Saturday, May 23, 2009

Old Navy.......or a glimpse of hell?

It is well known that I am a lover of all things flip flop. Multi-colored, wedge, leather, rubber, I love 'em all. So imagine my delight when I saw a commercial for Old Navy this morning promoting a one day only sale of flip flops. $1.00 - any color you like. I was so excited!

I promptly began the process of getting my children and myself ready to leave the house; this takes a good hour and a half. I got them dressed, took a shower, got myself dressed, made bottles, packed diapers, loaded Anna into her carseat, and my cousin and I put the babies in the car, buckled our seatbelts and hit the road.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed an unusually large number of vehicles parked in the vicinity of the store. I looked on either side of Old Navy. To the left is what used to be a grocery store that is now closed. On the right is a shoe store that never has more than a handful of shoppers in it. I realized that all of the passengers from these cars were in my store........buying my flip flops.

We searched impatiently for a parking spot less than quarter-mile from the store, finally lucked out when someone pulled out of a spot near the store, parked and went in.

Wait, this is not Old Navy......this is hell. There were people everywhere. Everywhere! Kids playing with the dog mannequin in the front of the store (which I must say I see no use whatsoever for a dog mannequin, it's simply a waste of hard plastic and also kind of creepy), people browsing over every table, every rack. Every register was open with lines going all the way to the very back of the store. I'm not kidding. It was like flipflopalooza in there.

We forced our way through the crowds, maneuvering the ridiculously oversized stroller carrying Anna around people and clothing. We reached the flip flop wall, stopped and stared. Where were the flip flops? They were gone. An entire wall of flip flops, nearly barren. The only remnants were a few pairs of size 5 and 6 flip flops in light pink and purple. Those didn't remain long either; a couple of 12ish year-olds came barging past us and grabbed those off of the wall in a flash of ponytails, plaid and giggles.

I glanced at my cousin, who looked just as shocked and appalled as I was. I sighed, dejected, and began walking towards the baby clothes. Despite this terrible turn of events, I was determined to spend at least a little bit of money. I wandered aimlessly through the racks, grabbing a few pairs of shorts, some shirts, and a cute bathing suit for Hayden. Feeling slightly better, I turned to face the checkout line. The end of the line appeared to be in the exact same place it had been when we first entered the store. I looked from the line to the clothes, then back again. Did I really intend to spend precious minutes of my life standing in this nearly motionless line? No. I put the clothes back, fought my way back through the crowd and exited the store.

Next time, I'll just pay the extra $1.50.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dare I conform to the fads of technology?

This whole thing started over an iPhone.

It's that time again....time to upgrade. The ads are everywhere, people preach at you as if they're faithful followers of some iPhone religion. "You have to have it!" "It's AMAZING!" "I can't imagine not having one now that I've seen what it can do!" Why do people insist on shoving this advanced piece of technology at me? It's as if I will been seen as a disappointment if I refuse to spend an obscene (to me, anyway) amount of money on a piece of equipment that I will most likely lose, or that will be dropped into the toilet by my 1 year old.

I guess I'm what you would consider a baby as far as technology goes. We didn't get the internet at my house until I was a sophomore in high school (1999ish). The world wide web blew my mind. Before that, the only playing I did on a computer was Oregon Trail day in junior high school. But once I had a taste of chat rooms, email, online games, I was hooked. I do have to admit that I always seemed to be just a slight bit behind all of my friends. They had figured out chat rooms long before I even knew what one was.

Then came webcams. Now, the mere idea of this freaked me out. Strangers watching you doing.......what? Typing? Eating potato chips? Little did I know that there was an entirely different use for these little peep show products. I won't elaborate on that one.

As far as cell phones went, they were pretty much nonexistent at my high school. If you had any type of communication device, it was a beeper. And for the most part, the people with beepers were dawdling in some less than legal activities. The only people who had cell phones were the super-rich kids. The ones who carried Coach purses to school. (Only later in life -and by that I mean very early 20s - did I learn the wonderfulness of a ridiculously expensive handbag)

Only when I graduated high school and began an hour-long commute to college did the idea of me owning a cell phone even present itself. After an extremely tiring conversation with my parents about the responsibilities of taking care of a cell phone and paying the bill on time, I was given my very first cell phone. It was a Nokia 5110. The main purpose for me having said phone was in case of an emergency (flat tire, accident, kidnapped and locked in the trunk, etc). However, once my friends introduced me to the world of text messaging, I quickly learned that cell phones were much more useful than I had ever imagined.

From that point on, I kept a cell phone until it was broken. I recall tearing up two cell phones myself by dropping them into glasses of sweet tea. It didn't really matter back then what kind of phone you had. As long as you had a cell phone, you were in. Be honest, we all know what that means.

This technology, which began as a celebration of how far we've come, how advanced we were, started to change into something else..... enter pop culture.

All of a sudden no one was listening to good 'ol AM/FM radios anymore; satellite radio was the new thing. Laptops everywhere, bigger screens, lightweight, HD, Blu-ray, wireless, blah blah blah. Something new would come out, and the old stuff wasn't good enough anymore. Everyone just had to have the newest version of whatever piece of equipment the advertisers were shoving in our faces.

