We've decided that spring is just too cool to last for only a few months. After all, great things happen in spring: warmer weather, flip-flops and shorts, the prom. Unfortunately, we have no control over the seasons, so we're looking for ways to capture the essence of spring year-round.
Here's a great place to start: City Yard, a California-based company that seems to share our philosophy. They sell all kinds of neat things that help you bring the colors of spring inside -- Canned Land ($10), a little all-in-one kit that lets you grow your own (tiny) yard indoors; Astroturf bulletin boards ($24) with silk-flower push pins ($6); bright flower pots that would be equally snazzy holding plants or pencils. We grew a lovely grass garden in less than two weeks in the dead of winter, and totally enjoyed the chance to watch something growing indoors when everything outside was brown and blah. And get a load of the monitor memo board ($20), a strip of fake grass that sticks to your computer so you can hold up your notes with cute floral thumb tacks. We'd like to own just about everything City Yard makes.
Check out www.cityyard.com or look for City Yard products at stores like Pottery Barn, Urban Outfitters and Pier 1.
XBecky Sher writes Hype for Knight Ridder Tribune News Service. You can write to her at email@example.com.
Linebacker gets his own
By far, the funniest commercial from this year's Super Bowl was the Reebok ad featuring "Terrible" Terry Tate, the office linebacker. Who could forget the red-shirted enforcer brutally tackling workers playing "Solitaire" at work or forgetting to put cover sheets on their TPS reports? Tate fans will be delighted to know that Reebok gave the character its own Web site, "Terry Tate, Office Linebacker" (http://terrytate.reebok.com).
"Terry Tate" features commercials starring the self-proclaimed "Pain Train." You'll not only get to see the Super Bowl ad, but also other hilarious spots. In "Draft Day," we see what happens when Terry's company uses its office athletics pick to select another young linebacker. Will Terry's job security be threatened? More importantly, can his co-workers survive not one, but two, office linebackers patrolling the cubicles to enforce company policies?
Joining Terry's "Hit List" will allow you to e-mail video clips of Terry's "greatest hits" to your friends, so you can spread the joy!
XEric Goodwin writes the Web site column for Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. You can send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BUM'S RUSH
I got my hair done at a salon on prom day, but the appointment ran long. ... Miraculously, I was all set by the time he picked me up. We took pictures in my front yard and then drove to his house to do the same thing. As we were getting ready to finally leave for the dance, one of my boyfriend's relatives tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear that I'd forgotten to zip up my dress in the back. My butt was showing! It was the first time I'd met most of his family -- I wish they hadn't seen my butt!
MURPHY'S (PROM) LAW
On the day of my junior prom, everything went wrong. My date got lost on the way to my house because he couldn't find the street sign. The limo was too small -- an eight-seater for 10 people -- and we practically had to sit on top of one another. Dinner started out OK, but then I saw my winter-formal date. I still had a serious crush on him, but he wasn't there with his date. I couldn't believe that of all the restaurants in our area, we had to wind up at the same one! After dinner, we got to the prom and my date began ignoring me. Later, I caught him dancing with another girl! Finally, on the way home someone spilled apple cider all over my dress and shoes. I didn't exactly feel like Cinderella that night.