Monday, November 5, 2012

Case Study 1: Why Stupid People Shouldn't Breed

"Stupid People Shouldn't Breed" has always been one of my favorite bumper stickers. Not only is it funny, but it is the absolute truth! I saw a news segment tonight that made me think about this bumper sticker - it's the story about the mother who took her two year old son to the Pittsburgh Zoo and stupidly stood him on top of the railing. She then somehow let go of him, watched him fall 14ft. into the animal exhibit and then watched him get eaten by a pack of wild dogs. 

If you didn't hear about this story, you can read about it here

What makes the story even worse is that the exhibit was for African wild dogs, which are endangered. I actually saw these dogs for the first time this past summer during my time at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. They are beautiful animals and remind me a lot of one of my own dogs, Cali. They are pack animals and hunt just like wild animals would do in, well, Africa. I watched the dogs get fed at the zoo and they tore up turkey legs like it was nothing - sort of like watching hyenas eat. 

Once the child fell into their exhibit, the dogs instinctively saw the boy as prey, attacked him and ripped him up just like he was normal food to them. The zoo keepers did everything they could to get the dogs off of the little boy, however, one dog just wouldn't let go. Instead of tranquilizing the dog or just letting him do what he naturally does, they shot and killed the dog - an ENDANGERED animal! Isn't that illegal?

African painted dog
As awful as this incident was, it was completely preventable! The mother is 100% to blame, and it seems like she is getting away with this with a clean slate. Her child and an innocent animal had to die because she was so stupid and negligent to do something so ridiculous like put her wiggly toddler on a railing. 

Lord save us all if this woman reproduces again and creates another life! And please, for the love of all animals, do NOT let this woman back into another zoo. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Maine Vacation Through Food

For our 1 year wedding anniversary, my husband and I spent a week in Maine. While the state has maintained it's natural beauty and has the nicest, most down to earth residents, what we both took away from our week long trip was the food. Whenever anyone asks how our trip to Maine was, I respond with, "Absolutely delicious!" Here is a recap of how we ate our way through the great state of Maine.

We started our trip with a drive from a wedding in Hartford, CT, where we entered Maine by ways of I-95. First stop, Exit 1: Kittery, ME. Our plan was to do some shopping at the outlet mall and just find something quick to eat. My husband ended up talking with a local who suggested Bob's Clam Hut. This local restaurant was actually featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Unfortunately for my husband and I, we didn't realize that they were known for their fried clams (yes, in hindsight we should have figured based on the name of the place). We both were so excited to try a lobster roll that we oversaw the clams. Looking back, this was not the best lobster roll and if we go back we will be trying something fried. 

Lobster roll and yummy fries from Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, ME
Next stop, Kennebunkport, ME, which is the home to the Bush family's vacation compound (because it's WAY more than a house). We arrived before dinner time and asked the innkeeper at the bed & breakfast we were staying at (the Maine Stay Inn, which was fabulous!) where we should go for dinner, preferably where the locals like to eat. She recommended Arundel Wharf Restaurant, which was just up the street from where we were staying and also along the water.  Here I ordered a cup of New England clam chowder, which was quite tasty, and then ordered the steamed mussels (in wine, shallots, garlic and herbs) as my main dish. The mussels were the freshest I had ever had, and the sauce was quite delicious. My husband ordered the lobster pasta, which he really enjoyed. Highly recommend this restaurant if you are ever in Kennebunkport.

Lobster pasta from Arundel Wharf Restaurant in Kennebunkport, ME

Mussels from Arundel Wharf Restaurant in Kennebunkport, ME
The next day it was raining so we decided to take this time to drive 45 minutes to Portland, ME. I was really excited for this stop as I had seen on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives about this place called the Porthole Restaurant, where the lobster was caught and then dropped right off at the pier next to the restaurant, so that it was the freshest lobster you can get in Maine. Without even looking for it, we found the restaurant and of course had to have their lobster rolls. We weren't disappointed! It really was the freshest lobster roll we had. And they added some of their own sauce, which made it taste much different than the lobster roll we had the day before at Bob's. If you are in Portland, this is a must-eat dive restaurant. 
Lobster roll from the Porthole Restaurant in Portland, ME
After checking out a local lighthouse (or as they call it in Maine, "head light"), we headed back to Kennebunkport to enjoy our anniversary dinner at the White Barn Inn, which is a AAA 5 Diamond, Forbes 5 Star fine dining restaurant. The menu changes weekly, and I can't remember what we both ordered for our starter courses. However, I will forever remember what I ordered for my main course, as it was the VERY best thing I have ever ate in my life: Steamed Maine Lobster nestled on a bed of homemade fettuccine with carrot, ginger, snow peas and Cognac coral butter sauce. My mouth is salivating just thinking of this meal! The lobster was absolutely to die for, and then adding the homemade pasta just made it perfection! I believe this is a staple on their menu so if you go you MUST order this dish. You will thank you later. 

