Don’t Just Taste, Eat the Rainbow, Part 2

As a follow up to last week’s post, here are some of my favorite comments from the website. I especially love “you are histories [sic] greatest monster,” “DON’T TOUCH THE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS,” and “You are a factory of sadness.” Here they are:

 

By rainbow_chip_lover

144 days ago

Generic and lame it’s like I’m on the Pillsbury Funfetti website. Betty if you wanted new customers you could have put the rainbow chips in a plastic tub on top of the icing instead of nasty sprinkles like everyone else. Heads up we can all buy our own sprinkles but we can’t make Rainbow Chips. You didn’t change the cake to sprinkles so why the icing? I can definitely make my own buttercream with sprinkles. Hopefully someone at Betty Crocker recognizes the error of the decision to change to this generic replacement!

By BringItBack2013

142 days ago

WE THE PEOPLE demand Rainbow Chip, not some sub-par substitute that’s just like every other frosting out there. I’m not buying any of this garbage.

By Saloria

133 days ago

This is just horrible! Bring back RAINBOW CHIP! Rainbow Chip Frosting has always been my favorite for cupcakes, cakes, and making our own homemade version of dunkaroos! I am pregnant and all I have been thinking about is some delicious cupcakes with Rainbow Chip Frosting after my husband traveled to 4 different stores with no luck I looked online to find that it had been discontinued! Shame on you Betty Crocker! Bad move!

By elliepants4

127 days ago

I can’t give any less than one star? Too bad–this deserves less. I have been icing cakes for myself and others for years with RAINBOW CHIP icing. What’s so special about this sub-par replacement? If I wanted sprinkles on my cake I would make a buttercream and–wait for it–ADD SPRINKLES. You do realise Pillsbury already sells this, yes? RAINBOW CHIP FROSTING is what set Betty Crocker apart from the competition. Now the playing field is even and I’m holding a grudge. Until Rainbow Chip is returned (in its classic form) to shelves, I will no longer be purchasing any Betty Crocker brand items. Bring it back and you’ll have a loyal customer for life. It would seem others feel the same as evidenced by the reviews posted, at least 2 Facebook pages, and an online petition.

By SprinklesBlow

106 days ago

How dare you Betty Crocker. You are histories greatest monster for getting rid of Rainbow Chip. I will not be purchasing this cheap and frankly insulting replacement for the heavenly Rainbow Chip. In fact I have some Betty Crocker cake mix that I was going to use with Rainbow Chip, but I think I will return it now for some Pillsbury mix.

FOR SHAME!!!!!

By wherestherainbowchipB**** *

90 days ago

I am beyond disappointed by the discontinuation of the greatest frosting ever. If I wanted funfetti I would…who am I kidding I wouldn’t because funfetti is frickin lame. I ALWAYS use rainbow chip frosting, I even go out of my way to a store I don’t normally shop at to buy it because it was so hard to find before. I hope everyone who loved rainbow chip as much as I did boycotts Betty Crocker until you bring it back. This is worse than the death of hostess cupcakes.

In the meantime DON’T TOUCH THE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS. They better be waiting when I go back to buying your products.

By IWantRainbowChip

60 days ago

The rainbow chips were chewy and delicious. The sprinkles are hard, flavorless and full of disappointment.

Rainbow Chip!

Rainbow Chip!

sullysoccer

50 days ago

I joined just to comment also. You have ruined my day. You have ruined my childhood and also any future birthdays ahead. You are a factory of sadness. No one wants this.

rainbowchipgrief

41 days ago

For the love of all things holy and pure in this world, BRING BACK THE RAINBOW CHIP FROSTING!! I beg of thee, Betty.

Rainbow Sprinkle is an insult to the legend of the rainbow chip….

As a victim of first world problems, I cry out with OUTRAGE and DESPAIR! I will not be silenced!!

