Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's a Leap Day Miracle!

I'm not proud to admit this, but I am a huge sucker for Romantic Comedies...aka "Rom Coms." I'm even more ashamed to admit that my husband is just as big of a sucker for Rom Coms as I am. This essentially makes Friday night movie nights at the Darling house remarkably close to the way I spent every Friday night in high school: sitting on the couch with my best friend, watching a chick flick. I wasn't very popular in high school...did I mention that? 

But whatever. To those who don't enjoy a good Rom Com: well, I'm sorry that you are an android or made of stone or some sort of Eastern European. And of course, I couldn't talk about Rom Coms without mentioning one of the queens of them: Amy Adams. And I couldn't mention Amy Adam's Rom Coms without mentioning one of the sappiest: Leap Year.

Whew. It took me a while to get to that one....glad you could take the "leap" with me (*cue rimshot).

Since today is Leap Day, let's look into it, shall we?

  • For those of you who haven't seen Leap Year (i.e., those of you without a soul), it is a Leap Day tradition that started in Ireland in which a woman could propose to a man on Feb. 29 without fear of ridicule. Apparently, it started when St. Brigitte struck a deal with St. Patrick to make this happen. No word on if St. Brigitte is getting any back end profits on the Leap Year movie deal.
  • You've got a 1 in 1461 chance of being born on Leap Day. So, Leap Day babies are lucky. And not at all the freaks that I've been telling everyone that they are. Sorry about that.
  • So when do the Leap Day, I mean, Lucky People celebrate their birthdays when it's not Leap Year? Turns out it's different in various regions. In places like China, Taiwan, and New Zealand, 21 year old Leap-ers get to have that first legal drink on Feb. 28th; Leap-ers in the US, UK, and Hong Kong, however, have to wait until March. 1.
  • Sir James Milne Wilson, 8th Premier of Tasmania, was born on Leap Day and died on Leap Day. Other "famous" Leap Day babies: Ja Rule, Antonio Sabato, Jr., and Dinah Shore.
  • And, as of last week's 30 Rock episode (the first good one of the season, as far as I'm concerned), I think that we need to start celebrating Leap Day as suggested by Tina Fey and crew: dress up like Leap Day William, poke people in the eye for not wearing blue and yellow, and trade candy for children's tears. Got it? Good, now go make Leap Day William proud!
And here's a necklace that I think celebrates the whole Leap Day-Irish-Proposal thing. Plus, it will be a great necklace to have for St. Patty's Day:) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


So, I hate talking on the phone. I hate it. I really, really hate it. I will try every single other form of communication before talking on the phone....and this is coming from someone that has spent years as a receptionist, answering phones and working switchboards. Of course, one could argue that's why I hate talking on the phone.

I now have an Iphone and I love everything about it- except for the actual phone. If you are trying to get in touch with me, I will text, email, facebook, tweet, telegraph, snail mail, or skywrite you before I actually return your call. And if I do call you, I will keep it short. Awkwardly short.

That being said, I do appreciate the importance of the phone. Who doesn't? The telephone has been a major innovation and now necessity of life. Without a telephones, how would our lives be momentarily and annoyingly disrupted by someone else's selfish need to talk to us at that very moment? I'm kidding, of course. Kind of.

So, here's the 411 on phones:

