Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Banana Problem

Let me start this out by telling you that I very much enjoy bananas. They are nutritious and tasty and especially good on a peanut butter sandwich. They are the best thing to eat before and after rigorous exercise. Por ejemplo, if I feel tired before I go for a run, I'll eat half a banana. Then if I feel like I pushed myself too hard after a run, I'll eat another half a banana. I also love me some bananas in my lunch, baked into bread, in desserts (ever had IHOP's crispy banana caramel cheesecake? AHmazing), on top of waffles or pancakes, or just for a snack. Bananas are great!

But they come with a very real problem: they stink. I mean, I'm all about the banana smell when I've got a loaf in the oven or something, but beyond that I'd rather smell other things like grapefruit dish soap or our apple-cinnamon candle. But if we get bananas, they overtake all of those other smells. Seriously, of all the fruits there are (or that regularly find themselves in our apartment) bananas get the most pervasive smell award.

I packed a banana in my lunch today. It was a reasonably fresh banana. Just purchased yesterday. Still a little green, which is my favorite way to eat bananas plain. I figured the banana stink wouldn't come until they were at least a little brown and mushy. But then I opened my lunch bag so that I could enjoy my yogurt during class this morning. And I got a faceful of banana stench and realized how very wrong I was.

I especially hate eating bananas at work. For some reason banana peels get all the more stinky when the fruit is removed. And my desk trash can sits a mere two feet from my desk. So if I eat a banana, it smells bad for my whole shift. (I won't even get into the day custodial forgot to empty my trashcan and I had day-old banana stink.)

Oh well. Sure the odor is annoying, but I'm not going to stop eating them. In fact, I think I'll eat my lunch banana right now. And I'm going to enjoy every last bite, darn it!

(Actually, I think I'll wait for an hour so I can throw the peel away right before I leave work)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If We Had A Kid The Day We Got Married...

...S/he would be starting nursery this week.

Studies show that couples have a period where they really, really like each other (1 year - 1.5 years) and then they sort of can't stand each other for a little while (1.5 years - 2.25 years) and then they like each other again. I'm not going to cite anything, it's just something I remember from my major in, you know, marriage. (Please hold the jokes.)

I do speak the truth, though (insofar as I remember it). Not like that dude in my singles ward who said there was a doctrinal basis for the origin of that woodland ape we all lovingly know as "Sasquatch" or "Big Foot."

Well, with our 18 monthiversary yesterday, Lewis and I have been a "couple," in a "relationship," or "together" for 2 years and 3 months - or 2.25 years.

It's official, Lew. We can start liking each other again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Touche, Mary Anne. Touche.

On Monday morning, I was rudely awaken at 9:02 by a phone call for Mary Anne Miller. This would be the start of roughly half a dozen phone calls, all for Miss Mary Anne (actually, during the course of the first phone call, I received a second call, but that was just a recorded message. I thought that was weird, but I didn't realize until later that the recorded message was also for Mary Anne). I finally asked one of the callers where he had gotten this number, and he informed me that Miss Mary Anne had filled out a form requesting information on health insurance and apparently she put down the wrong number on the form. Apparently.

The Mary Anne Miller calls have been problematic for several reasons:

1. I was still asleep at 9:02 am on Monday morning. It was a holiday and although I did not mean to sleep in that late (9:02 became 10:31 suspiciously quickly), I did anyway and a wrong number phone calls is not a desirable way to be woken up on a day off. Or two wrong number phone calls for that matter (I'm glad the second one was a recording because I just yelled "NO" into the phone and hung it up. Hmm, I hope it really was a recording).

2. I don't get very many phone calls and tend to get quite excited when a phone call does present itself and having them all be wrong numbers is rather disheartening.

Okay, I just have two problematic reasons, but they are extensive!

This whole Mary Anne Miller situation has given me pause to consider how it happened that Miss Miller put my phone number on her insurance information form. Here are some possible solutions:

1. Our numbers are just a digit off and she accidentally typed in a 3 instead of a 2.

2. She filled out the form by hand and her 4s look like 9s.

3. There was an incentive for filling out a form, but she didn't want to be hassled by insurance salespeople, so she put down a fake number.