Lobster dish from the White Barn Inn
Our next stop on the trip was to Camden, ME. However, the highlight of this part of the road trip was stopping at Red's Eats in Wiscasset, ME. I had seen this tiny little shack of a restaurant on various Food Network shows, as well as heard about it from anyone and everyone who has ever been to Maine. Red's was voted the #1 lobster roll in Maine by the people of Maine, and trust me, they delivered! Each lobster roll consists of at least 1lb. of Maine lobster, and is then served with your choice of their homemade mayo or butter sauce on the side (which it didn't need it at all). In fact, this was the only place we went to where lobster was served with butter, which I found interesting. I grabbed a table after we ordered, and when my husband went to grab our food, the owner, Debbie, turned to the cook and said, "I need more lobster on this one!" Seriously, it was a crazy amount of food and I really didn't want the meal to come to an end. Along with the lobster roll (which I ordered), we got a size of fried zucchini with a side of their homemade ranch sauce, and my husband ordered the crab cakes. I will go back to Maine just to go back and eat here!
Our spread from Red's Eats - lobster roll, crab cakes, fried zucchini
Me enjoying the best lobster roll in Maine. You can see how much lobster they pile on.
We arrived a few hours later at our next destination, Camden, ME. However, because we were so stuffed from Red's, we didn't even eat dinner during our one night stay in this sleepy town. Next stop, Bar Harbor, ME and Acadia National Park. We arrived before we were able to check into our B&B, so with the advice of the innkeeper (this was our favorite B&B - we liked that they gave us choices for breakfast each morning, too), we headed over to Acadia National Park's only restaurant, The Jordan Pond House. Before we ate lunch, we ended up taking a 3+ miles hike around Jordan Pond, which wasn't planned (I was wearing boat shoes). Because we worked up such an appetite, I completely forgot to snap a photo of my lunch, which was a cup of their New England Clam Chowder and two of their famous popovers. The best way to describe a popover is a giant, hollow muffin shaped baked pastry, which sort of tasted like a pancake. It is served with butter or jam (we preferred it with jam). They were definitely unique and quite tasty. 

The Jordan Pond House
Popovers from The Jordan Pond House
By the time dinner came around, we both weren't terribly hungry. We asked our innkeeper for a place where we could have a light dinner and she suggested Side Street Cafe. She said that it's where the locals like to eat, and we even had live music from a local musician. We didn't order anything crazy - my husband had baby shrimp Asian style in stir fry, and  keeping to my seafood only rule for lunch and dinner, I ordered the crab cake sandwich (no photo for this one), which was pretty good. The next day we set out for a four hour boat ride to go whale watching. We knew we wanted to eat at Poor Boy's Gourmet Restaurant that night, which has a reputation for large portion sizes, so we just ate breakfast at our B&B and then grabbed a snack on the boat. Poor Boy's didn't disappoint! We ordered mussels as an appetizer (which we definitely didn't need, but it was really good and fresh), and then I ordered crab stuffed shrimp. My husband ordered The Feast, which consisted of a cup of clam chowder, his choice of a full Maine lobster or snow crab claws (he went for the crab legs), a vegetable size, as well as a pasta side, and then a brownie dessert. I have no idea how he finished it all! We both really enjoyed all of the food at Poor Boy's, and we recommend to anyone going to Bar Harbor to dine here, but make sure you come hungry. 

Mussels appetizer at Poor Boy's
Crab stuffed shrimp at Poor Boy's
My husband with the main course of The Feast, snow crab claws
Our last day of stay in Bar Harbor was spent with a quick drive to Thunder Rock in Acadia, followed by some time walking through downtown, and of course eating. At the recommendation of a friend, we headed over to West Street Cafe for some lunch.  I ordered a lobster roll, as I knew this was my last chance to have one (my husband had fried clams), as well as a cup of clam chowder, which was really thick and yummy. The lobster roll was decent, but of course nothing compared to the lobster roll from Red's. Our server suggested the crab cakes, and it looked like the full lobster was also a crowd favorite. 
Lobster roll from West Street Cafe
I wasn't hungry by the time we went to dinner, which was disappointing because we went to the Italian restaurant, Guiness & Porellis, which my husband really enjoyed. He had the clam pasta and said it was absolutely delicious. Next time we are in Bar Harbor, I will have to be sure to stay hungry so we can go back to this restaurant. 

