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    It’s all fun and games until you see it in print

    May 29, 2008

    So there was this little review post I did about the Malibu. Remember that? I was funny.

    Mary from Automotive News called me a few weeks ago and wanted to discuss my trip. GM’s courtship of the blogger, blah, blah, blah.

    My husband gets nervous when I do any kind of interview. His motto is “get off the phone as soon as possible.” Except the one thing he has forgotten? I’m being interviewed about something stupid I have already said that is now forever immortalized on the internet. So I’m gonna have to say that ship has already sailed. I never reread the post before I did the interview and I was on my way to a show when Mary interviewed me. I was driving the truck. Without a headset. And probably with my knee so I could hold the phone with one hand and change the radio station with the other.

    As I read the article today,  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I had said several coherent things like “GM understands we are living in a world where social media are extremely important.” Except I’m positive I said “social media is” instead of “social media are” because “are” doesn’t sound right to me. It’s “is” right? Anyway, I plod through the article and realize that I may have gotten out unscathed. There’s even this AWESOME picture of me and Kelly in the trunk, taken by our most favorite Vicky.

    Mocha and Cocktail in the trunk

    Until I see the insert with the screen shot of the blog. And a quote from my Malibu review. And my heart stops. Because I’m going to be handed divorce papers over this one.

    There it is in Automotive News.

    “I think I looked ‘HOT’ driving it. I would definitely allow my husband to accost me on the hood.”

    My husband? He’s a bit of a shy guy. While he may be all up in my grill about accosting me on the hood, he’s less of a talk and more of an action kinda guy. I called him to tell him I found the article online. And then I broke the accosting news to him. As happy as he was to read it the first time when probably only 10 other random people read it, I braced myself.

    D: You. You are a funny girl.
    K: At least I didn’t say I would definitely let Keanu Reeves accost me on the hood.

    Keanu Reeves? WTH? In an effort to downplay the situation, I pulled Keanu Reeves out of thin air? Seriously? Seriously. Keanu Reeves. Tom Selleck would have been just as believable, just as non-threatening, but not repulsive. Keanu Reeves. Still reeling from the stupidity of that one.

    D: That’s true. What are your parents going to think of that comment?
    K: Hey, that accosting is within the bounds of holy matrimony. I HAVE to get a pass for that one.

    Keanu Reeves.

    On a cheerier note, tomorrow night is the big Mommy Needs a Sex and the City Happy Hour at Coastal Flats in Fairfax.  Starts around 7.  You should totally come, even if you don’t know me.  I’ll be fun.  I promise.  I mean, I did use the word “accost” in a product review.  How bad can I be?

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    Be still my beating heart….

    November 12, 2007

    If you buy one snarky mom t-shirt this year, buy this one. Mommy Needs a Cocktail is the new Fussy.

    Don’t tell Eden Kennedy.  I think, technically, that would make her the “old” Fussy.

    Today I had a very productive day. I managed to do my taxes for the last 18 months. I swear to you, I have no doubt that the Commonwealth, she is a coming for me. Nothing pisses off a desk jockey more than having some moron who was too scared of a tax form to actually complete it and is now severely delinquent on the $7.52 she owes in back sales tax. And you think I’m joking about that $7.52? It helps that NO ONE in my state thinks my shirts are funny.

    The Neighbor: You know there are penalties, right? I think it’s like $25.
    K: Actually, Sunshine, it’s $10, and yes, I realize when it is all said and done, I will be paying $179 in penalties and interest.

    In fact, I am looking forward to the blog post. Maybe with a little luck a state auditor will come knocking on the door. I hope he doesn’t catch me rolling around in all the money I have made over here. What do you say we clean off said money AFTER we dig it out of The Baby’s diaper and before we roll in it?

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    I only got to 90 mph and I never dropped the tranny

    November 4, 2007

    Where was I?


    Why didn’t I tell you?

    Because I swear to God I thought that when I showed up at the airport, it was all a joke and there would be no plane ticket. No hotel on the other end. No BBQ to eat at 3 in the morning. No Chevy Malibu to test drive.

    2008 Chevy Malibu

    That’s right, Internet. GENERAL MOTORS sent me a plane ticket to come to Memphis to try out their brand new 2008 Chevy Malibu. They even housed and fed me.

