Saturday, September 28, 2013

CINDYBIN'S VIDEO PICK OF THE WEEK: TEACHERS DANCING BEHIND STUDENTS




Ohhhh, I wanna dance with somebody…and I wanna dance in the street! At least after watching these videos I do! I don’t know if you have seen any of these, but here are a few cute selections from the “teachers dancing behind students” videos that have been a hit on YouTube. It is so funny to watch teachers flailing around behind unsuspecting students who think they are being interviewed for some legitimate purpose. If you like these, there are similar videos around if you look. Enjoy!   




REAL CATS, FAKE RABBIT-FUR CATS AND FURREAL FRIENDS CATS


So real-looking, yet so fake.

Here are some cute rabbit-fur cats I have acquired over the years. I got them out recently and the grandkids were having so much fun, combing their hair and petting them. I thought I’d post a few pictures to show how realistic they are. It isn’t until you get them next to an actual cat that you see how small they are in comparison. The picture of Brisco sleeping with the all-white cat was taken in 2009 when he was still a fairly small kitten. Don’t they look cute together? Unfortunately that white cat soon met with an unfortunate accident when I inadvertently left it unattended for a few minutes and Brisco and his brother Bowler got ahold of it and tore off some of its fur. I think it can be repaired but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. The other photos were taken just last week.

I haven’t bought any more of these cats because I read online that rabbits are treated cruelly in China, where the fur industry is unregulated, and that many little bunnies suffer needlessly just so others can have fur coats and little trinkets. Actually I found some of these at garage sales and thrift stores, so they were already second-hand, but I won’t be buying any new ones.

They ARE cute, though, and so soft! I just have to be sure to keep them away from the real cats! I’m also including an old photo of Brisco with my “FurReal Friends” mechanical white cat. That is made with synthetic fur so I don’t have to worry about anybody eating him. 






GRANDMAS AND OLDER PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK

I’M A GRANDMA: SHOULD I JOIN FACEBOOK?

Should grannies join Facebook? According to what I’ve heard, yes. Should I join Facebook? I’m not so sure.

I saw a TV news story and read a couple of articles recently about “Facebook for Grandma” and how this and similar social networking sites can give senior citizens a “cognitive boost.” A study from the University of Arizona found that people older than 65 can benefit from feeling more socially connected and learning new Internet skills. They performed about 25 percent better on a function known in the psychology world as “updating”, or being able to continuously monitor and quickly add or delete the contents of their working memory.

I’m not 65 yet, but I AM a grandma now. There are days I have a kid in each ear saying “Grandma! Grandma!” So would it behoove me to enhance my “updating” skills by joining a social site? Sometimes I think it would be fun. I did get a Facebook account several years ago—not using my real name—just to see what it was all about, but I never really figured out how to work it. For some reason I don’t find that site very user-friendly. And then it surprised and annoyed me by sending out invites to everyone in my address book! After a few months I deleted it and didn’t return again until earlier this year when I made another account with a fake name and making sure no address book was connected to it. I still am not comfortable with using it (although I haven’t really taken the time to learn it), but I did manage to poke around just to investigate who all was on it and who was not.

And it seems MOST people are on it! I used my cognitive skills to dig deep into the recesses of my memory and looked up all kinds of people, from old school chums to former neighbors and teachers and co-workers and church friends and even high school pen pals. In most cases I had no trouble finding these old faces, and it has been fun and interesting to see what people I haven’t seen in years have been up to and how they’ve changed. Most current friends and relatives are on this site as well. Wow, I feel so out of the loop!

Of course, nobody knows I have found them, and I haven’t befriended anybody with my incognito profile. But I’m just wondering if I should come out and use my real name in case someone is looking for me, and then actually connect with others as well. But then I have thoughts of “friending” someone and imagining them saying, “Oh yeah, you were that wimpy little nobody in high school” or worse yet not remembering me at all.

But I think most people don’t really say much on Facebook, at least not the ones I have found and especially in my age group. They have a profile picture and a little bit about themselves and that’s it—just enough to let you know they are there. This is probably what I would do, too—friend someone not necessarily to chat away but just to say, “Hey, I see you’re still alive and so am I,” or “It was nice knowing you in third grade, and yep, we’re both still here on the planet.” And I know many people use it to keep in touch with long-distance family and friends, post pictures of kids, etc., but I really don’t have anyone that fits that category, or if I do, our annual Christmas newsletter does the job.

