Category Archives: contest

Your Funny Misunderstanding Can Win Big

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We’ve all had one of those moments when we said one thing, but the person we said it to heard (or understood) something else entirely. It can be funny, frustrating and embarrassing. But usually, it’s pretty funny.

Regional dialect or slang can play a part in it – I know a lot of folks in the Pittsburgh area who have had a similar experience as mr b, when his friend from North Carolina came to visit. My MIL was making them sandwiches for lunch and asked if he wanted a jumbo sandwich & he replied, “No thank you, ma’am, a regular-sized one will be fine.”

Song lyrics often cause confusion, too. I remember riding on the bus to a football game, and my friend and fellow majorette had her walkman on and was singing along to REO Speedwagon’s Take it on the Run (I told you I was old). We all cracked up when we heard her sing (at full volume), “But I’m telling you, babe, that I don’t think it’s true, babe. And even if it is, keep kissin my hind.” (the real lyrics being “keep this in mind”). Of course, now “my hind” is forever burned into my brain and that’s how I sing it now, making me look stupid in front of anyone who is around.

Alka Seltzer is currently looking for the best or funniest story of just such a misunderstanding. If yours gets picked you can win a trip to NYC to star in an Alka-Seltzer online video featuring your miscommunication. Plus, you’ll receive $5,000 to spend towards whatever you wish. Sounds like a good deal, right?

All you have to do is leave me a comment with your miscommunication and then head over to the facebook page for the contest and enter it there as well (limit 1,000 characters). The contest runs through February 25, after which the winner will be picked by Alka Seltzer based on Creativity/Originality (25%), Writing Quality (25%), Humor (25%), and How well the Submission translates to a Video Vignette (25%).

Come one, funny people –I want one of my readers to win!

Go Now!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 18 years or older. Contest ends 2/25/11. To enter and for Official Rules, including prize description, visit http://www.facebook.com/AlkaSeltzerOriginal?v=app_7146470109&ref=sgm. Void where prohibited.

And now the fine print: I am being compensated by Alka Seltzer and The Motherhood for posting this. All that means is that I can’t win. But one of you can. So once again: Go Now!

And The Winner Is…

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Guys, I have to say: YOU ROCK! I wish I could send each and every one of you a prize, but since I can’t, I just want you to know that you are kind, caring, generous people and I am glad to consider you my friends. MWAH!

Anyway, because I gave additional entries for larger donations, I couldn’t just do a random draw from the comments. There were 57 entries for 12 people, which emphasizes your awesomeness. Instead, I put the entries into a spreadsheet and got a random number. And the winner is (sorry for the shitty quality):

Meno! Which is awesome because about 5 minutes after I posted my first entry (before the contest) about the March for Babies, she was on my walk page and making a donation. Congrats, meno. Email me with your info and I will get your prize out within the week.

Like I said, I’m sorry you all couldn’t win, but thank you so much for helping with this great cause!

March for Maddie Giveaway

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As I have already said, on March 9th, I (along with the most excellent Burgh Moms and Dads) will be participating in the March of Dimes Pittsburgh March for Babies in memory of Madeline Spohr, who passed away on April 7th, 2009.

Originally, I was planning on having some giveaways during this month to celebrate my 5th “blogiversary” (I already held one and the winner – Hedge – has requested that I substitute her prize with booze. A girl after my own heart. Plus –she’ll share.) However – in light of this tragic loss, I have decided to pool the prizes and do a raffle/giveaway to help raise money instead.

So for any donation of $5 to my walk page (click the button at the bottom), I will enter you into a drawing to win a Box ‘O Goodies. In that box will be:

* A $20 Victoria’s Secret gift card

* A $15 iTunes card

* A $15 Starbucks gift card

* A $25 Target gift card

Also, I will throw in:

* A dvd of the Sex and the City movie

* Assorted goodies to be determined after I pick the winner (so I can gear it towards the winner a little based on gender, location, etc) but will include at least one book, something yummy, something weird (because…duh), something kid-related if you have any, and who knows what else, but I’m good at gift baskets so fear not.

You will get one entry for every $5 you donate. So $10 gets you two entries, $15 gets you three, and so on.