    Invited me? I Heart Cars. I always wanted to be a race car driver. It was like a James Lipton-esque moment. How did they know that I subscribed to Road & Track for 5 years in junior high and high school? Did they know that my sister illegally let me drive my grandmother’s hand-me-down 1972 Chevy Nova and when SHE drove it, she could hit 120 mph before the back end started to get a little feisty and I started to yell? How about that gearhead ex-boyfriend that collected antique cars and whom I finally dumped when he couldn’t buy me dinner because he had just bought an 1974 El Camino?

    It was too much. OK, it wasn’t really. Sure, I’ll let you fly me to Memphis to drive around in your car. You can bring me together my sister from another mother/ co-founder of the Association of Middle Children. You can let me drive really fast safely in car after car that has that new car smell. Hold on. Let me grab my Days of Thunder tape and I’ll be on my way.

    Oh, I’m a former car geek, only ruined by the sands of time. This is perfect for me.

    2008 Chevy Malibu Designer Tim

    This is Design Guy Tim. You know what? I wanted to care when Design Guy Tim talked about D lines and A lines and center lines. Believe you me. If anyone was going to make you believe in the D line, it was Tim. I wanted to care when Gary talked about horsepower and suspension ( for heaven’s sake, I had bought 5 car mags so I could be properly prepared to discuss).
    Sadly, it’s clear my gearhead days are over.

    “Oh, it’s pretty.” I swear I used those words when I saw it. I’m not proud of myself. It’s not supposed to be about the pretty. My behavior got progressively worse when we all piled into the row of cars to drive around rural Mississippi.

    “Hey, guys, you don’t have to stick your arm up to your elbow between the seats and feel around for 27 minutes until you find the Latch. You can see each one.” I got the appropriate “ahhs” from the fellow mothers. Then when it was my turn to drive, I only cared about if I could outrun the car beside me. I pushed the pedal and the car went. Of course the V-6 was spunkier than the 4 cyl. LT, and the hybrid had a slight “I think I can, I think I can” feeling, but once it thought it could, it would get you there. It would get you there and you could feel like you were a better person because your car kicked out less emissions than that car beside you at the light. All for around $22,700. Back out the federal tax credit and it’s only costing you $500 more to get a hybrid. How’s that for a selling point?

    Things I liked….

    It’s pretty. Oh, we’re all shallow here. Let’s be honest. We are all tired of the “family car” looking like the “family car.” No worries here. I think I looked “HOT” driving it. I would definitely allow my husband to accost me on the hood.

    We already discussed the latches. Huge. HUGE. I would say that is only a temporary thing because kids grow up but since the law requires that kids be in a car seat until they are around 17 here, it’s something to think about.

    The remote vehicle starter. When you are as lazy as me, the only thing better is having a personal driver.

    Cockpit interior. The closest feeling I’ll ever have to a F-16.

    2008 Chevy Malibu interior

    Mocha Momma, tearing up the road with style.

    Rear power package. You can plug your laptop cord right into the car. Of course, if you are in the middle of nowhere in Mississippi and you can’t even get a cell signal, you probably aren’t going to be able to “blog this.” Then maybe you are using the plug for something more important–like an electric frying pan.

    Affordable hybrid that isn’t a Pious. The Malibu Hybrid is touted as a light hybrid because it only gets a few more miles to a gallon than its highly efficient non-hybrid sister, but I really like the idea that I don’t have to buy a clown car in order to clean up the air around town. At under $23,000 with room to stretch in the back seat, that’s what we call a bargain over here at my house.

    It was a really comfortable drive and ride. You felt like you could sit in this car on a long road trip and not feel yourself saying, “are we there yet?”

    Things I didn’t really like…

    That sun roof/moon roof/hole in the ceiling of the LTZ was loud and kinda cut off conversation between the front seat and the back seat. Frankly, I was in the back seat with Kristin so how much more conversation did I really need? Wait. Now that I think about it, if you have kids, it would well be worth the upgrade to the sunroof.

    Tapshift for the manual transmission feature. The buttons weren’t exactly intuitive (although I finally figured it out somewhat. I’m sure my riders would disagree). I know it’s supposed to give you that race car feel but after downshifting in a manner that could only be considered unrecommended and may have resulted in a couple of whiplash victims in the back seat, it really didn’t do anything for me. I was glad that I never figured it out because I’m thinking it would have just resulted in an unplanned trip in the back of a cruiser–if you know what I mean.

