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Facelift Bungee may be a stretch

Here’s a new wrinkle on avoiding aging.

Kimberly Aschauer, of Boca Raton, Florida, found a way to lift her countenance for her son’s wedding a few years ago.

She considered cosmetic surgery, but found the costs too steep. So she braided up a few locks of her long blonde hair, beginning at her temples. Then she pulled the braids back along both sides of her head, and fastened them with a bungee-like contraption.

Voila! Instant facelift.

In 2012, Aschauer introduced Facelift Bungee (for about $25). It’s a stretchy elastic band with a tiny comb on each end, packaged in a little jar that looks like those containing anti-aging potions.
Want a smooth movie-star face? Who doesn't?

Users must have medium-length hair, long enough to braid, to use the Facelift Bungee, which comes in both nude and black.

The Florida woman claims her Facelift Bungee takes 10 years off a woman’s (or even a man’s) life in 10 minutes with no surgery or botox. (How long does it take you to make a couple of braids, honey?)

Aschauer’s Facelift Bungee has been available online and in several high-end hair salons and spas, particularly in Florida, the human raisin state. (You know, where folks go to grow darker and more shriveled.)

Aschauer claims her Facelift Bungee is painless.

Having endured headbands, snug updos, and cinched ponytails, I beg to differ.

The Facelift Bungee may have Aschauer in a tight spot.

OK, so there may be a patent tug-of-war with Kelly Heyniger, a South Miami Beach socialite, who apparently claims to have created a similar product. It sounds like something of a snarl, as attorneys are trying to untangle the truth about the Facelift Bungee.

Do high hairstyles offer instant facelifts?
Still, the Boca Raton inventor is pulling in plenty of attention with her product.

Daytime TV talk shows and radio features are picking up the trail, featuring the allegedly instant facial rejuvenation product.

“I get up, brush my teeth, and pop my bungee in,” Aschauer told ABC TV. “It’s that simple.”

Maybe she’s onto something there.

Do up-tight hairstyles crank away wrinkles and make faces appear younger?

How many of us have made really tight ponytails, French braids, or corn rows and noticed how such styles pulled up forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet on our faces?

Maybe so, but how long can we hold such hairstyles without headaches?

Remember the old “Mommy, my pigtails are too tight” joke?

Does it work?
Here’s how that might feel.

Take both your hands, right now. Place one palm on each side of your face, sort of like Macauley Culkin in the famous shaving scene in 1990’s Home Alone, only a bit higher. Now, slide your hands backward, as far as you can stand.

Got it?

Voila! Instant facelift, and it’s free!

OK, I admit it. The “Home Alone” facelift isn’t a hands-free operation like the Facelift Bungee.

Take a look at the Facelift Bungee. See for yourself:

Whiz-bang. Just add a pair of Spanx, and you can be elastically enhanced at both ends.

Goodbye, Father Time.

"Mr. DeMille. I'm ready for my close-up."

But here’s a caveat. If you should spot anyone wearing a Facelift Bungee, duck, and take cover. We can only imagine what might happen, if that bungee should let go.

Women’s Faces
Creative Commons/Wikipedia Commons Photos
Macauley Culkin in Home Alone
Hughes Entertainment/20th Century Fox
Video Still
Fair Use Photo


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Better late than ... well, you know

My Blogger friend Lisa (at Life of Lisa) perhaps inadvertently introduced me to a peppy (and increasingly fit) blogger named Kenlie (at All the Weigh). Check ‘em out for fun reads.

Kenlie offers a Monday meme, called Friend Makin' Mondays. (See logo/graphic link - below.) I just found the July 16th prompt, so I’m jumping in a little late. Hey, as a Berzerkian, I’m entitled to a little procrastination now and then.

Here’s the deal, if you’d like to play along. 

Just copy the bolded sentence introductions on your own blog, and fill in the rest. Be sure to link to All the Weigh, and try to read some of the others’ posts (and comment), if you can. Hey, commenting gives you a chance to put your own blog link out there too!

How to Leave Online Comments that Count - Whether online comments agree or disagree with an author's premise, they let writers know that real people are reading what they have written and published. What are the most constructive ways to comment on online content?

Warning: This post represents something of a departure from the normal (or abnormal, depending upon your perspective) Delightfully Amiss posts. Stick around (or even sign up to FOLLOW this site), and you’ll see what I mean.