Once you donate, please leave a comment here so I can figure out who is who (if you want to remain somewhat anonymous on the amount of your donation, you can comment here that you donated, and then email me to let me know who you are and the amount so I can give you the appropriate number of entries (sugarmag_at_live_dot_com). For those of you who have already donated (you know who you are and I love you – smooch!), I will enter you as well, but go ahead and comment here, so I have a reminder all in one place.

You don’t have to know me to enter. I don’t care if you’ve never commented before. I don’t care if you’ve never been here before. What I care about is doing the best we can to help a great cause. Because no one should ever go through what the Spohrs and so many other families have endured.

Although I love to give people stuff and usually die of anticipation before every birthday or holiday, I am going to drag this one out a little to give more folks a chance. I will keep it open until Saturday, April 25th.

Help out if you can and feel free to pass this along.

THANKS!!

Need

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OK – FINE! You have beaten me – No one is getting three songs. I swear, I thought it would be easy, since I’m a hippie chick, I have a song reference in my username and email, and since I have talked about artists I like. But turns out it wasn’t so easy. I will probably just do a random pick for the iTunes winner. Unless someone guesses before i get around to doing it (I’m super busy at work right now) Dammit.

Because of the super busy, I am delving back into the archives. This was originally published in November 2007. I have been pretty open over the years, writing about my insecurities and failures, about heartbreak and marriage issues. I’ve shared embarrassing moments and been brutally honest about family problems. But strangely, this was by far the most difficult post for me to write and share.

What Does Need Look Like?

Back when I was living in the city and attending the most awesome church ever, I used to volunteer at the church’s weekly meal for the homeless and less fortunate. I’d show up around 7:00 am and we’d start chopping, prepping and cooking. We generally served something simple – chili, stew, pasta. Anything that was inexpensive and could be stretched a long way.

We got a diverse crowd at these meals – some obviously homeless folks, veterans still struggling with what they had been through, lonely elderly men, addicts and alcoholics, mentally challenged people living on their own, and the hardest ones to see – families. It took everything I had not to cry when a toddler or young child would smile shyly and politely ask for “more milk, please?” I can’t tell you how many times I’d have to turn away and blink back tears, knowing that my childhood was so very different than theirs. At that age, my biggest worry was if Teddy liked me (yes, no, or maybe so) or which of us was going to get to play Dorothy when we played Wizard of Oz at recess that day.

Anyway, occasionally we got people (mostly men for some reason) that didn’t really look needy. I know – needy doesn’t have a “look”, but it’s the best description I can give. One week, we had two men come in that fit this description – one older (maybe in his 50’s) (also – this was years ago when I included 50’s in the “older” category and not the “potential hot sex” category) and one younger. They may have been father and son, maybe just acquaintances. They were dressed pretty well, especially the younger man, in clean, neat clothes and a well-made jacket.

They were welcomed just as everyone else was – no one was questioned or turned away there and rightly so. But I overheard someone make mention of their “not needy-looking” appearance. It wasn’t anyone working at the meal – everyone there felt the same about our guests. It was someone who was at the church for another reason. But when I heard their comment, it really bothered me. I mean, who are we to judge? What does “needy” look like? And does needy only mean financially needy? What about the lonely, the scared, the sad? Aren’t they just as needy of our fellowship as the hungry were of our food? And yet, while part of me understood the person’s comment, I also knew how ignorant it was. While I was never “needy”, I had had an experience a few years before that made me feel judged and needy and humiliated because of it.

Back when I worked for the University and made a salary that I could never have lived on alone, mr b and I went through some pretty hard times. I was going to say that we were the epitome of “paycheck to paycheck”, but that isn’t exactly right, because the money never quite stretched from one paycheck to the next. Now, let me get this straight – I was never in any danger of losing my home or starving to death. I had family, mr b had family – if we were truly anywhere near that, they would have stepped in to help. Hell – they have helped us many times. But no one likes to ask for help. No one wants to admit that they aren’t making it, that they are failing at life. I grew up being almost unable to ask for anything, so I was no exception.

So one month, things were really tight. My monthly paycheck wasn’t due for a week (whopping $625 that it was), and mr b’s small pay wasn’t coming for a couple days, either. There was nothing in our account – in fact, we were overdrawn. This was a relatively common occurrence, given our paltry salaries and our rent, utilities, student loans and a pretty large IRS bill from an old business venture when mr b had to choose between paying his guys and paying his taxes – he chose right. Anyway, the money was gone, the food had run out the night before and we had long since started walking to work to avoid bus fare.