    Driver’s seat needs to extend about 1 inch more. I dragged The Husband into a dealership on the way home from the airport so he could conduct my “6’3″ driver’s seat test.” Even with the power pedals adjusted to the very end, he was still oh so slightly cramped. But it’s a mid-sized car. He did say it was more comfortable than my car that has been driving us insane.

    If you are a speed demon, you are gonna have to skip over the LS and LT and head straight to the LTZ. If you are a responsible parent, you can get any flavor available.

    I’ll admit it. I was surprised. The Husband was all “what happened to “Miss I only Drive Foreign Cars?” Um, see repeated complaints about repair costs for said foreign car. That and I’m getting greener and greener every day. Ten bucks says I have a hybrid before anyone else in the family. And I would definitely consider the Malibu.

    But was the trip really just about the car? Is anything with me ever about just one thing? No. I could bore you with all the silly details about being embraced by Elizabeth on check-in, finding my husband in a bar with The Baby, an empty beer pitcher at 4 pm and a room full of women saying he’s such a “great dad,” haikroozing (tm–oh, you know I beat you to it, Kelly) with Mocha Momma and Vicky, getting run off the road by a pickup, seeing a Grammy-in-her-panties sweeping the front porch, watching a man picking cotton in a field while his wife caught it on video, reliving my entire high school years–thanks to XM radio, singing showtunes, yelling “they are NOT selling lawn jockeys over there” repeatedly, leaving a trail of pink feathers from my boa all over Memphis (to include the Gibson Guitar factory tour) and finding out that my fried green tomatoes are still the best fried green tomatoes I have ever had. But enough about me. There are lessons to be learned.

    Recap: Notes to self on what NOT to say to car executives at future test drives.

    1. Oh, my 72 nova could TOTALLY outrun a Caprice cop car.
    2. So exactly what speed does this baby need to be going before the governor shuts me down?
    3. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket in at least a year.
    4. So when do we get to open this baby up?

    I’m guessing those kids over at GM didn’t realize that they were inviting THE party to the party when they sent out the invite.

    Or maybe they did.

    Finally, a product review done Soprano style….

    A Coffee and a Cocktail

    Cause you know you wanted to know how many bloggers will fit in the trunk of a Malibu.

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    Pick ME!! Pick ME!!! I want a new HP PHOTO BOOK!!!

    So you lost the last contest at Mommy Needs a Cocktail. You’re feeling a little down. You expected it to go a little better. This was your contest. You were feeling it. You owned it. And you didn’t win. Well, guess what? There’s another chance to win something great.

    The very nice people over at HP sent me some of these really cool photo books that are just hot off their presses. Two sizes. 5″ X 7″ and 8 1/2″ X 11.” Retailing at $14.99 and $24.99, you really can’t beat the price plus convenience of making your mother-in-law’s holiday present while sitting in your robe and furry pink slippers. HP also asked me some questions about my lurve of photography (you can read about it here) and then they offered me FOUR photo books to give away, two of each size.

    First, they sent these books to me without realizing that for the past 4 years, I have purchased at least 10 books from at least 4 different online photo sites. Oh, I’m a photo book goddess. It’s the new baby book. Of course I am always paying for rush shipping because I didn’t get my act together in time and now I need the present yesterday and I’m really going to have to pay for it to get here in time.

    That’s where the great HP photo book software comes in handy. I can make a total personal creation a la Mommy Needs a Cocktail with the hit of the print button. Borders, the works. Woohoo. You crafty people will love it. You lazy people will love it even more.

    But back to the contest.

    Four. There will be four winners. Four. That’s like a million winners. Your odds have just gone up significantly than the last giveaway. This is your shot. And even if you don’t win, you could always head over here to get a 20% off coupon to buy your very own photo books if you buy them online at the HP store. Because once you win one of them from me, you are going to get hooked and then Lord knows the entire world on your Christmas list will be getting a photo book of your cute kids, or your cute dog or that lovely fall leaf photo collection you made. Or maybe you just want to make your own little photo book to take to work to show all the girls the profile photos of all your latest dates since work will no longer let you access the website. I mean, it’s not like you can decide on Prince Charming alone.

    And the nice thing about the photo books? When you break up with The Bachelor from Page Number 7, all you need to do is pop open that binder on your photo book and remove his picture. Maybe you want to rank pictures of your children in order of who is being the least annoying. Baby Boy just pooped in the corner behind the magazine rack. My boy is going right to the back of book and his older brother that just made me a flower out of toilet paper is moving up. It’s as easy as that. What more can you ask for?