Finish the Sentence
I like…deadlines. I know. That sounds scary.
I don’t like… bugs.
I am… sort of a perfectionist, I guess. But not perfectly so.
I love… summer.
I dream of… rain. Hey, hay prices are heading in a crazy direction, and my garden is in mourning.
I wonder… if I’ll ever write that book. (“What book?” you ask.)
I know… way too much about migraines, which are a brain drain, a pain in the neck, and a full-body nightmare.
I went… to the Animal Fair. The birds and the beasts were there. Oh, sorry. Was I just carried away for a moment? That must be the Excedrin talking.
I have… more books than shelves.
I think… best when I am trying to sleep.
I plan… my days, but then I am always surprised.
I regret… having regrets.
I do… more than I should.
I drink…less than I should (Figure that out, if you can. OK, I am a bit dehydrated in the summer heat.)
I wish… I were 25 again.
I am… a bit older than 25, but not telling.
I am not… every gonna finish all of those half-started craft projects stashed around the house.
I need… a shower.
I hope… for the future. Yep, I’m a half-full sort, most of the time.
I want… to drop a few pounds. OK, maybe more than a few.
I sometimes… forget where I put my reminder list, my cell phone, my car keys, or other stuff.
I always… wake up far too early. Blame the pillow slammer. (That’ll be another post one day.)
I can… hardly wait for Mondays. (Ask any self-employed mom with an off-the-charts Type A counterpart.)
I cannot…seem to curb those late-night salty-crunchy cravings. Who’s with me?
I will… try to come up with more intriguing answers on the next Friend Makin' Mondays post.
Now … try it yourself! Or jump in on Monday, when the next meme installment begins.
Hidden Wife and Mother-in-Law Drawing
William Eli Hill
Makin’ Friends Mondays blog logo
Fair Use

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Occasionally people are still honest ... I think.

Columnists carp about crooks in Congress. Buyers and sellers bemoan a dearth of ethics in the marketplace.

Does it feel like everyone’s complaining about rip-offs?

Not everyone.

I just discovered that someone honest lives in our city. OK, I have no idea who it is, but such a person surely exists.

Here’s what happened when the cop pulled up.      

I was sitting at my desk today and glanced out the window, as a police squad car drove around our circle two times, then three. Finally, the car stopped in my driveway.

Puzzled, I stepped outside to greet the officer. She cited my teen's name and asked if I knew where to find her. I said I was pretty sure she was upstairs asleep.

OK. It was 8:30 a.m. on a July morning with no summer school today

But the all-business county deputy had me wondering: What was up?

“Did your daughter lose her wallet last night?” the officer queried.

She had me on that one. My teen did not mention her wallet when she came through the door just before her curfew.

And I did not happen to mention to the law enforcement professional that my daughter must have inadvertently driven home without her license. I wonder if that might have been a ticket-worthy offense.

Maybe that’s beside the point.

Apparently, as the officer explained, someone turned in my kid's wallet downtown and asked me to rouse the nocturnal creature. (That's not how she phrased it, but you get the picture.)

I raced up the stairs and pounded on my kid’s bedroom door.

“There’s a police officer here who says they found your wallet downtown. Did you lose it?” I asked.

A muffled and sleep-addled voice answered. “Uh, maybe.”

“Would you come downstairs now and talk with her?”

“OK, I guess.”


We'll be heading to the county safety HQ shortly to pick up the lost billfold. My daughter suggested that her wallet may have fallen out of the car when she and her friends climbed out at the park last evening.

Thank you to the mysterious and honest stranger, who found the wallet and turned it in!

My kid's new driver's license, Six Flags pass, and even a few birthday gift cards were still inside it. We’re waiting to count the cash too – to calculate exactly how honest my daughter’s honest benefactor may actually be.

Police Office - WP ClipArt

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To what degree will we go for fame?

How do you identify success?

What counts most, when we pick whom to place at the top of the proverbial heap? Do we tally professional achievements, compute high school grade point averages, count up amassed wealth, or look for celebrity status?

Sometimes we measure success by degrees.

Consider the late Val Patterson of Utah. Shortly before succumbing to throat cancer, the 59-year-old fessed up to a misclaim. Apparently, a loan department staffer at his alma mater, the University of Utah, set him an unearned Ph.D., diploma, although Patterson never even graduated from the school.

But he'd kept the pseudo-degree.

“I never even learned what the letters ‘Ph.D.’ stood for,” he said in his self-penned obituary. In the same document, Patterson owned up to several other pranks and crimes. The guy probably had a Trick of the Day in his pocket during his lifetime.

Apparently, a Ph.D. can mean any number of things.

My own brother started a running joke in our family when he showed up for Christmas dinner in a crisp button-down shirt bearing this monogram on one cuff:


We all began proposing new meanings for the oft-esteemed letters. Many of these do not bear repeating here.

Eventually, when my somewhat sheepish brother could put a word in edgewise, he explained that he had purchased the tailored shirt at an overstock store. Apparently, someone whose initials actually were PHD had returned the garment for some reason.

And my brother had bought the prestigious-looking shirt for a song.

Because he’s a teacher, my brother has plenty of hilarious stories of varied responses folks have expressed at the sight of his initialed cuff.

We think he’s worthy of fame, with or without the famous letters. But the classic shirt proves he has it all buttoned up.
Happy Graduate - Webweaver ClipArt
Button-Down Shirt - Fair Use Photo

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Sometimes “special” is overrated

“You’re special.”

