A public service announcement

I have bad eyes. Really bad eyes. Drop my glasses on the floor and I need someone to help me find them eyes.

So when I started having headaches and squinting to watch the TV from across the room, I knew it was time to go see the eye doctor. My prescription had changed and it was time for new glasses. Couldn’t I just get new lenses and throw them into my old frames? No, I could not do that because my frames were So Old that they might explode and everyone on earth would die. Or something like that.

I looked at the glasses at the optometrist’s office. There were no prices. I tried to tell myself that was because they were so super cheap that they didn’t even need to list the prices. Sadly, that was not the case. The cheapest of those motherfuckers was $250. JUST FOR THE FRAMES. When the lady calculated in the coke bottle lenses I would need and the special ones to make them not coke bottley and the anti-reflective coating, I was looking at $500 AT LEAST. I told the lady I would come back with my husband and I ran away.

I texted my cousin Sofie (who lives in our basement) and asked her the name of the glasses she was just telling me about. Warby Parker, she said. Her sister Pip had bought some and they were trying to get our grandmother to buy them too.

What the hell, I thought, and I went to the website. The frames were $95. Sweet action! And not only were the frames $95, but they offer a plan that allows you to choose five frames online and have them sent to you to try on, order, and ship back, all with free shipping! I checked out this option, but as I am Incredibly Indecisive, I couldn’t narrow it down to just five. Sofie and I were going to have to go to the store on Newbury St.

The place was a mob scene, but not so busy that I couldn’t try on the glasses. I narrowed it down to about five pairs, had Sof take pictures of me, and sent them to Bucket, who very rudely ignored me. So I narrowed it down to two and made Sofie choose. It was between a pair that was exactly like the ones I have now in a different color, and ones that were slightly bigger (though not so big that they looked like my father’s glasses from the 70’s–for real, America!?).

1000x480I waited in line for about 10 minutes to have an optometrist check my prescription, and another five to order the glasses from an adorable little hipster with big round glasses. She asked if I wanted the polycarbonate lenses because they would be an extra $30. Yes, I said, thinking that only $30 for polycarbonate lenses was a great deal.

So then she looked at me and asked for $125. I looked back at her and told her I needed lenses too. Yes, she said, that’s including the lenses. I stared at her, thinking, no, lenses cost at least $200. Really? I asked. Yes. REALLY? Yes. (At this point, she’s thinking it’s not only my eyes that need help.) I handed over my credit card and looked at Sofie, dumbstruck. Adorable hipster told me they would be mailed to me in 7-10 days, and we were on our way.

The whole way home, I kept looking at Sofie and yelling, “$125!” And she kept saying, “Yes, I KNOW. That’s why I told you to go there.” And we went home and I said to Bucket, “Guess how much my glasses were?” And he said, “$300.” And I said, “NO! $125!” And he stared at me, just as confused and disoriented as I was when I heard the price.

And I haven’t even gotten to the best part. For every pair of glasses, Warby Parker makes a donation to VisionSpring, a nonprofit that trains people in low income countries to sell glasses at very low prices so that jobs are created and people can see. Everybody wins! They have provided people with A MILLION pairs of glasses so far. If you don’t believe me, look here.

$125 for a new set of glasses. $125!!! If I was going to have any more kids, I would name the next one Warby Parker.*

I might not have to get Lasik after all.

*(And they do sunglasses!)

I have no affiliation with Warby Parker, but man do I wish I did.

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Buy this now: Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

It has come to my attention that some (most) of you have never seen Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. I will not get into my feelings on this matter, except to say that it is a HIDEOUS TRAVESTY and YOUR LIVES THUS FAR HAVE BEEN WASTED. Other than that, though, I’ll keep quiet.

I think I first saw this brilliant piece of cinematic art in 1978, when it was first made. Since then, I have watched it almost every year. Sadly, PBS stopped showing it when frigging Elmo came on the scene and they started making all kinds of Elmo Christmas crap. My college boyfriend managed to find the VHS and bought it for me, and I have since bought the DVD for myself and made my siblings and Bucket watch it every year.

