Back Up Off My Ears, Man

SPECIAL BULLETIN:  When an individual has a telephone squished to their ear, this is to be taken as a little, red flag that the individual is preoccupied at the moment, and should not be conversated with at that time.  Think of this as the opposite of permission to strike up a conversation.

Furthermore, if this individual makes polite eye contact with you whilst she has a telephone squished to her ear, this is nothing more than a gesture of courtesy.  It should not be taken as an open invitation to begin dialect.

Yes, God did bless the majority of us with two ears.  But contrary to the belief of my next door neighbor, for example,  those ears do not work autonomously and should not be treated as such.

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Friday Night, Stocksdale Style

My friends spend their Friday nights at fancy, uptown places like LaBodega and Figlio’s and Lidia’s.  But come Friday night, in my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than Bob Evans, Merriam, KS.

Sure, the company at my favorite hot spot may not be as swanky as that of the others.  But the food is phenomenal and the price is just right.  The two of us can get out of there with full bellies and a $20 ticket – including tip – every time.  I like the Frito Chili Salad with Avocado Ranch dressing, side of homemade blueberry bread; and Rick eats the Bob Evans Pot Roast Sandwich (I have to trade him blueberry bread for pot roast sandwich bites – he’ll have it no other way).  But we have yet to try anything on their menu that isn’t fantastic.

And you might be interested to know, this particular location recently overcame some major hurdles.  When we first moved to the area 2-3 years ago, we liked to hit the place up for breakfast every now and them (their pancakes completely trump IHOP, in my opinion).  But the service slid so far downhill that we swore off the place and didn’t return for about 6 months.

In a random phone call that I had with the new manager about a year ago – for work-related purposes – I learned that the establishment had been suffering from very poor management issues, which in turn led to horrendous staffing issues, which in turn led to the awful service that was being delivered for a period of time.  This new Nazi-manager gal was sent in from corporate to whip everybody into shape, and she’s done a real fine job.

So now the land of Bob Evans Merriam, KS is a happy place to be again.

The corporation, itself, is doing a ton of things right.  They’ve launched a strong social media presence that is represented by Twitter, Facebook and three – yes, three – different blogs.  Their website is sexy and easy to navigate.  They’re not your run of the mill senior citizen breakfast hut, no sir.

Rockin’ website.  Slammin’ menu.  Oh, and did I forget to mention the table-side magician on Friday/Saturday nights?

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And On That Note…

Thanks to my Facebook wall, which posted a comment from my friend @soseman, who recieved a tip from her friend @michellelamar – I now have a new favorite site.  My boss says that I should take pictures of my notes and make contributions to the site (I write many notes around this office).  I like this site because it feels good to know that there are others out there who are just like me.

PassiveAgressiveNotes.com

This will be my first submission – I hung this sign throughout my office.  It was highly effective.

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More Monkey Stories

I remember going to the zoo when I was little.  I LOVED the zoo.  I’m an animal lover, anyhow.  But the zoo always felt like the most exciting experience to me.  My mom would pack snacks (something else I love a lot) and we would load up our little, red wagon.  We would spend the whole day walking around zoo, looking at animals and eating snacks.

I always wished that there were more touchable animals, though.  Petting the goats and rubbing on the cattle is better than nothing at all, I guess.  But why don’t they let you touch the really cool guys?  What about the giraffes?  Or maybe the monkeys?  Throw me a llama!

I heard about the zoo in San Diego – They let folks pay a fairly reasonable fee to participate in a “Roar and Snore.”  You can go to the zoo to spend the night!  What an experience.  I’ve never really had a desire to visit San Diego…until now!

Today feels like a good zoo day.  I wonder if my boss will understand where I’m coming from if I go tell him, “I’m leaving work to go the zoo.”  I don’t have a little, red wagon.  But I do have money for snacks.

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My friend from the Wichita Zoo – I took this picture last time I went.

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It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s iJustine!

