Monday, June 29, 2009

And now...the long-awaited product review!

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new product that purported to "redefine your body's contours" and "reduce your waist, hips, and thighs by as much as two centimeters." At $12.99, it was a little pricey, but I thought it would be worth it if it could help me do something about my thighs. ("Thunder" doesn't adequately describe them. "Tornado" or "tsunami" thighs would probably be more appropriate.) I tried Nivea's My Silhouette for (roughly) six weeks. The packaging indicated that I should see results in four weeks, but...I didn't. So, I decided to give it a bit longer, since I was feeling generous and really hoping that it would work.

The result? Well, mostly inconclusive. I didn't actually measure any of my body parts, so I don't know if they're two centimeters smaller or not. Also during this period, I cut out nightly desserts and started doing Pilates, so any loss of centimeters could be attributed to that, rather than the lotion. My skin does feel nice and smooth, but I think my regular $2.99 Suave lotion would produce the same result if it was diligently applied twice a day, as I did with the Silhouette cream. The skin on my stomach did seem just a bit firmer, but the thighs, despite all my wishing and hoping, are completely unchanged. All in all, I would have to say that I did not get the results that Nivea says to expect from this product.

If you are interested in trying My Silhouette, I would recommend that you not go into it expecting a miracle. I am willing to accept, however, that it might work for someone else, and that my thighs may just be beyond all hope. So, if you decide to try it and get good results, please let me know. On the plus side, the cream smells really nice. I don't think I will buy another tube, though. Instead, I plan to spend that $12.99 on Good-bye Cellulite Gel-Cream, which is Nivea's new hail damage-busting product. What can I say? I am skeptical about a lot of things, but the dream of having thighs that don't jiggle will make me haul out my wallet every time.

Smiley me, please!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why does it seem like everyone is turning into my grandmother?

You can't turn on the television these days without hearing someone talk about poo.

Oh, they're not explicitly discussing poo. It's all about "digestive health." Activia. Align. FiberOne. FiberPlus. There is even a brand of bottled water that contains extra fiber. They talk about pre- and probiotics, natural enzymes, and "cleansing" your body. In one of the commercials, the actress has even developed a little hand signal that, I presume, indicates that her innards are now functioning like a well-oiled machine, thanks to Activia. I'm sure you've seen plenty of these products by now, but you may be wondering: What does all this have to do with my grandmother?

I don't know if it was a generational thing, or just a personality quirk, but my grandmother could not exist without keeping tabs on the state of everyone's bowels. (She was a wonderful woman otherwise, though, and I loved her very much.) It wouldn't have been quite as mortifying if she had sought some privacy in which to make her inquiries, but, throughout my childhood, she would ask me about my bathroom habits in front of anyone and everyone. I was naturally introverted, and her questions made me wish the floor would open up and swallow me. Those conversations usually ended up with me insisting, "No, Granny! I DON'T NEED ANY PRUNE JUICE!!" (Most of the time, I was able to escape the dreaded prune juice. Although a dosing with castor oil was also threatened many times, it never happened. Whew.)

That early embarrassment must have scarred me for life or something, because I passionately hate all of those digestive health commercials. I don't really have a problem with the existence of the products themselves, I just wish we didn't have to discuss them on TV. Although, now that I think about it, maybe I do have a problem with the products themselves. What have we, as a society, done to our bowels to require all that "regulation?" Here's the thing, people: It's not that difficult to regulate your digestive system. Eat some fruits and veggies every now and then! Some whole grain bread! Drink some water! If you do that, everything should be fine...problem solved. Now, you can collect all the money you've been spending on those products, and send it to me instead.

And no, Jamie Lee Curtis, I DON'T NEED ANY ACTIVIA!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


This could be the fate that awaits me:

Not because I crossed paths with some bad gum, but due to the astonishing quantity of fruit I've been eating lately. One of my favorite things about summer is the affordability and variety of fresh fruits at the grocery store, so I load up my cart every week. I was cleaning and cutting up this week's fruit haul yesterday afternoon, when I noted the following tally:
  • 2 pounds of strawberries
  • 1 pound of cherries
  • 1 pound of grapes
  • 2 pints of blueberries
  • 8 bananas
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 2 large deli-cut bowls of watermelon and fresh pinapple
Since I've been eating this much fruit every week for the past month, I fully expect to blow up like Violet Beauregarde any day now. I can only hope that the Oompa-Loompas roll me past that chocolate river on the way to be squoze.