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street is a highly entertaining film, wherein Oscar (my favorite Sesame character of all, obviously) tells Big Bird that Santa could never be real, because a guy who’s built like a dump truck could never make it down all those skinny little chimneys. Of course, Big Bird freaks out and tries to figure out how Santa comes. Hilarity ensues, there’s song, dance, and some pretty amazing 1970s clothing. Also, Cookie Monster eats a phone, Oscar goes flying down three flights of stairs, there are some awesome scenes with tiny children (who are probably in their 40s now), and Mr. Hooper lives forever!

I love this movie particularly because it provided me with my first girl crush. I fell in love with Patty, Big Bird’s friend, who looked sort of like my childhood friend Hollie (who inspired me to adopt, at age three). I loved Patty so much that I named my favorite doll after her (despite the fact that doll Patty was blond and blue eyed and movie Patty was Asian), and I slept with her so much that I eventually drooled her face off. Whatever. I totally mummified that shit up. She’s fine now. Probably.

3. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

I have watched it with Peeta every year since we adopted him (despite the fact that he doesn’t like Sesame Street and never has), and he loves this movie. Noodle only loves Cookie Monster, but she also loves this movie. I don’t want to scare you or anything, but if you don’t buy this for your children for Christmas, you are a terrible parent and they will never, ever forgive you. Assuming they ever hear of this movie, that is. (But I will make it my mission to tell them.)

Buy this now: Cuisinart immersion blender

So as you know, I make a lot of soup in the winter. It’s warm, it’s good, and it’s generally easy. When I first started making soups that required blending, I would use a blender. It weren’t pretty. Soup would drip everywhere, I would scald myself, and it often came shooting out of the blender. Same with the fancy food processor that I got to try to replace the blender. Also, both are a pain in the ass to clean (which isn’t my problem, because Bucket has to clean up when I cook, but I want to look sensitive to the needs of my husband. Did it work?). Two years ago, I asked for this for Christmas:

2. Cuisinart SmartStick immersion blender

Oh, mama. I love this thing. You snap it together, throw it in the soup, and it blends the hell out of it without a drop anywhere. You unsnap it, put the handle back in the drawer, and wash the blendy part. No hideous mess, and no trips to the burn unit. Done. Greatest invention ever. Also, they have all these rad colors now, so if you love the neon green, you’re all set. And it’s $35. $35!! Bargain!

You can buy it at Amazon. Go now, before they sell out. You won’t regret it.

Don’t forget: this post is in no way endorsed or encouraged by anyone but me and the people who eat my soup.

Buy this now: Canceaux sauce

So in journalism school they give you this big lecture on ethics and how you should never work for a big news conglomerate and you should never regurgitate the beliefs of your parent company and you should always be totally unbiased about everything ever, and you should never, ever shill. And also, here’s a bill for $40,000! Enjoy unemployment!

Guess what? I’m not a journalist any more. And while I’m not going to go so far as to shill, I am going to tell you what to do (I know, shocker). I’ve been thinking about Christmas and what I think you should have. Because I love these lists, I am going to make a list of 10 things (probably, because I am weirdly OCD about things and if it’s not an even number it will make me crazy) that I think you should get for the holidays, or just for life. They will be cheap, because we don’t have any expensive things in our house because of the mayhem. They will be useful or delicious. You will be happy if you listen to me. If you don’t listen to me, you are a mean jerk and I never liked you anyway.

1. W.O. Hesperus Canceaux sauce

I never ate anything spicy until I was 28 and I went to Iceland (I know, right?). I went to Reykjavik to visit my friend Erika and she had brought this with her from Maine. That’s right; hot sauce from Maine (I am blowing your mind today!). Erika and I would go out at night (which was most of the time, since it was November) and come home while it was still night and sleep until it was almost night again. During the few hours of the day that there was sunlight, Erika made me these amazing scrambled eggs with Canceaux sauce in it. I kid you not: this shit changed my life. Suddenly, I was spicy. I was in Hong Kong on my honeymoon, eating something that was so spicy I was practically sobbing and I could not stop eating it. (I can’t even remember what it was, just that it was delicious.) I keep Canceaux sauce in the house at all times. I eat it with eggs (esp delicious on scrambled eggs with feta). I eat it with macaroni (Annie’s, not Kraft). I eat it all the time. We have to have at least two bottles in the house at all times.

Buy it now. Thank me later.

$8.50 from W.O. Hesperus Co. in Maine, people!

P.S. It should go without saying that I am writing these recommendations because I am bossy. Please tell my j-school professors I am not a fucking shill.