In the office where I worked, there was a small group of us that pitched in every month for a lottery fund. We played the big jackpots a couple of times a week and put any winnings back in the pot. The envelope was kept in one woman’s desk (the territorial crazy-ass bitch – I have some stories about her for another day). Since there was usually more money in there than we generally needed for the lottery, it became a “bank” of sorts. If someone in the group had forgotten their lunch money or bus fare, they’d borrow from the pool and pay it back later. So, on that day, I was getting ready to leave (I was the last one in the office), and I was fretting about what we were going to have for dinner (and lunch and dinner the next day – I had already skipped breakfast and lunch that day) when I remembered the lottery pool. I checked the envelope and we had way more than we needed, so I borrowed five bucks. We had enough in there that if we divided it by the contributors, we’d have 10 dollars a piece, so technically, I didn’t borrow anything more than – and actually less than – my own money.

I left work, walked to the store (no way was I wasting my $5 on bus fare), bought some ramen noodles and ground beef and walked home, feeling slightly relieved that I didn’t have to skip eating the next couple days. I guess I should mention that we were out of checks and they were on re-order, because otherwise, I would have knowingly written a bad check. I mean – eating versus bouncing a check (as I said a common occurrence)? No contest.

The next day, as soon as I got into the office, I was called upstairs on a project, so I didn’t see any of the other women when they came in. It wasn’t until hours later when I caught up with my friend Toenail, she told me that Diana, the crazy-ass bitch was freaking out because someone had stolen our money. She came in and immediately checked the envelope (being a paranoid, territorial, crazy-ass bitch) and freaked out. No – that’s not exactly true. She first assumed that someone had borrowed it, but when she asked the other women (completely unbothered by the thought of it) and they said no, she freaked out. They others said it was probably me, to calm down. But she hated me. So suddenly, what was perfectly OK when she assumed it was one of the others was thievery when it was me. She ranted and raved and screamed and cried (yes – she actually cried – she was really good at mustering up fake tears to suit her needs).

She went upstairs and cried and told everyone and anyone that I had broken into her desk and stolen her money. Before long, I was summoned in to the (world’s worst) boss’s office. I was interrogated and humiliated. I sat there before my anus of a boss and explained that we always borrowed from the fund and that it was never a problem. I explained that it was my money. I explained that the other women weren’t upset at all – only dirty Diana (oh the stories I could tell about her). Still, he had heard the word “stolen” and that was as much as his tiny brain could handle. He wanted to know “why I did it”, what I needed the money for. After explaining yet again that I didn’t “do” anything, I told him the truth – I began to cry as I explained that we were out of money and out of food. He looked at me incredulously – as if he couldn’t even comprehend being broke and hungry. He didn’t feel any sympathy for me. He didn’t care that his employee could not afford to eat on her salary. All he wanted to know was, “What can you get for five dollars?”

This made me cry harder. If he was intent on humiliating me, he was doing a fine job. I felt terrible. I was ashamed. Not of what I had “done”, but of the fact that needed to do it. I was ashamed to have to explain to the man who once told me how cheap his airfare to Paris was and told me I should go (it was more than my entire monthly paycheck) that I had bought ramen fucking noodles just so I wouldn’t go hungry for the next two days.

And why should I have been ashamed? I was working. I had gotten a college degree. I was earning a living. I was doing everything I could and it Just. Wasn’t. Enough. Why should I be ashamed? Shouldn’t society be ashamed? Shouldn’t our government be ashamed? Shouldn’t my fucking asshole boss be ashamed? Ashamed for not paying me enough to live on? Ashamed for judging and humiliating me for something that he was partially responsible for? And yet, I hung my head and cried and took the rest of the day off so I didn’t have to face anyone. I walked out the back way so I wouldn’t run into anyone. I had already seen Dirty Diana’s satisfied, smug face and that was enough. I stopped in the bathroom on the way and threw up, so deep was my shame. I cried all night and most of the next day.

And you know what I was wearing? Clean, neat clothes and a well-made jacket. So you tell me – can anyone really say what “needy” looks like? I try to give and help whenever I can, and even if I can’t? I’ll never judge someone asking for help. I know how ashamed I felt that day, and I imagine it is hard and hurtful and humiliating for others to feel “needy”. Believe me, no one is judging them as much as they are judging themselves. No one can imagine what they are going through. No one would put themselves though that feeling if they didn’t feel it was their only option. And if they did? Then they are clearly in need of something, if not food or money. And I for one, won’t deny them.

