Five worst things about working holiday retail

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Some customers can be unabashed thieves of holiday joy. There are few things that promote grotesque pain and suffering more than working a retail gig from November to January, and for those who do these customer service-oriented jobs there should be hazard pay, hazmat suits, and free liquor and weed just to deal with the Scrooge McDick shoppers who want what they want, right now, and don't care if they have to take down innocent, hard-working employees to get it.

Here's our list of the five worst things about working holiday retail. And yes, there is a better way to shop and spare employees the worst...read on.

See also: A geek's guide to the holidays: Gremlins, "Christmas at Ground Zero" and other goodies


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Five Game of Thrones characters we never want to see naked

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Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones could use some levity right now: The latest episode, "The Rains of Castamere," was rough in the way that a bunch of beloved characters were completely and utterly slaughtered in such a shockingly revolting manner that fans who haven't read the books are still cry-barfing and posting "WTF" memes all over Facebook. For them, these are dark times for Game of Thrones. So just to lighten the general mood of impotent rage (until next week's season finale is over and everyone is back to complaining about too much nudity and straying from book canon), here's a list of the top five Game of Thrones characters we don't ever want to see naked. And if anyone was wondering, another snapshot of a very naked -- and very well-endowed -- Hodor would definitely be welcome in these trying times.

See also:
- Five reasons that Game of Thrones is the best show on television right now
- Game of Thrones Season 2 premiere was full of tumult (spoilers within)
- Game of Thrones Season 2 premiere tonight at Landmark Theatre


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Local dating site Lumidate helps online daters avoid the marrieds, criminals and catfishers

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Before the advent of online dating, people used to meet their dating partners in real life, making it slightly easier to get a feel for personalities, lifestyles, families, personal assets and compatibilities. Internet-based dating admittedly is a more convenient way to meet people, but it's got its inherent pitfalls as well, such as misrepresentation, scammers, no-strings sex-seekers, cheaters, scammers and plenty of brazen liars. There is no perfect system, and dating will always have risks, but Colorado's new Lumidate service seeks to keep folks honest -- by requiring full background checks for all members.

See also:
- Five Internet first-date horror stories, batteries included
- Top five dinners to serve your Internet date on Valentine's Day
- Five jaded tips for online dating -- don't get Te'od!


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Prince vs. Prince Harry: Both came to Colorado, but which monarch gets the crown?

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His royal highness, Prince.
His Royal Highness Prince Harry spent the day on Sunday enjoying the Colorado scenery -- and hopefully some of our best weed -- while the Prince of Purple played two of his four shows at the Ogden with his new band 3rd Eye Girl (he plays two more tonight). And while the two princes probably won't meet up to party together like it was 1999 -- or, in Harry's case, like it was 1899, since he is supposed to be on his best behavior after his recent, well-memed ass-capades in Las Vegas. Of these two princes visiting our fair state of Colorado, which one deserves a crown more? Here's our comparison.

See also:
- Five things Prince Harry should do in Denver
- Prince is a shining example of creative blackness
- Prince Harry memes offer naked truth about royal's upcoming Colorado visit?


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The five dumbest celebrity products ever pushed on the public

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Seems legit...
Maria Sharapova, the number two-ranked World Tennis Association player and former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, just launched a line of boutique candies -- including little lemon-lime tennis balls. This seems a little weird, considering Sharapova's athleticism and the nation's current examination of sugary sweets -- but then, this country has a long and proud history of celebrity-pushed products that range from somewhat useful to completely inane.

Here's our list of the five dumbest celebrity products ever pushed on the public. Paul Newman gets a free pass, because those salad dressings really are delicious.

See also:
- Lindsay Lohan, 90 Days in Jail: Five alternative sentencing ideas
- Lindsay Lohan's ad and other attention-grabbing antics from celebs under house arrest
- Lady Gaga congratulates Colorado and other reactions to 64 on Twitter


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Five toys for girls that need a gender makeover

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Hasbro's Easy-Bake Ovens are getting a masculine makeover fifty years after the toy was introduced, thanks to a market-savvy thirteen-year-old girl in New Jersey who wanted to buy her little brother one as a gift -- and found only purple and pink ovens. Her campaign got a media-smooch after a handful of celeb chefs, including Bobby Flay, spoke up in favor of a more male-friendly model.