MsRainbowChip

46 days ago

I would rather die a thousand deaths than see these ridiculous rainbow sprinkles on any of my baked goods. If I wanted sprinkles, I could have easily attained them by buying a competitor’s sprinkle frosting or by simply purchasing sprinkles and putting them in with my frosting. BRING BACK RAINBOW CHIP!! Please! It was the best frosting on the market and a beloved member of all of my celebrations. I don’t know what made Betty Crocker discontinue it, but I am embarrassed for her. Look at all of the dissatisfied customers. Give the people what they want!

want_rainbow_chip

46 days ago

Um, what is going on here? You do realize by discontinuing Rainbow Chip you may have set the Universe into a tailspin! Without my favorite frosting what’s the point of anything? I may as well just buy Pillsbury. The dough boy is cuter than this tasting good. Seriously, by taking away Rainbow Chip you’ve ruined any future cake I will make or eat. You have destroyed all birthdays!

PLEASE BRING RAINBOW CHIP BACK!!!!!!!!!

You get one star only because I can’t give you zero stars. The form won’t let me.

AND

rainbowchipwithdrawals

49 days ago

I will never love again… Rainbow chip, i promise to keep the seat down, just come back to me!!

*I edited the name of this poster because I try to keep my posts family-friendly and I don’t condone the use of that word. I think you get the idea.

Don’t Just Taste, Eat the Rainbow, Part 1

“Hope your birthday is a slice of wonderful…with frosting on top! (preferably Rainbow Chip, but we’ll take whatever delicious frosting finds us, no?)” a dear friend wrote in the birthday card she sent me. We lived together a couple of years ago, and on my birthday that year I had a “cupcakes and karaoke party,” which included confetti cupcakes with Rainbow Chip frosting. Before the party I had expounded on the virtues of Rainbow Chip (vs. every other store-bought frosting, particularly Funfetti/confetti/sprinkles). There really is nothing like this frosting, which sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. My mom used to make us these cakes and cupcakes for special occasions (and on request), and when I moved to New York, I started baking and bringing in treats for my coworkers. I varied what I made, but confetti cupcakes with Rainbow Chip frosting were included in the rotation.

Rainbow Chip!

Rainbow Chip!

Grocery stores in New York are small and often carry only one or two varieties of any given item; I could typically find frosting in chocolate, vanilla, maybe cream cheese/butter cream, but I managed to track down a C-Town not too far from me (but certainly out of the way) that carried Rainbow Chip, and whenever I was in the neighborhood I picked up a couple of tubs of the multi-colored candy-infused icing just to have on hand.

When I moved back to the Midwest (land of baked goods galore), I figured RC would be easier to find. After all, not only are grocery stores larger (and there are more of them), but I was moving to the hometown headquarters of General Mills, the company that owns Betty Crocker, maker of Rainbow Chip frosting. SURELY I would be able to find this beloved frosting whenever/wherever.*

Therefore, I was very frustrated last year when I started having a harder time finding it. At first, I could only find it in certain chains. Then only one store. Finally, I couldn’t find it at all. I attributed it to hitting the stores before they’d restocked, but it got so that I stopped being able to locate its place on the shelves, as stores no longer had a spot dedicated to my favorite** frosting.

I checked the Betty Crocker website to locate a store where I could purchase RC frosting and when that didn’t work, I looked for reasons why I couldn’t find the frosting and found conflicting results: there was a statement from Betty Crocker that the frosting hadn’t been discontinued but that stores’ stocks varied from location to location (which felt like a redirection of blame). I then saw that people were selling the frosting (for $50 a tub and up) on eBay, which made me regret not buying more in bulk when I first noticed the shortage. It also made me really regret having to throw a tub (or two?) away in the time I’ve lived in my current apartment because they keep the heat at 85 degrees, so even though the frosting hadn’t expired date-wise, it had gone bad.

When I checked back recently on the Betty Crocker website, I found no explanation (but a confirmation that the frosting had, in fact, been discontinued) and a ridiculous redirect to Rainbow Sprinkle frosting. Which, as everyone knows, is not Rainbow Chip frosting, and, as plenty of people pointed out in the comments section of the new frosting, has already existed in the inventory of icing offered by Betty Crocker’s competitors. In short, if you wanted Rainbow Sprinkle frosting (aka Funfetti/Confetti), there were companies that already offered it.

The public’s response to this has been to write over 150 (!) comments on the Betty Crocker Rainbow Sprinkle frosting page (which searches for Rainbow Chip frosting redirect to, no doubt because of said comments). Commenters initially posted on the Rainbow Chip page, but it, like the product, has since been removed. These comments are hilarious–pure poetry in some cases–but they are also sincerely sad.