OK, you probably knew that. We all do. We’ve heard it from preschool and kindergarten teachers, greeting cards, posters, and (hopefully) our own parents. And it’s true.

It’s even biblical. Yep, the sacred Scriptures speak of human specialness from cover to cover.

We’re all special.

But how special is special?

English teacher David McCullough, Jr., who happens to be the son of a Pulitzer Prize-winning Presidential biographer (How special is that?), launched a Commencement Ceremony warning shot on specialness to the 2012 graduating class at Massachusetts’ Wellesley High School.

Your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same.

“All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special. You are not special.  You are not exceptional. Contrary to what your soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special,” McCullough said.

Hold on for McCullough’s ending, which is really special.

“The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special. Because everyone is,” the educator concluded.

The video of McCullough’s address to the Class of 2012 went viral.

Have we overdone “special”?

This is the Special Plate. Maybe you’ve seen this popular gift shop item.

Ours was a wedding gift, a quarter of a century ago, from the pastor who did our wedding. Actually, his very special wife picked it out. They give it to every couple they marry.

Waechtersbach’s “You Are Special Today” plate carries a tradition.

It’s supposed to be used for momentous occasions, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations.  Use of the shiny red dish may also offer recognition for achievements (like a job promotion, athletic feats, or a top grade on a school test), or even raise the spirits of a family member who is not feeling well or is having a rough day.

Used appropriately, the Special Plate can make someone feel somewhat special. That’s sort of the idea, after all.

In our house, however, the Special Plate has become faded and scratched from overuse. A certain family member chooses and uses it every single day, even for reheating leftovers. And, although this glazed ceramic plate is supposed to be hand-washed, ours has endured countless journeys through the automatic dishwasher.

Our Special Plate has lost its specialness.

In fact, it’s become a joke. We’ve been known to hide it under everyday plates, just to see what happens. No matter where we put it, the Special Plate ends up on the dinner table.

Maybe Dana Carvey’s famous “Church Lady” from NBC’s Saturday Night Live said it best:



Perhaps our Special Plate really is special, after all, simply for the lesson it provides.

We may all be special, just because we were made that way. But we cannot make ourselves more special by calling ourselves so. There’s something sort of empty about self-praise – just like the now dingy Special Plate in my dishwasher.

Which would you rather hear?

“You are special.”
“I am special.”

Which would you rather say?

Gee, that certain someone’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks. Maybe we should order the matching “You Are Special Today” mug.
"You Are Special" Plate
Photos by Linda Ann Nickerson
Nickers and Ink Creative Communications

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Don’t barf in a Chicago cab

Vomiting is uncomfortable and gross, but it’s also considered foul play, if you’re riding in a taxi in the Land of Lincoln. Those who spew will pay their due.

Did you hear that?

Turn it up, Chuck.

Effective July 1, Chicago cab drivers are legally allowed to charge puking passengers extra for blowing chunks in their cabs. 
The new legislation, passed by the City’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Division, permits a cabbie to require a de-fooded fare to come up with a $50 Vomit Clean-Up Fee.

Years ago, my brother drove a Chicago taxi. He still regales us with tales of regurgitation. At last, the tables have been turned, so to speak.

Maybe it’s time for a few guidelines for cookie-tossing taxicab passengers.

Top 12 rules for vomiting taxi riders

  1. If you sell the Buick in a Chicago taxi, you’ll have to pay the checkered cab.
  2. Don’t chuck the chowder in a Windy City cab.
  3. Finish dialing the porcelain phone before calling a cab in the Second City.
  4. Reverse peristalsis leads to increased cab fares that’s make anyone retch.
  5. If you feel the need to bow to the porcelain god, don’t hail a cab first, at least not in the Land of Lincoln.
  6. Never call a cab, if you really need to call Earl, Huey, or O’Rourke in Chi-Town.
  7. Be sure to down the Dramamine before the meter starts running in the Loop.
  8.  Flash the hash in an Illinois cab, and you’ll have to flash the cash.
  9. Go ahead and spill your guts to a shrink, or even a bartender, but not your Chicago cab driver.
  10. Don’t do the technical yawn in a taxi in that Toddlin’ Town, unless you’re packing a wad of cash.
  11. Cough up your lunch in a cab in the City of Big Shoulders, and you’ll have to cough up plenty of extra change.
  12. Most of all, if you’re under the weather, don’t say these three familiar words to your Chicago cabby: “Step on it.”

He just might. And if he does, it’ll cost you $50. That’s enough to make anyone york, which might be OK in New York, but not in the Windy City.

Honestly, I could go on “ad nauseum,” but for queasy taxi riders in the City by the Lake, it wouldn’t be fair. 

Sweet Home Chicago. Gotta love it. Just don’t bring it up for a vote, dropping the sidewalk pizza, while riding in a cab in My Kind of Town.

Green Around the Gills
By SideshowMom
Chicago Taxi by Oliver Aumage
Creative Commons Licensing/Wikipedia Commons Photos


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