MOVarazzi

Thursday, January 31, 2013

898. How To Make Your Own Favicon (Tutorial)

Hello from Professor MOV!  Ever wonder how some people (from here on out to be referred to as “Computer Geniuses”) have a teensy tiny image right next to their http://  address in their browser?  That thumbnail image is called a “favicon.”  Instead of the default blogger orange letter “B,” these Computer Geniuses have mini ice-cream cones or martini glasses or purple unicorns. 

I secretly used to hate those favicon-savvy Computer Geniuses, and hope that inconvenient things would happen to them, things like their dry cleaning wouldn’t be ready or the Starbucks girl would give them the wrong coffee or that they would miss their turn on the freeway and have to circle back around.  Seems a bit unfair that the ones who paid attention in computer programming class now get to have a cool image next to their blog address, while the ones of us who were doing more important things (necessary things like sleeping, shopping, or watching re-runs of I Dream of Jeannie) are stuck with the generic orange “B.”            
Have you been wondering how you could get your own teensy tiny image next to your blog name without having to go to Computer Genius School or even having to pay attention very long?      

Guess what?  Now you can!  I will walk you thru it, and I absolutely promise it is easy and fast.  (*Disclaimer:  I am not actually a Computer Genius.)
First, pick your image.  You must have the rights to it, so it is preferable if the image in question is a photo you took or a drawing you did.  If someone else did the image, contact them and get permission to use it.  Make sure it is something that looks good tiny (so the Sistine Chapel is out, and a green amoeba is in).  Next comes the hard part:  cropping.  You must crop it into a square and it must be less than 100 pixels.  The way you can tell about that is by right-clicking on the image and viewing “Properties.”  You can adjust the size here by changing the length and width numbers.  This takes some experimenting and trial and error (or in my case, error and error and error and error and two full-sized candy bars).  Once you get the image how you want it, save it on your computer with a name you will remember (I like “my tiny favicon”). 

Now for the step-by-step instructions: 
  1. Go to “Design” on your blog which is right next to “New Post” on the top right
  2. Click on it and then go to “Layout”
  3. Once you are on that page, you will see “Favicon” on the top left side of your screen.
  4. Click “Edit”
  5. Next, it pops up “Browse images”
  6. Select your image you just cropped and shrunk, then voila! it will now be in front of your blog name in people's browsers (great for branding purposes)
I hope you like your new favicon!  And if this tutorial was helpful, please forward it to other friends and bloggers. 

xxo
MOV

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

897. That's Not What Happened AT ALL

“MOV, I can’t believe you said I hate Opera!  I never said that.  Why would I say that?  I actually love Opera.  Geesh.  What do your readers think of me?  Why do you have to paint me that way?” 

“Oh, Sweetie, chill.  It’s a blog.  It’s not like I’m in the courtroom, taking an oath for perjury or anything.” 
“Against perjury.” 

“Yeah, whatever.  Anyway, how interesting would that be?  ‘The Husband loves Opera’?  Come on.  Boring.  Predictable.”
“Predictable?  Making me prefer a football game over Opera is predictable.  You’re just reinforcing a stereotype about men.  I want you to write a new blog and correct the old blog.” 

“No.” 
“’No’?  What do you mean, ‘No’?” 

“Just what I said:  No.” 
“MOV, I mean it:  stop telling lies about me!  When people meet me, they are going to think I am so one-dimensional!” 

“Who?  Who exactly are you meeting?” 
“You know, like, your fans.” 

“How are you planning to meet my fans?  I’ve never even met my fans.” 
“You told me some guy asked for your autograph outside the bookstore one time?” 

“Oh, that guy?  Well, I sorta told you he asked for my autograph, but he actually asked me for a dollar to buy some coffee.” 
“Where can you buy coffee for a dollar?  I think even 7-11 charges a buck fifty.” 

“That’s beside the point.  The point is, he was homeless, he asked for money, and so I embellished the interaction a little bit and told you later that he asked for my autograph.” 
“See?  There’s that lying thing again.  You tell lies on your blog, and then you tell me lies about people asking for your autograph.  If you needed something interesting to write about, why not tell about how cute Short looked for the Alice in Wonderland ballet all dressed up in his little suit jacket and how proud he was and kept saying he looked like me when I am going to work and you could also write about how Tall tore off his uncomfortable dressy clothes layer by layer starting in the car before we even got there?  Now that is funny.”