I’ve read some feedback from various blog sources that speculate this girl to be more than just an independent enthusiast of comedy, YouTube and Apple.  Some believe that iJustine is a carefully concocted branding effort for the Apple world and that her efforts are financially backed by the brand, itself (she promotes the bejeezees out of the brand).   iJustine denies these allegations, but I think that whether they are valid or not, the concept behind the allegations is brilliant.

We’ve been warned for years that all traditional forms of Marketing and Advertising would soon become about as useful as tits on a turtle.  And the innovators who have accepted this shift are absolutely reaping the rewards.  So, does it seem terribly unlikely that a major player in the game such as Apple, might have just generated one of the most intriguing and potentially effective viral campaigns yet–Without us even knowing it?

Like I said, whether the suspicions are true or not – this is not my point.  My point is that I think this type of “thinking outside the box” is exactly where our Advertising future lies – and boy is it exciting!

Buy into the hype, or not – Check out the iJustine brand.  I find her videos to be highly entertaining and I think her blog is excellent.

And Apple, if you read this and you do not have a contract currently in place with iJustine, let’s talk about the future of iMisty.  But please know, I’m not cheap.

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Careful – I’m Dangerous With A Fork

While eating my frozen crap lunch just now, I broke my plastic fork in half.  That makes me so mad when that happens.  It makes me feel like I’m some sort of ravenous fiend who can’t slow down enough to enjoy her frozen crap lunch in a calm, reasonable manner.  Now, I’m reduced to holding the top of my plastic fork like a little shovel, and scooping the frozen crap into my mouth carefully and with a great amount of balance and skill.  I guess breaking my fork was a good way to slow my hungry-ass down.

What time is the next feeding?

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My Philosophy On ‘The Cat & The Watermelon’

People say that animals do not have emotions or feelings.  But I am a firm believer that these people are mistaken.

Look at this photo, for example.  I found it on a FB wall posting from my buddy, Jacob (You may click the photo to track back to his contact info).

Here, you can see how this cat is rescuing a large, watermelon from potentially drowning.  He is disregarding his distaste for water and he is bravely entering the lake in order to save the big fruit.  Despite his size, he is determined to deliver the melon from danger.  This, my friends, is a brave cat.

I saw a video once of a dog who rescued another dog from a freeway.  He ran into the road and grabbed the injured dog by the neck.  He then drug the hurt animal to the shoulder, and flagged down some construction workers for further assistance (okay, he didn’t actually flag them down, but the rest was all true).

And I see photos filter through my inbox every week that depict little four-leggeds giving motherly love to little mismatches.  I see dogs adopting deer; monkeys mothering kittens; elephants parenting panda bears…

The animal kingdom is full of emotion and love and bravery.  That’s more than I can say for most human beings.

If this whole marketing thing falls through, I’ll probably look into job opportunities at the zoo.  Oh wait, I already tried that – Didn’t really go as planned.  When interviewing for a PR-based position, I do not recommend suggesting the use of monkey-decoy tactics when dealing with frightened or terrified patrons.  This, evidently, is a very bad idea.

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My Little Science Project

Seeing as how my arch nemesis has struck again, and seeing as how I apparently do no know what the heck it looks like int he first place, I thought I might post a few photos that I took while I was at the lake last weekend.

At this point in life, I plan to avoid all plantlife of all kinds at all costs.  But perhaps somebody will be able to take a glance at these photos and tell me for sure which of these (if any) are examples of Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac.  Then, I will be able to work up the courage to venture outdoors again, someday.  Because I do loves me some outdoors!

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The Dumbest 30 Minutes of My Life

I got pretty spun out at WalMart last night.  Rick had to hang back at the house while I ventured out into the big, bad world of retail all on my own.  It’s not that I’m helpless or something, here.  But signing up to peruse the aisles of WalMart USA, the Thursday night before the Memorial Day Weekend holiday with no backup, is not my idea of a sane time.

As you can imagine, the store was a madhouse.  But I did manage to get in and out in a record-breaking 1 hour and 45 minute spree.  (Freaking ridiculous!)