This concludes the tour of food as experienced from my recent trip to Maine. I will leave you with my list of random observations from the course of our trip about the state of Maine:

  • 90% of the population drives a Subaru
  • Most people do not neuter their male dogs
  • There are a crazy amount of snow birds who spend the winter down in Florida (which surprised me being that I am from So Fla and never met anyone from Maine)
  • Everyone enjoys the outdoors - even new parents would take their babies hiking
  • I-95 is known as the Maine Turnpike and had tolls every 30 minutes
  • As soon as you cross over the state line, you can see the state's beauty 
  • The weather is similar to Seattle, which I was told is why the state has so much greenery
  • Everyone gardens, period! I swear, every house in Maine had beautiful landscaping

Monday, May 14, 2012

Customer Service Fail: Crepe Revolution

Two weekends ago, my husband and I met two friends up in Smyrna for brunch. After going back and forth on where to eat, we decided to go to Crepe Revolution, which I had only heard great things about. I was very excited to try this place as I really love crepes but rarely eat them due to lack of restaurants that serve this yummy dish. 

We ended up having one of the worst service experiences I have had since moving to Atlanta 6 years ago. It was so bad that I actually Yelped about it, which I normally only Yelp good reviews. Here is what I posted on Yelp:

"The service was horrendous. We waited five minutes for anyone to greet or seat us, and another ten for our server to come to our table. The server didn't ask if we had any questions about the menu and never asked what we wanted to eat. When our coffee was brought out, we had to press it ourself. However, with our refill the server pressed it for us. There was also a hair in the creamer. Our water had not been filled once. The server came back to our table and claimed the food runner lost our ticket and asked one member of our party what he ordered again. When our food finally came another member of our party's food was wrong. She sent it back and when it was brought back out it was wrong again. The third time it came out it was finally right. The food was very, very good, which was their only saving grace. When our checks came we were all surprised to see that nothing was comped, especially the order that came out wrong twice. Brittany P. you should not be working in the food service industry and the manager needs to better support her staff."

The biggest issue with our experience was that the manager brought my friend's food out the third time and never apologized or offered a make-good for their poor service and mistake. As someone who has previously worked in the food industry, a little bit goes a long way when it comes to making things right. Just last night we went out to our local thai restaurant. The food was taking longer than normal, and without even complaining, the manager came over to us, apologized and offered us all free drinks. 

As if this experience wasn't bad enough, I just went to check Yelp and saw that Crepe Revolution has pulled down my review. Really, one bad review among all of the other positive ones and you take it down? This leads me to believe that they aren't being true to the consumers by only accepting positive feedback and removing the negative. I just reposted it, so let's see how long it will stay up for. 

While I really did enjoy the food, their poor customer service, both at the restaurant and clearly in the cyber world, has lost me as a customer forever!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Controversy of Disciplining Children

Last night on the news and this morning on my morning radio show was a segment about a man who spanked someone else's child. The cliff's notes to the story was that the man was at the vet with his sick cat, who was in a crate, and the boy was at the vet with his mother. The boy kept trying to pet the cat even though the cat's owner told him no. The boy refused to listen and the mother clearly wasn't paying attention to her kid or doing anything to discipline him, so the man spanked him on his butt. The mother immediately called 9-1-1 and had the man arrested and charged with battery. 

While I do not believe in violence as a way to resolve an issue, even with a small child, I do believe that if a parent is not disciplining their child and the said kid is in fact disrespecting someone else (more so an adult than another child), than that person has the right to step in and do something. There are way too many parents these days who just let their kids run around like animals loose from the zoo, which is extremely disrespectful to other people. 