“How is that funny?  And who is writing this blog?  If you want to write your kooky stories, you are welcome to start your own blog.” 
“Maybe I will.  I’ll call it ‘The Real Truth, Nothing But the Truth’ and I’ll have a lot of readers, readers who don’t want to be lied to for the sake of entertainment or a cheap laugh.” 

“You know what, Sweetie?  You are so overreacting.  Blogs are made of letters and words and stories, some true, some inflated, some squishy.  I reserve the right to inject my stories with the occasional white lie, and pepper them strategically with black and blue lies, too.” 
“What is a black and blue lie?  Like a bruise?” 

“The point is, it’s fiction.  Some of it is memoir, and some of it is make-believe-oir.  My readers can tell the difference.” 
“I don’t like it, MOV.  I don’t want to lied to, manipulated.  I only like truth.”  He picked up his dog-eared People magazine, and exited the room. 

MOV
p.s. thank you to Haley for the idea for this (blog from husband's point of view) 

Monday, January 28, 2013

896. Tall and Short in Wonderland


We arrived early, posed for photos, bought a candy bar.  Our velvet-cushioned seats were in the Orchestra section, mere feet from the musicians tuning their instruments.  Silk dresses, wool suits, fur coats, cashmere sweaters with dry cleaning tags still attached—everyone was dressed up and on best behavior. 

We were at the ballet. 
Not just any ballet, but a world-class professional performance of Alice in Wonderland, where tickets cost $100 a pop, and they don’t even offer a discount for kids.  My dad and step-mom Nichole had generously purchased four seats for our family as our Christmas present, part of the trend of “experience” gifts instead of adding to our ever-expanding collection of “more things.” 

(We immediately walked into the gift shop and bought a white rabbit ornament.  We needed a thing to remind us of our experience.) 
The performance lasted three hours, and if you ask me, that was about 21 hours too few.  I LOVED EVERY SECOND.  The latent art major in me gobbled up the set design like gourmet chocolate at an all-you-can-eat buffet:  towers of oversized playing cards, a moving “sea,” a garden maze in psychedelic colors, a giant video of a spinning rabbit hole.  Combine this with flawless music, sublime dancing, exquisite costumes, and colorful tissue-paper confetti falling over the audience’s unsuspecting heads.  One hundred dollars a ticket?  I think that was a bargain.    

Tall and Short stared in awe.  Even The Husband, who had reminded me three times while driving over that he was missing a football game on TV, seemed to be enjoying himself.  I momentarily forgave him for continually pestering me before the show started to verify if this was actually going to be an Opera. 
“Because I hate Opera, and I’ll leave,” he declared.  He said the word Opera with the same contempt most people might reserve for gum on the bottom of my shoe.   

"Ballet," I confirmed, "not Opera."      

After the first act, I leaned in and whispered to Tall, “What did you think so far?” 
“There’s more?” his voice rose in glee. 

“Yes!”  I smiled.  “That was only the first part.  There are still two more acts.” 
At the end of the show we sprung from our seats, along with the rest of the audience, and gave the dancers a well-deserved standing ovation.  We clapped and stomped and cheered and whistled.  Loudly.   

And The Husband only thought football fans get that excited.
As we drove home, Tall and Short chattered excitedly about the performance.  “Remember when the Mad Hatter started tap dancing on the table?”, “And when the Queen took that flamingo and whacked the hedgehog?”, “And what about that Cheshire Cat—he was my favorite!”, “Or the dancing frog!  I loved him!”, “And Alice—WOW!  What a great dancer!”    

When we returned home and walked in the house, Short turned to me to share one final impression:  “Mommy, I love the Opera!” 
MOV

Thursday, January 24, 2013

895. Stalker Sends Art



This package arrives in the mail yesterday, and it is not from LLBean, Amazon, etsy, Lego.com nor any of the usual suspects. 

It is from a blogger. 
I carefully open it up and am amazed to find this incredible piece of art, very David Hockney-esque (you know, if David Hockney made ocean collages instead of roads and deserts and swimming pools), and I gasp. 

Literally, gasp.  Someone I have never met (and have not sent money to) mailed me art!  WOW!  
Now, I must give you a bit of the backstory here.  Lillian Connelly (the artist/ blogger extraordinaire in question) recently posted a very kind review of me and my writing on her blog.  I sent her a thank you note.  Next thing you know--voila!  She sends me art! 
So I immediately drove over to the Smithsonian and of course they wanted the collage.   
“Yes, absolutely, we are very interested in it,” said the Director of Acquisitions.  “It is phenomenal.” 

