Monday, November 22

Clutter Up Your House, 101

Though Thanksgiving is not yet quite upon us, the holiday season seems to have started in full swing. Daily influxes of Christmas catalogs fill our mailbox and I confess I find them highly entertaining, though certainly not in the enticed-to-shop way they are intended.

Have you seen the SodaStream Genesis Soda Maker? Laughably promoted as a healthier (no HFCS or aspartame) and greener alternative to buying 2 liter bottles of soda at the store, it allows people to make their own soda at home. Seriously?

For the record, the sucralose/sugar combo and artificial coloring are not better for you than regular soda. Nor are the little bottles of syrup and CO2 canisters you need to buy better for the environment.

Similarly crazy ideas include the mini cupcake maker and mini donut maker. Really cute but totally beyond reason unless you're starting your own novelty bakery.

Both are, however, more palatable ideas than the Vinturi Deluxe Red Wine Aerator. That is an unequivocal flirtation with the end of civilized society as we know it. Either take your wine seriously, buying the good stuff and taking time to properly appreciate it, or avoid it altogether. Anything else is just an insult. *ahem* Stepping off my soapbox now...

The one cool thing I have seen so far is a Portable Scanner Wand. I would have LOVED for these to exist when I was in college! With Keuka's library being so tiny and trips to other libraries so expensive, it would have been a huge benefit to be able to scan the relevant pages of books (including cover pages for copyright info) and then take them back to one's room to read electronically or print rather than taking copious and time consuming notes by hand. Everyone once in a while, things like this make the science fiction I read in high school seem much less like fiction than a quickly approaching phase of reality... though hopefully without the ravenously militant aliens!

Anyway, what comes to mind most often when reading Christmas catalogs is that pretty soon we're all going to need apartments like the one Bruce Willis has in The Fifth Element. Everything from the shower to the fridge stacked on top of something else, sliding up, down or into a wall as needed so the same tiny main living space serves every function. How else are we going to accommodate the flood of gadgets and mini-appliances we're being sold without finding ourselves totally buried?

I recommend skipping the appliance deluge and heading to the library instead. Pick up Pioneer Woman's cookbook and taste decadence on a plate. Start with the cinnamon rolls and chicken fried steak (but not at the same meal). Absolutely divine.

Oh, and just for fun, if you start to stress out about how your house looks heading into the hectic holiday season, hop over to Hulu and watch an episode of Hoarders (the A&E series). Realizing that people all over the country have houses literally labeled with giant red tags declaring them unfit for human habitation or piled so high with detritus that they actually don't know when a homeless person is living in a nest they made in their basement is guaranteed to make you feel better about whatever small messes hit your home over the holidays. (Note: if you are a compulsive cleaner like myself and a few of my friends who also watch this show, please limit yourself to one episode per week. Failure to do so will lead to nightmares. I'm not kidding.)

One more thing and I'll quit spilling the contents of my ball-of-wire-brain: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

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