Pictures of Kittens!

So as promised, here are pictures of the new kittens. This is mainly for my mother, and sister, and sister-in-law, but I figure everyone else would like to see kitten pictures also. I mean, they're kittens! Everyone loves kittens! Except for Mason and Dixon of course...

Dixon's like, "You brought home WHAT????

So this is Magellan...or Sebastian. Not sure which. They're pretty much identical. We decided on explorers names again, to go with Mason and Dixon. Not many people know this, but apparently Magellan sailed with a guy names Sebastian. So here they are.

Kitten Chow! I was trying to show you how small the kitten was compared to his food bowl. These bowls are small...almost like sugar bowls, or those little bowls you'd put nuts in at a party. Small bowl, smaller kitten.

This was to show you their pretty blue eyes. And how they look when they're hoisted into the air and aren't happy about it.

This fish tank enthralls a second generation. I have an almost identical picture of Mason doing the same thing at this age. Here fishy fishy fishy!

Isn't this cute?! I just love how compact they are! You can tell from the stripes on the tail that this isn't 100% Siamese, but they've got the masks and dark feet and tails and blue eyes, so they're 95%. Besides, as they get older and darker, I think the stripes will disappear.

I know. The picture is sideways. I forgot to rotate it. You get the idea though. Sleepy kitty.

Sleepier kitty. So much playing and running and chasing and jumping! It's enough to wear a kitty out!

Annnnd they're out. Curled up on my lap as I try to do my final paper for class.

I managed to get collars on them, but there's so much extra left over (that's what is stuck out there on the side). I keep tucking the excess collar to the inside, and they keep pulling it out again. No matter, they'll grow enough in the next month or two that they'll use all that slack.

And finally, here's another dejavu picture. 5 years ago, I took a picture of another kitten this size watching baseball on the tv. New kitten, new tv, same ol' Cubbies. Some things never change.

Update: There's still hissing and growing going on as the older brothers get used to the younger brothers, but we've already made great strides. Yesterday, Mason and Dixon refused to be in the same room as the other two. Today, each of them managed to stay in the same room with only minimal hissing. We're getting there. I predict that in another week or two, the hissing will be a thing of the past.

The New Arrivals

The first thing Tony said when he woke up on Saturday was "Let's go get a dog".
This was unusual because 1) we've never really talked about getting a dog, and 2) we're just not really dog people. I mean, we like dogs and all, but not enough to actually own one ourselves. Cats yes, dogs no. But Tony had seen a news report the night before about the animal shelter two counties over closing, and they had to find homes for all of their animals before Monday, otherwise they'd be euthanized. And since saving an animal from an unnecessary death is high on our list of priorities, Tony wanted to go get a dog. So today, we are saving a dog's life from the shelter that is closing.

I'm all about saving defenseless animals too, but impulse-purchasing a dog seemed to be a bit rash. Besides, Tony wanted a big dog, and I wanted a little dog. And an inside dog needs walking, and an outside dog causes all the other neighborhood dogs to bark. And what would we do with the dog during the day? And who would watch the dogs when we went on weekend trips? And and and. We are just not setup for dog ownership at this time.

"What about another cat?" I asked. "People are less likely to adopt cats anyway. We can save a cat". (Do you hear all this rationalizing going on?) We're cat people anyway. We know cat care. So today, we are saving a dog's cat's life from the shelter that is closing.

Except that I didn't want to drive two hours to the animal shelter if there were already a million people lining up to adopt these pets. Because publicity is the shelter's best friend, and I was sure that if we were willing to jump into action, 50 other families were too. So we called several times, and it was always busy. And we figured that they really didn't need us...shelters that didn't get any publicity are the ones that need us. So today, we are saving a dog's cat's life from the shelter that is closing a shelter that is not closing.

So we went to our local shelter, who was not closing, but also didn't have any publicity, to get a cat, rather than a dog. We told ourselves that we were just going to check and see if anyone needed a good home, which is silly, because ALL those animals need good homes, and no one with a heart walks into a shelter without knowing that they are going to walk with something.

