Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Jelly Belly Bubbles For Easter!

Hey There! For all of you Easter Bunnies out there, I just found out about a fun new basket goodie that's a nice alternative to the typical sugar overload - Jelly Belly brand has new scented bubbles! Woot!

Aubrey is almost four now, so she's healthily obsessed with candy. I can't blame her, I love candy too, but I do limit the amount of sweets she gets. Easter is just around the corner and while looking for a candy alternative for her basket I found these new Jelly Belly scented bubbles and I think they'll be a big hit so I wanted to pass on the info!

I think most preschoolers like bubbles and what kid wouldn't like a bubble that smells like a fruity sweet Jelly Belly? The bubbles come in a four different styles and each in three different colors/scents:

Jelly Belly Squeeze and Blow Pop-Up Bubbles

Jelly Belly Scented Bubble Necklace

Jelly Belly Scented On-The-Go Bubbles

All of these products are available in Very Cherry, Grape Jelly and Top Banana scents and  also look for the other new Jelly Belly Scented products: Body Wash, Nail Polish, Moisturizer, Ice Shaver, Stationery and Candles, all available on Amazon.com

I know Aubrey is going to go nuts for these in her basket and hopefully they will distract her enough to allow me to eat all of her Resse's Peanut Butter Eggs and malted milk ball eggs. Hey, what's the point in having a kid if you can't put YOUR favorite candies in their Easter basket?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Comedian Amy Anderson On The Road Part III: Snow Storm!!

Greetings from Marshall, MN - the southwestern part of the state! A big chunk of the Midwest got hit with a snowstorm overnight and lucky me, it includes all the areas I'm currently in and supposed to be driving through today and tomorrow.

When I checked forecasts before leaving CA, it didn't look like this kind of weather was going to happen, so I didn't bring any gloves or a hat or even my regular winter jacket (smart, Anderson) but I'm a true Minnesotan at heart. I've had my cheap hotel waffle and a hot beverage and I'm ready to brush off that car and head to South Dakota! Nothing can stop my comedy. (Except maybe a Krispy Kreme donut.) (Or a little more snow.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Big Run In With Small Town "Law"

At least I got a picture

I'm going to warn you right now: This post is a rant.  You have been warned.

I'm on tour this week, traveling through the heartland of our great country - northern Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota.

Yesterday, while driving through Mason City, IA I decided to stop and take a gander at the Frank Lloyd Wright Stockman House.

While crossing the main street in town, in my rented Ford Focus, I passed a car. It was a student driver car and it practically came to a stop in the middle of the intersection, so I passed it on the right hand side.

Suddenly, I heard a horn honking. Not just like "honk honk" but HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK... This guy had something important to honk.

Now, before I proceed with the rest of my charming small-town story, I'd like to note, it was Sunday afternoon and it was cold and gray. There was almost NO one outside and no one on the roads. I was probably driving about 20-25 mph at the time I passed this guy. I have a 100% clean driving record and in 22+ years of driving have only been pulled over twice for speeding and received only one ticket about 9 yrs ago. I'm far from being a reckless driver.

After the barrage of honks subsided, I realized this clown was now following me. When I got to The Stockman House, I parked at the curb and this self-appointed douche bag vigilante did the same and proceeded to get out of his car and approach mine, motioning to me to roll down my window like he was some sort of cop.

Now, in hindsight, it was at this point I should have just driven away, but honestly, for all I knew in a crap-hole town like Mason City, IA this guy maybe WAS the cop, so I thought I'd hear what he had to say.

At that point he told me I passed him illegally back at the intersection and he already called it into the police and it was probably going to cost me a $500 ticket. OK, so in hindsight, THIS is when I should have told him to told him to stop harassing me and driven off... over his toes. 

He was condescending, he kept insisting I was from Alaska (apparently Alaska and South Dakota licence plates look alike?) and he was attempting to intimidate me by saying the police know him and he reported it so they might want to talk to me now... blah blah blah blah blah. Oooh! I'm shaking in my boots Mr 65 Year Old Fat Driving Instructor man.

This was one of those situations where I can now think of a million "should haves" - after the fact. But at the time I was so shocked and amazed at what was actually happening that I was kind of speechless. I also tend to be way to nice to people, overall, but I'm thinking of abandoning this policy.

I really don't like to pull the race card or the female card, but let's face it - people are fucking racist and sexist in this country. I'm not saying it's so much better in other countries, but it's 2011 and it's time for America to get its shit together. If you can't treat your fellow Americans, who aren't the same as you, with respect then go back to where YOU came from.