I’m sincerely sad about this.

I’m sad for myself because I love this frosting. I’m sad for the other people who love this frosting. And I’m sad for future children who won’t know the delights of this festive, colorful treat. In a blah world, Rainbow Chip frosting was a ray of sunshine that hit droplets of water to create a prism. And you could eat it! What I read in these genuine, angry, sad comments was that this frosting represents many treasured memories, and its discontinuation, for some people, has signaled the death of childhood and a fraying of the connection to childhood.

Seriously, though. The only way I can make sense of this is that something in the Rainbow Chip frosting ingredients was discovered to be fatally toxic and Betty Crocker doesn’t want people to know this because then they would start filing lawsuits. Otherwise, I can’t understand how you could read the outrage (and it is outrage) in these comments and not consider re-releasing Rainbow Chip frosting.

I plan to post next week a few of my favorite comments, but if you want to read them in their entirety, check out this website. With names like “luvrainbowchip,” “rainbowchipMOM,”RnBowChp,” “loverainbowchip,” “rainbowchipFan,” and “ILiveForRainbowCHIP,” you can see there’s no shortage of RC frosting fans.

If you want to sign a petition to bring back Rainbow Chip frosting, check out here, here, and here (all on Change.org) or go to the Hey Betty Crocker Bring Back Rainbow Chip Frosting Facebook page or the Why Facebook page for the same basic sentiment. If you want to watch a heartfelt plea on YouTube (not me, but still), check it out. If you want to write letters to Betty Crocker, here is the address:

General Mills, Inc.
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440

If you need something to get you through in the interim, check out this recipe on the blog Not Without Salt. I haven’t tried it, but if BC doesn’t bring back RC, I might just have to.

Please, Betty. Bring RC back!  -Sarah

*You know, like the Shakira song. I mean, the frosting didn’t exactly have me head-over-heels, but my relationship with it has lasted far longer than any romantic relationship, and it has even helped me cope with a few break-ups.

**Store-bought. My mom makes really good Sea Foam Frosting and Cream Cheese Frosting*** from scratch, and there have been other homemade versions I have liked. Really, all you need is butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little milk and you can whip up a frosting.

***They’re in caps because they’re titles of recipes.

More Fun With Demonyms, Take 2

UPDATE: This is why you don’t use Wikipedia as a source. The previous version of this post included some possibly offensive nicknames. I was in a hurry to get a post up and didn’t take the time to check some of the nicknames out before I posted, so I’m sorry if anyone was offended by them. As a Wisconsinite, I am not familiar with some of the nicknames of other states, but I should have researched them before just posting and for that I am sorry. I’ve removed the questionable ones, even a couple that might not have been offensive but I didn’t want to even come close to hurting anyone’s feelings.  –Sarah

The Wisconsin Badger basketball team is doing well and just moved on to the Elite Eight, which is thrilling. Every year Badger fans hope and believe that this year they’ll make it to the Championship game, but this year I feel like they have a shot. The Badger mascot is derived from the state nickname, which I used to think was because we had a bunch of badgers in the state, but it’s because the original homesteaders and settlers lived in holes in the ground, like badgers. Speaking of nicknames, last week I posted about the nicknames of states, or demonyms. Well, here’s some more fun demonyms to check out.

When you say Wi-sconsin, you've said it all.

When you say Wi-sconsin, you’ve said it all.

 

People from Arkansas are called Arkansans, which confirms that they should pronounce it “ar-KANZ-as,” like “KANZ-as,” instead of “AR-kin-SAW.” An alternate name for them is Arkansawyers, so if you’re an attorney in Arkansas, you’re an Arkansawyer lawyer.

Connecticut might have the most nicknames for its residents: Connecticotian, Connecticutensian, Connecticutian, Connetian, and the official one, Connecticuter. Missing? Connecticuties. Or Connecticuddlers.

Rhode Islanders could alternately be called Rhodeans (but not Rhodelers–like Yodelers, to my dismay), and Pennsylvanians could also be called Pennamites, but not Pennsylvans or Pennsylvaniacs.

