Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two brits go into a Walmart

I was going to go to Walmart today, but I watched these guys instead. Much better choice.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Now, that's a pundit!

 
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."
-- Mark Twain

A small victory for truth in advertising

Cheers to the British Advertising Standards Authority for banning two anti-aging cosmetic ads featuring over-Photoshopped photos of Julia Roberts, 44, and Christy Turlington, 42 - neither of whom need to be airbrushed, even a little.

Sizzlin' with Sly et al.


As the National Weather Service extends the excessive heat warning one more day (what, just one?), I've decided to take a cue from Sly and the Family Stone, stop complaining and find me some hot fun. (The only negative about this classic video from the 70s - one of my favorites - is that Sly's midriff looks better than mine ever did.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why I heart Jon Stewart

Planning for Pharmageddon (Graphic photo alert!)

This will be me this fall. (I kept the photo as small as possible. Do not click to enlarge if you're faint of heart.)
     While you happily look forward to fall foliage, football weather and Octoberfest, I unhappily anticipate autumn as the Season of Efudex. As previously posted, I am in need of topical chemotherapy for a widespread pre-cancer scenario on my forehead.
     The challenge is two-fold: 1) Schedule the home-treatment (cream applied every day for 3 weeks; unsightly, if not grotesque, skin for four weeks) at a time when I will have as little contact with other humans as possible; and 2) acquire just the right hairdo so, when I do go out, I won't make toddlers scream in terror.
    I'm having a terrible time with No. 1, since fall is my favorite time of year and I have weddings and special events at work to negotiate. But, I'm making headway on No. 2:
    Unlike the poor fellow in the photo, I can wear forehead fringe to camouflage the epidermal carnage. Heavy bangs are difficult to get right but, today, my fab stylist gave me a softer, less severe version of the Anna Wintour....
    With the AW 'do and the right pair of over-sized shades, let's hope I'm able to skate thru my treatment with only a large aloe plant for comfort.
 You gals ARE using sunscreen every day, right?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anticipation: The key to the perfect vacation

I loved this piece from the NYTimes. It confirms what I've believed for years - that anticipating a trip is often just as much as fun as actually taking it - except for the whole being away from home in a fabulous place thing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Yes, but it was a dry heat."

Our ten days - or whatever it was - under the excessive heat dome wasn't nearly as bad as the dust bowl days in the dirty 30's. Still, when the rain rolled in this morning, heralded by rolling thunder, I was this happy:
It wasn't the gulley washer I hoped for, but a "cold" front has moved through. The high temperature tomorrow will be only 94 degrees! Don't laugh. That's eleven degrees cooler than yesterday. I feel a new attitude coming on!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The calm before Trader Joe's

Our overnight in Kansas City had such a relaxing beginning.  The pool at the Marriott was cool and refreshing, as was our in-room A/C (I was worried it couldn't keep up with the 103-degree heat.) We dined leisurely at one of my favorite KC bistros, got a great night's sleep, then took in Monet's Water Lillies on exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art this morning. So beautiful and serene.
Note: Not my photo. Cameras weren't allowed.
Unfortunately, the serenity didn't stick, due to our scheduled stop at Kansas City's new Trader Joe's. Can you say CLUSTER CHUCK!??!!
Yes, I know it was a Saturday. And, only the second Saturday since their opening, at that. But, we were right there and the Two Buck Chuck beckoned.
I'd been to TJ's before in Boston when my daughter was in school there, but the TJ's in her 'hood didn't have wine, and I couldn't buy groceries since we were in a hotel. So, you see, it had to be done.
Half an hour in line and a 45-minute drive home later, we are stocked with some of TJ's most popular products including one Two Buck Chuck (it's really 3 bucks) of each variety.
Who knows? Maybe we can get some of that serenity back tonight!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Emergency exit

I must have seemed particularly pitiful last night after my long day at the sidewalk sale, because my spouse - no doubt pitying himself more than me - booked an air-cooled room for tonight at a Kansas City hotel. "Perfect!" I said, imagining myself soaking in a cool pool, then napping for hours under cool, clean sheets.  Then he said, "And there's this great band we should go see. Their show starts at 10." Wha!?!? Clubbing? In an excessive heat warning? Some people just have a completely different idea of what a vacation should be.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This year's Christmas card?

