I've been waving my manicured, trend-hungry hands over my crystal ball for what's going to be hot (or not) in 2012.
I've been waving my manicured, trend-hungry hands over my crystal ball for what's going to be hot (or not) in 2012.

2012 trend predictions

I've been waving my manicured, trend-hungry hands over my crystal ball for what's going to be hot (or not) in 2012. If you care about being "on trend" or being a "girl on campus," as one of my dear buddies likes to call the "in-crowd" who unabashedly takes advantage of what's in style – often all at once.

And if you don't give a flying fad or – better yet, like to go against the grain and rock skinny jeans when bell-bottoms are "in" – then this may be for you too.

And if none of it is, then take that grain of salt with you right into the new year!

1. Facebook Backlash – I think I'm praying for this more than I am predicting it. Facebook just seems to be so all-consuming. I see people glancing at their phones compulsively for "updates." The phrase, "I saw on Facebook that you..." comes up all too often in casual conversation and has turned the most normal of people into virtual stalkers. Honest people admit, "Facebook is taking over my life." That is not good. I smell a hefty rebellion coming. Fingers becoming tired of constantly having to update their status, to "like" this or that and to comment on their "friends" minutia. Or like me, maybe people are just getting creeped out by TMI on the timeline, all the time, 24/7. It's on your phone, on your computer, in your conversations. What's next? Customized Facebook updates instead of commercials on TV? Yuck. Occupy Facebook.

2. Crazy haircuts – A la "Girl with Dragon Tattoo." It's all the rage. After all, its just hair. And it grows back. Long, wavy, balliaged and "ombred" hair has been in such heavy rotation, scissors are sure to start cutting choppy, asymmetrical 'dos. It's time to get funky people. Break out the razors and the flat, matte hair dye. There's about to be a crew of Lisbeth Salanders strutting around town. (At least in Bay View and on the East Side.)

3. Non-traditional lipstick shades – Inky blue/black, deep red/brown, cool grays. If it's unnatural ... I see it appearing on pouts in 20…

Say hello to fashionable cold-weather footwear and goodbye to blah winter boots.
Say hello to fashionable cold-weather footwear and goodbye to blah winter boots.
The Ahnu Tahoe.  (photo ahnu.com)
The Ahnu Tahoe. (photo ahnu.com)
Teva Vero WP Boot  (photo: backcountry.com)
Teva Vero WP Boot (photo: backcountry.com)

Give someone the boot this holiday season

Although we've only been teased with a sprinkle of snow, I take frozen precipitation as the cue to stash the open toes and high heels that pose danger beyond "slippery when wet" on icy walkways and slushed-over parking lots.

I have become resigned to wearing a pair of (let's face it) ugly, yet highly functional boots that keep my soles warm and my toes dry. These boots are all about practicality. There is not an inch of their brown, rubberized facade that says "fashion."

I then lug another pair of more aesthetically pleasing, "indoor" footwear for work to change into. In addition to the parka, hat, scarf and gloves ... it's just all a lot to schlep, especially when it's below zero and a blizzard has reared its blinding fury.

After surviving Milwaukee winters for 30-odd years, my footwear prayers have finally been answered. I got a Blogakkah/Christmlog gift that is changing my winter footwear attitude.

Teva and Ahnu kindly sent me one pair of boots each to try out: the Teva Vero and the Ahnu Tahoe.

My jaw hit the floor as I raised the covers to the over-sized boxes that housed footwear that has transformed my bootitude and wardrobe below my knees this winter. Sweet boots would be the perfect holiday gift for those still looking for something to stun the "active-ista" this gift-giving season. (That is, the active gal on-the-go who still likes to look stylin'!)

How have I been naïve to the marriage of technology and trendy design in the world of boots? My mind is blown that I no longer need to slosh through inches of accumulation in "moon boots" or "galoshes." I can glide into a boot that works just as hard to give me the coverage, protection and traction needed to navigate the Milwinterwonderland as it does to just plain "work it."