Recent example: I was in Old Navy a few weeks ago and there were these two little boys, probably around 8 or 9 years old, who were literally running around the front of the store, taking soccer balls out of the bin and throwing them and kicking them around. One of the boys threw one at my head. I immediately looked for the child's mother, who was no where to be found. Instead of scolding the child, I told the Store Manager to take action, which of course they did nothing. After five minutes of these crazy kids messing up the front of the store and hitting numerous customers with the balls, the mother finally appeared, grabbed one of them by the arm and dragged him outside (with the unbought ball) and scolded him. I'm guessing the other child wasn't hers as she did nothing to him. I left the store before I could watch it play out anymore. 

I also worked at a nice restaurant in Boca Raton, FL for a summer while I was taking summer classes at the local university. My job as hostess went beyond just greeting and seating customers. I was deemed the unofficial child police. Because this was a nicer family restaurant, the manager was keen on ensuring that all child were kept under control. If a child was screaming for more than a minute without being escorted outside, I would go over to the parent and ask them to step outside while the child calms down. If a kid was running around the restaurant unsupervised and disturbing the other guests, I would have the child show me where their parents were sitting and ask them to either keep their child at their table/booth or they would have to take their food to-go. Is this mean? Maybe. But it definitely made the restaurant enjoyable for the other customers, as well as kept the staff sane, as well as safe from accidentally running over a child while delivering hot food to a guest. 

Don't let this be your kid
The biggest issue I have with children these days isn't the actual child, but rather the parent who refuses to take responsibility for their child's behavior and discipline him/her. What is the old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? So good for this man who was trying to teach the little boy who was disrespecting the authority of an adult by doing the complete opposite of what was asked of him and showing the kid that there are consequences for disobeying rules. And shame on the mother for not being a mother and keeping her kid under control while out in public. 

Friends with parents, please don't be THAT parent who ignores their kid while out in public, while the rest of the public looks at the child like he/she should be put on a leash with a muzzle over their mouth.  If you don't want your kid disciplined by anyone but you, than do it yourself! 


Great investment

Monday, April 16, 2012

LA Fitness - Zumba Fail

I have been going to Zumba classes for about a year now, as a groupd of friends and I bought a Groupon and LivingSocial deal for two different Zumba studios. I'm not an expert in this Latin-inspired Jazzercise aerobics dance form, but I can tell if an instructor is good or not. 

Since my coupons all expired and I decided to start back up with going to the gym more frequently, I was excited to learn that the LA Fitness location I go to in Midtown Atlanta offered Zumba classes three nights a week. I observed one of the Tuesday night classes a few weeks ago and noticed that there was this awesome instructor named Reginald. He had a huge following and the class was always packed (with about 50 people), and everyone looked like they were getting a great workout and also having fun. I was sold!

About a month ago, my gym buddy and I decided we wanted to try his Zumba class. We showed up early on a Thursday night, figuring that the class wouldn't be as packed later in the week. However, we were confused when there were only about 10 other people waiting for the class to start. After waiting 10 minutes past the class' start time, we started to get antsy. I turned to a girl that was standing next to me and asked if she knew what was going on. She said that Reginald had quit the week prior and it was apparent that the substitute instructor wasn't going to show up. Apparently, Reginald asked for a raise and LA Fitness wouldn't comply. Even though I didn't get a chance to take his class, I saw that he had brought in people from all over the Metro Atlanta area, who came just for him. In fact, the girl I was talking to came from Buford, GA, which is about 45 minutes north of the Midtown location. You would think that LA Fitness would have tried to at least negotiate with him considering how he helped bring in members from near and far.

After waiting 15 minutes with no sign of an instructor, the dozen or so of us paraded to the front desk to complain. Of course the person working the desk had nothing to do with group fitness, but said that he would pass our complaints on to the morning manager. After cooling down from being stood up by the so-called sub, my workout buddy and I decided to wait to try the Zumba class once a permanent instructor was assigned. 

Two weeks ago, when we saw there was an instructor assigned to Tuesday nights, we decided to give it a shot. My gym buddy had never done Zumba before and of course I talked it up about how much fun it is and that it's a great workout. We got to the class early, as we expected there to be a large crowd. I noticed there was only about 20 people in the class, but we didn't think anything of it since it was Spring Break. The instructor showed up 5 minutes late, which already pissed me off, but I told myself to just stick it out and give her a chance. In hindsight, we should have left right then and there. 