Pick Three – A Giveaway

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Updated: No winners yet, so check the comments for some hints.

In less than 2 weeks, it will be my five year blogiversary (I started off at diaryland way back in April 2004), so I have decided to celebrate. I will probably share some of my favorite entries over the past five years and pretend that it’s not just laziness keeping me from writing something original. And I’ll justify it by telling myself that most of my current readers didn’t know me way back when, so it actually is original. So there.

But I’ll make it up to you with five giveaways – one for each year. And I think I will add a little to each giveaway (but don’t get too excited – there won’t be any laptops or iPods here – I’m no Pioneer Woman. Still – free stuff is free stuff) . C’mon – it’ll be fun!

The first prize is a $15 iTunes gift card, which will go to the first person who can name three songs that are on my iPod (yes, I’m making you work for it – I get so little pleasure these days – humor me). You can guess more than once, and I’ll keep it open until someone gets it.

The rules: the songs must be by different artists and can’t be any of the songs I list below.

Hints: I have varied tastes in music, though I am not a big fan of current R&B or rap. And I’m not a jazz fan. Otherwise, I have stuff on there from current albums and from 4 decades ago.

Anyway, since today’s prize is about music, I’ve decided to do a music meme. The “Pick Three” music meme.

And also – I need to point out the fact that many of these are old, since I am so entirely out of touch with today’s music.

Song(s) That I Loathe to the Core of My Being

* Cherish – Remember that song? I don’t know who it is by 0- I think of them as “the miserable, evil fuckers are who tried to kill me with it”. All these years later, it makes me want to stab someone.

* Viva la Vida – I like Coldplay well enough, but I find this song entirely annoying.

* The horror that is Carrie Underwood’s version of Home Sweet Home. Stabby!

Musical Artist(s) That I Loathe to the Core of My Being

*post-80s Madonna

*Shania Twain

*Michael McDonald. Never liked him, but 40 Year Old Virgin and Taylor Hicks cemented it.


Rolling Stones Song(s) I Love

(I’m not a huge Stones fan, so there’s only about 3 that I really like. . .)

* Wild Horses

* Angie

* Not Fade Away

Beatles Song(s) I Love

(How could I possibly narrow this down to only 3?)

* While My Guitar Gently Weeps

* She Came In Through the Bathroom Window

* Rocky Raccoon (this one was the boy’s favorite song when he was 3)

Who Song(s) I Love

* The Kids Are Alright

*Squeezebox

*Long Live Rock


Reggae Song(s) I Love

* Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

* Redemption Song – Bob Marley

* Is This Love – yep – him again


Country Song(s) I Love

(Gah – I’ll stick to the older or less mainstream, since I couldn’t narrow the new stuff. And it’s still impossible.)

* Lay You Down – Conway Twitty. No – Hello Darlin. No. I don’t know.

* Seminole Wind – John Anderson

* Luckenbach Texas – Waylon Jennings

Movie Soundtrack(s) I Love

* Oh Brother Where Art Thou

* Dirty Dancing

* Pretty In Pink

Musical Soundtrack(s) I Love

* The Civil War (The Nashville Sessions)

* Man of la Mancha (because I was in it in High School and know all the words. Plus I had sex for the first time with one 18 year old Mr. Don Miguel de Cervantes/Quixote himself, so it holds special memories for me)

* Beauty and the Beast (this may be cheating since it was a movie first, but damn it –I love it)

Cover Song(s) I Love

* Shameless by Billy Joel (cover by Garth Brooks – my wedding song)

* When You Say Nothing At All by Keith Whitley (Alison Krauss cover)

* Crazy by Willie Nelson (cover by Patsy Cline)

Contemporary Top-40 Artist(s) I Secretly Love

* Love is really too strong a word. . .

* Because I can’t think of one I love

* But then, maybe I am being too narrow in my definition, because all I think of is Britney Spears and Mariah Carey and Celine Dion and then I puke. And get stabby.

