Saturday, February 28, 2009

If It Ain't Beef...?

While indulging myself in a recent Fillet-o-Fish craving, I noticed something peculiar printed on my McDonald's bag. Forgive the misquote, but it proclaimed something along the lines that their burgers are made with 100% beef.

It got me to thinking.

I won't get into my train of thought on this one. Seriously, I think you can follow it without me leading you down that path.

The thing is, as I shoved the fries (clearly placed on the top of the bag for convenience) into my mouth while stopped at a red light, I got to thinking about the brilliance of marketing. Sometimes... okay, most times - I wonder if I give them too much credit, those marketeers - but just then, I read something about how changing the color of a Sprite can by a Pantone shade or two can make people think it tastes different.

I fear them. The marketing overlords.

The McDonald's thing for example, I picture them - sitting around a grossly large table, on the umpteenth floor of - well, in my mind's eye, it's the tallest McDonald's ever. They're plotting. Peering over tented fingers. Saying things to each other about one-hundred percent beef.

"Just a vague 9 point tag line on the bags." They say.
"It'll make them wonder." They grin.
"Exactly what... what am I eating elsewhere".

And my brain switches to overhead cam where they look up and laugh directly into my face.

Of course, by the time the light turns green and my greasy fingers are back on the steering wheel, I'm sure I've overestimated the powers-that-be. Surely, someone just innocently said, "Hey, our burgers are tasty, nutritious, and delicious, and it's because they're made of cow. Let's let folks know!" I'm further convinced, it was the suggestion of a smiling employee as depicted on those paper tray liners because I realize McDonald's listens to and values the opinions of all Team Members.

I'm sure that's the case.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stopping and Shopping... Yes, Again.

Admittedly, the last time I was in the grocery store the leaves were changing colors. But really, I was largely pregnant, buying apples by the barrel at least once per week and having the requisite conversations with the check out ladies about labor and such.

Apparently, I have long since been forgotten.

Yesterday I ventured into Stop & Shop and did my usual lousy job shopping. I do okay in the sections where they sell actual food. Those perimeter areas where food is food, or at least the boxes have pictures of the meal you'll be nuking. Frozen aisles... check. Produce... check. It's the area in the heart of the store - those rows and rows of ingredients that perplex me. I can skip the middle twenty or so aisles because, really - to concoct something seems beyond me at the time.

I'll confess, I looked at my cart and contemplated self checkout. Let's face it, something about a purchase mainly consisting of cold cereal, a half-dozen lemon poppy muffins and a loaf of banana bread kinda screams, "Take care of this yourself". But no. I found myself loading my umpteen boxes of cereal onto the belt as they inched towards my old friends.

I smiled in case the cashier lady recognized me.
She did not.

The bagger then gave me the standard check-out comment that I wait for. "Wow, your kids must really like cereal." To which I smile and get busy swiping my debit card through the machine thingy.

Unfortunatley, my one box of Rice Krispies too many pushed her onward. "How many do you have?"

"Oh, just one - but she's a newborn - so cereal is all we're eating these days." I laughed. She squinted. All I saw was Kellogs. The moment was made more awkward as she continued bagging and grabbed my pop tarts.

It's always been clear that I need help shopping. I was often accused of having kids long before having them, and seriously, the one I have dines on formula so she doesn't count. Apparently I eat like a seven year old. This concerns me for many reasons, not the least of which is that in eight short years, my child's nutritional needs will outgrow my own.

Perhaps I'll hire a nanny that can cook?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Greetings From Mo-Beel

So we've got this mobile. And by the way, is it mobile like mo-beel Alabama or mobile like mo-bull for the baby to look at?


Like so many things that seem simple, when it came time to register - it suddenly loomed complex. Something to lull her to sleep or stimulate her teeny neurons? How important was it to match the crib set? Did it really need to turn, sing, dance, cook and clean?

I read numerous reviews. If you know me, this doesn't surprise you. Research, it's what I do.

And so, we settled on an unsightly neon job by Baby Einstein that promised to fascinate my child. As you can see, it has swirls and balls and animals a plenty. I'm not gonna lie, it scared the bejesus out of me.
It sat idle for a long while. Lets face it, her entire room sat idle for a long while. In our brief attempts to get her to sleep in the crib, we fired up the mobile and she stared fixedly before busting out in proclamation that she would not, could not, stay in her crib.

Eventually, she broke.

Enter mobile.

She looked at it.

It looked at her.

And all the while, Beethoven twanged baby-like in the background. I'm not sure they know what to make of each other yet, but if my child turns out to be a genius... I'll know why.

Welcome To My World...

I had a really good idea for a first blog some time early this morning, probably right around 2:30 AM. Then again, perhaps it wasn't such a good idea. Things seem really different during those strange single digit hours pre-dawn.

I don't remember what it was, other than it was about my new daughter. Sounds weird to say, like - "My new shoes", or "My old car". Quite strange still, when I look at her - 3 months after she was born and realize that I conjured her practically out of thin air.


Here I am to discuss who knows what. I can only promise to share with you the muse that won't let me shush. Here we go...