Friday, June 21, 2013

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Baby: WHO ARE THEY????

Who is Kim Kardashian???? And who is Kanye West??? It’s all I ever hear about these days! I feel like Jan Brady and her famous “Marcia Marcia Marcia” quote, only I’m saying “Kim Kim Kim!” And this has been going on for a long time, well before they had a baby. Am I the only one who doesn’t know who these people are?

Yahoo has a story about them right now. Driving in the car this morning I heard a story about them on NEWS radio. Letterman, Leno and all the other talk-show hosts make jokes about them. I flip through the channels with the remote, trying to find something to watch, and there they are on some news/entertainment segment or commercial. Why are they so popular? How do people know about them? Are they on cable or what? We don’t get cable so I have never seen them.

A few days ago I got fed up with YouTube always putting videos about them on my sidebar, and I posted something on one of them about how I didn’t even know who they were. I mostly got people cussing me out, but some kind soul informed me that “Kim Kardashian is a 'model' who is famous because her family have a reality television show about their lives. Kanye West is a singer/rapper. They just had a child together, the 'Kimye' baby.”

Okay. But I sure have never seen them. And if he is a rapper I would try to avoid him. And I just googled Kim to see pictures of her, and there she is wearing very revealing, low-cut outfits. I think I’ll avoid her, too.


I’m going back to the Yahoo story about the “supermoon” that is supposed to appear this weekend. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE LIFE-SIZE EXPERIENCE



Speaking of the dreamhouse, there are now life-size Barbie dreamhouses for real people to tour! Called “Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience”, these glittery, elegant plastic replicas of the doll’s famous mansion are open to the public in Sunrise, Florida, and in Berlin. They include interactive activities, more than 350 Barbie dolls, and even a pink piano.

Here are a few videos about the tours, including protesters in Berlin who says the attraction sends the wrong message to young girls. Oh well, who cares if "this isn’t what real life looks like.” It’s looks like fun to me!



MIDGE DOLL FROM THE BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE COLLECTION










Look who I found! It’s Midge! Barbie’s original best friend!

I was at Target yesterday and there they were, all the girls from Barbie’s “Life in the Dreamhouse” reality web series (see my blog from December 2012). The Dreamhouse Collection includes Barbie, Raquelle, Teresa, Summer, Nikki, Midge, and Ken (although I didn’t see Ken). They also had talking dolls with Barbie and Raquelle. I bought Midge, and also Summer mainly because of her darling multi-colored outfit (I haven’t yet opened her).

Midge came out in the early 60s as a more “wholesome” doll for those parents who complained about Barbie being too mature-looking for their little girls. Midge was popular at first but then vanished in the late 60’s. She returned in the late 80s and was seen periodically throughout the 90s. I got one of the very first Midges in 1963, and still have her. Here she is above with my new Midge, 50 years later!

This dreamhouse Midge has the very popular Steffie face mold, first introduced on another doll from the Barbie line in the 70s. She has beautiful reddish hair and Midge’s signature freckles. She and the other dolls even have rooted eyelashes! Her outfit matches the one in the animated series, and she also comes with an additional fashion. Her body is articulated and easy to pose, unlike the original Midge and Barbie.

I was surprised to see Midge show up at Barbie’s dreamhouse in all her unposeable black and white glory. The video link below, “A Smidge of Midge”, will take you through her makeover by modern-day Barbie and her sisters, turning her “from flashback to flash-fabulous!”



Sunday, June 16, 2013

THE DANGERS OF TOBACCO AND SMOKING CIGARETTES




Happy Father's Day! Hope you are having a wonderful day if you are a father (or a grandfather!)

It is time for my annual "smoking rant". Even though I have posted this every Father's Day for years, I still get emails and comments all the time from pot smokers who ask me why I never speak up against cigarettes, and who tell me that "weed" is much less harmful than cigarettes, as if that makes it okay to get high. They try to compare cigarettes to pot, but that's not the same at all! Pot smokers always think that we are against marijuana because we think it's dangerous and addictive like cigarettes. It doesn't even occur to them that we are against it because it's a mind-altering drug. Sigh. I could go on and on about this, but I want to get straight to the smoking article. Remember, if you smoke or know anyone who does, please stop now! You will be glad you did! And again, Happy Father's Day!!