    But I don’t have a printer, you say? This little one moves wherever you do and doesn’t even need a computer to work. When you are hiding in the bathroom from the kids, you can now expand your list of Things that Can Be Done While Hiding In the Bathroom to include making photo books. I can neither confirm nor deny I know this from personal experience nor do I think the good people at HP intended me to try out the printer in this manner but I’m just saying it sounds like a really good idea. Cough, cough.

    But what’s the catch? Well, because we are so high pressure over here at Chateau Cookie, you are gonna have to work for your freebie. Leave a comment here and tell me what YOU would do with the photo book. No need to think about it long and hard. I won’t come to your house to see if you actually follow through. You end up making it and loving it and keeping it, I say, so be it.

    I’ll pick a RANDOM winner every day at 9 pm starting on Tuesday and ending on Friday. The winner for the day will be taken out of the running. if you don’t win on Tuesday, you could still win Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. So reality is, the earlier you enter, the less number of people in front of you. Think about it. Just enter once. You are on your honor. No excuses for split personalities…..

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    We’re going on a trip in our favorite rocket ship

    November 2, 2007

    Dude, how cool would that be if we were really going on a rocket ship?  I wish.  Instead we are flying a commercial airliner. 

    It’s a very exciting surprise.  Not for me.  I know about it already.  I can’t believe it’s really happening so I’m going to wait until it is actually happening before I blog about it.  Of course I no longer have a functioning laptop so the blow-by-blows will probably be minimal, but we’ll jump off that bridge when we get there. 

    Stay tuned…………………………..

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    Febreze: If only it could get rid of The Dog too

    October 28, 2007

    FebrezeThere may have been an incident with unauthorized/last-minute ceiling painting and there may have been a slight “spill” on the carpet. Technically, the paint stain was 12 x 12. Crap. In order to cover up my paint spill on the floor, I needed to put my area rug down on top of the wall-to-wall.

    K: Babe, have you seen the blue rug? (acting all casual and disinterested on the phone)
    The Husband: (not even realizing deception was afoot) I think it’s down in the basement under the counter.

    I ran downstairs and swung open the door. Eek! So the dog may have made the carpet his bed-away-from-his-bed across the room, and sure, everyone has an accident once in a while, but time had not made this situation better. I panicked. I dragged it upstairs and promptly shampooed it. Clean, but still smelling faintly of dog. Ironically, I had been waiting patiently for my Febreze sample to show up in the mail. The doorbell rang that instant and I’m not going to say I tried to kiss the mail carrier on the lips when he handed me the box which was clearly labeled “Febreze.” I’m just going to say it was a timely arrival. I called up my friend B.

    K: Hey, the Febreze isn’t going to work. Remember that cross-country trip we took that one year with the dog and we had to get The Dog Room at the hotel? The Dog Room smelled like the prior occupant had smoked 7 packs of cigarettes in bed and then gave the dog a shower so that wet dog smell was permanently imprinted in the carpet. We went out and bought two bottles of Febreze and two bottles later it then smelled like fresh smelling cigarette butts and fresh smelling wet dog?
    B: That was like 5 years ago. Febreze had come a long way. If there is hope for de-Zinnifying that rug, Febreze is your best bet.

    I was skeptical when I got that little travel bottle, if I am going to be totally honest here. I needed a gallon of Febreze. Maybe I need to a 55 gallon drum of Febreze. But I took that little bottle and I shot 15 pumps of Febreze over the entire rug.

    All I’m gonna say is that you wouldn’t even know I have a dog. Other than the fact that he has to be surgically removed from your feet if you are having rib eyes for dinner. You know he’s there then. I guess what I am saying is that the dog smell is gone from the rug. Gone from the dog bed after I sprayed it too. Gone from that spot in front of the back door. I sprayed the dog but he still smells like dog. Even Febreze has its limits.

    I tried to talk The Husband into letting me go to the Martini Bar so that I could get see at the end of the night if Febreze could get that oh-so-smoky smell from my nice silk blouse. I thought this was necessary in order to make an accurate review of the product and not even remotely associated with the fact that I want to get away from my family. He said that if we got rid of the dog smell, a cigar would be a piece of cake.

    Damn. It was worth a try.

    Febreze To Go Extra Strength, 2.8 fluid ounces. Fresh, not flowery or overpowering. Gets rid of the dog smell. Next step, getting rid of the dog.

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