The instructor ended up being a woman who I had randomly talked to before a flag football game. She taught a class on Monday nights at the gym next to the flag football fields. I ran in one night to use their facilities before our game and saw she was wearing Zumba gear. Being the talkative person I am, I asked if she was the instructor. She not only went on to tell me that she was the instructor, but she told me how she brought Zumba to Atlanta and trains all of the other instructors. I was intrigued so I took her information and then went back to my football game. I called one of my Zumba buddies who bought the Groupons with me and told her about this new place and asked if she wanted to try one of the woman's classes with me. When I told her the woman's name, Janet, my friend immediately got animated and yelled out, "She is THE worst instructor in Atlanta!" She then went on to tell me how she had tried her class and that it was so slow and boring and wasn't even really Zumba, but more like an old school Jazzercise class. I trusted this friend and never tried out Janet's class, until now... 

You see, once the woman started talking, she gave the same schpeal - "I'm Janet and I'll be your Zumba instructor. I have been doing Zumba for X years and I am the one who brought Zumba to Atlanta." I was immediately disappointed. I turned to my workout buddy and warned her that this wasn't going to be a real Zumba class. However, we decided to give her a chance and see for ourselves if she was decent. She was by far the WORST Zumba instructor I had ever taken a class with. She was slow, boring, and to be honest, she can't really dance. At one point in the class, my workout buddy turned to me and said, "I feel like I'm at the Copacabana." I can honestly say that this was the first "Zumba" class (and I'm using the term loosely since it really couldn't be classified as Zumba) that I took where I didn't even break a sweat. 
DO NOT take Zumba with this instructor!
LA Fitness, you really have failed! You went from having possibly the best Zumba instructor in the city, to hiring, in my opinion, one of the worst. The class attendance speaks for itself. The only good move you made is hiring her to teach only one day a week and not all three. You will never see me or my gym buddy in that class again, and we certainly won't be recommending it to anyone. You get two big thumbs down for this bad decision!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Facebook Ad Fail: They Just Won't Go Away

I haven't posted about the irrelevant ads on Facebook in a while. However, I have a friend who likes to remind me that these ads still exist and appear quite often. As a tribute to her e-mail reminders, here are some of the latest Facebook ad fails:

Fact: Dietitians tell all of their patients to get healthy by eating cupcakes and cookies, especially if they look like Cookie Monster. 

Um, what do turtles have to do with this kid dressed up like Frankenstein?

Where can I ride the rainbow slide?!? I want to go down the yellow part...

I feel like if this was in my city, I would have known by now where to find it. 

Oh Madonna, my how you have changed since your Super Bowl performance. 

And my favorite - when you get your Ultrasound Tech degree, you will gain the ability to have your pregnant patients' bellies magically appear with a painted version of the fetus coming out of an egg. I must switch careers, stat!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Observed at the Gym: The Female Narcissist

I love people watching while working out at the gym! So I decided to start a new blog segment where I feature different types of people that I have the pleasure of observing. 

While waiting in the locker room for my friend to finish getting ready for our spin class, I had the pleasure of encountering what I have classified as the narcissist gym goer. This chick was priceless! She was wearing the smallest hot pink spandex shorts imaginable, with a brightly colored, skin-tight tank top and matching spots bra. She literally walked up on the other side of the bench that I was standing next to and proceeded to stare at herself in the mirror what about 3-5 minutes. 

During this time, she seemed oblivious to anyone and anything else. She fixed her hair, twice. She then turned to the side and admired her physique (which I have to admit, she did have a very toned body that I would die for). The best part was when she lifted up her tank top to expose her stomach, which allowed her to praise her own abs. 
Her body was similar but her face, not so much...
After she was satisfied with herself, she put on her headphones and had her own personal dance party in the locker room. She was truly unbelievable! 

My friend and I later noticed her doing lunges smack on the middle of the cardio area between the treadmills and the elliptical machines; probably so she could be watched by all. I hope she finds a boyfriend soon...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Adult Problems: Cutting Friends

In high school you strive to be popular. In teenage years, you are cool based on your looks and the amount of friends you have and/or the amount of people who want to be your friend. However, as an adult you realize that it's not about the amount of friends you have, but rather the quality of friends. 

When I was a little girl, whenever I went anywhere with my family (the park, vacation, the beach, etc.) I would turn to my parents and tell them that I was off to go make new friends. I've tried my hardest to be a good friend, and consider myself someone who is very loyal.

Since I was young, I've always had what I considered a lot of friends. My mom always told me that it's better to have a handful of good friends rather than a ton of friends, who are more like "people you know." However, now that I am a real adult, I've learned that my mom was right and so I've started the cutting process.  