  • Alexander Graham Bell thought that phones should be answered with "Ahoy-hoy" instead of "Hello." This is why The Simpsons' Mr. Burns answers the phone this way, to indicate that we was contemporaries with Alexander Graham Bell and therefore very old. Also, I just realized that when you explain and analyze a joke, it is instantly no longer funny.
  • Mark Twain was one of the first people to have a telephone in his own home. Hmmm, guess someone thought pretty highly of himself:)
  • The first "long distance" phone service was from New York to Chicago. This required over 800 miles of open wire. 
  • While it may seem that everyone has a telephone, in actuality, one-third of the world's population has never used a telephone. Lucky bastards.
  • The automatic switchboard was inspired by an undertaker. Let me explain: see, in Kansas City, Undertaker A suspected rival Undertaker B of getting more business than him because Undertaker B's wife worked as a switchboard operator. It turns out, Undertaker B's wife was diverting all the business calls to her hubby. So, Undertaker A pushed for an automatic switchboard system. Thanks, Undertaker A!
  • The first telephone operators used to be men, but they were prone to prank calls and "chatting up ladies" instead of doing their jobs, so women replaced men in this occupation. Of course, pranks and sexual harassment still goes on in Congress....I'm thinking that women should replace all the men there as well.
  • The fictional prefix 555 was actually suggested by American phone companies to be used by film and television producers, so that real telephone numbers weren't accidentally used. However, this eventually backfired when a Gary Larsen cartoon used the prefix 555 for Satan's phone number; the cartoon was reprinted in Australia where 555 is a real prefix. Oops.
  • Phone booths are becoming a thing of the past. Now, they are being replaces by multi-purpose kiosks with computer/internet capabilities. Which makes sense. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a phone booth?...other than when Comedy Central reruns Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Well, even if you are an anti-phonite like me, you will probably still appreciate this necklace. Plus, it's the featured sale item of the day. It was $46, but now it's $38, for today, 2/22/12 only.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Edge of Seventeen

So, today is the day after Valentine's day. Some of you spent the day in a heart-filled wonderland, others did the whole anti-Valentine's day thing, and yet others, like me, were completely ambivalent to the day. It's not that I dislike Valentine's Day, but the thing is- my husband works out of town during the week, so unless Valentine's Day happens to fall on a weekend, then we really don't celebrate it. Plus, we've been married for 7 years....Valentine's Day is for those in the honeymoon stage still. However, I will be out shopping for discounted chocolates today. Happy Valentine's Day to me:)

But, I really do like the imagery of Valentine's Day. And I LOVE vintage valentines.  And- bear with me, there's a point coming up- a lot of vintage valentines use dove images.

And why not talk about doves? For those of you who are still filled with anti-Valentine's Day rage (and/or hangovers) this will be a calming image for you to focus on.

  • Doves and pigeons? Same thing? Well, in a word, yes. Doves and pigeons are in the same family of Columbidae. And essentially, doves are the smaller variety, pigeons are the larger ones. The common pigeon, aka city rat, is actually a Rock Dove.
  • And to blow your mind further, the typical doves that are released at weddings are usually white Carrier Pigeons....but saying that you are going to release 100 white Carrier Pigeons just doesn't have the same panache, does it?
  • But, White Doves ARE used in magic tricks, mainly because they are smart and not afraid to be in boxes or covered up with a cloth...But I would argue that not being afraid to be put in a box or covered up is the opposite of being smart.
  • Doves, unlike reality stars, are monogamous, which is why they are used on many valentines.
  • The Dove cleansing bar was originally formulated in the 1950's to help treat burn victims. This didn't really bring in the sales that the company wanted, so in the 1970's the company reformulated it and called the product the Dove Beauty Bar. The rest is history.
  • Edge of Seventeen (aka Just Like the White Winged Dove) was written by Stevie Nicks as an expression of mourning over the death of her uncle Jonathan and the murder of John Lennon; both occurred in the same week.
Speaking of doves, here's a necklace. And it's on sale today only. Was $48, now only $40. For 2/15/12,  only What a bargain!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


There are a few things that you can say in this country that will get you branded as a communist right away. Here's two  of them: 1. "I don't watch/like football" and 2. "I don't have a dog." I will address the later, as I don't have nearly enough time to explain and justify my views on the former.

The dog thing. Just because I happen to be a parent to a cat, doesn't mean that I don't like dogs. I think dogs are quite wonderful. I just don't have a dog. And the main reason I don't have a dog is because I'm incredibly lazy. I love my cat and consider myself a wonderful cat guardian (I think that's what we are supposed to call ourselves), but I really don't have the gumption to commit to walking, bathing, and playing with a dog on a regular schedule. Some great things about cats: they poop in a box, they are- for the most part- self-grooming, and they kind of make their own between naps, of course. This is not to say that I don't over-mother my cat and lavish her with attention, because I definitely do. I just don't have to follow her around outside with a plastic baggie like some sort of strange butler, waiting for her to poop. And for me, that's rad.