I didn’t really want to donate or sell it to the Smithsonian, I just wanted validation that it was worth millions. 
“Millions,  without a doubt,” chimed in the Appraiser.  “You have a very special piece on your hands.” 

I nodded and turned to leave.  I was going to frame it and hang it in my dining room, the one place my children are not allowed to kick soccer balls. 
“Where do you think you are going?” inquired the Supervisor of Security.  “You may not leave the building with that piece.”  He reached over like he was going to grab it from me. 

Right then, the Museum Curator intervened.  “Don’t touch the art!” she screeched.  “Keep excess fingerprints off of it!” 
“I am taking it home,” I clarified, “and I promise I will wear gloves at all times.”  It was a lie and they knew it. 

“I hate to tell you this, Madam MOV, but we had a verbal agreement,” said the Attorney of Museumish Affairs. 
Then he pressed a button on his iPhone and a voice that sounded eerily like mine started rambling:  "I have a piece of art that you might be interested in.  I am considering donating it to you as a tax write-off, or (insert nervous giggle here) if you want to provide me with, say, a year's supply of Target's Ritter Dark Chocolate with Marzipan, that might be what I would consider a fair trade."  
The room went silent.  Just then, a uniformed guard knocked on the door.  He and a helper were struggling to push a large industrial dolly with six wooden crates marked Ritter.  "Your chocolate, Madam." 
“A deal’s a deal,” declared the Director of Acquisitions, a petite woman who I was liking less by the second.  “You have your preferred payment, and now we get the art.” 
Fast forward to me sitting in my dining room gazing at the mermaid collage. 

I had laughed at the Smithsonian, laughed in their faces.  (Only six crates of chocolate?  That wouldn’t be enough to get me through the week.) 

MOV
"Museums Of Vision"

P.S.  A HUGE thank you to Lillian of It's A Dome Life for the gorgeous collage (and readers, FYI:  she does sell them).  Lillian, you rock! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

894. A Duck Walks into a Deli ...

“Do you have any grapes?” said the Duck to the Deli Owner. 

“Grapes?  No, I don’t have any grapes,” the Deli Owner replied impatiently.  “This is a deli.  I have sandwiches, chips, that sorta thing.” 
The Duck left. 

The next day, the Duck returned.  “Do you have any grapes?”
“Hey!  You were in here yesterday.”  The Deli Owner looked frantically at the line of 20 customers behind the Duck.  “I told you then, and I will tell you again:  No!  No grapes!  Now, get outta here.” 

The Duck left. 
A week went by, and the Duck came back.  “Do you have any grapes?” 

If the Deli Owner was mad before, now he was furious.  “Duck!  I do not wanna see your little duck-billed face in my deli!  I told you once, I told you a thousand times, I have no grapes!  Now, I’m warning you:  if you come back in here ever again, I am gonna take a hammer, and I am gonna nail those little webbed feet into the ground.  GET OUT!” 
The other people in line watched the Duck leave. 

A month went by.  The Duck walked into the deli. 
“Do you have any … nails?” 

“Nails?” asked the Deli Owner, surprised.  “Did you say nails?  What do I look like, a hardware store?  No, no nails!” 
“Good,” said Duck, “do you have any grapes?” 

MOV
P.S. It’s an old joke that I heard when I was a flight attendant.  I like this joke because you can tell it to any age group.
 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

893. The Referral

Every day, I try to dream up funny stories to share with you on my blog.  Many of them are true (or have a core nucleus of truth), some of them are embellished, and a few of them are flat-out lies (I do not have a kayak in my kitchen).  But today, I just wasn't inspired to write anything new. 

Instead, I refer you to the BRILLIANT and hilarious Haley.  Ohmygosh, her illustrated blog post today made me laugh so hard!!!  (And it takes a lot to make me laugh, I am very jaded.)  Do you like the blog "Hyperbole and a Half"?  Haley is in that league.  And she posts more frequently.  She is pretty much the rock star of illustrated bloggers.  And (as of yet), still undiscovered!  Get this girl some exposure, people!  She is awesome.  Put her on your Facebook page.  Recommend her on Google Plus (if you know how to do that because I sure don't).  
 
So click over to Haley’s blog, here is the link:  “The Sleepover.” 

You’re welcome.