Welcome to iPod world: all of your music shoved into this teeny, tiny, miniscule product that could easily be lost if not for the earphones attached to it. I rebelled against the iPod, just as I had with satellite radio, HD and blu-ray (I did cave and acquire a laptop, which I love). Before I knew it my sisters, friends, even my DAD had iPods. They continuously insisted that I would be so much better off if I would just give in and purchase this wonderful thing. Nope, not me. I refused.

In all honesty, I truly had no interest whatsoever in having one. Could have cared less. Although, being a music lover, I had in my possession over 700 cds that were somewhat of a burden to carry around all the time. Still, I couldn't see myself keeping up with one of those things.

Despite my outspoken refusal on the subject, Gary bought me an iPod touch for Christmas this past year. I was apalled. Me? An iPod owner? Noooooo. I spent a good three weeks in protest before I finally gave in and began tinkering with the thing. Suddenly I found myself engrossed in the many wonderful features that this tiny piece of technology had. I copied every one of my cds onto the thing (which I was amazed at - how could it possible hold that many songs?). I put pictures on it. I downloaded books and games. I have to say though, that I felt justified in that the games I downloaded were designed to exercise the brain. I still have morals, after all.

So, having broken down and accepted that I, too, could be persuaded to actually like this advanced technology, the time came for the upgrade. My current cell phone is a Samsung Sync. I love it. The menus are easy to navigate, I can text well on it, I can always hear people I'm talking to, etc. It's a great phone. Sometimes, though, when I'm out in public and talking on my phone I get these looks. The looks I get are similar to looks of pity, like the one you would give a stray dog on the side of the road. It's as if they are all thinking, "Oh, poor thing, she's technologically retarded." I feel like the ugly duckling. All because of my not-top-of-the-line cell phone. Am I really so shallow? Do I actually care if people look down on me for the type of phone I have? Not so much, no. However, I do need to upgrade. Whether subconsciously I yearn to be socially accepted or I just really do want a new phone, I'm not sure.

After rambling on for the past few paragraphs, though, I think I have decided that I do not, in fact, want an iPhone. I'll settle for something less......fad-like.

The little joys in life

  • my 16 month-old daughter trying to dance along with music playing on the television
  • puppies
  • a large fountain coke
  • rocking chairs on a front porch
  • cuddling :)
  • singing at the top of my lungs in the car
  • DVR
  • my 5 month-old giggling at her older sister
  • flip flops
  • LSU football
  • boiled crawfish
  • sweet tea
  • music
  • rain on a tin roof
  • reading a good book
  • roadtrips
  • sunflower seeds
  • romantic comedies
  • roller skating
  • fishing on a hot summer day
  • bubble baths
  • coffee
  • Sunday lunch at Mawmaw's
  • Springtime
  • Snow days
  • slinkies
  • walking through a museum
  • karaoke
  • board games
  • sushi
  • a day at the park
  • walking on the beach at night
  • 80s films
  • raw cookie dough
  • fortune cookies
  • F*R*I*E*N*D*S
  • double entendres
  • Disney films
  • drawings by children
  • photography
  • sarcasm
  • Simon Cowell
  • "Saved by the Bell" reruns
  • live bands
  • roly poly bugs
  • toe socks
  • driving down the road with no particular destination
  • bookstores
  • coffee shops (I'm talking small-time shops, not Starbucks)
  • flea markets
  • yard sales
  • sock hats
  • themed events
  • poppyseed muffins
  • hoodies
  • Egyptian cotton sheets

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I'm sitting here at work.

Quite often I find myself with great amounts of free time while I'm forced to endure eight long hours here at this place that enables me to live somewhat comfortably. Most of my free time is usually spent on facebook, which I'm sad to say I have developed an addiction to. I decided yesterday that I would no longer allow myself to waste away so much of my brainpower and precious free moments attempting to save the rainforest by sending and receiving imaginary plants (and little people with plant clothing on, which is kind of creepy) with my facebook pals.

I decided to mess around with my blog, which I have neglected since starting it only a few weeks ago. A friend of mine has one, and after reading a few of her posts I was inspired to create my own. Of course random strangers would love to read about the everyday thoughts and moments that are my life. I wrote two blogs, and then....nothing. What's wrong with me? I always excelled in writing during my education. Heck, I was even offered a journalism scholarship to ULL, which I regrettably declined. I have written short stories, poetry, even made a few attempts at novels over the past seven or eight years.

Writing is part of me. It's who I've always been. Yet somehow, I read the blogs of others here and I feel intimidated. Ridiculous. Almost as if I'm some pretender trying to be cool and keep with the times. The way that people express their thoughts and feelings fascinates me. The wording just flows, humor shows up unexpectedly. I've even felt the urge to cry while reading a few of the more personal blogs. How can I even attempt to be as creative as the others? Will I spend hours writing out blogs that no one will ever read? Will my words just float around in cyberspace for eternity (or until Mr. Gates creates some more advanced form of communication), wasted and useless?

After spending much time obsessing about this, I decided that it didn't matter if no one reads my stuff. Besides, the short stories and poetry that I have shared with friends and family have all been embraced completely. They think I'm funny. Creative. Imaginative. That's all that matters, right?

What's funny to me, though, is that I titled my blog quite fittingly without even knowing. It may not be a big deal to anyone else, but if it's a big deal to me, by God, I'll write about it!