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Object Ode: The Laser Top

15 Aug

This is part of a series of occasional posts about objects I love and love using (totally unsponsored, just unabashed object obsession).

It was a gift from Grandma Reid, mostly as a joke.

“I don’t think you’ll be very happy with me,” she had warned. “If you throw it away after a week, I won’t be offended.”

It’s called a Laser Top. Made in Chinain Shantou, to be exact, by the Xin Quiang Sheng Plastic Toys Factory.

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Several months later, and I have definitely not thrown it away.

You wind it up, drop it on the table, and it spins. It plays techno-esque music with a synthesized”bang bang” and “honk honk” thrown in for good measure. It flashes red, green, and blue lights.

And it fascinates Little Lars.

I think he’s fascinated by it because he’s afraid of it. As soon as I set it spinning, he starts to reach for it. As he does, he makes the funniest face. I’ve tried to capture it on camera but have only produced blurry shots. It’s the face that says, I know that once I touch this, it will freak me out, so I’m just going to make my jarred-reaction expression in anticipation. Eyes closed (as if to protect himself), nose slightly scrunched, mouth open, and a little shiver, not unlike when he bites into something cold or sour.

Then, when the spinning is done, he grabs the handle that’s used to wind it up, and examines it intently: Oh, mighty Laser Top! How do I gain your spinning and flashing powers?! his baby mind wonders.

Potential fear aside, I think he does enjoy it. He lights up (ha, ha) whenever I pull it out. Though that could be because I madly, eagerly grin at him as I pull it out of the toy box–“Ooh! Look, Lars, at the spinning top! Look at the liiights!!” I mean, who doesn’t love a combo of frenetic music, motion, and lights?

I’m grateful for it because it’s the sort of thing I can pull out when we’ve exhausted all of our living-room entertainment possibilities. It flashes, it pulses, and for a few minutes, it captures his attention. And for that I say, thank you, Laser Top.

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Object Ode: Parsley

7 Aug

This is part of a series of occasional posts about objects I love and love using (totally unsponsored, just unabashed object obsession).

IMG_0235There is one reason I love parsley: it allows me to add some green to my overwhelmingly beige carb-and-cheese-filled dishes (I make and consume a lot of those) without having to use actual vegetables.

Because I am a terrible vegetarian.

That is all.

Update: For those concerned about my health and well-being or whatever, I did have some peas on the side for this meal, and I often mix in chopped spinach into pasta. But yes, I am a breadetarian.

Object ode: The printer

25 Mar

This is the first in a series of occasional posts about objects I love and love using (totally unsponsored, just unabashed object obsession).

I had been thinking for awhile about writing about objects–the tangible, seemingly sundry things that make my giddy and grateful just about every time I use them. Yet I was hesitant to admit to my obsession with things. It feels so materialistic, so shallow, so unholy, to be infatuated with the things that moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break through and steal.

But then Charlotte wrote this delightful post about the awesomeness of a bluetooth speaker, and I took courage. It occurred to me that there is value in loving your stuff and putting it to good use. It’s about gratitude–as the adage says, “Love what you have, not what you want.”

So here we go. Hello, my name is Holly, and I love things.

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One thing: my printer.

I had a printer in college that came with my very first laptop, but after I graduated it took up precious space and used expensive ink, so I got rid of it. Fortunately our first two apartments in Philly were within walking distance of a FedEx Office (which I still think of in my head as Kinkos), so all was well. It was sometimes a pain to put on to schlep myself over there just to print a few pages, but it was livable.

Then we moved to a neighborhood that was lacking in nearby FedExes, and I got an assignment at church (Relief Society secretary) that required enough printing, I felt, to merit owning a printer again.

The one I found after extensive comparison shopping isn’t anything special, but I thought it was a good deal with decent features and, most importantly, has economical ink (it’s an HP Photosmart 5514).

But simply having a printer is what makes the difference. Whenever I use it, I am not simply empowered. I am DRUNK WITH POWER. Just ask Dave and he will affirm that I frequently get unreasonably excited about printing.

It’s all about the power of creation: The same pride that swelled within me when I managed to grow a tiny human in my womb resurfaces whenever I print something.

See that totally legit-looking, neatly organized sign-up sheet? And that handy shipping label? And that photo of my child? They didn’t exist a second ago. But now they do. Why? Because of me and my printer, yo. Please feel free to stand in awe of my power of creation.