Song(s) That Bring Me to Tears

* He Stopped Loving Her Today – George Jones

* The Dance – Garth Brooks

* Where’ve you been – Cathy Mattea (I actually have to turn this one off sometimes because it leaves me a sobby mess)

Song(s) That Make Me Shake My Ass

* Smooth – Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas

* La Bamba – Ritchie Valens/Los Lobos

* Shakedown Street – Grateful Dead

Classical Composer(s) I Love

* Mozart

* Chopin

* Vivaldi

Rap/Hip-Hop Song(s) I Love

* Rappers Delight – Sugar Hill Gang (Old, old me. . .)

* I’m sure there are more, but I’ll be damned if I could name them

* Does Word Up count as rap? (God, I’m old)

70s Disco Song(s) I Love

Man- I love disco – I can’t narrow it down. Other than everything by Earth Wind and Fire:

* I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

* Last Dance – Donna Summer

* Dancing Queen – ABBA

and eleventy five others (have I mentioned how old I am?)

70s Supergroup Song(s) I Love

* Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ – Journey (I love all Journey songs, actually)

* Dazed and Confused – Led Zeppelin

* Best of Times – Styx

Metal Song(s) I Love

* I haven’t loved metal since the 80s and I’m getting tired of thinking, so suck it, music meme

New Wave Song(s) I Love

(Do these count? Because they were “new wave” in the 80’s. I checked, though and they’re on “new wave” compilation albums, anyway, so I am using them)

* Melt with You – Modern English

* Safety Dance – Men without Hats

* Hungry like the Wolf – Duran Duran

Soul/R&B Song(s) I Love

I only rally like the old stuff (again with the old)

* Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight

* Me and Mrs. Jones – Billy Paul

* Kiss and Say Goodbye – Manhattans

Power Ballad(s) I Love

This is another hard one to narrow down, because power ballads are all about the 80’s and being an angsty teen I the 80’s, I loved this shit.

* Mama, I’m Coming Home – Ozzy

* I Wanna Know What Love Is – Foreigner

* Keep on Loving You – REO Speedwagon

Pre Rock and Rock Era Songs I Love

* Run Around Sue (this one because it reminds me of Tammy. It might not exactly be PRE-rock, but it’s close enough)

* In the Mood – Glenn Miller

* Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – Andrew Sisters

Punk Song(s) I Love

* London Caling – The Clash

* I Wanna Be Sedated – Ramones

* Anarchy in the UK – Sex Pistols

Singer/Songwriter Song(s) I Love

* Rocky Mountain High – John Denver

* River – Natalie Merchant

* Positively 4th Street – Bob Dylan


MTV Video(s) I Love

(hello – I show my age by merely admitting that have ever seen a video on MTV. I guess I should just say Video Killed the Radio Star and call it a day)

* Take on Me – Aha

* Drive – The Cars

* Keep Your Hands to Yourself – Georgia Satellites (I know – no big special effects or anything, but they just looked like they were having so much find riding around in the back of that truck)

“None of the Above” Songs I Love

* Row Jimmy – Grateful Dead – My all-time favorite Dead song.

* Hillbilly Deluxe – Brooks (my sexy future husband) and Dunn (it’s not really a “none of the above”, but I don’t care. We’re talking about my future husband here and if I want to include him again, I can)

* Primal Scream – Rusted Root

Guilty Pleasures

* Eh – haven’t I embarrassed myself enough already?

Songs to Have A Little Fun (*ahem*) To

* Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd (ahh, this one takes me back to college and my favorite One That Got Away. The one I always hope I’ll see again and yet sort of hope I’ll never see again, because I don’t know what my reaction would be)

*I don’t know – if I have enough alcohol, any song can be one

* But I can tell you which song is not good, and that would be the song that was playing just as I was about to have sex for the very first time – Relax, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (lyrics: “Relax, don’t do it, when you want to go to it, relax don’t do it, when you want to come”). Not very romantic. I told Frankie to suck it and did it anyway.

Another Winner

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Don’t forget – there’s still plenty of time to enter the Planet Earth DVD contest. I’ll be adding a new contest post later this week.

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Look at me here all bright and early! What’s up with that? I don’t know, but it may have something to do with not avoiding work and not wanting to think about getting the girl ready and picking up her friend and driving to pre-school and running the gauntlet of snotty moms. yeah – that’s probably it.

Anyway, I have a winner for the Valentine-y prize, and randomizer tells me:

It’s Tanyetta!

So, Tanyetta, email me your address at sugarmag(at)live(dot)com and I will get your prize out this week. Congrats!