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reviews: toys/books/goodies, rock it, rock it, and Tavern on the Green = food trucks???

September 27th, 2011

Hello to my friends at BzzAgent and VocalPoint, thanks for the goodies!

Here’s a little story about when I used to clerk for a newspaper. (It was this one. Yeah, it was weird, thanks for asking.) We used to get so much swag, you would not even have believed it.

Also, performers! They’d send by bagpipers to woo us out to the Highland Scottish Games, and a mariachi band would stop by every May for Cinco de Mayo. Kooky in the lobby!

One time they sent us about a dozen Cabbage Patch dolls. That was creepy, but the manufacturer was real excited because they were hoping Cabbage Patch dolls (and the dance! maybe the dance, too!) would become “hep” again.

Uh, yeah.

So one day, around Cabbage Patch Redux Time, I was cursing my existence and tearing into a pile of mail that was about as tall as I am (that means: tall). Wasn’t even happy about that, but it kept me busy and off the crack cocaine. I got fed up and said, There had better be a chocolate bar in here for me somewhere.


I tore open two more press kits (I remember it like it was yesterday, it was such cosmic timing) and the very next one I opened had (that’s right) not one, but two candy bars inside! Haha! Seriously, this is a true story. It was from Tavern on the Green, in Manhattan. Tavern on the Green used to be cool any time of year, but was especially pretty and festive during the holiday season. So I think they were sending the chocolate to try to lure me to NYC for the holidays, who knows.

Another time a belly dancer brought by an enormous block of chocolate, maybe 5 pounds of chocolate or so, but that’s a tale for another day.

Now, however, Tavern on the Green appears to have been taken over by… food trucks? Where the hell do they think they are, podunk Portland, Oregon?

My 9-year-old says to that, People are stupid. And I must say, I concur. I never go to New York anymore, cuz I don’t fly. Tell me, those of you who would know… is this true? Say it ain’t so, Joe. Please?

My point is, we used to get so much free stuff at The O. Meanie that I was (am), I used to gather as much of it as I could, after the reviews ran (or didn’t). Then I would either:

1) take it home
2) sell it at Powell’s books (grocery money)
3) give it to the shelter for women and children (domestic violence)

(That 3rd one is the one reporters and editors considered “mean.”) Although you know I ate those candy bars and didn’t share, I didn’t actually take much home. Not because I’m better than you or anything — I was a Lowly Clerk and didn’t score much stuff. Reporters and editors? Yeah. They scored, baby. They ferreted away as much as they could. One of the snootier ones once told me not to send any more goodies to the women & children’s shelter.

“You know how much free stuff they’ve got over there? They’re loaded!” (my response: “R u yankin’ my chain?”) Seriously. I used to call our courier service and have them deliver the boxes for me. Ha. Take that, you over-privileged victims of domestic violence and drug abuse!

Wait. Where was I going with this? Oh, yes. Swag. Here is my disclaimer, plz give it a read, thank you.

I think it is ridiculous that newspapers and news channels can get all kinds of goodies from every-damn-body, and be in bed with whoever, whenever, and do all kinds of product endorsements without owning up to, Oh yeah, the belly dancer stopped by…

That sentence is too long I’ll start over. This whole dang post is too long. for that matter, but this has been bugging me for awhile. Meanwhile, for us lowly bloggers — no one’s rolling in the cash, let’s just say that. Not unless they get a TV deal, yeah, I’m looking at you, sexy Ree ;) (as if I could resent anything the Pioneer Woman does, I love that gal.) So why do I feel like I’m selling my soul, because I run ads? Thanks, BlogHer. Kisses. I am going to continue to hold myself to much, much higher standards than those of USA Today and Fox News. Please make a note of it.

Most of the products/books/restaurants/toys and other products that I review, I pay for out of my own pocket. This week: bonanza. The books, CDS and DVDs the kids and I ordered showed up all at once. A publishing house sent me a load of little kids’ books (which I will pass along to my girlfriends’ who have littles). And BzzAgent? Oh, BzzAgent. Today, my kid had not the best day at school. Why? It was picture day, that’s why. And someone else’s mom tried to comb his hair and hello? Have you met me, Other Mom? I don’t even let my own mom comb my hair, back off, honk honk.

He probably thought it was like “Coraline” and she was going to sew buttons onto his eyes next.

But when he got home, it wasn’t just books galore, oh no. We got a brand-new Tonka XT Richochet Tricksters R/C “remote control stunt vehicle.” That one? It’s staying right here. He likes it, and invited his buddies over tomorrow so they can all test-drive it together.

My favorite feature so far: You can run it around all over the house and it doesn’t wreck the furniture. It flips and isn’t super-loud. A mom’s dream come true. Thank you, Tonka, and thank you, BzzAgent for sending it. (Free, so we could try it out.) (It’s a hit.)

Yes, we’ll be posting reviews all week, stay tuned.

(Maybe they’ll send Cabbage Patch dolls next week?)

— wm

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