According to Wikipedia, Georgians can alternately be called Goober-grabbers. Although this is a reference to peanuts, I feel like there should also be an obvious reference to peaches–like Peach Pickers or Pit Spitters or something.

Also according to Wikipedia, Illinois residents, in addition to unofficially being referred to as Illinoians, could also be called Illinoisians, Illinoisans (officially), or my favorite “Suckers.” Haha, Illinois, I’m  just being Ill-annoying.

Most of them make sense: Minnesotan, Oregonian, Washingtonian, Texan, (West) Virginian, South Dakotan, Vermonter, New Yorker, Wisconsinite. But it sort of surprised me that New Mexico residents are called New Mexicans. I mean, it makes sense but at the same time it reminds me of “new rich,” as in, we don’t come from a Mexican family, but we suddenly fell into being Mexican. We’re newly Mexican. Also, Utah natives are called “Utahns.”

Michigan residents have the most demonyms, with Michiganians (official), and unofficially: Michiganers, Michiganese, Michigines, Wolverines, Michiganites, and my favorite, Michiganders.

For more demonyms, check out this link. (I know Wikipedia is not a credible source, but…)

UPDATE on my upcoming publication: the anthology I’ll be in, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland,  will be released on June 1! I’ll be doing some readings in relation to this and I’ll be sure to let you know when I know more. Until then, check out my video, and come to my improv show next week!

March Madness

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.                                      ~Emily Dickinson

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”   ~Robin Williams

Well, it’s officially spring, or so the calendar will tell you. Time marches on, as they say, and March is on time. And thank goodness for that. It felt like we were going to be in subzero purgatory for eternity, but then, just last week, we jumped a good 40-60 degrees and now we have seen the 40s! It’s amazing what constitutes exciting after the winter we’ve had.

I’m sorry I didn’t post last week and that this week’s post is late (and pun-heavy). I feel like I’ve been running around like a madwoman and I haven’t even gotten to my spring cleaning. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I had a birthday! I know I mentioned that in the last post I wrote, but I had a great low-key series of celebrations, including a concert with my friend and fellow blogger, That Girl Who Reads Books. It was a great gift and made me realize that “If it’s too loud then you’re too old” isn’t always true. Sometimes “if it’s too loud, you’re just in a really small venue with too many amps such that the mic blows and you should probably bring earplugs next time, just to be safe.” I made some videos (all improv) with Philip Simondet as a birthday present to myself, the first of which is up at his YouTube channel, Minimum Fare. I’ll post more here as they come up, but you should check out the other videos because a) they’re all good and b) they all feature Twin Cities improv-ers you can see in shows and events around the area, usually on the cheap. And who doesn’t love cheap,* especially in the spring?

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Cuckoo for Roku

My mom took over the blog this week. Enjoy! -Sarah

I admit – technology scares me.

Netflix.  It is a technological wonder.  I had heard of it and knew of people who had subscribed to its services, but I never experienced it until my husband found himself in need of diversion following some surgery (see below).  That’s when my daughter and son-in-law kicked into high gear to provide entertainment for his recovery.   They brought with them their iPad and a world of magic.  Okay, maybe not magic, but just like sawing a lady in half,**  I am not sure how Netflix works.  We were transported to the 1980’s and the Cheers episodes that made us laugh so hard.

David after surgery 2

David after surgery 2

David after surgery.

David after surgery.

Fast forward to this Christmas.  Our wonderful children gave us a subscription to Netflix so we could enjoy Masterpiece Classic Theater and All Creatures Big and Small and all of the episodes of the Wonder Years.  The gift included an additional piece of technology which allows us to view these nostalgic events on our television. My first response to Roku was “Not more technology!”  (said silently).   Now I am in awe….  and more than a little timid.

My head was spinning the last time we upgraded to an HD TV and the attendant upgrade of everything else involved in television watching.  We  had to program remotes and find new outlets and make new connections.   David pointed to our coffee table today and was impressed that we could master the three remotes that our Netflix requires.  Bring it on, just not so much of it.  We need to learn the wonders of the New World a little at a time.

I find myself watching TV with a purpose now.  No more turning on the TV and ignoring it or using it as background noise while I busy myself with some other task.  Now television watching is just that.  Sitting in one place and “watching” television.  And with no commercial breaks, how will I know when to snack or go to the bathroom?

