Archive | August 2012

Why didn’t I think of that?

I was behind an Edible Arrangements van yesterday and thought about how such a simple idea makes bank. Why didn’t I think of arranging bits of pineapple, melon and grapes into a round blob and charging a week’s wages?

Take, for example, the Melon Delight, an assortment of fruit (including pineapple daisies) for $81. Yes, $81. But wait! You get free chocolate dipped bananas! Well if that’s the case, let’s get two!

Or this, the Elegance Platter of Swizzle Berries. (I guess they get a fancy name since they’re so flippin’ expensive.) This platter is “only” $55. What a steal! Thank goodness for that Labor Day special! With a bargain like that, who cares if you have to pick it up yourself? (I do admit, however, that with what looks like 30 plump berries in the batch, this isn’t as bad as the Melon Delight. … But I could still make the same thing at home for about $20.)

Other products I wish I had thought of include antenna balls, Silly Bandz, Beanie Babies and those brownie pans that give every piece a crispy side.

The people who thought of these things are geniuses. Forming bean bags into animal shapes and giving them names? Seth and I used to have a whole box of them. Or putting a round smiley face on the tip of your antenna. Who would have thought that would be a million-dollar business? And Silly Bandz? You can’t even tell what shape they are when you’re wearing them! On the wrist, they look like a bunch of deformed rubber bracelets.

The moral: Next time I have a silly idea, I’m going to see if I can market it.

No z’s here

If you followed my previous blog, you might remember a post I wrote about attempting to keep my eyes open throughout the workday. At the time, I had just started my new job and could hardly hold my head up by 8 a.m. devotions. (I REALLY looked forward to prayer.) Well, I wrote that Dec. 30 and I still have the same problem.

I still get up around 5 – well, unless I turn off both alarms and sleep another 45 minutes which of course NEVER happens – and it’s still rare to get 8 hours of sleep. Most mornings, I feel like a kid forced to wake up early for the school bus. I want to pull the covers over my head and let out a whiny, “Noooo! Three more hours!”

Pete doesn’t work as late anymore, which is nice, but I feel like the day is too short to do everything I need or would like to do. It’s an hour-long drive home after work, meaning I typically walk in the door at 5:30. There are two dogs to feed, let out and show attention to, dinner to prepare, trash to take out, mail to get, clothes to change, clothes to wash, floors to vacuum, bills to pay, etc. I’ve also been doing some freelance work after regular work. When am I supposed to read all those books on my shelf or put my pictures in albums? I can honestly say I have NO idea how full-time working moms do it without dropping dead.

I do have more energy when I exercise, but that’s been falling to the wayside lately with the freelance stuff. I take short walks and go up and down the stairwell at work, but it’s not the same as breaking a sweat in Zumba or Turbo Jam. I’ve also started eating chocolate at 9 in the morning instead of my typical 3 in the afternoon just to give myself a boost. (I could eat a banana, but that’s not as exciting. I eat healthier stuff later, promise.) Still, many mornings … or afternoons … or evenings, I feel like this:

My boss and I discussed how people in other countries get more vacation and how we’d like to adopt that here. I heard a story on the radio that said if we had more vacation time, people would be less stressed, meaning happier, they would be rested, meaning more productive, and they would be healthier, meaning lower health insurance. It would also create more jobs because you have to have more staff to fill in for the times people are out.

See? The world’s problems solved in a single policy change.

Say what?

Tameka and I recently discussed my confusion over a dancing mime in church one day.

It was shortly after I became Lutheran (my family is traditionally Baptist) when I was sitting in the pews one Sunday and witnessed a church member do a mime dance to some kind of hallelujah song. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I sat there half stunned and half trying not to laugh as I glanced at the bulletin again and looked around to see if this was for real. Other people seemed to think so.

I wondered what to do during the entire performance. Do I clap along? Do I shout an “amen”? Do I sit in silent reverence? I went for the last one, biting my lip so I wouldn’t make faces. I’d never seen anything like it.