Side note: I think getting married and owning a house classifies me as 'real adult' status, even if I don't feel like I am close to turning 30.

This process definitely started after college. College was great - I had most of my good friends within a 10 minute radius, and most of them lived in the same apartment complex that I did. I also realize now that people are VERY different when they are in college. There is something about college life being so relaxed with little to no responsibilities and a ton of freedom that makes people more pleasurable to be around. 

Laid back college life.
The first really good friend to get cut from my life, who for years I considered one of my best friends, was the toughest to let go. We both grew up and truly became different people after undergrad and didn't have much in common. She kept seeing me as the same person I was in college, and I saw her as someone completely different; with a personality that frankly, I didn't care for at all. However, push came to shove and I was trying to hang on to a friendship that just wasn't there anymore. In the end, there were too many miscommunications between us that resulted in us trying to start fresh. However, her new life and mine just didn't have anything in common and we now are more like strangers. 

This ending friendship was probably the hardest for me to walk away from. Maybe I didn't want to face the fact that people change as they enter different stages of their lives. Or maybe this ending friendship was my first slap in the face that my life was never going to be as carefree and full of (what I considered at the time) great friends like it was in college. It was one of those "oh hi adulthood" moments that scared the crap out of me. 

There were more friends here and there that it was hard to keep in touch with once we all went our separate ways after college. There are a handful of them I can say truly makes me sad to not talk to, as they were once one of my closest friends. Communication turned into a few messages here and there on Facebook, which isn't a real friendship. However, I don't think a friendship is possible of lasting if only one person is making all of the effort to keep the friendship going. Something inside of me clicked when I realized that if I was the only one making the effort to reach out by phone or email and keep in touch, than the friendship wasn't worth the time and energy. 

Another major friendship that I decided to cut was with someone that I thought would be a forever friend. I moved to Atlanta with this person and we even lived together. However, the friendship changed drastically when we both got into relationships. Unfortunately, we did not mesh as "couple friends." Again, another life change that can change a friendship. My mom  gave my now husband and I some clarity when explaining to us that people are different in relationships than they are when single. You can all be friends when single, but as a couple, the dynamic doesn't always work. This was dead on in this specific case. I eventually cut off the friendship after trying to find ways to hold on after two plus years of trying to figure out a way to make it work. In reality, it was never going to work as long as we were both in our current relationships (which we both married the guys). 

The plus side to this was that my husband and I have made a number of new couple friends who we love hanging out with and have a great time together. We still have a great number of good single friends that we cherish, but there is something great about when four people can get together and all have a great time no matter what we are doing. 

The most recent two instances of cutting out girls who I considered to be very good friends with had to do with them being selfish individuals. I am someone who will go above and beyond for my friends. However, I draw the line when I feel taken advantage of. 

Whenever I have someone come to Atlanta for whatever their reason (work, pleasure, family affair, etc.), I will do what I can to go to where they are to meet up with them. This is their trip and they did their part by making the trek to the dirty south and reaching out to let me know that they are in town and would like to meet up.  I've been raised that this is common courtesy, and therefore I expect the same whenever I travel to another city. This wasn't the case with someone who I considered such a good friend that I traveled to their city to see a number of friends, but they were one of the main reasons I planned my visit. However, the trip turned into me trying my hardest to see this friend and her basically doing whatever she wanted to do and hoped that I would adjust to her schedule. In the end, I spent little to no time with this friend and a week later it resulted in her calling me to tell me that I went out of my way not to see her and that I was the selfish one. Why is it that the most selfish people never seem to look in the mirror and realize that they are the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black? (And I am not the only person who thinks this person is extremely selfish and self absorbed, and I will take responsibility for my actions, if they were in fact true.) Friendship ended. 

And lastly, the latest cut friendship was one of those, "why didn't anyone tell me I was going to get screwed eventually by this person" instances. I always went above and beyond for this person as a friend. While we were very different people, it somehow worked. She is much older than I, isn't married (but is in a relationship), and we have absolutely nothing in common when it comes to movie, music, fashion, etc. Complete polar opposites. However, I thought she was a good person and I gave her a chance. I invited her to come over all the time, had my husband cook dinner for her and her boyfriend, and I always bought her something nice and took her and her boyfriend out to dinner to say thank you whenever they watched our dogs while we went out of town on lengthy trips. However, the red flags should have started when I played witness many times at how poorly she handled herself with other friends when issues came up. For example, it seemed like she never wanted to take responsibility for her words or actions, especially when she hurt someone else. Instead, she would put blame on the other party involved and would just cut them off and walk away. Confrontation was never her thing with friends, yet she had no problem confronting strangers. 

