Wednesday, September 30, 2009

it's not a can of veg

Want some more advertising driven rage from me? I've got some. This time it's aimed at Chef Boyardee and their insistence that kids are too stupid to eat vegetables.

The first commercial that I noticed in this newish campaign involved a father absentmindedly reading aloud the label on the can of crap he was feeding his children. As he approached the part of the label that indicates the full serving of vegetables the mother began a cacophony of noises to make it impossible for the children to hear that dreaded word "vegetable."

In another ad the child is reading the label and reaches the word "vegetable" but has trouble reading it. I can't tell you how this or the previous ad ends as I either mute the tv or change the channel.

I'm willing, on occasion to feed my kids Chef Boyardee. I get that it's crap, but the kids enjoy it, and I'd like to think that we all eat well enough in general so that sometimes eating less healthful fare is quite okay.

Like most families, we have kids that are very different from each other. Big Brother is a much more exploratory eater, trying new things and gauging for himself whether he likes them. He's even willing to try foods he may not like to test his palate for changes or to try unliked foods in different preparations. The Boy is very picky and could exist on a diet of rice with butter and salt as well as cereal and peanut butter graham crackers and candy if we'd let him. He is willing to dislike food without really trying them.

The concept of vegetables is not something either of my boys has ever disliked as a general rule. There are few vegetables Big Brother doesn't like and few that The Boy does, but vegetables as a catch all for the food group isn't a particularly hated category.

Chef Boyardee, like other companies and like many people, parents and non parents alike, too often have this idea that kids just hate vegetables and that mention of the word will send them away from the table. I seriously doubt that any kid knowing there is supposedly a full serving of vegetables in the "pasta" would refuse to eat that can of gloop, though perhaps there are children who would refuse out of principal.

It really irks me that Chef Boyardee is willing to sell their product as a healthy alternative to real food, that they willingly suggest there is a serving of vegetables that is equal to an actual serving of vegetables. I get that some kids can be picky, as mentioned above. I get that kids can be difficult to feed. But to suggest that a can of tomato-ish sauce and overcooked "pasta" is a healthy alternative is just sad.

It reminds me of a Jay Leno bit I happened to catch a few years ago. He was discussing the Kraft Lunchables and had a spoof ad with a mother expressing joy over finding the new products, Breakfastables and Dinnerables and saying, "Now I never have to waste time cooking food for my kids again."

And yes, I did put scare quotes around "pasta." When discussing Chef Boyardee I feel that they should be required by law to use a different word to describe the noodle like things found in their cans.

hadn't seen that one yet

The culprit: our fairly small long hair chihuahua

The others: a full grown husky and other dog of uncertain breed (to me at least) of equal size to husky

The two dogs listed under other were being walked on the street in front of my house, both on leash, both really sweet and friendly dogs that I and the boys have met and petted.

Our dog was outside, not on leash as he doesn't tend to run too far even when he does leave the yard. I was finishing a smoke and getting the dog inside when he noticed the others and felt the need to run, barking, to within at least fifty feet at which point he turned, ran a couple steps toward me, then turned back to bark again.

He was feeling it, seriously, and as proof the line of hair down his neck and spine to his tail was all standing up in his tiny dog rage. I hadn't seen him pull that one before, that rough and ready to fight hair, that angry little mohawk of aggression.

Our dog really is a little sweety mostly. Of course there are also those times when he jumps on the sofa and finds my lower abdomen to be the perfect pivot point as he charges toward me then jumps onto my abdomen with enough force that I suddenly have to pee, only to leap back off on his way past. It's like someone bounced about five pounds of adorable little claws off me.

And of course as soon as those other dogs did notice his little ass he turned and ran right back to cower under me where I was squatting in the yard waiting for his machismo to run out. He's such a little badass.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

smacks head with palm

I mean, I'd take a one percent improvement in my day, but this makes my life one thousand times better.
Seriously? Are you fucking kidding? Is your laundry sooo difficult?

Okay, a little bit of back story. I'm talking about a commercial. Haven't done this in a while, but this is the newest one to irritate the piss out of me, and I do truly hate this one.

It's for a new product, a laundry sheet that contains detergent, fabric softener and some sort of anti static substance.

And it really makes some dumb ass woman's life one thousand times better? I'm sure that's not even a little bit true. I can't imagine that measuring detergent is so difficult.

I've been sitting on this post, waiting to see the commercial again so I could call it out by name, but fortunately for my sanity, unfortunately for my posting accurately my hatred, I haven't seen it since minutes before I sat down to write this. I'm sure you'll see it and remember my vitriol, but I can't be bothered.

breaking up? not so hard to do apparently

This is exactly why I haven't really discussed my most recent "relationship." It ended the night of my birthday party, at least two weeks later than it should have if not more.

When I say I've been seeing someone it seems to create an image of sorts, but you can't really do justice to what it truly was.

Without going into too many specifics I was seeing a guy that a different guy had left me for. It was so random that we ended up hanging out at all, and things really seemed to fall into place indicating something possible as a relationship. There was, at the start, some mystic seeming, we found each other in spite of it all sort of bullshit.

I soon realized I was a distant second in favorite pastimes for this guy, and I just don't know how to compete with World of Warcraft. I'm not sure how many hours I spent sitting on his bed wishing he'd stop playing, feigning interest in some new nonsense or other.

The sex was really not good either. We all have our druthers, our needs if you will, and this guy was just too insistent on his way and an inability to go about it any other way. While the first couple of rounds were fun, I quickly realized that, like his WoW issues, there was this other thing that was never going to work. I will only try so hard if I'm the only one trying.

