Saturday, March 28, 2015

An Interview with Wheat

Wheat has 3 parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.

I've invited them all here today to tell you a little bit about their contributions. Introduce yourself guys.

Bran: "I have the most fiber and became a diet fad in the 1980's."

Germ: "I'm full of nutrients like iron and I'm responsible for sprouting the new wheat plant. I'm kind of an important guy."

Endosperm (munching a bag of Cheetos): "I'm the largest part of the kernel and I'm mostly starch. (Clears throat, licks fingers and looks at Germ condiscendingly) I'm responsible for a little thing called white flour. You know--Sunbeam, Wonder, Pillsbury and Sara Lee anything--the best thing since 'white bread?'"

Bran: "I think that's sliced bread..."

Endosperm: "No one asked you, Bran. Moving along, I'm mass-produced, commercially processed, and practically void of any nutritional value unless you count sugar as a nutrient. I'm put through steam rollers and pampered with a chlorine bath (to perfect my starchy whiteness). Bleaching flour is an industry standard.

Germ: "Of course the real reason that no one can eat any commercial bread is because it's bathed in insecticide before it's even processed."

Endosperm: "Shhhhhh...then no one will even want to eat YOU guys."

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): "We define chlorine gas as a flour-bleaching and aging process that is a powerful irritant. Alloxan is a biproduct of bleaching. It intentionally causes diabetes in lab rats so researches can study cures. It's highly toxic."

Endosperm: "No one invited you. You're not even a component of wheat."

Dr. Harvey Wiley: "I'm dead now but in 1906 I was a consumer advocate and head of the Bureau of Chemistry which eventually turned into the FDA. I went to the Supreme Court trying to stop the bleaching of food because I was so convinced of it's dangers. A law was passed that wheat couldn't be altered but it wasn't enforced. Later on I resigned out of frustration when big food corporations like Pillsbury and advocates for big farming beat out any effort to keep poison out of our food."

Endosperm: "Dead people can't talk."

Bran: "Neither can food."

Endosperm: "This is why no one likes you, Bran--you like getting things stirred up."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Top Five Aerosole Facts a Shoe Diva Should Know

1. They let you host parties.

This is a stellar idea, mostly because I thought of it years ago for local businesses, but never thought it could be a thing for a national business.

My understanding is they bring you shoes, you drink wine and eat cookies and try them on, then they give you a percentage of your sales. If you own a salon, you get to give massages while you host. Who doesn't want to do this???

The only catch is, you have to live within an hour of the store so if you don't live in a metropolitan area, you can go over to your friend's house and still have wine and cookies, but you'll have to settle for trying on her shoes.

2. Old people shoes are so ugly, they're cute.

I'll apologize beforehand for calling these shoes elderly but please look at the next picture:

If you haven't seen an old person wearing this shoe, you're a liar. My Grandmother owns a pair and they were designated to the "old lady shoe" area of the shoe department when I worked for Macy's along with Naturalizers, Life Strides, Easy Spirits, Hush Puppies, and Grasshoppers

That said, I kind of like them now. One, because I managed in the ladies shoe department at Macy's for six years in non-elderly shoes and two, I'm at that age where it feels ridiculous to wear junior shoes. It's very interesting how at age 30 or so you start to transition from the person who wore short skirts and pierced body parts to the woman who walks into the break room at work, observes an inappropriately dressed young lady, and says to herself,"I wonder if she realizes she looks like a hooker?" with absolutely no malice or jealousy--just concern that the young lady on her cell phone with the tattoo on her thigh realizes what she's done to completely disregard any success she may have in the future with her dyed green hair and ill-fitting clothing. 

All of that sounds judgmental and it totally is but in a nice-but-sounds-mean-and-condescending way.

To summarize, my feet hurt and I'm old.

That said, Aerosoles can be so cute that they're ugly--the same kind of ugly that brought me joy in my teens as I found my mom's 1970's sandals fit and that guided me to bell bottoms made out of carpet in college. 

Here are a few samples of my favorite ugly/cute Aerosole shoes. I like how the last example looks like someone was like,"Oh my god look at that fabulous fabric on a sofa from Goodwill! I must put it on my feet and add laces!" 

I would wear every single pair of these as some acceptably unaware young person will think to herself,"Look at those ugly shoes on that slightly overweight, middle-aged person." And then I'll kick her in the face with my ugly shoe and run.

3. Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Here are some really attractive women my age explaining how Aerosoles are basically the NASA of footwear with their fancy stitch-and-turn with diamond sole design. If I were in a nursery rhyme and I lived in a shoe with a bunch of children, I would want it to be an Aerosole.

4. If you lay around in bed long enough, you can figure out their coupon codes.

I have a compulsion to figure out how to know things I shouldn't know. One of them involves coupon codes for any number of businesses. The last pair of shoes I bought just had to come down in price. There were no adequate coupons available so I noticed they have a VIP program that provided a 15% discount on your birthday. Having worked retail most of my life, I assumed a coupon code would be involved and I knew that the powers that be wouldn't spend a lot of time on making them creative. So after half an hour, I cracked the code. You would've thought I won the lottery. 

5. They have a VIP program.

As you may have noticed from reading number 4, Aerosoles has a rewards program. Every $150 you spend will earn you a $10 gift certificate. They also give you 15% off on your birthday or every month if you're a con artist like me. 

Although I would never pay full price for anything, I watch the styles I want and buy them six months later when they are usually available. The best way to shop is to get a few friends on board and buy in bulk so you get free shipping and accrue the rewards points. Just explain to your friends that anything under $30 is not refundable for anything but a credit. I haven't found a better price for Aerosoles than on their website if you're looking for clearance. You can get shoes for as little as $16.99--that's better than their vendors including Macys, Sears, and JC Penney. But always check the department store web sites first! You can usually find their full price or moderately priced items for less.

5 Things I Learned About Peppadew

1. They were discovered when I started High School.

This one time back in 1993, a rich guy was wandering around his enormous South African back yard and he saw a tall bush with some fruit on it. Considering it was impossible for anything bad to happen to him since he was rich and white, he bit into one of the ripe red fruits and--VOILA!--peppadew was born. The name originated from the fact they look like a pepper (mostly because they totally are) and the gentleman's affinity for Mountain Dew, which he discovered while traveling the exotic mountains of West Virginia. I made that up, in case you have no humor or common sense.

2. Peppadews are patent.

Afore mentioned white guy, Johah Steenkamp, trademarked his discovery shortly thereafter and patented his "secret preparation." That means you can secretly sell your stash along with your other crops.

3. Peppadews are raised in New Jersey.

But I wouldn't travel there to buy them because people from New Jersey are also raised there.

4. You might find peppadew products in a grocery store near you.

Yancey's Fancy Artisan Cheese partnered with the producers of the peppadew brand to make several varieties of cheese. You can find their selections at your local Kroger. Spring Silver makes peppadew mustard, and Robert Rothschild makes peppadew cocktail sauce which you can usually find at your local specialty foods store. Wegmans's sells the direct brand of peppadews and salsa. 

5. Peppadew shows at the Annual International Las Vegas Pizza Expo.

I can't think of a better way to eat pizza,drink beer and hang out with managers from pizza fast food chains all over the United States. I could make some very derogatory remarks about the guy who ran the pizza place I used to work at but then I'd have to admit I worked there.