Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Award and a contest!

If you have not checked out Shirley at Shirley's Illustrations, go do it now! She is a fabulous artist and her little critters never fail to make me smile.

Shirley has graciously given me an award! I say "gracious" with a laugh, because it's the "Bald Faced Liar Creative Writer" award! Ha!

As most blog awards go, I am supposed to:

1) Thank the person who nominated you (Thanks Shirley!) and link to their blog. (check)
2) Copy the logo and place it on your blog.(check)
3) Tell 6 outrageous lies and at least one outrageous truth about yourself. (check, see below)
4) Nominate seven other "creative writers" and post links to their blogs. (check, ditto)
5) Leave comments for them to let them know you nominated them! (on my way!)

So I'm going to nominate the following:
Michel at Facts Are Strictly Optional
Otin at Wizard of Otin
Spuds at Carrying a Cat by the Tail
The Pseudonymous High School Teacher
"Middle-aged Woman" at Unmitigated and the Zombie News Network
Captain Dumbass at Us and Them (and the Zombie News Network again!)
and I'm gonna cheat by adding "anyone else who wants to play"!
(Disclaimer: If you really don't want to do this, that's fine, too. I know people are busy. But you all are some of my favorite liars storytellers, so I just thought I'd pass on the love!)

Alright. Now for a rousing game of "Truth? or Lie?"

Which of the following are actual true facts about me? Hint: there are three. And the contest part? The first person who responds with all three correct actual true facts about me wins a print of any one of my drawings (from this blog, Etsy or Zazzle) that they want! Yea! (Family doesn't count!)

Here goes!
1:  I once won a backstage pass to an Oingo Boingo concert and had my picture taken with Danny Elfman.
2:  I got to be part of a crowd scene at the Rocking Horse Bar in Spokane during the filming of "Vision  Quest".  Madonna sang "Crazy For You".
3:  I lived in Frankfurt, Germany for two years, by myself, and worked at a Burger King.
4:  I had to be air-lifted off a mountain after a skiing accident that broke both my ankles.
5:  I am a direct descendant of Erik the Red.
6:  I once got arrested for public intoxication outside of a Journey concert.
7:  I'm a speed reader. I once read War and Peace in 20 minutes.
8:  I'm color blind.
9:  I'm a "night owl", get bad sunburns when I'm exposed to too much sun and am severely allergic to garlic. I think this means I'm half vampire.

I am going to be out of town for a few days, but will be checking in...so I will post the answers once someone guesses the correct ones, or on Sunday if no one has by then.  At that point, whoever was closest, wins.

How's that sound?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


So I have set up a shop at zazzle.com.  They do tshirts, coffee mugs and so on with your own artwork. Or you can pick from hundreds of sellers to find that perfect gift.

 Based on some response I had to my Zombie vs Ninja print, I have set it up on Zazzle so you can go buy your very own Zombie vs Ninja tshirt! Or my personal favorite, the baby shirt.  :) Every baby needs one of these, I'm thinkin'!

Anyway, I'm in the process of putting a lot of my stuff on Zazzle, so keep an eye if you  are interested. I am putting my "old" alphabet stuff there plus some of my Alice pictures and other fairy tale stuff (ie. the "new" kids). I'm listed as "olivehue" at http://www.zazzle.com/olivehue. 
(See the very bottom of the blog for a different link to my shop!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My New Glasses

So, a while back I wrote a bit about Business 2 Blogger and their great opportunities for bloggers to make a little cash-ola and/or some nice parting gifts. (Joke! I know you're not going anywhere! ...You're not going anywhere, right?)

Anyway, I was selected to participate in an opportunity provided by Glasses USA - get a free pair of glasses in exchange for a blog post. I thought, why not? They have great looking eyeglasses for a fraction of the cost that most places do. They have a lot of styles to chose from, including progressive lenses and sunglasses.Glasses USA is an international company with a US office headquartered in New Jersey, and I'm all about supporting US businesses these days.  And they "recycle" all returned glasses by donating them to charity. Their philosopy is that "Seeing properly shouldn’t be a luxury – it should be a necessity".  I think that's awesome.

I have had prescription eyeglasses since I was in college when I quickly discovered that I had a hard time focusing between my note pad and the blackboard.  Over the years, as I get older (wait, what? that's a filthy lie!) I have found that my eyesight is getting progressively worse. It's not that bad, but I have trouble reading street signs and that kind of thing. On the flip side, I'm finding my close vision is not quite what it used to be either.  On the plus side, I have discovered I quite like the way I look with glasses and now have several pair so I can change them up depending on what I'm wearing.

Now, I have to admit, when I first went to Glasses USA and saw their prices, I was a little skeptical.  I mean, most of them were really inexpensive and, unfortunately, it's hard to equate "cheap" with "quality". But they had a lot of super cute frames, and really, what do I need a designer's name on my glasses for? My purse, maybe. My glasses? Not so much. So I found about 10 different frames that I liked, ranging from $18.00 (I know!) to about $67.00. And that's for the whole pair, lenses and everything (I know!) Plus they have a great FAQ section that even answers questions about your prescription and how to read it. And if you still can't figure it out, you can fax or email your prescription to them and they'll fill out the form for you.  I finally settled on a pair that I thought was really cute and was something different than anything else I owned. The ones I picked were the Maya frames.

 I had several other concerns about ordering glasses online: what if I didn't like them? What if they didn't fit right? But Glasses USA has a really great return policy - you can return your glasses for any reason, and get an exchange or a refund. So really, free glasses never sounded better. All it cost me was a little time and a blog post. Fantastic!
And the reality was that they arrived fairly quickly and they fit just fine and look great! That "quality" I was worried about? Great.  In fact, I like them better than the ones I just bought a month or so ago for over $300 at a local eyeglass boutique store. (Seriously, I'm not just saying that...) Even Secret Agent Man said they were cute. The frames are light weight, they are almost exactly the color they looked online (a great bonus-no surprises) and I didn't have to adjust them at all.

I have already shared the experience with several of my glasses-wearing friends at work. A couple of them are already picking out glasses to order.  And for you, my friends, Glasses USA has included a special code: Mommy5  to use if you order glasses from them and it’s good for 5% off your final order. It may not sound like much, but their glasses are such a good deal, you really don't need much of a discount! Or - if you go "friend" them on Facebook, I see they have other codes, coupons and promotions going on all the time.

So go check it out.

FTC Compliant Review Policy: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Here In My Car...

Someone once said that you can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears.  I think you can tell more about someone by the car they drive.

There's the obvious:  Moms that drive a minivan or a station wagon. Mid-life crisis guy that drives a red Ferrari. Nouveau-hippie girl that drives a new yellow Bug. The punk-ass kid with his backwards baseball hat driving a lowered Suburban.  (Seriously. I saw one the other day. Who does that?)  That kind of thing. Around here the SUV is king, which I can kind of understand, since we have a lot of rural areas, hunting is popular and we have a lot of snow in the winter (typically, though not this year). What I don't understand is the popularity of the Hummer. No offense if any of you own one, they are kinda cool, but around here a Hummer screams "I'm a pretentious asshole". Seriously, soccer moms do not need to drive Hummers. They are military vehicles that all but climb trees, for Pete's sake! Yet, primarily, it is the soccer moms you see in them - and real estate agents, and they all drive like they own the road. (Beg to differ, jerk, get outta my way!)  Around here, they have assumed the role previously occupied by the Subaru Outback. Whatever.
"So," you are asking, "what kind of car do you drive, and what does it say about you?"

I drive one of these:

a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage.

I used to drive one of these:

(a 1993 Geo Metro. Man, I loved that car!)
...until a crack-addict-waste-of-skin (Bitter? No. Why do you ask?) rear-ended me at 60 mph and it ended up like this:

Anyway, I love my Mirage. Bought new, with 12 miles on it.