I tried out the Teva Vero in Gray Morning first. When I think of Tevas, I think of the exact opposite of a boot. Their strappy, athletic sandals and comfy flip-flops come to mind.

They must have trapped one of those flip-flops insi…

What can the sports world do for fans when a star athlete tests positive?
What can the sports world do for fans when a star athlete tests positive? (Photo: David Bernacchi)

Braun or Hogan?

"MVP tests positive for PEDs."

This now common headline is dreaded by passionate sports fans who are too often seeing their "heroes" knocked off their athletic pedestals and dragged through both legitimate and tabloid dirt for "cheating" at whatever game they are paid healthy salaries to professionally play.

I want to be clear that this blog is not about the Milwaukee Brewers' own, Ryan Braun's guilt or innocence.

In fact, I would not judge any athlete for their actions in possibly consuming chemicals that potentially cause violent mood swings, horrific acne, decreased penis size and lowered sexual prowess. Oh – or that enhance athletic performance.

I'm not here to judge the morality of this issue either. Whether it's right or wrong for these athletes to administer PEDs for whatever reason –
 to overcome injury, be faster, get stronger or hit a baseball from Miller Park to Mequon.

I can only imagine the physical demands placed upon a human body being asked to perform at such high, intense levels of athleticism for extended periods of time, year after year.

Heck, as a recreational fitness buff, I ought to own stock in Aleve, glutamine and protein supplements.

There are certain people out there who will do anything – including swallowing pills and injecting drugs – to achieve a physical standard or to push the limits of their physique.

Morality aside, professional athletes have a huge audience clamoring to see records broken and amazing physical feats. Fans want to see a game they perhaps played in high school elevated to theatrical heights. They want to see these "super humans" making sports "history."

And this is not about legality. Don't get me started on illicit drug use of any kind – street or prescribed. It's risky, selfish behavior that sacrifices personal connections, will most likely lead to problems with the law and endangers every aspect of the users' health and well being.

This is about finding a solution to the disappointment when a st…

My own personal holiday horror: retrieving the Christmas tree from the attic.
My own personal holiday horror: retrieving the Christmas tree from the attic.

Christmas trees in the attic

I am scared of our Christmas tree.

It's not because I am Jewish. (Marrying a Catholic fulfilled my childhood dream of celebrating Christmas in my household. Tree and all.)

It's because our Christmas tree is up in our attic. And our attic freaks me the motherfather out. The very thought of having to climb up to our attic makes me quiver.

Besides, the attic is husband territory. And the attic is only accessible through our garage.

The garage is, in general, his domain. His cold man-cave where he listens to crackly, static-y country music through an old boom box while sweeping, organizing and tinkering. He does this while wearing a thermal "onesie" reminiscent of a flight suit; he, for some reason, insists on living in it all winter long.

I go in to the garage get into my car. That's it. It's an exit and an entrance that holds my vehicle.

But, Hubster is not home to get the tree down. And I am hearing the homemaker duty call to dress up the house holiday style.

Man, a menorah is so easy. Compact, easily stored in the house. Buy the candles, light one each night and after eight nights a glorious lit-up candelabra!

But, our Christmas tree, in all its six-foot, glittering glory, is quite a sight to behold. Worth the perilous trek up into the ascending abyss of – the attic.

I have two choices right now.

I can choose to be brave and self-sufficient. To stand on the hood of my Chevy, reach up and pull that ominous wire/string/cord thing that somehow releases the "staircase" into the attic and then cautiously climb what actually is a rickety ladder that makes Ringling Brothers trapeze artists look "safe."

Or I can wait.

Maybe find someone else to retrieve the tree from its lofty lair.

But, rock only knows what in heavy metal is up in that attic. I may not want non-family members to view what's going on up there.

And for those of you thinking I should just go buy a small, fresh tree I can maneuver on my own ...

I just may.

But, the ornaments and lights are up…