We found our somethings. Two somethings actually. Siamese kittens, 8 weeks old, in need of a good home. Now kittens are always popular so they probably would have found a good home with someone, and even if they weren't kittens, the volunteer told us that lots of people come in looking for Siamese. Plus, this was a no kill shelter, so they weren't in any danger. But that did not stop us from getting them anyway. Those kittens NEEDED us. Both of them. Because even though we only went in for one cat, they were brothers, and who can separate brothers?

Annnnnd, we rationalized, if Mason and Dixon need some time getting used to the new arrival, at least with two, they can keep each other company. So Today, we saved adopted a two dog's cat's kittens from the shelter that is closing a shelter that is not closing before any other people who also love Siamese kittens could get there first.

We are such humanitarians. (Siameseatarians?) Either way, now we have 4 Siamese cats, the older of the pair not terribly thrilled about the arrival of the younger of the pair. Let the hissing a growling and tail puffery commence.

Which, in my opinion, is still better than a dog.

Note: You'll be happy to know that the shelter that was closing was absolutely bombarded with people wanting to adopt the animals, so they were all able to find good homes, and none had to be put down. All's well that ends well.

Yogurt Anyone? Anyone?

So, response has been a little slow on yogurt consumption patterns. As a matter of fact, only AZ Dog Mom has bothered to answer so far, proving that she is my very bestest best friend ever, and the rest of you are not.

What happened? Did everyone just miss it because the picture of the dragonfly was so mesmerizing? Or did you decide that answering questions about yogurt wasn't as much fun as answering questions about restaurants? Help me out here cyberpals...this is the last homework assignment EVER. I'll never ask you to do contribute to my homework again after this.

If you ever eat those little containers of yogurt, head back over to Tuesday's post for the questions. Then I'll be YOUR bestest friend too.

Wordless Wednesday

Survey Time - Part 2

You guys did such an excellent job on my Consumer Behavior homework last time that I've decided to enlist your help once again. (Had I known you were so good at it, I would have done so with Accounting and International Finance too...where have you been the last two years?)

Anyway, if you don't mind, I have some more questions to ask- this time on brand loyalty. Feel free to write as much as you want, and put down anything that comes to mind.

This time, let's talk about yogurt. There's about a million kinds out there, and just as many reasons for people to eat it. If you're a yogurt eater, think of your favorite brand and kind of yogurt (Dannon, Yoplait, Stony Field, Activia, Kroger Brand, plain, low fat, fat free, fruit on the bottom, fruity flavored, dessert flavored, whipped, creamy, chunky, chewy, ect ect). Now, if you please, answer the questions below. Same deal as before...just email them to me at I'd be much obliged.

Ready? Here we go:

1. How often do you purchase this product, and in what quantity? (One at a time, 6 pack, 12 pack, by the case... once a day, twice a week, once a month, etc).

2. Why did you first start eating this brand? What "sold" you on it? Did you buy it because you liked the commercial, or because a friend liked it, or because the packaging was pretty? Or was it something else entirely?

3. Besides taste, why do you like this particular yogurt so much? (I know you think it tastes there anything else besides that? Like, you like that they are zero calories so that it doesn't mess up your diet, or because they come in tiny containers so they travel well, or you buy them because they are the cheapest, or because your mother bought this kind when you were growing up, or it's because your mother never bought them when you were growing up and now you buy them just because you can). Maybe there are several reasons. Feel free to expand.

4. Do you always buy this brand, or do you sometimes purchase another kind of yogurt instead? Do you mix things up, or stay with your favorite all the time?

5. What would have to happen for you to buy something else instead? Would you buy another brand if it were cheaper, or if the store you were at was out? Or would you keep driving from store to store until you found your specific brand?

6. How do you feel about the company that makes this yogurt? The stores that sell it? Did the company/store have any bearing in your decision to purchase the drink?

7. Do you consider yourself "brand loyal"? What, in your opinion, do you think that means? Is it a "good" thing, or a "bad" thing, or does it matter one way or the other?

and for a bonus point:

8. Because you are so yogurt savvy, do you think there is there a certain type of person who buys one brand or another? Like, would you expect young people to eat one brand over another, or women instead of men, or "cool" people vs "uncool" people? Are some brands healthier? Or all natural? Who buys this stuff and why?