Coming this week: I question the ever-increasing number of "digestive health" products on the market, and the follow-up to my fascinating product review!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We're Gonna Take a Break and Introduce the Band

At pretty much every concert I've ever been to, the band took a break at some point to introduce the members and give everyone a chance to play a little solo. Even if the group has been around forever, and most of their fans know more about the band members than their own relatives, they still go through the whole introduction thing at every show. I've been writing this blog for 10 months now, and I decided it may be time to devote a post to some of my band members (aka the other characters I write about here. Unfortunately, I'm not actually in a band, despite 25 years of fervent wishing.)

Your Host

So, this is me...absepa, for the purposes of this blog. That's not my real name, of course, but the husband is kind of squirrelly about identity theft and didn't want me to use my real name. I am 38, and I still live in my hometown in Kentucky. Since I did the dumbest thing ever and bailed on my college scholarship without getting a degree, I work as an administrative assistant. Over the past 20 years, I've worked at a life insurance company, a college textbook wholesaler, an equine insurance company, and a small private university. A little over four years ago, I was lucky enough to land a job in the Planning division of the local city government. It's a really good job, and I am so thankful to have it. During my clerical/admin "career," I have answered about a million inane questions; made thousands and thousands of copies; used many office machines in various stages of decrepitude; told an astonishing number of lies for bosses who refused to answer the phone or meet with people; and been cursed at, threatened, and called a liar. Some of those stories may eventually find their way here as blog fodder. Outside of work, I go to church, waste time online, and hang out with my husband, family, and dogs. I've been singing since I was seven years old, and would love nothing more than to be able to make a living doing it...but I'm not expecting to have a Susan Boyle moment anytime soon.

Mr. Nerd
My husband since 1996, who is kind of reclusive and most certainly would not want me to post his photo on the Internets. He's a few years older than me, and works in IT for the city government. Mr. Nerd is an amateur photographer and video gamer, very sarcastic and funny, and really handy at fixing things around the house. I don't write much about him here, mostly because he didn't ask to have his life made public on my blog.

The Dogs

Patches, Sebastian, and Abby, my three Cocker Spaniels. They're pretty spoiled, even though I try really hard not to be the Crazy Dog Lady. They never cease to amuse me, though, and they're great little companions. Patches is sweet and lazy; Sebastian is much smarter than a dog should be, and gets into lots of trouble; and Abby has an unfortunate tendency to kill critters in the yard. Two dead birds in just the past week, as a matter of fact.

Various Session Players
From time to time I write about my family, which includes my sister, M, and my mom, stepfather, and various aunts and an uncle. I wrote a couple of posts early on about my job, but my boss has probably discovered my blog through Facebook now, and I don't want to get fired. I guess I'll have to stick to stories about some of my old workplaces from now on.

So, that's the band. I haven't built up a large fan base at this point, but I'm grateful for every single reader. If you do read the blog, drop me a comment and let me know what you think! I love to know who's out there. We'll return to our regularly scheduled randomness next time.

Vote for me, please:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Slap Chop to the Funny Bone

Mr. Nerd and I spent about an hour last night watching this video over and over. My sides ached from laughing so hard.

Now that you've watched the video, you should understand perfectly why my husband and I have been going around yelling, "Watch this! You're gonna love my nuts!" to each other. (Or maybe you won't--we really are kind of odd.) But the video is still brilliant. Mad props to djsteveporter.

Like the Rap Chop? Smiley me, please!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Appliance Death II: Fall of the Machines

It's almost summer here in Nerdland, and the lawn is growing like crazy. We've been mowing twice a week for the past month or so. That is, until the mower crapped out on us last weekend. My smart husband, who is absolutely incredible at fixing broken things, managed to keep it working enough to cut the grass on Saturday. It wouldn't be such a big deal, but our sissy dogs won't endure the tall grass tickling their fannies, so they tend to turn the patio into a toilet whenever the lawn needs mowing. We tossed around the idea of buying a new mower (ours is a super-basic model AND it's 12 years old), but the husband decided to just buy a small engine repair book, fix the motor himself, and save the money.