David found a suspenseful movie for us to watch together for our first viewing experience.  After the first idyllic 2 minutes, the death and mayhem began.  I left the room to avoid  getting too upset, but curiosity got the better of me.  I looked up the plot line of the movie and learned that, as I had suspected, the good guy was able to overcome evil in the end.  The fact that it was accomplished by stabbing the villain in the head confirmed my decision to “watch” the movie by reading about it online.

Now that we are taking full advantage of our gift, I am concerned that we may go into a Classic TV seclusion.  I am reminded of when we moved our television into the basement family room because we found that we kept it on all of the time when it was in the living room.  We wanted to spend less time watching TV.  And a few months later for Christmas, my husband got us a television for our bedroom.  Not that we didn’t enjoy it.  I remember the family piled on the king size bed to watch Hook together.  The beauty of it is I slept through much of it, but I was on a bed!

And a wonderful feature of Netflix is that once you watch a movie or TV show, they help to suggest other events that you might enjoy based on your history.  However, my husband and I have vastly differing tastes.  We are certainly challenging the Netflix genie or whoever is back at the headquarters promoting other programs we might enjoy.  (Okay, I realize this is not a person but technology that provides the suggested viewing options.)

Who needs DVDs when you've got Roku?

Who needs DVDs when you’ve got Roku?

My biggest fear is not that I will become a couch potato or that I will brush aside my responsibilities in favor of just one more episode. I am afraid that as I perform at a functioning level, more and more technology will stream my way.  I know how to press source on one remote, use the Roku remote for the Netflix options, and increase the volume with the TV remote.  But if one more device is added to the mix, my head might explode!

The truth is that now I don’t believe I will want to give up this wonder called Netflix. Wait….what?* I like technology?  If I have 23 minutes, I can get at least one good laugh out loud watching an episode of Arrested Development.**  And that is worth all the remotes, connections, and time involved.  Netflix here I come!

*  I had to put in the overused “Wait….what?” statement for two reasons.  To impress readers with how up to date I am with the current lingo and to also show how distracted by technology everyone is becoming.   Wait…I was texting, checking my email messages, watching Netflix, playing a computer game….what?  I wasn’t listening to anything you were saying because of my technology…..

**Sarah here: My mom informed me that after she wrote this post, she saw an episode of Arrested Development in which they show how to saw a woman in half. How timely!

Putting the “Win” in Winter

Well. The 2014 Olympic Winter Games have come to a close. As much as I appreciate the renewed freedom I have in the evening (I watched as many of the events as I could), I will miss the special interest stories, the tense “will s/he pull it off?” moments, the weird paradox of the same event being won and lost in the same fraction of a fraction of a second, or two-tenths of a point in deductions. I watched more of the Olympics this year than I have in a long time (probably because I recently got a TV antenna and therefore reception–thanks Mom and Dad!), and I found myself getting more emotional than I have in the past. Maybe it’s age (I turned 32 on Tuesday) or maybe it’s the realization that this Olympics would have been the last one that I would have possibly been “young” enough to compete in (aside from curling, and not factoring in the fact that I’ve never been an Olympic-level athlete, nor am I remotely* in shape), but I found myself tearing up a lot. When people won. When people fell. When people finished well, raised their fists in the air, hugged their teammate(s), and collapsed to their knees in gratitude.

Silver Medal Snowflake

Silver Medal Snowflake

Here are some thoughts I have after watching this year’s competition:

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Sleep[ing Home]less in Seattle

This is another guest blog post from my sister, Libby, about her experiences working at a homeless shelter in Seattle. Enjoy! – Sarah

Before I start, I have to be very clear about something.  I am writing about my personal experience while working at a homeless shelter.  The purpose is only to show my own growth, from someone who lived (and still lives) a very comfortable life to someone who was forced to acknowledge the enormity of my own privilege.  The examples I am writing about are not intended to be glib and are in no way a representation of each individual that came through the shelter or the circumstances that brought them there.  

While reading my sister’s book* about her time in New York, I felt inspired to write about some of my time in Seattle.  My first year in Seattle is what my former roommate jokingly describes as “the worst year of her life”.**   Mostly because we barely knew one another, and I was extremely sleep-deprived and overly emotional.***  I would frequently come home from an overnight shift at the homeless shelter where I worked, awakening her as I collapsed in a pile of tears at the foot of her bed.