That's Sarah the snake from the Topeka Zoo, my guest at the Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale today. (I don't think my smile looks all that sincere, do you?)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bazaarmaggedon!

Tomorrow is the 51st annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale. 20 to 30 thousand bargain hunters shoppers are expected to descend on a 5-block stretch of Massachusetts Street, starting around 4:30 tomorrow morning and not ending till about 9 pm.
The expected high tomorrow: 101 degrees.
Guess who's in charge of this hot, panting puppy? That's right. I am! It's the biggest retail event of the year for our merchants' association and I have no earthly idea what to expect. All I know is, I'm getting up at 4 and taking a complete change of clothes with me to work, along with extra pairs of shoes, a cooler, plenty of ice, sunscreen, Xanax (not really; OK, really, but just for back-up) and a whole bunch of cash.
Fortunately, I managed to snag Sidewalk Sale prices a day early from my next-door neighbor, Brown's Shoe Fit, purveyors of stylish, foot-healthy shoes.

The babies I bought are Galley Sandals in Brunello Red by Born. I heart them because the heel isn't too high (not quite two inches), the style is timeless, they're comfy as heck, and the crimson color is sex-y-y-y! AND, I got them for $30 off!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Psychological warfare

I've waged war - a cold war, if you will - against my hot and bitchy self in the midst of this torturous heat wave. My first tactic is to break out the photos of Blizzard 2011. It seems to be working on my overheated psyche. That, and a steady stream of Lemon-Basil Gin Rickeys on ice:
      2 ounces gin
      1 ounce lemon juice
      1 ounce or more basil-infused simple syrup (made with Splenda)
      2 ounces soda water
      Garnish with basil sprigs.  (Don't forget to spank your basil!)

Herb-o-rama!

    Yesterday morning, in a fit of Martha Stewartishness, I decided to hack half my stand of chives to make more room for the basil. I cut them into little pieces, dried them on a baking sheet on the screened porch and filled a good sized storage box for freezing.
    Then, I picked a whole bunch of ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed it with some freshly cut basil and mozzarella and - voila! - the first Caprese salad of the summer!
    Because the rosemary was feeling neglected, I chopped up a couple sprigs and tossed it with olive oil on some fingerling potatoes. I was not quick enough to get a photo before the hubs started wolfing them down.
   All in all, a very productive day, and a nice diversion from the reality of the coming week. Thursday is the 51st annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale. Forecasts says 102. Come one, come all!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Boil, burn, bitch.

Of course, my column today is about the heat. I don't like it. I think I've made myself perfectly clear.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lemons and limes, who knew?

When making this big jar of "spa water" to encourage adequate family hydration, I noticed that all my lemon slices floated on top while the lime slices - save one - sank to the bottom. I found this so absolutely FASCINATING, I had to take a picture...which is probably a symptom of heat exhaustion.

The winner is Mel!

Congrats, Mel. You win my extra copy of Facercise!  Please email me at cathy@boomergirl.com with your shipping address and I'll send it on its way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Whatever part I'm not, he is."

This is an especially sweet story from this morning's paper about love and second (third or fourth?) chances at happiness. Inspirational!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know....


I just love it when I find videos like this gem from 1972 posted on Facebook by someone young enough to be my child. Restores my faith in today's youth.

I hear ya, kid.



I'm pretty sure I had a phone conversation like this today when my carb-deprived blood sugar took a dip.