Not to be outdone in the necessary-machine-falling-apart-at-a-critical-moment contest, the washer decided to die on Saturday, as well. Unfortunately, I had washed only one of our usual four weekly loads of laundry. The (brilliant) husband found the appropriate replacement part on eBay, and he should be making the repair sometime later this week. Hopefully no one will get too close at work until then, just in case we're smelly.

I would like to take this opportunity to implore that my remaining functional appliances not join in this suicide pact, please. We could probably do without the stove for a while, but the microwave, fridge, toaster, and air conditioner are absolute necessities. And the computer...dear Lord, please save the computer! After all, writing about your problems is a stress reliever, right? I'm definitely gonna need a stress reliever if I'm hot, hungry, wearing stinky clothes, and living in a poo-strewn-patio jungle.

Vote for me, please! I could use all the smilies I can get.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Few Thoughts on My New Exercise Program

For the past seven years, I have been on a quest to find some type of exercise that doesn't bore me to tears or hurt any of my injured body parts. Enter a seemingly endless parade of exercise DVDs. I have walked, bellydanced (which always gave Mr. Nerd a good laugh), blasted my fat, danced with(out) the stars, and succumbed to the lure of a device advertised by the uber-annoying Tony Little. Each of these options held my attention for a while, but I always ended up either losing interest or dealing with my bad ankle, so I moved on. Last weekend, I found yet another workout DVD that intrigued me--for the low, low price of $2--at Big Lots.

I'd heard a lot about Pilates, so I was pretty excited to bring home my new video and give it a try. After all, a lot of really cool celebrities attribute their totally smokin' bodies to this sytem, so there must be something to it. Right? Anyway, I've done a few sessions now, and I thought I might share some thoughts.

Awesome! I have a new workout DVD to look forward to.

(Later, after spending nearly 20 minutes opening the @#*& DVD)
Hey, this is kind of fun. The stretching part feels really nice, and nothing hurts. I think I'm going to enjoy this. But I'm starving, so I'm gonna have to cut it short tonight.

Okay, time for Pilates! I'm totally ready for the w
arm-up and abs or "floor" portion of the video. Maybe I can develop a six-pack! (Editor's note: HA! As if.)

Wow, this is kind of harder than I thought. My abs are getting pretty sore, but no pain, no gain, right? That six-pack isn't gonna come easy. Um, what the fudge is this "t-stand" thing she keeps talking about? Oh, crap:
What is this going to do to my messed-up shoulder? Should I try it? Oh, well...the therapist said exercise is good, as long as it's not past the point of pain. Ha! Point of Pain totally sounds like a thrash-metal band. They would have beard-braids like those dudes from System of a Down.

Editor's note: This is NOT a good idea for a messed-up shoulder, particularly when the Lortab prescription ran out and the doctor won't give you any more.

Oh, man, I'm really sore. Just putting on my sports bra nearly made me cry. But, I really want to be healthier and more flexible. It will feel better after I stretch.

I am SO glad I'm not doing this in a class. I can't imagine getting in this position in front of other people. This is not ladylike at all. And please, God, don't let Mr. Nerd come down the stairs while I have my butt over my head like this. He has too much stuff to laugh at me about already.

Are other people's dogs this annoying? Every time I lie down on the floor, I end up with one cold snout in my ear, one in the small of my back, and a furry butt sitting on my forehead. It's a miracle I haven't given one of them a concussion during the leg lifts.

Arrrggh, the leg lifts. My butt muscles feel like they're going to burst into flames. But I'm determined to make it through the whole video tonight.

So, Pilates tonight? Or take Facebook quizzes and watch Family Guy?

I'll leave you to guess which one I chose. Here's a hint: I am a Lyric Master, my Disney Princess name is Aurora, and TBS is showing the episode with Brian's gay cousin.

Like this post? Drop me a smiley at!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Friday Photo Fun was going to be Flickr Fun Friday, but it takes a really long time to look through all those pictures. We'll have to make do with one of my photos, instead:

My silly dog, Patches. And yes, I am holding him like a baby. He's pretty rotten...and really cute.

Have a happy Friday!