MOV

Sunday, January 20, 2013

892. Inner Feng Shui Ninja

You wake up one morning and tell yourself that today is the day you will get rid of everything you don’t need.  That broken lamp in the basement?  Why are you keeping it?  It is not going to magically repair itself.  The toddler toys in the garage?  Please.  Your kids are now six and nine.  The books you read once and promised yourself you would go back and read again “when you had time.”  Guess what?  You will never have that kind of time, and if you do, you will want to go to the bookstore or the library and get a new book you have never read. 

Yes, Inner Feng Shui Ninja has arrived. 
Ninja shows no mercy, takes no prisoners, shoots from the hip, calls a spade a spade, and takes the tiger by the tail.  When you hold up the half of a royal blue sweater that you started knitting in college, she laughs so hard she snorts.  Uh, no.  It’s gotta go. 

Ninja goes room by room, methodically assessing the use of each and every item.  The espresso machine that you use every day?  It stays.  The 12-year-old juicer that broke but you seem to think it might still be under warranty?  Buh-bye.  Your younger son’s school “art project” that he did last week?  Ninja has her hand on it, but you opt for the temporary purgatory of the front of the refrigerator instead.  Ninja is not happy, but she knows how sentimental you can be about “art.” 
“I might frame it,” you justify yourself to Ninja while trying not to sound like you are begging.  Ninja points out that you have five large boxes full of “art” you “might frame.”  You would need to buy a much bigger house to display it all.  Ninja advises you to go through it, piece by piece.  At first it’s hard, but after a short break for chocolate chip cookies and a double espresso, it somehow gets easier.  You get it down to two boxes (one for each child) and Ninja smiles. 

Ninja likes clean, she likes uncluttered, she is allergic to piles.  She wants the excess gone, and she wants it gone yesterday. 
She has heard all the excuses:  It’s valuable, Aunt Sally gave it to me, I might use it.  Ninja shakes her no-nonsense head.  The only thing that matters to her is the final goal:  a livable house. 

“You can breathe better when you have open space,” she explains slowly and loudly, like she is talking to a deaf dog.  “Trust me on this, MOV.” 
Frankly, you don’t trust her.  The last time she showed up (three years ago), she made you get rid of some quirky 1950s costume jewelry that you had originally bought from a garage sale and that you later saw on eBay for $600.  You can’t afford those kinds of mistakes. 

Ninja nods.  “I know, I know,” she says apologetically, “It won’t happen again.  Now, help me get your husband’s dusty stacks of baseball cards into the trash, right next to those old coins.  They’re out of circulation anyway.”
MOV
P.S. And thank you to Shell Flower for the idea for this post (from her comment on my Martha Stewart post)! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

891. New Year's Resolution Time

This year, I procrastinated on doing New Year’s Resolutions.  If you are getting all technical and looking at the calendar and everything, then I guess they are more like New Third Week of January Resolutions.  But that’s okay!  "No Procrastinating" was not the resolution I chose this time.  

Here is my exciting resolution: 
(Drumroll, please)

I am going to reply to EVERY comment I receive.  Yep.  That’s it.  No losing 10 pounds, no giving up cinnamon gummy hearts, no apologizing for swearing at Siri when she has me turn the wrong way down a one-way street.  Those kinds of resolutions are for amateurs! 
I might have to change my blog name to “The Commentessa.”  Hmmm.  Has a nice Italian-ish sound to it, with a bit of royalty thrown in.  Commentessa.    

Now, don’t get me wrong because in the past I ALWAYS no matter what have read every comment.  Some I even print out and tape to my bathroom mirror (the ones that say, “MOV, you are funnier than a six hour Seinfeld marathon!”  Okay, no one ever wrote that, but feel free to write it now).  But I just do not always have as much time as I would like to respond to all the comments in a witty and timely manner.  Because there are real life things to deal with, like returning kayaks to REI and doing laundry and taking my turn to remember to pick up my own kids for carpool.   
But all that changes today.  Commentessa has spoken.    

So, if you have left me a comment on anything I have written since January 1, go back and look because I have commented back to you.  (Please do not feel like you have to comment back to my comment commenting on your comment—that is sort of like thanking someone for a thank you card.) 
You’re welcome.  And thank you for reading my blog.  I love my readers! 

MOV  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

890. REI, The Exciting Finale

I brought the new kayak home and immediately put it in the kitchen. As predicted, The Husband was not happy.

“Why would you buy a canoe?” he screeched unsupportively.
“It’s not a canoe, it’s a kayak,” I boasted, proud of myself for knowing the difference.