Was this a racist incident? I don't know but I'm leaning toward yes and I guarantee you it was a sexist incident. There is no way that fat, somewhat elderly white man would have had the balls to approach and verbally assault and threaten a grown OR young white man or man of color, or probably even a black female - because of FEAR. But a small, young looking Asian woman? That's someone he felt he could take and he even admitted to me, after I talked him out of his arrogant tree, that he thought I was "much younger". Thanks for the compliment pops, but I'm not some scared little FOB girl you can frighten, although I did let him waste WAY too much of my time.

I'd like you to take a look at the demographics of the sweet town of Mason City, IA:


Mason City, the much beloved town of Meredith Wilson's The Music Man,  is a bunch of uneducated, middle aged-elderly white people. So why am I shocked that I have some sort of questionably to blatantly racist incident when I am in smaller towns in Iowa? I need to give small town Iowa more credit for what it is. Small in more ways than one.

Last time I was in a small town in Iowa, I sat in a mom and pop diner and listened to two women behind me go on and on about how much they disliked some "oriental" guy because of the way he smelled and dressed. And he wasn't just an "oriental" guy, they literally said he was "some kind of oriental" and the disdain in their voices was blatant.

In all fairness, it's not just Iowa. Iowa is just on my shit list right now because I've been there a lot recently. I've had shady incidents all over the country but particularly in the upper Midwest. This is espeially disheartening to me because I grew up in Minnesota and I hated it for this reason, 20+ years ago! I got teased a lot as a kid and I couldn't wait to leave, but I hoped it would have changed a bit by now. I guess not?

Probably the worst racist incident I've ever had was when I was living in South Minneapolis. A woman in a truck got mad at me for not letting her cut in front of me in a long line of cars at a light. She rolled down her window and started screaming at me, "You stupid chinky bitch! You people can't drive because of your fucked up chinky eyes! Learn how to drive you stupid chink bitch!" She went on for the entire light. The best part is when I started to say something back to her, she would roll up her window. All racists are cowards.

With all the recent racism against Asians and Asian Americans highlighted in the media (the Alexandra Wallace video, the negative Japanese earthquake responses, Gilbert Godfrey jokes on Twitter, etc) I admit I'm a little on edge. I'm tired of being treated like a foreigner in my own country. I'm tired of having to politely answer ignorant questions and educate stupid people in awkward situations. I'm sick of reading friends' blogs and finding out their little children are being called niggers and chinks on the playground. None of this is acceptable and if you think people of color, people who are gay, people who are non-Christian are ruining the United States then GET THE FUCK OUT and find yourself a better place to live. YOU are the ones ruining this country. You are the ones spreading hate and fear, brainwashing your children with the same poison. SHUT UP! I feel sorry for your kids and it pisses me off that you think you represent "Christian" values when all you are is the devil here on earth. People who live out a true Christian example are embarrassed by you. Over 75% of the people in the US identify as "Christian" but I sure don't see 75% of the people in this country acting like Christians. And yes, yes I did go there. Don't get your undies in a bunch. Or do. I don't really care.

And for those of you who aren't bigoted a-holes, it's still your responsibility to teach your children to treat all people with respect and kindness. If you don't teach anti-racism and anti-hate to your kids, then it's open season on their minds at school, on the playground, at the mall - they will be taught by someone else. If that's what you want, then say nothing and act like it dosen't affect you so it doesn't matter.

And to my white friends who act so shocked and surprised when I tell them these things happen, well screw you too. Believe it and be part of the solution.

I'm now going to brave some cooler temps and go for a run outside in Madison, SD. This town is one tenth the size of Mason City, IA. Let's hope things so smoothly.

Shoes to Japan - You have until April 10!!

Hey Everyone! A quick note for another EASY and inexpensive way to help out relief efforts in Japan.

ALL 55 Sports Chalet stores in CA, UT, AZ and NV are taking gently used shoes to donate to earthquake/tsunami victims in Japan through the organization Soles4Souls

NO EXCUSES folks! Even if you are low on cash or out of work, this is a simple way to help others in dire need. We all have ONE pair of shoes we could live without a pair that your kid has grown out of and they will take men's, women's and children's. 

From now through April 10, just bring your shoes in to ANY Sports Chalet store and ta-da! You helped.

Here's a link to help you find a Sports Chalet near you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Donate $5 to Relief Effort in Japan and LivingSocial Will Match It!

Just quickly before I head out the door for a run... I know not a lot of us have a ton of money to donate to causes. And if you donated to every cause you cared about, you'd be broke, but here is a low-budget, easy, and legitimate way to donate to relief efforts in Japan and then have your small donation doubled!

Give $5 to the Red Cross relief fund for Japan and the good folks at LivingSocial.com will match your $5 donation 100%. Feel like you can't give $10? Well, YES YOU CAN! Woot!

Please take the time to do something so small for something so hugely catastrophic. It's a latte or a value meal. If we all do a little, it will end up being a lot. Let's help our global neighbors by doing what we can!