So that's it. I bow to your expertise, oh mighty yogurt consumer. Tell me all about your favorite yogurt and why it deem it worthy of your praise. You'll have my eternal gratitude. Like last time, I'll share the overall results so you can pat yourself on the back for being such trendsetters in the dairy department. A yogurt guru if you will. Please send it by Friday at the latest.

What's That Saying About Pride Cometh Before A Fall?

So I was at the gym last night, doing my cardio like a good little Quirk, when I decided to change things up and do the exercise bike for a while. (I usually treadmill or elliptical, but I figured it would be easier to read my magazine if I was sitting down). So I do my 40 minutes on the bike, and as I'm headed back to the locker room, heads are turning to watch me! Yeah buddy! I've still got it! Look at everyone looking! That guy even stopped talking to his buddy to watch me! Heehee! I KNEW all this stupid cardio would pay off eventually! I am smokin'!

I was feeling pretty good about all my obvious hotness; so good in fact that I stopped by the full length mirror in the locker room to admire myself. And that was about the time I saw the giant sweat stain on my butt from the bike seat. A very large, very dark spot, showcasing nicely on my light grey yoga pants. It honestly looked like I had just wet myself. A lot. And then paraded around the gym. So much for my hotness.

Even better, I had left my change of clothes in the car, so I had nothing to change into. I ended up having to dry my butt with the locker room hairdryer before I would venture back out in public. (If you've never had to blow dry your butt before, let me tell you, it is the epitome of coolness).

To recap: looked like I peed myself, had to blow dry my butt in public. That's enough to knock anyone's hotness down a couple of notches.

Bra Shopping

Okay, so I wasn't going to say anything because I figured this might be under the category of too much personal information, but I got such a good deal, and I figured we're all friends here, so I decided to brag about my shopping conquest share my experiences about my recent foray into my procurement of new women's undergarments.

It all started a few weeks ago, as I was standing in my bathroom, brushing my teeth and washing my face and going through my normal morning ritual. Part of that ritual also involves listening to either Good Morning America or the Today show, depending on what each one is talking about and who has the least amount of screaming people holding signs.

What is the deal with that anyway? I'm not a fan of the 500 screaming women standing behind the little barrier and waving signs that say "Hello from Iowa!" or "Second Street Church of Franklin Women's Choir". It's waaay too early in the morning for that kind of thing. As a matter of fact, if the screaming people are on for more than 5 seconds the channel gets changed. Let that be a lesson to you, screaming people. There are consequences for not using your inside voices before 9am.

Anyway, I was watching either the Today Show or Good Morning America while going through my morning grooming rituals, when they started a segment about the proper fit of brassieres. And I was only half listening as the woman on TV went over all the signs that your bra was older than dirt and needed to be replaced. She mentioned how they get stretched on the sides and back (like mine) and the front gets all lumpy (like mine), and the hooks get all bent out of shape from too many trips through the washer (like mine), and the straps keep slipping off of your shoulders (like mine). And I thought, "Hey! That's me!" because ya'll, my strap ALWAYS slips off my shoulder. I just figured I had weird deformed shoulders or something. And then they cut to a volunteer that they had pulled from the audience and fitted for a new bra, and she was like "I just always figured that I had weird deformed shoulders since my strap kept slipping off all the time". I whipped my head around the bathroom door to watch, and that was about the time that the underwire worked its way out and stabbed me in the side (which also happened to be number 5 on the bad bra indicator list). Obviously it was time for new bras.

The reporter said to make sure that you get a proper fitting by a professional when buying new bras, because lots of women are wearing the wrong sized bras and they don't even realize it. Which I thought was strange because who knows my size better than me? I've been buying bras solo for years. On the other hand, she totally nailed me with the crappy bra indicators, so I was willing to go with her professional advice on this one.

Now, normally when bra buying, I would head to Wal-Mart if I was lazy or Victoria Secrets if they were having a sale. But I don't think Wal-Mart does professional fittings, and the girls that work at Victoria Secret are a little too young and perky and teenie-bopperish for my taste.

I realize that this is very ageist of me, and I'm sure that there are several very professional people working in Victoria Secret, but for some reason I think that the best bra fitters should be little old ladies, not 16 year-old girls who are working there part time after school. I guess I trust the little old ladies because they've been wearing bras the longest.