“It’s a canoe, MOV. See the raised seat? See the paddle you bought? In a kayak, the seat is lower and you use a double paddle. Geesh. When were you planning to go canoeing?”
“That’s the beauty of it—never!”

“So you bought the canoe for decoration?”
“No, not at all. Do you ever go to REI? They have this program called R-E-Icing on the cake, and when you buy something at full price, they will send someone over to clean it and take care of it for you! Isn’t that great?”

“Are you kidding me with this? Who cares if someone cleans your canoe, it doesn’t ever get dirty because you do not know how to canoe, and plus we don’t even live near water!”
Sometimes The Husband could be such a killjoy.

I took a deep breath and tried to explain again, like I was telling one of my children that the moon is the opposite of the sun. “Sweetie, they send someone over. To. Clean. The. Canoe. And the person cleans everything around the canoe as well. It is included in the price. Why do you think I am storing it in the kitchen?”
He shook his head and walked out of the room, as if he didn’t approve. He will approve once he sees how clean the REI employees get our kitchen!

The next day, the REI person showed up at 10 on the dot. “I’m here to clean your canoe,” she said brightly. “Is it in the garage?”
I showed her where it was, and she got right to work. Twelve hours later, the canoe and the kitchen shined like triple flash photography of sunlight and cubic zirconias on snow at high noon. I was impressed.

“I’ll see you next week, then?” I tried to say it like a statement, but it came out more like a desperate question.
“Yes,” she affirmed. Her hair had come out of its ponytail and she looked tired. “It won’t necessarily be me though.” Then she mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like, “if I can help it.”

The next week, exactly according to my plan, I moved the canoe down the hall and into the bathroom. A different employee showed up and cleaned the canoe and the bathroom. This cleaning schedule continued for a month or so, and my entire house gleamed. I was mentally berating myself for not finding out about REI sooner, like maybe 20 years ago.
“What is this bill from REI?” The Husband asked in an accusatory tone when he came home from work one evening and was sifting through the mail.

“What bill? I didn’t buy anything, besides the kayak.”
“Canoe.”

“Yeah, whatever. Canoe.”
He furrowed his brow 'til his faced squished up like a porcupine. A very angry porcupine. “It looks like they’re billing us for cleaning supplies.”

“Cleaning supplies? What do you mean supplies? Why would they charge us for that?”
“MOV, it says right here in black and white: $1000 for cleaning supplies. Did you not read the fine print?”

I could feel hot tears starting to plump up in my eyeballs. Turns out, I had not read the fine print.
“MOV, don’t worry about it,” The Husband continued semi-sympathetically. “Tell you what: just return the canoe and then maybe we won’t have to pay it. I’ll help you load it into the car.”

“I can’t! I haven’t used it yet!”
“Well, that is even better because they will definitely take it back, right? They can re-sell it to some other sucker.”

“No, you don’t understand. If I take it back all pristine and new, they will realize that I don’t even know how to kayak!”
“Canoe.”

“That’s what I meant.”
In the end, The Husband won out. I returned the kayak.

But I kept the paddle. I store it in my car. Maybe the REI employees will still clean my car for me?
MOV
p.s. And thank you to TheRanting Monkey for the idea! and yesterday's story too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

889. REI, Part Deux

One of my loyal readers wrote in to tell me why REI charges such insanely high prices.  He wrote, “For those prices, I’d expect someone from the store to be coming by the house once a week to wash, dry, and put away the clothing.”  Who knew?

This could be the answer to all my prayers, or at least the most important ones.    
I raced over to REI like I was being chased.  When I got there, I went directly to customer service.

“Excuse me, sir?” I whispered, breathless.  “I heard that you come over and wash people’s clothes for them?  That, like, it is a service included when you buy something?” 
He guffawed.  “Ha!  Who told you that?” 

“Well, I am a blogger, and, uh, one of my readers mentioned …” 
“You know we only offer that on full-price items, right?  Not sale.”  He said the word sale like it was dirty and offensive, like you might say dog poop on my shoe. 

“Oh,” I rallied, “I didn’t mean sale.”  I matched his tone on the word sale, but tried to take it up a notch, like vomit on my new suede jacket. 
“Oh, okay then.  Yes.  Of course we offer that service.  How do you think we would get away with charging such insanely high prices otherwise?  We would be out of business in two seconds.” 