Basically, it was a brunette woman with her face painted white, wearing black pants and — best I can remember — a tie-dyed shirt which I thought should have been white. She jumped around the front of the church, lifting her hands, smiling and encouraging us to clap while mouthing some of the words to the song. I was afraid she would run down the aisle, grab my arm and make me sway to the music with her. “What’s going on?” I wondered. “Is this what Lutherans do? This wasn’t covered in the new members class.”

When I told Tameka about it, she said she’s seen it before and sent me a video so I could make sure that what I saw was indeed mime dancing. (Click here for the video.)

After I watched it, I told Tameka to imagine that but with a white woman, a little more bouncing and no audience participation. I told her I grew up Baptist and all we do is clap. … I haven’t seen an interpretive mime dance since.

Not about the chicken

I’m late getting on this bandwagon, but life is busy so pretend I’m on time.

Aug. 1 was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. I read multiple articles and Facebook posts and had multiple conversations about it, but haven’t talked about it on social media because 1 – Pretty much everyone else already has and 2 – I didn’t feel like rehashing what everyone else was saying, either for and or against the fast food chain.

I will say that it was about more than a chicken sandwich (or nuggets and waffle fries in my case), and I was proud to be in line with dozens of others, including a few co-workers, that day. Sometimes I get frustrated that Christians seem largely silent on important issues, so it was nice to see thousands pour into the restaurant and speak volumes on some of today’s hottest topics — even if their mouths were full.

I read that one gay guy dined at the restaurant that day because he agrees that people should have a right to say what they believe without severe backlash. One person commented on a story I read, saying he is a Christian who supports gay marriage, but planned to eat Chick-fil-A for the same reason. Another columnist said he’s a Christian and loves Chick-fil-A but would not be a customer on Appreciation Day because he thinks it sends a bad message of “us versus them.” I have to say I disagree with that one. I’d say many of the people who came out that day have no ill will toward the gay population (and I don’t think they should), but simply stand up for what’s now become “traditional marriage” and/or want to see us uphold free speech (not to mention freedom of — not from — religion). There were no riots that I know of on their part, just silent support of the restaurant and its president, Dan Cathy. I was also miffed by the fact that this all started when Cathy told the Baptist Press that his company backs “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Yep, sounds like fightin’ words to me. Sounds like reason for public outcry.

First of all, was this really news? The company has always held Christian values, so why was this a surprise? And why don’t we see this kind of outrage or opposition when companies like Starbucks or Amazon openly support gay marriage? Were they not largely applauded and thanked for their positions? You have your values; I have mine. Eat, drink and purchase where you want, and let it be. Yes, there are many — MANY — who claimed their support for Chick-fil-A, but those who got their feathers ruffled got a little ridiculous about it. In fact, I think if I hear the word “bigot” one more time, I might scream.

(And side note: Since when is a non-hateful expression of one’s opinions while respecting others bigoted? Sure, there are people who fit the bill, but the word seems to fly off people’s tongues with little to no thought. Difference of opinion does not equal bigotry. No matter what side of the controversy you’re on, can’t we at least be civil?)

I was also amused that some cities, universities and people in general who pride themselves on embracing diversity and being inclusive were quick to turn right around and shun Chick-fil-A. Hm, doesn’t sound very tolerant to me! I could understand if the restaurant refused to serve certain people or acted negatively toward them, but to my knowledge, that’s not the case. I don’t care if people personally boycott the restaurant or not, but don’t say you champion tolerance then wag your finger at people who think differently than you. (I also have beef with the way people use the word tolerance. You can tolerate people without condoning their beliefs.) I’ve had friends, co-workers and bosses from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of beliefs and if I severed ties every time we had a disagreement, I probably wouldn’t have any friends left and certainly would have found myself unemployed a long time ago.

Last but not least, here are some of my favorite pictures from last week. Note that the last one was not endorsed by the restaurant itself. … Also evident in the fact that “sandwich” is misspelled. 😦