And that was how I found myself in the middle of a JCPenny's "intimate apparel" section on a otherwise lovely Saturday afternoon. I chose JCPenny for two reasons- one, they were having a sale that weekend, and two, I never shop in JCPenny, so chances of me running into someone I knew were slim. I had kinda hoped that the place would be deserted, because even though I am not modest at all with you guys out there in cyberland, I am kinda modest in person. Especially when buying underwear. Even with a little old lady. So I nonchalantly wandered by as if I was really on my way to small kitchen appliances, and then dove behind a rack of 60% off demi-cups when no one was looking.

Unfortunately, the intimate apparel section was ABSOLUTELY PACKED. Who knew that Saturday was such a popular underwear buying day? And not only that, but a large majority of the shoppers were men!

Whatever happened to the guy refusing to even pass through the women's underwear section? I thought that they were supposed to stand, fidgeting and uncomfortable, on the outskirts of the nightgown section, holding their wife's or girlfriend's purse while she ventures into the prohibited section alone. Who are these brave new men, unafraid of lace and satin underpinnings?

None of these guys looked the slightest bit uncomfortable though. They browsed through the racks of bras like they were picking out tomatoes in the grocery store. (Which kinda made me feel stupid for stuffing my selections under my shirt so no one would see what I had). One guy was even standing at the entrance of the dressing room, saying things like, "I liked the first one better, honey". Since when did bra buying become a team sport?

Anyway, I looked for my little old lady, because it's a department store law to employ as many little old ladies as possible in this section. (Department store bra fitter is second only to Wal-Mart greeter in the little old lady job statistics). Only this time, there were NO little old ladies! I circled the department twice looking for one, (which you have to do because they're short and easily hidden behind the racks of clothes) but there was not one to be found! Finally, I gave up and went over to one of the cashiers, to ask.

Me: "Excuse me, Where can I find your little old ladies?"
Cashier: "Our what?"
Me: "You know, your *looks both ways to make sure no one is listening before leaning in and whispering* professionalbrafitters."
Cashier: "Our what?"
Me: "Professional bra fitters! The little old ladies who, you know *hand gestures vaguely* fit...people...professionally?"
Cashier: (yelling) "Oh! You want a PROFESSIONAL BRA FITTER!" *Everyone in the store looks over* Come right this way then! I'll do it for you!

Now, cashier woman was probably only late 40s, so she's waaay too young to be a professional bra fitter, but she also seems to have trouble being discrete and I'm worried that if I don't go with her, she'll start calling for the real professional bra fitters over the loudspeaker. She grabs a tape measure, and measures me 50 ways from Sunday before announcing that I am...exactly the same size that I've been buying for years. Ah-ha! I knew it! Take that bra reporter expert person!

Cashier woman left me alone, and I picked out approximately 92 bras in my size and set about the task of trying them on. According to the Today/GMA reporter, you should buy bras that fit when hooked on the last set of hooks...that way, as the bra stretches out from use, you can compensate by going to the tighter hooks. So I hooked and adjusted straps and set about the strenuous task of testing for fit, which mainly involves dancing around in your little fitting room stall and leaning over a lot. If the bra manages to stay with you for more than 30 seconds of Elvis's "Shake, rattle, and roll" without, well...shaking, rattling, and rolling, then you've got yourself a winner.

Once I found some I liked in every possible color that I could think of (because you never know when you're going to need a lime green bra), I took them back out to cashier woman to ring up. This is where the real fun starts, because while I had believed the little price tag on each one that said $30, I had somewhere missed the sign that said that they were 50% off! $15 bras! Woot! Annnnnd, I had apparently gotten one of the bras off of the clearance rack, which dropped it to a whopping $3.49. A $3 bra! You can't even go bra-less for that little! I was doing my happy dance over being such a savvy shopper when the cashier informed me that my purchases were $2 shy of $75, and if I got one more thing to push the total over $75, then she could take $15 off my total! So I ran over to the underwear bin and dug through the thongs until I found one (regularly $9) marked down to $2. Oh! And I had a $5 off coupon for JCPenny that the cashier also let me use! It was underwear shopping nirvana!