Here is the link and please share it with friends. As of right now, 3/17/11 6pm PST, there are 16 hours left to take advantage of this easy way to give:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fresh & Easy's New California Wines!

Marsha (@Sweatpantsmom) and I get to tasting!

Fresh and Easy is my FAVORITE grocery store and now there is yet another reason to sing their praises - NEW WINE!!

F & E has added 27 new varieties of proprietary brand wines from our very own delicious California grapes and some of us lucky local bloggers, foodies and Tweeters were invited to a tasting party at the Smog Shoppe in Culver City.

The Smog Shoppe was the perfect and coolest venue for this event. An actual former automobile smog-check garage, it was converted into an eco-friendly, indoor/outdoor event center. I'm telling you - it is one of the best kept secrets in Culver City! You can get married there, screen your newest cinematic masterpiece or have a party and eat and drink like pigs. I'll give you one guess which one we did.

We were treated to a tasting of four of the new Cali wines:
Open Field Pinot Gris
Cloud Valley Chardonnay
Open Field Pinot Noir
Barrel Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

I think the general consensus of the night was that pinot noir was the favorite. While many people I talked to really liked the pino gris, I have to admit that the white wines weren't too awesome tasting to me, but I was like, "rock on with the reds, dude" (I'm trying to give a California-ny description). 

All 27 of the new wines are offered at affordable prices with the most expensive bottles being $19.99 and the bargain bottle being only $3.99! Quality drinking at recession prices. I like.
Bernadette (@Bernadette923) and I enjoying some great F & E appetizers
We also enjoyed a full belly of Fresh and Easy fare ranging from cheeses and fruit, to ceviche, to stuffed artichoke hearts to lobster ravioli to cookies and chocolate cupcakes. There was even more and I'm getting hungry just remembering everything we consumed that night.

Get to your local Fresh and Easy store and dig in! There is so much to enjoy there and now you have 27 more reasons to go.  :0)

Ceviche and skewers = Party!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mars Needs Moms! Opens TODAY!

I'm sure you've seen the trailers and ads by now, but the new Disney movie, Mars Needs Moms, opens today and Aubrey and I were included in a lucky group of families who got to pre-screen it earlier this week.

The movie is based on the children's book of the same name, by Berkeley Breathed and it is the story of a young boy, named Milo (played by Seth Green). Milo's wonderful mom is swept up by Martians who need moms who know how to make their children behave. Mars has been ruled by a crabby old lady Martian for generations (played brilliantly by the ever hilarious Mindy Sterling) who has orchestrated an army of "nannybots" to raise the baby Martian hatchlings. In order to program the nannybots, they need real moms - thus the abduction. Milo ends up on an intense, but entertaining quest to rescue his mom from Mars with displaced Earthling "Gribble" (played by Dan Fogler) and a rebellious Martian girl, "Ki" (played by Elisabeth Harnois).

Here's a quick, helpful MOM review in-case you were wondering whether or not to bring your kiddo.

1) We really liked it! Dare I say, better than Toy Story 3? Yes. I liked it, believe it or not, a lot more. The storyline was great, the animation was cool and the acting was impressive. The film's animation is getting a little bit of a thrashing in other reviews I've read and while I'm not animation expert, I'll let you know it's that computer generated motion-capture style - the same technology they used in Polar Express. I guess this creeps some people out, but I kind of like it.

2) The movie is rated PG, so it may be a bit too intense for younger ones. My daughter is 3-1/2 and wasn't scared at all, but she was scared during Toy Story 3 several months ago. Go figure. Most of the scenes in the movie are dark and there is a lot of intense action, including falling, laser gun shooting, chasing, etc. You will have to judge if your kids are good at handling intense action, even though it is a kid/family movie.

3) Stay and watch the credits if you can, as they show clips of how the motion-capture style animation is shot with the live actors. I think this was actually my favorite part! So fascinating and cool to see!

4) Wah-Alert: Lots of moms told me they wah-wah cried during Toy Story 3. Well, watch out then. There are a couple mom-centric scenes in this one that will get you!

5) The main thing that I found to be a little disappointing about this film - and this is mainly from an actor's perspective - is why Seth Green to play a little boy? They manipulated his voice to make him sound age appropriate and I admit, he did a really nice job with the part, but why? Aren't there a zillion boy actors out there who would have done a great job? Whatev.

This wasn't the perfect kid/family movie, but it was a really good one and we are glad we saw it. Aubrey loved the girl Martian character, "Ki" so much, she has a temporary tattoo of her on her forearm now. I don't think it's going to be a giant Disney classic, but the entertainment value was there and I'd totally recommend it. Just remember, it is PG. The little ones might think it's a little s-c-a-r-y.

Mars Needs Moms opens TODAY in theaters across the US. For more information visit:
www.Disney.com/MarsNeedsMoms and www.Facebook.com/MarsNeedsMomsMovie