I had applied to work at the shelter through AmeriCorps, and I distinctly remember one of the questions from my phone interview because it is the most unusual interview question I have ever gotten.  “What would you do if a transgender female guest wanted to use the women’s restrooms, but it made a female-bodied guest uncomfortable?”****  Apparently I had a good enough answer, because a week later I was on a plane with three suitcases, ready to start a new adventure.

Libby at Roots.

Libby at Roots

My first overnight at the shelter, I was training with one of the regular volunteers.  While he was writing the nightly report, I decided to do a walk-through of the sleeping area.  It was on this first solo walk-through that I was unfortunate enough to witness a guest masturbating on his mat.  All I could think at the time was, “There’s a bathroom 100 feet from where you’re sleeping.  Why?”  I learned over the next year that privacy is rare for those who are homeless.

A few months later, a different volunteer brought me what looked like a metal pipe wrapped in a handkerchief.  It definitely looked drug-related, and I could tell from his tone that my suspicions were correct.

“We will need to talk about this during our meeting tonight,” he said.

Since I had absolutely no clue what he was holding in his hands, I wanted to at least pretend like I might have known what it was before someone asked me to describe it out loud, especially in a group of people that worked with homeless youth.

“I think it best that you be the one to talk about it, since you found it in the laundry,” was my reply.

In the kitchen

In the kitchen

Any drug paraphernalia found on the premises meant the loss of privileges for a week, including laundry and showers.  It happened so rarely while I was there, but we all dreaded when it did, since it meant punishing everyone for one person’s actions.

“I found a crack pipe in the laundry tonight,” the volunteer said during our nightly staff/volunteer meeting.

My response? “Yes he did. I saw it with my own eyes.”

Despite a few of these experiences at the shelter, there were so many times when I was humbled while working with the guests.  We frequently had to turn people away, since there was only space for 25 guests.  On one of the coldest nights of the year, a guest asked if we could let his friend stay instead of him, since he had a couch he could “probably crash on.”  This was not the first time someone made this request, regardless of whether they had any other options.

Stacks of Mattresses

Stacks of Mattresses

Throughout the year, I was challenged and had my privilege called out, and I grew as a human being.  It was one of the best, hardest years for me.  The biggest thing I learned during that year is that there is no difference between me and someone who is living on the streets, except that I have been given so many opportunities in my life, and that is often not the case for someone without shelter.

In my first winter back in the Midwest, there have been a number of days where the high temperature for the day has been well below zero, and at least one where the “feels like” temperature was -50 degrees for most of MN.  It breaks my heart thinking that people have to figure out what they are going to do when it’s that cold.  On these days, I send all of my positive thoughts to anyone that is without a home or shelter to go to.

Outside Roots with Mom

Outside Roots with Mom

*A little plug for Sarah’s book.  I haven’t finished it yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying it, and have laughed out loud, sighed deeply, and felt shared heartache.  If you ever have a chance to read it,♦ I would highly recommend it.

**We are now very good friends, and ended up living together for five of my years in Seattle.

***Those of you that know me well know that I could be described as an emotional person to begin with.  Yikes.

****According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, it has been estimated that one in five people who are transgender experience homelessness at some time in their lives, and transgender people make up 20-40% of the homeless population.

Sarah here: Before you start asking where you can get a copy of my book, you should know that Libby read a copy of my (unpublished) thesis. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it is published.

An Open Love Letter

Well, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day again, but instead of my usual post/re-post love letter to single people, I thought I’d do something a little different. I’m fortunate to have several wonderful kids in my life (the children of long-time friends and beloved cousins), and over Christmas two of them told me they had girlfriend/boyfriend relationships. I remember my first crush, RR, in kindergarten and even though I didn’t really know what the terms “crush,” “girlfriend,” or “boyfriend” meant,* I knew that they had something to do with another term: love. I’ve only recently come to a place where I feel like I understand fully what that word means, and it’s not what I thought it meant at 6 years old. Or, I should say, it’s not as narrow as I thought back then. As a non-parent grown-up friend, I wanted to write a letter to my younger friends that I wish a grown-up had written to me when I was younger.  SO Cora, Jane, Eli, Bridget, Nathan, Braden, Matt, Johanna, Eve, Aubrey, Tesla, Alivia, Daniel, Makinley, Roark, and Mallory: Here’s what I’d like you (and any future kids I have) to know about love.