I nodded enthusiastically. 
“Okay, just come back up after you find something, and we’ll make sure you are eligible for the service.  It’s called ‘R-E-Icing-on-the-cake.’”

Leave it to REI to come up with something clever like that.  “And by the way, what does REI stand for, anyway?  I heard it stood for Recreational Equipment, Inc?” 
“That is what we tell the public,” he leaned in conspiratorially.  “It actually stands for Really Expensive Items.”       

I started looking around for something I could afford.  I found some cute mittens right away and noticed they were only $48.  If that is what it took to get an REI employee over to my house to do laundry, so be it. 
“I’d like to buy these,” I chirped merrily, like someone who just won the jackpot in Vegas after only playing one dollar. 

“Those are children’s mittens,” said the clerk dismissively.  “Did you know that?” 

Ah, details.  I put the mittens back and looked for something else.  I quickly found a wool knit hat for $75. 
“I guess I’ll buy this, then,” I squeaked semi-merrily, like someone who just won the jackpot in Vegas after only playing one dollar twice. 

“Oooh, sorry, that just went on sale.” He frowned, as if I was trying to trade in counterfeit chips in Vegas after I thought I won the jackpot.  “That means R-E-Icing-on-the-cake would not be applicable in this instance.” 
Dammit.  Story of my life.  Every time I try to pay full price, someone forces me to pay less. 

I searched in vain for more full price items.  The only thing I could find was a kayak. 
“Would I be eligible with the kayak?” I whimpered. 

“No.  A kayak is not considered clothing.  In that case, we would offer you kayak cleaning service, plus we would be happy to clean whatever else is around, like, say, your entire garage.” 
I smiled and got out my credit card.  One swipe and $1400 later, I was the proud owner of a new kayak. 

I knew just where I would store it:  in the kitchen.  Then next week I plan to move it to the bathroom, and then the study, and finally, the storage room.  This new venture of mine will pay off after only four weeks.  Icing on the cake, indeed.   
MOV

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

888. Why I Can't Shop at REI

Backstory:  The Husband plays basketball on Sunday mornings.  This particular Sunday, Tall was invited to a laser tag birthday party, which meant that I had to take Short with me to drop off Tall.  Which is fine, except that the laser tag place is far away, so I did not feel like going all the way home and then all the way back, nor did I feel like buying a gazillion tokens for Short to play video games.  Luckily, there was an REI next door. 

Short and I walk into REI to “have a quick look,” which translates into him suddenly wanting to take up kayaking and me wanting to find a cute skirt on sale.  I have not been in REI in a long time (okay, maybe ever) so I am soaking in the vibe of all things REI.  This place looks like a cross between LLBean and Dick’s Sporting Goods.  I am magnetically drawn to a rack marked “Clearance.” 
“Wow, look at this cute fleece jacket!” I say to myself, but Short thinks I am talking to him. 

“You should get it, Mommy,” he nods enthusiastically. 
I glance at the price tag.  Regular price:  $220.  Sale price:  $181.  For a fleece jacket?!?  That looks like it is from Target and should cost $30?  I look around for a salesgirl, as the tag must be mismarked. 

“Excuse me, miss?”  I wave hopefully at the REI girl walking past.  “Is this price right?” 
“Yep.  That’s right!  Can you believe it?  That is almost $40 off!  What an unbelievable sale!” 

It’s unbelievable all right. 
Undaunted, I soldier on.  I find a darling long-sleeved t-shirt to wear around the house.  There is a fun design of little skiers on the front. 

“How much does it cost?” inquires Short, as he notices me holding the t-shirt up to the mirror.  I take a deep breath and look at the tag.  Original price:  $165.  New price:  $109.  For a t-shirt?!  That will fall apart in three months? 
I am flabbergasted.  Socks cost $40.  Skirts are $120.  I check the labels:  cotton and Lycra.  Nope, no gold. 

I don’t mind paying Macy’s or Nordstrom $100 for a cashmere sweater that looks like it cost $100.  What I really love is getting it on sale for $65 and having it still look like it cost $100.  What I have a huge problem with is buying something that actually looks cheaper than it is. 
It’s like REI is an upside Target, with expensive prices on cheap stuff instead of cheap prices on expensive stuff. 

My brain flashes back to a few Christmases ago when The Husband and I gave my sister Oakley a $75 gift card.  She seemed very happy at the time, but now I realize she could not afford to buy a t-shirt with that, even on clearance. 
She could perhaps buy a sleeve. 

MOV