The instance that became the icing on the cake for me was when she had asked my husband and I to watch her dogs for what I thought was going to be a long weekend. However, we had tried to watch her dogs a few months prior and it just didn't work out - her dogs didn't like being out of their house and caused my husband and I to have our daily routine interrupted beyond repair. This information was communicated to her after our first trial run, which we thought she understood. Long story short, this friend not only used us to take business away from someone else who was already hired to watch her dogs, but we were also given the full details of their length of trip via email one day prior to the drop-off date that we would be watching their three dogs for 10 days. Being good friends, we knew that it was going to be an extremely rough 10 days for us, but we went ahead and said we would do it because we didn't want to screw her over last minute. 

Communication during the few days that the dogs were at our house weren't the most pleasant. This friend would laugh at instances that caused me great unpleasantness (including her dog eating my dog's shit and me throwing up, and the same dog sleeping on my face all night and causing me not to be able to get a wink of sleep so the dog would be comfortable). This is when I started to see the light - it was all about her and her animals, and my husband, two dogs and my own well being weren't being considered. After four nights of not getting any sleep due to one of the dogs whining all night, amongst other instances, we had to throw in the towel for our own sanity and make the tough call that the dogs had to go somewhere else. After the difficult call was made, I was shocked that this friend did the ultimate bitch slap of 2012 - she defriended me on Facebook. No phone call, no text, no email to try to talk about what had happened. I also figured this out while I was in the process of typing out an email to her to give her my side of the whole situation, which I thought in return would open the door to a civil conversation and a continuing friendship. Needless to say, it's been about 6 weeks and no communication has been made. No loss on my end!

In conclusion, I have learned three things from these instances: 
1. Trimming the fat on friendships that aren't worth the time or effort are becoming easier as I get older.
2. Selfish people suck and in the end will find themselves all alone. 
3. Girls are so much harder to stay friends with than guys are. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Super Bowl 2012 Ads Recaptured

There is a reason that it has taken me three days past the Super Bowl to do a post about this year's ads - they were simply mediocre. Also, I am still unsure that it was a great idea for companies to premiere their ads before the actual big game. In a way, the surprise of seeing a stream of never-before-seen commercials is half the fun of watching the Super Bowl (especially for those of us who don't care about the game).  

Even though there weren't that many great commercials to choose from this year, here are a few that I did enjoy - even if I saw them beforehand on YouTube or Facebook.

Honda CR-V: Matthews Day Off (extended version):

While a movie sequel would have ruined this classic, this commercial is absolutely priceless. 

M&M's Sexy and I Know It:

Because there is nothing funnier and more unexpected than a piece of candy getting naked at a dinner party.  

The Dog Strikes Back (2012 Volkswagen):

What's not to love about a dog being motivated to lose weight so he can chase a car. Although, I'm not sure if the last scene with Star Wars was necessary. 
Doritos Man's Best Friend:

You know you would keep this a secret, too, for a bag of Doritos if it was given to you by the dog. 

Sketchers Go Run Mr. Quiggly:

Everyone loves a French Bulldog, especially one that can moonwalk. 

And my favorite commercial this year (not because it was funny, but because it promoted how awesome rescue dogs are) is...
Bud Light's Rescue Dog:

Not only is it awesome that this dog can fetch bottles of beer, but it's more awesome that Bud Light is donating money to the rescue group where Weego (the dog in the commercial) was adopted from. Bravo Bud Light, bravo!

It's obvious that advertisers finally get that dogs sell ads. All in all, I'm hoping that next year's Super Bowl ads will be back on par with the years' past.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fainting Goats - the ultimate farm animal

I know nothing about farms or farm animals, but I do know that if I lived on a farm a fainting goat would be a necessity.

I was introduced to this fascinating creature a few years ago by a friend. Since then, it's been an ongoing joke about this animal. I mean, whoever created a genetically defective goat that faints when they are startled is a pure genius (or maybe they were high). When someone creeps up behind me and screams "BOO" I jump and then laugh. But man, could you imagine the fun you could have if you could scare an animal and have it freeze and fall over in paralysis? Cruel? Maybe. Fun? COMPLETELY!