 -Sarah

When I was little, I thought that I would get married at 22 and start having babies shortly thereafter. My parents were 21 and 22 when they said “I do,” as were several of their friends and siblings, and pretty much all the adults in my life, at least in my earliest memories of them, were married. It seemed logical when I was six: you meet someone in your late teens or early 20s, date for a couple of years, and get married right after you graduate college. I have friends who similarly thought that’s what you did, because the only examples we had––our parents––all pretty much followed that path. But as I got a little older, I started re-thinking this plan.

Hey, look, it's a heart.

Hey, look, it’s a heart.

I didn’t date much in high school (or college, for that matter) and the people I did date weren’t right for me. Or at least we’d be wrong for each other as the people we’ve become now. And, to be quite honest, sometime during college I came to the realization that I didn’t want to be married at 22. I wanted to move to New York City and have lots of adventures, dating and otherwise. Marriage, while wonderful, would have made that much more difficult. More importantly, I never believed that finding a romantic partner would fix everything; I’d rather learn how to do basic maintenance on my car or home myself than rely on finding someone who is good at these things.

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Puns Not Guns

This post is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It’s a controversial topic, but since it’s Smokey Robinson’s birthday in two weeks, it’s Black History month and Black Americans* die from guns almost twice as much as White Americans, gun deaths involve children way more than they should, and in light of a recent segment on 20/20 (see below), I felt compelled to write. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, nor have I exhausted the research on this topic. These are just my thoughts.   -Sarah

I, Board  Photo credit: Kevan Davis via Flickr/Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg/4196162244/

I, Board Photo credit: Kevan Davis via Flickr/Creative Commons
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg/4196162244/

I remember when I fell in love with puns. I don’t remember the date, what I was wearing, or who else was in the room, but I remember the exact moment.

It was a Sesame Street episode (of course): Sesame Street, Hee Haw, and Disney movies filled my childhood with puns, clever wordplay, and (clean) grown-up humor. I still watch Disney movies because of the adult humor. But this Sesame Street episode must have aired when I was really young, and when I got the joke, I felt really smart.

Smokey Robinson was the musical guest and he sang his/The Miracles’ famous song, “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” only it was “U Really Got a Hold on Me,” and this was the ’80s, well before text-speak. You’d have to watch the segment to get it.

I know people have varied feelings about puns, and I can appreciate that. In fact, my brother-in-law, who also grew up in the ’80s (we were born the same year), does not share my love of puns. But, aside from inducing groans and eye rolls, puns haven’t done him any harm, and he’s told me he’s enjoyed a pun or two, even some of mine.

Pun box Photo credit: Ian McKinnon via Flickr/Creative Commons

Pun box Photo credit: Ian McKinnon via Flickr/Creative Commons
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianmackinnon/3709627113/

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Locally Laid UPDATE

Huge thanks to those of you who voted for my friends at Locally Laid. Seriously, I appreciate everyone who told me they voted and has asked if they won. Short answer: they didn’t. They found out yesterday that they lost to another great company, GoldieBlox, but they still got a lot of great exposure (and a trip to New York!) so they’re pretty much winners in my book. Here’s the official word from their Facebook page:
Friends, I hate to tell you this… We didn’t win the 30-spot on the Super Bowl. (Again, sincere congrats to GoldieBlox for that.)

Sure, we wish LoLa could strut her sassy self in the 3rd quarter, but it’s okay. Honestly, it’s much better than that.

We ran a fun campaign and are incredibly proud of the stir you kicked up trying to Hail Mary a chicken into the world’s largest football spectacle. And you did an impressive job. The PR firm working with Intuit says that Locally Laid got media impressions that number in the billions – that’s billions with a B. That’s a whole lot of attention for a retro egg, a pasture-raised bird, and the little company trying to do her right. Plus it was good for Duluth, good for Minnesota and good for farmers raising Real Food everywhere.

You should be proud of yourselves getting us named Runner Up. (More to come…)

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