But what prevents me from actually joining Facebook is being afraid of what I might see. I’ve already found out things about people that I do NOT want to know, and I come across sites like breweries and wineries and marijuana-related things without even trying. It’s just like Yahoo and YouTube. I never go actively searching for anything like this; it all seems to come my way no matter how much I try to avoid it. Just for fun I typed in my actual name in Facebook and up comes a pot smoker! And she had “liked” some marijuana sites (recipes with cannabis, etc.), and so then I find there are pot sites on Facebook, which I didn’t know before, and I want to chastise the heck out of them. Or I find someone I knew in high school and they are pictured at a dinner party or wedding with champagne, or I see that they “liked” some brewery or bar that I didn’t know existed, and I have to sit on my hands to keep from writing to them and the bar and giving them a lecture about the evils of alcohol.

Another example: we have a picture of a cute little girl, Angie, in our photo album that was taken with our baby son in the early 80’s. She lived in our apartment complex and she and her sister would often come out and play with him, which I really appreciated at the time. I had no trouble finding her on Facebook. It says she has a wonderful husband and two darling daughters. Awww, how nice. Then I see she has a poem about how good beer is, uses profanity, and has pictures of herself at some Christmas party wearing a skimpy Santa costume with fishnet stockings and holding a wine bottle. ACK!!! My first instinct is to tell her why all of this behavior is wrong, to try and get her see there is a better way to live, trying to make a difference in her life out of love and concern. And I know she’d probably write back saying, “Who the h*ll are YOU, lady?? F*CK off!!!” Yep, it would have been better if I had never looked her up at all. Now every time I see that picture of sweet little Angie, I will think of her like that.

Of course I wouldn’t say anything like this to her if we met in real life. And the same goes for all the other people I would find on this site. I wouldn’t normally be with them at the parties or cooking with marijuana. I wouldn’t even know these things. That’s one of the drawbacks of the Internet. It’s like peaking into someone’s personal diary or photo album.

And this is why I hesitate to join Facebook. My husband advises against it. “No good can come of it,” he says. Sigh. He’s not on the site and doesn’t care to be. But part of me still wants to join and connect with at least SOME people! If only to say “Hey, it’s good to know we’re both still alive!” And I feel like I should do it sooner rather than later, before it gets too late. I’m not getting any younger and neither are any of my old classmates and others from my past!

And so the question remains: Is Cindybin ready for Facebook? Or is Facebook ready for Cindybin? We may never know. 

TWIGGY DOLL BY FRANKLIN MINT






Here is my groovy Twiggy doll from the Franklin Mint! From 2002, this 16" vinyl portrait doll looks amazingly like the famous English 60's model, in my opinion! I've been having great fun with her, and even made a little bedroom for her, using a gift box and parts of the original box she came in. This doll did have a trunk you could purchase separately, but it is too expensive for me on eBay so I decided to come up with something on my own. I would like to find a smaller dresser since the one I'm using is tipped on it's side. But it's still okay, and cute for display. If you would like a Twiggy of your own, I suggest eBay; I got mine used for under $100. There are also other fab, mod outfits in her collection that can be found on eBay as well.

TWIGGY AND TWIGGY LONDON PRODUCTS ON HOME SHOPPING NETWORK

Twiggy is back!

Actually she never really left. She has worked for decades as a model, actress and singer. But I did not know she is on Home Shopping Network! I just stumbled across the iconic British model on HSN earlier this summer while flipping channels, and wanted to keep watching. I had never really thought much about Twiggy one way or the other; I was just a kid during her 60’s modeling heyday. But now that we are both older “mature” women, I feel like I can relate to her more. She just seemed so nice and down to earth. And it was so neat hearing her talk about fashion and beauty. Her line is called “Twiggy London” and she made it all sound so fun. In fact, she said in an article on the HSN website that “all clothes should be gorgeous, affordable, comfortable and fun.” And I do feel that the genuine enthusiasm she has for her products shines through.

Her most recent appearance was September 19 when she was celebrating her 63rd birthday. I made sure to catch her as often as I could—even though there were a million other things I could have and should have been doing. But I couldn’t resist seeing what she was wearing, checking out her new products, hearing her talk and listening to customers calling in and chatting about her line.