Consolation in a box

My fabulous consolation prize from the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" people came yesterday. I always love to get packages in the mail, and this one was a whopper. Besides the toast tongs, I was particularly excited about the ceramic bread warming baskets, which also keep things - like fruit - cool in the fridge. The little one will be great to hold lemons and limes on the bar during parties. Thanks, ICBINB peeps!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baby's butt: A product review

I got a complimentary review sample of "Baby's Butt age-erasing face primer" from the folks at Addiction NV last week, and have been using it under my make-up ever since. It smells lovely - a refreshing touch of mint - and seems to make your cheeks softer to the touch. But, "age-erasing"? Sorry, I can't go that far. Of course, if you click the link, you'll see the market for this product is younger than the average boomer girl, so "age-erasing" must be a relative thing. Still, I wouldn't put this one in the "anti-aging" category. I do think primer can make a difference - especially under mineral make-up - but let's not make promises we can't keep.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My first "celebrity" photo shoot


Except the "celebrity" I was impersonating is infamous 19th-century abolitionist and Kansas folk hero (to some), John Brown. Oh, well. It's not like I was expecting Hef to call.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why I heart Tervis tumblers

The fridge was about bare, so I had to venture out into the 100-degree heat (it's 109 in Wichita, so I really can't complain) for sustenance. I filled my jumbo Tervis Tumbler  to the top with ice and green tea, made two stops (World Market for 15 minutes; grocery store for 30) leaving the glass in the sweltering car, and - whattya know? - there was still ice when I got home. Love that! (Sometimes, it's the little things.)

I've got drawers like Victoria has secrets.

Today's indoors-in-the-A/C project was organizing a new bra drawer, which I did by a) segregating the bras from the panties, tights, slips and three old parking tickets (how did they get in there?); and b) stacking the bras on their sides, a la Victoria's Secret. How did it take me 55 years to do this vs. tossing the bras in there every which way? And, yes, I color-organized them, too. It's 100-degrees outside. What else was I going to do?

"Excessive heat warning" defined

For those of you who are curious yellow about what an excessive heat warning really means, here it is:
Excessive Heat Warning - Extreme heat index making it feel very hot, typically above 110 °F (43 °C) for 3 hours or more during the day for two consecutive days or above 110 °F (43 °C) at any time. 
Yep, that's what we're looking at. BoomerGirl's bitchy mood officially begins now. Good times!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

R.I.P., Betty Ford

Courage, grace and benevolence personified.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One for me, one for you. Another giveaway!

     A shipping error resulted in not one, but TWO review copies of "Ultimate Facercise" by Carole Maggio landing in my mailbox this week. As you've probably deduced, this is a book of facial exercises which, if performed regularly, can reportedly lift and tone your mug without painful, expensive injections or - eek! - any procedure involving a scalpel.
   Let's exploit this situation and have another random drawing, shall we? Simply leave a comment below stating what your favorite facial feature is and why (don't be shy, brag away) or email your answer to cathy@boomergirl.com and I'll announce the winner on July 15th.
    OK, I'll start (because I'm almost never shy, tho' I am ineligible to win): My favorite facial feature is my nose because it's the only thing on my person that hasn't expanded, sagged, dried up or wrinkled over the years. Your turn....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Drum roll, please!

...Marguerite who was chosen in a random, blindfolded (I even had my husband spin me, just for grins) drawing to win the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" prize package. Congrats!! Marguerite will be making toast, catching it with toast tongs and sprinkling it with seasonings from clamp-lid jars in no time. (M: All I need from you is your mailing address, which you can send to cathy@boomergirl.com.) For the rest of you (please note, I didn't say "losers"), don't dismay. There will be another giveaway announced tomorrow.   

Ellen's must-see blog

So, this woman in Florida leaves a comment under my giveaway post, hoping to win herself some toast tongs. I don't recall seeing her name before on BoomerGirl, so I click through to her profile, then onto her blog, mysteriously titled "Life is Just a Bowl of Chicken." I'm thinking I'll find a recipe site devoted to fowl. But, no! This hilarious woman's hobby is, in her own words: re-creating retirement photos from articles about retirement or senior living on the web. I love everything about it - finding the articles, re-creating the photos, and fitting them into our everyday life. That's Ellen and her husband (who is either equally hilarious and incredibly game or way over-medicated) in the photo above, re-creating the photo below:
These adorable people - who are big fans of the Ramones, by the way - made my day and I'll bet they'll make yours. Go to her site now. You'll never look at those "living it up in our silver years" ads in the same way again. 

Last day for the giveaway!