4. Mary Anne Miller is actually an ex-boyfriend of mine or some acquaintance that I've wronged in some way and s/he is enacting some twisted revenge plot by cruelly siccing insurance salespeople on me. If that's the case, then the jokes on shim! All the callers have been very polite once I tell them I am not who they intended to talk to. Except for the recording I yelled at.

In any case, the calls have stopped so maybe word got out that I am not Mary Anne Miller. Good thing, too, because I was about to track down Miss Miller myself so I could give the callers her correct number. Although maybe she is in desperate need of health insurance and will now die because the callers are calling me instead of calling her. Goodness, I hope not.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Disney Problem... And Solution!

We're planning a trip to Disneyland for this coming October. Yes, another one. This time though, we are hoping to go with all of Lewis' family. Should be fun!

Saturday last, as we were all gathered at the casa de los Youngs (as opposed to the apartamento de los otros Youngs) (where I live), we were discussing details of the trip. Sammie, my delightful niece, mentioned how lame the Peter Pan ride was. She described how boring it was to just go up like a foot and ride around for a minute or two and then go back down. No fun at all.

As she was describing this, I just stared at her with a look of shock and awe on my face. I couldn't believe that anyone would think the Peter Pan ride as "lame" or "boring" or "stupid." So I told her she had no sense of nostalgia.

And that's when it hit me. She probably doesn't have any nostalgia towards that movie! Me, I grew up on that movie and other movies like it. That's why I love Peter Pan's Flight and Snow White's Scary Adventure and Pinocchio's Daring Journey. They're not thrill rides, they are rides about movies. Movies that I have loved since I was a wee one. That's what Disneyland is all about. Sure, you do have thrill rides like Indiana Jones or Space Mountain or most everything over in California Adventure. But Disney is not just about thrills. They create an attention to detail experience with the characters that the world adores.

But for how long? How long will love for movies like Snow White or Peter Pan be enough? We live in a world where many of the young people have not even had the chance to see these beloved films. The advent of DVDs are partially to blame for this; families who own VHS copies of the movies rarely pull them for their kids. VCRs are obsolete! True, you can find many Disney Animated Features on DVD, but only once every seven to ten years when they come out of the Disney vault. But will that even be a viable marketing campaign in the future when primary DVD purchasers haven't seen the movies in the first place?

To prevent this (love for cherished characters dying off due to lack of movie viewership) from happening, the Imagineers at Disneyland have (possibly inadvertently) developed some solutions. One is to replace old rides/attractions with updates from more recent films. Case in point, the Swiss Family Treehouse was replaced by Tarzan's Treehouse in 1999. But that practice makes a part of me really sad. I mean, it's good to make updates and to continue to expand and whatever. I'm all for brand new rides and replacing stuff that was no good in the first place. But where is the line? How far can that be taken? Will Snow White be replaced by an attraction from a more recent movie? Can you replace Snow White? Is that what Walt Disney would have wanted? I don't know about you, but I would not want a cryogenically frozen Walter Elias Disney after my neck. You've been warned, Imagineers.

I'm getting carried away. There is still an abundance of classic Disney in Disneyland and there are no current plans to alter that.

A second solution would be to create more rides from interesting characters/stories developed specifically for the park. Sometimes the movie comes later like with Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, but the rides were still there first. I am okay with this as it gives Disneyland a personal stake in people's nostalgia. They have nostalgia for the rides alone, and not necessarily in concert with a movie attached to them. Which definitely makes me keep going back for more!

Neither solution is perfect of course. For example, instead of replacing the old with the new, why doesn't Disneyland just keep adding rides? I don't think anyone would complain about a bigger Disneyland. And if you do, you have no heart. Or soul.

The fact of the matter is today's generation of youths is missing out on a series of classic movies that their parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents grew up on. So here's what I think Disney should do. A few months before they release their movies from that mysterious vault they're always talking about, they should also play them in movie theaters around the country for a limited engagement. That way, parents can take their kids to see for themselves the magic of these animated features, and understand why Peter Pan's Flight really is a great ride. Plus the rest of us would have an excuse to go see the movies from our childhood that we haven't seen since. Disney can do this. They've done it before! I know because my parents wouldn't let me go see Jurassic Park with my older siblings when it was first in theaters and they took me to Snow White instead.

The cynic in me says that this quest would be futile. Most children would probably go into the movies with sky-high expectations and would come out saying it was "lame" or "boring" or "stupid." Psh. Kids these days!

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