I COULD resist, however, buying anything. Thank goodness! I am proud of myself and hubby is relieved, too. That is because I HAVE bought several of her items through eBay in the past couple of months—including purses, tops, a watch, and a keychain. But, being the frugal bargain hunter I am, I bought them used and saved lots of money!

Purses are my weakness (hubby’s famous words: “Oh no, not another purse!”) but I have limited myself to just two of Twiggy’s (so far): a small black cross-body bag and a large hot pink and orange union jack tote. The black purse wasn’t my first color choice; it was originally sold in cool shades like purple and hot pink, but they’re all sold out on the HSN website and this has been the only one I’ve seen on eBay. I still love it, though. The large pink tote has a matching makeup case and a white dustbag with Twiggy’s logo on it. The keychain can hang on a purse for decoration, and has British-themed charms (the black cat represents Twiggy’s cat and it’s nice because I have a black cat, too). And since my husband is always after me to dress nicer—I tend to wear plain old drab t-shirts—he couldn’t be mad when I bought two tops: a knit sweater with a snowflake pattern, and a union jack long sleeve shirt to match my tote. So cute! (Now if only I looked as good as the models wearing them.)

AND I bought a Twiggy doll—not from her product line, but by Franklin Mint, released some ten years ago. It’s one of those collector dolls for adults—16” tall and very well made, a beautiful likeness of the 60’s Twiggy. (See separate blog for pictures.)

So as you can see, I have had a bit of “Twiggy fever” the past few months. My husband asks why I even bother to watch her if I’m not really interested in most of her products. Well it would be nice if someone GAVE them to me, but I’m not going to pay all that money for a suede or leather jacket or suede boots or shimmery sequin tops, etc., no matter how good a deal they are. Most of the tops I saw were around $50 on sale, which is a lot to me. And the boots and jackets were way out of my price range, well over $100 (which I hear is cheap compared to prices in New York, etc.). Plus, I can’t think of a place I’d even wear them. Twiggy and the show hosts were talking about how they are must-haves for your fashion wardrobe this season, but I still wear the same jacket I bought on sale for about $30 back in the early 90s when my kids were little!

Hubby also can’t understand why I would want to sit and listen to someone like Twiggy talking for hours. I tell him that it’s just fun to hear about fashion and beauty, and also seeing a woman like that gives me hope for the future. She is older than me and still alive and kicking and looking great. So she is a role model of sorts. Although she does drink alcohol. She was talking about how her family was taking her out to dinner for her birthday, and I braced myself. Anytime anyone mentions dinner or a restaurant or “fine dining”, alcohol seems to come up in the same sentence. “Don’t say it, don’t say it…” I said to myself. And then she said it: “And we’ll celebrate with some champagne!” Dangit, she said it! And the show host chimed, “I bet you will!” like this was perfectly wonderful. It seems ALL those HSN hosts drink. Someone will start out the show by telling us to sit down and “pour a glass of wine”. I can’t even watch a segment about their latest wonder cream without hearing about booze. One lady was showing how to mix her cream with your foundation, and the host said, “Mix it like a martini” and the lady said, “Oh yes, we all know how to make martinis.” Haven’t these ladies read a thing I’ve written?

Oh well, booze or not, I still like Twiggy and am looking forward to her next appearance coming up in November. Here are a few pictures of her then and now, and the products I have purchased.
















NATIONAL DRINK BEER DAY RANT

AARGGHHHH! I just found out it is “National Drink Beer Day”! I signed onto the Internet to check my email, and on Yahoo’s main page I see that “National Drink Beer Day” is trending. I was like, “What????” and I see all these articles about how great it is to drink beer and what a cause to celebrate and everybody drink up, etc. After all the years I have ranted against alcohol, and then I find out we have a whole DAY devoted to drinking beer?? 

And we will never get the pot smokers to understand why it’s wrong and immature to use drugs, as long as nice, decent, grown adults think nothing of using a mind-altering drug in the form of alcohol. I have chastised pot smokers for years online, and their number one excuse is, “pot is safer than alcohol.” I tell them, “We shouldn’t smoke pot OR drink alcohol! How hard is that?” But they see all these people drinking alcohol, and think they are entitled to use THEIR drug. Even my hometown started an annual “brewfest” last year, holding their second one last week. And the local paper posted a big article about it on the front page raving about all the thousands of people who showed up to “enjoy craft beer.” Haven't they read a thing I've written??