There are two significant lessons we can learn from the Easy-Bake situation: First, it's proof that Bobby Flay is capable of being useful/relevant even though it's not 2008 any more, and second, that it's time to update other traditionally girl-centric toys to reflect American society's changing views on stereotypical gender roles.

Here's our list of five little girl toys that need a gender makeover. It's shake & bake, and I helped!

See also:
-Strange Fruit: Peaches thinks stereotypes are the pits.
-Dolls in thigh-highs and ponies with purses: MSNBC says toys are getting too sexy. And?
-Tomboy sensitively explores a freedom from gender codes

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Five sluttiest Halloween costumes for teen girls

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A recent stroll through the popular teen retail store Hot Topic got me all geared up for Halloween. Seeing the skeleton jewelry, the fake blood-splattered wedding veils and tiaras and the slashed-up fake body parts gave me a warm feeling in my heart. Then I scoped the female costumes and saw some real gems in this year's collection: slutty animals, slutty maids, schoolgirls and superheroes, slutty Hello Kitty, slutty zombies and brides.

Now, I'm the last person in the world to eschew slutty costumes -- although I'd like to see more slutty male costumes -- but Hot Topic is a teen retail store, and encouraging teenage girls to dress like Hallow-teen hookers doesn't seem to be the best idea on this blue orb for a host of obvious reasons. Here's a list of the five sluttiest Halloween costumes for teenage girls -- all from one store.

See also:
- Twenty best family-friendly Halloween events
- Twenty best Halloween costumes at Down & Derby
- Photos: The undead undress at Zombielesque
- Hell-ooo, nurse: Your Halloween guide to slutty occupations

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Goodbye Kitty! Lollypop Gift, the Hello Kitty store, closes

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J. Wohletz
The now-empty Lollypop Gift store.
All good things must come to an end -- but Lollypop Gift, the Hello Kitty store in the Denver Pavilions, seems to have come to a very abrupt end. And the reported reason for the store's closing is something many vendors can relate to: rotten mall parents using stores as daycare centers.

<strong>See also:
-Hello Kitty comes to the 16th Street Mall at Lollipop Gift (photos)
-Reader: Here, kitty kitty -- Hello Kitty comes to the 16th Street Mall
-Denver Cops Need More Hello Kitty

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Fifty Shades of Grey CD? Here are five better tunes for kinky inspiration

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Oh, goody! More Fifty Shades stuff!
Ever since E.L. James' first rectal-extraction, the book Fifty Shades of Grey, hit the market like a drunken Rip Torn ramming his car into a tractor-trailer, the merchandise spin-off has been explosive -- or catastrophic, depending on your point of view. Stockings, garters, underwear, pajamas, robes, kitchen and bath décor: all offshoots of the book's mild BDSM themes.

And now a collection of fifteen classical music pieces that the author swears she was "inspired by" while she wrote the Fifty Shades trilogy will hit stores tomorrow, September 11.

See also:
- I was a human dessert tray and it was BDSM-delicious

- Fifty Shades of Grey means business for Fascinations chain
- Kink of the Jungle: A Field Guide to Denver's wild side


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Hello Kitty comes to the 16th Street Mall at Lollipop Gift (photos)


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J. Wohletz
Do you know why Hello Kitty has no mouth? Because she speaks from the heart...

She also has a hypnotic, straight-up obsessive effect on American consumers that hasn't seemed to flag since her debut in the States in 1976. This ubiquitous, mouthless Sanrio-creation has become a veritable fetish for women, girls -- and more than a few men. For example, Troy Moore and Kenneth Chan really, really love Hello Kitty, and they've taken their happy, pink bow-adorned fee-fees and parlayed them into Lollipop Gift, a modestly-sized, exclusive Hello Kitty store located in the first floor of the Denver Pavilions, next door to Claire's.

"Even one-year-old toddlers recognize Hello Kitty," says Moore.


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