Long story short, I bought 5 bras and 1 pair of underwear, regular price $159, on sale of $75.10, and then knocked down to $55 with the coupon and $15 off! I was so excited, I was telling everyone! I showed the cashier! I showed the guys who were browsing through the bra racks! I showed little old ladies who didn't work at JCPenny but probably should have! It was a proud day for bargain shoppers everywhere. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking about going shirtless and just painting "ask me about my bra" on my tummy so the whole world will know of my shopping prowess.

Of course, now that I have my new bras, I'll have to get rid of the old ratty ones. I'm thinking of burning them as a nod to the feminist movement. Tony suggested that I just throw them away, but I can't have the garbage men seeing my unmentionables! I mean, they're my unmentionables!

I have my modesty you know.

Wordless Wednesday- the Invisible Edition!

Since it's Wordless Wednesday, please take a moment to visualize a beautiful picture here. It's breathtaking! It's awe inspiring! It's still in my camera!

So things have been really...interesting lately. It's midterm time at school, and the end of the quarter billing at work, and I haven't really had a spare moment to breathe. I know, I know. The old I-haven't-had-a-spare-moment-to-breathe-lately-much-less-upload-a-picture-for-Wordless-Wednesday excuse. I'm sorry. But I'll save it for next Wednesday, and you can see it then.

Until then, pretend that it's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen! Maybe even cry a little. It's okay. It's that moving. And if people claim that they can't see it, then tell them that they just don't understand my art.

No Spring Chicken

Can anyone tell me what's different on the sidebar-o-fun today? I'll give you a hint. It's in the bio section!

Give up? It's the age-o-meter! It has officially rolled over from 27 to 28! That's right, it's my birthday today! Have you come to sing the Happy Birthday song to me? You didn't have to do that!

Well, if you insist. You'll have to sing really loud though...some of you are in other countries. Okay, go ahead. I'm listening.

Are you through? Thank you very much. You are a wonderful singer. I really appreciate it. You didn't really have to sing though. You just being here is enough.

Oh, and did I mention it was Tony's birthday too? Yes, I know! Same day, same year. Crazy huh?

Sometimes sharing a birthday is fun. Like, yesterday we just totally impulse-bought a Wii. Just out of the blue. I never would have been able to justify the cost if it had just been my birthday, but because it is both of our birthdays, we were like, "why not?". (We like to do our part to stimulate the economy...we're very selfless like that). Plus the Wii now offers Dance Dance Revolution, and that game will make you laugh until you wet yourself (everyone knows that bladder incontinence is a major birthday must).

Of course, sometimes birthday sharing backfires, because the only thing that can veto birthday power is another birthday power. Like tonight when I was going to use the birthday to blow off going to class (because who wants to sit in class on your birthday), only Tony used HIS birthday power to insist that I go to class. So basically they cancelled each other out, which makes today like any other day, so I'm going to class. A bummer, but what can I do? The birthday rulebook is very clear about these things.

Despite the birthday veto, sharing a birthday is pretty neat, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. But then, we're quirky like that.

Dads And Green Beans

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads and those who have dads! May your fathers love you and teach you and guide you through the wisdom of their years. And here's to my dad, who did all of the above, plus inspired us as children to eat our green beans because otherwise "your poop will explode in your butt".

I've never shoveled in green beans so quickly in my life.

Happy Father's day Dad!

Signature Strengths

Happy Friday all! I just realized that today is Friday the 13th. How about that?

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit lazy today, so we'll just be stealing something that someone else already did on their blog improving our knowledge of ourselves by doing an online quiz. Adventures of the Reluctant Housewife recommended the signature strengths test over at Authentic Happiness, so I thought I'd try it out. (I took the shorter 24 question version rather than the full version). Turns out that my top signature strengths are:

1. Humor and playfulness- Humor and playfulness - You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.

2. Love of Learning - Love of learning - You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

3. Appreciation of beauty and excellence (awe, wonder, elevation)- Appreciation of beauty and excellence - You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

4. Open Mindedness Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness - Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

5. Prudence Caution, prudence, and discretion - You are a careful person, and your choices are consistently prudent ones. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.