However, the real stress didn’t rear it’s ugly head until I ventured back into the parking lot.  As I forced my little kart through the cross walk, I said to myself, “Self, which way is your car?”  I’ve started this conversation in my head numerous times but I’ve never had to actually finish it…My car always magically appears right in front of my face.

But last night, for some dumb reason, my car did not magically appear.

I shoved that heavy-ass kart up and down rows of cars, squinting and searching like none other than the great Columbo himself.  The stupid kart got heavier and my patience grew thinner.  After about 15 minutes of no luck whatsoever, I trucked it back to the front of the store and I asked a couple of guys who were loading what appeared to be the entire store’s stock of Coca-Cola into the back of their Blazer, if they would be willing to watch my stupid, heavy kart while I continued forth on my mission.  (They looked at me like I was nuts, by the way).

So I headed back out into that concrete jungle of automobiles and lamp posts (and pleas note, I think that the lamp posts at WalMart are not at all conducive to lost car scenarios–they offer way too much blockage).  But then finally, after another 15 minutes – no joke – I found my car.

When I saw my car, I felt like I had spent the last half an hour calling for my little dog…”Fido, Fido…Come here, boy…Where are you?!?”  Only to find him sitting in the backyard and looking at me like, “What’s wrong you idiot?  I’ve been right here the whole time?”

Good Lord.  I’m 27 years old.  If this is a sign of what is to come, I am in BIG trouble.  Yep.

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It Gets No Better Than This, Folks – Wichita At Its Finest

When I was a little girl, I looked forward to the Wichita Riverfestival every year!  This event–an annual outdoor 2 week party in Wichita, KS–pulls out all the stops with carnivals, street merchants, food vendors,  music, parades…The whole nine!  Out here in ‘the Big City,’ you guys have something very similar–I believe you call it “First Fridays,” but back home in ‘ol Wichita, we get down once a year and we get down for 24 days straight!  (Top that big, Chief fans!)

My mom was so great to me and my sisters when we were little.  She would load us up in our little, red wagon and throw her big, blue canvas bag over her shoulder–loaded with trail mix, goldfish crackers and cheesy poofs.  She would pack a cooler full of drinks and then she’d haul us down to the festivities.

I’ve got a bad-ass mom and a couple of pretty great sisters.  Those factors combined with funnel cakes, cotton candy and sun–It just didn’t get any better…

I have tried to re-attend the festival in recent years past–attempting to chase down those nostalgic feelings of my childhood.

I owe a major shout out to my mother who did all that she did to creatively mask the harsh realities of the true ‘face’ of Wichita and it’s big, bad festival.  It’s not as pretty through my adult eyes…definitely a whole lot weirder.

Cheesy poofs, funnel cakes, concerts and bathtub races are a thing of the past!  Here are my new favorite parts of the annual Wichita Riverfestival:

  • The fella in the dirty clothes that sleeps on the bench in front of the Wichita Public Library and asks for “Aeaa one dollear, ma’ammm?” each time you walk by
  • The woman with the little SmartCar (that she identifies as a baby stroller) which she uses as a plow-tool to mow down the people who do not jump out of her path quickly enough
  • That little, 17 year old girl, who wears the extremely short denim cutoffs and low-cut spaghetti strap tank top–Lots of mascara and the Hannah Montana scrunchy around her wrist (oh wait, she’s only 12…)
  • The young boys who walk in packs, 7 or 8 abroad, who despite their lack of manners (insofar as to actually step aside to allow others to pass the opposite way) must be given props for their coordination efforts.  Many of them are able to balance a baseball cap atop their head, hold a straw to their mouth with their left hand, and maintain just enough pants-coverage over their crotch with their right hand to pass as “legal.”
  • The group of crack fiends who may or may not have just met that day (the longevity of the relationship doesn’t really matter all that much when dope is involved), but appear to be having a blast!  Shampoo, teeth, laundered apparel–all optional.  (These guys aren’t so bad–But I just can’t help but cringe when they rub up against me in the hot, sweaty crowd).
  • This fella:

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