There were a couple of other things that I knew were signs, and to my credit (or not depending on how you see it) I really did try. I guess by try I mean that I gave in a whole lot when I didn't want to because I realized early on that I wasn't ever going to get my way. Having figured this out so early I should have walked away, as mentioned above, but part of me did like him, and part of me just hates the idea of being alone.

I think the extra couple of weeks I spent trying have cured me for now of that aloneness issue. I'm quite happy at the moment, relieved even, that this thing has drawn to a close. I do expect some minor amount of drama at some point.

One good thing was that this all fell out at my party. A few friends that thought he was cool were able to see a side of him they hadn't but that I had. When this all comes up in the next couple of weeks, and it will, I'll be able to remind them about that night, and they will remember. It's all kind of sad really and makes me feel kind of bad.

What else makes me feel bad? I didn't go home with him as he expected, and he didn't have any clue that my drunk ass was about to rudely break up with him. That wasn't really my intent, but it all just sort of fell out of my mouth, more reason I should have done this a different and earlier time. As it turned out he had one idea of how the night would end, and I had another. It was my party after all.

I'm pretty much done here. I didn't talk much about this before because I've come to realize how fragile each and every chance at love really is, and that's really what I'm after, love. I want to think I can just shelve these ideas of finding love, of not being alone. I want to think that this will be the time I take a break from boys and just look at me and where I keep fucking me up, because I could do a series of Sunday morning sermon blog posts on ways I could do things differently. Hell, maybe I'll get a mattock and a shovel and cut some stairs to climb out of this rut.

Dear commenting brother

I'm taking your last comment with a grain or two of salt. I realize you're being snarky, and I'm pretty sure you realize I talk out of my ass on occasion. It's possibly a genetic abnormality I share with a person or two or more, and though it isn't my best habit it's also not my worst.

I'd love to meet your wife. You and she should take a drive north. I'm going to guess your schedule is slightly more flexible than mine, and I'm going to assume that your car and finances are more likely to handle the trip than mine. I'm not holding it against you that you haven't made it north recently.

I do wish some family could have shown up, but at the same time I understand that a lot has transpired over the last couple of years that might make it oddish to actually see each other. I'm not holding that against anyone either and accept my equal share of whatever blame gets doled out for this. I'd like to think we have time while acknowledging that we can't know for sure.

As for the party, well it wasn't the sort of thing most of you would have been especially into. We nearly closed one bar down only to walk across the street and for real close another one down. We then stocked up on beer and drove to another friend's house. Also I made out with my wife for the first time in a couple of years as well as a wonderful lesbian friend. I may have forgotten more. I also am wearing a sharpie tattoo on my arm that is a heart with an arrow through it with the words MOM and DAD crossed out above the word PUSSY. It still makes me laugh even though it should have washed off by now. I don't remember now who put it there.

In closing, I assume a level of snark I hope you intended and hope you weren't actually upset by my poor choice of words. I do love you, and I do appreciate how available you've been. Also I do hope and fully expect that we will get to hang out fairly soon.

your infinitely cooler and much, much younger brother

Saturday, September 05, 2009

thirty is NOT thirty something

If you're a friend on Facebook then you may have seen my event invite. One does only turn thirty something about nine times, and I'm about to use up one more, and I'm nearing the limit.

I bought myself what I'm sure will be my only non alcohol gift, a sweet pair of sunglasses. A friend has the same pair, and I saw them recently and fell in love. I actually went to the evil Wal Mart for them. I suppose everyone does have their price, and mine involved a ten dollar pair of ladies sunglasses.

But I do look good in them, and that's really what matters. Some random person in China gets to pull a handle that presses plastic lenses into plastic frames all so I can look just gay enough.

I'd like to invite everyone to the shindig I'm making happen. I'm going to invite as many people as I can imagine I'd want to see to show up at my regular bar, and I'm going to drink beer and eat both wings and nachos. I may even see my way clear to some tequila.

Of course I know everyone won't be there, and I don't want them all there. The people that count will likely mostly be there, and that's what counts.

Did I tell you the story about how I never really made friends till I came out and then it was still weird but it's slowly becoming a thing I think I can do? It's a great story. It keeps going still. I think maybe one day I'll be good at it.

Anyway, that's all a bit more drama than we're going for here. It is true, but I won't allow it to bring this post down, so I'm checking out. It's time for more mindless BBC America.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

not the pastry

For a variety of reasons the turnover in restaurant staff is really high. Of about eight people that I work with, in ten months I've gone from the new guy to number three in longevity behind the kitchen manager and some other kid who's mostly part time and a student. There's also the dishwasher, but he barely counts. And this isn't even a full staff, just a current estimate considering we're short a couple of people who are no longer employed yet not yet replaced.

In addition to the kitchen manager there are also two lesser managers who have power when the actual KM is not in house. Of them, one was a previous employee who is on a second tour. The next is a guy that worked there sort of before me. He worked one shift a week and the random oh-shit-can-you-please-come-in-today shift. He doesn't really count in my opinion because he just doesn't, which is not to cast any aspersions on him or his character. He's a good guy and a joy to work with, that isn't really any of the point though.

None of this really means anything anyway, as it's not the point. The point is the turnover. Pretty much the entire staff that were the regulars when I started are now gone. The front of house is not really any better, but they're front of house, and sometimes you barely notice when one of them comes or gos. And that's not meant to suggest any ill intent toward servers, but seriously.

I'm not going into the specifics of why I think it's been so bad where I am. I will say that it's an issue I've seen too many variations of in so many places I've worked. No matter how cool or how good a manager the person right above you is there's always someone above them that may or may not be as good a manager. At some point up the ladder you're bound to run into something.

And sometimes that's the one between you and an oven that actually works.