let anything happen to them.

And her being able to spend the last 2 years of her life taking care of the boys makes me happy.  The boys were her life.  She loved them more than me sometimes. :)  The fact she got to spend time with them, love them, be grandma to her heart's content.  Makes her passing a bit easier to take.

So I sit here missing my mom.

And, I'll say this before the enormity of what I"m about to do overwhelms me...  This year, my mother's day present is being able to stay home and take care of my boys.  Finally after the last three years of working alot of hours, traveling, not being able to advocate for them, to take care of them, of depending on other people to help me take care of them.  This year, I get three months with my boys.

I'm thankful I have a husband who is letting me do this.  Who, instead of berating me for not being able to find another job, is saying, yes, spend time with the boys.

After the months of fertility treatments I went through, surgeries, etc. to have my babies.  The first two years of staying home with them were fantastic.  And now after sacrificing them for the last three years, Being able to spend time with them is what I need.

I need time to cuddle, time to do cool things with them, make some memories, so that one day hopefully they'll remember the whole summer mommy spent with them.

My babies are 7 and about to go into 2nd grade.  Pretty soon the thought of spending five minutes with mommy will make them scream.  I'm going to have as much fun with them as I can this summer.  And remind them every day mommy loves them.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Code Red Drills

The other day the boys had a Code Red Drill at school.  Jamie didn't fare very well during the drill.  He's supposed to be warned of fire drills and so forth so he can prepare himself for the disruption.

So we asked what Code Red meant, and he explained it to us.

How sad is it that our kids not only have fire drills, but also code red intruder drills? Our babies have to learn where the blind spots are in their classroom and how to hide if an asshole with a gun shows up.

Our children should not need to know that. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Remakes that are better than the Originals Pt. 2

When I started with the post the other day, I KNEW I'd have to come back and revisit it...ALOT.  Here's my part 2 submission.  Maybe the reason I love these remakes are that they are so different than the original.

1. There are just some songs that are so phenomenal, but speak to you more than the original.  One of my favorites is Johnny Cash with "Hurt"

2. The Sundays - "Wild Horses"

3. Simply Red - "If You Don't Know me by Now"

4. Tiffany - "I Thie're Alone Now"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Veet Wax Strips Review

I've been slow to the whole waxing game.

I belatedly came into waxing my eyebrows, and now just love it and find it a relaxing thing to do.  Yes, it hurts, but it's a good hurt.  And yes, I know that sounds stupid.

I've tried hair removal products before such as Veet and Sally Hansen.  No matter how good they say they are, I"ve always found they just don't work.  It either removes very little hair (even when I leave it on the full amount of time suggested, or even longer), or it so sporadically removes hair, it's useless.

I used NADS when it first came out, remember that?  But it wasn't sticky enough, it ran, it was messy, I gave up after several attempts.

I've started delving into the wax strips.  I've tried the Sally Hansen ones for the face, and it did work, somewhat, but didn't remove all the hair, and then I was left with huge bumps on my face for a week.  I'm going to try going with the assumption, I didn't have a method down, and will try it again.

Through Klout, I received a perk for the new Veet wax strips for body.  I LOVE these!  Unlike previous products I've tried, it actually works!

I cheated a bit and instead of warming up the strips between my hands, I set the hairdryer on them.  It warmed them up quickly.  I experimented on my legs, and it hurt, but worked.  As with all things, it doesn't work perfectly, but I was able to use the strips maybe 2-3 times depending on the area, and with about 6 or 7 strips, did manage to get my legs done.  There was a bit of touch-up with a razor, but for the most part it was Veet.

What I love about it?  My legs are so smooth!  You know the stubble you get from shaving, you get none with waxing.

I don't know how long I'll be able to go before needing to wax my legs again.  I'll update when I know that.

But I give the Veet Wax Strips a A++

I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer.  I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about the company.  I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Roger Nix President at Age Six

First time children’s book author Nick Dazé, is in the final days (63 hours to be exact) of his campaign to raise funding to independently publish his children's book Roger Nix President at Age Six. 
The story is about kindergartener Roger Nix, an ordinary boy: Roger loves kindergarten, playing make-believe, and hanging out with his imaginary friends (a baby donkey named Jack and a baby elephant named Abe). But when he learns about the plans of Old Man Plee, a perennial presidential candidate, to shut down schools and send kids to work in factories as an austerity measure; Roger decides to run against Old Man Plee as a defender of “school and summer vacation, learning and imagination”. Of course Abe and Jack are there to help him every step of the way.
Nick Daze and his incredible Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/787960356/roger-nix-president-at-six) have already raised nearly $22,000 and only has $8,000 more to go in order to put the book into production.  The book has been fully written by Daze and the illustrations beautifully crafted by Bill Robinson www.FlimFlammery.com . Each $30 pledge towards the Roger Nix campaign comes with a first edition hardcover copy of the book, delivered in time for the new school year this fall.  This is a timely story that is fascinating, engaging, and a thought-provoking read for both kids and parents written by a imaginative adult who was encouraged to explore his imagination as a child.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Roger stood up quickly. He had something to say
With a wink from Jack and a trunks-up from Abe.
I’ll run against him,” Roger said with a shout.
I’ll run for president, have you no doubt!
To close school would be nothing short of a crime
You can't fool all us kids, not all of the time."
He stood on his desk and they all watched and wondered
As Roger kept talking, his voice boomed and thundered.
“We’ll beat him and keep all the schools as they are
Or make them way better. We’ll shoot for the stars!
We go to school so one day we'll go far,
Not because it is easy–because it is hard!
We are KIDS! The whole point is to learn and have fun
And to use our wee noggins...
So Abe, Jack, and Roger got to work right away.
"That kid's on to something," his parents would say.
He made lots of speeches; he shook lots of hands
He toured a big factory that made rubber bands.
Then one night on the tube, to Old Plee’s disdain,
The news ran a story on Roger’s campaign.
“Roger Nix, daydreamer and ultimate kid,
Is gaining on Plee in his presidential bid.”
But everyone knew that sooner or later
Roger would have to be quite the debater.
Because one night soon, under some bright marquee
A debate would take place between Roger and Plee.
Please find more information and link to donate below if interested: