The strangest products you’ve ever seen

I have always been a sucker for infomercials. I used to be unable to fall asleep when I was younger, and the only thing that could cure me was the sweet lull of ladies named Sally who could somehow sweetly convince you to buy a carton of cat food—even if you didn’t actually own a cat.

Although I’ve purchased a few products from infomercials that I regretted immediately afterward, I enjoyed infomercials mostly for their ridiculousness. Whenever I discover a new strange product, I get a little giddy. I’m not talking “snuggie” strange—I mean products that don’t keep you warm, but rather, make you wonder who in the world would ever purchase this. I recently discovered a few that literally made me laugh out loud. If you stumble upon anyone with any of these items, please contact me. Immediately.

  • I can’t say I’ve ever fantasized about having facial hair. However, if I did, I’d want it to look exactly like this.

  • This could be perhaps be my favorite invention EVER. Who needs friends to laugh with these days when you can simply buy a box of applause?!
  • I enjoy get a bit of sun as much as the next person. However, I can’t say that I’ve ever panicked about my feet being pale. Nor have I imagined spending 3 easy payments of $79 in order to have tanned toes.
  • Who needs jewelry when you can wear wine on your neck?

What are some of the strangest products you’ve ever seen? Have you ever purchased any of these products?


Full House Flashback

Growing up, I was obsessed with the show Full House. I wanted to be Michelle, and practiced music videos like this one in attempts to do so.

[I wanted nothing more than to raid their costume collection. I was a particularly big fan of the daisy hat]

I also wanted to marry Uncle Jesse, despite the fact that he was about 2o+ years older than me, had a mullet, lived in his relative’s attic rather than owning his own house, and didn’t graduate high school. The fact that he could sing and smile made me forget his other flaws.

[“Forever” became one that my friend Allie and I became mesmerized with and later memorized]

Basically, I wanted to move the entire family from San Francisco to the Southside of Chicago, minus Kimmy Gibler. I never understood why DJ could stand being friends with her for so long, when she really didn’t bring anything to the table other than smelly feet and a hefty appetite.

I’ve watched every episode WAY more times than I should admit, and was honestly afraid that when I grew up I would somehow accidentally drive a car into my parent’s kitchen. Although, with my parking skills, I should probably not speak too soon. Yet one of my favorite episodes was when the Tanner family got a chance to sing onstage with the Beach Boys.

[I thought Stephanie and DJ had fabulous voices and sense of style back then. I wish I were kidding.]

I was reminded of that classic combination when watching the Grammy’s yesterday. Various artists belted out Beach Boy classics, and I couldn’t help but wish that Jesse and the Rippers would have had a Kokomo-style comeback.

Did you grow up watching Full House?

Beiber, Ludacris, Elvis and…Interjections?

When sharing music tastes with someone, I always say that I like “everything.” My students never believe me when I say this, and quiz me on whether I like Lil’ Wayne and Nicki Minaj (their current idols). The answer: Yes, and yes. I also sometimes think I can rap like Nicki Minaj when driving alone in the car.

The statement that I like “everything” is 99% true. Let’s just say that you will never catch me singing Slipnot, and that I’d prefer listening to the Offspring over Opera any day.

I really thought that this song was pretty fly when it first came out…and MAY have just played this multiple times while posting this.

However, my ridiculous 29 stations on Pandora prove that I will literally listen to almost anything, including a few embarrassing selections. Let’s just say that Schoolhouse Rock provided some serious entertainment (and sometimes, instruction) when writing essays in college.

I may not be able to recall much about the Revolutionary War, but I can easily recite the Preamble thanks to this sweet song. 

Here is proof that my musical tastes are more random than some of Nicki Minaj’s raps:

  • Dance Cardio Radio
  • 80s Cardio Radio
  • Michael Buble (Holiday edition) Radio
  • Jack’s Mannequin Radio
  • Dave Matthews Radio
  • Lady Gaga Radio
  • Justin Bieber Radio
  • Today’s Hits Radio
  • Classic Rock Radio
  • Today’s Adult Hits Radio
  • Eric Clapton Radio
  • All I Want For Christmas Radio
  • Elvis Presley Radio
  • Bob Dylan Radio
  • Straight No Chaser Radio
  • Ludacris Radio
  • Puddle of Mudd Radio
  • American Idol Finalist Radio
  • Schoolhouse Rock Radio
  • Jack Johnson Radio
  • Lady Antebellum Radio
  • Ok Go Radio
  • Nelly Radio
  • Michael Buble Radio
  • Glee Cast Radio
  • Will Smith Radio
  • Britney Spears Radio
  • Taylor Swift Radio
  • Johnny Cash Radio

What is your favorite type of music? Are there any types that you hate?

The Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen

In my Creative Writing class, we begin many days with a journal prompt. These are casual, opinionated 5-minute exercises that are typically connected to the days topic, somehow, and that (hopefully) spark some creative thinking before working on longer pieces.

I’ve learned an array of random information from these exercises, like that I have a student that owns a 120-pound bulldog (allegedly) and that some students would rather eat a cooked squirrel than a banana (seriously).

Today’s topic was “What is the worst movie (or book, or TV show) you’ve ever seen? What made you dislike it so much?”

I never realized how that comparing movies could cause such intense arguments.

One student said that her least favorite was Space Jam, a response that nearly caused me and my students to start a riot. I was more than a little obsessed with Space Jam growing up. I was into The Looney Tunes (for obvious reasons–but let’s just say I took my last name a bit too far and possessed a jean jacket with a massive “Looney Tunes” patch on the back), and basketball. Combining the cartoon characters and the miraculous Michael Jordan was, in my mind, the best match since Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

There were a range of hated picks, including a few that were other’s favorites like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Paranormal Activity, and Jersey Shore. However, my favorite hated pick was one from a student named Caleb. The movie was called Rubber, which was a movie about a killer tire. The premise of that was too bad to not play the trailer in class immediately. Please watch this trailer to enjoy how terrifically terrible it is:

What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?


I have a serious obsession with a terrific place called Target.

I know that mine and Target’s relationship is toxic. Target drains me from all of my money, and convinces me through its miraculous marketing to purchase plenty of things that I neither need or, oftentimes, even know how to use. Every time I shop at Target, I write a short list, trying to show the store that I have complete control, and am only going to pay it a quick visit. I will walk out with strictly the necessary items, and nothing more.

Yet the minute that I see its bright lights and welcoming floor spread, I am instantly hooked. I end up with enough food to feed a football team. I purchase items that I “need” immediately, like mascara or gum, when in reality, I already have several stowed away for safe keeping.

I sometimes end up with items that I’m certain will be successful, and end up failing miserably. Like the time I purchased “fast-acting self tanner” made for “tan skin tones” at Target in the dead of winter, and ended up with skin that looked like a Tiger and hands that looked like a leopard, only in both cases, the black stripes were replaced by white.

The most embarrassing are the times that Target cleverly convinces me to buy the item without even reading the label. This is how I ended up with a Maternity tank top, and a large laundry detergent strictly for high-efficiency machines. Let’s just say that I don’t have use for either of those.

You know that you’re in it for the long hall when you recognize when there are new workers, know the food sample schedule by heart, and would bet your income that you could win a Price is Right contest on any food item from the store.

Do you like shopping at Target? Do you spend too much time at any store?




Lost…and sometimes found

I’ve probably lost more items than the amount of clothes the Kardashians own. I’ve also gotten lost more times than Kim has vowed that her feelings for Kris were “real.”

(I’ve also clearly lost track of keeping up with this blog, but let’s just pretend that didn’t happen).

There are a few things that commonly occur whenever I misplace an item.

1.) I panic.

2.) I search frantically in the same spot for several seconds, and then make that small spot look like it got hit by a tsunmai, or, at the very least, some serious turbulence.

3.) In my frantic search, I lose other items in the process.

4.) Repeat step 1.

5.) I begin talking myself through finding the item, which then recruits whoever happens to be nearby to join in my search–possibly because I sound slightly crazy uttering things like “Where did I put that?!” or “Seriously, I JUST had it!” [Yes, this sometimes ends up being a stranger assisting me].

6.) The assistant finds my item either A.) Right in front of me or B.) In my hand.

There are several embarrassing situations where I’ve lost something. I’ve “lost” my keys in my own hand more times than I can count. I’ve “lost” my keys when they are actually in my car (with me sitting in it).

Yesterday, I thought I lost my Teacher’s Edition textbook. I brought the large, orange book into my 3rd period class. My class saw me sit it down while I went into another room where I accidentally left my swords and shields.

[A sidenote: Those are for Romeo and Juliet, and they are critical. Even though they may have caused a student to cry a little bit, and their teacher to decide that there was no way her students would get to fight without her joining].

Anyway, when I came back, my book was gone. I swore I still had it in class. My entire class started a search party, and some were even sweet enough to volunteer to contribute some money to pay for the missing book (!). We turned into a 23-person search party (22 14-and-15 year olds and their teacher).

You know who was the weakest link.

I mentioned it to a few students in my 6th hour, and then the search party began again. They know me well enough to know my track record for losing items so, like a mother would do to their child, they asked me questions like: “Ms. Looney, are you SURE you didn’t bring it back to your office?” “Ms. Looney, are you SURE you looked everywhere?” “Ms. Looney, are you SURE you didn’t let someone borrow it?”

“I’m positive!” I replied to every question. I went through the day, assured that I would be several hundred dollars deep to pay for my book.

Where did the item turn up? In my office. My pupils/pseudo parents will clearly give me a big “I told you so!”

Do you lose things easily?