Here's what it says about me:
It's beige. You might think that says I'm boring. But no. It says that's the only color the dealership had and I loved the car so much that I wanted it right now, so I took it. 
It's a 2 door. That says I don't have kids. Or a big dog. And that I wanted to look "sporty".
It has a bra on the front.  That also says I wanted to look "sporty". And cool. It does look cool.
It's dirty, so that says I am busy doing important things and don't have time to wash my car. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)
It's a 2000, so it says I'm practical. I'm not going to buy a new car just to have a new car when there's nothing wrong with the one I have.
(Although, I would take one of these if someone gave me one.)

(Or even one of these.)

But my car also says I am thrifty. Not because it's 10 years old, but because it gets 30-35 mpg! Why buy a new car that only gets 20? Even most of the hybrids don't get that kind of mileage. Except the Prius. Which, hello, says "pretentious" almost as loud as the Hummer. And no, I don't hate the Earth. I recycle. I don't club seals, or let them play with plastic bags and suffocate. But if I bought a new car, hybrid or whatever, mine would get re-sold and still be on the road (or in a land-fill, which would be worse), so actually, it would be bad for the planet, because I'd be adding to the problems of congestion, consumption and what not.

So there. That's what my car says about me.
What does your car say about you?

And what the hell does this "car" say about that guy???

(I think it's a boat hull on an old MG convertible body...suppose it actually floats?)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Eat Me

Oh, come on. That's not what I meant and you know it!

The latest Alice picture.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zombie vs Ninja

This was done based on a conversation with my new friend Spuds at Carrying a Cat By the Tail.  He was a winner of one of my little girl pictures and he commented that he had shown his kids and his twins wanted to know if I drew zombies.  He stated he didn't know if there was such a thing as a "cute zombie". 

I took that as a personal challenge. 

So while I'm working on my next Alice, I thought I'd share my zombie picture. Just for fun. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guilt Tipping

Are you guilty? I am. Sometimes, anyway. And when I stop to think about it it kinda pisses me off.

It's like tipping at latte stands. When did that become a "have to" deal? Now, I tend to over tip at the stand I go to all the time. But the girls there are super nice and they have my coffee done as soon as they see me pull into the drive. So...I'm ok with that.
But what about when I go to a stand where I haven't been before? Habit says to give them a buck (or whatever) when they hand you your coffee. But I have to ask for straws. And a cup holder. And I haven't tasted it yet; what if they gave me "coffee" flavor instead of "toffee" flavor? What if they gave me whole milk instead of non-fat? What if they burnt the milk? Or it's just plain awful?

What got me yesterday is I went to Bruchi's. If you don't have a Bruchi's where you live, it's a pseudo-cheesesteak place. (I say pseudo because I don't know how "authentic" they are. They make a mean chicken and cheese sandwich, though!) And they had a jar on the counter by the cash register. It said "TIPS" and then in smaller letters it said "thanks!"

Tips? For what? I order at the counter. You take my money and give me change. Then the guy standing next to you makes my sandwich. Then you wrap it in paper and hand it to me. Then I leave.

Now, I appreciate a good sandwich, but tips? Again, for what? I don't tip the guy who makes my burger at McDonald's. And let's be fair - at Bruchi's you throw some chicken on the grill, put mayo and cheese on the bread, slap the chicken on top and you're done. The guy at McDonald's has to grill the burger, and the bun, and he's got "special" sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions to remember! Plus he has to wear that gross uniform (I know, I used to work at a McD's back in the day)! Now who deserves the tip?
But there's no tip jar at McDonald's.

And really, it kind of offends me to see a big jar labeled "Tips" on the counter. 'Cause I'm back to the same problem I have at the coffee stand: what if the sandwich you make me sucks? Or it's the wrong one? It happens, you know.

Maybe places need to pay their employees decent wages so they don't feel the need to ask for tips. Or maybe it's really my fault, because I don't want to seem rude, or stingy. Maybe I just need to not give a darn.

What do you do?