Monday, September 24, 2012

Coco Tapi Tea?

Recently, I’ve tried two new food trends – coconut water and bubble tea.  Both beverages.  Both tasty.  According to advertising, coconut water is healthy – it is supposed to help you lose weight, prevent diabetes, aid digestion, fight viruses and “revitalize your cells and boost metabolism.”  I don’t know if coconut water does or doesn’t do all of those things, but, frankly, the claims seems a little over-blown.  And, coconut water, while tasty, isn’t, in my humble opinion, that tasty.  Maybe it needs a kick-butt health campaign to sell it. 

And, then there’s bubble tea – the drink that’s fun to eat.  Bubble tea, reportedly invented in Taiwan tea shops, is a tea base beverage that is mixed with fruit or milk.  It can be frozen, chilled or served as a sort-of slushy and comes loaded with small chewy tapioca balls you can slurp up through a wide straw and eat.  Bubble tea may contain some of the same antioxidants as tea, but some recent reports have linked certain types of the tapioca pearls with cancer.  The reports haven’t been verified to date, though.  It might just be a scare tactic. 

It’s interesting that these two trends produce big discussion.  Is coconut water really the fountain of youth and is bubble tea really the end of civilization as we know it? 

I think we should combine the two drinks into a coconut water bubble tea concoction.  The coconut water’s health benefits would negate any negative effects tapioca might have on human cells.  The result?  A tasty, healthful, fun beverage, maybe called Coco Tapi Tea.  Hmmmmm.
Bottoms up!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Cray Cray

Yes, frustration.  That's what you get when you deal with bureaucratic craziness.  Here's my latest example:  I used to have a cell phone contract with Sprint.  Yes, I'm naming the carrier.  Probably not a good idea.  Definitely poor taste.  But, whatever.  Anyway, I used to have a cell phone contract with Sprint, as I said.  That was three years ago.  I didn't mind Sprint.  I was reasonably happy with Sprint.  But, we found a better plan and changed to it.  It was with a different company.  A company that is not Sprint.  Another decent company not much better and not altogether worse.  Whatever.  However, lately, I have begun to hate Sprint.  Detest Sprint.  Have horrible dreams about Sprint.  Why?  Sprint is a prime example of bureaucratic craziness. 
It seems I overpaid the last payment of my last Sprint bill by 72 cents.  Yes, that's right, 72 cents.  So, Sprint dutifully sent me a statement informing me that I had a credit of 72 cents.  I called them and told them that I am no longer a customer and therefore, would never be in need of my 72 cent credit.  Could they send me a check for 72 cents?  No, Ma'am, they couldn't.  They can't cut checks for less than a dollar.  Well, then, I said, just keep the 72 cents.  No, Ma'am, they couldn't do that either.  Accounting controls.  Well, what should we do?  Did they want me to send them 28 cents so they could cut me a $1 check?  No, since I was no longer a customer, there was no way to pay into my account. 
So, what happened?  For the last three years, I have received a monthly statement from Sprint telling me that I have a 72 cent credit with them.  I've called them several more times and had repeats of the above conversation with different representatives.
So, if Sprint goes bankrupt because they have had to send me a hundreds of statements in the mail, each with 42 cents worth of postage, and have had to buy the paper to print those statements and have had to hire the people to process those statements and to keep track of my account that is closed . . . well, don't blame me.  I tried.
Do you have a frustrating story about bureaucratic craziness?  Do tell!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Battle of the Oddities

Enter:  two hot, new trends for you to debate.  In this corner, notice the "Sun Stache." Advertised for women, children and "all of the mustache-less" out there, sun staches, as you can see, combine sun glasses with fake mustaches. I wonder how we ever survived before this invention -- I cannot tell you how many times I've gazed wistfully at myself in the rear-view mirror, clad in my bare, ordinary sunglasses, and thought, "Too bad I am mustache-less. If only I could add a mustache to this stunning look, I'd be sure to attract everything I've ever wanted in life."
On the other hand, I needn’t have worried too much.  Being mustache-less is, apparently, nothing compared to being beard-less, especially on cold winter days.  Note the other oddity – the Beard Beanie.  Who doesn’t want a fake beard to warm the face in the face of blustery wind?  Combine it with the attractive skull cap and you’ve suddenly got the go-to look.  Bonus:  If you look carefully, the fake beard comes complete with a fake mustache.  Add you own sunglasses and you’ve combined the two trends into the ultimate of cool warmth.
Questions of the day:  Have you ever seen anyone actually sporting these looks?  Do you secretly want to try them out?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Unusual Historicals Guest Blog

Today I am honored to be featured as a guest blogger on the very cool blog, "Unusual Historicals." 

Of course I waxed enthusiastically about Fanny Fern and Shame the Devil, but the editors of the blog asked interesting questions about writing and the writing process, too.

Take a peek at my recent interview, if you please.  And while you're at it, check out the extensive listing of great books, interesting authors and terrific takes on history.

Click here for fun and adventure:  Unusual Historicals