SMOKE OUT

I’m sure you have seen them—the employees huddled outside the store on their break with cigarettes in hand; the young mother smoking outside her car while her child waits in his car seat; the middle-aged man taking one last puff and throwing his ciggie butt to the ground before entering the restaurant; the pretty young lady in the car ahead of you, flicking her ashes out the window. They’re all over, people who smoke. Every time I see somebody doing this, I think of my father, who spent his last days hooked up to an oxygen tank due to chronic emphysema after years of smoking. I always wish I could tell these people what he went through, and how they are endangering their health. Maybe they already know that smoking is bad, and they just don’t care. But I do think far too many people, especially the younger ones, may think they are “invincible” and aren’t even considering what repercussions their habit could bring.

Like many from his generation, my father began smoking in his teens, probably as a way to be cool or to fit in. Most people then were not aware of the dangers of this practice, and it was more socially acceptable. Ricky and Lucy smoked, Rob and Laura Petrie smoked, The Beatles smoked. Even my mother lit up a cigarette occasionally to be social. I myself experimented with tobacco in my teens, to be bad and rebel. Luckily I was smart enough to realize I did not want to become hooked, so I soon quit. So did my mother, when I was a kid.

But my father kept smoking, year after year. The above photo shows him in his early 30’s in 1956, just before I was born. You can clearly see the cigarette in his hand, along with the smile on his face. This man would soon become the proud father of a daughter (me) and a son, born a few years later. He enjoyed a long career as a plumber and pipe-fitter, even owning his own business for a number of years. He actively pursued hobbies such as golf, bowling, and fishing. He especially looked forward to his annual fishing trip with a buddy. There was nothing he liked more than being out on the lake, with fishing pole in hand. All this time, he smoked. As he got older, I remember him switching to pipes. I’m not sure if he thought this was safer or not, but he was still inhaling the smoke. But he continued to work and stay active.

However, probably starting in his 60’s, his health began to deteriorate, especially going downhill in his 70’s. He was diagnosed with emphysema, and had a hard time catching his breath. He blew his nose almost constantly. He did stop all smoking, including the pipes, but by this time it was too late—the damage had been done. I knew he was not doing well, but even so, I was stunned when I visited him one day and found him hooked up to a portable oxygen tank. It held enough oxygen to last for a couple of hours, and he had to lug this thing around with him everywhere he went. Needless to say, this severely limited his mobility. No more golf or bowling, and fishing was out of the question. It was all he could do to fix himself a meal. He suffered several other health problems as well, probably caused or exacerbated by smoking, and finally passed away the end of 2005 at age 80. Even though he lived to a fairly “ripe old age”, he may have lived even longer and certainly with a much better QUALITY of life during his senior years, had he not been dependent on tobacco.

Do an online search for “dangers of smoking” or any similar combination, and you’ll come up with all kinds of sites with lists of common and not-so-common maladies linked to this habit: lung cancer, mouth and throat cancer, heart disease, bladder cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, early menopause, the list goes on. There are a lot of really bad things smokers have to watch out for. Even second-hand smoke can be a danger, causing far more lung cancer deaths than other sources of air pollution. Not to mention smokers pay more for insurance and increase health care costs for everyone.

So, if you smoke, stop. If you are thinking of starting, don’t. I have a hard time figuring out why people still smoke at all considering what we know today. Yet they do. I don’t know what it is, if it’s a “smoking gene” or the desire to fit in and be cool, or youngsters try it to rebel and end up hooked, or what. It is probably all these things. But I just think that more people, especially youngsters, should be aware of what can happen as you age. Death is inevitable, but we can take steps to stay healthy for as long as possible. We are not all invincible as many young people believe. My father is proof of that.