You know what? That makes me sound pretty awesome, doesn't it? I like this test! What do you think internets? Take the test and let me know your strengths. (Note: you will have to register, but it's nothing major).

Survey Says...

All ya'll, you are so nice and wonderful and awesome. I raised a request to know where you guys eat out and why, and you immediately jumped on your mighty stallion of email and responded to the call. My inbox overflowth, and for that, I thank you. I actually had enough responses to get my homework assignment done early. I don't think that has ever happened, ever, in my *pauses to count on fingers* 18 years of formal education. To all of you, my deepest thanks.

A couple of you are actually bored enough to think that this was fun and want to use it as a meme. (Actually, it was a little bit like getting to eat right there with you, so I could see how it would be interesting). I told you guys that I wouldn't reveal your names just in case anyone really did eat at Binky's Biker Bar and Bail Bonds (sadly, not that anyone admitted to), but I guess I could share the results of the survey in a mass generic way.

You ate from O'Charley's to Olive Garden to McDonald's to Chinese places to Ruby Tuesdays to Subway to a little local bbq place that I am incredibly jealous about. You go because you like the prices, the service, how close it is, the healthy choices, the quiet atmosphere, and the Kung Fu Panda happy meal toys. You eat by yourself, with co-workers, girlfriends, husbands, brothers, mothers, and little boys. You told me about Spinach Pizza, grinders, Thai food, Zuppa Toscana, Bacon fried Onion burgers, 4 cheese spinach dip, macadamia nut cookies, eggrolls, salad bars and black eyed peas. You go to celebrate birthdays, collect Panda action figures, find something new, have a change of pace, grab something quick, have a girls night out, and because it's a family member's favorite place.

Luckily, only one of you realized that you'd eaten at a place that had gotten a bad health score. (Ack!) Oh, and if anyone is interested in a single, 41 year old man in NJ that likes Thai food, let me know and I'll pass it along.

So thanks again. You've helped me write a good paper, and made me really hungry in the process. I enjoyed our virtual meal together. If you ever want to share a table in person, let me know. I'll be at Binky's.

Survey Time!

Hey Internets. I need your help. I have a new assignment for my Consumer Behavior Class. This time I need to actually interview people as opposed to just stalking them. And since accosting interviewing strangers as they attempt to just get their shopping done and get home doesn't sound like that much fun, I figured I'd ask you guys instead. So how about it? Are you willing to help a Quirky out here? Pleeeeeeeeease? Don't make me resort to chasing people around the store, going "If I could just ask you a few questions..." I'd be forever grateful. The more people to respond, the better.

Here's the deal. If you would be so kind, please send me an email to with the answers to these questions below. (Put something like Quirky's restaurant questions in the title so that I don't think you are selling Internet Viagra or fat loss pills by mistake).

Be as detailed as you can, and try to be honest. I'm not going to judge you if you eat Happy Meals 5 days a week, and I don't care if you eat before 4pm to get the early bird special. And I won't reveal your name or email address to anyone, so rest assured about that. Oh, and I kinda need them by this Friday, but the earlier the better.

Okay, here goes. Remember to be honest and lots of detail.

1. Where was the most recent restaurant/fast food place you have eaten? (I'm looking for the name of any place outside of the home where you paid for a meal, be it a fancy restaurant or fast food. For the sake of my paper, let's ignore candy machines and gas station chili dogs. And quit trying to think of a "respectable" place...if you ate at Binky's Biker Bar and Bail Bonds, own it).

2. What kind of place is it? (Tell me as much as you can here...what kind of food do they serve, is it a chain, is it small or big, what kind of atmosphere does it have, is it fancy or laid back, etc. No wrong answers here. And more is better).

3. Were you with anyone else when you went? (Friends, family, coworkers, etc. Give me an idea of who was with you, how many were with you, and basic ages of your party).

4. How often do you eat at this place?

5. What made you decide to eat here? (I'm looking for the why behind the choice...if it's your favorite, why? Does it evoke a special memory, or remind you of your mom's cooking, or did you get engaged while eating here? Do kids eat free on Tuesdays, or you were trying to get to a movie and you knew the service would be fast? Is little Johnny going through a stage where he only eats chicken nuggets? Are you on a budget and this place had a 99 cent value meal? All of the above?) Tell me the story of why you picked this place over the millions of other places.

