Monday, September 28, 2009

What part of your body is the sexiest?

If you said your underarm, then I'm calling you a liar.

Our culture's obsession with looks makes me crazy. I could rant for hours, but I won't. What I am going to do, however, is poke at companies that don't even make appearance-enhancing products but try to tap into the market.

Secret - really?? You're a DEODORANT!! I just saw the commercial for your newest product..."For sexy, smooth underarms..." blah, blah, blah.

I thought the point of deodorant was to stop sweat and make you smell pretty? Are sales so bad now that you have to resort to telling people that Secret will make them sexy??


This is just ridiculous. I have never, NEVER, heard a guy talk about hookin' up with the girl with the sexy pits. Maybe that's because I'm in northern Michigan and we wear turtle necks in the summer, but that's not the point.

Pretty soon it'll be sexy to shop at Toys-r-us. The really hot people will send their packages via UPS. And don't forget the animal magnetism of Tinactin.

Can we PLEASE stop making it about sex and just make it about a GOOD product??

Okay...I'm done.

(Maybe I should change this from the Ramblings to the Rantings...)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's not their fault you're stupid...

I went to Meijer today. I hate going to Meijer because checking out is the biggest pain! There are 108 lanes with cashiers, and only ever 6 cashiers. Then there are 56 U-Scan lanes with TWO people watching them. Oy.

I get frustrated there, especially with the do-it-yourself lane, so I've written a quiz to help people determine whether or not you should U-Scan:

1) When sliding my credit card I:
a. Slide it from any angle/direction and hope for the best
b. Slide it and wait for the magic to happen. I'm not sure why they have so many buttons there
c. Slide my card, then realize that I can't read anything smaller than a 28 font so I just start pressing buttons until the cashier has to come help me
2) When using coupons I:
a. Scan them first, then complain that they aren't working
b. Slide them right into the slot! (What's scanning?)
c. Press "finish and pay", then try to scan them
3) I like to use the U-Scan line when:
a. I have a cart full of clearance items that have special codes that may or may not scan
b. I have a hand full of coupons and am in a hurry
c. It didn't work for me the first 25 times, but maybe this time it will

If you selected ANY of these answers, get your butt OUT of the U-Scan lane and let someone help you...because you cause so many problems for everyone else that they have to send you your own personal cashier anyway!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Familiar Stranger (book review)

Craig Littleton's decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise . . . if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.

They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, they discover dark secrets. An affair? An emptied bank account? A hidden identity? An illegitimate child?

But what will she do when she realizes he's not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?
Okay - you guys know me. I'm not a fan of anything serious. Just look at my movie collection. If you can find a good drama in there I may have watched it once, but there's no guarantee. I figure there's enough drama in life that I want to laugh and love with my movies and books.

With that in mind, "The Familiar Stranger" is out-of-genre for me, but I stumbled upon Christina's blog a few months ago and wanted to help support her when it released. Being sick for a month offered plenty of time to sit back and read, so I picked up TFS...five hours later I finished it.

I love that the entire book is written in first person, but through TWO point of views! Berry dictates at the beginning of each chapter if you're in Denise's head or Craig's head. This draws you into their lives and hearts as they struggle to uncover truths, deal with their findings, and figure out what to do next. This first person experience lets you feel their anguish and jubilation throughout their journey.

From the Christian perspective Denise is a fabulous example of grace and forgiveness. She isn't perfect, and her immediate reaction isn't always what it should be, but that's what makes her genuine. What makes her admirable is that even in the midst of her pain and turmoil, even after she gets angry and screams, she always goes back to God and mends her ways. Her strength truly comes from Gob, because she makes come hard decisions that would not be possible without the strength and grace of a Savior.

Walking with Craig through his recovery and discovery is eye opening. It's tense and exhilarating to be in his head as he struggles to figure out who he is. Each revelation brings a new challenge. His self-discovery keeps you on edge waiting for each new nugget of information.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I like the realism of the pains and struggles of these characters, but it would have been hopeless and depressing without the foundation of Christianity. Even though things don't work out perfectly, it's not the fairy tale ending that I usually read, but there's hope because of God and the faith the characters put in Him.

This is a book I can easily recommend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I admit it...I had fun.

I can't stand weddings anymore. I am all about marriage and the covenant between man, woman, and God, but today's weddings are ridiculous.

Yes, I know - I had a wedding. And even though my dad will whine and complain about it, he wanted it. Matt and I didn't have the money - I would have been happy with a potluck after church. I didn't care about the dress or flowers or decorations - I wanted to get MARRIED.

Sadly, so few girls/women think like this. All they think about is the wedding and being a bride. They spend years dreaming about it and planning it. I know of one gal who spent over two years saving up money for her wedding. TWO YEARS!! For what - one day?? She could have gone down to the court house with less than $50 and the end result would have been the same - she'd still be married.

But it's not about the's about the wedding.

I know people who enjoy those Bridezilla shows on TV, but I can't stand them. It's just more proof that people don't care so much about the sanctity of marriage as they do about throwing a bigger and better party than the last person. It makes my skin crawl.

It doesn't help that for five years of my life I worked at the Winchestertonfieldville Anvil Factory (that's code for a resort in northern Michigan - I can't mention them here because they got their panties in a bunch the last time and wouldn't promote me). While there I was an event coordinator. Weddings = events. Oy.

When the maid-of-honor passes out in a closet and gets stuck, someone is arrested for drunk driving in the parking lot, and another guest has to get stitches from a drunken fall then YES, it IS possible to imagine your bar bill being over $7000. No, 60 minutes before the reception I will NOT take off all of the table clothes and have them ironed, and, no again, you will not get a discount because of the creases on the clothes. Surprisingly, no matter how many times you call me with a different list of guest rooms needed I will NOT lower your room rate by $50/night because you went up from 15 rooms to 16 rooms.