But, back to my point. Just because I chose a cat over a dog doesn't mean that I don't like dogs. And, for the record, I hate the terms "Cat People" and "Dog People." Anytime someone says "I'm just not a cat person" what that really means is "I have never successfully won over the attention of a cat, and therefore I take that as rejection and now I'm going to self-preserve my ego by stating that I'm not into cats even though I secretly would love to experience a cat purring in my lap." Wait, was that a little judgmental? Well, what do you expect from a "cat person?"

But, to show complete bipartisanship, I'm gonna blog about dogs today. More specifically, puppies!

  • Did you know that chihuahua puppies are born with a soft spot on their heads, just like human babies? 
  • This should go without saying, but puppies can not eat cat food. And neither should humans...I'm talking to you, Lady Who Eats Cat Food on the show My Strange Addiction.
  • Dogs only listen to the first syllable of their name. So, when you are training a puppy, either just name him/her a monosyllabic namer or shorten it when you call them. So much for the classic name, Fido... 
  • The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the US, Canada, and UK. But, you should ALWAYS adopt your puppy from an animal rescue center. Never from a puppy mill. Rescue animals are the best. Of course, that's just my beliefs...but they are right:)
  • Puppies are born blind, deaf and toothless.
  • A puppy spends about 14 hours a day sleeping. Just like a college student.
  • This isn't really a puppy fact, but 2 dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic. If that doesn't make you smile today, then I don't know what can.
And here's a necklace for you. And you can pretend that it is of the 2 surviving Titanic dogs. It's not, but I won't tell if you won't....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Because I Could Not Blog For Death, He Kindly Blogged for Me

Happy Groundhog's Day! Apparently, good old Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter. Only, I really don't understand how anyone knows if he "sees" his shadow. Honestly, I don't really understand the whole Groundhog's Day thing in the first place. I guess I could do my research on it, but I'm just not that interested. Or, I guess I could watch the movie Groundhog's Day, but that would involve me enduring the annoying, whining acting style of Andie McDowel....and I just don't want to put myself through that. No one should. Haven't we all suffered enough?

As you have  probably surmised, I am not going to blog about Groundhog's Day. Instead, I'm going to blog about Emily Dickinson. I have absolutely no clever transition or segue into this topic, so I'm just going to act like a global warming denier and skip any sort of logical explanation whatsoever.

If you are an Emily Dickinson fan, then you probably know most facts about her life. If you are not, you still probably know most facts about her life. Abridged version: Born to a prominent family in Amherst, Mass. Had a pleasant dad and a bitchy mom. She was wicked smart. Became obsessed with death. Spent the later years of her life in psuedo-seclusion. Gained notoriety posthumously.

That being said, here's some "fun facts" about Emily Dickinson. (reader note, when you type "fun facts about Emily Dickinson" into google, google laughs at you.)

  • Even though she had a thing for death and wrote about it quite frequently, she did not dress like the goth icon you would think she is. Instead, she wore mainly white. In fact, in her later years, she was notorious for wearing ONLY white clothing.
  • Only 11 poems were published during her lifetime.
  • Many think of her as a spinster, yet it is rumored that she actually had several affairs; even one with a minister and possibly a lesbian affair....not bad for a recluse.
  • During her lifetime, she was known as the "Myth of Amherst," due to her seclusion and pension for only wearing white. However, after her death and subsequent fame, she became known as the "Belle of Amherst." The public can be so fickle.
  • It was Emily's sister, Lavinia, who found her poems after her death in 1886 and pushed to have them published. It took a while, though, because Lavinia decided to solicit them to both her brother's wife AND mistress. Obviously, the two couldn't work together very well...
  • She wrote nearly 1800 poems. She was a busy little agoraphobe.
  • Guess what? She didn't just write about death and sadness. She also wrote about botany. AND she made cartoons and created funny, sarcastic Valentines. 
So, I can't think of a better Valentine or Anti-Valentine than an Emily Dickinson necklace, can you? And, it just so happens to be on sale today, 2/2/12.