6. How do you feel about this place? (This could range from one of your favorite places on Earth to I hate it and I only ate here because if we don't get chicken nuggets little Johnny will starve)

Okay, that's it. Copy and paste the questions into an email and give me your answers. Pretend it's a meme if that helps. All answers are strictly confidential, and names will be changed to Consumer #1, Consumer #2, Consumer # 3, to protect the innocent. C'mon! Do it right now! My grade depends on you! Pretty pretty Pleeeeeeeeeze?

My Name Is Quirky, and I'm a Blogaholic

Supposed to: Read chapter 3 in Marketing textbook (snore!)

Actually did: Read blogs.

Supposed to: Do laundry from my trip.

Actually did: Read blogs.

Supposed to: Schedule dentist appointment

Actually did: Read blogs.

Supposed to: Go on healthy walk during lunch hour

Actually did: Read blogs.

You people are a very bad influence on me. Don't ever change.

Pomp and Potterstance

Howdy internets. Did you miss me? I would have written yesterday, but I'm in Boston. The Seester graduated from Hahhh-vard Law school, so all of yesterday was spent witnessing the most pompous pomp and circumstance you could possibly imagine. And no one does pompous pomp quite like Hahhh-vard. They are so full of pomp that there were actually THREE ceremonies. The pomp overflowth.

Anyway, the Seester walked across the stage, we all clapped and cheered. Then we listened to the Commencement speaker, who turned out to be a little known author by the name of JK Rowling. Seems that she's written some books about a kid named Harry Potter.

Yeah. That JK Rowling. When you're Harvard Law School, it seems that you can get the MOST POPULAR AUTHOR IN THE WHOLE WORLD to come talk at your graduation.

I'll give you a moment to fully explore the depth of your insane jealousy.

Okay then. Anyway, JK Rowling was great. She speaks wonderfully. She was witty and brilliant and poignant.

Oh, and the Seester was good too. Top notch stage walking. Congratulations Seester.

Pounding Pint-sized Punks

I saw this over on Lori's site, I it was so absurd that I couldn't help but laugh.


OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

And really, who doesn't love a good online quiz? Personally, I think 18 would be a bit of a stretch for me. I think it only gave me that because of the semester of martial arts training I had in college. Okay, and the fact that I wouldn't mind swinging one around as a weapon (hey! They attacked me first!) Still, 5 year olds could probably wear me down easily. I don't think I have the same endless energy that they do. I'd be knocking heads together as quickly as possible, before they overpowered me.

What? Oh, don't look at me like that. I wouldn't really beat up kids.

Unless they were evil mutant zombie kids trying to kill me, that is.

Or singing that stupid Barney song. Fair game then.

Don't Forget

If you are filling up your brand new hot tub in your lovingly redecorated basement spa retreat, and your husband comes down to see what you're doing, don't let him help.

And if you do let him him help, and he asks if you've tried turning the jets on yet, even though the tub is only 3/4 of the way full, don't tell him that you haven't.

And if you do tell him that you haven't, don't listen to him when he tells you to try turning it on.

And if you do listen to him when he tells you to try turning it on, don't forget to tell him that you don't think turning it on before it is all the way full is such a good idea.

And if you do forget to tell him that you don't think turning it on before it is all the way full is such a good idea, don't tell yourself that nothing bad could happen because the water is already over the water intake valves.

And if you do tell yourself that nothing bad could happen because the water is already over the water intake valves, don't forget to point the back jets downward.

And if you do forget to point the back jets downward, don't tell your husband to push the button to turn on the jets.

And if you do tell your husband to push the button to turn on the jets, don't just stand there in shock as the water sprays out of the not-yet-covered, upward pointing jets and drenches both of you, and the wall behind you, and the floor.

And if you do stand there in shock as the water sprays out of the not-yet-covered, upward pointing jets and drenches both of you, and the wall behind you, and the floor, don't yell to your husband to push the button again to turn it off.

And if you do yell to your husband to push the button again to turn it off, don't forget to tell him to hit it twice, because hitting it once only turns the jets to full power, spraying even more water out onto the wall, and the floor, and yourself.