That's just a sampling of my favorite stories. Weddings bring out the worst in people, and I think marriages would be better off without weddings.

Despite all of this, however, I recently agreed to help some friends coordinate their wedding. I was just the go-to-gal on site to help keep everyone organized. Most of the people I knew at the reception left by 8pm, so I had a while to sit around by myself (couldn't dance - still recovering from bronchitis). I didn't know what to expect, and I found myself enjoying the wedding, but for all of the wrong reasons.

I had fun planning again.

I was there early and helped set up. I stood in the back during the ceremony and told the bridal party when to walk (and told the late guests that they had to wait to be seated). I decorated, got microphones, cleaned up, and hung out with the facility and catering staffs - it was great! It reminded me how much I used to enjoy my job at the Anvil Factory. I loved being busy and being involved. And, for the first time in a while, I didn't leave the wedding early (well, I couldn't, but I liked chatting with the staff, too).

I really used to enjoy event planning. I had forgotten that. It was fun to remember it again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

To Pursue Excellence

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
~Michael J. Fox

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

TCAPS Found a Way

Whether you support them or not, you can't deny that the current administration is doing some controversial things. (Before you get all defensive on me, read the definition of the word, please). People are up in arms on both sides of the issues. I think it's some degree.

The great thing about our country is that we CAN disagree. But there are those (on both sides) that don't see understand that. They have this twisted world-view that tells them they can insult and assault anyone who doesn't believe them. They seem to think that their "freedom of speech" means they can be as mean they want to anyone they want.

This includes school teachers.

In November, my friend's daughter participated in a mock-election at school. Not a surprise - every school did it. During class discussion the teacher asked about the kids about the important issues in their lives. When my friend's daughter spoke up she gave her beliefs and said that she would not vote for Obama. The teacher began to bully this girl, criticizing her, insulting her, and insisting that she didn't know what she was talking about.

This was in a THIRD GRADE classroom!!

The teacher accused this child of saying what her parents told her to say...duh!! Does anyone out there really thing there were any elementary age kids who DIDN'T represent their parents' beliefs? I doubt it.

But in that third grad classroom my friend's daughter was NOT allowed free speech - she was verbally attacked by her teacher for not agreeing.

THAT, my friends, is why the president's speech today is controversial. It's not what he has to say - it's how the "guided questions" will be handled in class.

The teachers are there to instruct the children about how the government works. They have a responsibility to make sure the kids understand the roles of federal, state, and local governments. It is NOT a pulpit for them to scare their students into compliance!!

For whatever reason this administration is really bringing out the worst from both sides. It seems to be nearly impossible to find someone to disagree with without them insulting your intelligence. And THAT is why I'm not in favor of today's big address - because I don't trust the teachers (on either side of the issue) to present kids with the facts without it turning into a brow-beating.

But what to do? How do the schools deal with this? How do you make it possible for kids to listen to this address without exposing them to the possible (and very REAL) threat of extreme-belief teachers?

The Traverse City Area Public Schools, under the direction of superintendent Jim Feil, found a way. Their first day of school (today) will be a half day. All students will be dismissed at 11:30 am so they can watch the speech at home with their parents. This way they can see it, but they can also discuss it at home.

I absolutely support this decision. I don't care whether or not you agree with me, but I belief that PARENTS, not teachers, have the responsibility of shaping a child's moral, political, religious, ethical beliefs. Yes, I understand that this means there are kids who will grow up in homes where they are taught that militias are good and wearing florals with stripes is acceptable. Yes, some parents will give their kids bad advice. But it is still their right and responsibility to instruct their kids.

So I applaud TCAPS for a good decision. I wish we could respect each other enough to let other people disagree with us and not have to make this kind of decision, but since we can't, I think TCAPS is doing a good thing.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A what??

I don't know how I feel about an appliance called a "Rocket Grill Electric Grilling Appliance". Just seems like there's one too many 'grill's in the title.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Users beware - Yahoo! doesn't care

On Thursday last week I went to the library, started my laptop, opened my Yahoo! email account, and nearly cried. I'd been hacked. All of my emails and folders were gone. There was one email in my inbox. It was sent to me from that same email address and it was an obscene curse toward Christians.

I've since opened a gmail account and am still trying to get all of my info transferred over. It's been difficult and upsetting.

One of the first things I did (or tried to do) was contact Yahoo! to let them know what happened. I spent nearly 30 minutes trying to find out how to talk with someone (via phone or live chat) about it. I couldn't (and still can't) find the right link. I even posted a comment on my Facebook page and asked for help. No one had any advice that made it any easier to contact these people.

I FINALLY figured out how to send a generic concern email (which seems highly inappropriate when someone has just violated your personal space). The only option was to send an email from my corrupted account and ask them to respond to that corrupted account. I wasn't happy with that option, but it was the only one I had, so I did it.

It's now been five days since the intrusion. No word from Yahoo!, and I even included my phone number in the original message so they could call me.

Nothing. Not even an "we got your email" email. I understand that this is a big company offering a free service, but please think about it before you sign up with them.

*This is the FOURTH time I've had to contact them about problems with that account - I only heard back from them twice.
*It was my writing email - there are editors' and authors' emails in there. I had saved all kinds of info regarding publicity and classes in my email folders. It's all gone, and no one has contacted me.
*They have millions of customers, you are just one person - it's not a big deal to them that someone insulted my faith, destroyed my business documents, and violated my peace of mind. I'm just one little fish to them.

I'm not in the process of switching over all of my accounts. I would have kept my current Yahoo! accounts open, but I'm not willing to risk the lack of security when they are demonstrating a lack of concern.

I hope your experiences are better, but it's time for me to move on.