If you haven't entered my "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" giveaway, there is still time.  Click here to get to the post and leave a comment. That's all you need do. The winner will be announced tonight at 9 p.m.. Good luck!

Are you a cuddler? Is he? Is it really cuddling?

A new study suggests that physical shows of affection - including cuddling and kissing - are more important to men than they are to women. I'll admit I can be skeptical about studies, at times, but could this possibly be because men see cuddling and kissing as a gateway to sex?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Party in the park!

It was a perfect, temperate evening for a 4th of July party in the park with a few thousand of our closest friends last night.
Here's one of them. I saw him coming a mile away (I didn't really know him but his name's Mark) and stopped him to inquire about his t-shirt. I think he said he bought it on a Russian website, but I may have had a wee too much vodka. (Not really, just wine.)
The park was filled with vendors selling food and drink, music from various bands including Soul'd Out (think Motown from 60s/70s) and, later, a fireworks display over the river....
.....plus other forms of impromptu entertainment. Good times!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Crazy for racing, rain or shine

Click here to watch a great video by Mike Yoder on the Tour of Lawrence event downtown yesterday. Did it inspire me to dust off my bicycle and hit the pavement? Indeed, but after tonight's Iron Chef competition and Lawrence Originals' Party in the Park, and certainly when it's not raining! Those crashes had to have burned.

Independence declared 7.4.1776

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Curry? The devil you say!

Once again, I must give an unsolicited shout-out to Penzey's spices for helping me create the yummiest deviled eggs ever. I used their Maharajah curry powder (intense but not too hot) and their Singapore seasoning blend with a bit of mayo for eggs that added zing to last night's picnic of grilled pork tenderloin, cole slaw and fingerling potatoes with fresh rosemary. Fireworks in my mouth!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Behold Bjorn, the silver fox!

I used to have a grand slam crush on Bjorn Borg in the 70s. (You might say, "Who didn't this girl have a crush on?" And you'd have a point.) Anyway, I just caught a glimpse of him and his gorgeous now-grey hair in the stands at Wimbledon and thought here's another man who looks better at 50-something than he did in his so-called prime. What's up with that?

Now appearing in a deep end near you!

I wrote about Water Warriors class for my column today, because I couldn't think of anything else. (I've had a lot on my mind lately; unfortunately, none of it's particularly funny.) Then, I found this production shot of Esther Williams on Google Images. I'm going to forward it to my Warriors teacher. This could be our new routine!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Perfectly processed pesto!

    The first basil harvest/pesto-making of the summer is always exciting, but especially so since we returned from Italy in May. This year, I was determined to replicate the exquisite pesto we sampled in the Cinque Terre and I think I've come pretty close with this "extra chunky" version.
   I started by throwing two large garlic cloves and 3 cups of firmly packed basil into the food processor, along with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan and 1 cup of olive oil. I processed those for 10 seconds, then added a cup of pine nuts and walnut pieces combined (because I only had a small jar of pine nuts - too expensive!) and processed for an additional ten seconds. That's it. In the past, I've had a tendency to over-grind which makes for a smoother albeit less interesting sauce. The rustic version looks great and has a satisfying crunch and bolder flavor. I can't wait to try it ... on everything!

Who needs France? Tour de Lawrence!

It's a big, big holiday weekend in my hometown, made more exciting by the throngs of hot men (and I refer not just to the heat index) in Spandex cycling around my neighborhood in today's circuit race. (Of course, there are hot women, too.) Tomorrow, the 'tour' continues downtown where friends and I will watch the Criterium from the air-conditioned vantage point of my second floor office. With Wimbledon on the telly, it's the perfect spectator sport weekend. 'Hope yours is equally enjoyable!

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Exercise in a bottle." Now that's my kind of workout!

Here's a new study suggesting that imbibing your favorite Pinot Noir will offset the butt-expanding effects of your desk job. Is it time to kiss my Vodka/Crystal Light cocktails goodbye? The caveat, of course, is that the fat-burning benefits of red wine have only been measured in sedentary rats. (But, doesn't everyone feel like a big fat rat every once in a while? I know I do.) Plus, you'd need to drink a lot of vino to negate your couch potato ways. Still, it's an excuse....