Monday, March 31, 2008

Idea for You

So remember my Style Sleuth idea about identifying tags in clothing that you could aim your cell phone at? My brother pointed out this article in the NY Times today. The means for this idea already exists! So go get rich already, okay?


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Props to the Peeps

If you haven't seen the results of the Washington Post's second annual Sunday Source Peeps Diorama Contest, you are in for a treat. A friend sent this to me and I haven't stopped giggling anytime I think of it.

Lyra Earns Her Keep

Lyra will be 11 months old in a few days. She has earned $35 already. By the end of next week she will have earned $305.

Here is her breakdown:

She has participated in three ten minute experiments at the Cognitive Studies Lab at Harvard. She sat in my lap for these and observed various items. Which things attracted her attention and for how long was recorded. Whether she noted a person's preference for a particular item, whether she noticed whether sounds were matching items on a screen, and whether she could tell the difference between sand and a solid object were all involved. She earned $5 for each of these studies, as well as a snack container and two sippy cups.

She has had an eye exam in which no drops were used. She simply had to look at fun toys and note the stripes on a board while New England College of Optometry students learned what it is like to do an exam on a potentially non-cooperative wee person. For this she was entertained, had her eyes checked, and earned $20. She was also invited back next year for being just so darn cute. (She has excellent vision.)

Next week we will host several other first time moms and a representative from a children's furniture design place, care of a local marketing research company. We will play with our kids and answer questions about our opinions for a two hour focus group (not sales) on kid things we might have been talking about anyway. For hosting, Lyra and I make $200. For them postponing it a week we get an extra $75. Our friends will all earn $150 plus another $50 for rescheduling.

So how else can Lyra and I have fun and earn money (legally, please)? Any other creative suggestions?

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Idea for You: Style Sleuth

Please take this idea and make millions:

Create a tiny thingy that can be sewn into the tags on clothing that transmits the brand/designer to anyone who holds their cell phone up to get it. Sell it to clothing companies.

For instance: Dude walks by in super sexy green and black striped hooded hold up your phone "beep" and you've got the designer so you can buy one for your hubby.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Thought I Was Thumbody

I was at the doctor again for a variety of things this week, including finally officially complaining about the insane arthritic-like pain in my hands and wrists. Apparently there is an official diagnosis for new moms with this -- it's a common kind of strain and it's particularly common in women like me who got carpal tunnel syndrome while pregnant. She wrote a prescription for wrist braces and had me take it to the Physical Therapy department. "Please restrain her thumbs," she wrote on it.

I spent the last two days laughing to myself imagining various Steve Martin-esque afflictions where my thumbs were jumping all around of their own wild and crazy accord. Then I imagined doing that seventies thumbs-up dance like Elaine on Seinfeld. When I went in today to get fitted for my braces, the physical therapist took out some standard wrist braces. "Oh no," I said, "you're going to have to restrain my thumbs," and then my eyes started watering because I was trying so hard not to giggle.

They took out their super cool plastic and heated it with warm water and molded wrist braces for me. We had a long discussion about the kind of plastic and how I could have all their scraps and use them to make things, remold handles on tools, keep bezels with stones in place while I set them and more. I was then given a stern warning that I was not to cut up my braces for art projects just because my wrists start feeling a little better. "You can," she winked at me, "decorate them with permanent marker if you like."

I agreed to wear them if I wasn't working and that maybe I'd wear one while taking care of Lyra. That mostly left sleeping, so I could deal with that. I was feeling pretty happy about things and I went to the cafeteria at the hospital before another appointment and tried to eat a tuna melt.

Somewhere between having the cashier put my change in my wallet for me and trying to clumsily pick up a dripping sandwich in my fingers I stopped smiling. It finally hit me: this actually sucks. I've actually been demoted down the evolutionary ladder. Even that thought was funny enough to get me through my next appointment. Then I tried to turn the key in the ignition of my car. This is the solution to high gas prices: restrain your thumbs.

When I got home I ate a big bowl of consolation ice cream and the post lady brought a package to the door and saw the braces and offered to bring me my mail, too. When I opened the package it was an unexpected present from the ever-amazing West Coast Bethany. The world was righted again.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Monster in a Box