And if you do forget to tell him to hit it twice, because hitting it once only turns the jets to full power, don't forget to duck to avoid taking a full-force stream of 50 degree water to the chest as you fight your way over to the main cutoff switch.

And if you do forget to duck to avoid taking a full-force stream of 50 degree water to the chest as you fight your way over to the main cutoff switch, don't forget to grab a handful of towels to toss at your dripping husband to wipe up the dripping floor.

And if you forget to grab a handful of towels to toss at your dripping husband to wipe up the dripping floor and dripping walls, don't forget to remind him whose dumb idea it was to turn on the jets before the spa was full in the first place.

Every Bond You Break, Every Step You Take, I'll Be Watching You

Everybody have a good weekend? Do anything fun and exciting? I spent my weekend stalking people. And the stalking? Harder than it looks.

So the class that I'm taking right now (the LAST class, I might add) is a marketing class called Consumer Buyer Behavior, which is basically why people buy what they buy. It's really interesting. It also involves a lot of field work...observing shoppers in their natural habitat without them knowing. Which is why I found myself slinking around a Kroger on Saturday afternoon, humming the Mission Impossible song and trying to blend in while furiously scribbling in my spy notebook about the shopping habits of my "mark". I nonchalantly followed them from aisle to aisle, making notes about every product they looked at while pretending to be thoroughly engrossed in the nutritional information on the back of a bag of pretzels whenever they looked in my direction.

Here's what I learned:

One-People are completely oblivious to any crazy women watching them from behind the spray cheese display. People! You don't think it's weird that you've seen me in every single aisle that you've been in, turning around when you turn around, stopping when you stop, shopping for over an hour, yet all I have in my buggy is a prop bag of pretzels?

Two-Lots of shoppers use lists. And coupons. They'd wander the aisles comparing their lists and their coupons. 75 cents off of this. Buy one get one for that. I'm impressed, budget savvy shoppers. The only time I remember to use a coupon is two years after it expired.

Three- Pringles seem to be a major seller. Especially if they are on the display shelf at the end of the aisle. Of the five shoppers I followed, 4 stopped to look at the Pringles, and 3 ended up buying some. Can we say impulse buy anyone?

Four- If you stop your buggy at the end of an aisle to record how many cans of Pringles the latest mark lingered over, people will RUN. YOU. DOWN. Especially little old ladies. They do not care that you are doing a homework assignment. If you impede the flow of shopping cart traffic, you are fair game.

Five- Peeking over the top of the battery display is a perfect way to spy on people in the checkout line. Unless of course the above mentioned little old lady wants some batteries. And then she doesn't even say excuse me. She just RUNS. YOU. DOWN. Shopping cart road rage claims another victim.

Six- Some shoppers followed their list. Some shoppers went up and down every single aisle. One guy had no idea where anything was located and kept doubling back to aisles he'd already been in. Which means that I did too. We looked like two drunken synchronized shopping cart dancers locked in the intricate art of aisle 4 crazy eights.

Seven- There seems to be a magical force that causes people to manhandle the tomatoes. Everybody and their brother wanders over and touches every single tomato. Pick it up, look at it, sniff it (SNIFF IT?!?), put it down, pick it back up again, squeeze it, put it down again. Repeat with all the other tomatoes. Wander off without buying any. Talk about your vegetable brutality! Makes me glad that I grow all my own tomatoes.

Eight- If you want a good view of everyone when they first come in the door, hide behind the display of potted plants next to the flower section.

Nine- If you want the woman who works at the flower counter to come over 50 times and ask if you need any help, hide behind the display of potted plants next to the flower section.

Ten- Following shoppers around a Kroger for three hours makes you hungry. Those Pringles are looking really good right now. The tomatoes? Not so much.

So there you have it. Consumer behavior in its natural environment. The habits, the psychology, the environment, the Pringles, the norms of your average grocery shopper. I feel just like Jane Goodall. Or maybe that British guy on Wild Kingdom who stood in the bushes whispering "Fascinating!" while his sidekick got mauled by a lion.

Because obviously the lion thought the sidekick was a tomato.