What brought on this random blog post? Well, my friend is thinking about buying a goat for her dad's birthday (don't worry, he lives on a farm in Virginia). She sent me an adorable photo of a black and white goat, which unfortunately doesn't faint (lame). 
Adorable, but boring non-fainting goat
When we started searching for fainting goat breeders in Virginia (yes, these exist), we realized that these goats were quite ugly. However, in my opinion, hours of entertainment trumps looks. What do you think?
Awesome fainting goat, but definitely not a looker
And because I am nice (and awesome), here is a video of fainting goats in action. Enjoy!

Definition from Wikipedia:
A fainting goat is a breed of domestic goat whose muscles freeze for roughly 10 seconds when the goat is startled. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over. Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled, and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Product Fail: Croc Flat Iron

I am what you would call a brand loyal customer. When I find something that works well, I stick with it and don't stray to other brands or sway to generic products. When a product that I am loyal to fails me, I feel like I am being cheated on. This is what happened with the ceramic flat iron that I have been using and purchasing for the past two and a half years - the Turbo Ion CROC. If this was a conversation to be had a year ago, I would still be in love with this product. However, something changed with the quality and it didn't go unnoticed by myself or the public.
Buyer Beware!
Flat irons typically last over a year. So when my first iron stopped working after the one year mark, I thought nothing of it. I went online and happily purchased a replacement. However, what I thought was the same product was more like a crappy iron disguise as a quality one.

In the past year, I have gone through three CROC irons. Thankfully, Overstock is a great company and replaced the last one I had which broke after one month's use. Unfortunately, that replacement only lasted three months and is unable to be fully refunded. I called Turbo Ion Inc., which is the company that produces the CROC. I spoke with a very snobby women who told me that because I purchased my products on Amazon and Overstock (sites that I trust to get me the product at a better price), that she could not help or talk to me about my iron. She also told me that these sites tend to sell knock-off irons, which to me is a load of crap since these are two trusted brand named companies. Great customer service, huh?

What they failed to say is, "If you don't buy it directly from us, then we don't care what you have to say!"
After my fifth and final CROC died on me yesterday morning, I decided to call my hair salon, which is where I learned about the iron in the first place. I value my salon's product choices and recommendations greatly, so when the woman who answered the phone told me that they have had the same issues that I have with their CROCs, and no longer carry it I was convinced that this product had gone to crap. She informed me was that the product used to be great over a year ago when it was being manufactured and made in the USA. However, now it is being made overseas and the quality has drastically gone downhill. 90% of the CROCs they had sold were returned with the same issues that I had - the display screen had died; the iron wouldn't turn on; the iron would beep randomly three times and then shut off for no reason; and another issue that didn't happen to me - the cord would break off from the actual iron.

After this eye-opening conversation, I sent a message to the owner of the salon, who is a friend of mine, asking him about the CROC. This was his response:

"The crocs are a CROC of shit. I think every one we ever sold came back to the salon. The plates would fall out or the cords would break. Total waste of money. And cost us a lot in returns." 

This should mean something to Turbo Ion since this isn't some rinky dink salon, but rather a top salon in the coutry who prides themselves on their top styling products and extremely talented stylists.

I laughed when I went onto Turbo Ion's website and see in large font at the top of their page, "The 'CROC' brand has fast become the 'buzz word' for tools in the professional tool industry with a customer loyalty that is second to none!" Newsflash: in order to have customer loyalty, you have to not only make a product that lives up to the name, but you also have to pride yourself on customer service and take care of those products, no matter where they were purchased, when they do not function to the ability as promised. After all, it is YOUR name on the product, so it shouldn't matter where it was purchased. 

I wonder how time is saved when the product constantly breaks...

***After sending my blog post to TurboIon's Customer Service e-mail address (since they are the ONLY company not on social media), this was there completely unprofessional response:

You can write what you want, as our products are FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY. However, as stated on our website on, Croc TurboIon does NOT honor any warranty/sale from,, or, as these websites are selling refurbished irons and are not an authorized or legitimate sale.

It is not our duty to ensure all customers do their homework on who is selling authorized products prior to purchasing our products. You should have called prior to purchasing from, since we would have told you they are an unathorized seller and sell KNOCK-OFF and/or refurbished products.

Perhaps next time before you go on a heated rant and demean companies, you should have tried to negotiate something.

Have a nice day!

Turbo Ion, Inc.6800 8th Street
Buena Park, CA 90620